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FTBA History

(History notes provided by Dan Kirkman, Michael Capilli and Shane Chalker - compiled by Aaron Dodds and Anthony Murphy)

History: FTBA started in 1987 with the first President being John "Spike" Wilson and Michael Capilli as the Treasurer. FTBA was a club, built around the youth, that met at Main Beach Car Park on bikes. Once the call was made they would all start trekking it on to the comp site, a lot of the time being Janey's Corner (about 20km from Forster Main Beach).

Early to Late 90's were run by Dick Barry (ex school teacher) and Ross Picken.

Late 90's to mid-2000 were run by Steve Kirkman who was also the Director of GOB Australasia (Global Organisation of Bodyboarding) and also the CEO of GOB worldwide, partnered with ex pro bodyboarder Mark Fordam (Technical Director of GOB Worldwide).

Helpers of FTBA then were June and Mick Cockeram, Di Miller and Johnny McNamara.

FTBA very quickly became a well known club, and something not to be messed with.

This foundation of youth bred some of Australia's best bodyboarding talent - Troy Decoque, Shane Chalker, Dave Johnstone, Dirk Anderson, Mitchell Barry, Matt Picken, Todd French, Troy Kneeves, Drew Cockeram, the Kirkman boys Josh and Daniel and the Capilli brothers are just some of the names that came through the early club.

FTBA was not only built and run with great presidents and committee's, but the many family and parent helpers of the club really made it excel (especially with the help of food and travel).

Jeff Wilcox Memorial Classic: FTBA started one of Australia's number one comps - The Jeff Wilcox Memorial Classic. This comp was known as "The most prestigious event on the Bodyboarding calendar".

Up until it ceased it was the longest serving competition in the history of Bodyboarding in Australia.

It was a draw card to many high profile riders including Ben and Toby Player, Jeff Hubbard, Damien "Kingy" King (current World DK Champion), Dion Myers, Andrew Lester, Garth MacGregor, Ben Holland and tonnes more.

The Jeff Wilcox Memorial was revived in 2013 to revitalise the independent competitive scene.

View the Jeff Wilcox website here


  1. Can you post a list of all the past winners of the Willcox would be sweet to see who has won it over the years.

    Cheers Matty!

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