The Southside Malibu Club has been bringing lovers of longboarding together on the waves of Wanda Beach since 1984. Neighbourhood Media spoke with club president, Joe Glendinning, about the joy of riding super-sized surfboards, hanging ten, and hanging out with like-minded surfers.
On the first Sunday of every month, in the crisp early morning air, a large group of longboard enthusiasts from the Southside Malibu Club can be found surfing the long breaks off Wanda Beach in friendly competition.
The surfers range in age and ability, from spritely grommets to those who are a little longer in the tooth; from wobbly beginners to those who compete on the World Surf League Longboard Tour.
“When I joined the club, I couldn’t even surf and I didn’t even know anyone in the club!” says president, Joe Glendinning. “Club members welcomed me, gave me tips on how to surf, and always found a way to make me laugh. I’ve made some amazing friends in the club, and that is really what the club is all about.”
Longboards harken back to earlier surfboard designs, around the 1950s and ‘60s. Balsa wood Malibu surfboards were introduced to Australia in 1956 by Greg “Da Bull” Noll, who pioneered big wave surfing on the North Shore of Hawaii and is one of the best longboard shapers ever.
Greg stayed at the Cronulla Surf Lifesaving Club upon his arrival to Australia and surfed his balsa malibu board at Cronulla Point. From that point on, surfing in Australia was changed forever!
Greg Noll came back to Cronulla in 1956 as part of the Surfing Sutherland Shire and Cronulla Surfrider Foundation branch’s celebration of 60 years of modern surfing in Australia.
Southside Malibu Club started up a Southside Logger’s division last year, which requires competitors to use traditional 1960s logging style boards over 9ft in length and with a single fin only.
Southside Lady Longboarders was also initiated last year.
“We have lots of women surfing with the club, and we welcome more to come out,” says Joe. Each month, Pilgrim’s Vegetarian Café, Cronulla, provides two random lucky Lady Longboarders with a $30 meal voucher.
Apart from the club comp, Southside Malibu members take part in a number of other events.
“For the past 30 plus years we have also run the Willett Partners’ Spring Classic event, which is supported by our local MP Mark Speakman and the NSW Government this year,” says Joe.
The club will also engage in friendly competition with Mollymook Longboarders Club at Golfcourse Reef this year.
Southside Malibu members regularly compete in events throughout Australia and globally, including the Noosa Festival of Surfing, Mollymook Charity Classic, the CJ “Snowy” McAlister Winter Surfing Festival, and events in California and Hawaii.
It’s not all surf, surf, surf, though. The social calendar has a bit of swell behind it too.
“We do a lot outside of our monthly club rounds,” Joe reveals, “thanks in large part to the Cronulla RSL, which has been supporting us and hosting most of our events for the past three years.
“Planned events this year are: South Coast NSW weekend trip to Ulladulla; social night at the Cronulla RSL, which will include trivia, stand-up comedy, and surf videos; Lawn bowling vs. the Cronulla Point Boardriders at the Cronulla RSL; and a super fun Christmas party / end of the year presentation at the Cronulla RSL.”
If you’d like to know more or join up, please visit: https://southsidemalibuclub.com.au
or you can find the club on Instagram and Facebook.