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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Name: Surfing Heritage Centre
Location: The Pumphouse, Dairy Beach, Durban Beachfront
Use: Musuem, retail, cafe, tourism office.

SA Surfing Heritage(s) gain momentum
06/10/10 By Paul Botha

It’s all but official. The country’s first Surfing Heritage Centre will be established on the Durban beachfront following a tender process which awarded ‘preferred tenant’ status for the Pumphouse Building at Dairy Beach to Surfing Heritage South Africa (SHSA). The objection period ended last week, and the members of the non-profit SHSA are now negotiating the lease for the building with eThekwini Municipality. Surfing Heritage have already embarked on a fund raising initiative.

The conveniently positioned centre is set to become the headquarters of surfing in Durban with the building incorporating a Visitors’ Centre, which will house a collection of surfing memorabilia and cultural artifacts, a surfing themed café, a retail store selling core surfing products, change rooms, toilets and storage space for members and the admin offices of KwaZulu-Natal Surfriders Association.

Formed early in 2009 with a board of directors that encompasses long standing surfers, industry personnel and administrators based countrywide and internationally, SHSA is a section 21 company dedicated to preserving, presenting and promoting South Africa's surfing history, heritage and development for the appreciation and education of current and future generations.

Spearheaded by champion big-wave surfer John Whittle and based on the Surfing Heritage Foundation in California founded by Dick Metz, SHSA has already assembled a sizeable collection of historical artifacts including surfboards, magazines, journalism, photographs, posters and the like.

Building on the collection purchased from Baron Stander’s Timewarp Museum, John has sourced and curated a fascinating body of work, much of which can now be found on the website .

By procuring premises on the Durban beachfront, this collection will become accessible to an even broader range of people including the current surfing community, the general public and visitors to Durban. It will also create a surfing hub around the City’s most important surf spot.

The SHSA is not confined to Durban with the Cape Town based founding members and others harnessing the immense interest in the Surfer’s Corner Sixties Reunion that drew over 500 veteran surfers to a function held in March this year. Plans have been drawn up for a Surfer’s Walk of Fame at Muizenberg, where the first recorded waves were surfed in 1919, and premises for a Surfing Heritage Centre are being sought.

And it is hoped that similar efforts will be made for SHSA representation in the Eastern Cape where the rich history of Jeffreys Bay, the country’s surfing Mecca, and other iconic surfing venues can be documented and displayed for the benefit of current and future generations.

For further information on the activities of SHSA visit the website where you can sign up for the newsletter and contribute items of interest or to the fundraising drive, or simply join the Facebook page Surfing Heritage South Africa to keep up to date on breaking news.

23,449 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Surfing Heritage SA.

Geeze these guys have worked hard behind the scenes to try and win the tender for the Pumphouse at The New Pier. The objective of this is to ‘find surfing a home’ on the newly revamped Durban beachfront. After many late nights and some incredible contributions from some very capable people all of who volunteered their time and service in the name of Surfing Heritage South Africa at no cost, an amazing tender document was put together. After a nervous couple of weeks the head of SHSA, John Whittle, found out late last week that they’d won the licence to operate the lease for those premises.

This is the first major battle won as the City of Durban has realised the importance of what SHSA do and the importance of giving surfing a home of the beachfront. Now Surfing Heritage SA needs your help to raise funds to turn this into a reality. We need to raise R3.5 million to set up the tourism centre, restaurant and retail node. Any and all donations are welcome. To make a donation please contact John Whittle at:

Surfing Heritage South Africa
Phone: +27 31 2059683
Fax: +27 31 2059683
Mobile: +27 82 4456552
e-mail: [email protected]

23,449 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Some heavyweight companies involved in this, looks very promising.

Surfing Heritage Milestone

Thursday 23 September 2010

Surfing history in South Africa has taken a positive leap forward with the news that the eThekweni Municipality awarded Surfing Heritage South Africa the landmark Pumphouse building at Dairy Beach in Durban, writes Spike.

The director of SHSA, John Whittle, said he was delighted that the eThekwini municipality had recognized Surfing Heritage South Africa as surfing's united community representative. He said he looked forward to negotiating the lease contract to secure the building for the country's first Surfing Heritage Centre.

"We are a leap closer to establishing a centre for South African surfing's lifestyle and culture, the home of surfers nationally and locally. The SA surfing community's support of this project will ensure its success and secure South African surfing heritage, and makes our vision of establishing other centres in CapeTown and Jeffreys Bay a more tangible reality."

The municipality accepted the tender for SHSA to use the building as the Surfing Heritage's Visitor Centre. A large part of the centre is earmarked for the interactive display of SA surfing history and culture that stems from the purchase of contents from the Timewarp Museum in 2009.

The centre will offer a themed coffee shop and deli for the surfing community, Durban residents and visitors to Durban; and a retail store offering heritage orientated products. Surfing Heritage South Africa will share office space with Kwa Zulu Natal Surfriders Association, Whittle said.

Letters of support and best wishes are beginning to filter through from surfers around the world, including Dick Metz, whom I had the privilege of staying with for a week in California several month ago. Dick is the founder of the Surfing Heritage Foundation in San Clemente, who struck up a lifelong friendship with John Whitmore, and retains a deep affection for the Whitmore family in Cape Town, and surfing in South Africa generally.

Whittle, and Cape Town-based big wave surfer Ross Lindsay moved quickly to allay fears that SHSA was an attempt by Durban surfers to control or dominate surfing sub-culture in the country, or that it was a way to interfere or take over the administration of the sport.

"We are not trying to take over the administrative role in surfing. We are not trying to colonise the memories or memorabilia of other regional centres. We are simply setting up a national centre for the culture of surfing. We believe that if we collaborate, we can move forward with the collective force of our diversity."

Lindsay, who is a founder member of SHSA, made an urgent appeal to surfers around South Africa. "This is not about Durban. This is not about Cape Town. It is not about individuals. This is about our country, and the heritage of our country. The surfing community needs to see this from a national point of view. There are great opportunities for similar centres in Muizenberg and Jeffreys Bay, where there needs to be collaboration. There is a bigger picture, and this is it. It's the perfect chance to move beyond this faction thing in South African surfing."

Glen Thompson, a Cape Town-based historian and founder member of SHSA who assisted Baron Stander in the formation of the Timewarp Surf Museum, said: "From a professional historian's perspective, it would be great to see local initiatives participate as partners to a national surfing heritage movement for the furtherment of surf culture, and the collective power that it brings to access resources in the public and private sectors.

"Heritage sites, such as the one awarded SHSA, are crucial in remembering where surfing came from and to envisage where it, as a sporting lifestyle, is going," he said.

Whittle said that SHSA was collaborating with three entities to make the centre and the organisation itself world-class entities: Haley Sharpe (heritage attractions, museum interperator centres and tourism consultants); the International Trends Institue (brand DNA and branding design experts) and Design Workshop (an internationally connected group of award-winning architects).

The three companies helped Heritage SA put together the tender proposal (for free), and are working to conceptualise and envision a world class national presentation of South African surfing culture and history, while ensuring it has the right ingredients to remain commercially sustainable.

"These guys are doing what few, if any, of us in the surfing world have the skills or time to do. They work at the highest level, with local government, lotto funding executives, the Department of Arts and Culture, and people at the top level in design and project management."

"To these guys, the word 'museum' is a swear word. Just having old stuff in a stuffy space and charging people at the door is antiquated, and doomed to failure. You have to plan very carefully, and build in a range of attractions and community-based projects in an accessible and cleverly designed physical space, while ensuring your structure is watertight and well managed from a business point of view," Whittle said.


SHSA Board of Directors (in alphabetical order)

Anthony Brodowicz
Word amateur surfing champion / SA surfing icon and leader in surf retail on KZN South Coast.

Arthur Limbouris
Surfing retail entrepeneur / SA surfing icon / Quiksilver, Roxy and DC Shoes .

Alister Brown
Successful retail entrepeneur and surfing personality.

Alwin Van Breda
Surfing personality and businessman / All Africa distributor of Quiksilver, Roxy,O'niel, Jeep and Salomon Brands.

Bruce Jackson
Durban / SA Surfing icon and businessman in SA surfing.

Chen Sagnelli
Leading Personality in SA Surfing / Businessman (architect).

Cheron Kraak
Founder of Billabong SA / owner of Country Feeling and internationally renowned retail stores in Jefferys Bay.

Glen Thompson
Professional historian / masters degree in History (currently studying for doctorate in 'History of surfing culture in 20th Century' at Stellenbosch University).

Graham Taylor
Leading Personality in SA Surfing / Businessman and Attorney.

Robin De Kock
General Manager of Surfing South Africa (the national body for the administration of surfing in South Africa).

Mike Larmont
Durban and SA surfing icon and businessman / Founder of Larmont Surf and co-founder of Zigzag Magazine.

Jonathan Paarman
Cape Town and SA surfing icon / yachtsman / businessman in SA Surfing.

John Whittle
Big wave waterman / Springbok surf lifesaver.

Leighton Alcock
Durban and SA surfing personality / businessman in SA surfing.

Paul Botha
Cape Town-based surfing events promotor / Founder of Life's a Beach Communications (ASP Media) / Gunston 500 contest director.

Paul Naude
CEO Billabong USA / SA surfing icon & Springbok surfer, founder ZIGZAG surfing magazine.

Ross Lindsay
Cape Town and SA big wave icon / tow-in safety expert / businessman in SA surfing.

Shaun Tomson
World surfing icon / 1977 world surfing champion / author / film director / six-time winner of the Gunston 500.

Steve Pike - Founder of / author / journalist / surf forecaster / founder Wavescapes Surf Film Festival.


Some historical context to SHSA, by John Whittle

At the beginning of 2009 I was asked by Arthur Limbouris, who at that time was the co-owner of Quiksilver South Africa to "come and set up a surfing museum" as he had purchased the memorabilia collection that was Baron Standers Timewarp Museum and wished to donate it. Upon investigation of what this would entail I realized that the need in South Africa was far greater than some nostalgic surfers displaying a few old surfboards, photo's and newspaper clippings but a greater body of work was urgently required(and still remains so) to secure our nations surfing heritage for the years ahead. I made contact with SHF and made a study of their organization in order to propose a similar intention in SA. My Open Letter to the SA Surfing Community(attached) was posted on our three major surfing websites and opened a national discussion which resulted in the formation of Surfing Heritage South Africa in June 2009. A group of leading South African Surfers from the sports, administration, commerce and media have become the non-profit company's members as well as Paul Naude and Shaun Tomson being included in those discussions and decision to establish SHSA. Paul and Shaun's documentation had not arrived in time for submission so their company membership is pending amendment, but we have their collaboration as ambassadors of Surfing Heritage South Africa.

Already, in March 2009, we entered into discussion with Durban's municipal officials to secure a premises at our leading surf spot, Dairy beaches, New Pier in which to establish a 'museum'. Since then the concept has grown into a 'Surfing Heritage Centre' which has broader function and greater sustainability than a museum only. The centre incorporates a Surfing Heritage Visitor Centre(SHSA presentation); a cafe - Cutback Cafe, Surf/Visitor Retail; Heritage Surfing Academy and Mini Conference/Events venue. Incorporated in the proposal is our intention to manage the adjacent pay-ablution block in which we can offer our members shower, locker and surfboard storage as part of their membership. I will follow this mail with a copy of The Proposal, submitted in out tender to the city officials.

Since forming the company I have canvasses the SA Surfing Industry for funding, but the financial climate here has the surfing industry in a precarious position with much doubt about whether many of them will survive this recession. This together with Surfing Heritage SA seeming to be a theory rather than an operational organization to date, has resulted in it being difficult to cover my part time salary each month. Nevertheless I have continued collecting and curating surfboards, memorabilia, photographs and literature; recording oral histories; building a community that becomes aware of out endeavor and pressing forward with the city to secure that which we have today - a place to realize the dream. Now that we have a place to execute the project we feel we will be able to secure the funding we need to establish the centre and springboard SHSA into our full functionality within the framework of Global Surfing Heritage

My work to date has reached out to South African surfers on every continent who have followed the trend that prevails locally: radical commitment of individuals to donate or loan their collections to Surfing Heritage SA. Our Surfboard collection is ever increasing and this week I have had to purchase a new hard drive on which to store the historical images which continue to arrive. Probably the greatest documenter of our past has been Harry Bold who has been scanning and sending images and documents that have becoming incredibly valuable in authenticating or dismissing the many myths and legends of SA surfing and providing a timeline of our early development. We have been approached by Matt Warshaw to collaborate on the Encyclopedia of Surfing Online and have also been communicating with the California Surfing Museum as they have requested information about American surfers in South Africa as early as 1919.

The curator of Surf World Surfing museum in Australia has made inquiries regarding our work and Terry Fitzgerald has lent assistance with research on Australian Shapers and surfboards that have influenced our country's development. All in all we are poised to become established as a contributor to the global Surfing Heritage endeavor.

11,390 Posts
This is great for Durban and South African surfing community at large. Well done to those who dedicated their time and resources to make sure that this comes to reality.

23,449 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
i think that entire precinct will. You will have this as the surfer spot, then in the modern new building next to it you have a downstairs cafe and a retail store and above it a restaurant. This will definately stimulate the central beachfront...

here's hoping the plans down the line include demolishing Joe's and the deck buildings and building something sexy to replace them
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