The second in our extremely popular series. This time we head back to the late 1980s with a story about falling in (and out of) love with surfing.
By Karen de Perthuis
It all started at Bronte one summer.
‘I’m thinking of taking up surfing,’ I said to a boy I was trying to impress.
‘Can you ride a skateboard?’
‘Do you ski?’ I had bought a very fashionable ski-jacket on sale once, but it was still brand new and anyway I didn’t really want to wear it in the water.
‘Surfing,’ he said, standing up to let the early morning sun frame his golden curls in a god-like halo, ‘is much harder – in fact, it’s been called the hardest and most complex activity known to Man. You see, you have to balance on a moving object.’
He looked down at me. ‘Maybe you should try boogie-boarding instead. It’s much easier.’
Download Classic pics of Nell and Emma here
If anyone knows about coming-of-age stories it’s Nell Schofield, star of Puberty Blues, possibly the best coming-of-age surf film ever. As part of what we hope will become a regular feature on the BGSR blog, Nell has written a ripper of a story about her early surfing days, back when Bondi was a very different place to the real estate agent’s dream it is today. Take it away Nell…
FROM THE VAULT
By Nell Schofield
Back in the dark ages (circa 1977) when punk ruled and Bali was the new frontier, Bondi was a beach where girls were rarely seen in the line up. You could literally count those lesser spotted surfie chicks on the fingers of one hand. And I was one of them – a rare sunburnt creature riding down from the Junction on my Malvern Star bicycle or catching the bus to the Laundromat at the south end of Campbell Parade where us grommets used to stash our boards in a room out the back. It’s now a flash café of course but back then, thanks to the sympathetic owner, it was all ours.