Sandon Point – Boardriders Club of the Month! They’re the generous hosts to many of our regional and state championships and a club that continues to innovate and nurture all members of its surf community.
So we had a chat with club president Karl Lavis about the history of the club and where they’re going.
Sandon Point Boardriders, as it exists today, started in 1980. Prior to this, ‘surfing clubs’ started in 1965 in the Corrimal Area, by the late sports broadcaster Darryl Eastlake.
In 1967 the club morphed into a Bellambi based club, then from 1969 became Southern Pacific based at Sandon Point.
In 1980 a few lads from Bulli High School, after recent success in the ‘schoolastics’ approached Tony “Midnight” Ryan to start up Sandon Point Boardriders. In 1982 he was joined at the helm by Gary “Morto” Morton.
The club has continued since these early beginnings and continues to be considered as one of the premiere boardriding clubs in the region.
In recent years, the club has powered up with a long list of team and individual competition achievements as well as club and community recognition.
With the popularity of team events ramping up, continue to field Sandon Point strong teams and have seen progressive success. In 2022 they finished fourth and improved this year with a third in the Kirra Teams challenge which is regarded as the most prestigious club event in Australia – being run for 30 years.
Off the beach, the club was a finalist in the Australian Surfing Awards in 2021 for Innovation. They were recognised for a new partnership with Sandon Point Surf Life Saving Club to introduce Nippers to surfing.
The club also recently acquired a new surfers HQ solar-powered trailer. It provides a weatherproof contest hub that can operate in all weather conditions. Rain, hail or shine – comp will be on and groms will be ripping!
With 194 members this year including 46 micro-grommets they’re feeling stronger than ever with competition and in the community.
Looking ahead they’re stoked to have received one of the state-of-the-art drones and attended the drone pilot course that they said will help create greater safety within the club and community, especially in knowing how active the ocean life can be out the front.
And with two Junior World Champions in Jake Spooner & Chad Ryan as well as 1989 Australian School Surfing Team Captain in Jason Gava 1989 (against the NSSA, led by Pat O’Connell) there is a lot for the groms to aspire to.
“The club has always had top tier surfers that perform well on the world stage especially Hawaii. The natural power of the local waves in the Illawarra region help develop and push the skill level of the surfers of all ages.”
The names to watch out for said Karl; Eddy Hamaty, Jed Ashton, Lucas Wrice, Benny Duncan, Pearl Peters and Sophia Lamberger. As well as big-wave charger Harry Steele and juniors Taj Air, Sammy Lowe, Charlie Lamberger and Joe Rocco-Sommervillle. All surfers who are paving their way through competition whilst snagging a few bombs out the point break.
We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Sandon Point Boardriders Club and their members!
Eddy Hamaty – Photo By Cameron Staunton