Friday, December 28, 2007

Off on holidays today. Three weeks to the same place as last year. Happy New Year and thanks everyone for your interest and support over the Musica Surfica project. On air Jan 26 down here...

Happy Holidays and have a great New Year.

I'll need it ... I just paid the credit card bill... YIKES!!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A very surfless couple of weeks for me ... last week because there was none, this week because of Christmas and finishing off the film.

As of tomorrow my part in the proceedings ends as the final sound mix is completed. What a year.

One of the great things about it though has been the the people I've met or come in contact with through the film, and also through this blog. My last entry tried to clear up the odd missed personality on King Island. Another who needs mentioning is Warren Pfeiffer...

Warren is, as Derek tells it, one of the greats on a mat, and he did little to discourage that opinion while on the rock. A few of the other guys took one out on occasion, with success, but it was subtlety that distanced Warren from everybody else. While most would wrench the mat into turns, or push and squeeze the sides to try and control it, Warren just seemed to lie, and fly. No obvious adjustments apart from picking lines, but you knew he was pressing, pushing, or squeezing, invisibly, a bit like dressage lying down.

My editor, Anne, married to a surfer and clearly knowledgeable, loved it every time we looked at Warren.

"He's like a big seal", and "it looks so much fun"... and indeed that again is what it's all about, that and speed.

As Warren said to me in a recent email: " doubt the quest is always for speed for without it even the turn cannot be accomplished. It is so nice to ride the fastest craft of them all"

I will say, too, that his mat of choice is the Dale Solomonson Nuematic. Amazing things, feather light, fit in your pocket practically.... add a pair of fins and you're always ready if a wave appears unexpectedly.

Think, the dutiful holiday with the family...

"No darling I won't take my board..."

Everybody happy but you, taking a romantic walk on a secluded, supposedly surfless bit of coast, warm sunny... walk 'round a little headland..

"What's that..?? Waves! Can you imagine that darling... I never expected that. Let's have a picnic...."

Dig in bag...

"Oops, I forgot the lunch... oh look what I accidentally left in my backpack. The old mat...heh heh... well... since we're here.. mind if I slip out for a couple of little...barrels?..."


"I love you sweetheart. Er, better be quick, looks like a storm brewing.."

So, one more grab... this time of Warren on a little speeder, no storms in sight.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A couple of days ago I received my much awaited copy of The Surfers Journal. This edition more anticipated than usual as I knew it had an article on the Musica Surfica event.

As expected a very Derek view of things... my first reaction was "Huh?" but on reflection the lad exists on another planet, and a very special one at that.

My view, for what it's worth as someone who saw pretty much every minute of every session from the land, is he was pretty accurate in his assessments, bar a couple of things. First, he underplayed where he was at relative to everyone else. Too modest.

Because his passion for the finless experiment runs so deep, on the modern finless he is a phenomenon. He handles the alaia well, amazingly so, but his bag, clearly, was in that world that he owns.

Richard Tognetti. I think Derek underplays his ability by rating it as average. Richard's surfing played second fiddle (did I say that?) to his violin for many years, so his level on a finless is a testimony to the extraordinary focus he possesses.

Tom Carrol, the guy's athleticism, and the focus he brings to things is what separates "us" from "them". Tom went from flailing to sailing so quickly, and as Derek said, really favoured the wooden boards.

Tom Wegener and Sage Joske ruled the alaias, however, but Derek did forgetfully neglect to mention anywhere the other Joske, the little brother, Heath. Heath is red hot, and one of the most beautiful sequences in the film is captured by Jon Frank as he sails by on the 12 ft parabolic railer.

So.. for your viewing pleasure... a nugget or two...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Yesterday the swell was pretty tiny. We hunted about, Winki minimal, but a little searching found us at Guvvo's, a fun beachie in sight of Wayne Lynch's resurrected tee-pee.

Anticipating these swell conditions, I'd dragged the mal along, and took it out for a dousing, it being some 6 months since it'd last been in the drink.

While walking to the water I noticed out of the corner of my beadie a guy approaching with a self shaped alaia, a la Tom Wegener. Billy was his name, and he'd been riding it for a couple of months, and loved the play. I snapped a shot, and then, coming towards me was an old mate, Morgan.

Morgan's an artful type. I mentored him a bit when he was in uni, and we've been friends ever since. A seriously hot surfer, I swear he'd rip on a soggy noodle, but yesterday he had a rather fun looking single he'd just picked up. He'd had it shaped by Torquay legend shaper Doug Rogers, but told Doug the stickers and colour job were his to do. The label is Harmonious Monk (in homage to Thelonius, of jazz fusion fame).

Why the name, Morgs?

It seems he's working on the idea that boards are such lovely forms in themselves, it is the job of the artist who adorns them to work in compliment to them, to make them sing. Great idea, but he'll be the first to admit it ain't easy.

I do love what he's done though, and here's Morgan's board and grin.

As for the waves, I had a lot of fun, even doing a Conley again and attempting to film one with the crappy snapper. I may show that later.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

One of the great things about being involved in the Musica project is the people I've met.

One of them is Paul Joske, father of Sage, Heath and Violet, and a master shaper. His wife Jenny must have the patience of a saint, as he has his ways... which are put to great effect.

He recently made a rather wonderful surfboard out of unglassed chambered paulownia for a surfer of Victoria's deep south, Peter Fillmore. I wrote an intro for an account of the boards making, as written by Paul. Have a look on Phoresia. It's worth a peek.

And speaking of peeks, here's one now...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Another week flies by and a good one at that.

Up to Sydney (see view from plane) for some film related stuff, met with Foxtel, everyone happy, and also picked up some more music tracks... so good, but don't expect a geeetarr anywhere.

The film will launch in late January here, God knows for the rest of the world, but it's looking good and rest assured all those who've asked, we will fit in that wave if we possibly can.

Today's shots are from this mornings surf at Gunnamatta... hell rips, but great banks. I hate rip bowls, always have as I love to sit and think. Rip bowls, all you do is paddle, it was busy, but I did end up moving down the beach and the bottom shot is where I got my best waves. Unfortunately the tide was running out and the wind blowing a gale so it quickly got too low. I suspect later in the day the wind will drop away and as the tide heads back in those remaining hardy souls should score.

Oh, having finally ridden the MC on a left... it goes good, really good, when my pathetic old frame (seen in silhouette on walk back) behaves itself.