IT'S ANOTHER SUNNY MORNING...
Your favourite tune is blasting out of the 8-track. The warm off shore breeze is blowing. The sun is beating down on your arm hanging through the window of your old faithful truck.. The big tyres crunch on the dirt track. You drive through the trees to find another perfect swell pulsing from the horizon with no one around. Just you and your buddies there to enjoy it. You pull out your favourite board and start the walk down the hot sand towards the glistening ocean. You don’t have a care in the world. No rules have been set yet. It’s all there for the taking. It’s Noosa in 1965. It’s the golden era… It’s the Cord era.
When two brothers started a surfboard label in Queensland in 1965, their ethos was design, innovation and build quality. From a small shop in Caloundra they ignited a cultural explosion in surfing that ripped through Australia and echoed around the world.
David "Humphrey Lascelles at "The Bluff", Queensland, 1965
Cord founder David Lascelles recounts,
"Back in ’65…We were all hanging out on the Sunshine Coast especially around Alexandra Headlands and surfing anywhere from Noosa to Sydney. By all I mean myself, Bob McTavish, Kevin Platt, Russell Hughes, Algy Grud, John Mantle, Bob Cooper, Hayden, George Greenough, Wayne Parkes, Darrell Dell and a whole bunch of others. The area also had a constant stream of good surfers passing through."
"I think it was late in ’65 that there was a big blowup at the Hayden factory and the boys were all either fired or quit. Right about that time I’d been talking to my parents about financing a surfboard factory for me. I was just 17. They didn’t like the idea of me being a dedicated surfer but I guess they must have figured it was a good opportunity for me so they agreed to fund it."
"I’d already discussed my plans with Bob McTavish, Kevin Platt, Russell Hughes and Algy Grud. They were all real keen and agreed to come and work for me. We needed a name and settled on “Cord” and so a surfboard label was born. I found a suitable building in Caloundra and we fitted it out and began production."
Peter "Chops" Lascelles at Moffat Beach, 1966
In 1966 the Australian Surfing titles were held at the Gold Coast and everybody wanted new boards to surf in them. Peter Drouyn was one of them, an incredibly hot young surfer from the Gold Coast. Peter came up to order his new board, which I think Bob shaped, and he kept saying he wanted it shorter and lighter. Eventually, after much argument it came out at 8ft and real light, Everybody thought he was mad but he went to those titles and did things nobody could believe – and won. My brother Peter won there too, cleaned up the under 15’s on an 8’3 “. I do believe this was the beginning of the shortboard era. In only a matter of months all boards began to shrink in size. It had a long way to go, but probably started at Cord. Certainly all the boards at Cord were getting lighter and finer, and some of the things being made there were totally different to anything else made before. Bob especially was feeding off George’s ideas and we made flex tails, stepped decks, very rolled bottoms, concaves, scooped decks and even three fin models plus much more. I think they referred to everyone hanging around Cord as the “hot generation” and maybe they were right, or as Bob said to Richard Harvey in his book, the Surfing history of QLD,
Now almost six decades later, two brothers in St. Agnes, Cornwall hold those same values close to their hearts as they push things forward and keep it in the family.
Welcome to the next chapter of the Cord Surfboards story.
Shaping surfing since 1965.