Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dan with a van

Sunday morning brought a delightful surprise in the form of a visit from Dan. He was in Brisbane so called me to catch up. He came over and we talked about Noosa and whether he should head up there or not. The surf had been pumping, but the wind had just turned, so it was a bit risky considering the drive/fail ratio. We talked a bit until I brought out my laptop so Dan could so some reconnaissance on where he should go. He sat using online resources (no cameras though!), his phone and his own knowledge to come a to a decision.

Dan didn't go to Noosa but he did get waves...

Monday, March 22, 2010

A song to sing-a-long to.

I went to a karaoke bar on the weekend and it was SO MUCH FUN!! Among (many) other songs, I sang Xanadu, and it was much more of a hit with the other chicks there than I could ever have hoped for. I also sang some Britney song and it was so great.

But, the song of the night must go to Maddy and Zoe who sang Paradise by the Dashboard light. Do yourself a massive favour and listen to the whole song today. You will not be sorry...

By the way, how awesome is her jumpsuit!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A rainy day at Crescent

I love surfing when it's overcast and raining. I love the way the water is green, rather than blue. I love that there are always fewer people out. I love the way the surface of the water looks when it squalls. I love that it doesn't matter if it rains because you're already wet anyway.

This rainy day clip is by Tom Woods, with surfing by Sage, Brett and Jack, and it makes me want to get the hell out of the city...

Rainy day at Crescent from Tom Woods on Vimeo.

I have a feeling I could find them up at Noosa this weekend if I went and had a look.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

31 days/31 ways

I've been checking out this blog this morning - 31 days/31 ways. Basically, every day for a month they get up and surf and film and then post it up for you to watch.

It's cute.

Currently, they're in Byron so their latest project is based there, but if you go back through the blog you can see stories from their home in St Augustine in Florida as well.

I like the idea of them surfing and filming in their own hometown a lot more because it's always an interesting project to explore the places you have grown up and spent so much time and have so many assumptions about. It means that you don't necessarily go over obvious locations or aspects of the town or place and that you can really plumb the depths, since you will be pretty well-versed in the surface. Byron is so over-exposed that, as visitors, it might be a bit hard for them to get too deep in 31 days without first understanding the surface, but I could be wrong. I've been wrong before. Many, many times. I suppose the point isn't about the place so much as surfing in that place, and maybe that's where the difference is going to lie. Or maybe they can teach me something more about my place. About my home. Maybe?

Anyway, like I said, it's cute.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

I love Pineapple Luv

Jamie over at Pineapple Luv, always manages to make me smile. She has an amazing outlook on life and surfing, and her posts never fail to urge me into the water.

She is always posting things that are inspiring and new, and with Jamie, they're always fun as well. She's one cool lady and I've learned a lot from watching her site and sharing emails.

Laura Thornhill
in another awesome Jamie post on Pineapple Luv

Thanks Jamie, you're the best!

Friday, March 05, 2010

How carrying a surfboard can change the world!

I surf longboards. I have a few boards, but two of them are 9'2" and wide and thick and have heavy glass. I often find that my arm gets tired if I have to carry one of them too far, but when that happens, I just put it on my head and let it rest on my skull. Unless there's a howling wind, it's easier to carry like this, and I find it works better for me than having my mal under my arm.

When I go to the beach with friends, it can be the case that I have the longest, heaviest board. Definitely not always but sometimes. And sometimes it's kind of funny; I think of the way I can be carrying this big heavy board down to the water, while my much stronger guy friends can skip along with their little, thin, light boards tucked under their arms, barely noticeable as far as weight goes. But it's ok and it wouldn't even cross my mind to ask them to swap with me. I wouldn't think to ask them to carry my big board for me, because it's not really an issue. It's the board I ride and I carry it all the time, so I'm used to it's cumbersome weight. It's a part of going surfing, it's a part of my choice to surf longboards.

And it's rare that anyone has ever even thought to ask me if I'd like to swap boards with them. In fact, only twice ever, that I can think of, now that I'm thinking about it. For the same reasons I don't ask them I guess - it isn't really an issue.

One time, ages ago, an old friend carried my board up the beach for me. I don't know why. He was already carrying his own mal and mine was on the sand because I'd been waiting for him and he just came up and picked it up and carried on with a board under each arm. I objected, but he said it was ok. It was certainly impressive, but we don't have the kind of friendship where we need to impress each other (we're more like feuding brother and sister than friends), and he knows that I can do things for myself, but it's just something he did. Thanks though!

And the other week another friend was visiting me in Byron, borrowing my shorter 7'4" to ride while I stayed on a mal. We walked a way around a headland to surf and as we walked he offered to swap boards with me, then instantly stopped and wondered if he'd said the wrong thing? It was very sweet. I declined, but not to prove a point, just because, well, I can carry my board. I carry it all the time, I'm used to it and it was probably easier for me to handle its breadth and length it than him, who usually rides boards that are much, much smaller. It was lovely and thoughtful of him to ask, and if I did need help I would have accepted, but I was fine. And also, carrying my own board is a part of surfing that means something to me.

In an overly considered way, it's part of how I feel connected and capable and strong in ways that I didn't used to. I can negotiate my long, heavy board long distances along paths and up and down clif tracks and through trees and across hot sand and carparks. I get it down to the water's edge and then I manage to get all 9-plus feet of it through and beyond the breaking waves and out the back. I weave it over and under and through the wash, sometimes struggling to hold onto it as the power of the wave throws me and my board back and as the rip pulls me in exactly the opposite direction from where I want to be. But I do it, and it's something that I am proud of.

Because I am not, historically, a very strong person. So until I knew I could do things like carry my longboard I would always ask for help if I came across something heavy that needed to be lifted. But now, I do it myself.

For example, I recently went and bought some bookshelves from a major-multinational-furniture-company-that-shall-remain-alluded-to, and when I was there I realised that the packaged furniture I wanted really needs two people to carry it. But I, in my fitted, pink dress and heels, wrangled two tall, un-assembled boxed bookcases off the shelves and onto a trolley and through the register. I somehow managed to (just) control the trolley and I wove my way through the labyrinthine carpark to my silver car and I re-organised the space inside and I somehow pushed and pulled the long, heavy packages in there. I struggled like hell and it sucked, but I did it.

But I couldn't have done that a few years ago. I would have had to go and find a (male) assistant to help me do all those things. I would have had to stand back and watch and marvel at his masculine strength as he did this job that I would never have attempted. It wouldn't have mattered that I wouldn't have done it, but it's just that I wouldn't have even thought that I could. And sure, I had to get my much stronger flatmate to carry the boxes up the stairs when I got home, but even I can recognise my limits. That's not the point though because when it counted, when I was alone and had few options, I was ok. I could do it.

And what would it mean if I couldn't carry my own board? It would limit me in a potential number of ways. Either I would have to only surf boards that I could carry or I would have to rely on someone stronger to transport my board for me when I wanted to surf. That's fine, but it would mean that surfing was a lot more negotiated. I imagine that the weight of those old wooden boards Back In The Day meant that surfing was negotiated for many women and men. The change in materials, the change in weight, opened surfing up to a host of new surfers. I love fibreglass for that, for giving me access to surfing.

So it's funny how these little things - like carrying a surfboard and being able to go surfing whenever I want - can come to mean something more. And it probably doesn't mean anything to anyone else, but to me, it means the world!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

First Love - the film.

This morning, quite unexpectedly, I happened across a link for this film, First Love, which looks like it will be released later this year. It also looks like it will be pretty cool.

First Love Teaser from First Love on Vimeo.

First Love is a feature length surf movie that takes an in depth look into the lives of three passionate young girls from Phillip Island en route to making a career out of surfing.The film documents the everyday lives of Nikki van Dijk, India Payne and Jess Laing, the trials and tribulations of training, competitions and injury. The camera follows them to Hawaii for their first crack at the heavy North Shore waves, where we gain and insight into the world and lifestyle of Hawaiian female surfers. It highlights the recent rise in standard of women's surfing and touches on the attitude surrounding female surfers at a grass roots level, in an inspiring (and not overbearing) way.

I'll look forward to seeing it at a venue near me!!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Surfing and film and regional festivals

The 2010 Byron Bay International Film Festival kicks off this Friday 5th of March. There's some really interesting films that are on and I've been sussing out the program and there are quite a few cool films, and there happen to be several surfing films that I'd really, really like to see.

Anyway, it's rainy and sleepy here and I am in no state to be pre-reviewing films right now, but if you're going to be around Byron from this weekend, and you'd like to see some films about surfing, then check out Sessions 23, 25 and 29.

Monday, March 01, 2010

A post for Ollie (and Martha)

I found these online...
(Click the images to go to the shop and see more)

Boyfriends who surf

I've heard quite a few of my girlfriends talk about how they would find it hard to go out with someone who didn't surf. They've told me how they've had partners who didn't understand when they wanted to get up early and get in the ocean or when they want to just surf all weekend. Their significant others get jealous - especially if they're boys. I've had girlfriends who've managed to convince their boyfriends to learn to surf and have organised to get them a board and to teach them, which is cool. But other women find it difficult to negotiate the ways that their surfing impacts on their relationship and vice versa. I've talked a bit about that before, but it's something I'm still mulling over and still hearing people talk about...

I know lots of guys have the same kinds of experiences, although I've noticed many of my male friends end up with non-surfers. I suppose that women have a bigger surfing pool to paddle in really, but still, it doesn't necessarily seem to be such a point of contention with guys as it does for women. I mean, I don't think I've ever seen some girl's boyfriend sitting on the beach waiting while she surfs! Unless he's watching the kids so she gets a turn in the waves as well - sharing waves and sharing parenting.

In fact, as I think about it, I can't think of any of my girlfriends who have a partner who doesn't (or in one case, didn't used to) surf. It's usually something that they share together and although they'll often compromise and surf different breaks some of the time, they also get to hang out and share waves with each other, which is pretty cool I reckon.

It's such a nice thing to be able to go surfing with the people you love.