The Flyer: A Session of Suspended Disbelief

Stu Nettle picture
Stu Nettle (stunet)

‘Twas a funny old day here on Thursday.

The days leading up to it had been full of distractions, mostly watching live Pipe coverage but also attending to administrative flotsam, and Thursday was looking like catch up day.

The weather, however, put paid to that idea.

Between 11am and 1pm, the nearby Bellambi weather station registered 110mm of rain - which is the better part of February’s monthly average - and the result was little short of mayhem on this stretch of coast.

Creeks overflowed, cars washed into the ocean, cliffs gave way. Mother Nature put on a show.

Much of the damage was due to the peculiar geography of the northern Illawarra, where an escarpment half-a-kilometre high sits just inland from the coast. Water running off the scarp has no time to slow, so it rushes headlong through narrow watercourses towards the coast.

When the watercourses can’t cope it doesn’t just flood, but it floods and runs in a surge towards sea level. Erosion here is caused as much by floodwaters at the back of the beach as wave action to the front.

On Thursday evening, as the sirens dwindled and the mop up began, I noticed a late break in the weather. As I passed through town, a tide line of detritus marked the flood limit across the now empty shopfronts. The flood had also left its mark on the beach.

When it burst, the creek pushed a delta of sand out into the impact zone. In less than a day the beach was completely reprofiled into something new, and kinda appealing too. There was no wind. There were no surfers either.

There were, however, people on the beach. Over the last however many weeks, a production company has been using our town as a backdrop for a coming drama series. ‘One Night’ it’s called and I’ve got no idea what it’s about.

Ask me though and I’ll tell you it’s about that one time the town flooded and everyone got anxious, till the weather cleared and the townsfolk relaxed, while offshore, the setting sun threw contrasting colours across ballooning storm clouds and a lone surfer - that’s me! - gorged on three feet lefts breaking around the perimeter of an ephemeral sandbank.

One Night. Look for it on streaming platforms.

Look for me in the background.


Pipe 2023: Finals Day

In terms of waves, this was one comp the Woz would rather forget, however competition is competition, and storylines develop irrespective of the quality, sometimes even in spite of it. Steve pulled the threads from the mess and it made for fantastic reading.
Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4 - which had the best surf, best reading tooFinals Day

Watch: John John vs a Backdoor Closeout

For those who missed it, here's JJF's second wave in his Round of 16 clash against Mig Pupo. 'Twas an escape that caught everyone, the camera operator, the commentators, off guard. Worth watching, not just for the sublime tube riding, but also for the exasperated commentary that followed. Read More >

Hurley Pro Sunset Beach Early Forecast

Pipe is in the bag and Sunset starts shortly, so how's the forey looking? Read More >

The Woz Adopts IOC Trans Policy

Over the last few years there's been so much bloviating over what is a marginal issue in surfing that I've been happy to let it fall by the wayside. Too much hate, too many ulterior motives, not enough nuance...bah! Yet on the first of this month the Woz waded into the fracas with their Trans policy; a six-line statement that has already generated exponentially more lines of commentary, and it will surely continue that way.

To date, the comment thread is polite and considered, a testament to our readership, and I hope it stays that way. Read More >

SFA x Headland at Noosa

OK, I'm gonna assume you already know about the Surf Film Archive - who they are and what they do - so I'll skip the intros and cut to the chase. On Saturday the 11th March, which is the closing weekend of the Noosa Festival of Surfing, the Surf Film Archive will be screening never-before-seen surf footage as the band HEADLAND play a live improv soundtrack. Click for tix and more info >

Watch: On The Portuguese Coast

A few days back, Portugal's finest wave - no, it's not Nazare - put on a show for the assembled. Sit back and watch a bunch of locals take it apart. Read More >



lucky-al's picture
lucky-al's picture
lucky-al Saturday, 11 Feb 2023 at 10:58am

Got a clear image of you surfing that bank in my head, Stu. Nice one!

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno Saturday, 11 Feb 2023 at 2:12pm

Nice imagery there, with change comes opportunities.

Still a bit miffed the drama filmed down this way came out as a coastal town teen coming of age story, rather than what the forums suggested: a coastal town teen coming of age vampire zombie dead pets gore fest movie.

With 'One Night (of the living dead vampire rabbits)' we can live in hope for now.

blackers's picture
blackers's picture
blackers Saturday, 11 Feb 2023 at 5:49pm


velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno Saturday, 11 Feb 2023 at 7:21pm

That's a perfect match for the Greenmount cam at the moment!