Archive for the 'Photographers' Category
After two months out of the water, finally got a taste of that salty juice the last few days….. On a nice new HaydenShapes “Hypto Crypto”, a little wedge a short drive from my house provided a few barely surfable bowls before the sun went down. All photos Stu Gibson…….
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A couple of weeks ago a storm system provided swell for the whole east coast of oz. I was hoping it would produce conditions for a mythical wave down home to come alive, so i proceeded to book and plan my adventure. Due to my usual companions being busy travelling and working, i was to do the journey solo, teaming up with a couple of mates at the destination. Landing in Hobart at 9pm the night before the swell, my old man Jimbo picked me up and headed straight home for some sleep. 5hrs later im packing the wagon, hookin the ski up and starting my 200km journey. I arrive at my destination just as the sun was rising, but am disappointed at what i see. Its half the size of what was predicted. Still plenty of fun waves about, but the gold mine wasnt producing at all. we ended up hittin a mini slab round the corner for a few hrs. After getting a few flat bottom tubbs i hit the road again, driving 250 km to the sth east tip of tassie. The surf wasnt much better down there. It was pretty much pumping, but when your after the gold and get the bronze, its just not quite the same….. Cheers Charles Ward and Mat Tildesley.No comments
Shots from a session at a little fun rock shelf round the corner from my house. It was a super fun day with most of the sets hitting the reef at the right angle. The tide was nice and high so most waves had enough water over the reef to result in some playful hollow tubs. Solo sessions always leave you with happy vibes and an appreciation of life. Some video clips coming soon…. Photos Mick Burnside 1 comment
ALL PHOTOS LUKE SHADBOLT
A few days before the swell was due to hit west oz, i was speaking to Jamie Mitchell. He was planning to head to Margaret River and try his luck paddling some bombs and i was super pumped to join him on his journey. But there was also another spot i’d been wanting to check out on this swell and from what i could work out, the conditions were looking quite favourable. So with return airfares to Perth being well over my budget, i decided to ring Jamie and let him know i couldn’t make it and go hunt something new. I’ve always tended to go on the mission into the unknown rather than head somewhere that’s well known. But with this comes the reality that its a lot more likely your going to get a skunking. Research and experience are the two major things you need to score a wave pumping. The third one is co-operation from mother nature. When the forecasts aren’t truly defined then you can only hope that she pulls through with the goods.
I’d been speaking to another friend, bodyboarder Ewan Donnachie. He rang me to see what i was planning for the swell and we started to talk ideas, but neither of us wanted to give too much away. A couple of minutes later we started pissing ourselves laughing as we realised we’d both been talking about the same wave. He was heading there with filmer Mike Jennings and photographer Luke Shadbolt. I was looking after Volcom kid Jack Scollard and good friend Sandy Ryan was frothing for the mission. Everything was coming together, except for the fact that we knew stuff all about this wave. We knew it was surfable and by looking at maps we had a vague idea on what winds and swell it needed. So our experience was nil and our research was scarce and due to the fact that the wind forecasts were light and variable, the chances of us scoring was quite slim. BUT THERE STILL WAS A CHANCE.
After a ten hour drive with 3 petrol stops, 2 coffees, 1 McDonalds stop, a flat tyre and no sleep, we finally arrived at our destination a couple of hours after sunrise. Everyone was absolutely drained, we looked like a bunch of doped out zombies, but we were on a mission and as much as we wanted to sleep, the day was far from over. After doing a brief tour around the local scenery, we thought we worked out a nice place to launch the skis, which later turned into a disaster. The shorebreak was too big so we bailed to a different spot. Fifty metres up the track my car got completely bogged, delaying us another hour. The swell looked huge, maybe 10-15ft, although the winds were glassy it was still quite junky. The wave broke 4km out to sea so the only way to check it was to get out there.
With both skis chock a block full of crap, prepared for anything, we slowly made our way out to the wave. We were all super excited on what awaited us and as we drove around the back of the wave we all screamed with joy as a huge pit unloaded and spewed its guts out the back of the wave. From side on we got the true indication of what was in store for us. The wave broke for about 500 metres, but it was far from perfect. Some sections would barrel, others were really fat. Some would be flat bottom, then a second later be full fluff burgers. It seemed too big and also too messy. There were closeouts and just looked like an absolute nightmare to surf. But we’d put in a massive effort to finally get there so we were all willing to give it a crack. Once in the water and sitting out in the lineup it became clear just how sectiony the wave actually was. Both Shaddy and Mike had a ski each to shoot off while the rest of us tried to paddle into a few. It was ridiculous trying to find the take off spot and all of us were getting fuck all waves. A few nice looking empties would slide through, which kept us keen to keep trying. Ewan ended up snagging a gem but got too deep in the pit, wiping out and busting his ear drum. Sandy, Jack and myself got a couple of average ones but none that hollowed out nicely.
An hour into the session a set came through and it seemed to be bending in on a really nice angle. It wasn’t big but it looked like it was going to throw a barrel. As i dropped into it i realised i was super deep so i started to race it and as it started to pit i tried to stand tall. I travelled momentarily through the pit then got exploded by the shockie. The wipeout was fine and after a couple of duck dives, i was almost out the back. Then sure enough the horizon goes dark and one of the biggest sets of the day lands ten feet in front of me. I tried to duck dive as there was no way i wanted that leash to snap, but due to hanging onto my board, i ended up getting rolled really far inside. After getting another 5 waves on the head, id been pushed all the way off the frontside of the reef where the whitewash faded out into deep water. I tried a few times to punch back through the lineup but didn’t stand a chance, i couldn’t even get close to the whitewater. So here i am 4km out to sea, half a km from where my mates are surfing and the current is taking me out to sea, no where in the direction of where i need to be. The lads thought that i would paddle out down the line somewhere, but after half an hour they realised this wasn’t the case and began to search for me. I started to feel really angry that they hadn’t come to pick me up straight away and just started yelling shit into the air (this was all my fault though, as we didn’t put safety plans into place). After an hour i finally saw a ski scouring the edge of the whitewash about 400m away. They were looking in the complete opposite direction. They didn’t realise that the current was drawing me away from the wave. Also the chop and turbulence was making it even more impossible. I waved and yelled for half hour before i lost sight of the ski. I was starting to lose my nerve and started to realise this situation could very easily turn into something really bad. I was going over scenarios in my head. The anger had turned to anguish. The constant paddling was starting to drain my energy, but i knew if i stopped i would get dragged straight out to sea. Another option was to try paddle to shore, but that was going in a different direction to where we launched the skis so if i didn’t make it to the beach then theres no way they would find me. There was a bombie about halfway from the boat ramp to the wave that we travelled past on our way out there, but if i paddled to it then id have to wait until they gave up searching for me and started heading for shore, and by that time id probably have no energy and that’s even if i made it that far. Then i started thinking of sharks. I tried my hardest to destroy those thoughts, but once it was in my mind it wouldn’t leave. Another hour went by and i could faintly hear the skis buzzing around. They were looking everywhere but in my direction. Thinking i would of got washed down to the inside of the reef, where in fact the opposite was happening, i was drifting further out to sea. Due to the whitewash spanning over a kilometre, the field they were searching was huge. I decided to use the last of my energy trying to paddle as close as i could to the edge of the breaking water as that seemed to be where they were focussing the search. Half hour later i was done, no energy left, still a couple of hundred metres from the whitewash i just sat up on my board and pondered on the situation at hand. I had no other choice but to just sit there and hope they would come across me very soon, before it was too late. Finally i seen the skis again, they were half a kilometre away but heading in my direction. As they got closer i thought they had seen me, and then they stopped. They hadn’t turned around, so i gathered they were scanning the ocean. I had a fluro orange future fins sticker on the tail of my board so i just started waving it in the air as high as i could. I didn’t have a clue whether they were even looking in the direction as i was pretty much under the water but i just kept waving it . After 5 or 10 minutes i was completely exhausted and just laid back on my board and shut my eyes, my thought process was completely blank. I woke to the sound of the jet ski getting closer. The relief when i saw the boys a few metres away seemed surreal. They were as shocked as i was but we were all so stoked that the drama was finally over. If it had of been an afternoon session with fading light, there was a good chance they wouldn’t have spotted me. Even though we didn’t score amazing waves, that night i just felt grateful to be alive. Moral to this little story, “SAFETY FIRST”. We didn’t have the buddy system put into place and that would of easily changed the whole situation.
The next day the swell was half the size. We went back out to the wave but the tide was high and the wind was howling up the face. Group decision was to pack up camp and head to where we knew more about the coastline and had more of a chance of scoring some goodness. That afternoon we stopped off at a slab that we heard some boogers surfed that morning and said it was pretty good. But by the time we got there the swell had backed off even more and it was only just capping on the reef. We had one more idea for the day, so back in the car for another 2 1/2 hour drive further round the coast till we got to a nice little coastal town which had a couple of fun little slab set ups. Low and behold, the wind was onshore. It seemed like everything was against us on this trip. We couldn’t believe what was happening, it was like we were always behind the eight ball and couldn’t quite get to where we wanted to be. I guess it was funny, we had put in such a big effort and were getting truly skunked for it. The forecast was calling for conditions to be perfect for a left slab the next day, so we scoured the town for accommodation. As our luck would have it the whole fucking town was booked out. There were 4 beds left at the backpackers but there were 6 of us. The old mate at the counter was very stubborn about not overloading the place , but we had no choice. So four of us hired a room while the other two chilled at the pub till the hostel doors closed then sneaked in. We found a couple of mattresses in the hallway behind a couch, so all the lads were sorted with beds. Things were starting to come together (well barely, but we had to rely on the positives). Four in the morning the alarms sounded and we gathered our brains and jumped back in the cars. Two hours later we were looking at 8ft heaving spitting left hand slabs. Smiles appeared on everyone’s faces. Finally after everything we had gone through, it was all a big lead up to this day. We all scored some amazing waves and the vibe with the crew was so good. Everyone was happy with how the trip ended up. Photographers got there shots, surfers got there barrels, but poor Ewan got his ear perforated. He was still as happy as us but.
If it wasn’t for that last session at the left, we would of been totally skunked. Sometimes it doesn’t matter what happens on the adventure. If your with a good crew, the good times keep rolling. Jokes still get told and smiles still appear on faces. 82 hrs and 2000km later i was finally back home in bed, sleep deprivation was about to become a thing of the past.2 comments
All Photos Andy Chisholm
Its been a slow season down south, couple of big swells, mostly with shitty winds. At home we were getting itchy feet, but so were a couple of mates on the other side of the globe. Alex (Gray) and Chops (Nic Lamb) had been pumping emails back and fourth to me for months now. There motivation and thirst for shippies was something else. I wouldnt even have to check for swells, because as soon as a blob would even look remotely like it could produce, guaranteed either Chops or Alex (or both) would email me asking my thoughts. But Shipsterns isnt as forecast friendly as many other waves around the world.
The weather patterns can change in a split second (which happens nearly every swell), which is why each year theres always a couple of big swells me and my mates still get to surf by ourselves. It could be howling onshore (as predicted) and just after lunch a sea breeze would kick in creating light offshores. Or it can be predicted to be 40 knots southwest, but just as the sun comes up the winds will kick in with a land breeze and strong offshores will fan the crooked lumps of ocean for the early hours of the morning. These are the times where if you dont live there, you aint scoring it.
Over the months talking with the boys from the States, i mentioned these scenarios. So when this last swell began to appear the boys got there froth on. Conditions were far from looking ideal, but something in the weather pattern just got me excited. It was looking big, huge almost. If we could battle the 45 knot onshores on the jetskis, theres a chance we could ride some mammoth mutating lumps. The next day of the swell was also looking like it might provide with some small clean paddlers. So Al and Chops, frothing at the bit, booked there tickets, knowing full well it could be a complete hoax. I guess thats what i loved about these guys, they just wanted to come down and check out the place, the wilder the conditions the more exciting it sounded to them.
The day of the swell was exactly as forecast, 45 knots onshore. Alex jumped on the back of my ski, while Chops walked in with Treeks (filmer). That ride around to shippes was rediculous, the wind chop and backwash turned a 35 minute ride into one lasting almost an hour. Once around at the stern we were briefly disheartened, as it looked utterly disgraceful. Eight ft burgers were lapping over the reef, but due to the long period swell we still had hope there could be some bombs. And twenty minutes after we arrive we seen our first taste of what the day had in store for us. A solid 12ft plus nugget began deforming along the reef then blasting its insides out into the channel. I gave Alex the nod, which translated to, “it aint gonna get any better than this, so get ya arse in the water and lets get shit done”.
The next few hours the yanks proceeded to throw themselves over the ledge and into oblivion. Driving the ski was a task in itself, due to how windy and angry the ocean was, it was hard to get on a plane and get enough speed to get him on a wave. Once the rope had been dropped he would then have to negotiate the speed bumps even before he’d hit the first step. It was by far from ideal conditions to surf shippies for your first time. Alex ended up busting his arm on his last wipeout and although Chops didnt make this wave, he still got to stand tall in a shippies beast. Both surfers felt the power and fury this day and although it wasnt as big as hoped, it still got there hesarts racing. Local lad “wipeout mckean” got the bomb, living up to his name and took on a 15ft slab that he didnt have a chance on.
That night i took Alex into the hospital. The arm wasnt broke, but it wasnt in a good way. The doc gave him a script for pain relief and told him he would be out of the water for a good stint. Alex was devo’d, and tomorrow was starting to look the goods for some nice paddlers. We all walked in the next day. I love the walk, it means something to me as my friends and i did it for years on end when we first started surfing there, i guess it just brings back memories. Poor Alex’s arm was wrecked, there was no way he was surfing, but he still gave himself the benefit of the doubt and lugged his gear on the one hour walk in hope of the pain suddenly retreating.
Conditions were clean and the sky was sunny. The swell had dropped considerably, but we still had hope to get a couple. Once in the water after 2 hours of waiting for a good one, i began to realise things werent looking as good. The long breaks between sets would give your body plenty of time to feel hypothermic and we would find ourselves paddling in circles just to try stay warm. Only a few fun waves got ridden that day, but overall it gave the boys a taste of what the wave does. Rudi Schwartz got wave of the day with a super deep paddler. They experienced it at both ends of the scale, big and stormy, and small and clean. They also really appreciated how beautiful the place was and not once did they complain about the long travels, early starts and torturous walking tracks. They were troopers and earnt good respect from that.
The afternoon was spent in the sun downing brews and spinnin stories with the local lads. im sure Alex and Nic will be down again soon enough and with fingers crossed im sure there gonna score what they come down Tassie for……No comments
Photos mike Barber and Rob Warden http://robbiewarden.tumblr.com/
I first moved over to the Mornington Peninsula when i was 21. I made some good friends and the local beachies were great fun. But there was plenty of coastline that seemed unexplored and rarely surfed. All my friends were either working as tradies or at school, meaning most days i was chasing waves solo. All i wanted to do was surf, so i got a dish pig job at the local RSL working 6pm-1am 3-4 nights a week. Due to farming property lining most of the coastline, it wasnt easy to access waves and i’d usually end up walking for km’s over headlands in search of something new to surf. Although many of these treks ended in disappointment, there was one bay i came across that seemed to have more potential than the rest.
The wave bent around a rocky noel, blocking your view from on top of the hill, which made it look like it just pushed up onto dry rock. It wasnt until you walked down to the wave and seen it front on, that you could see it was rideable. Its the type of wave which you really have to be selective. Once you take off, by the time you start to bottom turn, you have a split second to decide whether the wave will go dry or let you pull in. The good thing about the place is no one surfs it and to my knowledge, my friends and i were the first ones.
After checking it for a few weeks and sussing what conditions it might work best in, I finally convinced a couple of mates, “Palmy” and “Wardo” that we need to hit this joint. So one day when the conditions looked good, we ventured over and paddled out. It was pretty eerie, the local fisherman frequently encounter very large sharks in these parts. We struggled to find anything rideable, but ended up getting a coupla waves each and were just stoked to of ridden it. Since that day, ive surfed the place almost a dozen times over the last 6 years and only twice with another person out. These days there’s a very small posse of locals who get out there when the place lights up, but im still yet to bump into them in the lineup….
Last month things came together. I met up with my mate “Skeeta Derham” and old mate “Wardo” (who now shoots stills) and hit the trail . As we were getting changed old mate “Palmy” showed up for a look. It felt pretty surreal, the original crew plus “Skeet” and the wave looking very inviting. A few high fives got thrown around on the rocks then off the platform we jumped and into the lineup. Next hour and half was slow, but we got some pits and had heaps of fun. It’s a complete novelty wave, far from any quality and It wasnt the best ive surfed it, but it was definitely the most enjoyable session id had out there.1 comment
I was going over some old files on my computer tonight and found this story i wrote for a trip i did into the jungle with Brad Masters. It was awesome fun and scored great waves. Ive included some shots also.
It was a Tuesday afternoon when I seen the swell on the charts. It was hitting Saturday morning and looked too good to pass up. It’s really hard to predict how good the waves will be at tropical places. Small storms can affect the conditions and what looked like a good day of surf can change within hours to onshore thunderstorms. The swell looked good and the winds were predicted to do the same, so the phone calls began. Mooney was the first. He’d already been keeping a close eye on the swell but could only afford to go if his filmer could make it along. The next 24hrs were spent bouncing back and forth between going and not going, finally the call was made and we were going to sit this swell out, due to the filmer having other arrangements. Due to secrecy, I can’t take just anyone. Wednesday arvo I checked the charts again, the swell had picked up and I knew this certain spot would have to be breaking. Back on the phone trying to hoax my friends into dropping everything and joining me, to no avail. By Wednesday night I was losing my shit. Who knows what this island could be offering on this swell. It could be pumping. Or it could be absolute dog shit. But I couldn’t just sit at home not knowing. Ten o clock wed night I booked a return ticket to the island paradise, solo. Later that night as I was laying in bed, I remembered talking to a photographer friend a few months earlier that had also been to the same island. So I called Brad up and told him my plan. He was on board before I even asked and now all we could think about was what awaits.
Whenever I head to this place, the night before I leave, I can never sleep. So driving to the airport at 430 isn’t the best idea. If it wasn’t for the safety bumps on the side of the road, I doubt I would have made that plane. Anyway I was soon startled when I heard on the radio the volcano was erupting in Indonesia and flights in and out of Jakarta were being delayed and cancelled. Fuck, all I could think of was arriving at the island a day late and missing the swell altogether. What a disaster that would be.
The amount of potential around these parts leaves you with countless possibilities. Stepping on ground where very few white people have been gives a warm fuzzy feeling in your body and thoughts flow freely through your mind. Adventure, exploration and pioneering are the main reasons I surf. These are all things that, to me, make up the perfect surf trip and coming to this part of the world touches on all these things. It’s not smooth sailing to get there. Five flights spanning 30 hrs, then the driving and boats. And once your there, it’s not five star accommodation. Try a hut in the back of a local malaria infested village with no mattress. (The last time I was here I contracted “Dengue fever”, which left me on a drip in hospital for a week). On the way to the village we stock up on rice, vegies, petrol (for the local fishing boat, soon to be our mode of transport) , water and coffee. When travelling to remote parts, the key is to keep things simple. Pack minimally but strategically and if you pack something (not medically speaking) you’re not sure whether you will use, then leave it at home cause most likely u wont. After checking in with the local Police we head off on the 4hr drive along the dirt road at about 15 km/h dodging waist high potholes, we notice a right hander I hadn’t seen break before. 4ft walls with the odd tube, nice little reef pass which definitely screamed potential. Most of this coast can only be accessed by boat, but there are still certain gems out there that if u looked harder enough through the jungle u might be surprised at what u will find.
Once at the village we set up camp in our shelter then walked down to the beach for a surf check. I see lots of familiar faces, same old men eating beetle nut under the same trees. Same teenagers walking into the jungle with their machetes. Same girls sitting in groups pointing and giggling at us and the same kids, supercharged on red syrup, following us down to the beach, showing off every chance they get. The locals go about their business with a serious concentrated look about them, but once u make eye contact and smile, the smile u get in return make s u feel at ease
Friday afternoon the surf is not very big and quite onshore so we decide to go for a short mission down the coast for a bit of search. From on top of a cliff we notice a fast right hander, some waves look amazing while others unsurfable due to the razor sharp coral protruding through the faces. We decide to call it a day and check it from the boat tomoro.The past two days of travelling have taken its toll on me and I fall asleep before finishing one page of my book.
My alarm rings at 5am, leaving us with enough time to get our shit together and sit down and enjoy my favourite drink (half cup strong coffee mixed with half cup condensed milk mmmmmmm) before it gets light enough to make our way out to the line-up. Once at the water’s edge we find the boat high and dry on the reef. The waves look fun, not as big as hoped but 4 ft perfection with no one around is hard to complain about. The main peak is one of the funnest waves I’ve ever surfed. An a-frame take off which u backdoor going left and slot into for as long as possible, depending on how much wall is on the wave. Some are a quick behind the peak, others it’s possible to get 10 second barrels. After getting barrelled at the main peak and a little nugget round the corner, we decided to head down the coast to where we spotted the right hander the day before. As we approached the line-up we could see it spitting and carrying on, but as we got closer we could see that it was leaning more toward the unsurfable side of things. Every now and then one would hit deep on the reef and it looked like you would have enough time to get out before it went dry, so I decided to give it a crack. Not really sure what caused it to change, but once we finally got out there, it was a complete close out. One set came through pushing 8ft, Brad reckons if I turned and went, it would have been a one way ticket to hospital. We waited another half hour hoping one would come through like the ones we seen earlier, but the wave didn’t come our way so we paddled back to the boat with our heads down, gutted, after having such high expectations. Saturday was meant to be the money day and it didn’t deliver. It was time to go on the hunt, so we sat up most of the night going through our potential options and planning our attack.
We wake on Sunday with a plan, surf out the front in the morning then go for a drive to the west side of the island to do a bit of searching. However the day starts off a bit pear shaped. Everyone’s heading to church and is looking down at us for not going with them. I proceed to tell them how that’s their religion, to go to church on Sundays, our religion is to surf. After a brief discussion they come to terms and respect what we do and realise we aren’t trying to change them. Once at the water we find our boat is nowhere to be seen, one of the locals starts going on about how the boats broken and it’s all our fault. They want money for a new boat and there not happy. Meanwhile the surfs pumping and all we could think about was getting out there and getting pitted. So within a couple of mins we have a small canoe, the size of a minimal and two frothing grommet locals ready to paddle us out. A couple of hours and twenty barrels later the tide fills in and we decide it’s time to hit the search.
The road was a disaster, due to some minor flooding, there were bits washed away and tracks going everywhere. It’s hard to believe travelling 10kms can take over an hour. If it wasn’t a thousand degrees you would contemplate walking. The scenery was beautiful. The jungle so thick that in parts, it would cover the road like a long lush green tunnel. We would be driving in the middle of nowhere then all of a sudden a local would scramble onto the road out of the jungle and ask our driver for a lift to the next village, it was classic. Our search dream was short lived when we rounded a corner and noticed the road had been replaced with a pool of mud about 20 metres wide. We watched a truck slip and slide through it, just making it to the other side. There was no way our car was going to make it and the driver wasn’t even thinking about taking the chance. So we turn around and make our way back to camp. On the way back we notice a little left, which we found on my last trip, was doing its best interpretation of a mini “green bush”. I looked at Brad and knew he was thinking the same, “no way I’m going to sit in this sweat pit car any longer, were out there”. It’s one of the easiest, funnest waves I’ve ever come across. A patch of reef about the size of a bus. The take off is more like a slab set up, deep water suddenly hitting super shallow. So it’s an under the ledge backdoor take off, tapering out into a running tube, before closing out onto an extremely shallow end section.
There were many times on this trip that I wished I had someone else surfing with me. Don’t get me wrong, I love surfing by myself, being able to catch any wave I deemed worthy. But there are times when you really want to share the stoke with someone and you want them to be on the same level. I’d go through stages. Barrel, paddle out, short chat with Brad, keep paddling to take off, then I’d sit out the back telling myself “this doesn’t seem real, it’s too good, I only ever dreamed of this”. Then the next time I paddle out, I get out the back and wish I could be hooting someone into the next set and they could feel the same stoke as I have been feeling…
Our last day, we spent the morning surfing the peak out the front. Brad finally joins me in the line-up, borrowing one of my sticks. We both were grinning ear to ear, even though it wasn’t as big as we were hoping, we were still in paradise and still feeling that distance from normality, which you get when travelling in remote areas. Packing up camp is always interesting when we come here as this is the time when we organise the money for the local people. We know the prices for everything they do for us and we pay them accordingly, while always throwing tips to the people that deserve it. But no matter how well you pay, they always want more and come up with the most random reasons why we should pay them. Anyway , this time it has to do with the boat they broke, then decided to blame us for. We had just finished packing our stuff when the boatman approached us talking there language quite aggressively. Our local friend interpreted what they were saying and it was something along the lines of , “pay us $500 for the boat damage or there will be trouble”. Well not only did we know that it wasn’t our fault the damaged there boat, but we actually didn’t have any money, and the closest atm was 4 hrs away. Once they heard this they became even more aggressive and me and brad started looking at each other, not knowing what was going to happen next. Our bags were packed, in the car, ready to go. So I was leaning towards a getaway. Our local mate however, knew that if the issue wasn’t resolved then it wouldn’t be the end of it. A minute later an old guy rocked up on a motorbike screaming at the two men who were hassling us. Our friend said that the guy on the bike was the village boss and he wanted the men to stop the confrontation. The men didn’t seem deterred and started yelling at us again. The old man proceeded to come into the house and pull out his machete, our friend said, “we go now, hurry”. So without hesitation we clambered into the car and waited. Our friend began telling us how the old guy was going to kill those two men if they didn’t stop, then a minute later, all three of the men walked out and approached the car. We apologised for causing such a scene and ended up giving them all our clothes to try and keep the [peace. Before we knew it everyone was smiling, shaking hands and we left waving to everyone out the windows.
That was one of the weirdest experiences I’ve come across and as we were driving , I didn’t really know what to make of it. It was extremely hot in the car, and it seemed that we were going much slower than the drive there. The driver explained that he didn’t want to take any chances with the potholes and damaging the car, as we had no money to fix it. Oh well, he knew the deal, so we rested our eyes and tried to sleep the remainder of our journey. I was awoken suddenly, banging my head against the window, after hitting yet another pothole and I’m sure glad I did. As I looked out my window, I could see the clearest turquoise coloured water and swell lines that looked to be over head high. In the distance I could make out the reef pass which we noticed on the drive there. It was pitting and spitting and my alertness jumped to 100%. we parked the car and I was out the back in minutes. I couldn’t believe what we had found, this a frame right hander that you could compare to cloud nine. I was sweating in the water from paddling so hard trying to get to the peak. The bottom was filled with the most colourful coral, but didn’t look real friendly to land on. The next 2 hrs was spent backdooring barrels and hitting perfectly shaped end sections. I was experiencing the feelings I touched on earlier, about wanting someone else out there to feel the beauty of the place, like I was. A tropical storm was approaching fast, which made the colours of the landscape seem surreal, sunny mountains, clear blue waters and a horizon that was as black as the sky can get. As I’m getting changed the drops of water start falling, 30 secs later its torrential downpour. We timed it perfectly and couldn’t think of a better way to finish off the trip. The last surf was a real highlight, it goes to show there are so many waves out there in this amazing world. This one island has given us a dozen perfect waves and we’re still finding them. And this is one island in a world where there’s thousands. I might not own a big house or flash car, but I have memories and experiences that will last a lifetime and I know very few people on this planet can say the same. Exploration is my lifestyle and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
All photos thanks to Scotty Bauer http://bauerphoto.com.au/
The world of free surfing has shown that our secret playgrounds are doorways of knowledge that lead us to becoming greater surfers. Learning and sharing how to get there, where to paddle out, what wave is best, the inches between the right take off and a costly mistake are all parts of surfing and what we want to be aware of. All this knowledge of being a surfer is priceless and can only be gained through time. It is the reason why we look up to those before us who inspire and create perfect lines on waves and they are truly the best surfers in the world; like ANDY.
Being connected to the land and the ocean is sometimes forgotten about as being a big part of the surfer lifestyle but in fact it’s the most unique part of what surfing is all about. Since the days when kings first encountered the ocean’s energy, to today as we search for the perfect wave. Surfing the perfect wave is like a dream and like the spiritual dream world is to the aboriginals- getting barrelled is like to surfing.
The image of perfection has been moulded into our mind’s, which leads us to yearn for it. Those of you who want it bad enough will wonder outside the box, off the beaten track and for us lucky enough, we will find these experiences in moments living as surfers. After all, those lost days travelling for less than average surf are made up for when finally rewarded.
Our trip began with myself, Marti Paradisis and Lukas Street driving through the desert hours on hours, filling up tank after tank committed to getting closer to our destination. Marti is ‘KING CHICKEN’ driving the whole way and resisting anything otherwise. Through the night we luckily caught up with Scotty Bauer who we followed along dirt track crossings and treacherous pathways on our way inward. Ahead lay a sunken 4-wheel drive submerged to its windscreen in muddy water with a small tinny attached. The tinny appeared to be afloat as we spun past trying to mimic the exact tire tracks of Scotty. With a crazy evil laugh he punched through puddle after puddle, which somehow we managed to follow.
As the sun gradually arose on our arrival, so did the swell. It still wasn’t yet clear what we were in for over the next few days but regardless it was already feeling special. We were lucky enough to setup camp with local threaders Kerby Brown, Ry, Dino Adrian, Jam’o …. , Nath Brejnack along with Goldy resident Jarrah Tutton and visiting image creators & Mikey. It was the best campsite I had ever seen and located right along a beautiful beach and lagoon. Dino’s grey 70’s style caravan was sprayed with a large black peace symbol that set the scene. With shelter, dining table, bbq and fireplace we felt as though we were living it up old school with a cool hippy vibe. As the evening was upon us the swell looked like it was stacking up to the horizon. Blue arora’s bounced between the lines and into out a space as the night sky came alive. Although there was not much to see in the desert, talk of UFO’s, aliens, and murders kept us on the look out, under the brightest stars everybody told a few yarns before passing out awaiting the next day of waves.
The next day we awoke early to brew the coffee, suit up and make the very solid paddle out. The waves were mean, square and heavy. Breaking in shallow water so making it out the back and avoiding a set was nerve racking. The tight take off positioned everybody close and everyone took turns to dig into the sets and set a line threading down into the inside bowl. Some un-believable barrels were ridden with some really critical take off’s were taken. Ry on his first wave went down on a bomb unfortunately, hurting his knee as it jacked right up. I felt guilty as I called him into it, but Kerby ensured me he was making him go anyway. Those guys are fuckin funny, real cool and surf amazing. The sections of the wave just threw out wide the whole way down the line, with steps coming up the face of the wave. A reminder of the waves consequence was reported after news of a booger being scalped by the sharp reef and having to be rushed to hospital put things into perspective. Everyone shared the swell and picked up some amazing rides to remember and all day the waves were pumping, as it got glassier toward dusk.
It was like a dream, quick enough to blur but powerful enough to imprint on my brain forever. I started remembering how epic it was to be in a new place and learn everything about it, watch the local’s rule it knowing everything absolutely possible about the joint including where to go for the best Ice cream. We met up with more epic locals like Camel, who told us more funny unrepeatable stories followed by more surf. Just as it became all too evident to me this was what it was all about, meeting the people who inspire and sharing a really strong connection that exists with such a place. Evil, powerful, perfect for sure, but something else about the place, I don’t know if the colours of the red desert and blue water have anything to do with it or the fact that everything was so desolate yet alive. But, the fact was it was good to get a new perspective on life. After reading Flanagan’s book ‘Here on Earth’ and thinking about the world spinning at something like 1000+ kph, to get barrelled moving that fast against what is occurring must mean it is something like a warped vortex which is why I think it must feel so good.No comments
Andrew “CRISPY” Christie is Volcom’s in house photographer. His set-up consists of a greedy bar so he can capture it all in motion as well.. I recently went on an Ours mish and Crispy came along to capture some action…..
See more of Crispy’s work at www.chroniclesofchristie.com/No comments