I was just wondering to all you guys out there who actually know where the first ever surf comp was held in Australia, just wondering all your personal opinions of to where it actually was.
I think the longest running event is the Robe Classic in SA, with Bells being the longest professional competition.
Not 100% though..
That doesn't answer your question though :p
Good bloody question!
Surfboard riding used to be a part of the lifesaving movement so I think the first form of competition would've been incorporated within a clubbie event. Not too sure when though. I'll have a squiz and see if I can come up with something.
Claude West was the first Australian Board Champion in 1915 (although Nat Young says 1919 in The Complete History of Surfing). He held the title till 1925 when he relinquished it to Snowy McAllister. The comps were vastly different to today however, being point-to-point races, but acrobatic flourishes were allowed. It was such a move, a headstand to the sand, that won Snowy his title.
Source: Salts and Suits - Phil Jarratt.
Not sure when the first stand-alone (i.e not part of the SLSA) surf comp was JC.