Watch: Eagle watching

Stu Nettle
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Watch the latest from Tim Bonython as he heads north and hooks up with Justin Holland for a week-long east swell.

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blackers's picture
blackers's picture
blackers commented Friday, 12 Feb 2021 at 12:32pm

Beautiful waves, but that crowd at Greenmount! No rules apply? Don’t look back was the only one I could see in operation. You are welcome to it.

kieranol's picture
kieranol's picture
kieranol commented Friday, 12 Feb 2021 at 1:25pm

Totally Agree ............. the only rule is ignore all surfing etiquette. Not much fun.

Garryh's picture
Garryh's picture
Garryh commented Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 11:50am

Blackers...there seemed to be one other rule...maximum of 5 drop ins per wave

WinterSwells

surfstarved's picture
surfstarved's picture
surfstarved commented Friday, 12 Feb 2021 at 1:05pm

Amazing looking waves, but what a shit-fight that must be. I find myself wishing that you wouldn't show the drop-ins Tim (although that would eliminate 85% of the waves ridden there on any given day).

In a way it's glorifying their blatant c*nt-act and, by doing so, legitimising it. I don't care who they are, if they're dropping in, they're being a c*nt. Like stories about Trump, media producers need to just stop putting it up for public consumption, thereby starving it of oxygen and stripping it of any credibility, which it so obviously doesn't deserve.

Rant over.

p.s. I know it's unlikely, but I could have sworn I saw Occy riding a SUP natural foot at one point...

Don't let the bastards grind you down

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Friday, 12 Feb 2021 at 3:16pm

Hard to tell who is actually "dropping in" - everyone paddling around each other means there is no order to the lineup. So, one second you're in the right spot, waiting 15 minutes, then someone paddles around you and a waves comes through - I'd be dropping in too, and telling him on the way down "been waiting 15, see ya"

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout commented Friday, 12 Feb 2021 at 1:14pm

Cudgyou show some more of those needles being threaded?

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Friday, 12 Feb 2021 at 3:18pm

guys lining up for the COVID vaccine early, gonna get it in their dick

blakey72's picture
blakey72's picture
blakey72 commented Tuesday, 16 Feb 2021 at 4:38pm

Bought tears to my eyes....That's gold right there though. Great surf and awesome shots, love da work ;)

Plasticspastic's picture
Plasticspastic's picture
Plasticspastic commented Friday, 12 Feb 2021 at 1:27pm

that u Burz at 7:46?

bipola's picture
bipola's picture
bipola commented Friday, 12 Feb 2021 at 1:46pm

its like ants on honey on the ground

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Friday, 12 Feb 2021 at 2:56pm

As others have mentioned it doesn't look fun at all when it's that crowded. Count me out. However, as a spectacle it makes for compelling viewing. There's a lot going on out there. Beautiful camera work. Top drawer stuff really. I like how you get to see guys riding waves from paddling for position to the shut down. Gives you a real feel for the place.

My only criticism is that there's a bit too much slo-mo for my liking. That might just be because I'm a grumpy old man though. I'm sure there's probably many others out there who dig that kind of thing.
Keep up the good work though Tim. I'm a fan.

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono commented Friday, 12 Feb 2021 at 3:32pm

Yep, some great footage. Some of those Cooly/Kirra sections are insane, and the not-so-secret slab.

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Friday, 12 Feb 2021 at 3:13pm

Bets wave goes to the booger at 12:26.
Typical East swell - "sectiony"
Nice footage though - 'look mum, no hands!'

Sprout's picture
Sprout's picture
Sprout commented Friday, 12 Feb 2021 at 4:37pm

That Rocky? Needs a quad hah!

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Friday, 12 Feb 2021 at 3:55pm

Nice one Tim. Enjoyed the Kirra footage more, as the dropins before it at Greenmount were pretty full on.

At 14:00 the music went very 'Goat Simulator' and snapped me

see.saw's picture
see.saw's picture
see.saw commented Friday, 12 Feb 2021 at 3:57pm

It’s a shame that eagle doesn’t feed on humans. Feast!

Denyer's picture
Denyer's picture
Denyer commented Friday, 12 Feb 2021 at 4:01pm

Amazing video TB. Thoroughly enjoyed.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Friday, 12 Feb 2021 at 4:02pm

Taronga water park....swell wasn't as clean as i thought it was ........

simba

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Friday, 12 Feb 2021 at 4:35pm

no, it had a real ragged line to it.
glad I ignored the fomo and didn't go up.

dean maddison's picture
dean maddison's picture
dean maddison commented Friday, 12 Feb 2021 at 6:09pm

I wonder what that eagle would be thinking. He has been there a while.
Is there a saturation point for super bank ? Really good footage , a bit sad though.

calk's picture
calk's picture
calk commented Friday, 12 Feb 2021 at 6:22pm

How's the synchronisation from 2:19 to 2:33?! Almost perfectly timed for 14 seconds straight - Crazy!

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Friday, 12 Feb 2021 at 10:03pm

That shark at 18:30 was the only one to show its true colours.

Johan Wohlleben's picture
Johan Wohlleben's picture
Johan Wohlleben commented Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 12:15am

Yeah for a few seconds I thought it was a photoshop thing.. But just pure synchronicity except the inside barrel.

science's picture
science's picture
science commented Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 5:24am

Just as a thought experiment, do you think it would be as crowded if there were absolutely zero cameras and zero chances of being seen by anyone other than who is in the water?

Not that I have anything against photography, much the opposite. Always enjoy TB's work

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 6:41am

Thanks Tim. Beautiful work .

Instead of FOMO it induced GIFTS* which is much better for my mental health.

*GIFTS = Glad I Flagged That Shitfight

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 8:46am

Last time I surfed Kirra was Cyclone Oma swell Feb 2019.

I'd worked all day, it was a Saturday, drove up from Byron about 4pm, got to Kirra around 5. Amazingly found a park just under the Eagle. Didn't check it.

Saw a mate, he said it was heavy, some sick ones. Ran around with a 7'6" Desert Storm to Rainbow and jumped in.

Got caught in this bizarre whirlpool/current outside Greeny and got sucked out to sea.

Paddled into Big Groyne with the sun in my eyes, couldn't see shit except jet skis everywhere, sea of heads.
It was one of the most confusing, intimidating, chaotic line-ups I've ever seen. Just mental water world stuff. Mad, mad barrels going down off Big Groyne and wide all the way down to North Kirra.

Constant feathering sets, a fully pumped energised cyclone swell. I don't think there is anywhere else like it on Earth for sheer intensity.
It was like a battle for Mordor, just grunting orcs paddling over the top of each other.

I came over a wave and this big blue teepee was wedging in at me, I could see jet ski wakes every where. I had such a perfect entry into it, one paddle right at the apex of the wedge, blind take-off with the sun and spray in my eyes. There were bodies, skis, whizzing past me everywhere.
I hit the pedal to the metal and was immediately screaming northwards towards the skyscrapers of surfers paradise, I could feel big sections just throwing and whooshing over me. I could hear them. They sounded like jet engines. The sun was in my eyes and the whole wave was lit up with sun reflecting on it like a slab of steel.

I didn't stall, didn't slow down at any part of the ride, it was literally flying at top speed from start to finish. I ended up down North Kirra before the final slabbing section poleaxed me and destroyed me. Drove me into the bank, pinned me, flogged me good and proper. A really, really violent wipeout.

Came in, walked back to the car, enjoying the view.

One and done. The most memorable wave for a long, long time.

Drove home. Haven't been back.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 9:19am

Excellent storytelling.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 9:41am

Yep, that was good.

Spud and I both had a very different experience. Also 2019, but towards the end of the week-long July E swell. Was packing the car to head up when I got a txt from Spuddups: "Just surfed Kirra - it was excellent!" "Yep, we've got the same idea, be there in an hour."

Parked right in front, and found about 5 guys out. Everybody must have been surfed out after days of pumping swell. ESE wind, so it looked less than stellar from land. Jumped in SE of Big Groyne and got sucked right out and found myself just the groyne looking at clean 4ft waves. Nobody around the first half hour (the others must have drifted N and gone in), then slowly about 5 showed up, and apart from one drop-in it was very civilised.

Easily one of the most powerful waves I've surfed at that size, and I'm still grateful for that 1.5hr session.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Sunday, 14 Feb 2021 at 7:55am

Yep, that was a memorable session. I didn't make it out of any barrels, but I got a couple of speed runs right down the point. So good to be able to surf such a famous wave with a relatively small crowd. The current was intense. One minute you'd be sitting there at big groyne with ten guys, and then all of a sudden the current would send everyone 50mtrs down the point. If you were lucky you wouldn't be in the current and the lineup would be empty. Total opportunist stuff. I did at least two laps from up by greenmount where I got caught inside just north of the groyne and ended up getting washed in at little groyne; another lap.
I came in completely stoked. Basically I'd gone up there just to watch proceedings, as I figured it'd be too crowded. To end up surfing it with such a small crowd was something I'll remember for a long time.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 9:48am

Probably close to 10 years since I’ve surfed there. Last surf was a three hour shit fight jumping in at snapper and getting nailed by wide sets, hammered by the current, catching waves that fizzled out or sectioned off, and of course faded on almost every wave. Did another lap after getting washed in through greenie after chasing an inside bowl that never came. Rinse and repeat. Headed out to sea a little near spot x after seeing a few rogue bigger ones and a boil that gave some respite from the current. Was caught out of position twice and wore two 8 footers on the head. Was about to wave the white flag when a lump formed up on the horizon. Perfect position. About 80 metres the high side of big groyne and out in deeper water. A perfect chip in on my favourite 6’6 to an inviting short high line barrel...into a half wrap and check stall to set up my line as the wave gathers its momentum and starts to get real serious on its journey into big groyne. It slows and opens yet stretches for a hundred yards...the pristine emerald blue green turns dirty brown as it draws hard sand into its vortex and I stand inside it purely at its mercy. It goes horribly square and darkens and every inch of me and my treasured and trusted 6’6 hold on for dear life. I come out blind in the spit and without time to process what just happened I’m double pumping to set up the next longer, but less intense section. My 6’6 switches back on before I do and she glides perfectly back into trim and I thank her subconsciously as I’ve done a hundred times before. What should have been a complex and 50/50 section at best, seems to stand still as her perfectly honed rail flies me out onto the shoulder. I get time to gather myself and a fun little end bowl props up...an almost childishly simple redirect stands me into the last bowl arms wide in awe and appreciation. Then I’m on the beach...sitting on the tailgate of my station wagon, reflecting as the adrenaline dumps. 3 hours of frustration and anger at the circus my favourite wave had turned into and then one wave...4 barrels. A wave of a lifetime. Emotions conflicted. So conflicted. I drive home and pull into the drive and sit.

I feel empty.
Sad.
I too have never been back.
It’s too much.

I'm not cheap,
But I'm free.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 1:17pm

Wow, great story! Yours as well Steve.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 10:12am

Great stories chaps.

I've had dozens of waves at Kirra and Snapper but one wave in particular (I wrote about it here ages ago) is burned into my memory forever.

If you get a good one at Kirra it's almost life changing.

1173

willibutler's picture
willibutler's picture
willibutler commented Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 11:00am

2019 in July I surfed Kirra for a week straight and it was so empty couldn't believe it, mostly void of stickered surfers too

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 11:22am

Last time for me was late 90's, '99 I think. The year before the superbank started?
What a wave, the lip throwing as soon as takeoff, the air pressure changing all around you, the sections that shut down - or tube like mad things. Very different to SW WA and completely manic. It was eye opening. You guys had it bigger that I did, but I kept going out when I was there. The sand was such that there was an unmakeable section just after the groyne on the takeoff and there was this blond haired kid who was making it, swore he later went on to become a world champ.
Jumped off Greenmount and got panted as I'd forgotten to tie my boardies (paddling out at same time as hottest chick I've ever seen surfing...) by the time I'd got them back on and got through the whitewater, there I was at Kirra, it only seemed a minute.
Showed the grom this footage and I don't know if he understood what I was raving about...

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 12:47pm

Great Footage Tim. Well done to get us so close to the action. Noticed some very well cropped/zoomed in on that last location.

But seriously I think I can honestly say I won't ever surf that superwank ever again. The amount of blatant burns is just down right shameful. You should all be sinned and cursed forever if you're one of those wankers in that vid.

I surfed a Nth NSW point break earlier this week for 3 days straight. Nothing epic but super fun 2-4ft peelers with crew ranging from no one to 10-12 max. Not one single drop in the whole 3 days apart from the one day the blow in brazzos/euros landed with two car loads and believed it was their right to claim every wave.

We are all there to equally enjoy what nature has delivered for us. No one, and I mean NO ONE has any more right or owed a wave compared to anyone else who is in the line up and respectfully waiting and catching waves.

LOOK LEFT YOU FCKTARDS!!!!

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 1:01pm

I'm hearing you Don. Watching that and all its beauty kinda made me sad too. Seriously, the blatant burns are pretty much unforgiveable. 50/50 no worries but just to take off and ruin anothers wave speaks volumes as to what the Coast has become.

1173

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 1:17pm

I think it's just the way of the world moving forward. People just honestly don't give a fck about others, nor do they show any respect to others these days. It's every person for themselves these days.

Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68's picture
Rabbits68 commented Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 12:53pm

Epic stories above. Cheers. Only ever surfed Kirra twice whilst on a lap around Aus. Wasn't proper big Kirra but just remember how perfect certain sections were. Must be a scary place when its huge with all that water moving around. Classic risk v's reward scenario.

Pristine

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 1:46pm

That ‘intensity’ comment from Freeride’s post captivates my imagination. I don’t know about comparing it to somewhere like pipe.........but yes.

When it’s > 6 foot and you start to float down from Cooly into the top of the groin, that’s when the butterflies kick in.

This is the moment you need a set to come, you are at the top, there are 80 hungry rippers just down the line from you paddling back up to render you obsolete from the lineup.

A thick 8 footer rears up for the deep. If you’re not one of the pricks, don’t own a ski and usually only get a couple of waves per lap out there, it’s now or never............for me that is probably as heart pumping as surfing in this part of the world gets.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 8:27pm

seahound love to here your views on Kirra today- the Ski's the Burnings
as someone said the old days supported big crowds but nil burnings was a firm but fair flowing lineup ?

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Saturday, 13 Feb 2021 at 9:05pm

Unreal Tim. That Kirra water footage was as good as i've ever seen. Felt like i was back in Coolangatta! Great work. Your passion for the moving picture really comes out in this one. Cheers!

regydogy's picture
regydogy's picture
regydogy commented Sunday, 14 Feb 2021 at 9:53am

thats fucking bullshit . i remenber not to long ago you head down to spot x to get away from the cunts , meaning every one . now look at it . dont know if i could cope with that .want to kill some cunt . you fuck with my life by dropping in on a sand slab you better fucking disapear real quick .. now think about that , call me old school and i am , no respect you be put in ya place . or a board between ya ears befor a beat down .

harrycoopr's picture
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harrycoopr commented Monday, 15 Feb 2021 at 8:50am

Nightmare on Marine Parade.