Ian Cairns' Talk Story and book tour

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

Last year Volume 1 of Ian Cairns' biography came out.

That's right, Volume 1. So storied is Kanga's life that it took two volumes to tell it all. Volume 2 is out now and Kanga and his biographer, Wayne Patrick Murphy, are taking the show on the road.

I was going to cut and paste the press release, but let's face it, anyone who's gonna turn up to one of Kanga's Talk Story events already knows who the big fella is.

So instead I've picked a few choice testimonials that give you a taste of what to expect. See the dates at bottom.

Eddie Rothman: Why would I want to talk about Ian Cairns? That fucker kept me in jail.

Nick Carroll: I think Ian is one of the most complex and fascinating men in surfing. He completely refused to curry favor with the sport’s supposedly cool “Soul Brigade” and instead took off in an entirely different direction. A hell of a lot of the best surfers in the world voted with their feet and went the same way. Ian didn’t seem to give a flying fuck whether you liked him or not. And he could back it up in the water, which so many of the arbiters of surfing style at the time, including many of his critics, never could.

Kelly Slater: He can be a bit of a dick Ian Cairns, but he sure has balls.

Randy Rarick (Hawaiian events director): Ian Cairns made a huge mistake by backing Graham Cassidy in moving the world tour to finish in Australia. Fred Hemmings wasn’t going to take that lying down. It was war then.

Fred Hemmings (world champion): Randy Rarick called me a surfing Czar. I thought that was a pretty good metaphor. But if I was a Czar, then he should have called Ian Cairns a Bolshevik. Ian is one of surfing’s most provocative characters. It was war when I was confronted with his takeover by the Association of Surfing Professionals.

Mark Richards: As a surfer Kanga charged the North Shore harder than anybody. He was in a league of his own when it got huge. What gets forgotten about his time as an administrator is Kanga didn’t start the ASP for the benefit of Ian Cairns. He did it for the benefit of pro surfing.

  • April 8: Monday, 7pm, Ballina RSL Club. Talk Story and book signing.
  • April 9: Tuesday, 4pm - 5.30pm, Coffs Harbour, Cooper's Surf Shop, Talk Story and book signing.
  • April 10: Wednesday evening, Newcastle, 6pm start, The Beach Hotel, Merewether.
  • April 11: Thursday 6pm, Avalon Bowls Club, Talk Story and book signing.
  • April 12: Friday 6pm, The Bucket List, Bondi Beach, Talk Story and book signing. 
  • April 13: Saturday 1pm, Cronulla, Force 9 Surfboards, Talk Story and book signing.
  • April 14: Sunday afternoon, Phillip Island Board Riders Club (waiting for afternoon time to be confirmed)
  • April 16: Tuesday 5pm. Torquay Books, Talk Story and book signing
  • April 17: Wednesday 7pm, National Surf Museum in Torquay, Talk Story and book signing
  • April 16 to 19, Bells Beach for the Rip Curl Pro and sales at WSL merchandise area.

Comments

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Monday, 8 Apr 2019 at 3:31pm

Does anyone have anything nice to say about Kanga?

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

tux's picture
tux's picture
tux commented Monday, 8 Apr 2019 at 3:35pm

Kanga probably does

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Monday, 8 Apr 2019 at 3:39pm

MP- “I could tell you , but I won’t.”

Kanga - “I could tell you in one volume, but I won’t.”

Bungan33's picture
Bungan33's picture
Bungan33 commented Monday, 8 Apr 2019 at 3:58pm

Its what is not said that is so powerful. Stu - usually so eloquent and prolific - threatens to cut and paste a press release then signs off after less than 100 words.
Ouch.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Monday, 8 Apr 2019 at 4:43pm

Ha ha...no, don't judge it from what I've said - or not said. I didn't want to post a straight press release, but nor did I want repeat the well-worn schtick about Kanga being a brash, confident fella, so I chose a few choice testimonials to set the scene.

Much like Kanga's life, the books court controversy. You can expect it.

middy's picture
middy's picture
middy commented Monday, 8 Apr 2019 at 4:24pm

I remember the 1975 Aussie Titles in Victor Harbour. I went over to get fish and chips and Ian Cairns was paying pinball at the Pt Elliot Fish Shop one night with Peter Townsend. No one else in the shop. I was pretty well star struck as I’d only ever seen these guys in the movies . My parents had booked a holiday shack along the Pt Elliot Coast over looking Victor’s big deep water wave “Bullies”. It’s a powerful wave and when it’s big has some similarities to Sunset Beach. I woke up the next morning and The South Coast was being smashed by the biggest swell I’ve ever seen. The coincidence of that occurring with Australian Titles in SA still blows my mind 44 years later. All the interstate legends were there. Terry Fitz, MP, Narrabeen’s Col Smith, Mark Richards, Terry Richardson were just a few. The Australian Titles was a prestigious event in those days. Anyway that morning two Surfers were our at 10’ Bullies, Ian Cairns and Peter Townsend. Kanga Cairns was famous for his “SnapBack “ and the shot had appeared in all of the mags of the time. They were both ripping and sure enough Kanga powered off the bottom full body extension through the lip, the SNAPBACK! Back then SA never saw the level of surfing that took place that week at various locations around the South Coast. We were exposed to all the best Surfers in th country and it changed SA surfing who got to see the best in our home waves. Props to Victor Harbour surfer and shaper Wayne Dale who trained like Rocky and built equipment for our waves to win the Seniors. Watching Ian Cairns at 10’ Bullies was akin to watching a surfing hero come to life from the surf movies SA Surfers would see at Way Hall. Joints outside at intermission!

Middy

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Monday, 8 Apr 2019 at 5:09pm

Great story Middy. Thanks for sharing.

RIP Port Elliot Fish & Chips Shop! Assuming you're talking about the one near the oval that closed a few years back?

middy's picture
middy's picture
middy commented Monday, 8 Apr 2019 at 5:57pm

Yeah Bnktet that’s the one.

Middy

warddy's picture
warddy's picture
warddy commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 7:36am

Hey Middy
Great yarns about that comp ..
Funny I’ve still got the Surfing World edition of that comp where Mark Warren was calling it the worst surf he’s ever had in a surf comp ...
Complete Wank ..
There’s no pleasing some people ....

Gary G's picture
Gary G's picture
Gary G commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 9:54pm

Gary would love to see some photos from that magazine and that comp, can you upload?

Gary can send you some photos in return if you'd like; you just tell him what's your favourite colour and brand of baby oil and we'll go from there.

You and me, Gary, ain’t nothing but mammals so let’s do it* like they do it on the aerobics channel

*faceys

warddy's picture
warddy's picture
warddy commented Thursday, 11 Apr 2019 at 7:58am

Ha Ha will do !
Lot of the photos are in black and white which spose means the lighting wasn’t great or SW’s color printer broke down LoL
and yeah the waves look ok for Dribs and the Dump .
Mags not in great shape but will do my best

Ash's picture
Ash's picture
Ash commented Monday, 8 Apr 2019 at 4:49pm

Middy I started surfing that year and as a complete beginner was oblivious to the significance of this fabled comp. However over the next few years after I got to hear all about it from those up to speed and lucky enough to witness it. Wish I could have seen it 1st hand. Nice words about Wayne who is literally a quiet achiever and so talented in many ways. Way Hall was the grommets YouTube and Vimeo of the time and way more fun.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Monday, 8 Apr 2019 at 4:56pm

tbb see'um Big Telly Signal of Chief Kanga powwow Chief AndyM...(pass peacepipe!)

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Monday, 8 Apr 2019 at 5:08pm

Every post is a fancy dress of some sort for you, eh TBB?

memlasurf's picture
memlasurf's picture
memlasurf commented Monday, 8 Apr 2019 at 6:17pm

Have you read the first one Stuey? Crit?

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Monday, 8 Apr 2019 at 6:21pm

Phil Jarratt did a review on here a few months back.

P'tai's picture
P'tai's picture
P'tai commented Monday, 8 Apr 2019 at 6:19pm

tbb's lunchbox

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Monday, 8 Apr 2019 at 6:40pm

on tonight in Ballina but I've already had 3 beers and can't drive, bummer.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Monday, 8 Apr 2019 at 7:10pm

Catch the bus.

Oh, wait a minute, damn it...

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Monday, 8 Apr 2019 at 11:02pm

Straight up I nodded AndyM 2020 Conference & Kanga interview. Good stuff!
We 1970's Groms all loved Kanga chargin' Sunset...back on the weekend Tube then.
tbb salutes Kanga's snapback & Pioneer solo Big Oz Wave Surfing.

Full credit to Stu ! He reads tbb inside out he does but on this one he strikes a chord.
Everything anyone knows about Fancy dress begins here with The Bronzed Aussies.
These Seventies superfreaks dressed as Disco Stu's Kung Fu Pit Crew. There! I said it.

[disclaimer] tbb was #1 Fancy Dresser, so that's a cool weird thing right? Hardly!

Please Parents don't let your groms read tbb's misadventures..STOP! [wrong way >]
Winner of North Burleigh Boardrider's Fancy Dress Surf Comp (Bag of Pot)
On TV- 1st "Test-Tube Baby" #{Gift}>{Playroom Gold Pass} Best bands ever free-1yr.
Thing was I desperately wanted to see how mental a test tube baby looked on Stage.
I swear every clubber showered Baby tbb a beer...Does it get any better?

Ist GC mohawk, sleeveless leather Jacket,string vest,Kilt,GP boots,garters,studs wins
2 Cops a day/Bikerz/Commandos/Footyboofs/Skegz/Skins promise to kill me dead
Just how long could tbb keep up that gig. Far too long... so say my mates.
They ever remind me I invited trouble. Wot! [Fits Punk job description]

1983 Mohawk tbb walks into busy Kingaroy Bar, goes dead quiet like b&w Western.
Good as dead is tbb only I'd booked a stint at the pub so bouncers cooled cowboys.
Yes! They tailed me the whole month I was there. Banning me from curious Cowgirls.

Soon wife & I retired hosting freak out parties of all make & model until whenever.

Blame grom mentors the 'Bronzed Aussies freakout Kung Fu bowling crew'
If book stays true it should frame 100 more dazzling outfits than these jumpsuits.
https://eos.surf/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Bronzed_Aussies_Ian_Cairns.jpg
https://eos.surf/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Bronzed_Aussies_Peter_Townen...

gray's picture
gray's picture
gray commented Tuesday, 9 Apr 2019 at 12:56pm

haha, crazy shit!

Tim Bonython's picture
Tim Bonython's picture
Tim Bonython commented Tuesday, 9 Apr 2019 at 6:02am

Great story Middy. Even before my time. ha ha

middy's picture
middy's picture
middy commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 7:37pm

Hey Tim got a story about you. Back in the 70’ you were camping at Pondie with some mates surfing and filming must have been super 8 back then.Kneeboarders in SA back in the 70’s were a force in the powerful reef waves of Yorkes and on the West Coast. The best were able to ride deep and really carve up into the poket . Anyway I was hanging with ‘Big Kev’ and Owen’Falcon Man’ McKay. Both were radical characters but Owen who in hindsight suffered mental illness was also a radical goofy foot who had an affinity with Chinamans. He believed he was the top dog there with that inbuilt confidence to really attack the wave. Anyway we were in Stenhouse Bay shop after surfing Salmon Hole in the morning andyou were in there with your mates getting a feed too. We were heading to ‘Chi’s’ for an afternoon surf. We were talking and you said you were looking for someone to film. I can’t remember if you were filming from the water or the cliff it was so long ago. You probably wouldn’t remember it was so long ago but I thought those waves of Chinamans back then must have lit the Fire for you to spend your life chasing the globes Slabs. Big Kev moved to Jeffries Bay and bought a house on the beach overlooking Boneyards running into ‘Supers’ at the top of the point where he surfed every swell for 25 years and like Baddy Treloar passed away at home after a surf aged 55. ‘ Falcon Man’ died in a car crash in WA in the early eighties aged 31.

Middy

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Tuesday, 9 Apr 2019 at 7:08am

Ian Cairns snap back shots were always inspiring. I used to zoom down my road on my footpath on a skateboard then head up the driveway and carve back down in snapback style over and over. It sort of translated into the water and I've always loved the slash back carve over the years.
As with many stills from back then they captured peak moments and are best seen as stills. Some live footage of Kanga slashing I saw recently was not so dramatic.

Frogg

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Tuesday, 9 Apr 2019 at 7:40am

Ha. Tbb forgot about the jump suits and PT wanting to hang out with the fonz, bowie and anyone famous... they led the way there but thankfully no-one followed... jump suits jumped the shark.

Frogg

redmondo's picture
redmondo's picture
redmondo commented Tuesday, 9 Apr 2019 at 8:01am

I have heard Ian reliving his glory days in the Margs car park. I admired his Courage.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Tuesday, 9 Apr 2019 at 9:24am

Baker's dozen of silver foxes sitting in while Kanga held court last night.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Tuesday, 9 Apr 2019 at 10:55am

Fairytale ends with Swellnet Silverback roasting the Silver Foxes for Kanga's dinner.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 9 Apr 2019 at 6:43pm

Bronzed Aussie jumpsuits!

https://youtu.be/Q_4bp8bBNVw

Got stranded with PT during an unseasonable monsoon at Padang , Sumatra years ago. Funny. His son is ( was ) a famous skateboarder , reckons he was getting $10K a month off royalties for his signature sneaker.

We didn’t give a fuck , we just wanted him to recite lines from Big Wednesday.

Who was the biggest fuckwit - Him selling out surfing in his glitter tracksuit or us being too pissed to care that he didn’t have any lines in the movie ?

Dead heat.

wallpaper's picture
wallpaper's picture
wallpaper commented Tuesday, 9 Apr 2019 at 9:45pm

nah. you feverishly rubbing that speck of PTs star glitter into that chest of yours that you're puffing out to us here in internet world proves that it's most definitely you.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 6:46am

That is a very valid point.

radiationrules's picture
radiationrules's picture
radiationrules commented Wednesday, 10 Apr 2019 at 11:43am

In my experience, there's a conga line of people that will tell you two things about Ian Cairns:

1. "One" of the most courageous big (and gnarly) wave surfers in early '70's Hawaii; in using "one", I'm inferring Hawaiian locals were the "others"; people who didn't have a PR machine behind them > I'm not mentioning names, for fear of a missing out acknowledging a significant waterman from that era. ( I wasn't there - so I wouldn't know).

2. Dubious credentials as a "businessman"; known to reneg. on done deals - when it suits him.

jacksprat's picture
jacksprat's picture
jacksprat commented Thursday, 11 Apr 2019 at 10:50am

Oh dear. Classic surf industry. Sucking the teat for absolutely every drop. And there's more; someone hates someone, someone likes someone. Deals done. Deals not done. Forever pussyfooting around the truth. And then there's the Fairy Tales - 'I caught a fish THIS big' said the one armed fisherman. Pass.

onetimeonly

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Thursday, 11 Apr 2019 at 2:25pm

Really would be interested in picking up a copy of both.
Always good to have a book about early surf culture to read.

Pretty sure I would have to click the bullshit meter on, to sift through it.
Has to be some interesting stories in it. I read the book by bugs about 16 years ago (Ian features in it hawaii )..... I was actually staying in the Goldie when I read it . It gave great detail to certain things.
I really don't think we give that generation enough credit (regardless of ego ) for pioneering the way for future generations of surfers.
They have been put out to pasture, they received f all money.
Now look at how much surfers make........
I must say I really respect the pioneers, if you can make it and you enjoy pro surfing show your support !