Showing posts from June, 2009

How to surf in Byron Bay

A beginner's guide:

Car: A Subaru, Commodore or a bomb
Computer: Mac
Localism: Never play the "I'm local" card - you shouldn't need to
Graffiti: Know who BK is
Fashion: Niche brands - avoid Quicky, Rip Curl and Billabong as much as possible
Quiver: Varied, with at least one longboard and one fish/quad/twinny
Legropes: Not if you can avoid them
Hair: Stylish, but nonchalant
Palette: Colour
The Pass: A passionate position - love OR hate OR love to hate
Warmth: A sleeveless vest
Kooks: Drop-ins, snaking, wave pigs. Otherwise depends
Surf Cameras: A conflicted, contradictory relationship to Coastalwatch
Pubs: Beachy, Rails, Suffo, none
History: An acquaintance (at least) with Bob McTavish, George Greenough, Rusty Miller, Geoff McCoy, Jim Banks or all of the above. Mex is a bonus.
Passion: A clear enthusiasm negotiated through a desire to appear chilled out
Skills: A well developed ability to manoeuvre your board through summer crowds
Style: Always
Must Haves: Stickers that allow unpaid…

Aches and pains

The past year or so has seen me go from being really really physically active to, well, kind of lazy actually. OK, so not exactly lazy, but my life is far from being as physically dynamic and exciting as it used to be.

My physical life used to revolve around surfing and Hapkido, both of which I love and cherish and find hard to separate in terms of how I use my body to perform them. Both challenge me in a variety of ways and have taught me that I can be physically strong, capable, flexible and independent.

And both caused me lots of superficial pains and bruises!!

Hapkido would leave me with a variety of pains including wrists wrapped in bands of black, blue and yellow, broken toes and fingers, and aching leg, stomach and chest muscles. Surfing would see me wearing fin cuts, bruises, red eyes, sore shoulders and weird sun-etched skin markings from the time I spent in the sun and the water.

And I loved them all.

I connected them with the ways I pushed myself and try new things and didn'…


I went away camping and surfing up the coast with Noe, Ady, Rob, Sophie and Dave for the long weekend in June. There were tents, fires, soup, rum, Scrabble, bacon and eggs and many witticisms.

The waves were tiny, but clean and so so so much fun! And the company couldn't have been better.

It was perfect. *All photos by Rob and Ady

Yallingup Surf Film Festival

Surf filmmakers take note!

Yallingup in West Australia is hosting it's very own surf film festival in January next year. I know nothing more about it all at this stage, but it looks like it could be really interesting (if you're into that sort of thing, which I am!).

The call for submissions has opened so what are you waiting for? Get involved!

Squirrell stance

I logged onto my email account this morning to find the usual assortment of junk and forwards which I variously opened and deleted. One of the ones I opened was The Monday Morning Wave email from The Surfer's Path...

The sloping arc of a wave-face, a humid blanket of broken cloud, and the casual form of a rider on an ancient alaia surfboard, frame the star of the show at The Pass, Byron Bay, Australia. PHOTO: Anthony Walsh

Hmmm... that stance, that style, those arms, those boardies, those legs all seemed very familiar. I looked again, could it be?!! That man on the alaia, that 'star of the show', is one of my all-time favourite surfing companions, Evan Squirrell - shredder, surfboard enthusiast and coffin rider.

Evan is also making me a new board to make up for the recent loss of my others over at Vouch. Stoked.

P.S. That alaia is NOT ancient. It was made last year actually. On the North Coast and all. Ancient... pffft!

A model of women's surfing?

In case you haven't cottoned on, my interest in professional, competitive surfing is fairly limited. To be honest, I don't find it to be particularly inspiring or compelling and would much rather talk about surfing more generally - as something that people do as a part of their lives, not as their career. I don't have an issue with surfing as a sport, but it's just not my thing.

However, it is almost impossible to ignore the centrality of competitive surfing, especially since it's the version that is most regularly shoved down our throats by the media. The characters, the locations, the bodies, the rivalries and the impressive levels of skill and achievement provide any number of threads for writers and photographers to grasp onto and make into a story. It's developed into a dynamic and vibrant plate of fodder and, especially when it comes to the mainstream media, it provides evidence of all the surfing cliches that have been perpetuated since the early days of …

3 days

dry skin
chapped lips
red eyes
salt dried face
crusty hair
aching shoulders
bruised ribs


Out of Office Autoreply

I'm off up the coast to spend a few days camping with friends in a spot where there's no phone reception or internets. Yipppeeeee!

So while I'm out of the online loop, please direct all your reading here to Kurungabaa. You can check out the latest issue that is soon to take flight and think about subscribing so you can have a copy all of your very own! Sic.

Get involved, people! Get involved!!

A simple girl.

When words fail me, Axel never does!

'The Present' by Thomas Campbell - a response.

As an already established lover of Sprout, I went to see Thomas Campbell’s latest offering, The Presentwith a good idea of what I was in for and a fair certainty that I would like it.
Right on both counts.
The barrow that T. Campbell continues to push in this film is an enthusiasm for riding both a variety of surf craft and waves. The point is to keep yourself open to different wave riding experiences without trying to privilege one over another, and which is an approach that continues growing to be increasingly popular and accepted. And it’s hard to fault an idea that advocates both riding the right board on the right wave as well as promoting mixing things up to keep them interesting.
What I thought might be a bit problematic for the film was how to weave such a diverse array of wave riding approaches together into something that makes sense in terms of ‘surfing’ - an idea that I find problematic. I am sceptical that surfing can be so cohesively discussed as one thing or one idea and I…

Before and After

The coastline I'm from recently got bombarded by a fairly significant storm that caused flooding, uprooted trees and washed away more sand than I've ever seen before! Insane.

I recently posted pictures that a friend took on the Gold Coast during the storm, but the ones I've posted here are from Suffolk Park after the weather had changed. I took a series of pictures of home a couple of months ago that I'll put next to the ones I took last week of the same beaches - it will give you some idea of the damage (and my beach wasn't even the worst hit!).

Nature, eh!

Got any flatter?


Minus the sunshine. And 10 hours south.