Book review | LONG BONGS AND BURLEIGH BARRELS: 50 YEARS OF BURLEIGH BOARDRIDERS

Long Bongs and Burleigh Barrells

It’s been over 50 years since the Burleigh Boardriders formed, and they have released a book celebrating those 50 years of surfing, mateship, and their beautiful home Burleigh Point.

The book’s title paraphrases a tongue-in-cheek advertising slogan adopted by long-time club supporter Billabong in the early 80s, back when long boardshorts were the fashion trend.  Such innuendo accurately heralded the anarchist behaviour of surfing’s sub-culture.

The end result is nearly 200 pages of stories, interviews and photos, divided into decades beginning in the 1960s when the Burleigh Boardriders was first founded. Many photos are previously unpublished personal shots donated by club members mixed with scans of archived memorabilia and contributions from professional photographers that serve both to illustrate the evolution of a celebrated coastal community and the metamorphosis of one of surfing’s truly great boardriders clubs.

Industry media professional and former Australia’s Surfing Life magazine Editor “JJ” (Johnathan Jenkins) was entrusted by the club to catalogue their precious history.

“Club President James Lewis approached me at the end of 2014 in anticipation of the Club’s 50th Anniversary. We agreed to produce a book, knowing full well the process could be like tugging on a thread and watching it unravel with no real end in sight. Ultimately I think we managed to capture a nice cross-section of stories that highlight the Club’s legacies and importantly, include or at least mention many of the loyal and dedicated people who have been involved over the years.”

Burleigh Heads and the generations of impassioned surfers who have called the spot their local break are globally renowned. Famously, Burleigh was the site of the first-ever man-on-man surfing competition in 1977; the break has provided the backdrop for significant leaps in performance and design; the area remains an attractive base for numerous board manufacturers, surf clothing labels and agencies; and woven tightly through the eras are countless stories of the eccentric surfers who have helped shaped a culture.

The Burleigh crew and the public got together at Burleigh Brewing and launched the book, with members from 1965 to present day. A great read and an awesome history of the Gold Coast one of Australia’s oldest board riding clubs.

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