New chapter in British surfing history opens soon

photo of Glen Short

A major new exhibition at the award-winning Museum of British Surfing will look at the decade when modern surfing culture first washed ashore on the UK’s beaches in the 1960s.

Exactly 50 years after the Britain’s first surf shop opened its doors, ‘Sixties SURFER!’ will tap into the source of this new wave of surfers, and the enduring footsteps they left in the sand for generations of dedicated wave-riders to follow.

Museum founder Peter Robinson sets the scene: “A massive sea change occurred in the swinging Sixties when the UK met Malibu, Bondi and the Beach Boys head-on, and a new surfing culture was imported from foreign shores. In the 70 years before this surfing had been quite a genteel affair with a handful of hardy pioneers, wooden surfboards & woollen bathing suits.”

‘Sixties SURFER!’ will be the biggest display of original British surfboards and memorabilia from the 1960s ever seen in the UK, and will sample the films, photography, music and fashions of this groundbreaking decade.

The exhibition has been made possible by sponsorship from businesses across Devon and Cornwall including 1960s wetsuit pioneer Gul, Wavelength surfing magazine, Finisterre clothing, Skinners Brewery, The Thatch pub, Marsdens Cottage Holidays, Parkin Estates and The Red Barn pub. Its a great endorsement of the value that the Museum is adding to the SW’s surf heritage and tourism.

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