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What Comes Around Goes Around

By Dan Hutton on May 5, 2016 in News

Photo: Bill Morris

Photo: Bill Morris

Ever wondered what happens to your old surfboards once you’ve done away with them?

No? Neither have I really, and this article isn’t about recycling old surfboards or the damage that flagrantly disposed fibreglass can have on the environment.

No, this is a feel good story – a message in a bottle tale, if you will.

Late last year, during Waverley Council’s annual clean-up, when the local verges become home to decrepit couches, mouldy microwaves and worn-out washing machines, Bronte resident and avid surfer Stefan Szczepanski stumbled across a diamond in the rough.

Out on the street, poking up through the rubble and ready to be whisked off to the nearest waste processing facility was a Gordon & Smith swallowtail surfboard in surprisingly good condition. One man’s trash is another man’s trash treasure, as they say, and Mr Szczepanski could not believe his luck.

“I like looking around for old 20th century relics and saw the distinctly coloured nose of an old board sticking up amongst some junk on the street,” Mr Szczepanski said. “It was caked in wax and grease but underneath all that it was in surprisingly good condition.”

At the time of the discovery, Mr Szczepanski’s daughter Bella took to Facebook to share his boyish excitement.

“He found a 35-year-old surfboard in the bin and came home like a five-year-old on Christmas morning,” she posted, alongside a photo of her grinning father.

The remarkable story does not end there. After seeing a photo of Stefan and his retro classic on Facebook, the wife of fellow Bronte surfer Bill Morris immediately recognised the old craft and alerted her husband to the discovery.

“I didn’t realise that it was an old board of mine, but my wife was adamant,” Mr Morris said. “As it turns out, it was a board of mine from 30 years ago, one I had some good contest results on, the one I was riding when I first met my wife down the beach and the one I rode in some of the best waves at Padang Padang I’ve ever surfed.”

After word got back to Mr Szczepanski about the history of his discovery, he knew there was only one thing to do.

“After I found out that it was Billy’s board from back in the day, I knew I couldn’t keep it,” he said.

“If it had been an old favourite board of mine I definitely would’ve wanted the chance to get it back in the quiver, so I gave him a call and told him I wanted him to have it back.”

Needless to say, Mr Morris was more than happy to accept the offering.

“It was a pretty crazy moment for me and it’s hard to explain how much that gesture meant,” he said. “I thank him from the bottom of my heart. It’s now going straight to the pool room!”