Redhead’s best Surfer – Col Smith

Around the mid seventies there was 2 great surfing Col Smith’s, the other from Narabeen, both powerfull goofy footers and both shaped surfboards and won contests.

Redhead’s Col Smith was an Australian Champion and also placed in 3 contests in Hawaii.

These photos around 1976 shows the boards he took to Hawaii and shows the distinctive channel bottom, Col riding Pipeline on the board shown here is in the surf movie Fantasea. These boards were made by Shane and were shaped by Jim Pollard who invented the channel bottom.

Col Smith with Hawaii Boards 1976

Col Smith with Hawaii Boards 1976

Col Smith 1976 Hawaii Boards

Col Smith 1976 Hawaii Boards

Col Smith Channel Boards for Hawaii

Col Smith Channel Boards for Hawaii

Col was 8 years younger than me and I saw him grow up into a powerful surfer with his own smooth style. I first saw Col in the surf when he was 8 on a coolite and was free falling into a tube as I was scraping over the top of it.
He started borrowing his brothers 9 foot 6 big red South Pacific at Seal Rocks and then was soon winnning junior contests on a plastic machine around 1969. Boards then started getting shorter and Col mostly rode “Bee” tailed channel boards.
Here Col gets into his trademark in the tube positon at Redhead around 1975.
Col Smith Redhead tubed

Col Smith Redhead tubed

Col Smith was the secret weapon for Redhead Boardriders club in the early 70’s, put in the last heat and only around 13 years old, the other clubs would put their older more experienced riders in and get a shock.
Col would cheer you into any wave you may have had second thoughts about and off you’d go. When you emerged either having made it or near drowed, he would be there still chearing you on. Same thing when fishing, he was just as stoked to see you get a good one as himself.
Col and family at Christmas 1983, his son Rique is an excellent surfer.
Col Smith & Family Redhead

Col Smith & Family Redhead

Col Smith surfing a big one at Redhead Beach 1977
Col Smith at Redhead on a big one

Col Smith at Redhead on a big one

Col Smith Shaping Channel Boards 1977. This one was mine.
Col Smith Shaping Channels 1978

Col Smith Shaping Channels 1978

Col Smith paddles out at Redhead.
Col Smith paddles out Redhead

Col Smith paddles out Redhead

 

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2 thoughts on “Redhead’s best Surfer – Col Smith

  1. Hi . Col had shaped a board back in 1979 that I bought in Torquay . I was a 17 year old back then and it was the best board . It was a 6ft rounded pin tail with a label called ” Tracker ” by col smith . I’m now the oldest grommet in Torquay and have just started to shape with the guidance of Ian Chisam from South Coast long boards . I would love to be able to re make this unreal board . Is there anyway I can access this shape . It’s not for commercial use , just a grommet ” older now ” living his dream and admiring his idol . Cheers mick

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