Celebrating Queensland's surfing culture

"So you want to be a surfer – you have Surf Fever… The sting of the salt spray on your face, the whistle of the wind through your hair and vibration of the board beneath your feet are some of the sensations you experience in your fantastic dash from the third row to the beach. You sense foreboding at the almost certain disaster and then a feeling of freedom and relief at your smooth ride shortwards”. .

From 11 to 26 February the Gold Coast will hold the inaugural “Bleach Surfing the Fringe Festival” which celebrates surf and beach culture. The Festival will showcase art and photography exhibitions, music, film screenings and fashion events related to this theme. You can find further details about the festival on their website.


The State Library of Queensland holds a great collection of items including photographs, magazines and books documenting Queenslanders’ love of surfing and the beach, including Barry Johnson’s "Surf Fever", a guide to surfing 1960s style. The book provides instructions on how to surf, how to care for your board, safety in the water and short biographies of some of the surfing personalities at the time, including Queenslanders John Charlton, Brian ”Horrie” Budd and John Cunningham. At the back of the book is a brief glossary so you can be fluent in surfing lingo, such as Gremlins – “uncouth, rowdy surfers” or Quasimoto – “to squat low on the board”. Robert Forster from the band The Go-Betweens listed "Surf Fever" as one of his favourite things from the State Library of Queensland's collections.


To peruse the collections of the State Library of Queensland please search our online catalogue.

Myles Sinnamon - Project Coordinator, State Library of Queensland


We welcome relevant, respectful comments.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.
We also welcome direct feedback via Contact Us.
You may also want to ask our librarians.

The State Library of Queensland have added photographic sets of interest on to flickr "The Commons" site.There are two sets that would pertain to Queensland Surfing Culture.Bathing Beauties with 27 images http://www.flickr.com/photos/statelibraryqueensland/sets/72157622090176… .and Beautiful Beachers with 26 images http://www.flickr.com/photos/statelibraryqueensland/sets/72157628411341… .

40 of the best images I have ever seen on Surf lifesaver .. BEAUTIFUL !!! and part of the John Oxley Library Collection.Title: 27684 Craig Golding Photographs 2001-2006Author/Creator: Craig GoldingSummary/Contents: A CD ROM with digital images of the National Surf Lifesaving Championships at Kurrawa Beach, Queensland, between 2001 and 2006.Persistent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10462/eadarc/8051Once you have entered onto this site - click - on the images and then scroll down viewing all images.