Friday, February 26, 2010

Isaac Fields - noserider

Isaac is pretty much the nicest guy you could ever meet and can he ever surf an old mal!! And there he was, featured in a PLB gallery that I got sent via email this week,

Double-ups are on, Isaac. Yew!

Shredman/Olive smoke tally

Smoke tally;

Shredman - 150
Olive - 1

But damn! It was a good one.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Let's Go Surfing!

On paper I should actually hate both this song and the clip, but I don't! And I can't figure out why...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

December, 7.30 - 8pm ADST

I need time
for myself,
before the day ends.

I grab a jumper,
leave the house
and walk
through the back fence,
across the road,
past the motel,
through the dirt-packed carpark,
and up the sandy track.

As I reach the top of the track,
I pay attention as the sea is revealed
in front of me.
The banksia canopy peels away,
the track bends,
stones cut at my feet,
and the sky breaks through the boughs
and melts into the water.
This is the moment I ache for when I'm away.
This point,
at the top of my beach track,
when the ocean appears.

My track.
My beach.
My ocean.
My home.

It's late.
The sun has dipped below the trees behind me,
leaving the sand in shadows.
The light still plays further out,
on the water,
but the sky is lilac,
faded blue,
and silver.
There's not much time left in the day
but that is the time that I need.

I sit in the dunes,
in the still warm sand
and run my fingers through it.
As I dig I already know that
deeper down it's cold
and damp,
and the white gives way to grey.
And black.
I've never liked the black sand.
It cakes my fingers
and smears
and sticks to my skin.

I break apart small sticks and twigs
that litter the sand at my feet,
and poke them upright
building stick cities.
I drizzle the soft, white sand through my fist
making temporary pyramids
within the city walls.
Small actions to take my mind away.
To be still.

The light is still fading.
Lilac and silver turn steely grey
over the water.
But I twist around to try to find,
through the pandanus and melaleucas,
orange and green streaks
behind me in the sky.
I know they sit
above the hills
where the sun sinks away,
but I can't see them from here.
In the sand.

I turn back to look at the sea.
The water looks cold
but it's not.
It's summer-time warm.
And with so many people around,
and in the fading light,
the waves sound louder.
I can never figure out why this is?
Why does it sound louder as the sun sets?
I wonder as I look.

By this time of day
the bare bodies have disappeared.
They're now wrapped in clothes,
protected from the evening breeze.
At this time of day
the petanque
and cricket games are in swing,
the dog-walkers are chatting
as their pooches play,
and the lovers stroll
hand in hand.
(And he always offers his jumper
I've noticed.)

But my family has dinner cooking
and I should go home.
I break apart my stick city
so no-one will tread on their points
in the night.
(Like filling in the holes
you dug as a child,
to spare the fishermen broken legs.)
And I pick myself up,
brush off the powdery sand
and look one last time,
for today,
at the sea.

There will be more time.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

February (2009)

Fuck, it was hot today.

Ice-cream dripping
Dog with its tongue out, hiding in the shade.
Lobster pink backpackers on the beach
Expanding water bottles.

Air too thick to breathe.

Frizzy hair humid
Feet burning as I run across the sand
Sunscreen greasy on my skin.
Fingers leaving sweat marks on the pages of my book.

Argh! Don't touch me!

Steering wheel too hot to hold
Can barely move.
Grocery shopping, for the air-con cool.
Stay out of the sun!

I'd love a beer.

Condensation on my glass,
Ceiling fan clunking as it pushes air.
Swimmer bottoms, no top
Every door and window open.

Sub tropics.

Winter sounds so good right now.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Vogue (1938)

After a recent post, an email landed in my inbox with the following image attached,

Travel Resort
Holiday Fashion
15 December 1938

(thanks, Gerry)

Monday, February 08, 2010

The Monkey's Arse 2 - Legropes and learners?

So, an update on the conversations that have arisen from the recent accident at The Pass, in Byron Bay...

Recently, Ben at In Byron Bay Today asked people to write in and speak up, providing space outside of the rather confusing community forums, to see what people think about surfing in busy lineups these days. Obviously, these letters are about The Pass specifically, but it's kind of interesting in broader terms anyway, seeing the ways people describe situations and the ways they explain their position as surfers.

The responses Ben published are here, and I reckon he set it up fairly well. He insisted that people use their own names, which meant folk couldn't go on some free-for-all rant, instead had to state opinions that would be linked back to them.

I reaslise that The Pass is a pretty specific kind of break, but if nothing else, These letters give and an interesting little view into how some people see surfing hierarchies and traditions in Australia.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Way of the Ocean (Stormy)

I warned you I was watching surf films again!

This film, The Way of the Ocean, looks like it might be interesting and also, these are the storms that trashed my beach last year.


Saturday, February 06, 2010

Little Black Wheels

I used to watch a lot of surf films.

Living in a city away from the beach, I would use them as a way to access the calm and the joy that being in the water brings me. I know it's not the same as being in the ocean, but it reminds me of it and helps me connect to those feelings; I can use the images to link to my memories and experiences and I find it can provide a little relief when I just can't find the time to get down the coast.

But lately, well for quite a few months now, I've found these films boring. I've found them predictable and hard to sit through. I think that for the last 6 months in particular, having access to the ocean and to surfing has been so important and central in my life that having to compromise in any way has been completely unsatisfying. So watching footage of other people having the kinds of experiences that I couldn't get just made me sad and annoyed and I was jealous of them getting waves or getting wet if I couldn't. And then for the last months of 2009, I was either in the water or I was thinking about when I would be next, and I really didn't want to take time away from that to watch a film about things I would rather just go and do myself.

But now life has established a new rhythm and I am back further north in the city again and I have settled into a life that doesn't include everyday ocean access and so I have started pulling out my surf films again. I've watched all my favourite sections of my favourite films (realised that a couple are missing or lent to friends) and started looking around again at other films that I might like to see...

I've been seeing clips for Little Black Wheels for some time now and I knew it had come out late last year, so when a friend talked it up and offered to loan me their copy to watch, I was curious.

It is great. It's the first full film I've managed to sit through in a long time and I enjoyed it all. There is some particularly beautiful surfing and although I often find it painful when people talk in surf films, overall I found the individual stories are warm and sincere and interesting. There are conversations about boards, style, family, home, health, bodies and connection, and they are stories you don't really hear a lot in other films, at least not in these ways. And sure, at times I rolled my eyes, but that's ok too - I'm quite sure I cause a lot of eye-rolling myself at times. Anyway, there are a couple of sections in this film that are going to make their way into my collection of 'often watched'.

Anyway, you should check it out!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The Vogue magazine field-guide to women's surfing

(This post must begin with yet another apology to my long-suffering friend, Kate. Who, despite what she knew would happen, pointed me in the direction of this particular magazine. You, dear Kate, are a true friend.)

Obviously, I spend a lot of time thinking and talking about surfing and women who surf. I spend a lot of time trying to understand certain aspects of surf culture and where and how women fit within it all. So I can't tell you how pleased I was to find that the latest edition of Australian Vogue magazine has pretty much done the job for me, exploring, developing and illustrating what is essentially a 'field-guide' to Australian women surfers!

I will admit that I was a little surprised at first, but then I remembered that fashion magazines not only provide high-quality and hard-hitting journalism but also are pretty on-trend, so who am I to dispute their findings. So in case you are on far-flung shores, or in case you would never in a million years pick up a copy of Australian Vogue to find info about surfing culture (and I'm throwing an accusing look at all of you right now!!) I have scanned some of the most relevant pages from the copy I just jauntily collected from my local newsagent.

(Note: Not ALL the pages that are about surfing, just the most relevant.)

Vogue finally provides an explanation for why more women don't surf;
While the surf girl has long been a bona fide icon, surf style hasn't always been chic.

(Please note the unexpected use of the word 'icon')

The Hippie Surfer
Style point: Diamond earrings just don't work for the hippie surfer girl.
Movies they watch: Big Wednesday...

Are you confused yet?

The Urban Surfer
You can still surf in the city but the look switches from urban to glam.

I SWEAR I AM NOT MAKING THIS STUFF UP! I am honestly quoting the text!!

The Glamazon Surfer
Get post-surf perfect in a bright [insert brand here] blue necklace, neon-coloured [insert ridiculously priced brand name here] sandals and fluoro [insert out of this stratosphere insanely inappropriate brand here] shoes.

Also, a life-changing insight from Luealla Bartely, fashion designer,
The wetsuit is one of the sexiest garments.

Oh. And she's not being 'ironic' either. I checked.

And in case you are interested, the black Chanel board in this picture is priced at $9,300.

As you can see, Vogue has clarified many important questions which I have been grappling with over the years writing this blog. In many ways, they have made me feel as though I wasted a lot of time thinking over things that could be so easily explained. In other ways, the writer appears to be living in another universe to me. Also, I don't reckon they surf.

Still, after careful consideration, I remain unsure which 'surfer girl' category - Hippie, Urban or Glamazon - I most completely inhabit. I'll keep you posted.