McDonagh Balsa Gun: circa 1958 / 1959
Dimensions: 10’7” x 20”
Weight: You don’t wanna know.
One of the most iconic boards in Peter’s collection is this Australian balsa gun.
Having communicated with Greg McDonagh himself via e-mail, he put the latest possible date of the manufacture as being c1959.
GREG MCDONAGH – 1936 to 2018
Greg started making hollow timber boards under the family home in Harbord and went on to become one of the so-called ‘Brookvale Six’, pioneer surfboard builders who set up shop, servicing the growing interest in surfing in the late 50s and early 60s, in what used to be a market garden area in Brookvale.
Pioneering the construction of boards from a foamed plastic core, he built first his own hollow marine ply board and was forced into the industry because there was no one making the newer Malibu- type boards in Australia.
He made traditional Malibu style boards, but also experimented with surfboards that had collate cores and epoxy resin, producing lightweight boards decades before that type of manufacturing gained public acceptance. He constantly experimented with board and fin shapes and McDonagh’s designs were the result of extensive tests by leading surfers over the years.
He was the co-founder (with his brother Denis) of the Surf Dive ’n Ski stores that popped up around the country and he retained a keen interesting surfboard design and materials.
In 2014 McDonagh was inducted into the International Surfboard Builders Hall Of Fame, In recognition of his contribution to surfing. He was also featured in the recent film /documentary about the early Brookvale surf crew ‘Men of Wood and Foam’.