Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Handboarding 5

Some serious waves in this and another great vid for the handboarding series on this blog with thanks to for the discovery. The blog Handplane Gooddness now added to my follow list.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ummm.... A Carver!

Our home break has changed and so has the nature of the waves that are commonly found there and so the type of boards that are required to successfully ride them also changes.
Remembering previous home break buddy Surfer Pete's recent acquisition and highly praised acquisition of a McTavish Carver, during a recent morning surf, at which the local surf shop owner turned up for a quickie before opening up, I discovered that this very same board was available from said local surf owner's shop and that he had one also and was equally impressed.
"How much for an 8' or so McTavish Carver." I asked?
"Come in to the shop and I will be able to give you a price." he replied!
So the other day I did and a big red 8' 1" Carver is on the way as I write!
So this means that the 7' 4" x 21.5" x 3.15" thruster and 6' 10" x 21.75" x 2.7" fish that Aido shaped to accommodate a big guy such as my good self need to be sold to help to pay for this new acquisition!

Interested in either or both?

Little surfed but popular when conditions are right!

At one of our favourite beaches to walk the dogs that rule our lives, the conditions are normally onshore with massive wave action as it is exposed to the full onslaught of the open ocean.
The grainy picture at the left, as it was taken using Camera Zoom on my iPhone, giving you some idea of the first time the conditions had been ideal in quite a while with offshore winds and a small swell.
We figured that it was likely to be a bit too extreme for us, but we were keen to observe the action if our analysis of the conditions was correct and as it is quite a trek to the actual break the dogs would get a bit of exercise too so off we went.
When we arrived at the car park it was chockers with surf wagons and as we crested the hill that overlooks the break about 10 surfers could be seen partaking of the spoils.
So up the beach we trekked to find a quite reasonable channel closed out by the occasional bigger sets with a jumbled array of waves which occasionally set up nicely with barrels left off the peak if one was up and able to pull in quickly enough.
We must have spent 45 minutes or so watching the antics of the riders who displayed varying degrees of skill and gender before we trekked our way back up the beach ( me carrying Hermyne all the way as she had apparently sprained one of her back legs ) eager to get into the water ourselves at a less extreme location as it was apparent that the wind had changed in our favour.
However, I would like to have the courage one day to take a bodyboard out there and get some of the barrels that were on offer.

Monday, November 30, 2009

How sweet is this?

With thanks to "The Endless Bummer"

Monday Morning Wave!

Yesterday, I had a great time in similar conditions and wave size to the pic but envisage mainly longboards rather than shortboards. I almost took out a bodyboard because, when we arrived, there were already a few in but I am glad I didn't as it was fine for a longboard session. It got a bit nasty inside and I did come a bit of a cropper at one point being too greedy and staying on the wave longer than I should have. So today I am suffering from quite a painful calf muscle which received a good whack when I fell on top of my board! We have been in the water every weekend since we moved here so Denmark continues to deliver consistently which is awesome.
As you will have gathered from the last few posts, we have had the paddleboards out quite a bit over the last few weeks and yesterday, I was really feeling the benefits of that as I felt very strong paddling around out there. SUPs are such a great crap day option to keep your fitness up. Get yourself one!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

15 - 18 foot Sunset.............

and some poor buggar is in for a terrible beating.
Vans Triple Crown Contest Director Randy Rarick's call? “Of all the places in the world, this is one where you call a contest off because it’s ‘too big’ rather than ‘too small’”
So the Gidget Pro Sunset Beach, Event No. 7 of 8 on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour is off for the day and I'll bet the girls were relieved about that!

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I had heard that there was a whale carcass 500 metres around the bay, but it was still a bit of a shock to see that it had travelled from there back up through the inlet opening and close to a kilometre up the beautiful Prawn channel!
Families come here to swim and fish, so hopefully it is far enough up not to attract too many very large fish!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Handboarding 4

Red Wings Memorial Handboarding 2009 World Titles

Handboarding 3

Thanks to Look and Sea for finding this one.

3 days on the SUP and really knackered!

The swell has been pretty small over the weekend so, Michelle and I decided our SUP's were the waveriding vehicle of choice. The conditions were different each day from

1. Light to medium offshore which was great to

2. Strong side shore, bearable for awhile and

3. Medium onshore which was a right royal pain in the arse

Both of us are feeling like we learning more about the art of the SUPing and improving our techniques. We even got around to cutting down our paddles but might have gone a little too far. I was happy with mine but Michelle was feeling like hers was too short but it had been far too long for her, so much so that she was not able to have her top hand on the top of the paddle at all.
From the getting a workout point of view, SUPing is just fantastic. We launch up the inlet a few hundred metres and paddle down "Prawn Channel" to the inlet opening and then out to where the waves are hopefully breaking. After a session out there we then need to paddle back to where the Feroza is parked and so have enjoyed the full benefits to body that standing up and paddling on a surfboard provides. Meanwhile, riders on shorter lie down wavecraft. even longboards, spend their time sitting around and getting very little exercise at all! Why would you bother! SUPing? Just love it!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

3 days of waveriding in a row!

So glad we moved to Denmark as it is living up to my expectations surfwise already. I rode 4 different wavecraft, the fish the first day, the longboard (briefly) and bodyboard the next and the SUP yesterday.
On Friday, I dropped Michelle off early at the airport so as she could deliver the paper, she has been working on for months, at the Creative Margins Research Conference at Curtin University.
Following the completion of the 120km roundtrip to do so, I took the opportunity to check out the surf. It was small as I expected necessitating a long, long trek around the bay to 2nd Reef.
Cici happened to be returning with a couple of others after their session and recommended I took the longboard as the waves were a good size but fat and a bit difficult to get on.
However, I could not bear the thought of attempting to traverse the cliff path with the 9' 6" Walden and then make the 20 minute trek up the beach, so I thought, even though I have not ridden it for months, I would take the 6' 10" fish. I still managed to give my left quad a bit of a pull on the way down the the cliff path and 20 minutes later I was paddling out towards the peak already regretting that I had not chosen the longboard. There were 4 riders all on longboards and struggling to get on the waves, even though they were a very reasonable size, so I just knew I would not have a hope of competing with them so it was paddle back in and go a little further up the beach to a smaller but peakier wave.
It wasn't really big enough for me on the fish and as I am so surf unfit still after months of building a house, rather than surfing, I just could not pop up and had forgotten where to stand on it as I have been riding the longboard mostly on the rare opportunities that we have managed to get a surf in Albany.
Eventually another rider came out, longboard of course grrr, wish I had bought mine, and the wave suddenly started to work a little better so I half got a few rides before eventually calling it a day and trekking back up the beach, swotting the bloody flies and being cautious to avoid the tiger snake that I know was lurking in the bushes beside the path at the top of the cliff.
In the evening I drove back to Albany, marvelling at the amount of lightning and thunder that Michelle was going to be subjected to on the flight back. This resulted in her being delayed by half an hour as the pilot was forced to circle over Albany city for awhile to avoid the thunderstorm sitting above the airport to move. She was so relieved to be back on the ground she had to force herself not to kiss the tarmac, I got that instead.
The next day Michelle and I headed out on a beautiful morning to find even less swell than the day before. So it was out with the longboard for me and my 6' 10" fish for her as we attempted to find a wave in front of the clubhouse. Well, there just wasn't one so I headed back in, dumped the longboard, trekked back up to the carpark to get my bodyboard and flippers with the idea of heading further up the beach where it looked at least a little bigger if a bit more onshore. As I was heading up Michelle was on the way out of the water having also given up and followed me up the beach. Well, what a great little but powerful left I found resulting in a terrific session with my last wave being particularly good. Michelle also enjoyed herself across the hole on the right before eventually joining me on the left.

On the third day, we decided that the swell may even be smaller, it wasn't actually, and that we would take out our Walden SUP's for the first time in months and months.
We parked up the inlet a bit and launched, with some trepidation. "Uhh - can we still remember how to do this?". We did still remember - and with a following light onshore wind successfully paddled up the inlet, picked up our boards for a short traverse across the sand, relaunched in the main channel and continued paddling towards the opening and the bigger than we had thought it would be swell. The conditions were fine for a SUP session with little chop.
I had forgotten how rewarding it is to stand up on a board and paddle and paddle I did over towards, with some doubt as to the likelyhood of a positive reaction to my arrival, a couple of longboarders who fortunately did not seem to perturbed by my arrival.
I stayed well outside them and waited for a likely wave to attempt catching.
Ummm - well I had forgotten how to do this important part of the SUP experience and it was quite some number of attempts before I finally got on to a left, my first on a paddleboard I think, gingerly dropping my paddle in behind to the left of the board to maintain some sort of line across the wave. A short but fun ride! I caught a couple more and then decided to visit Michelle who was on a peak in front of the inlet.
As I got there I realised that the offshore wind effect was much stronger and so she was not a happy girl as she was not able to get up enough speed to get on to a wave at all and was feeling like she was over this SUP thing. $@#*^ boards to big can't %#*& turn it I'm a $@#*^ shortboard rider! $#@&*^. She was also not able to grab the top of her paddle as we have not got around to cutting it down for her and so that was also contributing to the frustration, I believe. Anyway, we decided to call it a day and headed back towards the inlet opening which was now a bit of a struggle as the wind was really strong and I was forced to lie down paddle for a bit before the incoming waves started pushing me up the channel. There was a small and intense "That dog is drowning incident!" as we made our way slowly up the channel before we were forced to drag our SUP's along the edge of the inlet to a point where we could drag our boards back across the sand to relaunch and return to where the 4wd was parked. Suddenly, before our eyes, another SUP cruised towards us from another channel we had not realised went all the way to the opening from where we had parked the Feroza, so we relaunched and had the most pleasant paddle back.
Michelle was feeling a bit more positive about it all by now, which was great, and we left for a well deserved lunch knowing that we would be choosing the SUP's more often in the future!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

1st resident of Denmark surf!

I forgot to mention that, having finally moved into the new Denmark house on Saturday, we scored a surf on Monday afternoon.
After days of South Easterly winds, thunderstorms were forecast for late in the day on Monday, so we knew the wind would be more favourable even if it meant surfing amongst the thunder, lightening and rain ( luckily surfing is a wet weather sport! ).
In the morning we had to return to Albany to take a few things to the auction and get the rest of the bigger furniture items into the garage ready to picked by Good Sammys.
We got back to Denmark around 2.30pm, loaded up Gerty the i30, just as it was starting to set in, raced down to Ocean Beach to find a pleasant little wave working off the usual bank near the point. We surfed in rain, thunder and lightening for awhile before it eventually passed through and was quite pleasant.
There were just a few people out at first but then it got a bit busy understandably.
Apparently it was much better in the morning with head high sets and long rides, but I got a couple of beauties on the 9' 6" Walden Magic ( it is a terrific longboard wave! )and got out after an hour and half or so a happy boy!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Checking the surf conditions

One of the most useful sites I use to check the surf around here is the data from the Near Real Time Wave Data site run by the DPI here in Western Australia.
It is particularly useful, not only because it provides close to up to the minute wave conditions, but local sea and swell direction which can be highly influential on the prevailing conditions.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Handboarding 2

Hayes handboards

Even legends like TC are into SUP!

Great SUP footage!

Love the foot movement, particularly how he moves into a surfing position as soon as he starts paddling hard rather than waiting until he has actually caught the wave and the switchfoot near the end. A great demonstration of the possibilities a SUP provides for the rider even on a small wave. Thanks to Blane Chambers at Stand up Zone.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Surf Shack is complete!

Well, enough so as we can move in now and get the place insured thank goodness!
The colour scheme is the product of the resident artist's imagination although to be truthful the blue floor covering with the black inserts arose out of necessity more than design but looks purty anyway!
Full details from go to wo of the project to build a new home for ourselves over the next little while at my latest blog "The Surf Shack"

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sunday, September 27, 2009

It's on again!

Well done Mick, two in a row and now only a miniscule 146 points behind the big carver who got knocked out early in shitty small surf and must be hanging for an event with a bit of swell size.
Bede Durbridge is skulking a little further back in 4th, but CJ and Slats are also still in the top 5, so all set for a cracker of a contest. Roll on Mundaka and an Aussie 1-2-3 finish at the end of the 2009 tour!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Finally got in the water again after 5 weeks!

Well it wasn't fantastic but at least we were able to get in today. It looks like there is a much better set up since the inlet reopened with more of the sand going in the right direction and big swells in recent weeks helping to create some banks.
I took the longboard out initially and got a couple of little waves ( God I could barely get up it has been so long ) until the wind became too strong. As I was feeling like I needed a bit more of a workout, I decided it was time I tried out my POD hand board that I bought months ago but had not used at all. So it was on with the fins and I can report it is a damned fine piece of equipment allowing one to get terrific lift out of the wave because:
The concave shaped bottom and keel fin will ensure rapid elevation onto the wave and excellent wave-holding attributes. The result is less drag as the bodysurfers body is raised out of the water, leaving only the handboard and the tips of the fins in the water, giving maximum speed, lift and control.
Heartily recommended for a lots of fun and a good workout when the waves are not too flash!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Still no surf :-(

We didn't even bother looking this week as the swell has been far too big from the views I have had of the bay on the way home from Denmark.
There was a glimmer of hope though, as our neighbour Carl in Denmark claims to have had a surf at "The Point" last Friday evening. This was a surprise to hear, as the last few times we have looked, the banks still seemed to be non existent! Maybe this week sometime you say? Well no as I just checked the forecast and the wind is cranking up and the swell is rising to 7 metres tomorrow - Bummer!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Crap again!

Yesterday, for the 3rd week in a row, we left the beach without getting a surf at all.
It was lumpy and straight which was probably caused because the inlet had opened again which destroyed what little there was of the existing banks. So it was back home and off to the Denmark house to continue the final fitting out.
Very frustrating and I feel like I am starting to lose some degree of my surf fitness.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Wish we got waves like this around here more often. Nice to have a choice to either take off deep or way out on the shoulder depending on your whim/expertise/courage at the time.

courtesy of Musica Surfica Mick at safetosea

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Korduroy TV have got started and of particular interest for this blog is the video series called "All Yew" which features 2 - 4 minute shows about people making and riding wave craft born from their imagination including anything from toilet lids to thrusters!
There are two so far, one from Tom Wegener and the other about the Patagonia Alaia shaping event

Heydon Bunting - Seaworthy

I had to post this sequence as it so encapsulates what this blog is all about. An important part in the film & the underlying message is inherently clear: the credo of 'ride everything' isn't about trying to be one of the cool kids, it's about broadening one's experiences as a surfer & engaging with the sea in deeper ways.

Seaworthy is the long awaited second offering from independent filmmaker Nathan Oldfield, the maker of the highly regarded and award winning underground surf film Lines from a Poem.

Nearly three years in the making, Seaworthy documents a variety of individuals and the different ways that they approach wave riding.

The film presents a left of center look at the diversity in surfing, including the riding of alaias, olos, singlefins, twins, thrusters, quads, fish, logs, toothpicks, surfmats, and body surfing.

It's a unique, intimate and timeless perspective of surfing, surfers and the environment in which they live and find their being.

Beautifully shot and artistically constructed, Seaworthy features Tom Wegener, Beau Young, Dave Rastovich, Alex Knost, Dane Peterson, Belinda Baggs-Peterson, Sage Joske, Heath Joske, CJ Nelson, Heydon Bunting, Matt Chojnacki, Carl Gonsalves, Sean Finnelley and others.

Check out Nathan's blog at Look & Sea

Monday, August 3, 2009

Hand Surfing!

Just had to post this weeks Monday Morning Wave from Surfer's Path. What a great pic!

Definitely a sandbank at the point!

Finally got a surf today at the point! There is definitely a nice build up of sand there and if you catch it in the right conditions it works just fine.
It was something like the pic to the left but steeper and quicker with some bigger sets coming through.
So out came the bodyboard and I got 6 waves straight away before I could get a bit of a breather. I even got into a barrel momentarily. How do I know? I wasn't expecting it and got flipped over before I could set the rail.
Michelle brought her bodyboard out also and was a happy camper after the session too.
Having felt we really needed some reward for the slogging effort we have put into the building project for the last 2 weeks it was nice to finally receive it!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Uh Oh!!!!!

I think all of us who ride waves have been somewhere like this before.
Oh, me you ask, well the last I can remember is the day I face planted on the front of my SUP in flat water!! Michelle cracked up and delights in telling of the incident at every opportunity.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Our surf wagon!

Thought I'd post a pic of our brilliant little Feroza that we use to get out to most of the surf spots around here.
I ended up taking a couple of pics of it because after getting one quite decent right......

the wind went cross shore and the tide turned causing the cold, cold brown water from the inlet
to flow out resulting in

the wave straightening up completely from the little it had been working!!!!
Oh well, there will always be another day and at least I got one wave whereas Michelle paddled out, straight back in again and that was it for her!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Stoke? Staying down inside the wave!

I have really enjoyed rediscovering the fun that choosing to ride a body board delivers.
For me, one of the most exciting aspects of wave riding is seeing, as one is taking off, a wall such as that depicted above stretching out ahead.
If I am riding the fish or longboard, as soon as I stand up, I lose that perspective particularly as I don't ride waves more than head height normally as more than that scares the shit out of me.
My great discovery re bodyboarding is that the perspective is retained and that just totally amps up the buzz in a session.
The confidence I have gained, means that I am now more willing to take off on my fish or longboard when I see this view rather than choosing to opt out.
Still learning!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


What all of us would like to see as we walk expectantly over the final dune.
Muchos gracias to 6ftnperfect for happening to be there!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Denmark River inlet opening

Hundreds of people turn up to watch and this year was no exception.
They choreograph this event wonderfully with a massive digger commencing to dig the 3 metre wide trench some hours before the official opening time of 1pm.
This picture shows the now somewhat wider trench 24 hours later and the sand moving up towards the point just where we want it to go!

From above the point looking back towards the inlet opening, here is how it should look once it settles down.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Looking forward to our new local break

It has been a pretty ordinary winter of surfing so far here in Albany.
A couple of days ago, Michelle and I took a bit of a break from cladding inside our new home and checked out what was happening surfwise at Ocean Beach which is the main break in Denmark. It was going off around the beach from head high down and totally glassed off. Surfers were running from everywhere to partake of the spoils.
So yesterday, Michelle and I popped our boards on the i30 just in case there was still a nice wave at Ocean Beach that we could partake of before another building session at the Denmark block.
And it delivered right in front of the clubhouse, a small and shapely uncrowded wave pretty similar to the pic on the left. If I didn't actually know the source of that image, I would swear that was Michelle riding the wave. We were so impressed that we have pretty well given up on Albany wave riding and left our longboards up in Denmark ready to use again very soon!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tube Riding!?

Unbelievably, courtesy of a mate of mine Dumbleyung Dave, photos of me tube riding have turned up some 30+ years before I actually took up surfing?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

..........are not always human!

Some of these guys really seem to know what they are doing!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Amazing Alaia!

I still don't get how these skinny little boards seem to do the job they do.
Thanks go to TCSS for finding this video.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Handboarding anyone?

It's bloody freezing but Gordon is still out there doing it. Love his central heated Kombi!

And here is some more bodysurfing action for you -

Saturday, May 23, 2009

So close Taj!

A classy 2nd at Teahupoo 2009 giving Joel something to think about and Mick still there too with 3 Aussies leading the World Tour!
Ripper stuff boys!

Luke Egan shows us the way!

Looking forward to getting out on the Walden 10" 10" again soon when the conditions are suitable!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lord Adam Melling!

Lennox Head surfer Adam Melling won the Scottish round of the 2009 Cold Water Classic.

Apart from winning $20, 000, he also gained lordship over 10sqft of the Scottish Highlands and a big beautiful sword.
No wonder winning this event is so coveted by the competitors.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Cold Water Classic Scotland on now

The Scottish round of the O'Neill Cold Water Classic is being held at Thurso in the far north in great waves and is well worth watching which you can do live!

Gee It was nice to ride a wave standing up yesterday!

Yesterday, after a few weeks of waves that were only fun to ride on the bodyboard, a beautiful autumn day of sunshine, light wind and green water saw the point was working well enough for me to decide the longboard might be an option and it was.
Just 4 of us out, yep that was a 4, and patiently waiting for the right wave and bingo 4 good clean rides and one particularly good one. Not big but nice shape and plenty of speed with the opportunity to insert a couple of turns. A similar wave to the one in the pic of me above at another local break but think right rather than left.
Then it was up to the block to whack up a couple more sheets of colorbond on the ceiling - so nice to be finally starting to fit the new house out internally. A good day!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Not in there yet but can feel it will happen soon!

Now that we have finished cladding our house, Yay!, Michelle and I were able to take the day off yesterday and go surfing for the 2nd day in a row.
It was a bit lumpy, messy, fat and crowded at the main break yesterday but there was still a bit of shape. As I had not had a stand up surf for a few sessions I took my longboard out got a couple and then it promptly went off as the tide was coming in and as I have no patience with persevering in that situation I got out.
Michelle was back at the point, so I drove back there, the crowd was 3 and there was some shape amongst the close outs. As it was a bit quick I turned to my new best friend "The Big Bruddah" and got a few crackers and was so close to getting barrelled on one wave.
I am really enjoying that while wave riders on hard boards are struggling with the conditions, I am able to reap a harvest of great rides on the bodyboard and am fast becoming a convert to this exhilarating and highly efficient form of wave riding.

I have always been a little intrigued by George Greenough and recently purchased the movie Alby Falzon made about him "Crystal Voyager".
George is completely unable to cope with crowded conditions and so searches out less than perfect uncrowded waves which of course he is able to have a great session on either using his mat or knee board.

I was intrigued that he would take both a mat and his "spoon" kneeboard when he was paddling over to the break from his boat.
The reason of course, is that the spoon has barely any flotation and so he used the mat to get himself there and left that on the outside while he surfed the spoon. I can guess that he became a mat rider because it would have occurred to him to give it a go when the waves were unsuitable for the "spoon".
I wonder why he did not take to a bodyboard also when they were invented - Strange?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Those good old negative ions

Finally, Michelle and I got in the water today for a surf after about 3 weeks of being on dry land because we have been flat out building to try and get our new home to lock up before the the rain starts to arrive. Nearly there.
Anyway, after the surf, I just felt fantastic and was really up and particularly cheerful for the rest of the day.
It was nothing to do with the quality of the surf though as it was close out crap and I took my bodyboard out.
So there must be something in the negative ion theory and I think I got a particularly powerful dose because I was on the bodyboard. More immersed than usual in breaking waves and of course because more waves can be caught leading to an aerobically robust and thorough workout.
Michelle just popped in and inquired what I was doing and she has confirmed that she felt the same bouyancy after the surf today also which I had not realised further confirming that something is going on.
Here is an extract from an article on the website.

When ocean waves crash onto a beach, they could be doing more than entertaining beach goers. Moving water, moving air and sunlight all cause air molecules to break apart, releasing charged atoms, or ions, into the atmosphere. Some scientists claim that there is an abundance of negatively charged ions in sea air and that they could have health benefits which range from better circulation to improved moods. A lot of people have enough faith in these effects to purchase negative ion generators for their homes. But have these curative claims ever been satisfactorily verified?


Negative ions in the air caused by rolling waves could have health benefits for surfers.

Ions in Sea Air

Ocean air contains a high percentage of ions which a surfer will inevitably encounter in their quest to find the perfect wave. These mainly come from ions of sodium, magnesium, chloride and sulphate present in sea water.

Sodium, the main positive ion found in sea water, is also found in extra-cellular fluids in our bodies. These fluids, such as blood plasma, bathe cells and carry out important transport functions for nutrients and waste. Positive magnesium ions are also used by the body and are an ingredient of some medicines like Epsom salts, which are commonly used to treat aches and pains. Negative chloride ions also play an important physiological role in the central nervous system and in transporting protein around the body.

So now I am thinking of purchasing an ioniser for the new house!