Archive for the 'Travel' Category
On the morning after winning The Oakley ASL Bwa I went over to fox sports for a couple of seedy early morning interviews. Here’s the one for Fuel Tv airing currently..No comments
“Solid swell from the southwest, light winds, lets hit shippies”……
This is the usual scenario that my friends and I are used to. I mean, if shippies is breaking, your guaranteed big pits. So how hard is that to turn away and go looking around at possible other breaks. Knowing that its pretty much impossible we will find a wave that comes close. But sometimes something different can be a good thing, refreshing, adventure.
So a little blob headed towards tassie and we decided to head opposite directions to shippies and try our luck. We had a few options up our sleeves and knew the worst scenario would be sitting on a boat sipping on some tassie brews with ya best mates talking shit, and crusing past some of the most amazing scenery in the world.
The crew consisted of Zeb, Wombat, Hollmer-cross Bros, Rudi, Chiza, myself and Dave the captain. The wind was meant to be the lightest at mid morning so we left port at around sunrise. It seemed like a pretty nice day really, the sun shining and inside the cabin it felt quite warm. But as we scoped out a good looking beach break and seen snow capped mountains in the background we were met with the grim reality of what awaits once we set foot outside this place of comfort.
The beachbreak we steamed past looked like it was pumping from behind, we watched one wave spit three times. However we were on a mission to find something a bit bigger and thought it would be a great backup spot for the way home. In the distance we could see the bombie break. It looked big, but the swell was messy and the wind was still light onshore. It seemed like a a-frame take off, the left being longer but more of a closeout. Every now and then the left would heave a gaping pit but when we got side on, it was collapsing unmakeable. We decided to go try paddle the right, just to get a few waves under the belt.
Once out in the lineup we soon realised how big a takeoff area there actually was. The first two big sets cleaned us up but there didnt seem to be a consistant spot we could stay in. There were plenty of waves breaking on an inside shelf but then these 15ft clean up sets would just sweep through the lineup. We got a couple waves each and decided to move to another spot, a long right pointbreak just down the coast.
The point was pretty much pumping. No it wasnt open wide barrels. but long 8ft walls was enough to put smiles on our faces. It felt so nice to be able to lay rail on a bigger board a few times as the wave peeled down the line for a couple hundred metres. After an hour or so it was time for lunch. WOmbat manned the barbie and i introduced a few crew to the “Bridgewater Satay”. Peanut butter on bread with a snag. Shits gold im telling ya. As we ate, we steamed back to the beachie but by the time we got there the wind had swung and the surf was dogshit.
On the drive home reports of shippies floated in…. fifteen ft, glassy, no one out.. I admit it did hurt knowing we could of had that. But thats all part of the game. A week later a similar scenario, except we ended up getting the goods…… Soon to come
All photos Andrew Chisholm www.andychiz.comNo comments
This winter ive decided to mostly escape the cold and try hunt some warm water perfection in Indonesia. After being here for one week a juicy lookin swell hit the charts… My brain straight away hit overdrive, fifty differnt destinations went through it and brainstorming possibilities kept me on edge and anxious. My dad was due to fly over a day before it hit so i decided not too venture too deep into the jungle.
Nias was the call. It looked like it wasnt going to cop the brunt of the swell, but the direction was good and the season was early, so crowds were gonna be minimal. Saffa grommet Matt Bromley was on the program and Buddha flew in a day later with Alley Cat bandit Natedogg. This is a glimpse of what went down. Shots were taken By the old man “Jimmy”……… check out more stuff on http://www.surfline.com/surf-news/return-to-nias—and-beyond_69185/
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
Been a while since i updated on what’s been doin sooooo:
ive spent the last month kickin it in my favourite part of the world in remote Pacific getting tubbed off my head with good mates mike brennan, andrew mooney, simon treweek and jimmy monie. It was one of the best trips i’d ever been on, finding new set-ups and living with the local people was amazing. Tropical infections followed after numerous run in’s with the coral bottom and our feet littered with urchin spines. The photos are from Mikey and Jimmy’s cameras and some frame grabs from Treeksy’s film clips.
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
VIDEO BY DAVE OTTO www.shipsterns.com
FRAME GRABS BY TIM BONYTHON
ALSO CHECK TIM’S VIDEOU OUT AT:
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
All photos Dave Thomas, Bobby’s Camp “GLAND”
Land shot is of Shanza, water shot is of me, both pits at speedies section of Gland
Big south swell hits and i do what i say il never do, “follow the sheep and head somewhere super crowded”. But with calls like “looks like the best swell in over a decade” and “its gonna be 8ft freight trains”, plus its a wave that every surfer has to surf one day, how could i say NO to a nice easy trip to G-LAND.
A week after being in Bali, it was well and truly time to get out. Although it was heaps of fun chilling up at Canguu, living at the beach, hanging with good crew, eating great food and surfing fun beachies. Mix that in with a couple of nights in the heart of Kuta and losing a motorbike and G-land sounded like a great idea. My friend Shanza was flying over from oz the night before we were leaving, so i gave hime the deatails for the trip and he was on board frothing. His plan was simple. Land in Kuta 11pm, head to hotel, wake 530am, head to Gland. However it ended up going, land in kuta 11pm, check into hotel, head to strip, drink lots of arak, get to hotel at 445am, head to gland 530am hahaha.
The boat ride was an experience in itself. It was like we were on a special forces operation. 30 pro surfers (including Makua and Koa Rothman, Chalk, Dingo, Twiggy list goes on) and half as many photogs and filmers all descending on G land , all with the same thing in mind. While everyone scrambvled for the best seats for the 2 hour journey, Shanza scrambled to the toilet for the “dead man walking, i need to spew, passedoutwookie.com”.
We were staying at Bobby’s Surf Camp. Included with our accomodation was all meals and a few beers a day. The staff were great too and every afternoon was spent watching the sunset down the foreshore, sinking binnies, listening to tunes and talking riddles with some great people. The surf was pretty good, but because of the crowds, it was hard to get the good ones. You would take off on a 6-10ft outside peak known as launching pads, once it squared back onto the reef, you would pick your line through the down the line barrell section known as speedies.
By the end of the trip, even though i hadnt had what i was after in the way of memorable pits, the best times were the ones just chillin out meeting surfers from all over the world, watching the sunsets, punishing bintangs and beating Twiggy at pool hahaha (i was one shot away from pantsing him off the break).
Back to Canguu for some more chillout therapy with a fun sesh at Bingin thrown in and some great time spent with my friends Eddie and Claire who got married over there, CONGRATS guys..