above: Kirra Sunset early 1960s by Mal Sutherland.
Mal Sutherland was featured in the first Switch-foot book, and we are stoked to have more images from Mal, who is one the pioneers of the Queensland Surfing Association with eight of his friends back in 1964…shortly after this, Mal also helped start the Kirra board riders club and became the Queensland correspondent to the Sydney based magazines of the time, SurfAbout magazine started by Jack Eden. Mal bought his first camera in 1959, took many photos for the magazines and also started road showing films as an agent of Paul Witzig and later Bob Evans.
Today, Mal still takes photos and presents exhibitions of his surfing images along the East coast of Australia, contributes to magazines and even shapes the odd balsa replica for a wall hanger. Good friends with Australian surfboard making legend, Joe Larkin, and a keen body surfer, Mal will tell you that back in the 60’s they used to judge who was the best waterman by how well the individual body surfed.
‘Christmas 1959/1960 I got my first camera. Once I got to know the guys from Sydney that were doing the magazines, they asked me if I wanted to take photos for their magazine and be a Queensland correspondent and I said too right, why not. Jack Eden was the first guy, I think SurfAbout Vol one number 3 was my first photo and story that got published. I felt loyalty towards Jack, but was showing Bob Evans movies around the Gold Coast and Queensland. Evo would come up here and ask to see the photos, them take them and print them in Surfing World, but he didn’t put my name on them (laughs). There are quite a few of my photos in the early SW magazines that are un-named.’
We can put you directly in touch with Mal Sutherland for surfing photo prints, interviews and good yarns.
below: That is Mal Sutherland surfing and his brother took the photo.