Vale Dave 'Baddy' Treloar

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

This morning, Dave 'Baddy' Treloar suffered a fatal heart attack on the beach at Angourie. Paramedics attended to him but he couldn't be revived. He was 68-years old.

Photo: Peter Baker

Originally from Manly, Baddy moved to Angourie when he was twenty, carving out an ocean-based existence, shaping boards and living off the sea as a recreational and commercial fisherman.

Baddy became the archetype for country soul when Alby Falzon captured him shaping a board and running down the track to Angourie in Morning Of The Earth. That sequence, set to the song 'Simple Ben', became the template for a simpler life, and over nearly half a century Baddy never wavered. In 1995 he told Australia's Surfing Life: "I just surf and fish. I don't try to do anything else."

He was a devoted father to step-sons Ben and Dan Ross and a committed surfer, shaper, and fisherman to the very end.

Sympathy goes out to Baddy's family and the whole Yamba surfing community. Catch a wave this afternoon and remember the spirit of the man.

Vale Baddy.

Comments

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 2:43pm

terrible news.
RIP Dave Treloar.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 2:44pm

Wow, so sad! I never knew him well but remember him way back in his Manly Pacific days and shared quite a few sessions with him at Anga in the early days. The word legend gets thrown around a lot these days, but Baddy was the real thing! RIP

Laurie McGinness

croca's picture
croca's picture
croca commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 2:48pm

king of the point .

croca

downtown train's picture
downtown train's picture
downtown train commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 3:02pm

Forever.

MRsinglefin's picture
MRsinglefin's picture
MRsinglefin commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 3:46pm

And direct the traffic out in the water at the point when it was on.

daisy duke kahanamoku's picture
daisy duke kahanamoku's picture
daisy duke kaha... commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 3:02pm

May we all live a long life, but if we can't then a visit from St Peter while surfing your favourite wave has to be second best.

RIP Baddy.

philosurphizingkerching's picture
philosurphizingkerching's picture
philosurphizing... commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 3:12pm

Remember seeing him out at the Superbank many years ago, immediately recognised that classic 'old school' style of his, then about about an hour later I was walking back along the beach at Rainbow and he jogs past me, not walking like every one else, he sure was a fit bugger.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 3:18pm

Met Baddy in the South Oz desert a few years ago with Dan and Nav. Had a great chat while watching perfect rights reel down the reef. RIP Baddy and condolences to the close knit local surfing community and to anyone who knew him.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 3:34pm

Just watched that MOTE section.

The greatest representation of the Australian surfing life ever put to film ?

Looks like he had a good life. Hope he’s getting some waves in the next one. Condolences to all who knew him.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 3:43pm

RIP.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

derra83's picture
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derra83 commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 3:48pm

I agree Blowin. It's always been the most uplifting piece of cinema - surfing, footage and soundtrack, and now it's also a statement to a life well lived.

Just watched it again with goosebumps growing tall. RIP mate.

MRsinglefin's picture
MRsinglefin's picture
MRsinglefin commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 3:55pm

How many surfers were inspired by that MOTE segment. Shape a board, glass it, set fin, sand both board and fin, then surf the point, do a runaround and surf another wave.

Thanks for calling me into a few waves over the years my friend. Suggest that all surfers who have ever surf 2464 wear a black armband on a day next week at their local surf to remember Baddy. Swellnet to select the day !

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 4:14pm

Baddy was certainly a unique character..had salt water running thru his veins .
RIP mate.

simba

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 4:22pm

Massively influential, may he rest in peace.

Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 4:24pm

R.I.P Baddy.

Sheepdog

wbat's picture
wbat's picture
wbat commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 4:40pm

Next one is for you mate.

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 4:52pm

"It seemed to me one of the most magical and beautiful aspects of Australian surfing was that you could rock up to Angourie and see Baddy running around the Point as if it was still 1971. The fact that we can no longer do that makes it a sad day for Australian surfing." - Tim Baker

JohnCootharaba's picture
JohnCootharaba's picture
JohnCootharaba commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 5:02pm

What a great person David was / is. Great surfer, heart of gold and never forgot those he shared some of his journey with. A real giant in life and in the water. RIP Baddy.

croca's picture
croca's picture
croca commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 5:24pm

Five north swells Go to 28 minutes 12 seconds .Baddy in his element
https://vimeo.com/187300624

croca

MRsinglefin's picture
MRsinglefin's picture
MRsinglefin commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 8:05am

Wow thanks for that link.

yodai's picture
yodai's picture
yodai commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 5:44pm

Back in 70s when baddy was surfing for manly pacific he would come to the Newcastle mattara comp each yr
Mags of the day used to call him the Jolly Green Giant
Rip

Kim brent

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 5:44pm

Loss of a Legend
Reunited with Graham
R.I.P.

blindboy's picture
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blindboy commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 5:48pm

Incredible team Manly Pacific had back then, Baddy, Goody (Ian Goodacre), Jack Knight etc.

Laurie McGinness

dastasha's picture
dastasha's picture
dastasha commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 6:59pm

Couple of seasons back I stepped off the ledge and took a runner down the point.
Local crew picked me as an outsider. No more waves for me.
This guy was getting all the prime waves.
I didn't know who he was.
Now I do.
Condolences to his friends and family.
Respect to the locals.

NevFutureShaper's picture
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NevFutureShaper commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 7:09pm

Much love and respect to all who shared his amazing life. XX

Coops70's picture
Coops70's picture
Coops70 commented Thursday, 28 Mar 2019 at 7:25pm

My favorite part of the movie, inspired me to try and do the same many years ago. RIP

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 12:04am

May the point always be 6ft and offshore for the next leg.

I've got one of his boards from his 2016 run. Magic. In my imagination he shaped it in a windy paddock.

Optimist's picture
Optimist's picture
Optimist commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 6:00am

Just found out, Cant believe it, such a strong guy...I'm feeling my mortality more than ever....My deepest sympathy to his very wide family... God bless you all...I'll miss the bush surfs together....a great soul with a crusty exterior...just a great guy and will be missed.....RIP David...

singkenken's picture
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singkenken commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 11:50am

Inspiring.

marc atkinson's picture
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marc atkinson commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 1:15pm

It’s hard for the young crew to conceive of a time when to be a surfer was considered a social epidemic.

It’s even harder to conceive that after placing in the semi finals of the 1964 World titles at Manly beach, your father would throw you into the army to straighten out your life priorities, or you’d get outcast from the family, written out of wills.... Yet that is what once happened. It was in the midst of such turmoil I first saw David “Baddy” Treloar. The time was early 1969.

I headed down to North Steyne on Manly Beach for an after school session and was confronted by my first view of seriously big perfection at Manly. It was an east swell in the triple overhead range with some bigger sets but it was perfect peaks with channels that allowed the four brave souls out there an easy paddle after each wave.
I’ll describe what unfolded.

I was grommet cruising down Pine St, then crossed the road on the corner that much later in time became my surf shop Dripping Wet, when I noticed my crew of groms frothing on the grass watching the waves. I looked across the grass that was there at that time and saw a guy take off on the biggest wave I’d ever seen, and surf like I’d never seen anyone surf. He was surfing backhand which in those times was still an often avoided frontier and he surfed this wave better than I’d seen most guys surf forehand. By the time he’d finished the ride and pulled off into the channel to paddle back out I was standing in the midst of my crew asking “who was that”. That was my introduction to David “Baddy” Treloar. I was 14, he was 18.

The other three in the water that day were Nipper Williams, John Otten, and a name now a memory long lost.

A grommet apprenticeship at North Steyne in those days was a tuff initiation into surfing and at the top of the totem pole sat Baddy Treloar. He was challenged by a lot by guys like Jack Knight, Ian Goodache, George Stancheff, Stuart ”Twizz” Entwizzle, in fact a host of challengers came from all directions including us crew coming through like Ralph Woods, Mick Carrol, Phil Pickering, Paul DcComo, Mark Hales, Bob Hastie, Shane Brooks, Ian Denning .... really it’s an endless list, as back in those times most of the hot surfers of the times where being produced out the wombs that were North Narrabeen or North Steyne, and if you didn’t come from those beaches you made your way to those beaches.

Thing is they all came, but David maintained his position up top of that totem pole. In 1974 or ‘75, to sort out once and for all who sat on top of that totem pole the three clubs on the beach, the stalwart club Manly Pacific, the new comers Mid Pacific and Manly Boardriders decided to hold a shoot out over three weekends to determine who really was top dog and who could then rightfully take their place on the top of that totem pole.... David triumphed with Mick Carol second.

I missed David’s acceptance speech as I was chasing a fast moving object, but I was told he teared up big time. Surfing meant everything to David.

There’s been many of us who call ourselves surfers. I promise you that whatever you may think your are in your commitment to the surfing life, we all fade in comparison to one David “Baddy” Treloar.

I’m heart broken and I’ve seen the guy maybe only four or five times in twenty years, but more than anyone David showed me a way.

The last time I saw him was around four years ago. I’d had dinner with Rod Dahlberg the night before and Rod had obviously told Baddy I was in town. I was standing in the Spookies car park when I heard his booming voice “Marc Atkinson, hey”.

Obviously I knew it was David and spun around to be hit by pure surfing froth!

He raved like a grommet about the swells of that year and that Mick was champ but still it was Kelly who was boss, and that I gotta try his four fin set up and that MR was looking after him for gear and that the new crew were so exciting, till he ran outta breath.

He then stopped and looked at me for an answer... I was full of awe and bro love and just said back to him, “You're still my favourite surfer, Baddy”.

For the few short years David “Baddy” Treloar was in my life I thank him.

In more recent years he once asked me about my wife who is the younger sister of Charmaine Cornell, one of the early pioneers of women’s surfing through the sixties and a fellow tribes clan of Baddy....and a big boobed woman! He said, “Do I know your wife? She looks familiar”. I replied, "Yeah mate, it’s Dominique, Charmaine’s little sister, remember Charmaine”?

Baddy thought for a while then his face lit up with a smile, “Oh Lungfish”!

Wherever you are, keep surfing, David.

Cheers
Marc

The Plowking's picture
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The Plowking commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 8:33pm

Thanks for sharing

Bnkref's picture
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Bnkref commented Saturday, 30 Mar 2019 at 3:35pm

Cheers Marc. That’s a ripping yarn.

Craig's picture
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Craig commented Monday, 1 Apr 2019 at 12:33pm

Great post Marc, thanks for sharing!

trevbucky's picture
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trevbucky commented Tuesday, 2 Apr 2019 at 1:20pm

A really great tribute Marc. I never knew him, but I feel like I did as his image shaping that board and running down the beach to the classic soundtrack of “Simple Ben” is forever etched into my memory, and into surfing folklore as the definition of the true spirit of surfing. Vale Baddy... no doubt you’ll be surfing that big rolling wave for eternity...

surfstarved's picture
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surfstarved commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 1:54pm

One of the greats has passed. RIP Baddy.

The day before he left us I was standing in the doorway of my shed in SA, finish sanding a board destined for the North Coast points. The iPod was on shuffle and halfway through the morning, I shit you not, Simple Ben came on the stereo. As I looked out into the paddock over the back fence I felt that perhaps the Morning of the Earth spirit was still around, if just in little isolated corners of the surfing world.

Now I'm back home on the family farm in the Big Scrub hinterland contemplating a dusk run down to the coast. If I do, I'll catch one for Baddy and offer my thanks for the inspiration he gave me, and many of us if the comments above are anything to go by.

Don't let the bastards grind you down

gggiiibbbo's picture
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gggiiibbbo commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 2:07pm

Only surfed Angourie once - winter ‘95. It was obvious, even to a blow-in like me, that Baddy Treloar was the man out there. He was up the point, tight in to the reef & on the best set waves all afternoon - relaxed yet powerful surfer with a cracking bottom turn-to-stall. I defy anyone to watch that MOTE section & not get excited about north coast points! Utter sickness.

hillsintas's picture
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hillsintas commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 3:53pm

No one lives for ever.
Memories do fade.
A part of Surfing history has left us.
Remembered by his movements on water & land.
immortalised on the screen in MOTE dancing to a great song with beautiful words to live by.
May his spirit fly free.

peterb's picture
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peterb commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 9:53pm

.

hillsintas's picture
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hillsintas commented Saturday, 30 Mar 2019 at 2:53pm

Glad to see you are still above ground Peter. A man of few words.

peterb's picture
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peterb commented Saturday, 30 Mar 2019 at 6:23pm

We are an ordinary crew, hills, us surfers, but extraordinary in the way we respect the older generations. Perhaps it's our shared love of the sea. The sight of an empty point wave, beckoning.

memlasurf's picture
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memlasurf commented Friday, 29 Mar 2019 at 9:49pm

Never watched MOTE always seemed a bit too hippy dippy and cliché but that sequence is mesmerising with no leggy and only 1 fin. Have heard of the guy and after what has been said above, was the real deal and taken too early at 68. RIP Baddy.

Greg Webber's picture
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Greg Webber commented Saturday, 30 Mar 2019 at 12:35pm

He was the first tough local who accepted john mont and I at the point a long time ago. (1976?) It was our fourth or fifth trip to angourie and we arrived for a magnificent swell and he said “you guys seem to bring the swell” We were being respectful at the point and and I guess that counted. By “accepted” I mean he talked to us, and anyone who knew him will know what I mean. Same day a whole pile of cars had their tyres deflated. Two or three either side of our Hi-ace, but ours was left untouched. I’m pretty sure he told the guys doing it to leave our car alone. Thanks Baddy.

philosurphizingkerching's picture
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philosurphizing... commented Saturday, 30 Mar 2019 at 3:26pm

Angourie 1976 that triggers some memories, the year we had our boards stolen off the roof of my Kombi while we were in the Yamba pub. My board was a red Jackson, my mate had a Peter Clarke and my other mate had a beautiful orange Gerry Lopez lightning bolt that he paid $110 for.
Probably the same scumbag locals that were deflating peoples tyres in the Angourie carpark.

jacksprat's picture
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jacksprat commented Saturday, 30 Mar 2019 at 4:06pm

The only thing this anecdote tells us is that surfing has not progressed since 1976?. Other than that, condolences to the Treloar family.

onetimeonly

Greg Webber's picture
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Greg Webber commented Saturday, 30 Mar 2019 at 6:29pm

And why does it need to progress? It’s working fine. The point was that if you can take off late and have a proper go, but also know your place in the lineup then you might get to the bottom rung. Then if you continue to do that for a few decades then you get to climb up that hierarchy. And if it’s at one of the best waves on the planet then the reward is obvious. So if Baddy ever measured a surfer at the point it was for throwing himself over the edge on a wave that was pushing his limits. If you were not that skilled but you seriously took a risk on a steep pitching one then he’d give you a tiny bit of acknowledgment. Each break needs a Badman. Nevertheless i still like the idea of one day a year where the hierarchy is removed and we all take turns. Maybe we will learn something from the contrast.

Greg Webber's picture
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Greg Webber commented Saturday, 30 Mar 2019 at 12:43pm

I know it’s a bit early to be suggesting memorial activities but I want this idea out there for us all to consider when we go to his funeral, wake and paddle out.
For years I have wanted to have a “take turns day” where nobody is out at the point, and we all walk around in a line chatting and watching as three or four guys at a time jump off the ledge and take the next waves with nobody out there but them. They can’t wait forever and be too selective because there’s 20 to 30 guys watching you and if you take too long half of them will start yelling “go”, which is the word that only Baddy seemed to yell out as you were about to take off on something challenging.
Maybe we can do it soon ish and then every year after his passing. And of course we would all be strolling along the path to the point that he more than anyone has made so special.

Standito's picture
Standito's picture
Standito commented Saturday, 30 Mar 2019 at 5:02pm

Baddy was always protecting the Aloha spirit.
Give respect.. get respect.
And,
to appreciate the amazing magical gift we have been given.
Baddies passing is a very, very, significant loss to the international, national, state and local surfing communities.
Baddy was a conduit.
‘Simple Ben’
Unfortunately I learnt, about 20 years to late..
“Better late than never ,Ben”

Baddy, thankyou for your kindness and for sharing your incredible wealth of knowledge, of surfing history with me.
I’m sad I hadn’t more time ,to listen and learn...
I suppose we all thought you’d live forever...

Jessie and I will miss you always.
Aloha Big Brother.
Courtney

Rabbits68's picture
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Rabbits68 commented Saturday, 30 Mar 2019 at 7:11pm

Some fantastic stories about a great life lived in and around the ocean. He sounded like an amazing character. RIP Baddy.

Crystal Clear

tubeshooter's picture
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tubeshooter commented Saturday, 30 Mar 2019 at 7:27pm

Hell yeah , Baddy was a charger . Didn't know him personally but I'd met him a few times in the line up and the car park . Go there often enough when it's on and you couldn't avoid that. And G.W is spot on .. If he called you into a wave you had to go , and to get that call was indeed a privilege .
You don't have to be a world champ to get the kind of respect this guy had.
"I just surf and fish , I don't try to do anything else " D.T .. classic...
Legend

MTK's picture
MTK's picture
MTK commented Sunday, 31 Mar 2019 at 4:45am

Spent several months camping with Baddy and Brad Mayes back in 71. He and Brad took care of us septics and had a great time. Baddy used to surf 2nd point when know one else would touch it. He used to sand the middle of his fin so the tip would flex. When he made hard bottom turns and come up the face, he would accelerate to the lip as the fin flexed back. He introduced us to many including Witzig, Greenough and others. RIP friend.

Optimist's picture
Optimist's picture
Optimist commented Sunday, 31 Mar 2019 at 6:17am

One of my favorite sayings of his was this...He would take off on a beast, real steep and nasty... and if he didn't make it and got a flogging, he would pop up and say..."If ya make those ones..they are the ones ya remember".....a good lesson right there for all surfers straight from the masters mouth.

Gazzak's picture
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Gazzak commented Monday, 1 Apr 2019 at 6:49am

Sad news my 4 mates and I met him briefly at a party in Yamba circa 1972/3 he did not know us from a bar of soap but happily chatted with us a great experience to speak to a legend of surfing in fact morning of the earth always with us at my sons funeral who was killed in Afghanistan we played simple Ben which was one of his favourites rip baddy

blindboy's picture
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blindboy commented Monday, 1 Apr 2019 at 8:54pm

Paddle out 10am Friday Spookies Beach followed by wake.

Laurie McGinness

spuddyjack's picture
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spuddyjack commented Tuesday, 2 Apr 2019 at 1:14pm

Never knew Baddy other than from the MOTE footage backed with the music of Simple Ben. From what's been said he truly embodied the authentic and down to earth country soul surfer that others could only aspire to. He was clearly good natured, true to himself and lived modestly. May his spirit soar.

Stay salty

MRsinglefin's picture
MRsinglefin's picture
MRsinglefin commented Wednesday, 3 Apr 2019 at 7:50am

I set Baddy up with an email A/c [email protected] for his 60th birthday celebrations and gave the password to Jiva. Not sure if he used it.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 8:04pm

Considering the timing, how's this board a fella from the Vintage Surfboard Collector's FB page just found?

A Baddy Treloar-shaped single fin made for another famous Manly surfer, Snowy McAllister.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=152333245803091&set=pcb.1473039536160219&type=3&theater&ifg=1

crg's picture
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crg commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 8:26pm

Iconic board and couldn't have gone to a nicer bloke too...

I'm not cheap,
But I'm free.