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1973. With my birthday at the end of April I was in the classic transitional age through the year between 15 and 16 and a lift in my surfing seemed to happen. I mostly rode the rip banks by the Newport surf club and the point at the north end, both of which broke really well before the May 1974 storm killed both off. I can't remember surfing The Peak much, it being the domain of a major pack of older guys who used the high flying flick out on the dump section. It was pre leg ropes, Eddie Murray was the King of that move, and it wasn't fun to be under a board spiralling 40 feet in the air. A lot of us younger guys tended to be targets. Timmy Rogers from just up the road built me a board as did John Haymes from North Avalon. Timmy was probably the coolest surfer on the entire northern beaches, so mellow and polite and respected by all. I occasionally rode two boards from the year before, a Barry Bennett and a Surfline Hawaii both bought at a liquidator's board auction at Harbord Road Brookvale with a year's savings for a total of $40. I'll point out that it was a failed surf shop's liquidation, nothing to do with Bennett or Surfline Surfboards. Sticking my hand up for those boards as a 14 year old, and late in the proceedings too, had been the most daring moment of my life. The board I present here, the one I remember most from '73, is a pastel coloured 5'3" used on a memorable trip to Crescent with school pals Grant Hughes and Peter Roberts via the train from Hornsby. What a holiday, my first trip away from family. Boy those tins of 'sausages and vegetables' got a real going over. Crescent was the longest ride I could imagine. We all felt the same rush. On one good ride you could feel improvement because of so much opportunity to draw a line again and again. The 5'3" Bennett felt dependable on every ride up there. In the pre leg rope days everyone learnt to swim and swim with good timely thinking, but most boards were built as much to successfully get out of the ride at the end of it aka the big flick out as much as perform on the face - or so it seemed to me. I've chosen this board for '1973' because on it I learnt how not to stuff up or get as many dings. The foil of boards back then was so different in a positive forward of centre sense. Drive off the front foot was innate to most surfers. The foil of this board allowed a bit of a spring board for developing a routine into '74. Foil, thick up font to thinner off the tail, pretty well ruled as the 70's wore on.