What is the Hoax Coast?*
*Hoax coast - affectionate phrase apparently used first by John Collins to describe the East coast of Victoria, aka the Mornington Peninsula, particularly in relation to the west coast which has named itself 'The Surf Coast'.The phrase refers to the somewhat illusory quality of the Peninsula's surf and how if you looked at a map of the Peninsula you might think there'd be surf everywhere but there aint.
When this article appeared in the Frankston Independent News in August 2005 it suggested that: 'There's a website called the Hoax Coast, a name given years ago to the Mornington Peninsula in a surf magazine article. The article was disparaging, it implied that Peninsula surfers were a bit like anglers, always talking about big surf, but never being able to show off the real thing. Of course it was not true then, and it's not true now'
Never mind that the Hoax Coast title was never about size, but about quality and abundance of waves, in comparison to the surf coast, John Collins remembers the origin of the name differently. He wrote in the hoax coast forum:
Yeah , i read that Gav, with much amusement,the real origins of the term hoaxcoast(to set the record straight) was when i first started working in torquay around 87' running Surfing Vic competitions, two young TORQUAY GROMMETS Shawn brooks and johnny robertson (when they were about 12 years old) hated going to the east coast to compete in the state rounds and used to bag me about the east coast calling it a hoax for never having good waves . Johnny started calling it the hoax coast , used to really piss me off but it stuck with the grommets over there. I often used it as a joke when i came home to live on the east coast and wazza pickup up on it and called our website the hoaxcoast (JC - August 2005)
And the phrase caught on; and we were kinda proud of our coast, and its shifting quality, its hidden gems, the need for local knowledge to seek out the good stuff, and that it became an affectionate phrase:
Affectionate phrase means that we can call it that, because we live there, and secretly like it, but you can't.
And it can get good!
These pages are our tribute to the East Coast, a place for some of the memorable images to be stored and displayed, for the true history to be known for the first time, and for the East Coast waves, shitty as they are at times, to be celebrated. It is an expanding on-line archive of the East Coast. Your contributions in the form of East Coast pix of surfers or breaks through the years or stories about the history of the East Coast, are welcome. We're especially keen to get shots of early surfing on the East Coast.
Mail them to us. All contributions will be gratefully acknowledged. [Above - Brett O'Loughlin - Gunna - 1980 -Photo: Mick Tregaskis]