Grommet Claims Barrel, Jury Of Peers Unconvinced

Ding Alley
Ding Alley

Several hours after 12-year-old surfer Daniel Hughes claimed to have been ‘fully shacked’ at Toona’s Main Beach, the facts of the matter seem no closer to hand.

The incident occurred Saturday 9.35am AEST, when Danny and a small cohort of enthusiasts were surfing a reform peak out front of the Toona SLSC, where some of the less fortunate are conscripted as nippers.

Hughes paddled back out to his friends after taking a small inside wave, and excitedly described the tube ride no-one had witnessed.

13-Year-Old Gordon Davey – respected among Hughes’ circle of friends as the guy who A) does the best reos ’n’ stuff, and B) pashed a girl (Fiona Cornell, 14, lookout tower, SLSC disco, last summer) – immediately disputed Hughes’ claim.

“Bullshit Hughesy!” Davey is quoted as saying.

Onlookers report a heated exchange between Hughes and Davey, with Hughes protesting the authenticity of his barrel by describing how “The lip came right over my head. I wasn’t super deep or nuthin’, but I was fully slotted ’n’ that.”

The agitation flared back up mid-morning at the ToonaPies Bakery post-surf pigout as Hughes – not realising Davey was within earshot – recounted the alleged barrel to a non-surfing passer-by. Once again, Davey provided forceful opinion to the contrary – this time stirring up support from others who’d been out there that morning.

Critically, Hughes’ best mate Tony Mcallum expressed doubts, asking quietly: “Mate, are you sure you didn’t kinda imagine it? Like, did you have your eyes open? I mean, you always bail, hey. Why didn’t you jump off like you always do?”

Realising he could count only on the support of the two individuals with less currency than him in the group’s brutally-enforced hierarchy (one being his eight-year-old brother Cormac, who rides a bodyboard), Hughes sensibly nudged open the window of compromise, reasoning “OK, so it wasn’t an amazing tube, but it was definitely a cover-up, there was stuff going on everywhere.

“I reckon if you were on the beach and a bit back I would have totally disappeared for a sec. Maybe not all of me at once, but, y’know, it would have been like, ‘where’s Hughesy? Oh, hang on, there he is’.”
Hughes’ small concession was enough to ignite a robust exchange of opinions as the group strived to parse the incident to an acceptable resolution. 

“It’s a credit to these kids,” said local electrician Josh Cassidy, (popping in for a loaf of multigrain sliced for toast and barely escaping being subpoenaed as a character witness.) “When ya mate tells ya he got barrelled, you’ve got to know that it actually happened – some of these kids’ll be mates for life – they’re setting the terms for the next 50 years of post-surf convos, so it’s vital they sort this shit out now.”

And so claim, counter claim, refutation, cross examination, and stirring closing argument were put forth over the refuelling stop that any self-respecting beachside bakery provides children needing to bridge the gap between brekky and lunch – pie, chocolate milk, snotblock – (as opposed to the chalkboard menu at the Artisan Bakery down the road that no kid can afford let alone pronounce).

By the time the ToonaPies session had finished, a magnanimous Davey had allowed Hughes’ ride to be recorded in the group’s oral-history archive as ‘full-on head-dip’, and harmony in Toona’s dynamic, volatile, but tight-knit grom cabal had resumed.

Friends say they will keep a close watch on Hughes on return to school Monday however, lest he revert back to his original barrel claim.

“Any money he tells Kath Dobson he got fully barrelled” sighed his best mate Mcallum, “Hughesy’s got the hots for her something shocking.” 

// DING ALLEY

Ding Alley is two mates, ’toonist David @maccatoons McArthur and former surf mag design / editorial hack Gra Murdoch. Both have fallen victim to corporate downsizing in their respective media careers, but the bitter sting of redundancy did nothing to extinguish their burning creative flames – which were long dead already, and cold to the touch.

Comments

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 11:35am

Ha ha! Oh man, i'm so re-living this conversation.

One of our crew when young teens, most stiff, unorthodox, square legged style that carries over to this day, claims getting 'fully shacked' at Happy Valley, Caloundra. (Think he might have got a little hair rinse for a millisecond, but noone actually saw it.) And I think most people who've ever surfed at Kings Beach, know that probably ever since that place had been surfed, nobody gets barrelled at Kings Beach.

Anyway, we were still arguing about it at the Ice-Creamery that afternoon and for weeks after.

Memories.

1173

H2O's picture
H2O's picture
H2O commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 11:31am

So good in all respects ,right down to the tale of the 2 bakeries.

H20

Denyer's picture
Denyer's picture
Denyer commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 12:06pm

This is so good. I think this is relevant to every group of friends / surfers. There is always one mate that overcooks it. Don't let it be you!

epictard's picture
epictard's picture
epictard commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 12:30pm

I dunno Denyer, as a grommet backing yourself is a pretty good trait so long as you don't go on to be an artful dodger in the future. Tell yourself that it was a barrel often enough and you'll end up believing your own hype, gain more confidence, then pull in more often than dodge ... hopefully then becoming a self-fulfilling history of the event that people will believe or remember differently. The older you get, the better you were.

Not so much once you are in your late teens and on-wards, when we'll shoot down a claim from our mates before admitting a barrel even when we clearly saw it happen.

Once you are in your thirties and older it seems that all but the best barrels are claimed as head-dips, or shoulder-dips if you are even more modest.

These rules go out the window for pro contests where a claim may be often worth as much as the wave ridden.

These stories are great and anyone who grew up surfing can absolutely relate.
For us it was potato scallops from one shop and bread rolls from the bakery next door ... a third of the price of a scallop roll from the greasy Joe's. I have not had one in many years but it seems like they were not spelled that way back then.

The Shaper's picture
The Shaper's picture
The Shaper commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 12:06pm

classic surf culture.............loved it..............

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 12:17pm

Very relatable story. I've definitely had my "hughesy" moments as a grom, as I'm sure most have. Then there's always that one guy who lives by the motto "why let the facts get in the way of a good story"!

He who hesitates is lost

Bungan33's picture
Bungan33's picture
Bungan33 commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 12:58pm

So much fun to read!

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 1:05pm

I actually had a mate when we were groms who, as the wave sucked up and threw out, for what would have been the first pit of his life, he stumbled on his board and his head went between his legs right at the moment the wave threw over him and by the time he'd regained his stance he'd shot out of it, completely unaware he'd just gotten shacked. Gave him shit or a long time for that one. haha. Having said that i remember seeing footage of myself in what i'd claimed to be a sick barrel only for the footage to reveal i was no where near being inside. Humbling!

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 2:28pm

Getting barreled is getting barreled! Doesn't matter if you're in the mouth of the barrel or riding the foam ball -it's about the womb-like experience. Tell everyone else to fuck off if they don't agree.

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 8:40pm

haha. That's the spirit!! I was on the foamball in that case Ape!!

neville-beats-buddha's picture
neville-beats-buddha's picture
neville-beats-buddha commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 2:47pm

Heh heh heh.....you said 'womb'

Dylan Gilford's picture
Dylan Gilford's picture
Dylan Gilford commented Thursday, 11 Jun 2020 at 11:03am

lol Beavis

Dylan Gilford

rooftop's picture
rooftop's picture
rooftop commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 2:57pm

Stop it, fellas, you're killing me! So good. Takes me right back.

When's the book coming out? First presale right here.

bipola's picture
bipola's picture
bipola commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 3:10pm

good one

vladalotovodka's picture
vladalotovodka's picture
vladalotovodka commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 3:41pm

Much laugh is as good komrad Brezhnev is claim Soviet worker happy and full belly.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 6:30pm

Concept avatar.....nice work.

blackers's picture
blackers's picture
blackers commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 4:58pm

Nice work boys. Great stories from the crew as well. Like the little nod to Covid days in the cartoon; tape x on the floor and sanitizer by the door. Capturing a moment in time while being timeless.

Tick's picture
Tick's picture
Tick commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 5:16pm

Loved it.

Do any other pastimes have a similar rite of passage?
(i.e. the head dip/barrel claim/ribbing from mates)

First specky in Aussie Rules…

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 5:26pm

cool stuff.. The cartoon was a classic too , and well spotted blackers. At least Hughesy has the sense to wrap his leggy around the fins when transiting on a pushy.
I have a feeling Hughesy will recount many tubular exploits to less than convinced mates for many years to come , with the odd dispute about whether he tapped the lip or blew the fins out.

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 6:13pm

In the interests of clarity, tubeshooter, that's Gordon Davey (the alpha pf the group) on the pushie, looking nonplussed. Hughesy's seated on the footpath using his hands to describe his barrel.

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 10:17pm

yeah,haha , I was quick to judge . cheers

Roystein's picture
Roystein's picture
Roystein commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 5:45pm

So good
Takes me back!

jelli's picture
jelli's picture
jelli commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 5:46pm

Absolute gold. Thank you. Might use a couple of those lines to agitate some old mates.

D-Rex's picture
D-Rex's picture
D-Rex commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 5:55pm

At least he didn't claim that 'time stood still'...

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 6:37pm

You blokes are on fire.

Toona is fleshing out nicely. Thanks very much for your light hearted approach, your humour and your documentation of the idiosyncrasies of the Aussie surfing life.

We’re not worthy !

https://youtu.be/jjaqrPpdQYc

I’ve got an old photo with the old crew all lined up and they look exactly like the drawing. Cheers for joining the dots between us all.

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 9:19pm

Cartoon is bloody classic - loving the hand barrel.

Onya Hughesy keep adding the GST to your stories son.

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter commented Friday, 5 Jun 2020 at 10:25pm

Gordon Davey will be the first to get his P's , and these guys will have to decide between the vanilla slice and chocky milk to help cover the fuel if they want a lift to the beach in his mums Hyundai.

david 24's picture
david 24's picture
david 24 commented Saturday, 6 Jun 2020 at 10:43am

Ha! Great line Tubeshooter, I remember those days hanging with the older crew hoping to bum a lift. To this day , the bloke who drives gets a free feed from the bakery

macca24

views from the cockpit's picture
views from the cockpit's picture
views from the ... commented Sunday, 7 Jun 2020 at 5:30am

Oh how I loved Iced Coffee Big Ms.
How I looked up to the guys who had pashed chicks.
And looked down on nippers!
You guys must crack up during your workshops.

andy-mac's picture
andy-mac's picture
andy-mac commented Sunday, 7 Jun 2020 at 7:27am

Epic tale!!
Thanks, keep em coming...

Botak

original smith's picture
original smith's picture
original smith commented Sunday, 7 Jun 2020 at 7:54am

I think you just summed up my entire grommet-hood. I could just swap out the names with Davo, Kano, ST, Chris et al ...and I’m back in time, when time in the barrel actually, no really it did, stand still.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Sunday, 7 Jun 2020 at 10:30am

Agree with the crew...so funny & Ding Alley also...

{ Surf Council are starting to come down from their white horses }
C'mon...twas only a short Powwow...

tbb: "Ding Alley have just shattered the glass ceiling & my funnybones!"
Goodvibes: "I think I'm cracking Up...Again!"
Huey: "I may have clammed up a for a nanosecond...don't quote me on that!"
Tales from the Tube: "TBH - Hughesy only slayed the Beast to get first crack at Kath!"

Hughesy's Tube Theme.
(Gromz inside-out version) Running time [ 00 : 001] povsec's.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2Wd3DQnyuY

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Tuesday, 9 Jun 2020 at 12:45am

Youth....wasted on the young. Lucky little bastards.

MartinNow's picture
MartinNow's picture
MartinNow commented Tuesday, 9 Jun 2020 at 7:33am

I've still enjoy the occasional snot block after a surf!

MartinNow

Nickerless's picture
Nickerless's picture
Nickerless commented Wednesday, 10 Jun 2020 at 10:20am

anyone have that kook mate who would mysteriously 'get barreled' on any day no matter how fat and sloppy the wave was?.. this continued for honestly 5 years of him claiming to get shacked everytime I surfed with him. to this day I'm not sure if he has ever made it out of a barrel.... close out head dips don't count!!!

Teeto's picture
Teeto's picture
Teeto commented Saturday, 13 Jun 2020 at 8:53am

If someone is stoked on an alleged tube ride you gotta let em have the moment and tell the story.
Doesn’t matter how far in front of it they were.