Surfing WA honours Jim King with life membership

Western Australian surfing legend Jim King has been honoured in WA surf history with a life membership from Surfing WA.

For more than five decades Mr King has contributed to the sport through his involvement in board riding clubs and curating the sport's history in Western Australia.

Mr King is an active custodian of the WA Surf Gallery which he helped establish at Aravina Estate and maintains the website Surfing Down South where he sources incredible stories from the past and present.

Surfing WA chief executive Mark Lane said his contribution to surfing and board riding clubs dates back to the 1960's.

"It was about 1965 when Jim was first involved with the City Beach Board Riders and then had various positions with the WA Surf Riders Association," he said.

"He was a member for many years winning several events and more recently he started to document that history.

"For him to do that in such a detailed way assisted with the creation of the WA Surf Gallery, and he has put all his energy into that.

"It is only fitting that he is bestowed a life membership to an outstanding contribution to surfing in this state.

"He is a beautiful man who does a fantastic job."

Mr King said it was a big surprise to receive a life membership from Surfing WA.

"I never considered that would happen to me, it is a big honour," he said.

"My name is now on a vintage surfboard in gold with all the other life members, my name is up there with all these famous people such as Taj Burrow, Jake Patterson and Jodie Cooper."

Mr King started documenting WA's surfing history a decade ago when his old club at City Beach held a 50 year reunion.

"As a former president I thought I would document their 50 year history and asked people for their photos," he said.

"It was a big success, I had all these photos so in 2014 author Sue-Lyn Moyle recruited Kevin Merrifield, Murray Smith and myself to document the South West surfing history.

"We did the Surfing Down South book and had all these photos left over when we had finished, so Sue-Lyn started a website and Facebook page, then she dumped it on me.

"So tentatively I started putting up photos while I gradually grew more confident putting a few words together, it just grew from there and seven years later I am still doing it.

"I have done over 700 stories in that time."

Mr King threatened to pull out and go back to fishing with his brother in the tinny but was persuaded to stick with it by the local community who held a secret night for him at Caves House.

"I thought I was going along to watch one of my mate's renew his wedding vows, but it turned out it was a presentation night for me where they gave me surfboards and trophies to continue.

"Now they reckon I am obligated to keep doing these stories."

Mr King says he is not a journalist but a conduit where people go to him with stories and photographs and he records it for them.

"I can see value in it now, I put it all together and restore old photos, it keeps everybody happy," he said.