Boardriders clubs

Solitude's picture
Solitude started the topic in Sunday, 3 Feb 2019 at 10:27am

Just wanted to put it out there to get people’s thoughts on boardriders clubs?
I have never really wanted to join one as I never grew up surfing in a competitive environment. I rarely surf with crowds and I surf because of the connection to nature, the surprise of what each day will bring and being able to get a bit of quiet time. I’d be interested to know people’s experiences both positive and negative.
I could see the positives from a social perspective or for taking the kids down to get involved. I guess the culture at each club is probably quite different.

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Monday, 4 Feb 2019 at 6:10am

Great topic.

I've been involved with a few boardriders clubs over the years. As a grommet the focus was much more competitive, but the social aspect really came to the fore by the time I was out of my teens. 

Of course, there are perceived negatives (if you're not a participant) as there are some coasts/beaches where it seems there's a rally every other week, sometimes utilising the only decent wave in the area.

But in this day and age where humans seem to be trending away from personal interactions towards online communities and experiences, and especially with surfing being (for many people) an individual pursuit, I think that boardriders clubs are a valuable opportunity for surfers to keep a close connection with their community.

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bryonsurfer commented Monday, 4 Feb 2019 at 11:19am

I agree with Ben, they're great for social interactions, but can suck for anyone who might like to use their Saturday for a surf because they'll set up camp on the best peak and growl at anyone who dares to try surf near them. A little selfish to do it on major beaches when the lesser surfed back beaches are usually empty.

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surfstarved commented Monday, 4 Feb 2019 at 11:42am

I think there's definitely an argument to be made for their positive role in developing competitive surfing talent and providing cohesive social structures around healthy, inclusive behaviours, rather than self-destructive, antisocial activities like binge drinking and other substance-based pursuits.

However, the clubs need to recognise that their existence does not give them right of way, in terms of beach usage, and their presence on the beach or in the water does not grant them an automatic monopoly over the best banks, nor the best waves on any given day. Those in charge at the clubs need to encourage and demonstrate an attitude of respect and gratitude, not the entitled arrogance that you often see when the local boardriders set up the tents for the day.

If I'm in the water at dawn, sitting on a nice peak enjoying the odd wave here and there, the club is welcome to send their competitors out and share the peak with me, but they have no right to tell me to move on or assume that they have right of way, just because they're having a comp. Basic rules of surf etiquette should apply - give respect and they'll get it in return - I might even gift them the odd set wave if I'm in position but they've shown respect and not just blatantly dropped in. But assuming that they have right of way and can just take whichever waves they want just results in conflict, bad blood and a swift "pull your fucking head in, dickhead", spoiling everyone's fun.

Don't let the bastards grind you down

Solitude's picture
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Solitude commented Monday, 4 Feb 2019 at 1:28pm

Reading one of the other forum topics I get that it must be very frustrating to have the boardriders take over beaches.
Most of my local ones only have events once a month, usually in less than stellar conditions.
My wonder is how have people found the vibe? I kind of get that ‘if you’re not one of us than piss off’ kind of culture. Totally could be wrong though.
Have you all found them fairly inclusive of the ‘average’ surfer (i.e. didn’t grow up surfing the junior pro circuit)?

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Monday, 4 Feb 2019 at 3:14pm

Boardriders clubs ......what a fucking hoax.

Sit on the beach and watch your mates surf ? Fuck that. I never understood the concept. What do you gain from it all ? You don’t need to waste a day judging each other to determine who’s the best surfer or to give you an excuse to get on the piss together.

We had a single boardriders comp at our beach . A mate was a born administrator who went on to be very high in Surfing Australia and he was desperate that we’d get a club together. He organised a day then photocopied heat sheets , got a PA and chairs , coloured vests and even printed T shirts with our club logo and sponsors emblazoned across them.

On the day , crew rocked up at the beach and he tried to cajole them into participating. I reckon it lasted 3 heats before he was standing there alone and everyone else was out in the surf. Poor bastard. Then he had to carry all the gear back to his car where he discovered that all the at shirts had been pilfered and that everyone was wearing the stolen shirts like when Eddie Murphy got all his luggage flogged in Coming to America and the entire street was wearing his princely robes.

Great friend , but no one gave a fuck about a surfing competitions . We were actually stunned to hear crew from other beaches talking about the portfolios of results they used to shop around to potential sponsors, Weird and vain.

Don’t think this means we weren’t interested in performance surfing or that we weren’t well aware who surfed better than whom or who ruled the lineup each day. Or that we weren’t competitive in the water. We just didn’t need the regimented bullshit to ruin our good times.

And to this day I still can’t get my head around a bunch of average punters thinking they’ve got a right to close the surf to hold their amateur wave jousting competition. Bizarre.

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blindboy commented Monday, 4 Feb 2019 at 4:33pm

They have always been a good stepping stone to higher grades of competition and a reality check for those whose imagination is out stripping their reality. Got to know a lot of people from interclub events also. Given that most clubs only run nine events a year and they are at a fixed time and place, they don't often end up in prime conditions. If you surf somewhere regularly you will be welcome to join and if you don't, you really haven't got much to whinge about.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Monday, 4 Feb 2019 at 4:39pm

Tell me , BB , do you and your band of merry men close a break off from the public or expect any kind of priority in a line up during your little competitions ?

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blindboy commented Monday, 4 Feb 2019 at 5:00pm

Blowin, we count on the goodwill of other surfers. Clubs do not have the right to clear the water. It all works very well really. Lots of father son combos and a steady flow of groms from the nippers so it's a lot more family oriented than it used to be.

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indo-dreaming commented Monday, 4 Feb 2019 at 5:48pm

Was in NW Board riders in Tassie very early 90s, but was a bit different wasn't much surfers down there at the time so was more social event, even the Tassie West Coast classic a fairly big surfing comp for Tassie was more a social event.

Not into the board riders here (Phillip island) way to big, they even have and own their own clubhouse and oldest continuous running club in Australia, but IMHO it's more just about egos here and too serious.

They have a good program for the grommets though, so might get my daughter into it in a few years.

But they do suck they always take over the best bank and seem to have comps way too often.

Not to mention I think one of the good things about surfing is the lack of structure etc so a club and comps kind of goes against that spirit.

For further reference and common sense.

General Social issues: Rita Panahi & Lauren Southern
Indigenous issues: Jacinta Price and Anthony Dillion
Gender: Debra Soh.
Islam: Armin Navabi & Brigitte Gabriel
Population: Dick Smith

blindboy's picture
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blindboy commented Monday, 4 Feb 2019 at 5:52pm

They're not the oldest club in Australia Indo. We are, DYSF, since 1961. Only one older club in the world.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Monday, 4 Feb 2019 at 6:01pm

If the surf is good do you still go in your aquatic athletics carnival, BB ?

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factotum commented Monday, 4 Feb 2019 at 6:03pm
indo-dreaming's picture
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indo-dreaming commented Monday, 4 Feb 2019 at 7:09pm

@Blindboy

Well thats what they claim and is often reported in surf mags etc

They do mention the word "continuous", so perhaps you guys had a era where things went of the rails or something for a bit.

https://pibc.com.au/about/

For further reference and common sense.

General Social issues: Rita Panahi & Lauren Southern
Indigenous issues: Jacinta Price and Anthony Dillion
Gender: Debra Soh.
Islam: Armin Navabi & Brigitte Gabriel
Population: Dick Smith

blindboy's picture
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blindboy commented Monday, 4 Feb 2019 at 7:18pm

Nah straight through from Midget as our first President to today. We might have missed a couple of monthly contests along the way but we've always been there.

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morg commented Monday, 4 Feb 2019 at 7:37pm

It’s a bit off topic however I suspect that the number of local monthly comps is becoming frustrating for surfers and beach users in general at some city beaches. A few years ago all we had were the Clubbies, our local board riders comp, and possibly a body boarders comp to contend with. These days we’ve got our local board riders club, the local Christian board riders, the traditional owners board riders, the Mal club(s), the body boarder equivalents, and even SUPs (etc etc) all turning up for their comp days trying to take over the best waves on the beach. Plus there’s the flagged section for swimmers and the section for Nippers and SLSC activities. And most of these are all on Sundays.

A few times over the past year there has been three different comps all happening on the same day at the same nearby beach. Basically no one else got to surf between 7am and 3pm. Sure you can go to the next beach but you shouldn’t have to, and they probably have the same issue. Arguably they all are important and all are entitled to be there. Problem is it doesn’t leave anywhere for the poor old surfer who just likes to go to the beach and ride a few.

So I guess our future is party waves on Sundays . . . now where can I get a lightweight indestructible surfboard? Yes, yet another topic for SwellNet :)

I’m a fan of board riders clubs, comps and the Club BBQ, just not crowds or wankers I’ve never seen before who come in and try and take over the place with complete disregard for everyone else.

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truebluebasher commented Monday, 4 Feb 2019 at 8:07pm

A long forgotten Boardriders Club story! (Grom member's version...)

1970's North Burleigh Boardriders prioritised the fun & social aspect.
On the competitive side...myself & senior members MD/CT earnt spots in Qld Titles.

NBBR judges would equally pull cones while scoring 10's for Wipeouts.
No secret that many members joined our club to seek a higher love.

North Burleigh Boardrider 'Chix' spread their wings in 1979 ahead of their time.
North Burleigh Boardriders- Dodgers Touch Football side were untouchable.
(J.S) was Gold Coast Bulletin (Waves) reporter for GC Contest Roundups

Usually a local shaper or two was in tight with the club.(DB/Veggie)
If you were lucky like me you'd score some free boards or discounts for members
Better still the same Shaper can Judge your surfing & custom a design.

Surf Safaris to Noosa -Evans Heads & all between were pretty cool for us Groms.
Footy Finals & Break Up Parties were as Wild as you'd imagine.
eg: Jumping off Cruise Boats/Surfing Dam Walls/Food Fights.
Members screened Far out Surf Safari Flix on super 8...Hoots Galore! (Miami Pub)

Back then it was North Burleigh <(none)> until sister club Burleigh Boardriders
Along the same patch Today..
(N'B Boogerz ? > North End (Share)> SUSS'inc < Burley L'board North End (NBBR-feeder club) + SUSS'inc are a Surfing SUP Club
North End are still presented welcome tokens on shared beach by (tbb~NBBR).
North End boardriding Club equally return respects to past sister NBBR club.

Basically the Clubs have a license to congregate but not to move on the public.

2001 Beyond the Green Room GC Surfrider Clubs 1963 - 2001...(192 Pages)
This book omits North Burleigh Boardriders.(approx 1977 -1985) reunion 1990
Chook/burleybodybash'nbunyip Ltd Ed Postcards {N'Burley~ Burley B'riderz 50th}

So yeah! Clubs are not as up themselves as you might think!
All boardriding club members on my patch let me bodybash alongside. Cool by me!
(tbb) proudly gifts Boardriding Clubs/LG's for defending our Coastline.

crg's picture
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crg commented Monday, 4 Feb 2019 at 8:11pm

I got invited to a local boardriders club as a grom by a few of the older crew. I rocked up early, pretty much got told what to do for the next hour setting up tents, flags etc, surfed 3 times over the whole day for 20 min each against the crew we didn't like who surfed the other end of the beach and went home after being told to pack everything up and carry it back to the trailer.
I decided then and there I'd never go back.
What a crock of shit being told what to do, when you can surf, whether you surfed good enough to be able to surf again, where to surf etc etc etc
I hated it...and I even won my division.

Surfing is the closest thing you will ever feel to pure freedom.
Anything that conspires against that feeling just ain't right.

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Blowin commented Monday, 4 Feb 2019 at 8:46pm

So nicely put , Crg.

Surfing when and where someone tells you to......get fucked. Each to their own , I guess , but I can’t think of a single day’s surfing that’d be improved by adding rules , regulations and a bull horn telling you when to enter and exit the water.

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tworules commented Monday, 4 Feb 2019 at 9:24pm

toootrueblue, best time i ever had was part of the club in the 70's, bonded everyone at the beach, just goin to a meeting was a blowout, everyone had a part to play and it was pure fun, we could put the flags up before the clubbies ; WTF

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truebluebasher commented Monday, 4 Feb 2019 at 10:41pm

Cheers tworules I did enjoy and still miss the Local Boardrider club.
I also respect the Heritage that Indo Dreaming/Blindboy so rightly pride.
That plus crg/blowin's no comp mantra is equally or even more noble.

I also really dig belonging to Gold Coast's oldest sport
1864 Bodysurfing is our oldest & still proudly ametaur Sport.
Simply comes natural to defend a treasure so rare & precious.

I hope to never see a Bodysurfing comp on Gold Coast.
Sadly the whomperz care least to salute free spirited Bodysurfing Tradition.
All here know that to sell out Surfing's Grassroots spells the end for all surfing.

Knowing my comp past plays a small role in such downfall eats me up.
I can't shed my Pro/am Boardriding past...I certainly respect crg/blowin's freespirit.

I really do enjoy no limits surfing on very same North Burleigh Boardriders beach.

I can only advocate equal friends & pride from each collectives.

tbb finds it hard to knock local Boardriders when they're standing up for the town.
Again I salute Burleigh Boardriders clean up & defence of WSR Burleigh Rockbreak.
I'm 100% part of 'Oz Surf Club' no matter what shape or form...(Surfers United!)

Craig's picture
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Craig commented Tuesday, 5 Feb 2019 at 7:49am

Never been part of the boardriders as I'm of the opinion if the surf is good I'd rather be scoring waves in the water for as long as I want with less people as others have stated above.

I surf every day with the guys in the boardriders in any case so will probably sign up one day but only likely participate if I'm in town and it's not pumping.

I think it's great for socialising and maybe working your way into the clicky local scene if new to a beach, but yeah sitting at the beach all day surfing limited heats, I'd get to edgy and anxious and probably just end up surfing out front in any case.

One upside to knowing the local crew while a boardriders event is on is being able to sit in the contest area and surf uncrowded waves that the competitors don't want. Have had this a few times over the past years.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Tuesday, 5 Feb 2019 at 9:58am

Lucky you.

Being allowed to score sloppy seconds leftovers from the average surfers craving ego validation on the public beach.

I get the social aspect of boardriders as sometimes it can be the only legit excuse to bring together a diverse group of people who might not normally socialise out side of the lineup, but unless you’re surfing for a living the whole competition thing is weird if practiced more than once in a blue moon.

A C grade surfer wanting to tie up every 5th weekend with amateur comps ? WTF

Craig's picture
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Craig commented Tuesday, 5 Feb 2019 at 8:14am

Haha, well lucky to get 100m of clear space around you in Manly on a weekend ;)

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Flashinthepan commented Tuesday, 5 Feb 2019 at 6:34pm

Blindboy, can you justify the F part of DYSF. While a bit seppocentric, there are some good definitions of Fraternity on urban dictionary.

I find most boardriders’ clubs to be an anachronistic throwback to 1970s Australia – both the good and bad, but mostly bad. Good grassroots training for “conness” men and boys, but no place for women, gays, vegetarians, teetotallers or philosophical hippies. Tolerance expands only for those who can surf well, fight well or attract women.

In my area, some boardriders’ clubs have got about 20 members left. Some are still stuck in their glory days of grommet pole hazing, spit the winkle, gang bangs, bush pigs and piss ups.

Meanwhile, the clubbies are bursting at the seams. My children ended up as clubbies who surf. It’s still fashionable for outlaw surfies to sneer at clubbies, but the clubbies modernised in the 1980s, and are way better aligned with contemporary Australia. Their members now have the pleasure of SWPs about how to sneeze, and get to participate in toolbox talk workshops about unconscious bias, but also learn some really good skills.

factotum's picture
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factotum commented Tuesday, 5 Feb 2019 at 7:06pm

Fraternity!

Hey! I know that dude!

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Flashinthepan commented Tuesday, 5 Feb 2019 at 7:27pm

Tunarama seems to support sorority tuna tossers.
Any client testimonials from it?

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freeride76 commented Tuesday, 5 Feb 2019 at 7:38pm

probably the reverse here: clubbies remain the preserve mostly of social climbing poms looking to get a hook in the famous beach lifestyle and company men who love getting on the end of a megaphone.

boardriders seem more laidback, not that I've ever joined or had any interest, but I am about to find out because my son just joined. Seems harmless enough fun.

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blindboy commented Tuesday, 5 Feb 2019 at 8:36pm

Flash it was a different time. These days it is just a tradition to stay with the name. Strangely there is a trailer parked in North Curl Curl with Girls Surfing Fraternity printed on the side. So some don't find the word offensive. Currently the most successful surfer in the club is a young woman so the name is no barrier. Not sure of current membership. Probably depends on how you count it. They stopped making people life members a while ago because everyone with a long association was treated that way anyway. And yes, there is an overlap with the surf club. A few are active in both but quite a lot of the younger crew have come through the nippers. Anachronism? No not when the majority of the members are teens or twenties.

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P'tai commented Tuesday, 5 Feb 2019 at 8:37pm

After weeks and weeks of horrendous N/NE wind, that would blow a dog of its chain, we had two days of light winds.......nice shouderhigh lefts and the occasional right. Lots of fun the rip on the change of tide made it even better. Old school rip bowl. If you can't paddle and stay in the take off so be it ha ha ha.

Then the clubbies set up the flags right on the rip???? go figure. and they came and dropped bouys just out side the break for the kids to do their thing with the scissor legs through the rip.

We were told to get out of the surf zone, guess who saved a few kids, the surfers not the clubbies.

Its something in the DNA re clubbies

Solitude's picture
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Solitude commented Tuesday, 5 Feb 2019 at 8:46pm

Freeride- Be interested to hear your thoughts after a while. I want my little ones to enjoy the ocean just not that sure about the ‘competitive’ side of surfing.

I’ve been down the beach many a time when 10 years olds in their latest rip curl suits with brand new DHD’s are warming up like they’re about to paddle out in a ‘CT. Dad on the beach capturing every move..............sad really.

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blindboy commented Tuesday, 5 Feb 2019 at 9:07pm

Well reality is Solitude, it won't be your decision anyway. The best thing about the boardriders when I was first involved was that it was completely ours. The "old" guys were mid-twenties! For better or worse, we did everything ourselves and I think that was really valuable in all sorts of ways. At times I suspect that if I was growing up now I probably wouldn't be a surfer. Like you say, too organised.

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Solitude commented Wednesday, 6 Feb 2019 at 10:44am

blindboy - what wont be my choice?

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blindboy commented Wednesday, 6 Feb 2019 at 10:52am

Whether your son takes up competitive surfing.

Solitude's picture
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Solitude commented Wednesday, 6 Feb 2019 at 11:14am

Not really my point mate. I’d support anything my kids want to do. You have to admit some of those micro groms paddling out at some crowded point break would’ve had a fair ‘push’ from their parents.
In the same way if someone grew up playing rugby league there’s a greater chance their son would do the same.
Best thing for me about surfing is that most of it isn’t that serious. But hey if they love it then sure, it may be a natural progression for some to make it more competitive.
As someone who hasn’t been privy to the culture in boardrider clubs, from what I can see locally it is pretty kid and family friendly

tux's picture
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tux commented Wednesday, 6 Feb 2019 at 11:22am

My experience when I was younger was very poor...home beach had a very competitive scene that was very clicky with many of the older surfers blatantly taking the piss out of anyone who wasn't part of the crew...as such I when my kids asked to join a club I was very reticent...fortunatly we have had nothing but positive experiences with the club they are associated with...the club is very succesful competitvley and very inclusive...sure you have crew that have been there all their lives but it doesn't really effect the kids who all get to hang at the beach and surf, skate play footy when they are not surfing...all round I find the environment much better than most footy/rugby/soccer/cricket clubs I've been involved with

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blindboy commented Wednesday, 6 Feb 2019 at 11:41am

Very true tux, We were absolute angels compared to the other local sporting clubs including the surf clubs. Many of them had a really heavy drinking culture, porno nights with prostitutes and so on. I'm sure things are better now but how much better I wouldn't be sure.

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Blowin commented Wednesday, 6 Feb 2019 at 1:34pm

What’s wrong with heavy drinking and porn nights with prostitutes ?

During my early Tracks mag reading days you’d hear about all these cool clubs having a hell time - Newport Plus , Bondi ITN etc. I thought they were living large ......till I discovered the actual surf contest side of it .

What a let down !

All these raging blokes surfing when and where they were told and sitting around patiently till it was their turn in the water. All of a sudden it was just lame.

The only thing the clubs had going for them was the hardcore social scene. The rest was Surfing Lite , no matter how hard they talked about paddle battles and contact surfing . It’s ridiculous. The same blokes should have been ripping the best waves available, not stuck at a suburban beachie listening to bull horns and a blaring PA , arguing over why they only got a 4.7 for their last ride. Weak.

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blindboy commented Wednesday, 6 Feb 2019 at 1:14pm

Hmmm you do know that Goodvibes was a cartoon character.

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Blowin commented Wednesday, 6 Feb 2019 at 1:34pm

You do know that parties sometimes get off tap don’t you ?

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GuySmiley commented Wednesday, 6 Feb 2019 at 2:40pm

Half way through high school a mate and I figured out a way to escape Melbourne to surf the summer.

We joined a weekly swimming squad in the suburbs from which recruits were accepted as juniors at a surf club on the surf coast. I think we had to swim 400 metres in under 10 minutes, which we easily did.

Come the summer holidays we were off to the coast for the summer with our parent's blessing with a few clothes and a board each. The plan was between duty we would surf. Forget it, after a week of not seeing much sun cleaning rooms and the dunnies and being treated like shit, we were out of there. But where to go.

Down the beach we found a deserted beach house with an outside toilet and hose for a shower and in the tiny garage we found camp stretchers. We set up house, slept in the garage and surfed most days thinking the club would soon let our parents know of our walk out but they didn't . So our parents kept on sending us some money to the local PO and the owner stayed away all summer. We had such a great time. We looked after the place, watering the garden and cutting the grass with the mower we found in the garage. The few neighbours around us were cool, we even worked for them on flat days. 15 years old, surfing and living the dream. We got home and our parents were none the wiser.

The following summer I needed to work (another story) but it again worked for my mate and the following one too until the owner arrived. The owner must of knew for awhile because he thanked my mate for looking after the place but suggested it was time to move on.

Craig's picture
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Craig commented Wednesday, 6 Feb 2019 at 2:55pm

Wow, great story GS!

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blindboy commented Wednesday, 6 Feb 2019 at 2:59pm

Nothing like a bit of initiative GS!

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Blowin commented Wednesday, 6 Feb 2019 at 3:00pm

That’s what it’s all about , Guy.

Unreal story.

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ojackojacko commented Wednesday, 6 Feb 2019 at 7:56pm

brilliant GS

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freeride76 commented Wednesday, 6 Feb 2019 at 8:03pm

Solitude, it had nothing to do with me. I've got no background in board riders, apart from the super dodgy 4 person "club" we formed on Bribie where the clubhouse was a mattress under a pandanus palm in the dunes.

But my son has got super keen and he is really competitive, a little ranga who likes to bite off more than he can chew.
Crowds really intimidated my daughter but my son will throw himself into the thickest crowd at the Pass and scrabble for a wave.
I don't push him in, never have. He gets a wave, he paddles into it.

I told him its dangerous with all the loose boards and traffic jams but he is keen to get in amongst it.
This morning we went and he was out there in a flash. I was taking a much languorous approach as the crowd doubled and tripled.
He copped a loose board in the face, I found out later. Had a little cry to himself then got stuck back into the fray.
When I got out there, I could tell something had rattled him but he wouldn't come in.