Friday, September 25, 2009

Surfergrrrl

Surfergrrrl asks a good question...

Why weren't women invited to Mavericks?
The Mavericks Surf Contest recently announced the 2009 invitees, and all 26 are men. WTF?! Sarah Gerhardt, the focus of One Winter Story, has been surfing the big waves of Mavericks for more than 10 years. She was invited to the contest in 2001, but only as an alternate. Jenny Useldinger and Jamilah Star are also Mavs regulars.

The Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards aren't so sexist. Maya Gabiera, who charges with the guys on massive waves at spots like Dungeons, is up for XXL Monster Paddle. Women's surfing icon Layne Beachley is in the running for XXL Ride of the Year for taking on a big one at Ours.

I asked Keir Beadling, Mavericks CEO, why no women are on the invite list. His answer? "Hmm..." C'mon, we want to know why the contest is ignoring half the population. Are you afraid a woman might win?

I hope you don't mind me re-posting that here, Surfergrrrl? I just thought it was an interesting question.

Bringing the beach to work

This morning I was sitting listening to a talk, when I got distracted by the hem of my jeans. It was slightly turned up, which in the scheme of things means little, but when you are looking for something, anything to occupy you as you politely endure someone else's rant, it seems significant, so I reached to my ankle and turned it down. When I folded my hands back in my lap, they felt gritty and grainy and were covered in sand. I looked at the floor to see tiny grains of rock, crystal and shell spread like icing sugar across the floor beneath my feet.

Last Sunday morning I'd been wearing these jeans as I sat in the sun-drenched sand dunes checking the surf and waiting for Amy to meet me. The sand must have been from then. We had a fun surf that morning.

That memory and all the attendant feelings and warmth were alive in that tiny artefact - trapped in the fabric of my (unwashed) clothing and spilling out simply because I got bored. Its presence there on the floor of that room, so far out of context, made my whole morning.

I feel pretty

This Nike advertisement isn't new, but I'd never seen it before this morning when a friend used it to talk about gender performances and expectations in sport. I'm not going to delve into that particular discussion here, but I do like to think that Nike understood all the ideas and contradictions that weave their way all through this advertisement.

Then again, I am an optimist!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Look out the back! (el rolo)

I need to begrudgingly admit that I didn't find this myself - I snatched the link of someone else's Facebook post (thanks loom).

And look, I actually don't even know WHAT THE HELL THIS IS OR WHERE IT'S FROM and I'm much too busy to look into it today but it needed to go up here. And oh my lord has it made my day!

If you DO have further info, I would love you to share it with me. If there is more where this came from, it should be shared and broadcast!

Please, enjoy.

(P.S. the lyric "get up on your feet pretty baby" seems to get lost in translation!)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Average

Last week I went for a surf and for the first time ever, got out of the water feeling absolutely worse than before I’d gone in!


It was awful.


Granted, we’d chosen to surf a particularly and notoriously popular, busy, crowded break, but I can usually cope with that. You accept your decision to surf that spot and accept that it’s going to be a bit chaotic. It’s a little like making a deal with the Devil. Fine. But this was different.


The crowd wasn’t too over-the-top as far as number go. And there were waves enough, even if they were only a kind of messy. But there was also this incredibly aggressive and macho vibe, which was both overwhelming and confronting. It wasn’t like there were any blow-ups or anything, but it was just that everyone was totally in it for themselves. And I’m not talking about some wave-sharing, ‘spirit of surfing’ crap that you hear about – I don’t expect such mythical behaviours – but there was no courtesy, no consideration, no care for each other. Like I said, a total free-for-all!


And it was just hideous.


At one point some guy I’ve never met before paddled up to me and pointed out that about 5 guys were snaking me with alarming regularity. They would just paddle straight past me and sit a couple of metres to my inside then get the next wave. Bastards.


Yeah, I noticed that too, but I can’t be bothered caring about it much.


It’s pretty bad though. It’s pretty blatant.


Yeah, I know. I know. If something comes that I want, I’ll go. It’s ok.


You need to learn to think like a man out here. You’ll get more waves.


Idiot. I almost felt sorry for him saying that to me. Almost. Until he snaked me. And claimed it.


Haha! This was your wave!


I wanted to throttle him.


And don’t think that I’m sitting here all self-righteous and looking down my nose at the self-interested behaviour of everyone else and not implicating myself. Especially not after that particular guys little stunt. I got right in there, tooth and nail. I placed myself further out and further to the inside, claiming whatever I felt like for myself, with little consideration for who was around me or what was really going on. I implicated myself heavily by through my choices and behaviours in the water that day. But I couldn’t do it for long. I started to feel tired and angry and frustrated the ways that I was allowing myself to buy into it all – to become complicit in that nasty, ill-conceived lineup. And I didn't like it.


I eventually lost all semblance of enthusiasm and stoke for the day, caught some broken wash in and dragged my board up the beach to where my friends were waiting for me.


I feel so flat after that. I’m just totally bummed out about that surf. It was horrible. I honestly wish we hadn’t gone out!


Oh, we were just saying the same thing!


Yeah, that was horrible. Everyone was being so mean. It’s shit.


We trudged back to the carpark where I bumped into another friend who’d been out there as well. She was flat too. And cranky.


God that was awful! Did you see that guy drop in on me? So shit. That crew out the back are being arseholes. What’s going on today? The surf’s not even good enough for that kind of attitude.


She’s right. When it’s good, you kind of expect a bit of a fight for waves here, but it was so average today. I don’t know what everyone was trying to prove? That they can get the most shitty, messy waves?


We drove back into town where we met up for some breakfast.


As we sat down we all just looked at each other.


Well, I proposed, at least the water was nice!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Premiere of "_" (finally!!)

Hey!

What are you doing next Friday? Come watch a film!!




Tuesday, September 15, 2009

For kate

OK, so...

It's pretty clear that I'm not writing much at the moment. Which is massive. For me.

Truth be told, I'm not doing much of anything at the moment, so please don't think that my lack of inspiration/motivation/productivity is limited to this modest little blog, because it's not - I'm generally useless in every aspect of my life right now! Sigh.

But I am trying. I really am. I am looking everywhere to bust myself out of this lethargy, but it was a particular little comment on my last post that really kicked me into gear to post something today.

So this post is for Kate - who always manages to encourage and inspire me! xx

*****

I have a lot of wax on my board. From the nose to the tail and out to the rails, I've pretty much got the whole thing covered!

It rises up from the deck in piles, like little drip-castles that you build on the beach, letting the wet sand run between your fingers to form unstable, piled-up stacks. Most surfs, I add to these wax castles by running the soft, white, scented cake across the surface adding to their height and instability.

The other day someone looked at my board and told me that's a good wax job you've done there! They were serious and were genuinely impressed! I found it a bit odd, but who am I to shun such a particular comment? I just said Oh? Thanks.

The wax in the centre of the board is grey from contact with my wetsuit - it's kind of gross. Even under the bumps - throughout that thin coating across the deck that you barely notice - the wax is grey and dark. In some places, the bumps have come off and the red glass burns through bright and smooth. I like watching where the bumps stay and where they wear away under my feet, under my chest, near the rails. I like that I know where I need to replace it more often and the spots that I can ignore. I like the way my hands stall and catch on the grippy stickiness as I run them across the board.

This morning in the water, I was lying flat on my stomach along the length of the board between sets, stretching my arms, hands and fingers towards the nose, seeing how far I could reach. As I lay there and looked at the nose, I found bits of grass, dirt and a small stone sealed in amongst the bumps where it was pushed when I lay the board down in the grass near my car the days before. Long strands of green and brown curling and sticking up through the wax. I used the time to pull them out and watch them variously float and sink into the water around me.

After my surf this morning, my friend and I went and had coffee and toast in town. We sat for ages chatting and pouring through magazines, looking and commenting at the images. My car was parked in dappled shade, minimising the heat and protecting my board inside. When I got into my car, my nose was filled with the vanilla scent of the wax which had warmed and softened.

It was lovely.

The bumps in the middle of the board

I got new swimmers and somehow they make surfing more fun.
(You can just see the frill that goes right across the front!)

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Magnifier

This morning I went up to visit my friend Kris. He lives on the escarpement overlooking Lennox Head and Seven Mile Beach.
It's beautiful.
We sat outside drinking coffee and chatting, looking at the view, watching the birds, the headland, the ocean.
Kris got the binoculars so we could check the surf better.

I wish every surf check was like this.