The Flyer: The Reports of Australian Surfing’s Death are Greatly Exaggerated
The reports of Australian surfing’s death are greatly exaggerated.
Recent articles by scurrilous website editors have detailed the shrinking number of CT surfers. From blanket success through the 70s to 90s, where half the tour was Australian, to the current state where fans hang onto the hopes of a lone star here or there.
Said contemptible editors equated our dwindling success with the general state of domestic surfing. ‘A sorry condition’, they said despairingly of our once mighty heritage, and more damningly, ‘Aussie surfing is developing a soft belly.’
Have we all transformed into lifestyle surfers? Hipsters, tech bros, murfers, happy to dabble on mid-lengths, sunny days and knee-high pointbreaks preferred.
Fun times I’m sure, but dabbling does not a culture make. That takes application, grit, and commitment, and competitive success has been a historical metric for assessing those qualities. Not the only metric, I grant you, but a good one, and the trend is heading south.
Last Saturday saw a band of guys and girls - Go Annie! - sit beneath the cliffs at Deadmans paddling into truly daunting waves; waves that not so long ago were considered unridable. To a person the surfers were unknown beyond their little clique, and largely unsponsored too, but what they did was astonishing.
Many cameras captured the Deadies session, yet similar sessions happen at our other slabs, west coast, south, and east, and the surfing done at these idiosyncratic waves is out there on the pointy edge of performance. I’d argue there simply aren’t many surfers worldwide that can do what’s required at beefed up Aussie slabs.
It takes years of commitment to ride waves of that nature, not to mention a healthy dose of grit. There be no dabblers on the ledge when it’s ten foot and throwing, and I hope those damned editors realise that despite our dwindling contest success, Australian surfing is in a very healthy state indeed.
I think the message is getting through...
Gallery: Up Close and Personal
Max McGuigan, Brock Maunder, Harry Steele, Annie Dos Santos, Ben Morgan, and many other surfers you've likely never heard of deep in Deadmans maw. Kudos to Craig for the photography and developer Jono for the wide-screen codery. Read More >
Anne Dos Santos: Five Foot Four and Rising
"Go Annie!" they screamed, and the young pocket rocket went, and went large, during the recent Deadmans session. Later she spoke to Swellnet about the experience. Read More >
Josh Bystrom: Kirra From One Head High
As you read this the fruit of TC Fili is falling on the Gold Coast points and Josh Bystrom is grabbing his waterhousing and taking a few deep breaths. The young fella - son of legendary filmmaker Chris Bystrom - has made swimming at big Kirra his own mission statement. Read More >
Forecast Update: Rip Curl Pro
The Bells waiting period starts this Sunday and as most people know the Surf Coast is in a funk, but that won't stop me from running a classic Bells shot to lure you into reading this forecast. Read More >
Watch: Deadman Delights
Never mind the raw footage that rushed through on the fly, Tim Bonython took time delivering this totally cooked Deadies edit.
Yeah, boom, boom. Read More >
Behind The Shot: Matt Chojnacki
Stop Press...which doesn't even make sense in the age of online publishing, but regardless, a late addition.
With the help of Bob McTavish, Matt Chojnacki is coming at the modern big wave gun from a slightly different angle. In this photo, Tim Bonython captures Matt pushing the outside of the envelope, so we spoke to him about the wave, the board, and...actually, that was all, just the wave and the board, yet it's more than enough. Read More >