Wednesday, September 29, 2010

As I walked up the steps at Bells last Sunday I bumped into local surf photog Judy Scanlon. She took a nice pic of me once a while back so I said hello, we got talking, only to be rudely interrupted by Maurice Cole, sneaking up behind me and frightening the life out of me.

A great big chat ensued and it was revealed that Judy had a few good shots of Maurice she'd wanted to pass on.

This got my attention as MC and I are involved in a little project based around his story, with a particular emphasis on the period around 1990 when he developed the reverse vee with Tom Curren. As part of the whole thing MC has shaped three replicas of the pivotal boards of that time based on the originals and their dimensions. Included in this set is the unstickered yellow railer that TC rode to his first Hawaiian victory at Haleiwa. As someone who has seen the boards said, these a "pure surfing DNA", full of heart and history.

Naturally to complete the story I'm chasing good shots of Maurice on point, and last night Judy flicked through a few shots via email, one being a lovely hack on his trusty 5'11" that makes 56 year old cancer survivor a descriptor that needs a bit of revisiting. Included in the set too was one of me on the borrowed yellow eight footer, just easing off the top and nursing my poor old arm.

Pics: MC, Ol'Fatty, both shots by Judy Scanlon, and the three TC boards, just leaning on a wall, as shot by my old friend, Les Horvat.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Perhaps it was unwise in retrospect but as the shoulder was feeling passable I borrowed a big board and made for the coast on Sunday where a forecast 3ft sounded just the ticket, me with visions of a quiet ease in to the water after a few weeks off.

No such bloody luck as we turned up to find pretty classic conditions and an almost pumping 4-5ft with the odd bomb that would definitely test my gimpy bits.

So out there, feeling very stiff and tentative but old fatty ended up getting a couple of nice ones. Not too much to test me apart from the initial paddle out as the 8 footer I was on was pretty boaty, wouldn't duck dive and I was not game to test it with an eskimo roll. Naturally, I did the unthinkable and ditched the board a couple of times to save my arm. Thoughtfully I did look behind me before I did, so no lives lost, though perhaps my dignity suffered.

A couple of hours and luck being on my side I hightailed it in, counted my chickens, left unscathed, only to follow up yesterday gain, my excuse being a 'board meeting' with Richard T and Derek, a catch up and a bit of scheming in fun three foot with a bomb six foot set mixed in, again some fun trimmers, as that was almost my limit, a coffee and a sandwich to top off the morning.

It's always fun to see those two, DH in lunatic form as ever, Richard his thoughtful self, the mix, as friends, probably the best thing that's come out of the whole Musica Surfica experience.

Last night we all got together again, Derek and I to see a concert, Richard, Satu and friends, to play it.

Unfortunately the arm has pulled up sore this morning, though my hope is I've not done too much damage by being a little premature.

PIcs: Bells and Winki, looking very fine, and me, exiting drink, as taken by Richie.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A couple of weeks back I received an email from Ed Lewis of The Leucadia Project blog.. alerting me to Australian film maker Mick Waters' project, Little Black Wheels, being now available via download.

Mick, I've not met in person, but have via email as we swapped movies and bantered a bit when Musica Surfica came out. He is clearly a fine man, and is of that group of northern NSW film maker surfers that have carved a lifestyle with an emphasis on life. Mick, Nathan Oldfield, Andrew Kidman... peas in pods.

Not that this means they live in some sort of idyll freed from care. Both Mick and Nathan have experienced great family losses and I think this informs some of the heart that comes out in their work.

So... here is a link through to the Surf Network page and Little Black Wheels. Support a guy who makes a black glass rectangle something worth looking at.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Over the next few days I'm thiinking of getting a few torture instruments. Barbed wire undies, single nail earmuffs, that sort of thing.

Might as well since I began the habit with a visit to the coast yesterday while unable to surf.

Unfortunately I had to take a look at what was on offer and as they say on facebook.. OMG!!

A soft offshore and the afternoon tide filling meant the hordes who'd inhabited the name breaks had exited to recoup, have a coffee, cuddle up to a significant other, or flop in a beanbag and drift off to dreamland.

Yesterday afternoon dreamland was in the water as apart from Winki, everywhere was empty and all was Perfect. Bells, maybe 6 out, tops. Centreside, none. Perfect right just up coast, none. Boobs left, none, right 5.

Shots, some snaps in no particular order of empty perfection, a trembling handed grab bag at what was on offer on our lovely coast.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

When we made Musica Surfica one of the great characters on the shoot was Dane Beevor.

Dane really, really loved a beer and a party, any party,
had him drawn to it like bees to the beer, er.. honey pot.

His surfing, what ever his state, post fun, was always on. One of those natural talents that never seem to have an off button. It was hard to let shine given the event was finless, but even then as with all the guys on the trip, the talent sparkled. On the odd occasion when he took a finned board out, something special happened and luckily we got a bit of that in the film, a dazzling counterpoint to our very steep finless learning curve.

Rarely seen on film, I came across this clip of Dane in Sumatra via the Kurungabaa site. This sort of surfing I could watch all day and Dane I think, like Occy and Curren, has that ability to do the right thing at the right time with elegance and power. The wedgey left he's riding reminds me of a favourite right down the coast, though I never in my wildest dreams rode it as well as he does here.

If Blogger crops this oddly click on through to you tube to get the full picture.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I was contacted the other day by Jon Kolker from an organisation called explore, "a philanthropic community whose mission is to champion the selfless acts of others, to create a portal into the soul of humanity and to inspire lifelong learning."

Well amen to that. Jon asked if I'd give them a plug on the blog, so this is it.

If they'd been remotely god bothery or evangelistic I'd have told them to go jump, but reading of the work they do I can only give them as much support as I can. With a philosophy focused on the breaking down of barriers between 'us' and the 'other', the recognition of common humanity and more importantly the fact that we are on this blue pill together is perhaps the most important lesson any of us can learn.

There's a competition to win a board or some music from Jack Johnson, and there's the site to explore, which seems to be becoming an ever expanding window to the best of our world.

Monday, September 06, 2010

A bit of a wait between drinks in blog land as I've been away visiting my Dear Old Dad on Queensland... and nursing a very bung shoulder that is going to keep me away from anything like an aquatic ripple for the best part of five weeks.

Like I really needed that.

As was suggested to me by Ed Sloane I need to write something about the perils of cold water surfing.

More like the mixed perils of helping ladies on buses and daydreaming while taking your hood off, then going surfing while the two pings that became the problem became one big ping by paddling about and trying to pretend I'm twenty again.

So what is a ping?

Ping number one on the bus to the long term carpark at Melbourne airport, the lady standing next to me has a big back she can't get to so I dutifully stiff arm it off the rack, it's a heavy bugger... ping! in a tiny spot in my shoulder...ooh that didn't feel so flash, never mind, what a shame.

One week later after a surf at Winki, wandering through the carpark while trying to get my hood off with one hand, pulling distractedly, daydreaming, the hood neck down in the neck of the wetsuit creating suction that would make your eyes pop, then PING!, that really didn't feel flash at all and damn it's hard to get my arm out of the wetty without screaming.

A few days go by and the Big Wednesday with it but relatively Big Thursday with a bit of side chop is offering so I just have to give it a hit and the shoulder disassembles and I head off to the physio where I get the bad news.

Pic for today? I'm struggling so I might just go with my Sue about to chop onions.