Bombora - The Story of Australian Surfing


The extraordinary tale of how surfing went from an obscure pastime reserved for Hawaiian Kings to become an Australian obsession, an international sport and finally, a global phenomenon. Featuring a surfing ”who’s who” and rare archival footage, BOMBORA takes us on a journey from the early 19th Century pioneers, to the impact of “The Duke” and 60’s and 70’s counter-culture - to shine a light on how Australian surf culture conquered the world. --- ‘It’s impossible to imagine what Australia would be like without surfing’ – Tim Winton Bombora - The Story of Australian Surfing is the definitive TV history of surfing – produced and directed by the team behind Long Way To The Top. It tells the stories of the pioneers like Duke Kahanamoku and Isobel Letham, the first Aussie surfing icons like Midget Farrelly and Bob Pike, the bad boys like Nat Young and Michael Petersen. It looks at the exploits of innovators like Wayne Lynch and Bob McTavish, and the new breed of Australian surfers riding 40 ft monster waves off the West Australian coast. It’s a story of people living wild lives, craving freedom. Surfing has pushed the boundaries of Australia’s way of life and rules of behaviour – and become a multi-billion dollar a year industry that stretches around the world, with a mix of mongrel, grace and cool that is utterly Australian. Bombora features incredible archive footage of surfing in Australia, a brilliant rock and roll soundtrack, and interviews with 10 former Australian World Champions. Sydney Morning Herald Couch Potato Awards - Winner - Best Local Documentary Series 2009 NSW Premier's History Awards - Shortlisted for the Multimedia History Prize 2009 TV Week Logie Awards Finalist - Outstanding Factual Program 2010

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Episode Description


Episode One

Episode one of Bombora looks at the early years of Australian surf history from 1830 to 1964. It charts our first encounters with the surf when swimming in the sea was banned and shows how we were seduced by the freedom of the waves and the beaches. The series takes us into the lives of the larrikins who invented everything from surf skis to shark nets, and also looks at the tensions that arose between 'duty and pleasure', between the growing surf life-saving clubs and those who just wanted to surf.


Episode Two

Episode two of Bombora looks at the later years of Australian surf history from 1967 to the present. Using archival footage and interviews, it charts the rise of the surf and drug culture, the start of a hippie trail north to Indonesia, the launch of surfing films and dedicated surf magazines, and introduces the hard men of the 1970s including Michael Peterson and Wayne 'Rabbit' Bartholomew. But the 1980s brought another cultural change, and the success of surfers such as Mark Richards and Tom Carroll helped to clean up its image. As surfers formed boardriding clubs, the sport grew more professional and women were not only welcomed back, they started to win world titles.