Surfers their stories: Will Graham

The 'Surfers their stories' series explores the personal surfing journeys of 12 Australians. This is the story of Will Graham and his extended family that lives and breathes Australian surfing and beach culture.

Will Graham Waikiki (2010) by Liza GrahamAustralian National Surfing Museum

Will Graham

Will Graham was born into a family who’s lives are intricately woven into the fabric of their local surfing community of Torquay, Victoria.

Will Graham with Russell at Waikiki (2010) by Russell GrahamAustralian National Surfing Museum

Will’s grandfather is Russell Graham, who started out making surfboards for World Champion surfer Midget Farrelly in the 1960s.

Russell soon branched out on his own, winding his way down the New South Wales south coast in a bus that was part camper van, part mobile surfboard factory.

"Rusty" and the bus finally landed in Torquay where he fell in love with the place and a girl called Barb.

Will Graham and Russell (2011) by Craig BairdAustralian National Surfing Museum

Rusty was soon managing Rip Curl’s surfboard factory but it wasn’t just surfboards that were being produced, as the growing Graham clan soon had three new additions to their family - Leigh, Corey and Liza (Will’s mum).

As a teenager, Corey followed his father into the surfing industry and was mentored by some of the world’s most respected and influential surfboard shapers. This was quite natural as many of them are family friends and stay with The Graham’s when they are in town.

Will Graham Ocean Grove (2012) by Russell GrahamAustralian National Surfing Museum

In 2005, Liza welcomed the next generation of the surfing clan into the world calling her new born son Will after his grandfather.

It wasn’t long before Will was spending time at the beach but his fist ride on a surfboard came thousands of miles away from Torquay at surfing’s spiritual home, Waikiki in Hawaii.

In the shadow of the statue dedicated to the great Duke Kahanamoku, Will paddled into some of Waikiki’s famous rolling waves and was soon standing proud on the board and heading for the shore.

Back home Will was fairly well positioned to get his very own surfboard proudly shaped by his uncle Corey and fibre glassed and finished by “Poppy”.

Will Graham Grom Comp (2011) by Craig BairdAustralian National Surfing Museum

Will is a super active little 'grommet' (a junior surfer) who loves getting involved with lots of other sports as well as surfing.

He says surfing makes him feel “Really happy inside, especially on your first day catching waves”.

Will loves surfing Raafs beach in Ocean Grove and has regular surf coaching sessions there every Sunday.

“Cameron Lampard is my coach and he helps us lots with tips about surfing” says Will.

Will Graham and new board (2011) by Russell GrahamAustralian National Surfing Museum

With an inherited love of surfing and an extended family that includes some of surfing’s most famous names, Will is set to enjoy a life where his surfing is encouraged and supported by a family that lives and breathes surfing and beach culture.

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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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