The first documented motorised surfboard was built in the 1930s in Australia. The motorised surfboard which was also known at the time as a Surf Scooter made it’s grand appearance on Bondi beach. Australias finest life guards were on hand to test the surf scooter. Australian newspapers published the photos and article on the new motorised surfboard in about 1935. Rumour has it that the Surf Scooter had already been in existence for about 5 years. This motorised surfboard was described to have the perfect design and the engine was strategically placed to get the angle and weight balance just perfect however when you look at the original photo it appears to be half sinking so they photoshopped it to show the engine above water level. Yes it seems that even in the 1930s motorised surfboard manufacturers were happy to exaggerate and stretch the truth.
This was the Surf Scooters big day and Im sure the inventor had visions of his motorised surfboard appearing on every single beach in Australia and maybe even the world. They were trying to market the motorised surfboard as a quick and easy alternative to boats and the headline in the newspaper read “Life Guard Speeds to Drowning Swimmer on Motorised Surfboard.” To be honest when looking at the photo I would say that the chances of this board speeding were slim to none but as any great journalist would do they made it sound even more exciting than it was. When you look at the newspaper photo you will notice that it looks a lot nicer than the original photo so it just goes to show that photoshopping was already happening in 1930s.
The Surf Scooter looks really interesting though and I can’t see much in the photos but its one serious invention and to be honest if jetboard inventors and manufacturers are still struggling to get it right in 2018 then I say a very big congratulations to the unknown Australian Surf Scooter inventor on Bondi Beach in the 1930s. In all fairness we have him to thank for turning the motorised surfboard from a dream into reality. If only he could see how far his Surf Scooter had come. Ive tested many boards over the years and even today the suspense and excitement is unbelievable so imagine what it felt like that day on Bondi Beach in 1935 with this amazing, futuristic invention and the Australian newspapers on location to report on the breaking news. It must have been such an amazing moment. I would happily give up one of todays jetboard tests to have the chance to be on the beach or even better in the water testing the Surf Scooter.