West, Claude

Australian surfing pioneer from Sydney's Manly Beach; winner of the national surfing championship from 1919 to 1924. West was born (1898) in Sydney, raised in Manly, and began bodysurfing as a child. He was on the beach when Hawaiian surfer and swimmer Duke Kahanamoku gave a wave-riding demonstration at nearby Freshwater in 1914, using a nine-foot board he made himself from a slab of sugar pine; the 16-year-old West later not only coaxed the Hawaiian into giving him a surfing lesson, but took...