MORNING OF THE EARTH by Albe Falzon
SURFER: MICHAEL PETERSON
LOCATION: KIRRA POINT
DATE: CIRCA 1971
Albe Falzon was a young filmmaker and publisher from Sydney who had recently launched the alternative lifestyle, newsprint surfing magazine Tracks, and embarked on an idealistic surf movie project. Michael Peterson was a young, Coolangatta surfer/shaper with a wild talent but an introverted character, who was about to embark on the greatest period of surf contest dominance in Australian history.
Their paths collided at the tail end of a classic, Gold Coast autumn swell, when Albe trained his lens on Michael’s lightning fast, radical surfing, on his self-shaped and exceptionally short design. While the movie that Albe launched 50 years ago, Morning of the Earth, became a timeless classic, this one freeze frame image captured the imagination of the surfing world. The abrupt direction change in a tight, clean arc, the board up on its edge, fin just holding in, perfectly captured the performance revolution underway in Australian surfing.