OVERVIEW | PHOTOGRAPHS
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The new wave
In 1973 the voting age dropped to 18, giving Australian kids a more powerful voice. National service ended, along with decades of conservative government. The following year, as surfing brushed off its antisocial image and the smoky haze of counterculture cleared, Sydney staged its first ‘big money’ contest: the 2SM/Coca-Cola Surfabout.
In the next few years a new era of professionalism unfolded, with sponsorships, a fledgling surf ware industry and the development of a world pro tour. It was also the beginning of hardcore surfing. Thanks to a skateboard revival, ‘lay-back’ cutbacks and explosive backhand re-entries were carving up Sydney waves. And girls on the beach began to question their exclusion from the surf. Then along came the three-finned ‘thruster’.