A Zine for Water People

It's a truth universally acknowledged that social media can be a real drag. Arguments, comparisons, bitchiness, nastiness, narcissism and more all play out across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, blogs and more. I've had my fair share of shitty social media interactions, but what I've found is that it doesn't have to be that way.

Most of my experiences on social media has been really positive, and I've made some wonderful connections over the years with wonderful people. I've met so many folk through blogging and Instagram, and are people I care about and have various relationships with. Like me, Jamie, Toddy, Mick, Sarah and Felix are people you might have come across on your digital travels, and they are people I've come to care about and to , different degrees, to know. For me, these relationships are some of the best of social media.

I love connecting with people and projects in various places around the world, and being able to watch their work develop a…

It's always worth asking!

I follow lots (and lots) of surfing accounts on Instagram. Lots. Many of these are focused on and run by women, but I also follow lots of other general surf sites and magazines. Most of the general sites follow the usual pattern of not including much content about women, which is annoying and always stands out to me. Of course.

The other day, I saw an interesting post on the account @oldsurfermags. The post was a collection of ten of the most liked images that have been posted by the (I'm assuming) male administrator, Chris Allen.

While I still had hopes, the most liked images, not surprisingly, were all of men. The images are amazing, but I felt a bit bummed. Instead of stewing in my bummed-ness though, I commented on the post:

(Before I go on, let's take a moment to enjoy my excellent typo! Hahaha.)
I don't comment a lot on posts link this way (although there was one occasion that I did and got into a discussion with Kelly Slater about trans bodies, but that's a stor…


So this is to be one of my new favourite images of women's surfing...
Surfer is Ashleigh Browne and photo is by Kane Brown
(click their names for links to their Instagram accounts)
Screen shot by me and my phone!

Still breathing

When people ask me what I think about Tim Winton's books, I always answer that he writes incredibly beautiful landscapes. He really, really does.

But for me, like many women I know, Winton's books are difficult to read, because his portrayals of women tend to paint them as either prudish or damaged. The men and boys in his stories - always coming of age it seems - are much more complex and nuanced characters, but his women and girls are simple, borderlining on tropes.
I'm not suggesting Winton doesn't like women though! He talks often about the women in his life, and how his sisters taught him to surf. Winton knows and loves women well, it's just that this doesn't seem to translate into his stories, which makes it difficult for me to read them, let alone like them.
With the release of the film version of Breath, directed by Simon Baker, all of this was driven home even more strongly. 

Here is a story about men, in which women are trouble or bit players, used to…

Stupid women (Always in the way)

I’ve been surfing again lately. Not as much as I’d like, but surfing. In fact, I managed to surf twice this week! Twice! Once down on the Gold Coast and on Sunday, up on the Sunshine Coast. To my shame, I still don’t know the coastlines of south east Queensland very well, so it’s always very hit and miss for me in terms of where I go and why. Since I surf so little at the moment, mostly I’m just happy to get in the water anyway.
In the past, I use to avoid the Gold Coast, because it has a reputation for a localised, aggressive, male-dominated, shortboard culture. There have been many surf reports of violence there over the years, and the things I’ve often read in surf media and research spaces have deepened these assumptions. When it’s come up as an option, the idea of surfing there made me nervous in advance. But I’ve surfed there a bit over the years – at Currumbin and Burleigh and Rainbow and Snapper and Duranbah – and I’ve never had any experiences to back this up. I’m on a longboa…

2nd Annual Rockaway Beach Bodysurfing Contest

Following yesterday's NYC post about Ice Cream Headaches, I poached this from Toddy! The contest was back in September 9th, but I've been doing some catch-up blog stalking this weekend:

2nd Annual Rockaway Beach Bodysurfing Contest from Noah Clothing on Vimeo.

My favourite bits are people running in fins, and way the person in the blue hat gets a wave at about 1.10. I also like seeing the view from the water, back on to the developed world just beyond the sand. It's like the Gold Coast, but without the green hinterland. I also love to know what the view from the water is.

Ice Cream Headaches

Given my experiences with Kurungabaa, I'm always keen to support an interesting project about surfing.

Ice Cream Headaches,a book and photo project about surfing in New York, is the latest one that captured my attention. To be honest, being a city dweller myself, any project about city-related surfing grabs my attention, and New York surfing culture in particular, bucks the ideals of surfing in pristine nature, of surfing in warm, clear waters, of surfing as accessible. New York has a strong coastal culture and the beaches look amazing. While it sure looks like it has an enthusiastic surf crew, but actually surfing it does not look so easy.

This project is focused on folk who live and surf in New York, telling surfing the city's stories through their experiences. The two chaps producing it have a crowd-funding page for the production of the book, offering a range of options from throwing in some cash to pre-purchasing books, t-shirts, art prints, and even surf lessons!

I don…