Crowded perfection, or mundane solitary

woohcs's picture
woohcs started the topic in Friday, 26 Jul 2013 at 7:24pm

As usual, work talk turns to surf as soon as the conditions turn on...comment from an apprentice 'I'd rather 3' 150M long perfect winki with 40 guys out and catch 2 great waves in an hour and half than surf spot x at 5'and 40M to fatness and get as many waves as comes'.

I hate the crowds and will almost always go with spot x...but that being said breaks like winki etc are ALWAYS crowded...so...

Question I thought might be interesting is...

Is that one wave worth it!

jezza64's picture
jezza64's picture
jezza64 Friday, 26 Jul 2013 at 7:59pm

Good topic woohcs. On my last trip to Bali I was only able to surf for 1 - 1/2 hours a day due to some self inflicted stitches. As we know Bali is often crowded, so once I got a couple of good ones I would paddle in and enjoy the show. May have been the mindset, but it felt like I got my best wave ever in almost every session. Get a smoker or two, paddle in with a stupid ear to ear grin and then chill for the rest of day.

But normally I will be the one paddling out to the bank that isn't quite doing it so I can relax and enjoy my surf, and with lower expectations its surprising how often you get better waves than you thought you would. Karma.

groundswell's picture
groundswell's picture
groundswell Saturday, 27 Jul 2013 at 1:51pm

I think youd have plenty of other options on that stretch around winki wouldnt you?
If its winki in vic.
I reckon gold coast would drive me insane.
Mostly uncrowded for me. Unless indo or somewhere where most people are tourists its easier to get waves there. Gave up on a lot of crowded waves, makes me unhappy all the dissrespect, snaking and drop ins that occurs at some breaks.
Theres other options around here anyway besides the well known waves.But at some waves some days everyones friends, like family.So a little bit of both.

At some beaches i surf it gets crowded like good wedges, but theres often an empty peak somewhere, or just wait your turn.

saltyhooves's picture
saltyhooves's picture
saltyhooves Sunday, 28 Jul 2013 at 8:02am

Uncrowded fattness/inconsistent...or crowded pumping...ummm....

I agree with groundswell in that the snaking, disrespect and total wankfest of a crowded break gets ya down in a way that shouldnt happen when mother nature is dishing out some perfection...we could all share the beauty of a pumping shesh but competitive human nature wins over mostly..not to say that when ya do get that wide bomb set that you have stalked for the last half hour away from the pack does make it all worth it crowd or not...ha but then I just thought...some bastard drops in on ya anyway..or tries to hassle so hard for it that ya end up eating their heal skin..have it ya prick!! see just talking about it gets my goat on.

So I guess the fat/inconsistent does have a draw card in that its you and the ocean and the scenery and the whole salt water therapy thing going on. When a wave looms you can take it or leave it where as in the crowded scene ya gotta go everything...often you find a gem amoungst the slop and this is what can make this type of shesh gold.

So Im going with the latter today..give me the ocean without the smartarse humunoids...the jokers that think that the latest wettie, sponoed moves/board (complete with photographer on beach), and the worst [email protected]*!kn dog eat dog attitude is gunna get ya places...I know the ocean rewards those who are humble in her presence.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming Sunday, 28 Jul 2013 at 11:51am

I kinda swing both ways on this.

Kinda depends if its an epic wave, like a long point break or reef and there is a chance i could get just one perfect wave/barrel or its a wave that rarely breaks or its just going off, i might fight it out with the crowd especially if ive been surfing heaps and feel surf fit and in sync with my board, but if i haven't been surfing much or feel out of sync, i will go somewhere else.

At my local beach which is very long and made up of lots of very distinct banks, theres banks that i rarely surf that are often the most consistent best banks, but the crowds and rippers seem to favour them because there right in front of carparks , even if there the best bank on the beach, ill usually go surf a far less perfect bank to escape the crowd or surf with a more mellow crowd normally a crowd where even though i may not be friends as such with the guys in the water, i see them out all the time, i know there cruisers so i will still get plenty of waves.

Crowds are also a kind of weird thing, especially when i was living on the Goldy and i use to surf Straddie or Burleigh if they were any good, sometimes it wouldn't be that crowded (for those breaks) but still it was almost impossible to get a wave, then other days it would be crazy crowded, and id just think, oh well ive got nothing better to do, and id get heaps of waves?

Same thing happens in Indo, although there i try to escape the crowds as even the average waves are still pretty good, that said i haven't surfed Bali for about ten years and i don't ever plan on surfing there again.

nebasha's picture
nebasha's picture
nebasha Monday, 29 Jul 2013 at 2:43pm

Uncrowded fattness and inconsistent for sure. Especially if it's next to a crowded break (on the 13th beach stretch this situation often happens). On the one hand I feel bad looking at the poor guys sitting on the side of the line up waiting for their turn riding that one little peak where all the cool guys have gathered. On the other hand I simply can't understand their sheep-like behavior. And honestly it make me appreciate those fat inconsistent spots even more. But to each his own.

roubydouby's picture
roubydouby's picture
roubydouby Monday, 29 Jul 2013 at 3:56pm

I reckon if you stop and watch for a bit you can usually find a bank or a peak others seem to miss - at least until they see you getting a few. Then it's like a zombie hoard descending on you!

It seems like some people are mentally capable of surfing the crowd without it becoming a personal exercise in frustration management and dark thoughts. I reckon the rub occurs when you find yourself as king dick of a peak. It's pretty easy to revel in your own awesomeness and think about starting that pro career. If Slater can win a title at the age of 40, surely at 35 you have a chance of qualifying....

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Wednesday, 31 Jul 2013 at 10:49am

I just had a look at the Snapper surfcam and while the surf is pretty good, there must be at least 150 surfers in the water. Practically every wave someone is being dropped in on no matter the level of their ability and if they're not being dropped in on, the waves are shutting down due to multiple chandeliers down the line.

Two words sum that up for me- Fuck that!

I guess I'm spoilt now, last couple of days been surfing a local breakwall, not big, chest to head high on the sets but heaps of fun. Total surfers- 3, just taking turns and hooting each other in. Not as perfect as Snapper is today but I must have ridden at least 100 waves in the last two days and wasn't dropped in on once.

Having grown up on the Goldy, there's still uncrowded surf to be had if you know where to look. I havn't surfed in Cooly for years and don't plan to, they can have it.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Wednesday, 31 Jul 2013 at 11:06am

I'm with ya Zenagain. Lived on the Goldy for three years and surfed the Superbank probably a half a dozen times during that period.

woohcs's picture
woohcs's picture
woohcs Wednesday, 31 Jul 2013 at 11:06pm

did a quick spot of work saturday morning just gone and thought...mmmm surf would be nice, called the boss for approval(missus), called a mate, and was on the east coast vic about 10.30. wooolies was packed! a few banks going, but all overloaded for the sets that were coming, guys dropping in left, right, centre...you get the drift...left the island and went further east, found a bank with no one on it. about 4' sort of quick left a touch fat in sections with the occasional shutdown. by the time I'd had a good look, suited up and paddled out, tide had just changed enough...bout 100M left with two reasonable cover sections. The quick sections had slowed and the fat section had become magnificent workable walls. worked for about 2 hours then got fat and nasty again. close to all time session. the guy i was with is a goofy and was tearing it to pieces with more covertime than he'd had in ages.(little covers, not full barrels) I on the other hand had quite a few 'operator error' moments, but still got a few covers, and at least five waves you'd still be talking about for a few days. while back on land we couldn't help but talk about how lucky we might have been and if we'd have paddled out at woolies and what a different day it might have been...those poor 15-20 fuckers on each bank scratching for waves only 15-30 minutes away.

Imperfect fatness away from the crowd paid off last weekend...next weekend?

thank fuck the boss didn't want the lawn mowed that day...or the vac...or paint the house...or the...

you know how it goes

unclevernon's picture
unclevernon's picture
unclevernon Friday, 2 Aug 2013 at 12:13am

Scored without question the best wave of my life at Desert Point a couple of weeks back, as well as observing some of the worst behaviour I've ever seen in a lineup. Happy to say I got mine fair and square, and it was well worth it, still grinning like a loon. There's nothing like sharing a great session with just a couple of mates of course, but sometimes it's good to test your wits in the jungle, especially when the rewards are so freaking incredible!

dandandan's picture
dandandan's picture
dandandan Friday, 2 Aug 2013 at 9:23am

Desert Point! Notorious for that sort of thing... I spent four hours in the water there once and was dropped in on five times, snaked thousands (I just can't bring myself to drop in on someone setting up a tube)... And then finally snuck a smaller one that, like yours, turned out to be a ripper.. COmpletely worth it.

At home, unless it is at my local point, I tend to gravitate towards smaller crowds (which around here usually means zero people) and forgo a bit of quality... I've never surfed the 'hollywood' wave around my area because it will usually have 80 - 90 blokes in the water, while a series of other golden waves will have 10 people or less. I'll only ever battle the crowds for waves liek Deserts, HT's or really good Ulus..

non-local's picture
non-local's picture
non-local Friday, 2 Aug 2013 at 9:32am

Winkipop crowds are just insane nightmares, I don't get how so many kooks can decend on the best wave in Victoria. You see some of the worst offences out there by total numbskulls, guys who shouldn't be anywhere near the place.

The problem isn't with the core local who grew up out there, it's with the new locals and the blow-ins who think that they have a right to be out there.

The backpacker van tourists are a nightmare as well because they just want to add a tick in the Winkipop box on their adventure, these guys are the ones who sit down the line and generally in closer to the reef so they can get the smaller ones, when a set comes they freak out and paddle for the shoulder and totally wreck the line of the person on the wave. I mean if you can't duck-dive what are you doing out there?

The young guys from Melbourne with the matching wetsuits and matching Al Merricks, drop-ins and as they learn to paddle a bit they become snakes on the inside who rarely if ever make the take off. Really, Winkipop is a realitivly fat wave, if you cant make the drop out there why are you out there?

They middle aged I used to surf when I was young and now I'm back guy, this is the ones that the surf industry secertly love, they have big credit cards and think the gear makes you a better surfer. These guys think that their bank statements count when dropping in only to trim the length of the wave without doing a single turn, ripping!

The average surfer with the hasseling skills of Tom Carroll, these guys think they are ripping on their latest 5'6" fish-bat-flat-pig boards. Newsflash guys, Winkipop is a long down the line wave, try riding something that lets you do long down the line surfing with big turns,like the good guys out there do.

The hipster crew hel bent on riding shit boards from the 70's, when you drive into the carpark go straight and down the hill to Bells, it's more suited to your quazimoto style of wasting waves.

Tradies, or as I like to call it "Angry Tradies Hour". These guys are trying to get their fill of waves as quickly as possible after work, they snake, hassle, drop-in and run into each other out there on their 7S quad fin beasts. They have next to no surfing ability and are much better suited to going to the pub after work and downing a dozen pots rather than trying to get a dozen waves out at Winkipop.

The hyper want to be pro grommets. Go back to Juc and Sparrows and learn to surf before you sticker up your boards and head out Winkipop when it's good. When you grow up a bit and start to put a few good turns together you will get your turn out the pop when its good.

All the core locals out there share the waves, amongst themselves old and young, which is fair, they have earnt their spot out there. The new locals who have moved into town over the past 5 years and think that they are going to be all over the place because they have spent over half a million to be here and are up to date with the latest surf gear, these guys are dropping in on guys like Tony Ray because they have no idea who is who in the zoo. They don't realize when they are burning crew and think they are ripping. Go surf Boobs.

Enough ranting on, I am going for a surf out winkipop.

unclevernon's picture
unclevernon's picture
unclevernon Saturday, 3 Aug 2013 at 1:15am

I surfed Winki on a good day back in the early 90s, sounds like nothing's changed! In the end, I reckon it's possible to make the best of either situation, the crowded perfection or the less perfect, higher wave count surf. Surfing completely alone gets a bit nervy in WA these days though! The worst deal is a crowded lineup with relatively poor surf, a la Bondi or Perth metro, I've done enough of those sessions to last a lifetime. Days like that it's best to keep busy paddling and hunting, at least you get some exercise.

nebasha's picture
nebasha's picture
nebasha Monday, 5 Aug 2013 at 11:21am

@non-local: you sound a bit like my missus. Love the way you categorize everybody and I assume you belong in the "core local group" category. Next time I surf winkie I'll make sure I tick in the Winkipop box on my adventure, paddle for the shoulder, have my wetsuit match my Al Merrick, snake before I drop in, flash my credit card and rip curl gold membership card, ride my 5.2 fish bat flat pig single fin from the 70's with my arms wide and a kooky poop stance slowly gliding down the line, together with all my tradie friends. Don't know where I can find a grom nowadays. Does that entitle me of my own category then or do I fit in all your boxes...