Black Head Longboarders has hosted a unique charity event designed to raise funds for suicide prevention and crisis support while celebrating the proud history of surfing.
The Board Walk for Charity was held on Sunday, May 2 and saw surfers of all ages dust off their vintage boards and display them at Black Head Surf Life Saving Club.
Black Head Longboarders president, Hugh Smyth said the display showcased boards from the early 1960s, through to the revolution of short boards and the progression to single fins, twin fins, thrusters and quads.
"We had a really good scope of boards," Hugh said.
"We invited people to come in, have a look and donate a gold coin."
The event raised about $400 for Lifeline Mid Coast.
It's something all surfers go through so I wanted to organise a day where those people who aren't as involved as they were can be involved in the sport and culture again, celebrate what they did and how they contributed to the culture.Hugh Smyth
Hugh had the idea for the event following a conversation with an ageing surfer in 2020.
"By all accounts he was an excellent surfer in his time.
"But, getting on in life, his surfing ability declined so much that he rarely attempted surfing and mentioned that he might not ever surf again.
"It dawned on me that I too would one day face this reality."
Hugh thought about the mental health issues faced by surfers who feel isolated from the waves and culture when they can no longer jump on a board and head out into the surf.
The longboarders club has many older members so the timing of the event was perfect.
"It's something all surfers go through so I wanted to organise a day where those people who aren't as involved as they were can be involved in the sport and culture again, celebrate what they did and how they contributed to the culture," Hugh said.
The event garnered positive feedback from surfers and the community.
"A lot of people said we should make it an annual event and I think we will consider it," Hugh said.
The club holds competitions every second Sunday of the month, primarily at Diamond Beach or nearby beaches with good surf.
If conditions aren't ideal, officials push competition back a week. This was the case for the April competition.
Hugh said conditions have been good so far this year.
"The conditions look good for this weekend so fingers crossed we get in the water," he said.
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