Scott Dillon

Australian surfboard manufacturer from Sydney's Bondi Beach; cofounder of Australia's boardmaking industry in the late 1950s, along with Gordon Woods, Barry Bennett, and Bill Wallace. Dillon was born (1928) and raised in Bondi, and was tandem bodysurfing with his father, the treasurer of the Bondi Beach Surf Club, before he could walk. He began stand-up surfing at age six. Dillon trained as a boxer after World War II, was twice national bantamweight champion, and just missed qualifying for the 1952 Australian Olympic team. Later that year he traveled to North America, where he worked as a logger in Canada, and surfed in California and Mexico.

In 1957, along with partner Noel Ward, he cofounded Ward and Dillon Surfboards. Wood left the business in early 1959, and Dillon Surfboards moved into a new factory-showroom in the northern Sydney suburb Brookvale, which soon became the hub of Australian surfboard commerce. In the early '60s, Dillon was one of the first in his country to make polyurethane foam surfboard blanks. He also made boards for future world champion Nat Young, and gave shaping instruction to Queenslander Bob McTavish, who would soon create the first short surfboards. Dillon's big-wave boards were especially prized. Throughout this period—from the mid-'50s to the early '70s—Dillon was one of Australia's top midget car racers.

By the early '70s, the shortboard revolution, along with its new generation of board manufacturers, had all but pushed Dillon and the rest of the Brookvale originals out of business. Dillon then moved to the mid-New South Wales town of Coffs Harbor. He opened the Legends Surf Museum in 2001, at which time the 73-year-old was still surfing regularly and making a limited number of boards. "At a recent contest in Noosa," Aussie surf writer Jon Brasen wrote in 1996, "Scott picked set waves off the point all day, danced all night, rode the mechanical surfboard at the bar a couple of times, and drank the youngsters under the table."

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