Surf Ski

Contributed by Maritime Museum Jersey

One of the surf skis used by States of Jersey Beach Lifeguards in the early years of the surf craze.   © Jersey Heritage

The Jersey Surfboard Club is the oldest surf club in EuropeThis surf ski highlights Jersey's position as the first place in Europe to embrace the surfing culture. It was used at St Ouen's Bay by South African life guards Shorty Bronkhurst, Cliff Honeysett and Bobby Burden to paddle out to surfers who got into difficulties. They introduced surfing into the Island in 1958. One of these skis appears in John Houillebecq's iconic 1959 photograph showing members of the newly founded Jersey Surfboard Club near to the Watersplash, a popular local surf spot, and the scene of numerous international competitions.

During the 1960s & 1970s Jersey surfers proved a prominent force on both the national and international stage, with surfers such as Gordon Burgis who won two European Championships as well as several British titles. This was epitomised by the inclusion of five Jersey surfers in the British team of six, which went to the Puerto Rico World Championships in 1968.

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