The Flyer: Float On

Stu Nettle picture
Stu Nettle (stunet)

Bit of a mixed bag in this week’s editorial: surfing injuries, oddball weather, Cape carnage, and a gallery of great surf photos. It's not easy to weave a common thread between those topics, so inspiration must come from elsewhere...

In surfing, there are few, perhaps no, maneuvers that can solely be attributed to one person. Pioneers learn from their predecessors and push forward in increments, while the same cutting edge that’s present on the Gold Coast is similarly advanced in California, Hawaii, Hossegor.

Yet there are surfers who so mastered particular moves, who either popularised or advanced them to the point that their names are forever linked. I’m thinking Lopez and deep tube riding, or Christian Fletcher in the air.

Mark Sainsbury may not have been the first to do a floater, but in the mid-80s he advanced the art of riding over whitewash like no other surfer, taking it up into the lipline, linking impossible sections with a functional and feelgood move - that sense of weightlessness in the freefall and the rebound of acceleration upon return.

Sanga won an Aussie title and a Pro Junior on the strength of the move, though he had less success on the world tour, his best result being 38th in 1990.

On the 6th August 1992 - thirty years ago today - Sanga suffered a brain aneurysm while surfing at Avoca - his home beach. On the anniversary of his death, Mark Richards said, “He was an unbelievable surfer, and I credit him with inventing the floater...and you couldn't have met a nicer person if you custom ordered one."

If you’re surfing today, why not chuck one up there for the spiky-haired fella who’ll never grow old. Float on. Feel the weightlessness and feel the glide, and note the passing of time.

- Stu

Losin' It (And Gettin' It Back Again)

But only chuck it up there if you can safely get it back down again.

Injuries, eh? It's a common theme - the pain and discomfort, plus the slow road back to health - and this week Steve posted an account of his most recent bout on the sidelines. Read More >

Victoria's Dire Strait

If you had to book a surf trip in advance, deep in the middle of winter anywhere around Australia, the Victorian Surf Coast would usually be a great bet. It'll provide little consolation for Vicco surfers, yet this week Craig explained why the above premise isn't true this year. Read More >

New Collaroy Seawall Underway

"Once this is up it'll be a momentum for others to do it too," said one of the property owners who paid for the original Collaroy Seawall, built last year.

Fella was spot on with heavy machinery this week beginning work on the next stretch of seawall. Read More >


Tahiti Pro Early Forecast

Five days out from the start of the Tahiti Pro and swell is forecast to come from every direction except the ideal one. Still, we've got video evidence that JJF can make it work even when it's weird.  Read More >

Tim Bonython: Cape Fearful/Fearless

When the warm up day was more compelling than the main event!

Tim Bonython captures a number of incredible waves from Max McGuigan - whose wave at 9:50 demands to be seen - plus Kipp Caddy, and Dylan Longbottom. Read More >


frog's picture
frog's picture
frog Saturday, 6 Aug 2022 at 7:23pm

Way back in the mid 70s Wayne Lynch was interviewed in Breakway magazine. When asked what he was exploring at the time he talked about riding on the broken back of the wave. At the time I struggled to grasp what he meant and how it could work. Wouldn't you just break through the lip? The interviewer seemed a bit perplexed as well.

It stuck in my mind.

So Wayne was ahead of his time again - pioneering the floater.

Panman's picture
Panman's picture
Panman Saturday, 6 Aug 2022 at 7:47pm

30 years ago WTF

billie's picture
billie's picture
billie Sunday, 7 Aug 2022 at 1:51am

My first surf vid was Madwax. I'm a bit over obsessed with it tbh. Make my kids watch it. I've always loved the legend of Sanga.

billie's picture
billie's picture
billie Monday, 8 Aug 2022 at 10:00am

And.... I was chatting to a Dad at the kids netball a couple of years back, turns out he was Sangas best mate. Good vibes. This guys goat starred as Victoria of book eating fame.

jetson.rover's picture
jetson.rover's picture
jetson.rover Monday, 8 Aug 2022 at 4:29pm

Seems like no one cares much for the floater these days judging by the very low number of comments.
Back in the day they were the number 2 move after turns/cutties.
Kids these days would rather try float in the air above the whitewater rather than on it.
And a lot older blokes have given up on them as they can be dodgy on the knees if the section isn't feathery enough.
Don't see the pros doing them anymore really either unless it's serves a funtional purpose that's mostly unavoidable.

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter Monday, 8 Aug 2022 at 4:51pm

A tribute to the floater.

Mad Dog's picture
Mad Dog's picture
Mad Dog Wednesday, 10 Aug 2022 at 12:18pm

Fucking YASSSS! awesome ts, thanks man!