Surf music summer

50 years on
 Kylie Doherty
Surf 'n Stomp by The Delltones (1963). NFSA title: 335675

The summer of 1963-64 was the summer of surf music in Australia. The surf craze enjoyed one season at the peak before being toppled by The Beatles and Beatlemania. The Stomp was the dance of the summer, with local beaches featuring in songs such as ‘Bondi Stomp’ and ‘Avalon Stomp’.

Between August 1963 and April 1964 sixteen Australian recordings with a surfing theme hit the charts, with The Atlantics’ ‘Bombora’ and ‘Hangin’ Five’ by the Delltones reaching No. 1 on the Sydney charts. Sydney even hosted a National Stomp Championships in Lane Cove National Park from which the NFSA holds footage.


Little Pattie album cover
NFSA title: 581495

Fifty years later, in celebration of Australia’s brief infatuation with surf music and enduring love of the beach, Sound Curator Graham McDonald delves into the collection to revisit this time and culture.

'Bombora’ was added to the Sounds of Australia registry in 2013 and Graham expands on this song and cultural milieu of the time in our collection highlight 'The summer of surf music – 50 years later’.

Listen to songs from the era, read about the success stories and one-hit wonders, watch a newsreel on the cultural clash between surfies and rockers, and remember – or discover – the summer of 1963-64.

Go to The Summer of Surf Music.