Tuesday, March 31, 2009

It's been too long a wait since Sprout

Great poster and it's been 5 long years before finally a new surf movie from TC. Can't wait to see it.

Here is the trailer which apparently does not do the film justice.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cold Water Classic 2009!

Now this looks like it will be worth following through the year and available live of course.
5 events in Tasmania, Scotland, South Africa, Canada and California.
The Tasmanian event has just finished with Jordy Smith claiming the title in cranking Southern Ocean waves. They remind me so much of how the surf is where I live on the opposite side of Australia and also on the south coast.
Great videos here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Great - another solid and quality read!

In the tradition of Surfers Path, Journal and Surfing World another quality read both online and in your sweaty palm if you so desire.
Enter Kurangabaa - a journal full of inspiring, informative and interesting surfing related articles, stories, interviews, art, essays and poetry. Best of all its completely advertisement free and its all quality writing. Do yourself a favour and check out Kurungabaa. You can subscribe on their website and they also take contributions from writers and artists of all kinds.
‘Kurungabaa’ is a Dharawal word for the Australian pelican, a handsome bird with a peculiar way of gliding low over the waves. We have chosen it to express respect for the Dharawal country where we love to surf, to celebrate the continuing culture of the Dharawal people, and to acknowledge the memory of the Dharawal people’s ancestors.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

1st footage from the Helmet Cam!

Roland, Michelle and myself enjoying a small but sunny session in a beautiful and clear autumn ocean and captured with wide angle Hero Helmet Cam.
The accompanying audio is called Dance and is created by yours truly using Logic Studio.

Friday, March 20, 2009

How to have fun on a crap day!

Summer is a shit of a time to be a waverider over here on the South Coast of West OZ as I am sure it is in many other parts of this great more sunburnt than it used to be land of ours.
Michelle has recently taken to using the bodyboard I had bought her a couple of years ago when the conditions are less than ideal for a stand up surf.
As she was going in the other day and I was staying out for a little longer even though it was crap, I asked her to give me a shot on her booger.
As a consequence of that fun, fun little session, I have equipped myself with a bodyboard again which is what I used to do before stand up surfing.
As I am a chunky guy to say the least, I went online to search for the biggest and best I could find and it turned out to be a 45" BZ Big Bruddah from the guys at BoogerKing.
I have used it for the last 3 out of 4 surf sessions we have had and:
1. It is a crankin' beast - stiff and fast!
2. Bodyboarding is a better work out on a crap day than sitting around on a stand up board.
3. Damn near got barrelled the other day!
4. There is something great about being that close to the water - a George Greenough realisation me thinks.
5. We are getting out there for a session when in the past we probably would not have bothered with just stand ups available.
6. I am having a solid good time out there.
7. I am looking forward to trying it out when it is a bit bigger and cleaner.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Surfer's Path

I am a great fan of "The Surfer's Path" a magazine I consider to be one of the finest that is available.
It has:
1. Fantastic images from all over the world and I mean everywhere
2. A strong environmental conscious being printed on recycled paper and supporting green issues relating to the coastal environment again everywhere in the world.
3. Fabulous stories
4, Excellent technical articles on the formation, creation etc of waves.
5. Every Monday I receive a Monday Morning Wave in the email which all appear in the "Waves" slideshow to the right.

High surf - Tim Baker - An inspiring and confirming read

Being a latecomer to wave riding and having experienced it's transformative powers I am always interested to read about other wave riders experiences.
Tim Baker (whose words we have all read at sometime) has published "High Surf" which explores the lives of inspiring wave riders their take on the ocean as a teacher.
Well worth a read as is his recent biography of Occy.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

2009 WCT - Can the Aussies continue to dominate?

Three Aussies, Taj, Mick and Parko (and Bede was not far away either) got to the semifinals with Parko winning through in the end.
Could be a special year if it ends in a 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th domination by some combination of the four of them!!
My pick - Parko (Shit! If Mick can do it, I bloody well can too) to go all the way with the perennial runner up Taj (2nd highest money earner on the tour after Kelly Slater) doing it again.

And you thought Stand-up paddle surfing was tame?

Worried your boards might get stolen?

I have wanted these lockable straps for awhile now and Michelle was kind enough to purchase a pair for me for Christmas this year. At most locations we surf, we don't bother to lock them as we can still see our little 4wd and keep an eye out.
But it is nice to do so when we can't see our valuable boards.
We have the 4 metre Tour model ( with yellow casings ) which easily handle 4 boards.
Well worth considering.
So norcal surfer girl, no excuse for not taking that longboard on top of the Mini Cooper S if you have a pair of these!

Our Walden SUP is on the way!

Michelle and I have, for some period of time, been toying with the idea of getting into stand up paddle boarding to more amenably cope with the poor summer surfing period.
After researching many different boards, last Friday, partly because because I have been very happy with my 9' 6" Walden Magic longboard, we splashed out on a 10' 10" Walden SUP which utilises a step deck design and :
"integrates the famous original Magic Model rocker combined with concaves for stability and V-bottom for turning. This makes the ride loose yet stable and turning is easy. Completely versatile for surf or cruising flat water. As stable as a much longer board with the width and concave. It also features a 3/4 length traction pad that is counter sunk into the deck of the surfboard and comes with a 9" centre fin and FCS SW side fins."

Update We now both have a SUP each and can vouch for:
  1. It is a hell of a lot harder than it looks ( I managed to face plant on the front of mine the first day I had a go ).
  2. It is a hell workout and particularly good for the core muscles so great as an off season alternative.
  3. It is very difficult to work out where to be to catch a wave and even if you do know you have to know nice and early otherwise you will not be where you want to be at the right time.

First time footage of me surfing with some mates!

Hand held by Michelle, I make my appearance nearer to the end, you can't miss it!

My first surf video

And it was edited on my new 24" iMac!

I bought a new Longboard!

I use to own 2 BIC longboards, a 9' high performance and 10' traditional.
In the last few months it is rare I would choose to use the 10' BIC at all so I decided to just get one longboard to replace the 2 BICs.
I took both boards down to my shaper Aido's shop and they were eventually purchased by the local surfriders club.
I have replaced these two boards with a 9' 6" Walden Magic Model and magic it is!
Although the conditions I have tried it in have not been that flash I think it is going to be great fun. It nose rides so easily, has a lovely soft take off that is very confidence inspiring and looks like it will turn easily even though it is 9' 6". I cannot wait for a day when the swell is bigger and I have a chance to test it's carving ability on a decent face.
I had not intended to by a Walden initally but a couple of them turned up in the local surf shop at an excellent price as they had come from a warehouse sale. I did a bit of research into them and they got a good rap everywhere so I decided to take the chance.
I had not realised that Steve Walden is attributed the honour of designing the first modern longboard and that this shape has been in development for over twenty years.
It has an interesting design with a concave nose that flows to the middle of the board where it transforms into double concave hulls extending to the tail with a moderate vee.
Rails are hard in the rear and softer toward the nose to maintain responsiveness in all conditions.
Although the rails tend to be harder than most other longboards', the unique bottom curve and bevelled rails stop them catching, unlike most other hard-railed boards.
My 9' BIC (which is a great little! board) also had bevels which I have found to be a great innovation so the fact that they were likely to have been copied from the Walden design sealed the deal for me.
Anyway I think it is going to be a great all rounder and I am looking forward to exploring it further!

Shark Alert!

Maybe it is time to buy a Shark Shield?
This was something like the sight that Michelle was confronted with last year in Autumn as we were having a pleasant surf to end the day! The salmon are running at this time of year and there is always a bit of shark activity but this is the first time that we have been so close to the action. Following Michelle's sighting she left the water and started to alert the rest of us just as it apparently had a bit of a go at another surfer and that was when I finally realised that something was happening and made my way in also. Needless to say we didn't go back in but some of the others did! Not willing to push my luck and understandable as I saw on the news this evening that a 16 year old was attacked on the north coast of New South Wales and died because of it! Just so unlucky!

And how it can be on a different day! Bloody Hell!

Find more videos like this on Shred or Die

Not real keen on the Bra Boys idea of what riding waves is about!

An even better barrel video and it is our very own "Parko!"

Winner today of the 2009 Quicksilver Pro surfed in 3 metre barrels at Kirra for the first time in 12 years!

Ever wondered what it must be like surfing inside a barrel!?

I have! One day maybe!

My first surfing adventure!

After 5 years of surfing, I experienced for the first time what it must have been like for surfers in the old days!
On yet another unproductive search for a wave at one of my usual surfing spots, my mate Surfer Pete who was also on the lookout for a wave, talked Michelle and I into to checking out a secret spot he had been going to with some success recently.
Well. what a day that turned out to be!
We rolled up to the lookout spot to find the wave at the point was not working but that a wave a fair way up the beach looked promising.
Finally, after 5 years of trudging up beaches, I have a 4-wheel drive vehicle so we were able to follow Surfer Pete down a narrow track and park amongst the trees at a spiff little camping spot above the beach. This was as far as we could take the vehicles so we changed in to our wetsuits and headed down the hill over the sand dunes and trudged up the beach.
It is always with a mixture of excitement and trepidation that you enter the water at a new spot as it takes a little time to familiarise with the local conditions.
Is it rippy and how strong is the rip?
How are the waves - crumbly, fat, powerful, dumping, perfect!
Where is the take off point?
What to use as landmarks to maintain position?
How does the place feel to be in the water at? - pleasant, foreboding!
Well, this spot was fantastic and I had the best surf I have had for sometime. It felt good to be in the water there although I am sure it would get a little nasty if the swell had been bigger. Michelle and I both vowed to keep this one a secret which is hard to do after a good session like that as you are busting to tell people about it!
Can't wait to go back there and try the wave off the point next time if it is working!
Thanks Pete!

StandUp Paddle boarding - Definitely the next thing I will be doing!

I reckon this form of surfing is going to become huge! Which is a bit of a worry actually but I will be part of it by the end of this year I hope!
I am currently researching suitable boards available in Australia.
The best value I have been able to find so far is an NSP 11' which retails for $899AUS.
It is 25" wide and 4" thick and should work well for anybody up to 100kilos.

There are others that are available but much more expensive such as the new Surftech Laird Hamilton 12' 1' board, which retails for $2000AUS.
This board is 31" wide and 4.13" thick.

A decent paddle will cost about $400 and a C4 Waterman seems to be the choice pick.

Here is another video to check out!

4 of the best ever surf movies re-released

Bunyip Dreaming
Green Iguana
Sons of Fun

Jack McCoy has finally re-released these gems on DVD. First released back in the early nighties(1990, 1992,1993 and 1994) they set the standard for the surf genre movie from then on.

I bought this superb collection for myself for my birthday on Wednesday and at $50AUS they are worth every cent.

Check the trailer then do yourself a favour - go and get 'em!

Surfers around the world fear the waves are getting too crowded!

There is concern amongst surfers everywhere that it will just not be possible to get a ride if too many amongst the global mice community decide to take up surfing.

It has been calculated that every home in the world has at least two mice with many other mice choosing to live outdoors. There could be carnage not only on the waves but on the roads as millions of mice make their way to their favourite surf break.

The newly formed organisation HAMS "Humans against mice surfing" has launched a campaign to inform the public of the emerging menace and to lobby governments around the world to ban mice surfing in the interests of mice safety.

The wave hogs were out in force!

Sometime ago, I went for a surf (without Michelle as she was still too ill and let me know how unhappy she was about that - her parting shot being - "I hope you drown!") and it was pretty busy as there was only really one channel working.

Anyway, the crowded conditions were made even more frustrating due to the wave hogs and one in particular!
He has to have every wave and he gets them too as he rides a longboard giving him some advantage. Instead of getting his wave and then allowing others onto the peak he will paddle straight back to the spot. Incidentally, he is perfectly capable of riding a short board but clearly chooses not to for obvious reasons. I ride a longboard too when conditions are appropriate although I prefer a shortboard, but I am aware of the advantage a longboard provides and I make sure I give others a shot at the waves also.

Now his daughter has also recently taken up surfing and she is starting to pick up some of her father's ways which is not a good thing - particularly good at sitting on the inside in the way of the take off point for surfers on shorter boards particularly frustrating for my mate Roland who had the pleasure of surfing with these greedy bastards for the first time!

Another guy, who is a real miseryguts and also a renowned wave hog (who also rides a longboard) had just left the water as I got there so it could have been worse. He was the guy that ran over my previous poodle, Simba, at the same beach a couple of years a go. Poor bastard he must feel terrible about that. I hope so!

An acquaintance of mine and also a mate of the wave hog first mentioned rides a slightly shorter board and he continually snakes you!

So all in all it was a frustrating session but I think next time we are all out (Roland, Michelle and I) we will finally be doing something about it.
Roland is just going to sit inside Number 1 wave hog on his small board for the whole session, Michelle and I will use longboards to get around Number 4 everytime he goes for a wave and give Number 2 a bit of a watching over.
Then maybe they will get the message and learn to share! I think it is imperative to do so especially as it is getting busier out there nowadays.

Anybody out there got some effective ideas to deal with wave hogs? Let me know if you do?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Are you a waverider?

You are if you:
1. Don't take yourself too seriously.
2. Don't scrabble about on a shortboard when the waves are too small and are too dumb to have some other alternative and more appropriate (maybe longer?) form of water craft.
3. Are stoked to share and call other riders on to a wave.
4. Have a quiver of all sorts of wave riding craft so you can take a smaller less shapely wave at an uncrowded peak.
5. Understand that the first rule of surf etiquette includes "whoever has been waiting longest" as well as closest to the peak.
6. Appreciate that females have the right to surf too.
7. Understand that the best surfer is the one having the most fun!