Vintage Surf meet 2019 coming soon !

Vintage Surf meet 2019 coming soon !
Free to take part
We buy interesting old boards 60s/70s/early 80s in good condition. Email . Also wanted - Surfing UK , British Surfer and Surf Insight magazines .
Above photo - copyright Rennie Ellis photographer archive

Monday, 30 June 2014

Bez Newton's 1970s board game


Born in Lancashire in 1927, the late Bez Newton was already a seasoned world traveller when his lifetime obsession with surfing began in Queensland in 1949. Over the years, in addition to his surf-inspired enterprises in running clubs, shooting films, publishing  magazines and novels, Bez created a board game called Wipeout.
When I met him in the early 1970’s, Bez had refined Wipeout into a complex game based on a surf contest, with the aim of getting through heats to a final, surfing against the clock.  Using custom made cards, players assumed the roles and abilities of contemporary legends such as Wayne Lynch and Billy Hamilton.  From paddling out (using pre-duckdive “Eskimo rolls” !) players surfed round the board scoring points for manoeuvres and losing them from hazards such as broken leashes, loose “skegs”, or hitting bathers!
The prototype Wipeout I bought off Bez is a 2ft square hand-made labour of love. Assembled with help from anyone hanging out between waves near his Watergate caravan, it came with tiny  surfers, cards and complete instructions. Bez also offered a French version!
Wipeout never achieved its aim of being taken up by a manufacturer as surfing’s answer to Snakes and Ladders, so I wonder what Bez thought when another surfing game hit the market?  In the mid-eighties, Surf Champ also featured a mini-surfboard – but this one clipped onto a ZX Spectrum keyboard, and Wayne Lynch didn’t get a mention.
I’m told early computer games are now collectable, and my son’s Surf Champ is probably still in the loft – but as surf memorabilia goes, how rare is my Wipeout?

Neil Watson.

Thanks to Neil for sharing this slice of history. It looks like Bez put a lot of time into this game, must have been during a long flat spell


  1. What a great post. Love to have a game of Surfs Up. It is a piece of history and art. Thanks Neil for sharing ( and Al for providing the means). Be great to read more posts from Neil, sure he has lots of interesting info from back in the day, really enjoyed in contributions in Atlantic Surfer.

  2. I agree Bluey, Neil has some great stuff to share.

  3. Nice item Neil, think you need to get together with Henry who has some extraordinary items of surf history too. Perhaps Henry could do an article on the amazing stuff he`s got, it might be a sensation ?

  4. Thanks for the comments - and the long memories!

  5. Nice blog,, i'm very enjoyed to visit this site. have a nice day :D

  6. Bez invented the game wipe out in the bsa caravan, which was situated in the car park at Watergate bay in 1976.many of the guys hung around there that summer, myself being one of them. That year Bez was featured on the holiday program on it. He truly was a great guy to have known.