Whatever happened to Russell Lewis (aka Mumbles)?

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Whatever happened to Russell Lewis (aka Mumbles)?

Post by PB » Sun Feb 26, 2006 8:15 am

ADMIN HERE: Just putting a link to one of our bad boy bunny comp virtual easter eggs right here.... http://tinyurl.com/efszh
First person to click on it after noon on 13 April 2006 will get da prize! BTW, there are a couple more of these hidden around the joint...!


I remember him being touted as the 'next big thing' at DY in the late 70s, but never heard of him much after that

Co-incidentally, he was mentioned in Andrew Kidman's "Glass Love" in the same context as Michael Peterson

Is there a sinister tale here to which I'm not privvy?[/url]

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Post by Beanpole » Sun Feb 26, 2006 1:59 pm

I remember him in the schoolboys comp, national?, at D-bah in the early seventies, 72 or 73 I think. I know Rabbit won the seniors and as I recall Jeremy Oxley from the Sunnyboys beat quite a crew of future surfstars to take out the juniors.

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Post by shish » Sun Feb 26, 2006 4:49 pm

he was/is? running a surf school at Kuai
yeehaa!

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Post by chrisb » Sun Feb 26, 2006 5:10 pm

Not much on the web. He coaches, here's one link I found:-

http://www.surfingaustralia.com/html/hp ... LLEWIS.htm

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Post by Johnno » Sun Feb 26, 2006 5:49 pm

Someone mentioned in a thread a few months back he is shaping up on the Gold Coast.

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Post by PB » Sun Feb 26, 2006 9:50 pm

Thank you!

That answers my question and sates my curiosity

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Post by Laurie McGinness » Mon Feb 27, 2006 8:52 am

I think he is back in Kauai, he was there for a long time but came back and was working as a surf coach on the Gold Coast. I heard recently that he had returned to Hawaii. He has dual citizenship as his father was American......and no nothing sinister at all, still surfing well and having a good time from what I heard. Haven't caught up with him myself for a long time now though!

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Post by tootr » Mon Feb 27, 2006 9:20 am

Russell Lewis shaped my first custom board. 5'10" single fin roundtail with 4 curved channels - the Hot Buttered 'Cutloose' model about 1979 -1980??

Damn fine board. Wish I still had it!!
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Post by Nick Carroll » Mon Feb 27, 2006 11:06 am

As Laurie says, Mumbles is indeed back on Kauai, where he's a highly respected surf coach and boardmaker.

Russell used to scare the crap out of the schoolboys competitors of the late 1970s. He was just marginally too old to ride the wave of junior success from '77 onwards. He was a gentle bloke with a sharp, static style marked by a beautiful cutback and great tube sense. Mumbles totally worshipped MP as did many of the groms back then, and paid a lot of attention to the Peterson approach. He always wanted to do well at the Stubbies contest in homage to his guru but it was never to be.

His travelling mate was Brian "Runner" Langbein whom Laurie will also remember quite well I have no doubt, they were a hilarious pair, Mumbles sort of cruising along and mumbling, while Runner was jumping out of his skin and talking a blue streak, enough for the both of 'em and with a bit left over.

It's great to see Mumbles making a life for himself beyond the MP shadow thing and being well respected in an awesome surf culture like that on Kauai.

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Post by tootr » Mon Feb 27, 2006 11:24 am

i remember seeing him out a lot at Dy/Longy. One of his signatures was the functional 'semi noseride' on a small board to speed thru slower sections - none of this pumping nonsense. very stylish!!
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Post by Laurie McGinness » Mon Feb 27, 2006 2:10 pm

Yeh he was a classic! Too many stories and memories to deal with today. I'll try and post something more substantial when I get a chance.

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Post by Laurie McGinness » Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:13 am

Russell was one of those surfers who never quite got the contest results they deserved and it was hard to know why unless it was the judges not realising the speed and power at which he operated. He was like Dane Kealoha in that respect, you really had no idea how good they were until you saw them from the water. Russell just used to gouge holes in a wave, those single fins required a kind of power into a snap that you don’t really see these days and, along with Tom Carroll, he was one of the masters of that style of surfing.

A lot of the surfers at that time, particularly the contest surfers were influenced by the points for manoeuvres judging and tended to surf conservatively to get lots of moves on a wave rather than drive down the line and look for one or two full power blasts – not Russell, he went flat out from start to finish. He was influenced by a number of surfers, particularly Peter Crawford - who always encouraged him even when he went through a kind of ugly duckling stage as a kid - and Rabbit, who lived at Dee Why for a while at the start of the seventies and surfed with him a lot. Paul Connors who shaped for Crozier was also pretty significant in the early days and spent a lot of time with him designing his boards.

Later, when he learnt to shape himself, he studied Michael Peterson’s surfing and board designs intensely and modified them to suit his own needs but if MP was the major design influence, to my eye it was always Rabbit whose influence was more easily visible in the water – they shared a kind of disregard for traditional concepts of style, they didn’t hold their arms “just so” or strike poses, they threw their bodies into whatever form was necessary to get the performance they wanted.

I think one of Russell’s greatest contributions was the way he re-energised the local Dee Why scene and inspired a couple of generations of grommets to get out there and go as hard as they could…too many names to mention but if you were around the contest scene in the eighties you could probably list a few.

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Post by Johnno » Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:16 am

Nicely written Laurie.

Just a footnote ~ Mumbles was also instrumental in getting DYSF back up and going again in the latter part of the late 70's. As for a few years DYSF had stopped having regular club contests.

So both Russel and Brian took it upon themselves to get the club running again with contests being held rain, hail or shine, one week- end a month.

Also they organized registration for members, set up the committee. and arranged contests with other clubs.

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Post by Laurie McGinness » Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:17 am

I was talking to some old mates last night and found out that Russell is actually visiting Australia at the moment. He's on the Gold Coast but will probably pass through Sydney at some stage.....here's hoping for some reasonable waves when he does!

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Post by admin » Fri Mar 03, 2006 11:09 am

hey Laurie, you know that 16mm footage I have from when we first met back in '77? I know for a fact that I have at least one of Mumbles' waves and one cutty of yours both taken from the water at the point by PC. If I could figure out a way to put it online would you be okay with it?
-don
ps; might also toss up one of my MP sequences as well...

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Post by Laurie McGinness » Fri Mar 03, 2006 11:55 am

Would that be the same footage we asked you to release for the history of DYSF project several years ago but still have not received?

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Post by admin » Fri Mar 03, 2006 4:50 pm

yop! guilty as charged m'lud... a lot has happened since then... it was a different universe... are you still working on that project? Gimme a call or drop me a line and I'll see what I can do...

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Post by Mark Palmer » Sat Mar 11, 2006 12:50 am

Russ is indeed on the goldie on holiday from Kauai. Can you holiday FROM Kauai ?? And will probably be seen in the company of Runna around DY over the weekend 18/19 March. He can be contacted at [email protected]
Nice to catch up the other night Laurie, all the best to the DYans of course.
Ben

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