The Story Of Ray Woosley – The Surf-board Expert – Alert 1964


RAY WOOSLEY, a leading Queensland surf-board manufacturer, believes in thoroughly testing his products, riding the “big ones” anywhere from Noosa to the Gold Coast. Surf-board riding is his favourite sport.

“It’s a sport that is really your own,” he says. “With no noisy motor, no flapping sails. It’s just you and the waves and, of course, a good board,” he added.

When only fifteen, Ray started making surf-boards, and now employs consistently more men than any Queensland rival. All keen surf-board riders. Mr Woosley’s staff are also non-smokers, again following the good example of their boss, a definite non-smoker and non-drinker.

“I’m certain that smoking and drinking alcohol impair efficiency. Perfection in surf-boards is our aim. I do not employ smokers. You might as well give an extra three weeks’ holiday, because that’s about the least amount of time wasted by employees just lighting up cigarettes.”

Mr Woosley stated his aim is to produce the best possible surf-board. “This requires first-class materials and workmanship,” he said.

Also a foundation member of the Queensland Mountaineering Club, Ray Woosley likes an active life. His enthusiasm for surf and water sport can be gauged by the fact that, after making boats for some time, Mr Woosley made the first water-skis in Queensland, and the first surf-board in Queensland. This was an “okanui” style board (Hawaiian) made of plywood. He has also made many boards of balsa wood, imported from Peru. Now his boards are made from bulk foam imported from the U.S.A. Fibre-glass is also used in Mr Woosley’s special manufacturing processes.

“I find that many surf-board riders do not smoke,” said Mr Woosley in response to our question.

Speaking of the coming surf-board championships, he added, “It’s my tip that the man who wins is more than likely to be a non-drinker and a non-smoker.”

“My favourite drink? Pineapple and grapefruit!”

Reprinted from Alert, The Magazine Of The Australian Temperance Society, July 1964

by W G Dowling

RAY WOOSLEY, maker and rider of surf-boards, putting the finishing touches to a modern surf-board.