Showing posts from September, 2010

A thank you note



Moving north from Byron Bay to live and work and study in Brisbane for the past few years has meant a big shift in my access to surfing. In the past I would surf at least once every day and had an ongoing and real relationship to conditions, banks and spots that were working. I could walk over from my house or jump in the car and drive into town in ten minutes if I wanted. Surfing was easy, accessible and cheap, and a major, everyday part of my life. From Brisbane the nearest break is about an hour away, which is not so dramatic in the scheme of things. However, in terms of my own realities, it feels much further.

My life in Brisbane and the commitments I have here mean that I lack the resources to surf - namely time and money. The hours and costs involved in driving to and from the coast limit my opportunities, and the work I moved here to do has also taken up much more of the time and energy I have available for other things.

Sometimes, I get really bummed about it. Especially when,…


My niece is growing up and learning about the ocean on the same beaches that my sisters and I did.

She had a kind of rocky beginning to her relationship with sand and salt water - she would scream and cling like a limpet to whoever was trying to put her down, curling her toes almost back into her feet! - but she is loving being there now, which makes me so, so happy.

I don't know what her relationship to the beach and the ocean will be like as she gets older - maybe it won't mean as much to her as it does to me - but seeing her on the same shores of my own sandy childhood is something really special.

And it's something that my sisters and my niece and I all share.

Isma Amor

One of the beautiful and enduring myths in Australian surfing history, is that Isabel Letham was the first woman to go surfing here. And indeed, fifteen year-old Isabel certainly volunteered to ride tandem with Duke Kahanamoku when he performed a display of wave riding at Freshwater Beach, Sydney in 1915. Lucky Isabel! The event was well recorded and is often summoned in stories and film, and retold as a significant part of Australian surfing history. And it is! But, not surprisingly, evidence shows that there were women involved in oceanic and wave-catching pursuits before this.Over at the Manly Library blog they recently posted an account and image of young female surfer, Isma Amor,"Reg Harris, in his 1959 history of Manly Surf Life Saving Club, Heroes of the Surf states: “In the 1912-13 season a number of Manly L S club members decided to persevere and master the art [of surfing]. They included Jack Reynolds and Norman Roberts, Geoff Wyld, Tom Walker, a 13-year old …

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