I asked Dave Gray if he would let me interview him for Wight Surf History and eventually he sent me this. We actually planned to do a proper interview and he was going to dig out some old photos but sadly it never happened.
A history of surfing on the I.O.W. by David Gray aged 49 ½.
I started surfing in the early 70’s and loved the waves and the freedom.
In the 80’s saw the egos and the hype and the crowds start but still loved it.
In the 90’s it was oh
In the 00’s I got pissed off with all the egos and the hype and the crowds and the wanabees and the internet
A Just Giving page has been set up to help out Dave’s sons with funeral costs. Please donate and share! As well as the just giving page, personal donations can be dropped off at Honeybourne Jewellery along with any messages to Elliot or Dylan. There are also collection boxes in the pubs round Ventnor. Let’s make sure Dave gets a good send off and take a little pressure off his boys ! There’s a 30 day limit on donations but I’m hoping we can get as much raised as quickly as possible before the funeral, so Elliot and Dylan no what more they need to do. Come on peeps !!!!!
Memories of Dave
From Simon Cooper
Dave’s first “surf board”, a hand painted purple floatina (a polystyrene bodyboard)
Looking out the window in a history lesson at Carisbrooke High School while he calmly walked out of school got into his mum’s car so she could give him a lift down to the beach
Riding our bikes
Skateboarding in the early days with Chris Salter,
Trip to Newquay in 1977 in a Mark 1 escort with a broken radiator all the way home
Getting very drunk one night together being chased by really angry prison officers in stripey pyjamas who we had woken up by wheel spinning his mum’s Ford Capri
Funny hair styles in assorted colours (once a green orangey colour that should have turned out blond)
Skateboarding trips to various skate parks on the mainland in the late 70’s
Getting banned from driving whilst under the influence not helped by the fact “he laid his hands” on the policeman who stopped him
Disco (yes disco), punk, reggae, heavy rock etc etc
Furiously paddling after a kayaker who had had the audacity to drop in on him ,you could hear the abuse Dave was screaming at him for miles,
The list is endless but overall surfing was everything to Dave, he made quite a few sacrifices for his love of surfing losing many jobs because of this commitment to the sport he loved and excelled at, so many cars and surfboards, surfboards usually being in far better condition than the cars and finally, moaning. Dave could moan for England whether it be the state of the surf, kayakers dropping in, people who didn’t know what they were doing in the water and anyone who dared show him the lack of respect he deserved!
Surfing legend, devoted father and one of a kind. Sorely missed.
From Paul Blackley
I grew up with Dave being the best surfer on the Island by far and I wanted to surf as well as him. Sadly that never happened but I know Dave inspired many people.
I remember many good times but just as many I don’t remember. Zanies Nightclub being times that are a bit fuzzy.
A friend for 35 years. The first sponsored surfer on the Island, surfed in the English Nationals but as I remember had to sell his wetsuit to get home. Dave you were a Legend. The Matt Archibald of the Isle of Wight. Gonna miss you mate