From its earliest days surfing has offered the opportunity for self expression, by riding waves, shaping surfboards and personalizing equipment, through decorating them in a meaningful way. Art on surfboards is a significant way surfers have expressed their culture and connection to their craft over the years.

Over time the decoration of surfboards has evolved from carved initials or painted names on solid timber surfboards to geometric shapes and club colours on hollow plywood boards. In the ‘60s pigmented resin panels and stripes gave way to fully airbrushed works of art on highly developed hydrodynamic shapes.

In Australia in the 1970s Martyn Worthington , Shane Egan and Jim Davidson were at the top of their game producing spectacularly detailed art on surfboards. Worthington was inspired by breaking waves the cosmic and metaphysical, Egan by the ocean and fantasy themes like The Lord of the Rings, while Jim Davidson was inspired by natural elements, the ocean, waves, wind , the sky, the sun and surfers at play. Caught somewhere between low-brow and high art this group created beautiful aesthetic objects that could be surfed, surfboards as art!

“The Art of Surfing” exhibition celebrates and explores the stories, work and techniques of these outstanding surfboard artists, it features dazzling examples of their work and tells the story of how it has inspired contemporary artists Christian Chapman and Willy Nicholls to carry that creative torch forward, to continue the tradition of The Art of Surfing. The “Art of Surfing” exhibition runs at the Australian National Surfing Museum from August 2022 until the end of July 2023.


  • Stopped in on a weekend away. I was really impressed with the items in the collection and didn't realise surfing was such an old craft. I learned a lot about the history of surfing, the evolution of the boards and the technology that goes into making a great board. We spent about 1.5 hours in the museum but there us a 90 minute feature film that shows in the theatre, so allow more time if you want to watch the whole thing.

    thumb Annie Lamb

    Wenn Surfing interessiert, dann ist dieses Museum ein Must, das Thema wird spannend präsentiert und mit Viedos untermalt

    thumb Ruedi Vogt

    Well worth the few bucks to head in and see, fantastic service at the counter on the way in which sets the mood for the whole experience

    thumb Robert Bridge
  • Great place to go.

    thumb Janet Williams

    A must see in Torquay

    thumb murat oldaç

    Really well done, although the entry fee of ~$12.50 was a little steep I thought. If they don't have government funding they definitely deserve it

    thumb Asher Middleton
  • Great History of Surfing

    thumb Michael Lappen

    Très bien mais je pense qu'il faut être fan de surf pour l'apprécier d'autant plus car il y a beaucoup de chose à lire et de références.

    thumb Hugo Llorens

    Absolutely awesome history on Australian surfing. Highly recommended!

    thumb Alex Wadsworth

Australian National Surfing Museum

77 Beach Rd
Torquay VIC 3228


9am – 5pm
7 days a week
364 days a year
(Closed Christmas Day)


Adult $12,
Student/Pensioner Concession $8
Child (aged 16 and under) $8
Family $25.

PLEASE NOTE: General admission prices are for self-guided tours with no time limit.

Group Discounts
Please see Education / Group Tours for details.


03 5261 4606
77 Beach Road
Torquay Victoria 3228