Realizing there was a demand for Malibu boards, local entrepreneur Bill Bailey teamed up with Bod Head to create the European Surfboard Company, whose most famous brand was Bilbo Surfboards. As the sport flourished at an incredible rate, Stuart Keogh opened a surfboard factory in Holywell Bay in 1968 and opened his own surf store, Keo Surfboards, in Fore Street Newquay in 1970. His wife Cherry joined him in this business and they renamed it Newquay Surfing Center. The couple stayed there until 2010, when they retired from the surf industry and shut down the business.
Some of the early Newquay-based surfers included Roger Mansfield, Alan McBride, Dennis Cross, and first wife Trish Scarlett. The four recently came together to lend their support to the campaign to erect the iconic statue of Newquay on the Killacourt, overlooking these early surfed beaches, to not only recognize the multidimensional value of surfing, but also to mark the 60th anniversary. .
Alan McBride says: âI have been involved in surfing for over 50 years here in Newquay, and it is time for them to erect a monument to show that this is Newquay, the surf capital of Britain. Newquay wouldn’t be what it is without surfing. People have come, and still come, here to surf and just watch it. All over the world – Waimea Bay, Sunset Beach, Sydney – there are monuments to say that you are in a very important place, when it comes to surfing. Now is the time to add importance to Newquay to make sure everyone knows this is the home of British surfing! It will attract other people to come here.
Roger Mansfield, now a prominent surfing historian, says: âBelieve me, it is written by the press, television and academic studies that Newquay has been credited as ‘Britain’s Surf Capital’, a claim that dates back to about 60 years. But does it have any value for the city? and how would a visitor to Newquay ever know that if there isn’t an iconic brand to show it to everyone who lives here and to all of those visitors? “