Welcome to the Kneeboarding website of Simon Farrer, Australia.
My aim, and the aim of this website, is to help promote the sport of kneeboarding through films and encourage, motivate and inspire people to try the art of kneeboarding, encapturing a group of surfers that love what they do and who embrace the true spirit of surfing, having fun!!
Throughout the 1980’s and early 90’s I felt starved of kneeboarding footage with only the odd surf film showing glimpses of kneeboarding, post George Greenough films.
In the early 1990’s my now wife Rebecca and I started filming and collecting footage both locally and overseas along with footage shot by other photographers.
In 1993 I travelled to South Africa for the first World Professional Championships. Not only was this event healthy for the sport, attracting much needed media but it also allowed a true international field to really spread their wings and open their eyes to different approaches to surfing, styles and techniques which over the years many had not seen due to little footage available.
On this trip I bought along with me a 30 minute tape of footage that we had collected over the previous 2 years, stuck some music on and very basic titles. The first showing of this tape was in Capetown 2 weeks after arriving in South Africa at a house of a very unique individual kneeboarder/rap artist, Bobby Rossouw.
Bobby over the previous 2 weeks had deliberately pronounced my surname every possible way which ended up with “farrow” then turning it into "Sparrow" due to my skinny legs also?
After watching this 30 minute tape with a house full of kneeboarders from around the globe it was quite obvious that footage of kneeboarding brought an energy and excitement into the room. At the end of this tape Bobby jumped up and began to give a rap rendition of the past 2 weeks that had gone down.
The few words that did stay strong in my mind was Bobby finishing up by
saying “The Sparrow Has Landed” on our shores. Since that moment the
nickname stuck and Bec and I have had a passion for documenting
kneeboarding and the people that ride them.
I have been surfing kneeboards since 1980. Throughout endless years of competitive kneeboarding, I reached number 1 ranking on more than one occasion in both Junior and Open events in regional, State, Australian and World rankings both in Amateur and Professional levels. During these years and beyond allowed me to travel the world competing and free surfing, introducing me to a broad range of styles, board design and personalities within our sport.
In 1996 I retired from competitive surfing after winning my 4th World Title in Wollongong, Australia & just dead tired of competing. Approx. 6 yrs later I married Rebecca and moved down the south coast to Shellharbour and started our family. The layed back lifestyle appealed to us and my surfing took a new interest and excitement with endless choices of heavy reef breaks, minimal to no crowds which was a total opposite to what most of my growing up had involved. My background is and always will be as a North Narrabeen boy. This is were I learnt pretty much everything when it came to surfing at this amazing beach along side easily some of the best surfers in the world.
My new start on the south coast brought something back into my surfing that I was needing, room to move, endless opportunity to search uncrowded beaches, points & slabs that I never new existed, waves that challenged me more than ever and all in my backyard and further south. Surfing solo brought such a freedom to me and happiness.
Around this time a new school of kneeboarding was maturing in the local area of Wollongong from an already rich history and further south at Husky/Jervis bay. Along with my good friend Steen Barnes bringing this new age kneeboarding to the world with his amazing photography skills was knocking down the doors and opening eyes that were once closed in mainstream media, magazines, online sites, etc.
Radical images and footage of kneeboarding started shooting out across the world and a once separated sub culture of surfing was now being noticed as this rediscovered re-amped radical fresh faced species. Kneeboarding never died! it just took the inspiration of a few people to open the worlds eyes to an exciting yet different approach to riding a wave. Its always been happening just not being seen.
The aim of my films was to show what is happening within our sport now but never claiming to be what kneeboarding is solely about. Around the world now we have kneeboarding communities coming together with gatherings, competitions, surf trips, websites and an endless supply to a extended family willing to help out travelling kneelos.
I take great pride in bringing kneeboarding to everyone that is interested via film. From filming large gatherings such as NSG05 (North Shore Gathering 2005) with huge respect to a legend within our sport Bud McCray for allowing his home as a meeting point at Backyards to almost 100 kneelos passing through over a month of filming & documenting the characters.
In 2006 I grabbed a hand full of chargers from around the world and travelled to the Mentawai Islands on a boat charter. I've always wanted to show kneeboarding in good conditions and so took the kneeboarders to these locations. Added some new film angles, great locations throughout indo and some exciting extras to create "Inside & Out".
22 years later we are still compiling footage from remote locations
around the world for another film including some of the most futuristic
shredders as well as some amazing old school kneelos still charging. I
hope people can jump on board and support my films as there is so much
more to document in our sport and your help will allow this to continue.