Remember that time Surfing World released a T-shirt? Mike Jennings almost smiled. It was probably the happiest day of his life. Meanwhile, people were ripping their shirts off in the streets, lassoing them around their heads until their nipples became cold and they put on their new Surfing World tee. Everything in the world was right again and stoke-tanks were at full capacity. But then the tees ran out and there were inconsolable nipples everywhere. Well guess what!? The Surfing World tee is back! This time brought to you by our pals - and now your pals - at Reef. Subscribe to Surfing World this month and you'll receive your very own limited edition Reef Surfing World Tee. That's 12 months of the best surfing for your stoke-tank and a brand new tee for your nipples.
Wade's gotta be one of the best dudes in surfing. He's just had a little bub, broke his leg and found himself without a major sponsor. But hell, it hasn't stopped him from ripping. While he built a reputation being a mega jump guy, Wade's been riding waves of serious consequence with buddy, Laurie Towner. This is a must-see clip. Turn it on, turn it up and pay thanks to Runamuk Visuals.
Ozzie Wright – aka Ozzie Wrong – lives a couple of headlands over from the SW office. We often see him driving past on the way to Whale Beach with his head out the window and feet on the steering wheel so he can play his ukulele as he goes. Oz is a fantastic surfer and a crafty cat. His house is littered with odd robotic inventions, strange square surfboards, silver unicorn sculptures and freshly baked chocolate and banana cakes. When he makes these things people seem to like them, so we figured, let’s give him his own space in the mag. “Sure,” he said, “what do I have to do again?” Make stuff we told him. “Well I just made a barbecued duck,” he said. Bewdy we told him.
Step 1. The first thing you’ll need is a Grim Reaper outfit but don’t go and spend ridiculous amounts of money at the Halloween store. Simply peel off all your skin so that your skull and bones are clearly visible then wrap yourself in a black silk sheet, you can find one of those on Luke Stedman’s clothesline.
Step 2. Next you’ll need a lighter and an aerosol can (CFC free of course, always think of the environment). Spray the can into the lit flame and voila! Homemade flamethrower capable of cooking duck and burning paintings you’ve done that you hate.
Step 3. Find a duck. There are hundreds of ducks around the Narrabeen lagoon. Don’t flamethrower them though or Davo will kill you. Generally the only ducks I set on fire are ones that trespass on my property. Soon as I see that little yellow leg step over the property line… FWOOOOOSH! Goes the flamethrower and dinner is served.
Step 4. Provide meal to loving family, sleep well as hero of your household.
SW: Say you could be any video game character, who would it be?
CM: Zelda is the shit. I don’t know why but I just thought he looked like me when I was younger. I think if you were him you’d pull that many chicks and no one would mess with you. He’d have a hell time.
Imagine you’re a cow. Would you be cool with some stranger drinking your breast milk?
Not really, I wouldn’t be sharing my breast milk with any randoms. Maybe with some friends, just have a few droplets every now and then.
Which number is better, 12 or 37? Why?
I reckon 12, man. When you’re 12 you don’t have a care in the world, you’re doing whatever. The biggest thing in you’re life is Zelda and going surfing. When you’re 37 you’re worrying about being 40 in three years.
I heard you’re into Dead Moon, but how would you feel if the moon really died?
If the moon died I’d probably be over it. I like the moon, it’s a romantic kinda thing where werewolves come out. I don’t know if the band members would be into me saying that, it’s pretty hypercritical I guess. I love the band though.
You get a wildcard in a CT of your choice, which do you choose and who’s in your first heat?
I’d go to Bells when it’s like 25 feet, the year Simon Anderson won, and I’d have him in my heat and I’d just be sitting out there watching him surf.
You have to choose a tattoo for Noa Deane, but he has to choose one for you. What do you end up doing?
I’d choose a love heart and a VB written in it because he loves VB and over froths on it. And I’m gonna do it too right on my shoulder – the rockstar location!
Tommy Whitaker was a gun rugby league player as a kid but couldn’t clear the saltwater from his ears and jumped at the chance to make it his living. In 03 he did just that and was an instant favourite on Tour but was often overlooked as any major threat to a Title. His record against The King however is one of the best going round and with a style that oozed class it’s no wonder he still whips snotty groms at QS events. Better yet, he’s still loving the pro surfer dream, holding down a mentoring position with Oakley and was Contest Director at last year’s Oakley Pro Bali. Terima kasih Mista Tom.
SW: Tom, what’s going on?
TW: Changing dirty nappies, mate. The kids are three-and-a-half and one. I’m still on a pro surfing contract and I’m with the Oakley mentoring team. I look after the guys on the Prime series and try to get them on the big Tour. Then with guys like Sebastian Zeitz and Adam Melling it’s about working on heat strategy and being a big brother to them.
Speaking of brothers, your older brother is Chris Whitaker, fly-half for the Wallabies for 10 years. That’s quite a sporting family.
My older brother was the sportiest and best of all of us, but he’s got a muscle disorder that’s been deteriorating since he was about 18. We all had natural talent, but not top-line, freakish talent. Chris worked his butt off to get where he did. Same for me. I had to – there were the Nathan Hedges, Phil Macdonalds, all these guys who just won everything. I represented the state in rugby while I was at school but I had to make a choice – I followed my heart. I took that work ethic out of rugby into my surfing.
Your cover shot is from 2007. Do you remember the session?
Oh yeah. That was a barrel shot, a right. It was down the South Coast with Phil Macca but that’s all I’m going to say. I think it’s a Billy Morris shot.
What are you most proud of in your competitive career?
Probably my record against Kelly. I think I had about four or five wins against him – he’ll know – he knows everything. I had a clear understanding of how freakish he was. I went out and made sure I got the best two waves. He might’ve underestimated me, or maybe it was my game plan coming through. I got him at Bells in the quarters. At Mundaka I got a 10 against him. In my eyes, I think he’s the best sportsman in the world. Mick taught me early on about his mental games. If he’s trying to put you off, then he’s playing the game 100 per cent against you – I always took it as a compliment.
It’s been two-and-a-half years since your last WT event at Trestles in 2011. Could you re-qualify?
[Long, long silence] I still dream about it. It’d be fun to go round again with the boys. But realistically I’d have to put in a lot more effort to re-qualify. Now I’ve got my family, my job... it needs a level of selfishness that I won’t give now – my priorities have shifted.
By Jock Serong
Ryan Callinan’s neck hurts. He thinks he did it yesterday while surfing in the Pipe Masters. You’ve heard of it? It’s just some contest they have in Hawaii. He’s not sure how he hurt his neck… he might have done it while he was busy beating Dane Reynolds. No big deal really. Just another day in the life of Merewether’s Ryan Callinan.
SW: Let’s talk about your long history at Pipe...
RC: Yeah, my long career at Pipeline. Collectively, over my whole lifetime, it amounts to six hours… and two of those hours were yesterday.
So I take it you don’t freesurf Pipe a lot?
This year I tried to because I knew there was a chance I’d get in the Pipe Masters field. But even when I was out there it was more about getting my bearings than catching waves. During the big Black Friday swell I paddled out and the crowd was spread out between Second and First Reef, so after each set came I’d shoot back into First Reef and try and get one. I got one, then I got flogged.
I took the drop and the spray got in my eyes and I couldn’t see anything. My board was held up in the lip and then next thing I was freefalling. I landed belly-first and got sucked over and bounced off the bottom. Worst wipeout I’ve ever had.
Did you feel small out there yesterday?
Being out there with two other guys is so different to being out there with a hundred. With a hundred guys you’ve got John John and Jamie sitting out the back and you know where everything is, but when they’re not out there… oh shit. I freesurfed yesterday morning and got one wave and got dropped in on, so that whole time I was just thinking, okay, just three other guys in my heat.
How did you find out you’d got into the contest?
I’d heard whispers and rumours from random people but I felt like I was the only person on the North Shore who didn’t know I was in the Pipe Masters. When it was confirmed the first thing I did was go and pick myself in my Fantasy Surfer team. That was cool. I was the cheapest in the field, only $1.5 million, I was a cheap buy.
How was the reaction from home?
That was cool. [Matt] Hoy sent me a message saying, “Don’t worry, it’s just like big Dixon Park! Go charge!” I got 25 messages as soon as the news broke. Louie [Egan] shook my hand and gave me some advice: “Whatever Pipe guy you have in your heat just follow him. And when you come out of the barrel, do something.”
Were you thinking about it at night?
Definitely. The first couple of nights I was really excited, but the night before a few doubts started creeping in.
Like, what if it’s 12 foot?
I think I would have been psyched if it was big. I was speaking to Rainos [Hayes, Billabong’s guy in Hawaii] and he said you almost want it that big. It eliminates Backdoor and you get Second Reef roll-ins. The day before I heard so many mixed reports hearing it was going to be bigger. I was thinking about taking off on that first wave… and what happens if it all goes wrong.
How did you react when you found out you’d drawn Dane?
Someone told me I had Dane and I went, “Oh, okay.” But then I was kinda psyched, sure, it’s Dane Reynolds but I was more worried about having Sunny or Kahea Hart or someone a little gnarlier who’d tell me this wave was theirs and I would happily agree with them. Then there was the fact that while Dane’s probably the best surfer in the world, he’s not a Pipe specialist.
Have you got Dane posters on your wall?
I think I used to. To me he’s the best surfer in the world. The first time I met him was cool, cause Craig [Anderson] hung out with him so much, and I went surfing with them one day and I remember thinking how cool that was. Then at the Quiky Pro this year the same day Parko beat Dane in the contest, Dane was at dinner and I walked over and said hi, and I was wearing the Parko World Title shirt with him standing there with his hands in the air. Courtney [Dane’s girl] goes, “That shirt’s a bit inappropriate.” I went, “Oh shit,” and just started mumbling something to Dane about how I didn’t think I’d see you tonight, and then I thought, who says something like that? It was so awkward. The boys were just losing it.
Did you and Dane talk at all during the heat?
A bit at the start, but once I got a couple of scores and I was winning I didn’t want to paddle over to him going, “Mate, it’s pumping out here, huh?” And he’s sitting there with a pair of twos. I’m sure people do it, but I didn’t want to be that guy.
Let’s talk about your Backdoor wave.
I remember paddling across with priority and Dane was looking at it and the wave looked incredible. I’ve been trying to ride backhand tubes with no hands lately, but I’m not very good at it. Anyway, I let go of the rail to get a pump in, and as I was in there I knew it was the best wave I’ve ever had at Backdoor. I have this bad dream sometimes that I’m inside a backhand barrel and I’m not moving at all, my board has stopped. Most of the time it becomes reality, but I was just flying. The barrel sucked back and I remember Rainos telling me, “If it sucks back it’s going to spit you out,” and suddenly I’m like, shit, here it goes… ahhhhh! I paddled back out knowing it was a good wave, maybe an 8, then the way they announced it on the mic they sounded really excited. I’m like, it can’t be a 10, and they’re like, “Ryan Callinan’s last score is…” and I’m thinking, it’s a 10! Then they go, “…the equal highest score of the day. A 9.3!” Oh well. But I was stoked. For my first heat on the ‘CT that was as good as it could be.
You must have been a bit more confident when you paddled out an hour later for your next heat against Seabass?
I was thinking, you know, I might go okay out here. Hmm… imagine a wildcard winning the Pipe Masters! That’d be cool. Next thing I hear the beach announcers go, “Sebastian Zeitz, a perfect 10!” Okay, well so much for that dream. But I was so stoked, I had 80 minutes at really good Backdoor with just a couple of other guys. That was special.
How was the reaction at home in Merewether?
Incredible, everyone was so stoked. My phone nearly exploded. I was scrolling through hundreds of messages. It was rad. MR was saying well done and that I deserved it.
You’ve had a whole day to soak it all up, what sense have you made out of yesterday?
It’s hard to say I felt at home in a Tour heat at Pipe, but I didn’t feel out of place either. I didn’t fail spectacularly. It could have been a lot worse. My second heat where I got smoked could have been my first heat, in which case we wouldn’t be sitting here chatting. You’d be writing a story asking, “Why did that guy even get the wildcard?”
Soli Bailey was born in Byron Bay hospital, not as Soli Bailey, but Solomon Bailey, a name in no way inspired by Solomon Grundy the zombie super villain who fights Batman sometimes. Soli learned to surf at The Pass on a single fin. “Dad first put me on a board before I could swim or walk. At The Pass on low tide you get the little runners and he would hold my hands, stand me up on the board and run along with me. As a got a little older Dad would make me ride his single fin he had as a kid at The Pass because he’d be too scared that I’d damage my own board on someone’s head. There’s been too many run-ins out there for me to count.”
Soli Bailey was a scrawny front-rower but ripped into anyone that came his way like the feared and revered honey badger. “I loved rugby league as much, if not more, than surfing. It was everything. The funniest thing is I was one of the smallest and quietest kids on the team and I didn’t have very good ball skills but I would just run as hard as I could and tackle all day long. Then I got knocked out three times in one year and I worked out I was much better at surfing.”
Soli Bailey is like Ry Craike except he’s not from Kalbarri and doesn’t have a fishing show. “When I learned to surf I was actually goofy but Dad changed me to natural because of all the right points around here. It’s the same thing as Ry Craike.”
Soli Bailey took his girlfriend to O-Sushi in Byron for their first date [insert affectionate sigh here]. “It was so awkward, man. She was expecting a confident, almost arrogant surfer and I was super shy but so was she. Neither of us really would talk… we just shoved nori rolls into our faces so we didn’t have to say anything.”
Soli Bailey is starting to attract serious attention but doesn’t want to lose sight of the big picture. “There’s a bit of pressure to get results and nail clips and photos and everything but I just remind myself where I started and why. That’s when you get better, when you’re enjoying it and surfing for the love of it, not because someone needs you to.”
Soli Bailey has two figures in surfing that he worships more than most. “Growing up surfing, it was always Andy. The way he surfed was the most perfect thing I’ve seen. The way he competed, it was everything or it was nothing. As a person that I look up to, I find Rasta a really respectful human. I was surfing with him today and he’s so quiet and doesn’t have a bad bone in his body, he’s confident and happy in himself and I like that in a person.”
By Lucas Townsend
Phil McNamara is a coaching savant, a man known to sculpt masterpieces out of the rough material of talented young surfers. His clients have included James “Billy” Watson, Jay “Bottle” Thompson and Dave Rastovich, three powerful and individual stylists who also happen to be all-time standouts at Burleigh Heads. And then there’s his flagship client, triple World Champion Mick Fanning. Widely known for his calm authority and his modesty, we were never going to extract a claim from Phil that he was the magic behind Mick’s 2013 campaign, but leaving that aside, there’s much to learn from this particular Sage…
Anyone can be coached. Even the most anti-coach, anti-technique surfers have been coached somewhere along the line, because coaching is just about opening a door to learning and experiencing new things. If you’ve ever watched where the local guys jump off the rocks or noticed that the good surfers bend their knees when they turn or even looked at a surf mag and desired what you saw, then you’ve been “coached”. The pathway to learning and experiencing has been opened a bit wider by interacting with another like-minded individual. How narrow you want to go with that assisted learning relationship is a personal preference and not everyone wants to take it to the limit. One of the most satisfying things about surfing is the sense of independence and self-expression we get from it, so I totally understand the need for self-discovery. But you discover a lot more if someone points you in the right direction.
There has to be a friendship between athlete and coach, to the extent that there needs to be a high level of trust in the relationship, and it’s hard to trust someone who isn’t your friend. But the key to mental preparation is to eliminate doubt. Fear and doubt will kill confidence in a moment. The opposite of doubt is knowledge, so as a coach I focus on helping the surfer eliminate unknowns. Personalities aren’t really a part of that process as long as there is a good attitude to facing your fears and doubts. You’ve got to admit to them before you can work on them.
I always like to keep some distance from my clients, no matter how well a friendship develops. I need to be the one bringing new challenges and encouraging improvement. Your best friend doesn’t really do that. He just likes you as you are. So I can’t be the surfer’s best friend cause it’ll compromise the role I play as a coach.
I’m constantly amazed by Mick’s memory and attention to detail when dealing with people. If he’s engaging with someone, he is totally present with them and will remember their circumstances and their “essence” for years afterwards. Especially kids and people who have done it tough. He walks in their shoes for as long as he can, helps them as much as he can, and genuinely values the time he’s had with them. The other “special” gift is his decision-making ability. Under extreme pressure, with huge distractions around him, he can point a laser focus on a problem and make the right choice almost every time. I’m in awe of that.
I’ve never blown up at Mick, but that’s more a reflection on his talents than mine. He very, very rarely disappoints me and he’s never dogged a heat or a training session in his life so you can’t get frustrated with him. But in general I think that coaches yelling at their athletes is ridiculous. It’s just surfing. If there’s a problem, find a solution. If I can’t find a way to stop the mistakes from happening, then it’s time for a new coach, not time to start yelling.
To read the full article you can purchase the new SW here…
Opening photo. Macfarlane. Photos above Joli & Taras
In year eleven biology there was this dreary debate about Lamarckian evolution (form follows function), and Darwinian evolution (form determines function). We eviscerated a sad-looking frog. None of us were sure what it all meant: we just wanted to go surfing.
But there must be something in it, because surfboard traction spent years in a tangle of form, function and that random interloper, fashion. Adhesive traction always seemed a good idea: why mess with the constantly shifting grip co-efficients of wax when you could render the traction surface permanent and stable by sticking something grippy onto the deck? But suspicion abounds when surfers are confronted with change. Fashion refused to yield, and Lamarck held all the aces.
In 1976, American Herbie Fletcher had started fooling around with a polyurethane elastomer foam. This could have led him to invent the Pool Noodle, but instead, he found that by blowing the foam in to flat sheets, then sanding the top layer off, he exposed open cells that created suction under pressure. Like, standing on a surfboard pressure. Voila! Adhesive deck grip was born. Its less sociable properties, such as tearing hair and skin off the chest of the unfortunate surfer, took a little while to emerge under testing. If the rash vest had been invented three years earlier than it was, countless nipple shreddings could’ve been avoided.
Owing to this minor blind spot, grip was applied down the length of the board, catering to front foot as well as back. A quick scan through the surf mags of the early eighties reveals the believers: in October 1980, Surfer magazine ran a cover shot of Greg Mungle in extremis, midway through a giant forehand hack, with the entire top side of his board covered in adhesive grip. Skate culture may have had a hand in this: no-one would’ve dreamed of limiting griptape to only the back foot of the board.
As designers pushed boards through two fins then three, the need for a back foot point of reference grew apace. The “Astrodeck” team in ‘83 boasted Wes Laine, Willy Morris, Larry Bertlemann, Gary “Kong” Elkerton, Chappy Jennings, Shaun Tomson & Rabbit. But front foot grip stuck in there: among the adherents were Ces Wilson, Stuart Thomas, Matt Cattle, and Dooma Hardman, who won a world title on full length grip in ‘87. As late as ’88, when people were already dreaming of getting live betting odds on mobile phones the size of a frozen lasagne, Barton Lynch won a world title with full deck grip, and accordingly, no chest hair.
But Herb had more tricks up his Wizard’s Sleeve. He saw that his grip product was difficult to apply and that the majority of surfers were habituated to using wax. So he took a cue from punk fashion and started cutting his grip into dots, checkers and day-glo shards. Over here, Gorilla Grip were pumping the “Centre Deck” and “3D Dial Pad”. Herb’s mob responded with kicks, arches and ripples (inspired by running shoes) for superior grip and foot positioning. The promotional terminology that went with these designs evolved even faster than the designs did: wax is still wax (you want cold water or tropical mate?), but deck grip is now a “patented multigridlock high performance foot pad”.
Much like the humble thong, there’s now a market in questionable add-ons, aimed at value-adding these flat rubber slabs: artwork, wax combs, fin keys, beer openers, even shark repellants. But application remains the number-one grievance among surfers. The instructions clearly warn you to give it at least 24 hours, but sticking the stuff onto the board is a job that’s frequently left even later than screwing in the fins. In your hurry to get out of the car/off the boat/away from domestic chores, how many times have you peeled the back, slapped it on, given it a speculative squish with your palms and then watched it floating away after the first decent wipeout? Say what you like about wax, but it’s got a commendable tendency to stay attached to the board.
Story by Jock Serong, illustration by Nanda Ormond from the pages of SW347
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Adriano de Souza and Carissa Moore became the ultimate shred lords of the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing today, taking out the coveted 6-star event at Manly Beach. De Souza was so commanding in competition - particularly with his work above the lip - that he actually made the heavens cry. And cry they did, all over onlookers and Mitch Ross' interview shirt. Honourable mention to Julian Wilson who came up short in the final but if his form is anything to go by he'll sure be a force on Tour this year. Carissa Moore seemed to limp through the earlier finals today but unloaded bucks of layback powwwa! on poor little Alessa Quizon to take the win. Go Carissa! Go surfing!
The crew here at Surfing World were spewing we couldn't get down there for the finals today as a big, ugly, hairy deadline rears its head in our office. But we caught the best of the action this week. At the Surfing World Bar. Dane Reynolds was there having beers with beer drinkers, Mitch Crews was too. Dane Reynolds, Owen Wright, Freddie P, Doug Lees, Dane Reynolds and Conner Coffin were all there. Rabbit said a wicked speech about being awesome and forgot the bit about Dane Reynolds but we reminded him later. Best of all was that Dane Reynolds came and had a beer. All in all it was a great week for surfing, a great week for Manly and a shit week to have a deadline.
From filming a firing winter in Hawaii to posting up in the Pacific under a grass hut, Owen Milne's had the best few months of his life. Better than that time that girl said that thing about that one time they had together. If you meet him, ask about it... great story. This Cenny Coast filmer's been pointing his lens in the right direction lately with a bunch of Wave of the Winter entries and profile projects taking off. This here is a neat edit of Reef Doig on Namotu Island, Fiji, a kid with his own rad story written somewhere between Australia and Bali. How good is it seeing young crew getting creative and gettin' errr done! High-five to giving a shit.
Procasual Photographic Studio, Byron Bay
From Issue 346
Ryan Heywood is tall and freckly and wears vintage denim jackets with sleeves ripped off at the shoulders. He has a great mane of blonde curly hair and is often mistaken for Robert Plant and the Paddle Pop Lion. He listens to underground metal, rides an eclectic assortment of surfcraft and makes a mean cup of rooibos tea. He is also a fine artist in the medium of photography and his spacious studio in the Byron Bay Industral Estate provides the perfect setting in which to indulge his many interests.
“Everything you could possibly want creatively is here,” says Heywood of the estate itself, which has always been home to Byron Bay’s surfboard industry but has more recently become a bubbling hub of art and surf culture. Bob McTavish, for example, works just a pushie-ride away and recently launched his new book to a crowd of bare feet, beers and burritos. Around the corner Art Park Gallery hosts creative types from across the world with their residency program. A grass roots music scene fills warehouses even on school nights. The place has energy.
“There are people that work with metal, people that work with wood, screen printers, a computer guy, two art stores, health food wholesalers and even a bakery that sells cheaper pies than in town,” says Heywood. “And on Tuesday, they make the Byron Bay cookies and the whole neighbourhood smells like cookies.”
In amongst all of this sits Heywood’s studio, a two story warehouse divided into themed rooms that compliment tastes and passions. There’s the infinity wall studio as you enter, complete with a light wall he picked up off the set of Home & Away. There’s the black walled jam room off the kitchen where musicians will sit and play while waiting for the kettle to boil. Out back is the boardroom, featuring a giant hardwood table for meetings and a more diverse range of wave riding vehicles than you’d find under George Greenough’s house. Upstairs there’s a hammock. Place has got it all.
Heywood’s studio has become more than a space to work. It has transformed into the go-to hang of many a Byron local, with Pentagram riffs and chocolate vibes flowing out onto into the collective buzz of the area. Heywood has christened the space Procasual, a place to get shit done in a chilled and enthusiastic atmosphere.
“I’ve set it up this way so that everywhere you look is its own picture,” he says. “People gravitate here at the right times. Mid week mornings they come to make shit happen. Afternoons they come to play music and hang out. And Fridays it’s the warm up place before whatever happens in town.”
By Lucas Townsend
Images by Ryan Heywood
From SW346 which features an in depth behind the scenes look at the filming of Spirit of Akasha and it's celebration of Morning of the Earth.
In an organic hand-drawn reaction to computer overload we threw graffiti, paint and fire at corrugated cardboard to illustrate a pop culture headline. Lifted from Glenn Danzig’s iconic metal anthem Dirty Black Summer it conveniently described the bushfire apocalypse that was early 1994. We hightailed up the coast to catch pumping points and splashed them about the mag with low-fi design elements like Dyno tape, vintage Olivetti typerwriter fonts and the ever-lurking elipse. Perfect Cloud Nine and shaping legends Simon, Deaney and Darren Handley fleshed out the soon-to-be deep-sixed quarterly format. I think the colour on corrugated was a memory from overspray in Mick Manolas’ iron shed, but unfortunately tin don’t burn and we needed a singed hole to reveal Munga’s Kirra cover shot. – Hugh Mcleod
Not only will the world’s best surfers be returning to Manly Beach for the 2014 Hurley Australian Open of Surfing but an Australian Legend will be taking over Novotel Manly’s Charlie Bar yet again.
The Surfing World Bar was a resounding success during the event in 2012 and will be in full swing when the global surfing community turn their attention to Sydney’s home of surfing on February 8-16. The only ‘pop-up’ bar of the event will transform the relaxed space with ocean views into a happening atmosphere of surfing culture. Who better to celebrate the return of professional surfing home to Manly than the magazine that’s been noting its history since 1962?
Classic covers and images from decades of Surfing World Magazines will dot the space and with live streams, music, exclusive events and movie screenings, the bar will be the go-to space of fans and pros alike. Imagine sharing an icy Corona with friends as your surfing heroes from yesteryear and today sit across the room. Anything’s possible at the Surfing World Bar.
With Hawaiian native and 2013 Triple Crown winner, John John Florence, one of many stars to hit the sand and this year’s event, organisers are expecting over 200,000+ visitors to Manly’s shores over the nine-day period. Current ASP Women’s World Champion, Carissa Moore, will also star in the event along with a long list of hot surfing talent.
Come for a drink, stay for the party, share the energy of the biggest occasion on Sydney’s surfing calendar. Stay up to date with all announcements of events and entertainment at https://www.facebook.com/SurfingWorldMagazine and www.facebook.com/novotelmanlypacific
SW: You’re a big yellow fin on the wrong end of a line being reeled to the surface by Baddy Treloar. What’s going through your mind?
LT: Haha! “Oh man, I’m screwed!”
Which number is better 12 or 37? Why?
12? Either one. Shit, that’s a weird question. I’m going for 12, just because.
You’re given a wildcard entry into any ASP event, which do you choose and who do you beat in the final?
Too easy. The event would be Teahupoo, and I would flog the daylights out of Kelly Slater in the final. Blam!
You’re at a party having a jolly ol’ time when Scarlett Johansson comes up and asks if you’d like to dance. What signature moves do you bust out?
I wouldn’t even make the dance floor because my girlfriend would punch me in the face for even talking to her.
You astral travel 100 years into the future and come across your own tombstone. What’s the epitah?
“Born to Fish.”
What would your life in Angourie be like if you couldn’t bend at the knees?
I would have the longest, weirdest looking legs. It would be heavy. At least stiff legging around the town on a couple of rigid stilts wouldn’t be the weirdest thing in Angourie, not by a long shot.
Laurie’s built a reputation for being a hot contender in the line-up when purple swell blobs unload their brains on reefs across the world. He also knows his way around a tackle box and has a dog called Busta. He’s a fine man who loves to fish.
Interview by Riley Tompkins
Illustration by Nanda Ormond
From Issue 346 available now.
The last time Matty Yeates dropped in to see us he was on his way back from picking Ryan Heywood up from the Coolie airport. The two arrived later than expected looking slightly bleary-eyed and giddy, “Yeah, we took a wrong turn somewhere but it was such a beautiful drive, we just kept going.” In the back of Matty’s beautiful old Holden wagon was the Eero Saarinen bootleg Tulip table that I got from Salvo’s for $23. The table had busted at the stem and since it was made of fiberglass, I thought Matty would be just the man to doctor it. He did that and more; when he pulled it from the back of the car I nearly shed a tear. It was no longer just a table, what he returned to us was a work of art. The plain white table top was now a mix of Matty’s signature colorways, a marbleized resiny whirlpool of deep reds and blues; it was one of the most stunning things I have ever laid eyes on. In the ten years or so that I’ve known him, Matty’s artful glassing and shaping explorations have gone next level. In his little bay tucked away in the Byron Industrial Estate Matty creates one-off designs, heavy-glassed, highly polished cosmic shapes that will no doubt become collector’s pieces. But beyond life as an artist, glasser and shaper, speaking as a friend, Matty, has blossomed more so on a personal level. He is now a father to a little boy, Zephyr Hendrix and he and his girl Melody have created a sweet life together in the green hills of Byron Bay. The life they’ve created could easily be an excerpt from Falzon’s 1972 classic MOTE, hence their study in Spirit of Akasha. – Michele Lockwood
Photos by Andrew Kidman courtesy of Warner Music Australia
SW346 features an in depth behind the scenes look at the filming of Spirit of Akasha and it's celebration of Morning of the Earth.
It melts deep into the carpets of your car. It attracts sand like a magnet and rubs your kneecaps bald. It’s frequently bitten by toddlers, used as a de facto air freshener and given away for free as an incentive to bigger purchases. It’s the weapon of choice for windscreen messages: This is not your wave. Locals only. Beat it kooks!
A simple blend of paraffin and beeswax, scents and colours, with a dash of petroleum jelly to soften, surf wax arrived in Australia almost by stealth, sold by old-school service stations like Ampol and Esso. A semi-secret accoutrement for sunburnt dropkicks.
In 1972, Santa Barbara surfshop owner Fred Hertzog III [“Mr. Zog”] pulled off a cultural coup. He took a necessary and boring product and added a vital ingredient: smut. Sex Wax t-shirts were immediately banned in many schools, giving the brand outlaw cred.
Innuendo is not the exclusive domain of Mr. Zog – it seems to have evolved into an industry standard: Sticky Johnson, Far King, Mrs. Palmer’s Five Daughters, Mighty Mounds, Mothers Milk [shaped like a breast and nipple], Vyagra... the list is endless. In 1982, this very magazine ran a full-page ad for coconut-scented Waxx On that featured two freckly nude boobs and two blocks of Waxx On. The tag line? A Lovely Pair of Coconuts.
References to surf wax in popular culture are always cringe-worthy, and the manufacturers with their sniggering ways probably fed the fire. Among thousands of references, a couple of favourites: Mad Wax (1987) – RCJ using a wok and ladle to make wax, with lots of retorts and beakers looking suspiciously like a speed lab, magically transported to Aussie Pipe with a Gangajang soundtrack. Or this little gem from everyone’s favourite phony surf flick, Point Break (1991) in which Gary Busey and Keanu Reeves get all sleuthy about a block of wax:
Pappas opens his desk drawer, takes something out and throws it to Johnny. A pastel blue hockey puck wrapped in cellophane. A block of Mr. Zog’s sex wax.
Utah: Sex wax? You’re not into kinky shit, are you Angelo?
Pappas: Surfers use it on their boards, they rub sand into it for traction.
Around the time videotapes threatened to destroy cinemas, Astrodeck appeared on the horizon and threatened to wipe out wax. Herbie Fletcher put his new product under the back and front feet of pro surfers. But like a shifting military border struggle, the warring parties eventually settled on a compromise: adhesive grip won the south, and wax held the north. There’s no sense in this. There’s no sense in anything where wax is concerned.
How many times in your life does a moment like this come along? Mick Fanning and the precise moment his destiny was sealed. Photographs by Andrew Christie.
Unless you've been having a snu snu under a rock the last few days, you'd know Mick Fanning just won a third world title. Here's his year in review. Congratulations from all the crew at Surfing World. (Pic: Christie)
Ozzie recently hit the road on the Anti Bad Vibes Tour spreading stoke and unicorn love to sick kids and shreddin' along the way. Check it out. Kudos Mr. Tyler Bell on the edit.
Happy New Year! Well, not quite, but the issues on stands now represent the first of 2014. To help you kick off the year in fine style we’ve enlisted the help of freesurfing minstrel, Ozzie Wright, to share his New Year’s Resolutions. Your New Year’s resolution might be to ignore them all and good for you if it is.
10. GONNA TRY AND BE HAPPY ALL THE TIME
It’s good to aim high friends!
9. NOT GONNA CUT MY HAIR
It’s also good to have realistic goals.
8. GONNA BE A GOOD DAD
Got a little girl due on New Year’s Eve. No parties for this ever-lovin’ responsible Papa.
7. NOT GONNA MISS ANY CREED
...McTaggart, Mason Ho or Noa Deane clips on the internet because those guys surf with the warmth of a thousand suns.
6. GONNA HAVE AN ART SHOW
At Space 44 Gallery in Cronulla in January. I hope Jack Irvine will be there. Go to vampiratesurfboards.tumblr.com for dates.
5. GONNA MAKE DOPED YOUTH 2
Years ago me and Vaughan made Doped Youth. We’ll make another one but only if Greasy and Lemmy sign up.
4. NOT GONNA HURT MYSELF
My good health and superior inner chi shall see me through the year unharmed.
3. GONNA TAKE ROCKY TO THE FOOTY
My boy Rocky won a school raffle and could choose any prize he wanted out of Lego, skateboards and heaps of other stuff. He chose a Manly Sea Eagles flag and hat.
2. GONNA RELEASE AT LEAST TWO ALBUMS
Got new records with Mylee & The Milkshakes and the Goons coming out. Might tour them. Might not. You should make a new year’s resolution to own them.
1. GONNA SURF MY BRAINS OUT
Literally. Until they fall out on the sand and I accidentally trip over them. Zombie dogs might eat them.
North Narrabeen has been more reminiscent of an inner-city construction site than it has a world-class beachbreak since Local Government began work on its main sand dune during September. Several large earthmovers were contracted by Warringah Council to reshape the sand dune – now covered in dense shrubs and bushes – back to an angle of repose, 34 degrees, after consultation from the University of NSW Water Research Laboratory and consulting firm, Royal Haskoning. But a number of local community groups have been calling for similar action for the past five years and see these latest efforts as just a small chip in the iceberg of a much larger issue.
In fact, North Narrabeen Boardriders and Surfrider Foundation believe the actual break has changed significantly since the dune has grown more than 10 metres over the last 30 years. The planting of vegetation has essentially been too effective, creating sand cliffs and an imbalance of sediment. In windy conditions or large swells, sand washes up onto the vegetated dune, becomes trapped and can’t return to the ocean. The beach is left with a surplus of sand on the dune and a deficit offshore. So has the famed North Narrabeen break been playing injured all this time?
“My view on this whole thing is it’s farcical,” Narrabeen legend Terry Fitzgerald tells Surfing World.
“The sand that should be in the wave action zone isn’t there because it’s caught up in the dune vegetation.
“The whole problem is… man built what shouldn’t be there. It has changed the break from a wide, flat wave-action zone to a narrow, steep one and the dune reflects that.
“There is the rock off North Narrabeen, out at the point, which is the anchor for the left-hander. In days gone by it could be two-foot and you’d be surfing a left from in line with the point all the way to the carpark. That doesn’t happen anymore because there is a huge hole in the bank.
“This whole problem is over 30 years in the making and a plan needs to be developed to manage North Narrabeen as the National Surfing Reserve it is, to ensure the surf will be as good as it was.”
The problem TF is referring to originated in 1974 after arguably the worst storm to hit Sydney ravaged the coastline following a long season of damaging systems. Balmoral was all but swept out through the heads, Botany Bay was left in shambles and the famous Manly Baths and Wharf were kicked up the beach and into the streets. Flight Deck, the long-standing apartment block in between Narrabeen and Collaroy, flooded and the sea level rise crossed Pittwater road entirely. Brendan Donohoe from Surfrider Foundation clearly remembers the storm. “It was cyclonic,” he recalls. “I remember looking out across from Dee Why Point to the German Bank and the barrels there, you could fit a double-decker bus in. It was that massive.” And North Narrabeen wasn’t spared, with the tidal surge flooding Narrabeen lagoon and houses lining the banks. With Council licking its wounds after receiving the clean-up bill, it was decided the following year they needed a barrier dune to protect from future storms of such severity.
The North Narrabeen Birdwood Park, where if you’ve ever surfed Northy you’ve most likely checked it from, was artificially created using 100,000 cubic metres of sand from the lagoon mouth. On the ocean side, a three-metre sand dune was built – all well and good at the time – but nearly 40 years later, that same dune is now over 10 metres high, covered in dense bush and has locked up the sand like a shore-dumped set of sluggos. “The problem seems to have been when they planted Acacia Sophorae, colloquially known as Coastal Wattle, which has been used up and down the coast around the same time as this storm,” says Donohoe. “Within a couple of seasons, all the sand from the southern end of Narrabeen wrapped around the dune at the north. Sand is supposed to move. What people forget is North Narrabeen is a river-mouth break.”
Local lifesavers and North Narrabeen SLSC have also been active in the campaign to reduce dune height because their sightlines are heavily affected. Before the overgrowth, lifeguards sitting in their quarters at the club could see down to the lagoon, out over the line-up, the entire beach and up toward South Narrabeen. Now? Not even 10 metres in front and it forced Council to build lifeguard towers. It’s understandable why Council has been reluctant to take any large-scale changes with an estimated $300 million worth of beachfront property bordering the sands between Narrabeen and Collaroy and within the lagoon. The cost alone of reaching a viable solution would far outweigh the budgets of local government. But every four years since the dune was built, Council still forks out for clearing operations, moving 10,000 cubic metres of sand they’ve essentially put there themselves from the lagoon mouth.
TF says the changes to the landscape of the area are too significant to just forget and he, while supporting the latest maintenance, believes the motivation is not to preserve the break but to avoid any potential public liability claims.
“The flood plain at Narrabeen was wide enough that biplanes would land and complete testing on them during the 50s. That was its natural state,” he says.
“They’ve spent a $50,000 emergency plan to basically protect themselves from litigation which was just waiting to happen with the 30 foot drop created since the large storm in June.”
And Warringah Council didn’t shy away from this fact when contacted by Surfing World regarding the June storm and subsequent erosion. “Council had public safety concerns regarding the potential for a dune face collapse without notice on top of beach users,” says a spokesperson for the Council. “A certain dune volume and height needs to be maintained... since the recent dune work, Council does not consider the dunes to be too tall.” There are no plans to reduce the dune height any futher and Council believes the presence of the dune doesn’t change the process of sand movement between periods of small and large storm activity. “Even if some of the sand was moved, the ability of this dune to influence the oceanic forces at work at North Narrabeen is negligible.” But the locals see differently.
“There’s a three step fix,” says TF. “One, remove the man-planted vegetation and decrease the size of the dune. Two, replace it with natural sand dune grasses and three, put in a pump system at the Ocean St Bridge with pipes down to the beach heading south and release valves so the sand can be better managed.”
We’ve seen what’s possible with sand pumping systems, albeit reliability is an issue. The Superbank is a man-made creation with its management of sand in a fluid form and while banks certainly have their moments, every March there seems to be a well-timed bank for a heat or two.
But, as Donohue concedes, money and political will are two very big variables.
All photographs by Mark Onorati
We had this grom come into the office to do work experience. His name was Lliam Lette Mortenson. We went surfing with him and he had stickers on his board. “Phwoar!” we said. He took off on one wave and did a full rote air-reverse. “Phwoar!” we said. Then he interviewed Dion Agius about the difference between growing up to be a comp surfer and a freesurfer. PHWOOOOOOAAAAARRRR!” we yelled. Lette rips. This is their chat.
Lliam: What age did you know you wanted to be a professional surfer?
Dion: I kinda wanted to be a pro surfer since I was really young, probably since I started when I was 13 or 14. I thought it looked like the coolest thing ever but I didn’t take it seriously until I was probably about 16 or something and I started to get better and my mates were doing well and we were all competing against each other. That was fun and so after that I really wanted to see if I could make it happen.
Lliam: At what point did you realise that competition surfing wasn’t for you?
Dion: I remember one time I had a heat against Dan Ross in the Maldives and it was coming down to the end of the heat and he needed a score and I ended up keeping him off a wave and I caught the wave and whatever, it was a shitty wave and he was furious at me. And I remember catching a wave in and then I got to the beach and he was paddling in and screaming and I started to shit myself because I’m only a pretty small dude and he’s huge. So we get to the competitors area, I kinda went up there as quick as I could, and he came up in front of everyone and just started screaming at me. I thought he was gonna punch me out. It freaked me out and I just remember going back to my room and just being so rattled because I didn’t want to see him again after that. I just felt really ashamed that I’d done that. That’s competition, that’s what your supposed to do and at that point I just went “You know what? This fucken sucks. I shouldn’t be surfing against my friends like this and not enjoying it.” So that was kinda the icing on the cake. Luckily not long after that I started riding for Globe and they told me they didn’t want me to do contests so I was like, “Yep! That’s perfect!” I think I was about 20.
Lliam: And you sorted out everything out with Dan Ross?
Dion: Yep (laughs). I think I didn’t see him for like five or six months or so but the next time I saw him I was pretty hesitant to say hello. He probably wouldn’t even remember it but I think I’ll remember it till I die because he scared the s-s-s-s-shit out of me.
Lliam: Once you know you want to free surf what’s the best advice you can offer to make that path realistic?
Dion: The most important people you’re gonna be working with when you wanna be a free surfer is photographers and magazines and videographers and stuff. So I got lucky when I was pretty young because grew up with Kai Neville and so I got to film with him but I didn’t know any photographers. I remember going a couple of times with my mate Corey Ziems to Straddie and he was going to shoot with Andrew Shields and everytime I knew he was shooting I would be trying so hard to impress him. And I remember times he wouldn’t even take photos of me and I think it made me more hungry. And eventually he took a few photos and then I think they might have got run once in a magazine and from there I just kept trying to shoot with as many photographers as I could. Once you’ve got talent and stuff down you really just need to be working with those guys. It’s awesome now because you can work with your buddies. Shooting with your friends if its video or photos, and taking it in turns and stuff like that helps so much and you learn a lot about how to shoot surf for shooting photos because as a free surfer all you’re doing is going on trips and trying to get the best stuff footage, photos and story you can. So just try to get in front of as many photographers as you can in your area. If you know that there’s a guy that shoots for local magazines or whatever, try and meet him. Those guys can essentially make or break you and its fun getting to work with those dudes who are talented photographers.
Lliam: Did you do a lot of filming on Nti Sheeto?
Dion: I filmed a lot of the lifestyle stuff, just all the 16mm footage for the movie. I have a bolex (camera) that I’ve had for years and I recently just got back into shooting with it. I was trying to shoot some surfing of the guys but at the same time that’s hard when you want to be surfing in the clips too.
Lliam: Yeah, not sure how you’d be able to stand there filming instead of surfing.
Dion: (Laughs) Yeah, it’s pretty tough but its good when you get a couple of good clips, it kinda makes it worth while. I got some stuff of Ozzie out Lakeys, I went out and filmed him from the boat one day and we got some good stuff so that’s cool.
Lliam: What are some of the challenges you face as a career in free surfing?
Dion: When you’re young and you get paid a little bit of money and all you really have to do is surf you can wind up sitting at home and not doing anything at all but that will only last so long. Your sponsors are your bosses essentially so you’ve gotta make sure that they’re happy all the time. Working with them really closely helps to make sure you’re making the most of the opportunities you have. Taking initiative and planning and going on as many trips as you can is a good tip. And always be psyched. You could be digging holes.
Lliam: What advice would you give a 16-17 year old who is currently in between both comp surfing and shooting photos trying to get exposure?
Dion: If you don’t have the competitive fire in you then it can be really hard to surf contests. But once you win or get a good result it feels great and that might motivate you. I did it for as long as I could until I was absolutely certain that I didn’t want to. It is a great way to improve because you’re surfing against all the best guys your age and you’re getting to them and you meet a lot of sponsors. You definitely don’t want to give up on it too early, especially in Australia. Our junior series is one of the more competitive in the world so if you can keep up with the top 10 guys then you know you have a chance of having a career. Be sure that you’re certain about becoming a free surfer before you quit contests because they can be a really good way to help you progress your surfing.
Lliam: Thank you, yeah that makes a lot of sense. Well that’s all from me, it’s been sick talking to you.
Dion: Yeah no worries dude it was nice to meet you. See ya brother.
Opening Pic: A face that didn't get broken by Dan Ross, Dion Agius. (Maassen) Second Pic: Lette soaring and roaring his way through grommethood. (Bosko) Below: French delights. (Maassen)
Ellis Ericson, Chris and Jason Salisbury wandered into a Sri Lankan playground and slid around like kids on sugar highs. Their delight was contagious and can only be found in SW343. All photos by Tom Hawkins.