Tweed Coast Pro, Day Two: "A Bird's Eye View From The Jetski"

Ding Alley
Ding Alley

The problem with covering a contest that’s just down the road is that it’s gonna be held when conditions are good at your local. Thus groomed empty peaks greet your correspondent as he takes his pooch down to Third Ave for her morning constitutional. 

I must report this elderly, but still spritely, Oz Terrier/Jack Russell-cross chooses to take multiple small shits rather than one consolidated dump. And as I return for the third time to the placcy bag dispenser, musing on my companion’s Tardis-like digestive tract, I see three distinct A-Frames looking about as fun as this usually ornery beachie gets. 

Ah well, no time for surfing, there’s a Finals Day to cover! 

Yesterday’s comp was a good spectacle, but I’m thinking: how much of that was merely fondness created by six months’ absence? How’s today gonna hold up? 

And when the last surfer’s left standing, be they seasoned campaigner or exciting new prospect, will it feel like it means anything?

Turns out I’m glad to log on from the start, as early proceedings are unexpectedly cool, with Juraki’s big fella Joel Slabb talking story – from the Fingal creation story to daughter Jalaan Slabb’s burgeoning shaping career. 

The way all the Juraki gear has been worked into this event has been really well done I reckon, so gold star to Oz Woz for getting it right. 

Gotta say, the jury’s out on the Otis Carey-created trophies though. Didn’t get a real good look at ‘em, to be fair, but it would appear the directive might have come from Santa Monica for the Ranch Rumble trophies (Paddle Pop stick construction, designed and assembled by Erik Logan himself) not to be eclipsed by Otis’ effort.

Another Woz wobble: yesterday, the commentary proudly noted the COVID precautions in place as surfers ran up the beach untroubled by autograph and selfie seekers. Today there’s arms around fans posing for snaps and lots of texta work on T-shirts. No biggie IMO, just some textbook Woz inconsistency.

The Gal’s quarters kick off in sheet glass conditions that send the Blakey bros into paroxysms about the magic of the North Coast. I dunno, maybe all this waxing utopian might be a little hard to take for locked down Melburnians right now?

And so a point off for flogging an already chockers North Coast, and a point deducted for every time Rick refers to the “bird’s eye view from the jetski” – three in total. (Unless he’s doing it for a bet, in which case, add three points).

Two quick notes from the unfolding gals QFs:

  • Steph’s style, timing and technique make it look like her opponents have a mild palsy by comparison.
  • Sal versus Tyler is a great light and dark battle. Tyler’s weight-of-the-world rail power and slide versus Sally’s how-good’s-life-and-Almond-Breeze whip and pop. Power prevails.

The blokes QFs provide an opportunity to rhapsodise about Ethan Ewing some more. Owen Wilson’s* in very good form in heat two, but E.E totally owns him. Simply watching Ewing’s flow – weighting and unweighting as little Adder Rock-esque runners slide by underfoot – is incredibly seductive. 

How mercurial is Ewing? By comparison both Robbo and Jules in the following heat look slightly frantic and ampy. 

By the end of the quarters the northerly has the lineup in a gentle chokehold, and maybe one of the limitations of the much vaunted two-day strike mission reveals itself. Given that tomorrow morning will be a similar size out of the east and super clean, imagine if there’d been the option to run the semis and finals first thing Tuesday in ace conditions, instead of the post-midday crumblefest we’re now seeing. 

But as we come down to the pointy end, I have to say the Tweed Coast Pro gets a thumbs up from Ding Alley. 

Sure it’s just a domestic field, and there’s no points or titles on the line, so the intensity can only be lacking, but from a deskbound spectator’s POV I’m getting a solid fix of quality competition surfing beamed to me for nix, and if anything, that lack of consequence frees up the performance. And I don’t think the lack of crowds on the beach dilutes the sense of occasion one bit – at least not on the webcast. 

You only have to hear perennial frother Sal in the booth as the first girl’s semi winds down, with a mid-range score required and a set approaching, to know it’s clear the surfers aren’t phoning it in. A comp’s a comp. It’s what these guys do. 

And so we’ve got a fun two days packaged with the slick broadcast values of the Woz, a commentary team that outperforms their septic counterparts… I dunno… Am I getting carried away? Was the Ranch Rumble just so shite that this comp shines disproportionately? 

Nah, Ding Alley might be new to this connest review caper, but the Oz Grand Slam’s off to a good start. It works. Credit where credit’s due to the Woz.

OK, old mate Ethan keeps his sultan of smooth run going through Semi One, and if anything, the easterly ruffles just make him look even more buttery**. 

Matty McGillivray somehow beats Jack Robbo. There’s undoubtedly some really good strategy lessons for Jack-Be-Nimble here, farked if I know what they are but.

In the Gals’ final: Steph looked a little tuckered out and so onya to Tyler the Unstoppable. 

I’m not alone feeling a bit let down to be robbed of a Robbo / Ewing final, but props to Matty for the tenacity and heat craft that gets him here. 

Ethan wins the day. Thank Christ! 

Speaking of Christ – with no pious ‘zilla Catholics present, there’s been a distinctly secular vibe to the post-heat interviews and we’re none the poorer for it. 

Bring on Straddie and Margies I say, and you can bet the crew involved in upcoming exhibition events in France and Brazil etc have been paying attention too. 

Good old burgery Caba. Comes through with a win for the Woz! 

Who’da thought eh?


**Ding Alley uses the word ‘buttery’ deliberately to highlight the wonderful absence of this and similarly annoying terms in the commentary.


zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Monday, 14 Sep 2020 at 4:30pm

Mmm... buttery!

mr mick's picture
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mr mick Monday, 14 Sep 2020 at 6:06pm

Buttery,burgery,seasoned,paddle pop, birds eye........mmmm food comparisons, maybe a cook book coming on?

nolocal's picture
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nolocal Wednesday, 16 Sep 2020 at 4:43pm

I can't believe its not buttery

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Monday, 14 Sep 2020 at 4:52pm

Thanks again Ding Alley. Love the flavour you guys are bringing to the table.

Agree with the sentiment on the event. The benefit of the domestic limits to the contest are that it highlights just how little the Seppification of the ASP has contributed to enjoyment of watching . In fact , I’d go as far as to say that every single part of the US culture which usually graces a contest is a negative.

From Turpel’s vapid droning to Elo’s Oprah- inspired over produced glittergasm of the set to the ridiculous matching fucking shirts of the commentary and the relentlessly ill timed adverts’s all a shit show of style over substance.

Particularly considering that it’s the Aussie taxpayer stumping up the bill for the Australian leg , why would we let Elo and his winged monkeys anywhere near it ?

Anyway....really liked the bit on Jalaan Slabb and the teams event this morning where the grommet girl got to have her say to the camera , the ripping all round and the light hearted , grounded vibe of the whole thing.

Less was definitely more.

BTW....Show is your deck , Cuz !

Here she is in all her decking-laid -upside-down , freshly painted glory . Yep...the bugger who built it laid the boards wrong way and so it now gets ultra-dirty and sucked up approx 400 percent more paint than flat side up .

Bonus mugshot of Ali the King Parrot who loves an almond. If you ever catch up with him do the right thing and sling him a couple of those tasty little treats. Makes him awfully happy, if shitting on a fresh deck is any indicator of contentment for birds.

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch Monday, 14 Sep 2020 at 5:59pm

Absolute ripper deck mate. Paradise! Well played cobs.

zenagain's picture
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zenagain Monday, 14 Sep 2020 at 6:09pm

Cracking deck Blowy. Looks real nice.

I was gonna post mine up but kinda reluctant to now the bars been set so high.

ringmaster's picture
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ringmaster Monday, 14 Sep 2020 at 7:56pm

Agree 100% with everything you said about the presentation of the comp Sweet Blowin.

Yeah.......good deck.

batfink's picture
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batfink Tuesday, 15 Sep 2020 at 11:02am

Dude. Sweet deck, and I didn’t know DSDS was blowy, so there you go.

What did you paint with DSDS? I got two new decks, and the local paint guys, great fellas, when I told them I wanted something to last 20 years, put me on to paving paint. It’s come up a treat and I can mop it down easily. If I can be bothered I’ll find out how to upload a photo and put it up. Not as nice as yours, but pretty good and the view is better!

And my deck was put up with the boards the right way around.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain Tuesday, 15 Sep 2020 at 12:12pm

Ok, let's have a deck off.

Just kidding, but I'll upload a pic of my deck later as it was my first go and I reckon it came up alright.

zenagain's picture
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zenagain Tuesday, 15 Sep 2020 at 1:48pm

Here's mine. Quite happy with how it turned out considering it was my first attempt at doing something like this.

3 1/2 days total over 3 weekends from ripping up the old rotten one, measuring, cutting, painting, screwing it down and topcoating.


Yours still looks like a nice place for a coldie Blowy.

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet Tuesday, 15 Sep 2020 at 3:03pm

Looks unreal , Zen.

Very neat and professional. Even spacings between batons....unique concept ! The fella who built mine liked to keep the punters guessing when they walked over it . Some spots are like a friggin trampoline.

Really like that natural timber finish. More appealing than paint. I’d have the same if the boards weren’t just shitty reeded pine.

Batfink....the paving paint sounds interesting. It bonds to timber no worries ? Pics or it never happened.

Spuddups's picture
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Spuddups Monday, 14 Sep 2020 at 4:56pm

Lovin' the deck brother. Looks like you've got a slice of paradise there.

dazzler's picture
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dazzler Monday, 14 Sep 2020 at 5:15pm

I ddin't miss the incessant whilsting and shouting from the beach everytime a wave beckoned on the horizon. My son needs the coach on the rugby field in U7s, world champs don't.

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
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DudeSweetDudeSweet Monday, 14 Sep 2020 at 6:51pm

What do you reckon the result would have been if it’d been held at good Snapper ?

I think Ewan is advantaged when there’s dead spots in the waves. He seems really light over flat sections. That’s why I thought he was in with a chance at Caba after recently watching a video of him flying around one foot slop at a Manly competition.

Owen , JW and Jack Etc would have more than an even chance on better waves. Not to detract from EE’s surfing at all. I’m a huge fan....that’s why I’d been watching so much of his online clips. He goes nuts in Snaketails.

davetherave's picture
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davetherave Monday, 14 Sep 2020 at 7:03pm

two thumbs up in all regards.
i walked up low tide and bodysurfed the point mid morning. ONly two bodysurfers out tbb, me and a bloke called rick.
He was waiting for supa set, i just snazzled anything on the inside that had a wall. One real good one. Any bodysurf without getting hassled by the fibreglass daleks is a good one!!!!
I ran into DHD and had a good chat, before we both went our own ways.
It is always good to see great surfing and i thought it was joshy kerr at hastings i saw going off, but maybe it was ethan,because, goodness me, what a blessing,thank you for demonstrating how to be at one with the swells of our wonderful coastline.

Terminal's picture
Terminal's picture
Terminal Monday, 14 Sep 2020 at 7:29pm

Commentary is on fire:

"Elo and his winged monkeys"

"My son needs the coach on the rugby field in U7s, world champs don't"

Stay the course fellas haha!

davetherave's picture
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davetherave Monday, 14 Sep 2020 at 7:42pm

how good are they, legends, so fantastic seeing their ocean loving understanding .
thank you for being so passionate, i love watching flow.

davetherave's picture
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davetherave Monday, 14 Sep 2020 at 7:45pm

better to be alive sharing ultimate stoke,than being denuded by our own delusion.

garry-weed's picture
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garry-weed Monday, 14 Sep 2020 at 8:15pm

But Jack R landed it ,right?

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig Monday, 14 Sep 2020 at 8:18pm

"Sally’s how-good’s-life-and-Almond-Breeze whip and pop" Haha

evosurfer's picture
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evosurfer Monday, 14 Sep 2020 at 8:36pm


truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Tuesday, 15 Sep 2020 at 12:57am

Tweed News : { Wobble Surf League Jock crumbles Caba } [ Bogangar Locals Matter ]

Who is watering down Cabba, explains why the Caba Pub is only half full these days.

Brizzos lost their Cabba Pub + Goldie loses 2019/20 WSL Comps to weedy Tweed.

WSL 7 are bankrolling JW $100,000 to have another crack at Red Bull Pool Ramp.
Rebel Alliance sign Ewok Jock the day before Olympic Pro was gored by a Red Bull.

PS: Nice try brother Dave, making out that you can wobble Cabba...not happening.
Jock tbb's 1980 twin grooming broom could tidy up Cabba's crumbly comb-overs.

There is a little pocket reserved for basherz but you must wait for a Tornado! Maybe!
Try Google Earth 5/13/2010...see if you can eek out Cabba's secret left point break.
Follow the sand patch along 2nd fill a full tide = (Almost 100m Left)

Winter ECL forged a Left funnel rolling groove for weeks then piped by southeries
Yep! Can recall it was cold but saluted the midden for capping the brisk breeze.
Remember sussing the right reform fade as it bounced into the magic.
Reverse rip kept it spinning enough to roll inside and fade some bottom turns.
Also recall squeezing the end line to score the rebound flip into a beached whale.
Blubber the reverse rip, no stroke needed...wait for the Right to fade'n'bounce & Go!

2010 ECL screwballed lefts but also the winds, recall that freaky Lennox Tornado.
So maybe ride it out for another Monster Water Spout Tornado...tbb never said that!

davetherave's picture
davetherave's picture
davetherave Wednesday, 16 Sep 2020 at 7:20pm

c'mon tbb
give an old overweight fella a break
old mate rick was out there for hours and caught nothing and he said he bodysurfed here for 40 years.
at least i got a little sucky runner.
although, i have to admit i struggle to catch good ones here, not like snapper,rainbow, greenie.
not trying to say i miss it.
great day at caba though and gee whiz,that ethan ewing is a wonderful surfer to watch.
funny how mid last year i had a great talk with russell specht in rainbow, just a legend, tbb, share swellnetonians who rs is please!
anyway,i had a good bodysurf at caba , my gut acted like a fin and slowed me down and i trimmed along a sucky little face and it was awesome. did a little white wash reo to finish and yes, i am available for autograph signings between 9 and 10, i have a stamp already made up.
photo's are extra of course.

truebluebasher's picture
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truebluebasher Thursday, 17 Sep 2020 at 11:45am

North Straddie Assault (Good call Dave...)

Cabba Olympic Coach Bede Durbidge > Cabba win Ethan Ewing
Next WSL Stop Sth Staddie...(Something in the water!)

Nth Straddie Surfer Profile : Russell Specht by (Brownie)
Photos :
'Swag' Books...

gsco's picture
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gsco Tuesday, 15 Sep 2020 at 6:25am

Nice writeup. It was really enjoyable to watch the finals day yesterday on one display while working on the other. I also really liked that the comp was largely an Australian affair and not smothered, mangled and hijacked by americanisation.

derra83's picture
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derra83 Tuesday, 15 Sep 2020 at 7:28am

I tuned in both days but I just wasn't feeling it without the world title, points or even money at stake. The commentators hyperbole and raised voices sounded like canned laughter.

batfink's picture
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batfink Tuesday, 15 Sep 2020 at 11:08am

“I must report this elderly, but still spritely, Oz Terrier/Jack Russell-cross chooses to take multiple small shits rather than one consolidated dump.”

Sounds a bit like me, GM. You would be a sprightly fella yourself, I’d imagine, plus your cartoonist mate.

Good job all round, well worth the price of admission.

Gra Murdoch's picture
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Gra Murdoch Tuesday, 15 Sep 2020 at 2:56pm

Haha BF! I got the other legit spelling of Sprightly/Spritely in there just for you mate!

groovie's picture
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groovie Wednesday, 16 Sep 2020 at 6:15am

Thanx for the heads up about the paving paint, I'll have to run it past the Missus first though as she is the decorator( & main motivator 'bout getting things NICE !!!) Anyways was there a comp on? Ewing's style & size advantage won him the prize (what prize???). Re McGillvary V's Popin Robo longer waves with more maneuvers (did I spell that wright? Ha Ha) over two turns & closeout airs gets the job done it appears! Fats/Rita actually turned it on for the show, Congrats to the ladies too, welcome back Tyler & to quote American rapper(what was his name again?) "everybody wants to be Black but ain't nobody wants to be a Nigger"! Message is respect for all, be they Black, White, Brown or Yellowish after all it's just the colour of your biggest organ(i.e skin). Now on with that back deck!

gomatix's picture
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gomatix Wednesday, 16 Sep 2020 at 2:35pm

We went down on Sunday and I have to say that the general vibe was very 'hail fellow well met'. When you take out all the other nationalities, it is all very congenial and mannered. The Aussies must be keeping their competitive zeal for the M1.

Having been to or watched 100s of these events over the years I have to say that Cabarita is a truly awesome venue to watch a competition. Maybe the surf isn't premo, but good enough in my opinion.

Surfers did great and all around an excellent showing from the WSL under pretty trying circumstances.

Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch's picture
Gra Murdoch Wednesday, 16 Sep 2020 at 4:05pm

Agreed. As the recap reckons, job well done Oz Woz!

shraz's picture
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shraz Wednesday, 16 Sep 2020 at 4:56pm

I love how Aussie decks get as much mention or more in this thread than some backwater surf-spot online exposure thanks to a semi-pro style comp. Glad it was seppo-free though, that's progress at least! Now let's see some local Aussie hardwood timber suppliers step up and sponsor local surfers that are building decks in the Corona-free zone. I'll put a sticker on my 7'0 and soul-arch down the line in 2ft surf for some free decking!
BTW, I didn't paint or stain my last deck reno, just as nature intended ;-)