World’s first automated surfboard hire system launched in Terrigal

Learning to surf but have no board?

For Terrigal beachgoers, this is no longer a problem, with Automated Activities having launched the world’s first automated surf hire system, Rabbits Surf Hire.

It allows people to rent out either a surfboard or bodyboard from an automated kiosk located next to Terrigal Life Saving Club.

The venture was led by 1978 World Surfing Champion and former CEO and founder of the Association of Surfing Professionals, Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew, and co-founded by locals, Peter Strain, Frank Oxley, and Rod Lennon.

The four of them have worked on the idea for the past three years and CEO of Automated Activities, Peter Strain, said he was proud to be finally launching the system where Oxley, Lennon, and himself learnt to surf in the 1970s.

“We all know the frustration of having to pile the car full of boards when heading to the beach,” Strain said.

“It is so much easier to hire a bodyboard or soft board when you get to the beach, and the real advantage of our hire station is that it is positioned right on the sand.

“The boards are of excellent quality and perfect for experienced surfers to take out as well, so we cover all bases.

“Rabbit lives in Queensland, so we already have a site locked in at Rainbow Bay on the Gold Coast.”

The system was installed at Terrigal in mid-June, following delays due to COVID restrictions, and was open for testing every weekend.

“Winter isn’t a great time really for the beach, but it is a great time to test software and hardware in an environment not suited to electronic equipment,” Strain said.

“This will prepare us for the summer of 2020 and future roll out in new locations in 2021.

“Central Coast Council and Terrigal Surf Club have been very generous in allowing us to position the hire station so close to the beach.

“It brings a new dimension to Terrigal and makes it so much easier for beachgoers to enjoy their experience fully.

“Surfing is part of Australian culture and learning to surf is a great Aussie pastime.

“These days, with the development of the surfboard, it is now a sport you can do for most of your life, and it is super healthy and incredibly fun.

“If you haven’t tried it, get down to Terrigal and give it a go.”

Jacinta Counihan