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Showing posts from October, 2014

The Undress: For if you get carpark changing anxiety (I don't).

One of the ongoing embarrassments that my surfing buddies endure, is the lack of concern I have about modesty when I get changed in the carpark pre- and post- surf. I'm sure you think you know how much I don't care, but you really don't. I feel like making a fuss draws more attention that just changing and risking the fact that someone might see parts of your body for a moment. But I can see why my friends might tire of seeing me. Haha. My poor friend Izzy is so used to/exasperated by my needless boob and bum flashing that she has pointed me to this new possibility: The Undress.



So, I'm not saying this isn't a great idea - I mean they really have thought of everything and it's pretty smart! - but I am saying it's sort of mental. How chuffed is April though. Also, people are clearly super stoked on this idea because while they aimed to raise $22,000 and they already have $182,627!! Holy crap!

I'm not chucking in for their Kickstarter campaign because I&#…

Stop pushing me, already!

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So, a few weeks ago, my friend Ollie came and stayed. Ol and I have never lived in the same town at the same time, but we've managed to catch up in a bunch of places over the years - in Byron, in Sydney, in Brisbane, in San Francisco! It was so great having him here.


Sadly, the surf wasn't really doing much that was tempting while he was staying. It was big enough, but it was full and washy and moving around a lot. Nonetheless, we paddled out because, what else are you gonna do? Also, you gotta keep your go outs up.

It really was a mess so there were only a few others out - maybe six. One guy on a fat, red shortboard was getting some waves, but the pickings were otherwise slim. I wasn't so fussed, so I sat wide and paddled for the odd wave, but the faces were doubling up in that not good way, so I wasn't getting on them. I got one, but I was happy just to be out there and cruise.

But after a while, the guy on the red board paddled over and started talking.

'That'…

'Away', by Elisa Bates

I love any film about surfing that is different - that challenge the stereotypes and mainstream representations of what surfing is, what is looks like and who does it. I like these films because they call into question who gets to tell the stories of surfing. For so long, it's been those who are best at it, those for whom surfing is life, rather than part of life, those who are the most self-interested, those who see their place in history as significant, those who are trying to make money from it. This is all fine, but it means that our surfing stories have been mostly high performance, glamorous, spectacular, and let's face it, hyper-masculine. Again, that's cool, but it's given us a pretty limited representation of the majority of surfing experiences.

So when I saw this surf film, Away, come up on my social media feed this morning, I was pretty thrilled.



Away, by Elisa Bates is a short film about three women who surf in New York - Katarina Del Mar, Jee Mee Kim and Ma…

I totally meant to do that.

Surfing is always a bit of an unknown. For me especially. I mean, mostly it just feels like a leap of faith that things will work out, and to be honest I still feel amazed whenever I stand up on a wave. Only because, well, it's rally amazing to be able to ride a wave like that, don't you think? And then there are those days when things work out that weren't meant to work out and you think... okay.

So, I'm thinking of a wave I got the other day. It was so nice out in the water - long, peeling, clean, 3-4 foot, and sunny. Like, wow. It was kind of crowded though, so I did my special trick of sitting wide and waiting for the big, wide sets to come through - the inconsistent sets that scuttle everyone on the inside, leaving the wave for me. It means I spend time looking like a moron sitting on my own, but it seems to work well enough. At one stage I abandoned this plan for one of the smaller sneaky inside waves that were coming through. I was keeping an eye on the horizon …

Day trip

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On the weekend, I ventured down the coast to meet up with my friend, Kevyn. I've been here for 5 months now, and it seemed as though it might be time to check out places other than my own little corner of Aotearoa. Kevyn lives a little further south, but we wanted to go surfing together, so she kindly split the difference and we met in Takanaki.

The drive down is a few hours and a half, so by the time I arrived the wind had picked up and was starting to ruffle the sea. But we grabbed a coffee and Kevyn showed me her favourite spots and we found ourselves a left that was consistent, smooth and had a bit of size. Oh, and no-one on it! The few guys who'd been out there were making their way back in across the rocks, so we had the chance to ask about it... Fun, they told us. Kind of full, but with a longboard, no problems. We had parked beside the weekend campsite of these guys, who'd been cruising there for a few days. As they peeled off wetsuits, we pulled ours on and made o…

Boards for miles! Boards for sale!

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So there is a pretty amazing surfboard auction happening over in Western Australia at the moment. There are 111 boards up for sale - you can check out the boards up for auction via this link.

There are some pretty wild creations in there, this one chief amongst them:
OLE Olson Twin Fin
1961. 8’11" X 21 ½". Built in 1961 by Bob, he remembers only making one of these, one of the first ever twin fins. Double glass on fins and black stripes with OLE logo. Fully restored.
Also...

Tom Blake Paddle Board
1946. By the Catalina Equipment Company of Los Angeles. Tom Blake was a forerunner of surfing design and is credited with being the first person to put fins on surf boards. A champion athlete he was a fine surfer, swimmer and board paddler, having won many titles at the three pursuits, both in Hawaii and America. 16’ long and of a hollow design with ribs inside.
And this one I'd love to have. It's is one of only two of the 111 boards that are in any way associated with wome…

The Pursuit of Saltiness

Nice Friday clip from surfer, photographer, artist, Kat Charles:

The Pursuit of Saltiness from Kat Charles on Vimeo.

Oh Chanel! You've done it again.

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So, it has come to this. And obviously, I can't let such a thing go by without posting it here in all it's contrived, luxury, haute couture, ridiculous glory. Here you have it, Gisele Budchen, supermodel, not riding a not waxed surfboard:



(Note: I cannot find who the surfer - the actual surfer doing surfing - is in this clip. Can you please let me know when you find out! Seems weird they've not said...)

The thing is that it's just so 'bad rad', so beyond reality that it's hardly worth saying much. It feels like watching an action film - those films like X-Men or Iron Man or Pacific Rim, that are so filled to the brim with sexism, racism, homophobia, false history and incredulousness that I really can't be bothered critiquing them, and thus find myself going back for more. This clip is the same in that it's 'So fashion! Much Chanel! Very surf!' that it becomes a parody of itself.

And Chanel is no newcomer to this. They've been making spor…

"Looks like a chick's board"

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Today I went surfing.

The last few weeks have been driving me mental with what I've come to realise are dreaded seasonal winds. They're strong and relentless and filled with rain, and they've been getting in my head and stressing me out. As in, I've a constant headache for the past couple of weeks. Over the weekend, however, they relented and I was back on the beach and back in the sea. Bliss!

So today when I noticed the wind coming up again, I rushed down to get some waves before carrying a longboard became impossible. The waves were solid and long and fun.* Sets were coming through wide and cleaning up the lineup, so my longboard and I sat wide to keep out of the periodical carnage.

The crew out were chilled and quiet. People say hello and give you a smile or at the very least, a head flick. It was mainly shortboarders of course, but there was one other longboarder and a couple of SUPs out too. One of the SUP guys paddled over to me and, as happens a lot here, commen…

'The sea' and 'Blue-green sea with steamer'

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I love seeing new perspectives on the sea - ways of imagining the ocean that I've never dreamed of. Noah Sabich presented me with images like this today, when posted this very beautiful and evocative paintings by Emil Nolde (1867-1956) on Facebook. 
The Sea (date unknown)

Blue-green Sea With Steamer (date unknown) Emil Nolde (7 August 1867 – 13 April 1956) was a German painter and printmaker. He was one of the first Expressionists, a member of Die Brücke, and is considered to be one of the great oil painting and watercolour painters of the 20th century. He is known for his vigorous brushwork and expressive choice of colors. Golden yellows and deep reds appear frequently in his work, giving a luminous quality to otherwise somber tones. His watercolors include vivid, brooding storm-scapes and brilliant florals. Nolde's intense preoccupation with the subject of flowers reflect his continuing interest in the art of Vincent Van Gogh. (Via ArtStack) (image found via the perpetually s…

Best of times

Feminism and famous people

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So, feminism has become a real talking point among female celebrities lately. Popstars and TV and movie stars have been coming out in droves to associate themselves with women's politics, and clearly stating what feminism means to them. Sometimes I find the way this appears like a trend a bit uncomfortable, and sometimes it becomes a little simplified into soundbites. But I can't deny how pleased I am that it's encouraged conversations about what feminism is, what its political goals are, and enabling the kinds of highly publicised discussion that they have the pull to get media coverage for. While some of these seem like self promotion (I'm not linking to these), others are a reflection of personal beliefs. Angelina Jolie's participation in the 'Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict' is an example of this, as is Emma Watson's recent speech to the UN. They're not unproblematic examples (over to you, Roxanne Gay), but they're sure som…