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Tens of thousands visit The Surf Gallery in its first year

Jacob Morgan-de LaineAlbany Advertiser
Wayne Winchester in The Surf Gallery.
Camera IconWayne Winchester in The Surf Gallery. Credit: Kellie Balaam

Tens of thousands of customers have walked through the door at The Surf Gallery this year with tourists from across the State flocking to the Great Southern.

The Gallery boasts an impressive collection of surfboards, chronicling the evolution from Hawaiian Alaia (a wooden finless surf craft) to the modern performance shortboard.

It has become a popular spot for local groups to come and enjoy the peace and quiet of the south coast whilst enjoying refreshments in the ‘surf shack’ coffee shop.

Gallery owner Wayne Winchester said half of the visitors to the Gallery who came to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the surf shack might not have an interest in the collection of surfboards.

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The idea for people to be drawn in by the impressive collection of historic surfboards whilst enjoying refreshments came after a series of successful exhibits at the Albany Town Hall, Esperance and Denmark.

“Over that Easter holiday, we were open for five days and we had 3000 people come through over those five days; coincidently we sold 3000 coffees as well,” Mr Winchester said.

Mr Winchester has now applied that same business model to The Surf Gallery.

“There is a combination of people that come here, there are the locals, from Denmark and Albany and the tourists obviously,” he said.

“There is also quite a big following of vintage surfboards, so we get a lot of people dropping in purely because they know this is here and it’s a destination.”

Mr Winchester said he was most proud of what The Surf Gallery had been able to provide for the local community.

“That’s something we didn’t expect when we opened up, we thought we would cater to the young travellers but as it turned out the local community has supported us really well,” he said.

The Gallery opened in January last year.

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