During a trip to Torquay’sAustralian National Surfing Museum in January, local Terry Mervin, 73, noted an absenceof surf-themed board gamesamong the memorabilia.
When he inquired with staff and foundnone existed, his wife Leone suggestedhe make one and so between Februaryand July of this year, that’s exactly what he did.
“It was totally out of the blue, inJanuary we went to the surfing museumand were looking through their stuff andI thought about surfing board games and they said they didn’t have any or
know any that existed,” Terry said.
“I told my wife and she suggested Imake one. I thought it was a good idea as I know a lot of the breaks down on the coast, I immediately got some ideas about the nature of the game; rolling the dice and moving the token to paddle and catching and scoring on a wave.
“People know Bells Beach. I’ve been surfing for 57 years and have surfed it so many times I know the breaks so thought let’s do that game around that.”
He said the game titled Ride the Surf at Bells Beach is suitable for everyone from 10 years upwards, whether they’re surfers or non-surfers.
“I’ve always enjoyed playing board Surf’s up for Mervin games with the family (kids and grandkids), and friends when you’re camping. We always played Cluedo, Family Feud and of course Monopoly.
“I enjoy the fun of games themselves but more so sittingaround with everyone and that’s why I didn’t want to make this gameelectronic.”
Terry said the design allows peopleto play as simply or strategically as they want with various game elements offering different rewards.
“I had to work out an algorithm for the risk and reward of each ride, exactly the same as when you’re surfing. If you want to take big risks, there’s big rewards or small risks for a small reward.”
The game explores the three main breaks off Bells Beach – The Bowl, Main Break and Rincon, and to depict these locations professional surfimages of someone surfing at eachspot was used.
“For the board back drop I hired a plane and they removed one of the doors. They strapped me into the seat next to the open space and I took the photo myself from the door of the plane.
“That was the most memorablepart of the whole thing. We used a professional surf photographers’ material for the rest of it.
“We also spoke to the Wadawurrung people and toldthem our plan and asked if we could mention them in the board game and their connection with the area.
In the packets there’s a poster of someone surfing, information onthe Wadawurrung people, and Bells Beach history.”
The game is currently stocked at the Strapper Surf Shops and The Australian Surf Museum, the gameis also available online for free delivery anywhere in Australia, go to ridethesurf.com.au.