Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I'm in India.
what to say other than I don't understand. It is at times like this that I mourn for the Earth. We are so sheltered in the west and no matter how much someone tells you about something it isn't real until you have seen it, experienced it, tasted it, Lived it! So how can I understand what poverty and all the things it brings is by just observing. I can feel compassion because I have reference points, there have been times in my life when I have been unemployed, or when I was a student I lived on beans for the last three weeks of every semester, but that was easy. I had support, family and friends.
Olivia cried once because the children on the TV didn't have food, she asked if she could save some of her dinner and send it. So even at 6 she has compassion.
So how do we ignore it as a race, when I see shows on TV whose weekly budgets would feed a small village for a year, turn pointless crap into drama, I mourn for the Earth.

Last week Bells was spectacular, beautiful weather and great waves all week saw the Rip Curl pro end on Saturday.
Sunday I surfed the Bowl in the morning and Winki in the afternoon.
It was a good day :-)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Weekend Magic

I surfed at Bells on Saturday after six weeks in England, it was 3-4 foot clean and 38C. All was right in the world.

Sunday I surfed Woolamai.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Snowed in

Yesterday we flew into Italy. Our day began at 5.30am and after a 1 hr delay we left Stanstead. Being diverted due to poor visibility in Pescara and one aborted landing attempt in Ciampino we finally landed at 1pm in Fiumicino, Rome. We picked up the rental car and set off for Pescara. 4hrs later we were stuck on the Atostrada somewhere in the Apennines between Rome and Pescara.
Right now no roads lead to Rome!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Second Wave

On Saturday I did 8hrs of driving, Coventry to Devon for a Surf and then Devon to Essex to see family, it was worth it the waves were small but fun and clean.
I forgot to Get a Photo of Tom and I for the blog and I forgot to take a photo of the waves. Ah well you will have to imagine it from my narative. Devon is one of the most picturesque counties in England, the hills of the North roll down to the sea with sandy beaches punctuated by rocky outcrops that look somehow prehistoric amongst the soft rolling countryside behind it. Nestled in between the valleys are old English villages of stone walls and thatched roofs, cottages with cosy pubs and heartwarming ale, as well as friendly locals and great food.
The first Picture is 13th beach on the same day that Tom and I surfed Croyde, and the second picture was taken from Down End car park, Croyde.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Croyde, Coombesgate, Clean waves and Kooksurfer

Having arrived in the UK just in time for a cold snap. Saturday morning I headed down to Devon, having not been there for many years I expected a quiet empty Croyde with a few die hard locals braving the cold water in search of a little winter stoke! I couldn't have been more wrong the B&B's were full and there was as much surf buzz in the air as I have ever met in the other Torquay in Victoria, wow! Swells coming tomorrow and people are coming with it.
I found a room in the Thatch, a beautiful old English thatch roofed pub that serves an awesome breaky with a good latte and has great food and ale for that post winter surf warmth.
Having arranged to meet Tom on Sunday from a board some wax and a leash I hired a wettie and headed off to the beach, to my surprise the water wasn't that cold but the wind most definitly was and after some fun little lefts I decided that was enough and headed back to the pub.
Back at the pub with a Cornish Ale and Burger with the lot I soon thawed. Chatting with Alex, a local surfer girl and business entrepeneur I discovered there was avaliable a very useful surfing aid in the form of a Tide calender that her and a freind put together, full of very cool pics and useful info as well as a cool peice of graphic design. So if you are heading down to Devon or live there make sure you buy one and in the mean time look up Kooksurfer on facebook.
Sunday after an awesome breakfast I headed into Braunton to look at Gulfstream surfboards, very beautiful boards, all custom made locally. Later that day as the tide dropped and the swell picked up I headed over to meet Tom at Coombesgate. We were greeted with head high clean waves and being sheltered the wind was fairly light, Tom kindly offered to let me try one his boards and so I decided to start with the simster, It was so busy all these crazy people wanting to get into the ocean in January! and me being one of them. Anyway we paddled out to fairly quiet bank and even though there were a few out the peaks were shifting so the crowd was reasonably spread out and I got a few nice lefts on the simster and a couple of rights on his Bing Dharma which was a really sweet board, lively and fun.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I'm in my office, reflecting on the year that was. It has been a quiet begining to what will be a very busy year, I will travel to the UK this week for four weeks, I will take one board and pick up an Oneil Mutant 4/5 when I get there. I also just read an article by Dane Reynolds about why he left the tour http://www.marinelayerproductions.com/news/article/753 and some of his comments gelled with the way I think, I think.
So it has been that for me surfing has definitely been the pursuit of happiness and in my random search for ultimate board for me, I have ended up with a quiver of rather odd and non mainstream boards. They are in order of big to small as follows a 7'2" hollow timber quad fish, a 6'5" hollow timber single fin based on MP's morning of the earth board, a 6'0" hollow timber single fin that started as a fish and ended up a rounded square and a 5'11" version of the MP with a quad. These are all boards that I have made, right now I have two favourites the 6'5" and the 5'11". Its the feeling these boards empart upon me as I am surfing that are the reason why I like them, they are in many ways effortless in the sense that you don't really need to do anything for them to feel amazing.
This year has also been a year where I have met some amazing and Inspiring people and made some good friends, Mick Sowry whose film Musica Surfica, http://www.greatsoutherncommunications.com.au/index.php?id=57 is a breathtaking and inspirational journey into uncharted water. Also that Mick in his mid 50's is still surfing 8ft plus is incredible. And Maurice Cole whose contribution to surfing for over 30 years and his radical and innovative board designs just speak for themselves, since anyone I know who has one loves it. Then there's Rohan my surf pal who quietly concieves, shapes and surfs his boards and I often think if it wasn't for Ro i'd never have made a board.
I hope that this year continues to be creatively fruitful, I'm sure it will. I have already started to plan the next few boards as well as a few other fun things, after all life should be fun.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Big Wednesday

well it wasn't that big I suppose!
wednesday I headed down to bells and surfed a fun 3-4ft onshore swell, a bit bumpy but good fun.
Then Mick and I went to have breakfast snd coffee with Maurice at the Torquay Lader. After an hour or so of talk about surfboard design, Kiteboarding and a very good toasty and latte, Mick and I headed back to bells for a "look".
Out we went only this time the swell had Jacked and was in the 5-6ft range, hmmm probably around the biggest I've been out at bells and a bit intimidating with the wind and bump. After a tough paddle out I sat in the line up of 4 and waited thinking to myself this could have been a bad Idea. I was on my 6'5 single fin and it was definitely at the limits of what it was intended for.
Then Marching in on the horizon came the first bomb, "I am way to far inside" and as the tripple overhead wave rolled in, a quick look behind and then down, down, down and as I felt myself being dragged back by the leggie I surfaced to see the next one coming in!
The Swell was building and my guess was now solid 6ft maybe 7ft plus on the sets. Now it definitely was the biggest surf I had been out in and I was yet to catch a wave. but in the back of my mind, the only way in was to surf.
Focus! I had to get a wave to go in! As I paddled in and got booted into the wave by the early crumbling lip, I got to my feet, the wave was still rising, never has it seemed so long to get down the face as I watched the lip rising above my head, it was so bumpy and I just kept gaining speed. Now I was having fun this was Awesome!!!!! Coming round the bottom turn and onto the shoulder, carving a big backhand turn on the huge face and droping back down into the next section. I was flying at this point, I can't even begin to describe what a rush this was.
I surfed that wave all the way in, as I bailed and was spat up onto the beach and managed to grab my board and make a run for it before the next shorbreak came down on top of me.
That night I sat contemplating that wave, I remembered the feelings and I want those feeling again.
On reflection it seems that just as in life we have limits at which we often turn back so that we can feel comfortable again, yet the next time we face those limits we often pass them with ease, this it seems is part of the journey of learning. I am not in a hurry to get back out in such big swell but at least it now seems like a possible goal