The population bomb

Craig Brokensha
Swellnet Analysis

Over the last two months, surfers got a taste of the future thanks to COVID-19.

Through the combined effects of loss of employment, flexible work hours, cessation of international travel, repatriation of citizens, plus the cancellation of organised sport which left surfing as one of the few allowable activities, meant the surf was more crowded than ever.

It was more crowded than Boxing Day or the Easter long weekend, and from all reports the same pressures were felt around every surfable coastline in the country.

While COVID-19 is, hopefully, just a temporary blip and crowds will drop as normality slowly returns - not to mention cooling water temperatures over winter - it gave surfers a sense of the years to come. It also motivated us at Swellnet to examine population trends around the country.

While the hordes have been out surfing, we've been using publicly available data to assess population growth over the short and long-term at all the main surfing regions. There are more than a few surprises.

Social distancing, Superbank-style

In general, Australia's population is increasing between 1.5-1.8% per year. Or, 15-18% per decade. With an average increase in 16% per decade we'll see Australia's population hitting approximately 28 million by 2026, this is up 10 million from 1996.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics provide population data from census' dating back to 1996 and that's what we've chosen to use. Upon analysing these stats, trends become apparent.

Firstly, looking at all the data on a macro scale, it becomes clear that regional centres, particularly coastal regional centres, are seeing a greater rate of population increase compared to the national average. The only regions bucking this trend are those that are already nearly at capacity due to geographical and/or policy restrictions. They might be bound by mountains or waterways, and they've already reached an allotted density.

The Gold Coast local government area takes the badge for the most populated surfing region in Australia. The decadal increase in population from 1996 through 2016 being an impressive 28% for 1996 to 2006, and 18% from 2006 to 2016.

The Gold Coast is forecast to accelerate north again, to be around 25% through the period 2016 to 2026 pushing the population to 713,000.

The Sunshine Coast has just under half the population of its southern neighbour, however, it's forecast to increase 25% from 2016 to 2026. The one difference between these two regions is the population density. The Sunshine Coast regional area spreads over 3,124km², whereas the Gold Coast is less than half of that, measuring 1,334km². That puts the population density of the Gold Coast at 535 ppl/square kilometre, significantly more than the Sunny Coast's 96 ppl/square kilometre.

Just south of the border, the Tweed Coast saw a big push into the region through 1996 to 2006 with an increase in population of 24% but this has since eased back to below the national average at 13% for 2006 to 2016 and then forecast to be just 10% in the current decade.

Ballina has been on a slow but steady increase, mostly around 10% per decade and below the national average, with the Byron Shire lesser again.

The highest concentration of people per region is in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, where 278,000 people reside in an area of only 57km². This puts the population density at 5181 ppl/square kilometre, with the Northern Beaches coming in second with 1,125 ppl/square kilometre.

Surprisngly, the third highest population density in Australia goes to Mandurah, south of Perth, at 992 ppl/square kilometre. This number arrives on the back of a near doubling of the population in the twenty years between 1996 and 2016, with increases of 47% and 48% per decade. The actual numbers were 37,295 people in 1996, up to 83,099 in 2016.

This trend is expected to slow back slightly to 27% for the period 2016 to 2026, but that's still well ahead of the national average, and will put the population over 105,000 within six years time.

The Mandurah region only covers a relatively small area of 106km², so it stands out as one of the fastest growing regions, and also one of the most crowded.

The Augusta Shire and Busselton area aren't too far behind regarding population growth, increasing 40%, 42% and 34% decade on decade from 1996 to 2026, however the region is 34 times larger meaning the population density is an order of magnitude lower at only 18 ppl/square kilometre. This is mostly restricted to the Busselton area, but with the premier breaks of Margaret River located less than hours drive away, the extra pressure of over 40,000 extra people since 1996 is being felt across the regions surf breaks.

Victoria is an interesting case in itself.

The Mornington Peninsula has seen the population increasing at a rate faster than the national average through 1996 to 2016, that being 24% and 18% per decade respectively but it's slowing considerably to just 7% in the period from 2016 to 2026.

The reasons for this slow down is in the Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme. The plan aims to prevent urban sprawl and the subdivision of rural land across the peninsula as to maintain the rural landscape and coastal sea scapes. This means growth will be restricted to the already populated bay towns.

The overflow from the restrictions on population growth across the peninsula look to be seen on the Bass Coast with the region, which includes Phillip Island, constantly increasing above the national average. It peaked at a 30% increase between 1996 to 2006, went down to 25% from 2006 to 2016, and is forecast to further reduce to 17% up to 2026, staying just above the 16% national average.

Moving across the bay to the very topical Surf Coast Shire. From a modest 16,714 in 1996, the population is forecast to more than double by 2026 with 38,000. There was a 30% increase in population to 2006, topped then by a 40% increase up to 2016 and this is expected to drop a touch to 25% running out to 2026 - which is still 10% above the national average.

Critically, the Surf Coast breaks not only service local residents, but those from waveless Melbourne, and also Geelong which itself is forecast to house 300,000 people in the next six years. Counting 38,000 locally, 300,000 at Geelong and even more at Melbourne, the strain will be felt across the Surf Coast's premier breaks as it inches towards being an outer suburb of Melbourne.

Down the road at Warrnambool, the increase in population has been below the national average for the last two decades, but this is forecast to almost double through the current decade, jumping to 17% through until 2026 and long range predictions expect it to continue through the following decade again. 

In South Australia, the Onkaparinga Council, which takes in the Mid Coast reef breaks, is now increasing in population ahead of the national average putting stress on those waves. It's not only the townies that the locals at Seaford and Christies have to worry about, with the population nearing 190,000 by 2026. This is a 17% increase on 2016's population of 163,396 and 36% above 1996's population.

To finish off we look to the City of Clarence on Tasmania's South Arm. Here the population increase is below the national average, recording between 6-9% over the last two decades and due to slow to 5% in the current decade. So it looks like the cold and lack of significant population increase will keep the crowds at bay for the meantime in the Apple Isle.

So what to make of all these trends and statistics?

Firstly, areas within an easy drive of capital cities are growing the fastest nationally, particularly those south of Perth, and there doesn't look to be any let up in the next couple of decades. The Surf Coast and other premier Victorian surf regions will continue to see stress on their breaks due to continued development, while over east, the Gold and Sunshine Coasts continue on their rapid expansion.

It's also worth pointing out that the data we used was created prior to COVID-19. We expect that those numbers - that is the forecasts up to 2026 - will be higher than current predictions, and for three reasons.

Firstly, during the pandemic more people than ever worked from home. New technologies were created, new protocols established. This pattern will continue, meaning work arrangements will decreasingly tie people to the city.

Secondly, many of those who lost work will view it as an opportunity to change their circumstances. Forced out of their comfort zone, many will take a chance on new starts.

Thirdly, humans have relied on the metropolis for safety, yet COVID-19 turned that thinking on its head. Talk of second and third waves, or further pandemics, will see an exodus of people towards the regional centres, elevating the numbers shown above.

With mortalities in Australia far lower than expected, the idea that COVID-19 will change us receeds in significance, yet population distribution will be one way Australia changes in the post-pandemic world. Though as we've seen above, in most cases it will only be speeding up a process that's been occuring for over twenty years.

What results from an increasing number of surfers accessing a finite number of waves won't be unexpected - we can assume classic primate behaviour will be more prevalent. That is, unless the number of 'resources' can be increased, and it's one reason Swellnet has shown a renewed interest in artifical reefs.

However, that's another story for another day.

Comments

stanfrance's picture
stanfrance's picture
stanfrance commented Wednesday, 20 May 2020 at 11:21pm

"Classic primate behaviour"...nice one! Makes you stop and think, at what point does surfing lose its appeal? I absolutely hate battling with crowds. Luckily I can get away from them quite easily but I have lived on the east coast and down south in WA a while back and man was that crowded, often.
Now I am going to go and scratch my bum

Stan France

kerri.watson's picture
kerri.watson's picture
kerri.watson commented Tuesday, 26 May 2020 at 8:50pm

Try anywhere around Noosa these days on any weekend! Wall-to-wall Toorak trendies in chic leather loafers, pesky daytrippers from Brisbane to Bundaberg, backpacker vans that occupy car bays all day, bogan family jet skiers with fishing apparel welded onto their mullets...need I go on? Noosa has a carrying capacity/ population “cap” of 60,000 - permanent resident pop is currently sitting around 55,000. Time to rollout Border Force & make Noosa a Bogan Free Zone on the Sunny Coast!

ChakraKerri

Terminal's picture
Terminal's picture
Terminal commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 8:05am

Nice work Craig. Hasn't some of this growth been attributed to the Sea Change Phenomenon? Sunny Coast, Margarets, and Mandurah, not sure about the others

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 6:29am

nice one Craig. I totally agree, this won't change anything in terms of direction, just increase the rate of change on the path we are already on.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 8:17am

It sure has been crowded, and in Victoria you weren't even suppose to travel but it's been so crowded, and my local was not full of just locals, half of Melbourne has been down here surfing.

A factor i don't think you have mentioned is also access by road in the last 20 years despite increased traffic its now faster than ever to get from the burbs to the coast in many areas due to major road upgrades, not just Vicco but I know same deal in QLD down to North coast etc.

Pop increase in general suck, but there is flipsides where i live in the 80-90s there was no work or jobs (unless Summer ) as very little population, it was hard to live on the coast back then and even tradies had to travel to the burbs, now there is plenty of work, i rarely travel further than 15 minutes for a job and never short of work.

So even though more people in the water sucks, i can live near the beach and not need to travel far for work, if it was the 80s or 90s if i wanted to live here id be traveling a min of 2 to 3 hrs a day for work, unless i was very lucky to get a local job/work.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 9:27am

So half of Melbourne was on the lsland, half on the peninsula, and the other half was on the surf coast. :D

Just joking with ya, indo.

pigdog's picture
pigdog's picture
pigdog commented Sunday, 24 May 2020 at 8:02am

There has been a survey done at one of the main breaks on the west coast before Indo dreaming. It's was only 25-15% from Melbourne in the lineup from memory. The rest were from anglsea barwon geellong ect.
I don't think gen Z surf as much as gen Y like myself and it's just like article says population growth. Not just half of Melbourne apparently in the lineup.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 8:00am

BTW. My prediction: this thread is going to go for weeks and reach hundreds of comments, Blowin will be number one poster here.

Please Stunet give me an ignore button for Talking Turkey, Shatners Basoon, Dale Cooper, Factotum, Pupkin, and any new fake profile he decides to create.

Terminal's picture
Terminal's picture
Terminal commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 8:04am

Yeah indo, it's gonna be a doosie.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 8:19am

What more is there to say , Indo ?

Everyone knows it’s a shitfight . Those with a financial or power incentive to overlook the reduced quality of life will argue otherwise.

No one has mentioned encumbent Australians fleeing as their hometowns become unrecognisably transformed. Or the desire to raise a family in a location which resembles the Australia they grew up in.

I reckon at least half of all young Aussie travellers I meet are on that program. Searching for somewhere which hasn’t been destroyed in the pursuit of high density vibrancy so that their kids are raised as Australians and not units in a global economic zone. A place where it’s not considered selfish to want for a backyard , a bit of space and some sense of cultural belonging.

Don’t blame me for their thinking. I live in the regions cause I’m a budding misanthrope.

t-diddy's picture
t-diddy's picture
t-diddy commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 3:22pm

Thinly veiled xenophobia. Change is inevitable - you can either guide it thoughtfully or sit on your hands and resist.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 4:06pm

Why didn’t you say so earlier ?

That’s it then , I’m off to the Prime Minister’s office to guide it thoughtfully.

BTW .....it’s not xenophobia any more than you being displeased if someone leaves a massive turd on your doorstep each morning is xenophobia.

Wishing for the abandonment of a population Ponzi scheme is not a debilitating and irrational fear . It’s a distaste at an artificially imposed political policy.

Xenophobia is the second most overused and inappropriately used term in Australia.

Change is inevitable, a greed driven economic system whereby existing residents getting fingered isn’t inevitable....it’s the result of a conscious decision by government and in this instance it’s got no electoral mandate whatsoever.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 4:54pm

Blowin, you're about as xenophobic as they come. There's only one person banging on about immigrants and your BS Ponzi scheme on this thread.
Pretty much every region mentioned in the article has very small percentage of people from a NESB. And if you haven't noticed, the line-ups aren't exactly crammed with people with Sudanese, Chinese, or Vietnamese origins. Don't see too many middle-eastern looking people pulling into barrels either. No matter what issue there is, you always find a way to point the finger of blame at immigrants.
Your obsession with, and pathological dislike of, immigrants is just weird and a very good example why we will always need strong gun laws in Australia.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

ReubenA's picture
ReubenA's picture
ReubenA commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 11:39am

Interesting topic that needs to be debated on a national level. I do not want mass immigration for a multitude of reasons, but first and foremost, is that want to retain my towns character and my way of life, and continue my way of life and pass that on in a sustainable fashion, and that is no way Xenophobic. If we did not have mass immigration, places like Torquay, Surf Coast ect, would not be so accessible and ballooned. They would be able to retain their charm and character and would be able to operate sustainably.

kirra72's picture
kirra72's picture
kirra72 commented Monday, 25 May 2020 at 3:33pm

Yep. I've been watching an area being developed (I was going to say ruined). Imagine a reverse D shape with the straight edge being the coast and the round bit representing the road that joins 2 towns, Lake Cathie and Bonny Hills, on the NSW Mid North Coast. The D shape would be approx 4km X 2km and developers are moving from the North to the South, eventually filling the whole area.
I'm at Tweed Heads (I couldn't bring myself to move across the border into Maroon territory) and Mum's at Bonnies. I visit every couple of months so I get to see the development jump.
So sad. It was one of those out of the way places with a hippy vibe to it and home to many artisans and musicians. Que sera sera.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Monday, 25 May 2020 at 4:02pm

Pretty sure it was Eddie Obeid who owned that development.

Even better when you know that a convicted corrupt politician who has nothing to do with the area is responsible.

I could be wrong. Hope I am. Not that it really makes much difference I suppose.

Fuckyou's picture
Fuckyou's picture
Fuckyou commented Tuesday, 26 May 2020 at 6:04am

...if there arent any cows or production on it, and it has been in the Obede family for decades, and if they havent pursued any mining on it....
All you cunce would probably do the same if you were in a position to aquire massive chunks of land in growth areas.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 26 May 2020 at 9:10pm

Actually, no.

I’ve been in a position several times to develop land - fuck a place over for nothing but speculative dollars - and still am in such a position and refuse to do so.

It’s just greed , mate. Just cause you might do it , please don’t assume everyone else would.

As for this concept-“ ...if there arent any cows or production on it, and it has been in the Obede family for decades, and if they havent pursued any mining on it....“

You don’t seem to value the benefits of undeveloped bush land. Perhaps you never will until someone places a dollar value on undisturbed , natural vegetation and animal habitat. That’s some sad shit.

walter-r-white's picture
walter-r-white's picture
walter-r-white commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 3:28pm

Lol yeah surfing is as white and western a past time as you get.

Don't take me too seriously.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 3:52pm

What about golf!! Bloody hell the members at Augusta got a bit nervous when Tiger won the Master and they had to give a black man a membership of the club. It was hard enough on the poor members when the CEO of IBM was a women and they had to accept her!!!

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

SDW's picture
SDW's picture
SDW commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 7:46am

"Wishing for the abandonment of a population Ponzi scheme is not a debilitating and irrational fear . It’s a distaste at an artificially imposed political policy."

Totally agree. The Australian economy has been kept afloat via two things, mining and population growth due to migration. Adding people at a rate of some 300-400,000 per year is complete madness and it's disappointing that any suggestion of that fact is always slated as racism or xenophobia.

ReubenA's picture
ReubenA's picture
ReubenA commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 11:41am

Its only inevitable if your apathetic.

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 8:04am

Thanks Craig. That was the first thing I read this morning. Always good to start the day with some positive news.

bipola's picture
bipola's picture
bipola commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 8:07am

for a reality check i keep an eye on the goldy so i dont get grumpy when several people are surfing my break

Terminal's picture
Terminal's picture
Terminal commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 8:20am

That's actually brilliant philosophy, bipolar! You win the internet today in my book.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 8:30am

I think there's a pretty good argument to say that no sport / pubs is having a big impact on crowds.
The standard of surfing in the water has plummeted, and it's clear, lineups are being clogged with people who wouldn't be in the water under normal circumstances. Yes it's going to be busy for the foreseeable future, but hopefully as the water gets cold and sport is back on, those complete beginners surfing advanced breaks go back to kicking leather or throwing balls through hoops.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

gearoid's picture
gearoid's picture
gearoid commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 9:11am

This is spot on:
"The standard of surfing in the water has plummeted, and it's clear, lineups are being clogged with people who wouldn't be in the water under normal circumstances."

I'm not sure who you are in real life, Vic, but if you surf where I surf, you would have seen an increase in the following:
*People getting in the way by paddling for the shoulder in lieu of duckdiving
*People paddling inside the line-up and stuffing up the take off, not being able to figure out how 'those other guys make it from here, why can't I?;
*People paddling around on midlength bludger-boards
*People bailing said bludger-boards in the face of massive 2 foot walls of foaming whitewaterbecause they can't duckdive them
*Competent surfers being forced to upsize their boards to compete with incompetent twats on midlength bludger-boards

Sorry, just needed to vent.

sparx.raymond's picture
sparx.raymond's picture
sparx.raymond commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 9:31am

And don't forget....the hordes of over entitled fifteen year olds who are newly arrived, paid no dues, show zero respect and think that they and their helicopter parents set the local surfing agenda
Cheers

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 12:08pm

Seeing all those things gearoid. One of the guys I regularly see in the water copped a loose board to the head from a kook who dropped in on him. He was extremely lucky that the impact only left a 8cm graze, rather than a deep cut.
Between the kooks, and the opportunists surfing 7ft boards in 3 foot surf, it's getting harder to get a wave by yourself. The most frustrating thing is, the kooks and big board crew would be much happier on a beach break.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 11:09am

Sorry, VL, as an opportunist on a bigger board I'm too spoilt for choice with reef waves and the thought of beachies isn't appealing, nor is the idea of trying to snavel waves in the pack on a shorty. If a few more mid-length types took their turn it might be a good thing, though. Perhaps we can discuss next time we paddle around the button.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 11:34am

I have no probs with older guys on longer boards with lots of foam if they let sets through to the main pack. The big problem comes when newbies on huge boards paddle for everything that moves. Just because they can catch a wave, doesn't mean they should.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Sunday, 24 May 2020 at 7:13pm

Old? Now I'm shattered.

gsco's picture
gsco's picture
gsco commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 12:36pm

Add to your list people on all kinds of surfcraft with GoPros in their mouths, bolted to their boards, etc, talking to them, filming themselves getting pumped and bailing out on 2ft waves, commentating their entire surf session into them...

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 1:13pm

gsco. So true re GoPros. I've only seen one person operating a GoPro in the water who is competent. He's a very good surfer and an accomplished photographer. The average go pro user is a kook in terms of surfing and filming, and their surfing certainly doesn't get any better when they are fucking around with a camera.
Go Pros do have one advantage. They advertise that the surfer is going to fuck up the wave.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

t-diddy's picture
t-diddy's picture
t-diddy commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 3:24pm

2nd that!

Littlelil's picture
Littlelil's picture
Littlelil commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 9:57am

I agree, but with a different perspective.

I’m one of the people that have decided to start surfing again, along with a whole group of girls cracking out their Dads old board, and it’s kind of nice.

We see the crowds on our local breaks and we avoid them. Our fathers taught us to respect the line up, stay out of the way, and to stick to the beginner breaks, sloppy seconds, and easier conditions until we find our feet.

Hopefully these newcomers will learn these things in time. Although they will probably just back off once the weather gets colder.

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 9:22am

Wishful thinking V.L.

Here's a good example: 13th beach.

Up until about 10 -12 years ago it was always worth ducking over there when the conditions were right. Because of the nature of the joint the people who were surfing were generally spread out among the fairly random but quality peaks breaking down the Beacon end.

Fast forward to now.........even if you make the effort you're lucky to find a car park on a good day on that stretch now let alone have a hassle free surf. The joint is packed and with that shithole Armstrong Creek (population marching towards 20k) now on it's doorstep there are a new breed of 'locals' on top of the original ones.

Easier to just surf with crowds in Torjuc where at least the waves are on your doorstep.

Davesci's picture
Davesci's picture
Davesci commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 10:10pm

I dunno. I've lived in SA, Qld and Vic. Was at fun size 13th earlier this week. Yes, busiest I've seen it outside summer holidays. Hassle? Nah. Crowd? Light. I bodyboard and that's the bottom of the pecking order in Vic and I had zero hassle and maybe had to give way to a rider with priority one in four waves I was interested in. I mentally compare to a good day at Straddie where you get a look at one in ten at best. Sure, there were a couple of peaks with clusters fighting it out but overall stacks of good waves went unridden. There's a lot to be said for cold water, I reckon.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 12:42pm

So you guys all instantly ripped the very first time your toes touched wax?

I'm jealous. Steep learning curve for me. 40 odd years in the water and i'm still learning.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

MidWestMonger's picture
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MidWestMonger commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 1:06pm
gearoid's picture
gearoid's picture
gearoid commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 3:17pm

I don't think anyone is implying that they rip, Zen. Speaking for myself, I will happily admit that on my good days I approach mediocrity.

There are a lot of people in the water these days that are oblivious to the workings of the lineup and what is expected when they paddle out at a 'proper' break. They have the gear and ability to be able to paddle into a wave but that is apparently all they have learned about surfing.

I probably spent more time as a kook than anyone, bailing my board, going over the falls, getting in people's way and all the other fun stuff, but I sure as shit knew enough not to do it at 4 foot Winki.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 5:09pm

I know mate, i'm just having a dig.

Sign of the times I guess, you just gotta work around it and try and keep a smile on your dial.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

Dowdy's picture
Dowdy's picture
Dowdy commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 8:12pm

This is my surfing summed up. I’m at absolute best intermediate on a good day, but I absolutely love it. I get out there whenever I can considering I’ve got very young kids. But there’s one thing sure as shit, I know my ability limits and surfing 4ft+ Bells and Winki cos it looks amazing on Instagram is beyond those limits and I’ll just cause myself and others trouble giving it a crack.
I find breaks that suit my ability and for fucks sake if there is 20-30 already on a bank or a reef then why would I paddle out? Majority of times sacrificing a little quality for less crowd means a far more enjoyable surf.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 1:03pm

Organised sport must be reinstated as soon as possible. If you follow the AFL off-field news, it appears the social fabric is beginning to tear and the thin veneer of civilisation is polishing clear to reveal what is really beneath.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 1:16pm

"Organised sport must be reinstated as soon as possible." Hopefully the Cats can make the final again. 2007 Port Adelaide V Geelong final. Winki was 6-8ft and flawless with only six people in the line up. Pity Port couldn't make a game of it and some more punters came out at half time. God I love AFL.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 1:22pm

"sportsball is the opiate of the masses" - Carl Marks

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 1:24pm

Adelaide - Richmond was a good one, well not good re the result but after a fairly big night I somehow dragged myself into an Uber and to a mates house to hit up empty Steps at 4-6ft.

Bnkref's picture
Bnkref's picture
Bnkref commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 1:55pm

Don't forget pumping and quiet Winki just after that!

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 1:59pm

Touche' ;)

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 10:55am

You're forgetting the pox that is the new AFL grandy long weekend, VL. Those Cat-soaked grands and uncrowded surfs are a thing of the past. We used to get a baby-sitter especially for the arvo when the Cats were in the grand. Glorious.

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 11:04am

Earlier this week someone posted a clip of Winki on the second-hand boards facey page. It had "raw" in the title and was shot on a nice 2-3ft Friday I think. It got pilloried - the standard of surfing could only be described as atrocious. Everyone I know who saw it couldn't watch for more than a couple of minutes without screaming at the wastage.

bill-poster's picture
bill-poster's picture
bill-poster commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 8:51am

You havent included the changing demography of surfers, perhaps because it's hard to calculate with any accuracy, however it's fair to say more 'types' of people surf these days, and to an older age as well.

Therefore, if the population has doubled in your region over 20 years, the theoretical number of surfers will not only double, there'll also be some more as the new types of people join the fray. Females, loggers, older people etc.

A saving grace is that the % of good surfers should tend to drop.

geek's picture
geek's picture
geek commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 8:59am

Morn pen shire cops a lot of flack for their red tape in getting anything done around here but it really is a blessing looking at those numbers. We would be cooked without the green wedge laws

Thegrowingtrend.com's picture
Thegrowingtrend.com's picture
Thegrowingtrend.com commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 9:02am

Aloha

Nicko

D-Rex's picture
D-Rex's picture
D-Rex commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 9:13am

We should also thank the Vic Govt which built Peninsula Link so that city dwellers could get to surf the MP beaches so much quicker and more often.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 9:45am

I think there’s going to be another big shift with the June 1 further relaxing of travel.

Sure , many people didn’t give a rat’s about the travel restrictions anyway , but the caravan park closures and proactive prevention of vanlyfe has made a huge dent in numbers.

Around here it’s just local surfers . More than normal but way , way less than the holiday crowds which will be permanent after regional travel is properly reinstated. We have dodged any real crowds so far and this is about to be completely inverted .

Perhaps some areas , particularly metro , will get less crowded as the regions are inundated.

I think it’s going to be the most crowded time in regional surf history. Masses of people unemployed and on more than enough government coin to relocate anywhere they please.

What kind of surfer would remain in crowded Sydney if they had $1500 a week with their missus and no job to anchor them in the rat’s nest ?

Rent is cheaper , waves are less crowded , less threat of Wuflu .

It’ll change the dynamic of most coastal towns in a manner not unlike a seachange gold rush.

The winners will be the city slickers released from their Earthly hell of metro areas and the performance level of Australian surfers. It’ll be like the 80’s all over again.....unemployed youths with nothing to do but hone their skills in the waves.

Pops's picture
Pops's picture
Pops commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 10:05am

Add to that the people who've become accustomed to a steady diet of OS holidays suddenly thinking, hey a coastal roadtrip doesn't sound too bad.

He who hesitates is lost

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 11:00am

Getting into this late, so there's probably mention further down the thread, but worth considering that with everything shut up and travel restrictions in place there are also a stack of Airbnb hosts who can't make the mortgage payments and are letting their houses on the rental market. There seems to be quite a few rentals available here which is out of the ordinary, and they're not top dollar either.

I'm also aware that there are lots of people from Melbourne renting places here to escape and work remotely. Seems they're all having a crack at a paddle too.

Feralkook's picture
Feralkook's picture
Feralkook commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 11:06am

The doubling of funding for not having a job is hardly encouraging anyone who was long term unemployed to seek work though Nintendo sales are way up I believe. The other side of the coin is quite a few may not return to work before the JS payments are cut back to what they were come September. The opportunity for an extended holiday on the public purse at your local break is a bargain. The sooner the state borders open and we get back to business the better. Kids will be back at school within the next week so that will eliminate some of the crowding. The holidays may be different in some respects as many employees have had to take annual leave during lock down and even tap into their long service leave. Might even see reductions in crowds during holiday periods as mum and dad now have to work as they can not take any leave without gaining a leave debt.

Smorto's picture
Smorto's picture
Smorto commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 9:51am

Great article and I don't think the trend is going to halt. People want to live near the beach and if possible have a decent wage and have services available to them.

Population growth doesn't automatically equal a reduction in quality of life and in many instances, it improves due to increased development.

So I'm not going to complain about the crowds on the GC because I could live in a much less crowded coastal town, but then I wouldn't have the same job/wage opportunities and services that I have available to me.

That's why I dont really get anti-development / crowd-whingers living on the GC, not only because pop. increase is what the GC has always been about, but also because its like they want to have their cake and eat it too.

You can't expect to have all the opportunities of a city (steady work, public transport, universities, entertainment, shops/services) but then small coastal town characteristics (i.e no new development and uncrowded waves).

You could always move to Byron if you don't like development, but oh that's right the lack of new housing supply means that you cant afford to buy anything there unless your last name is Hemsworth.

Or maybe you could build a house in Tweed, although you'll be waiting 3 years for the green-leaning Council to give you approval.

willibutler's picture
willibutler's picture
willibutler commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 9:55am

Will surfings overall progression and level of surfers in the lineup be reduced with less waves for everyone?

Davesci's picture
Davesci's picture
Davesci commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 10:14pm

Interesting thought but I doubt it. When you start hitting the advanced to elite levels they'll naturally either dominate easy lineups or seek out waves the 'masses' will never look for and that's where they'll progress. And maybe more people getting into that zone will even speed up progression. Brazil etc don't seem to suffer a lack of elites from high population.

dandandan's picture
dandandan's picture
dandandan commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 10:00am

Statistically Tassie seems unscathed, but the on the ground reality has been pretty foul here during lockdown. Most of the South Arm was closed, you couldn't travel, and even then most of the East Coast was closed as well. Essentially Hobart surfers had three spots to surf, and the experience echos everything you're all saying: full carparks, lots of clueless but very entitled surfers, midlengths and longboards everywhere, kids not at school, tempers boiling up but thankfully not quite flaring. The scariest thing for me is noting how many of these new faces seem to be adopting surfing as their identity, and will likely keep it up for good now. Housing crisis in the 'city' has pushed a lot of people to coastal towns, as well as city folk buying AirBnB's and claiming local status via that route. Everything feels like it has changed really quickly. The handbrake to this rapid change in Tassie will be the complete collapse of the international tourist industry and the AirBnB trend that was allowing people to move to the coast permanently . There's still very much no work on the coast, and our local economy will absolutely tank so we might not see people making any scary financial decisions.

stanfrance's picture
stanfrance's picture
stanfrance commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 10:23am

I am still scratching my bum and have now also moved on towards my nuts

Stan France

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 11:44am

I believe the correct medical term for that area is the 'chad'

stanfrance's picture
stanfrance's picture
stanfrance commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 1:54pm

Yes, that's the spot VJ...very itchy

Stan France

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 6:29pm

No mate.......correct medical term for that part of the anatomy is actually the 'gulch'.

Trust me, I'm a doctor.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 6:48pm

And here's me thinking it was the 'gooch' or the 'taint'.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

stanfrance's picture
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stanfrance commented Monday, 25 May 2020 at 11:00am

I will ringmaster, after all you are the "ringmaster", your credentials cannot be denied!

Stan France

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 10:43am

Sounds like Tassie could the spot to be. Edit: just read dandandan's post...…..caveat: if you have gainful employment

It's really hard not to complain, especially if you've been a local (for a long time) somewhere that is rapidly changing.

I think when discussing Torquay / Goldy / Noosa etc, sadly the time has passed. Its like whinging about sand at the beach. As the saying goes: 'You're not in traffic, you are traffic'.

dandandan's picture
dandandan's picture
dandandan commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 11:03am

I'd consider keeping your eye on the Tassie surf reports for a few months before considering Tassie a viable surf option. It really is a battle to get in the water sometimes. Consistently shit swell combined with cold water. Magic when it all lines up, but a lot of us get to 30 odd years old and have to make big choices about how we're going to keep surfing in our lives forever. I've been torn about leaving the island for years now, and it's 100% motivated by the surfing situation.

garyg1412's picture
garyg1412's picture
garyg1412 commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 11:43am

Can't agree more dandandan. Although I'd rather have only one of those magic sessions a year than have to deal with that photo above on a weekly basis. I think it's more about the experience here than simply going for a surf though. The 6 hour drive for the 3 hour surf is way better than the stress of having to find a carpark just to go for a surf.

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 11:49am

My comment is based more on the overall lifestyle. Place to bring up kids, nature, space, lack of hustle. I'd be lying if surfing wasn't a big consideration in where I live, but despite being able to surf most days its not everything. No doubt you guys / girls wade through some pretty torrid and crappy conditions to get those great days.
Interesting to hear your local point of view mate. Thanks. Hope to visit sometime soon.

dandandan's picture
dandandan's picture
dandandan commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 11:58am

Oh totally - there's a reason I haven't left back and crack a tear every time I fly back in from a few months away. Part of me wonders how much happier I'd be as a Tasmanian if I didn't surf!

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 12:03pm

haha yeah.....surfing, the blessing and the curse.

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 1:12pm

That is so true. I've spent a year of my life working in and traveling around Tassie, at up to that 30 age, and it's a tough gig when you don't know what you are doing. Lots of travel for not guaranteed waves, marginal sessions, cold, then epic conditions sprinkled in sometimes. I've thought about your conundrum quite a bit, how I would do it...

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 11:07am

I sort of don't care that much now. Like you said, whinging about it continually is just pissing into the wind.

I'm really thankful that I started surfing in Vic 40 years ago and for the first 25 or so years it was very easy to dodge crowds and get good surf. Same with international and interstate surf trips.

No one's rocking up to J Bay for the first time in 2020 and scoring it at 4-6ft with a dozen or so out.........

GuySmiley's picture
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GuySmiley commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 12:22pm

roger that

jasper99's picture
jasper99's picture
jasper99 commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 11:22am

Maybe if surfcams are put up at every surfable beach around australia then the crowds will spread out a bit more or if Covid19 becomes a waterborn virus this may help with crowds too.......

Panman's picture
Panman's picture
Panman commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 11:28am

Yeah it makes those sneaky good surfs with no one around so much sweeter
Welcome to the new world

ryder's picture
ryder's picture
ryder commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 11:29am

If ever there was an opportunity or time to re-think artificial reefs then the time is now.

Rabbits68's picture
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Rabbits68 commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 12:00pm

Spot on Panman.

In a nutshell.

Crystal Clear

goofyfoot's picture
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goofyfoot commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 1:26pm

Your last sentence make me shudder Rabbits.

Rabbits68's picture
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Rabbits68 commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 2:05pm

Haha! Just seemed appropriate. It was not my intension to awaken any particular sleeping dog :-)

Crystal Clear

GuySmiley's picture
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GuySmiley commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 12:19pm

Good article Craig. Demographics are a fascinating subject.
Some additional disjointed comments.

Firstly, adding some mirth to the discussion I note Indo's comment about improvements in roads from major population centres and naturally presume that would be front of mind for him given his need for flights of fantasy to Dandy Markets which probably now are just an hour down the Sth Gippy Highway from home base.

Adding to your comments about the Surf Coast and the MP, both are now close to very large population centres beyond those that you mentioned. The SC suffers from people/visitors now living between Melbourne and Geelong, that flat barren plain is no more. The MP equally must now deal with the new housing developments stretching from Langwarrin to Pakenham and beyond (formally market garden/food bowl land for Melbourne) ... little boxes, little boxes, they're all made from tacky tacky and they all look just the same. Fuck each time I drive through that area another suburb a 100 miles from nowhere has been built.

People are moving into these coastal areas, or staying put, as they age because of excellent access to medical facilities. On the MP Frankston is a hub for medical services and likewise Geelong on the SurfCoast. This issue is front of mind for many of my boomer neighbours who scoff at the prospect of moving further out for a quieter life for this reason. There's meant to be a website that ranks each LGA according to such things as access to medical services etc.

The impact of tourism on these areas pre/post CV. Annual tourist numbers before CV on the Great Ocean Road (GOR) were staggering and were set to explode in the next decade if left unchecked. If that bullshit redevelopment of the Anglesea coal mine goes ahead you can add several hundred thousand more tourist visits pa to already the unsustainable projections. On the MP winery /food tours add greatly to the numbers.

That's enough.

cleelo's picture
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cleelo commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 12:38pm

Good article and good point made about older crew surfing longer, I'm one of them. At 65 I have been lucky enough to have lived and surfed on the Surfcoast for over 50 years. I was really looking forward to retirement and getting more waves during prime conditions with a lower crowd factor. Looks like that aint gonna happen now. The Surfcoast crowds have been insane everyday all day, and the more secluded breaks, where you could escape the mainstream hordes of no nothing noddys with attitude, have all been over run. Seems like where ever you go there are a bunch of heads popping over the dunes with a phone to their ear. Its also pretty hard not to get angry when you get taken out by a kook on a foil trying to ride through the line up, especially when they also bring along ten foiler mates that have no respect or care for other water users safety. I feel so lucky to have experienced the coast as it was years ago and can only hope that things get close to being back to normal when this virus is done, but I doubt it as other comments have suggested. Struggling through recovery with two hip replacements at the moment and having fun surfing a bludger board on my belly to stay fit and connected with the ocean - hope they don't bring in a culling program for us fossils !

PC

Robo's picture
Robo's picture
Robo commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 12:49pm

No's have doubled on the Coffs Coast i would say in the last 2 months.

sanded's picture
sanded's picture
sanded commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 12:58pm

There is a silver lining to this covid thing, Most of the local surfboard manufacturers we deal with are flat out, the busiest they have been in years! And also the ding repairers.
We also have more people coming in to learning how to shape surfboards, so it might be a resurgence on local boards as we well as keeping the local industry alive! I know it doesn't help to know this when your local break is way over crowded... Im sure Urbansurf is also looking at this data to work on their business model as well.

geek's picture
geek's picture
geek commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 1:08pm

This has been some depressing reading. Time to buy a mountain bike

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 1:40pm

Way ahead of you Geeko.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

adam12's picture
adam12's picture
adam12 commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 1:08pm

An approach I have been having some success with in dealing with the influx is the Buttons Kaluhiokalani method of calling yourself into the best set waves in a booming voice, "Go Adam, Gooooo!". Seems to work a lot of the time.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 1:20pm

haha lol, I'm going to be listening out for that. It'll be the surfing version of wearing a name tag at a corporate exhibition

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 11:16am

Gold. I call my better half in when there are kooks paddling on the shoulder....makes them back off most of the time.

goofyfoot's picture
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goofyfoot commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 1:29pm

"The reasons for this slow down is in the Mornington Peninsula Planning Scheme. The plan aims to prevent urban sprawl and the subdivision of rural land across the peninsula as to maintain the rural landscape and coastal sea scapes. This means growth will be restricted to the already populated bay towns."

I didn't know about this, but I'm stoked now that I do

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 1:31pm
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 1:38pm

Doesn't Noosa have something similar, but it is crowded to buggery?

geek's picture
geek's picture
geek commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 2:23pm

The green wedge management plan from last year is a good read too

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 2:29pm

Thank you Craigos

GuySmiley's picture
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GuySmiley commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 5:37pm

It’s been my experience that the Mornington Peninsula Shire’s management of its natural reserves is extremely poor. It seems unless the reserve is in that thin coastal strip between Rye and Portsea on Port Phillip Bay it’s ignored. EGs. The Red Hill Rail Trail is more goat track with 1,000s of blackberry bushes and young pine trees (both declared noxious weeds). The Bay Trail b/w Dromana and Rye another goat track. The bike path from Somerville to Balnarring built in 1988 is dangerously overgrown and riddled with 1,000s of holes and tree roots. I’ve given up contacting them about dangerous issues in their reserves, nothing is ever actioned (they have no specific budget for walking/bike trails it all falls under the budget for suburban footpaths).

GF, Melbourne’s green wedges are the lasting legacy of the last true Liberal Victorian premier - Dick Hamer. A great man also responsible for our Art Centre / Hamer Hall complex. Our current Federal Member Greg Hunt’s father Alan was in Dick Hamer’s ministry, also a good man ... shows you how far the Libs have moved given their only interest in the Hamer era green wedges these days is how they can flog them off to developers.

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 7:58pm

Thanks Guy
Interesting stuff. Back in the days when politicians were half decent and got shit done.
And yeah i agree with you about the Bay Trail being in a bad state

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 11:25am

I think it's worth re-reading the relevant sections of the scheme - it's not about stopping growth but managing it to prevent urban sprawl. There may well be some good decisions made to maintain the space between coastal settlements (btw most of that push came from the Coastal Spaces work in 2006 - see https://www.marineandcoasts.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0029/40593...).

However, population growth is still assured through the amount of land which is already zoned for various forms of development and the as-of-right development entitlements which exist. The direction over the coming years is likely to have an increasing focus on density to accommodate the population growth and demographic changes expected.

Tourism is also not going away - there are still a myriad tourist development opportunities sitting along the whole coast, and you would expect a struggling economy and travel restrictions to kick-start quite a few of those if they can find the capital to bankroll it.

Similarly, if you read the Surf Coast Shire Planning Scheme it contains all the right words when read in isolation, but when you bring it all together it still pushes a growth outlook with some sustainability window-dressing.

Bear in mind that the State government compels local government to plan for land availability on a 15-year development horizon.

MartinNow's picture
MartinNow's picture
MartinNow commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 1:40pm

Regardless of the impact of the virus, the broader population and the surfing population has been steadily growing to an uncomfortable size for some time.

The people from "Big Australia" and sell, sell, sell, profit at any cost corporations (who our right wing governments work for) are maintaining the continually growing population with annual immigration of about 200,000. "Traditionally" was about 70,000 and seemed quite comfortable.

The objective - more sales. Yes we are all just retail fodder in their big picture.

The result - spiralling levels of environmental and social degradation - but awesome CEO payouts despite any level of fucking up of even their own corporation.

I suggest Aus really needs to start managing its population vs available resources with a much much stronger consideration of the continent's carrying capacity and of the quality of life of those already here.

The big knobs seem to have this fantasy of flying off to Mars or somewhere with their loot when "their local break becomes uninhabitable".

I rather like the slogan I read somewhere - "Better Not Bigger"

MartinNow

greyhound's picture
greyhound's picture
greyhound commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 1:56pm

Perfectly said Martin. The unsustainable snowball effect....

MartinNow's picture
MartinNow's picture
MartinNow commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 2:11pm

you are a scholar and a gentleman sir, ta mate.

MartinNow

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 2:00pm

In the spirit of "The Goodies" I propose towing Tasmania 1000km to the east so we get a bigger swell window and more waves for the increased numbers of people. RIP TBT.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 2:12pm

hahahaha yes!
and all surf clips from said island must have soundtrack of 'A Walk in the Black Forest'

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 11:29am

Hard work, towing anything by tandem bike, though.

And I prefer "Run".

MartinNow's picture
MartinNow's picture
MartinNow commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 2:09pm

V.L. That proposal will require at least a Review Of Environmental Factors :)

MartinNow

Solitude's picture
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Solitude commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 2:12pm

I often used to think where the best surfable coast to 'live' would be? Everywhere has it's pro's and con's and if there were such a place it's already heading the way of Byron.

Pumping uncrowded reef breaks but nothing for 100's/1000's of kms. No work. No prospects for family.

Perfect warm surf for parts of the year, perfect set ups but massively overcrowded?

Cold, isolated but often shitty and windy but stunningly picturesque. Isolated.

I'd say a previous discussion on here regarding 'B' grade coasts has the happiest medium between preservation, less development, smaller crowds and down-to-earth aussie values.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 2:13pm

Agree

rogerelastic's picture
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rogerelastic commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 2:31pm

Some City of Gold Coast 2019 planning docs assume 713,826 by 2026 and 1.39M by 2066. Total in employment 347,022 and 610,570 respectively.

https://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/documents/bf/The_Water_Supply_and_Sewerage_Infrastructure_Plan_2014_Volume_1(1).pdf

That’s a lot of people with time on their hands

and stats are residential only. Day visits to GC are over 10M per annum - most from the rapidly expanding Brisbane area We ain’t seen nothing yet!

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 3:34pm

Wow, thanks for that more up to date population forecast, that pushes Gold Coast to an increase in population from 2016-2026 of 25% instead of the 19% I had.

Have added the new data in the article and ammended.

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 2:44pm

Stoked none of my favourite stretches of coast Australia wide are on this list. That's probably why they're my favourites.

gsco's picture
gsco's picture
gsco commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 2:47pm

The surf was easily the most crowded and crazy I've ever seen it here at my local beach break in qld during the strictest lockdown period.

What seemed unusual though was sheer the number of people out walking and exercising etc on the beach in the mornings and afternoons during this period - it was also huge and the whole beach was packed to the extent that it looked like there was a clubbie event on that took up the whole length of the beach.

But now the restrictions have started to be relaxed, things have eased right off and largely gone back to normal now. Actually it's been offshore all day and there's a nice head-high swell running, but the surf is close to empty along my stretch of beach (it is a bit straight and closing out a little but who cares...)

luke37's picture
luke37's picture
luke37 commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 2:57pm

We have shitloads of coast with relatively few features to create decent waves. Solution = decent artificial reefs or features to spread the crowds and population (ever noticed how often all the population is bunched up where the surf cranks?) While we're at it cut the immigration rate or at least match it to the rate of infrastructure development and ability to maintain social cohesion!

bipola's picture
bipola's picture
bipola commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 5:09pm

its true if we did not surf and it wasn't a way of life
where would we all be living? we over 60 s have our memories of Bondi, Newcastle, every point north of Swansea and the Goldy with a pinch of Phillip island and Bells beach, South coast, golf course reef and Green island full stop. no crowds back then. next year i will be 70 and i thank GOD every morning i get up for the early. sometime i am the only one out for the first hour.
fond memories until i get altimers. ????????

ScottWilliams's picture
ScottWilliams's picture
ScottWilliams commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 6:08pm

I surf the Snapper / Greenmount stretch probably 150 days a year. Always crowded, especially when it's on but always manage to get a few. Gotta keep exoecatations in check.

nick.minor's picture
nick.minor's picture
nick.minor commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 6:25pm

The population is increasing.... That might not mean the amount of surfers is.

The population is increasing due to immigration.

How many non white fella surfers do you see...

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 6:56pm

Except.. England topped the list of foreign-born Australian residents in 2019. New Zealand came in fourth.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign-born_population_of_Australia

nick.minor's picture
nick.minor's picture
nick.minor commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 6:58am

That's not new in the year 2019. That's just foreign born people living in Australia in 2019.

This animation shows the change of migrants. https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.smh.com.au/national/the-countries-that-...

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 7:15am

That chart still shows the UK at #1, and NZ at #2.

nick.minor's picture
nick.minor's picture
nick.minor commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 9:35am

I appreciate that.

I was saying look at the growth rates of different groups over the last 5-10 years. Looking at that the bulk of english migrants have been here for a while.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 7:35am

Three things:

Natural population growth makes up approx. 1/3 of increase, immigration the other 2/3. The same pattern has held steady for a decade or so.

Most immigrants move to the cities, and in turn the seachange phenomenen of the last twenty years (now ramping up) is largely anglos moving to regional areas, thereby increasing surfer numbers in those areas.

Surfing no longer pulls from one demographic. The stereotypical crowd of 'male 16-34', that formed the majority of surfers till the 1990s, has been blown wide open with people of both genders and all ages now surfing. Surfing now draws from a far wider base.

nick.minor's picture
nick.minor's picture
nick.minor commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 9:36am

Interesting idea Stu.

old-dog's picture
old-dog's picture
old-dog commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 6:28pm

Humans are like fleas living in the Earths fur and it is completely infested. Drive along the mid lately and every car park is full of lost souls sitting in their cars, the esplanade resembles muscle beach in California and all the line ups are packed with sups and young mal riding heroes trying so hard to look like we used to look in the 70s.
Worst of all though is the chicks on logs posing and vogueing and arm waving as they crab across six inches of raw power with the sun glistening on their goose-bumped tight little bums. Could be time to throw in the towel. Cheers.

Nickerless's picture
Nickerless's picture
Nickerless commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 7:44pm

haha spot on! it's been fucked

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 7:47pm

Ha, paint quite the image there, which we can all relate to.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 10:02pm

old-dog - don't give up, don't let them win, double down...
get a 12 footer and fucking terrify the lot of 'em

mowgli's picture
mowgli's picture
mowgli commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 7:10pm

A keyword search might mean nobody has mentioned this already.

But a not significant reason for the pop increases in SEQ has been INTRAnational migration. I.e. folks moving up from down south. We learnt that in uni and that it's been going on since mid-late 90s and I'm fairly sure even until very recently that was still the case...

“Life is a long lesson in humility.”

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Terminal commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 7:54pm

Yeah mowgli, it's termed the sea change phenomenon. Boomers play a large role, having made their $$ in city centers then move out for lifestyle. Coastal communities under 2.5 hrs drive from a city centre was the magic number from memory. So sunny coast is sea change from Brisbane, but Agnes is not. Ulladulla has just gotten a lot closer to Sydney in recent years too, Mollymook = $$$$

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Vic Local commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 10:08pm

Terminal, Negative gearing has played a massive role in the population growth in places like Sunshine Coast, Surf Coast and South Coast of NSW.
People earning good $$$ in the city can purchase a coastal property and slap it on airbnb to negatively gear their income. Bingo, a tax deductible holiday / retirement home.
But I'm sure some people on here will find another reason for population increases in our surf zones. Something Hanson would agree with.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Terminal's picture
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Terminal commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 10:37pm

yeah fair enough, but that wouldnt be reflected in the trends Craig is presenting would it, as those represent place of residence. AirBnB customers wouldnt inflate these either would they, for the same reason?

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Nickerless commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 7:56pm

living around Adelaide for the last few years has been pretty crap surf wise... now add the crowds at any of the average at best spots the mid or south coast has to offer I thought of throwing in the towel and going for a skate... went to the park after work to be greated by legitimately about 40 kids on scooters ... times are grim if you can be frustrated by crowdes on a skateboard

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Vic Local commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 9:42pm

We get it WAVES69 you don't need to post that 10 times.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Dale -Cooper's picture
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Dale -Cooper commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 10:00pm

What is this 'sea change' that's being bandied about?

Surely, it's 'white flight', meine kameraden?

“The dog leg. That dog had four legs. One you found in my trunk. The other three went out with the information you're thinking about right now. Two people you don't want coming around here if anything bad happens to me.”

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Weatherman commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 10:19pm

So many interesting and relevant comments on this topic. I am another 60+ guy that has been lucky enough to have been surfing the SC for over 45 years. Yes it has been very crowded over recent months, 20+ out on local beachy peaks and average points, but I have still had so many good waves/sessions. They are out there. As for logs, mals and mid range boards etc, there are so many locations that these types of boards have transformed to super fun waves. Think Shitfarm, Inside Impos, Torquay Point, Roadnight, Lorne Point, Kennet etc. As for the girls on logs etc what a pleasure it is to see how stylish and good many of them are. And their egos do not exceed their abilities, unlike many shortboarders. Yeah the good old days were good, but I am still happy to be out there.

mark

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Tooold2bakook commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 10:32pm

Yes it's a sad story, but isn't it just another facet of us overstretching finitie, natural resources?

I feel for the guys who had it to themselves 30 years ago. It must've been epic. While I sympathize with many comments about the frustration of a crowded break, it never belonged to anyone and it's not for us to filter who gets to use the coast.

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Vic Local commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 10:43pm

"it's not for us to filter who gets to use the coast."
Yes but in some cases no.
If surfers have no skills and are a danger to others, the filter does need to come out. When someone paddles for a wave, at an advanced break, and then ditches their board down with the lip into a surfer already riding, the kook has no right to be out in the lineup.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

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Terminal commented Thursday, 21 May 2020 at 10:51pm

Yeah I feel your pain there, VL. I've almost been brained so many times by learners on the points at Noosa once it gets a little bigger. What do you do though? Mandatory grading system of surfers' abilities? Green, blue, black difficulty breaks? That starts to drift toward the "R" word, and that would be shit. Who would police it, clubbies again?

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frog commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 9:39am

Be very careful what you wish for or even talk about. In today's stay home stay safe lock down and control political and public mindset, suggestions for ways to make surfing safe could lead to some very unwelcome controls on the sport (licenses, no go zones, fines, jail, surf safe apps imbedded in your board or brain).

In the oil industry they hsve a saying:

The solution to high oil prices is high oil prices.

Same with surfing to some extent - crowds kill the joy and lead to less crowds. Sooooo many people quit surfing or just dabble occasionally on the sunny fun days cause it can be a shitty experience.

Frogg

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Tooold2bakook commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 9:16am

I agree, but this is not really anything to do with surfing. The same goes to knowing your limits re sailing, skating, mountain biking whatever. If that was really the issue then we'd all be coming together to encourage surfing education - that is, we'e be discussing how best to educate people so that they surf at breaks/conditions suited to their ability. This however, would not reduce numbers which is what we are complaining about

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Solitude commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 8:39am

Have the more regional and remote coastal spots of SA / WA - I'm talking places with GOOD waves experienced an up tick in population also?

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frog commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 10:13am

Get a water proof headlamp or three, strap em on, then put on the shark shield, try to forget the shark week docos and paddle out after dark. Empty perfection any time you want!

The solution is there but how much do you want it? Can you still the demons in your imagination of what fish life might be checking out the bright lights....

Frogg

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legrope1 commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 9:47am

Crowds = Wave pools

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Raúl Jiménez commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 9:52am

Hmmm, a few assumptions here on pop growth, realistically we are going to see contraction in the short to medium term I think.
Whatevs, I'm still moving to Hobart, a climate change refugee, whilst Coronavirus takes up a large chunk of my field of view atm, the peripheray is still choked by climate change fueled bushfire and storms, all within the last 6 months. This federal gov isn't changing its stripes.
No faith anything will change, so I take the family South, look after number 1.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-28/coronavirus-economy-immigration/1...

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Blowin commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 10:09am

Where are you relocating from as a climate refugee ?

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san Guine commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 10:36am

..and lets not forget in these numbers are the children of surfers who are now surfing (2nd and 3rd generation). If you have bred and your kids surf...please don't complain about crowds

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ReubenA commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 11:25am

I always find surfing and the term commonly associated with surfing, 'local' an interesting topic. I once got told to F-off by someone who didn't like me catching waves at Gunnamatta Beach, i was young and backed off but it always left a sour taste in my mouth. A few years on now and i firmly stand by that the term 'local' is not only completely rubbish, but nonsensical. What makes anyone think they have more of a right than others to do something? I'm sure a lot of people would disagree with me, however if you apply that term to other activities in life, its just plain arrogant and in a way self-righteous. I write about this because that's the underlying message i get from articles like these and the comments section, that the surf is for locals and long time surfers. I believe that someone from Alice Springs has the same right to catch as many waves as someone from Bells or Margaret River, and that and the end of the day, its all about situational awareness and respect out there.

In my personal opinion there is enough surf breaks out there for everyone, you may just have to drive a bit further or take on a more treacherous break, but its like any adventure sport these days, Snowboarding, MTB's, its an adventure, you just have to take the crowds on the chin and go further.

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Blowin commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 11:50am

I take it you’ve never held local status anywhere , Reuben ?

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ReubenA commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 11:58am

"Local Status" = my point exactly. Used to live Portsea and Rye, if that counts for anything.

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stunet commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 11:58am

"I believe that someone from Alice Springs has the same right to catch as many waves as someone from Bells or Margaret River"

And I, with due respect, think that's a load of rubbish.

Attachment to place is as old as humanity. Even if they could, why should surfers should expunge themselves of this instinct, especially when it's also the source of great joy and satisfaction.

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ReubenA commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 12:03pm

Who was talking about expunging people from surfing? Not sure how you got that from my comment.

To me, that "load of rubbish" is essentially saying, i have more of a right than you to be here than you. How is that right?

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geek commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 12:11pm

They have every right to be there. But they don’t have every right to paddle to the top of the takeoff zone and catching set waves. ‘Locals’ have earned that right looking after the joint, pumping all of their income into the local economy, putting up with the shit fight with blow ins/tourists for the odd good day.

And knowing the regular crew well out at Gunna, for somebody to tell you to f’ off you absolutely did something wrong

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ReubenA commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 12:17pm

Hence i said it was about situational awareness and respect, at that goes for anything in life.

And no i didn't do anything wrong, i think it was because the conditions where primo for my body board and not the surfer.

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Blowin commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 12:12pm

I think the sense of entitlement is your own , Reuben.

No one has a right to tell you to fuck off from anywhere really but the people who live in an area should be treated with respect and even a small amount of deference as it’s their territory.

I can’t imagine that you’d enter a First Nations land without being aware of your place in the pecking order , why would you think otherwise when you venture to other areas ?

You can believe that if I travel to Alice Springs I’m aware that I’m treading on someone else’s turf and I’ll act accordingly.

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ReubenA commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 12:19pm

The sense of entitlement we all have to be a Free Australian.

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Vic Local commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 12:37pm

"No one has a right to tell you to fuck off from anywhere really "
Are you the same blowin who was calling for South Koreans with valid visas to be rounded up for deportation?

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

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Blowin commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 12:59pm

The Koreans were acting like blowins taking all the set waves, except it was the extremely limited employment opportunities for the locals that they were pillaging. They have no business putting those who live in the area on welfare . If you still want to carry on as if this stance is racist can you please just do it quietly in the background. Not only are you wrong ,you’re a fucking pest whilst being wrong.

Just because it’s sanctioned by a corrupted government granting visas to enable corporate kleptocracy doesn’t make it any more tenable.

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stunet commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 12:20pm

??

Not expunging people, expunging the feeling of connection to place that comes via sustained commitment.

Why should surfers suppress that when connection to place is the story of humanity?

No-one has more of a right to be somewhere, but to sit at the takeoff spot thinking you're on equal footing with locals and "catch as many waves", as you say...?

Nup.

Not the case where I surf, and I don't expect it to be the case when I travel either.

There's a hierarchy and it should be adhered to.

I understand that opinion is distasteful to new surfers, to non-surfers, or to non-locals, but to think otherwise is to ignore lived reality, and misread human behaviour - i.e that humans innately form hierarchial structures.

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ReubenA commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 12:27pm

As a long time water-man, i take this attitude as complete arrogance and self entitlement. Not hierarchy.

It is not seen anywhere else i have ever been, Snowboarding, on the MTB's, its only something surfers have in common.

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Craig commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 12:32pm

This is because surfing good waves or a good set wave is a finite resource. We all know when surfing our local reefs the best looking sets that come in and the ones you want. So you wait for them, it's not like bombing the mountains with your friends and everyone gets to have a go at the same line.

This is the one difference between surfing and every other sport and why the learning curve is so steep and why people deserve to sit at the top of the hierarchy and get the best waves as they'd earned it from endless at their local reef.

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Blowin commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 12:34pm

Long time waterman ?

That’s not you is it , Dirk Ziff ?

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ReubenA commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 12:36pm

We are all are we not? Those who surf, fish, swim, dive.

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Blowin commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 1:03pm

Ummm....inside joke referring to this. https://sima.com/about-wsl-and-dirk-and-natasha-ziff/

Inside joke limited to basically everyone who’s ever surfed . Of course , this excludes Dirk Ziff.

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AndyM commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 1:07pm

"It is not seen anywhere else i have ever been, Snowboarding, on the MTB's, its only something surfers have in common."

Absolute twaddle.

Pubs and bars, restaurants, skate parks, footpaths, parks, the surf - virtually everywhere has its own hierarchy, there's a couple of hundred thousand years of human behaviour built in there.

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Blowin commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 1:26pm

The pub pool table !

There was a classic pub local at a small town pub I used to visit a bit. Bloke’s name was Red Ted cause his skin was maroon. Looked like he’d got a real bad sunburn and then gone a couple of hours in a Swedish sauna. Must’ve had super high blood pressure.

He used to drop the drop either the first or last letter off every word as he’d sternly deliver his strict pub rules with his fat finger pointing into your face...” No flippin’ ‘oins on the ‘ucken ‘able*. ”

We’d just hit the age where every full day’s surf was usually followed by a full nights drinking and we’d often start off at Red Ted’s haunt. One of my mates got a bit lippy and Red Ted went full elder statesmen of the pub on him , asking him what he did for a living. My mate was a highly skilled carpenter and he told Red Ted he’d moved into pattern making**to really challenge his talents.

Brought the house down when Red Ted misunderstood the job description and asked my mate ...” Wha , you gonn’ knit me a ‘ress , ya fucken’ poofta***? “

* “ No flipping coins on the fucking table.”

** https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pattern_(casting)

***” What , you going to knit me a dress , you fucking poofter ? “

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stunet commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 1:17pm

Snowboarding and MTB?

You taking the piss, mate?

I'll assume you're not, so have a think about the concept of finite resources. Surfing, unlike MTB and snowboarding, is at the mercy of conditions. How often is the surf good? How many waves break on those days? To the people who check a wave or stretch of coast day in and day out, through the bad times and worse, they implicitly deserve more waves than the person who is surfing the place for the first time. 

Let's put it in simple terms: they've earned it. Nothing controversial about that, we live in a meritocracy don't we?

Which is a long way removed from, say, buying a lift ticket, or making a spur of the moment decision to hit the trails.

(Though, as a digression, the recent COVID crowds did bring localism to the MTB trails around here, so maybe with increasing population MTB localism may become a thing?)

Lineup hierarchies form naturally at every populated break around the world, cutting across culture, age, and gender, they're an extension of the more immediate rules of deference such as 'the person waiting the longest', and 'the person on the inside'.

Not all lineups are the same, some are rigid in their policing, some more easygoing, but they all shift and change owing to the people creating them. I've been on the receiving end of localism, stuff that's left a bad taste in my mouth, and I've also seen wonderful displays of fraternity - sometimes to outsiders, sometimes to people within the local hierachy.

If it's still something you budge against, I'd suggest removing the idealistic delusions for a moment and seeing the world as it is, not as you want it to be.

You may even come to like what you see.

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ReubenA commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 1:38pm

Snowboarding is at the mercy of conditions, so is MTB, you dont MTB in the sweltering heat but you can in the surf ;)

I think i didn't make the point that most crowds are over the warmer months when the surf is generally poor. These crowds taper off as the swell increases and the temperature decreases. Which is why i question "local-ism" and if it needs to exist?

Its the same for the trails and snow, crowds come over the weekend, but during the week i have them all to myself.

What probably pisses me off the most is that this local-ism attitude prevails no matter the swell or time of week.

Your digression to MTB, is what made me write this piece as it concerns me now that my local trails now have a "local-ism attitude" about it, and it does concern me.

They are not idealistic delusions, but an realization that my attitude towards other people was arrogant and self entitle, i thought that as i local i had more of a 'right', but now i have traveled around a bit and lived on 3 separate coast lines, i see it as wrong. The waves have no owner, and never will.

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Blowin commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 1:49pm

Reuben....Do you accept that a Fijian village has the right to prevent you from surfing on the reef in front of their village if they see fit ?

Would you paddle out against their express wishes ?

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stunet commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 1:47pm

If you accept the person on the inside has the right of way, then you accept that waves have an 'owner'.

That's because the drop in rule is a human construct.

Localism is also a human construct, a bit more complex, sometimes good, sometimes bad, but a construct nonetheless.

I've also lived a few different places, and travelled to a great many others, and I enjoy seeing the many manifestations of human hierarchy, and also how surfers connect to place.

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Blowin commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 1:50pm

Good angle !

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Eugene Green commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 3:28pm

Way too many Reubens around at the moment.

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goofyfoot commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 9:13pm

“ I once got told to F-off by someone who didn't like me catching waves at Gunnamatta Beach, “

Sorry about that mate, but ya deserved it

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ReubenA commented Monday, 25 May 2020 at 4:04pm

Bit harsh considering you do not even know me....

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Blowin commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 12:31pm

People seem to suddenly rekindle their repressed respect for locals when conditions get heavy. It’s easy to paddle out on the cuddly 3 foot day and think you’re jostling with the local guns on an even footing . Different story when the horizon is going black and you’re watching the local boys to figure out where to sit / rock off / how deep you can take off.

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Craig commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 12:33pm

No truer word.

Witnessed it this morning on a local reef, I didn't want to go near the bombing sets on the board I was riding when the proper ones came, left it to the guys who will nail it. And you could tell the unfamiliar surfers straight away as they'd paddle too deep and when the set came would be above dry reef and not be able to get into the wave.

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ReubenA commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 12:34pm

Good point. You need to work as a team, have situational awareness and respect.

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Solitude commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 1:27pm

There is something different about being somewhere for a long time. Knowing that spot, looking after it, seeing it in all its moods. Knowing your fellow locals, their abilities and attitudes. These are the people who pick up the Maccas wrappers, fishing gear and ciggie butts. The people who help other's kids get waves and teach them the love of this spot in the world.

So to turn up somewhere and not understand that, you may be treading on the very fabric and culture the place is about. This can get under people's skin.

To people who surf / live / swim / exist at a spot regularly it is very obvious when there isn't any respect. It could be the fact you're in the dunes on the phone to your mates, you've parked right at the spot where the track is, the way you paddle, where you've paddled out to.
But I think when overt respect is shown, this is often when you hear the stories (many of which I've lived) of the extreme kindness and generosity of locals towards travellers to their spot.

If I surf elsewhere, I expect to not get a decent wave (let alone a set) until well after the locals who are out have had at least a couple to my none. You paddle out, you sit down the line and wide. You say G'day. Only then do you slowly paddle anywhere near the top.
They're not silly. This respect is noted and if backed up with the ability not to blow a decent wave is usually rewarded with a few more and a top experience.

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Craig commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 1:37pm

Beautiful words and depiction of such a niche microcosm that's generally invisible to the greater population.

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velocityjohnno commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 10:17pm

Agree that was a fantastic post. Reading it, my mind was wandering to taking my young children over the rock pools on very low tide, walking and wading where they later paddled out, surfed, knowing all faces of the place, all tides, sizes, currents, winds...

The description of how to surf away from home was great, too.

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tango commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 11:52am

Bang on, Solitude.

We had an interesting experience yesterday surfing in town where a bloke paddled out a) on way too small a board for the size and tide; b) straight up the inside; c) didn't say hello; d) too deep; and e) then turned round for every set wave and missed everything for the first half hour. Nice one. There was four of us out.

The only thing I disagree with in the localism issue is the assumption that locals take care of the places they surf. Yes there are a few who do - some though beach clean ups, reveg and planting, submission writing, protecting and the like, but they are in the overwhelming minority. A few pick up rubbish in the spirit of Take 3 for the Sea etc. The sad reality is that most don't.

Even more don't seem to understand how the coast is managed and the things that can be done to prevent impacts. We had a situation down here about 10-15 years ago where the local land manager proposed to instal paid parking at most of the beaches as is the case all though metro areas and many other coastal places with high demand. Every household was to get free permits with the burden of payment falling on the visitors who didn't pay rates to the local council or camp in the foreshore campgrounds which make the $ for the land managers to spend on the coast. Local surfers were headlined in the trenches fighting it, dreaming up a range of impacts that weren't going to happen. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

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Vic Local commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 12:06pm

I remember the paid parking debate and it was crazy. You knew things were getting a little nuts when someone graffitied "Greens = beach taxs(sic)" all over the coast. There was a bizarre mix of opponents, from political opportunists running for local council, and for some reason I simply can't understand, the local chapter of Surfrider.
Don't get me wrong, Surfrider do heaps of great work around the coast but why they took an anti-paid parking stance is just beyond me. Coast care needs funding, free parking encourages more destruction of the coast with the creation of new and bigger car parks, and visitors who come to the coast get a free ride.
BTW, every surfer should take 3 every time they surf. It requires no expertise and frees up the experts to do more complex things like weeding, planting, and runoff management.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 3:17pm

Paid parking at the beach is a horrible idea.

It might work if you only venture further than your local beach twice a year , for everyone else it’s he first step to jackboots on the sand.

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Vic Local commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 3:44pm

"for everyone else it’s he (sic) first step to jackboots on the sand."
Really blowin? We have paid parking at beaches in multiple shires and councils around the country, and no "jackboots on the sand" anywhere. Looks like you're talking absolute bullshit again.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

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tango commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 3:44pm

I'm not suggesting that it is a good thing across the board, but there are a whole lot of high-use areas where visitors make no contribution to the local infrastructure required to support their visit.

Like many places, in this part of the world we get inundated by visitors at certain times of the year. Only a handful of them buy food or things at the local shops and make very little if any contribution to the local economy. But the local land managers have to put in additional infrastructure to cope with the demand, put on extra staff for the rubbish and the like. Paid parking would make a valuable contribution to the funding base for managing the coast in these high-demand areas.

Its accepted practice in many similar contexts and places, so why not at busy beaches?

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Blowin commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 3:53pm

Tango ....I understand your point that visitors must pay to contribute to infrastructure, but I’ve only ever experienced paid beach parking at Byron and found the whole thing nauseating . Granted that Byron gets inundated with people , still it feels hectic filling a metre to go for a surf.

The area around here doesn’t charge visitors from Byron , why should i pay to surf there ?

I may have a different opinion if we had the situation where backpackers just park up for twenty four hours a day and locals miss out on a spot.

ReubenA's picture
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ReubenA commented Monday, 25 May 2020 at 4:07pm

shouldn't have to pay to walk on the beach..

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tango commented Monday, 25 May 2020 at 9:47pm

By all means, I agree.

But why should the open space on the foreshore be used for a carpark? And why should the local ratepayers or the foreshore manager pay for the carpark so you can have a free walk on the beach? No such thing as a free lunch.

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batfink commented Monday, 25 May 2020 at 9:48am

Nice. Only a man of solitude understands the feeling!

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gavin007 commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 1:38pm

Room for another wave pool in Melbourne ?

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Gazman82 commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 1:39pm

Can confirm mandurah.. FML! I've never seen it so ridiculously busy. For years a small group of mates will often go in search of a "not so good" wave and share among ourselves.. never more than our little crew (maybe the odd blow in). Now rock up.. 30 plus in the water.. even in crude waves. Drop ins.. hassling.. seriously makes you wonder if it's worth it.

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Vic Local commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 1:56pm

If you surf long enough at the same spot you get to know most of the regulars in the lineup. That bloke with the beard is your kid's teacher, you coached that other bloke's kid at football, you work with another guy, etc etc. This pretty much ensures the lineups self police. Imagine having to go work with someone you mercilessly burnt on a set wave. Not cool for anyone.
Today was a beautiful example with 6ft + waves and bigger bomb sets and everyone smiling and happy. I saw 1 drop in by a non-local in three hours and people weren't paddling past each other.
When people bring the snapper rocks attitude into our lineup, or are a danger to others, that's when localism naturally takes over. It usually starts with a friendly, "hey mate taken the set on the head instead of paddling for the shoulder" or "Mate, you'd be happier surfing Torquay point" if they are way beyond their depth. Repeat "inside Jonny" offenders tend to get dropped in on, and that is how it has to be. My local lineup isn't 'Nam. There are rules.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Fireblade's picture
Fireblade's picture
Fireblade commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 3:25pm

The ocean is the great leveller; it must be respected at all times. The ocean has many moods; there is a flow to its energy. The ocean is home to many species; but not to us. We are merely visitors within its fold.

Having lived a long time now, I have experienced extended periods both by the sea and away from the sea; I am always apprehensive when I return, because I will have lost touch with its rhythm and flow. It takes time to reconnect, and so I move cautiously when venturing into the waves once more.

Recent years have seen me working in Melbourne, and travelling to Phillip Island or the Surf Coast on the weekends, so my connection with the ocean could best be described as punctuated. But my surfing technique is well-embedded, and confident in most conditions, and so I respectfully look to the locals for guidance, their insight into the waves is borne of connection, and has been earned over many years. I have found the local surfing fraternity in Victoria to be both knowledgeable and friendly, and I have enjoyed many great waves and many great conversations with people happy to share moments in life.

When it comes to crowded line-ups, as surfers we have adopted the free-market approach, that is, there is unrestricted competition for waves. In a free-market, participant success is determined by a range of factors, primarily a distinctive competency that offers a competitive advantage. In a crowded line-up, this competitive advantage is most readily demonstrated by locals with distinctive competency developed through a close personal affiliation with the break.

Free markets rarely exist, as public-interest driven regulations impose constraints on the participants. How long now until governments see the dangers of overcrowded line-ups and impose limits on access? Is surfing then the last great bastion of unfettered freedom?

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 3:53pm

Well written and good food for thought.

I think with your approach in the water there are rarely problems, but you raise a good point with the issue of surfing being fettered in the future. I tend to agree and I think that surfing is a bit of a boiling frog with regard to what is coming down the pipe at us. The advocates of the free market experience (which I partly subscribe to) will want to keep surfing as it is and a touch Darwinian, while the advocates of regulation in its many forms (which I also partly subscribe to) will see benefit in getting in early to create some harder, faster rules before the juggernauts of risk, duty-of-care and liability create a perfect storm sometime in the future and restrictions are imposed on us in a form which does nobody any good. We're only ever a heartbeat away from a lawyer's or politician's progeny getting injured/belted and the house of cards could come crashing down.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 3:55pm

Stuff that.

There’s a few budding authoritarians on these threads that give you a little insight into how it’d all go down when the boisterous Little Kings at each beach get to police their rules.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 4:00pm

"There’s a few budding authoritarians on these threads"
WOW blowin, last week you were literally calling for South Koreans to be rounded up for deportation, and this week you're accusing others of being "authoritarians".
Self awareness isn't your strong suit is it.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Patrick0710's picture
Patrick0710's picture
Patrick0710 commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 3:05pm

You have never been in love until you've seen the sunlight thrown over smashed human bone.
We are the pretty, petty thieves. And you're standing on our streets...

haggis's picture
haggis's picture
haggis commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 5:08pm

I found our surf breaks got crowded, because heaps of people are currently not playing local footy, soccer, netball etc; so they ripped their surfcraft out and got down the beach.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 5:28pm

As soon as I saw this topic I figured we’d be in for some fun times in the comments. Ha ha!

uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 7:24pm

Maybe blame the Government for crowds.
Millions of dollars spent of the High Performance thing.
Funds given through Australian Sports Commission to Surfing Australia.
Surfing Australia runs MySurfTV, who then films your local and posts it on youtube for the world to see.
It's the tax double dip

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 10:02pm

Great work from Craig on seachange population squeeze.

tbb will stoke Goldie Local Knowledge, should double for WSR legislation resource.
Gonna rev this up with some Goldie Pro Jet Ski fuel mix...need a kook for my ramp!

Gold Coast (pop) 600,000 (Coastline - 57 kms of surf)

Reason for visiting the Gold Coast = #1 The Beaches 26%
Choice of Gold Coast activities (Once arrived) = #1 The Beaches 74%
Top Attractions Visited = Surfer's Paradise 47% > B'hds Beach 26% > Cooly 24%)
Best Thing about The Gold Coast = #1 The Beaches 90%

Note those boss scores are coming up gold...never knew it was everything...
Surfing is Gold Coast & Liquid Gold it is...about time to out the truth on this!
tbb admits Goldie is tacky but the flip is that we get good surf stats.

Gold Coast Beaches are fast becoming less accessible every year..
Now 2 months of any given year - beaches are closed to BOM's Hazardous Surf app.
2019/2020 Beaches are now becoming prohibited to all & for any reason at all.
Pandemic, Pathogens, Cyclones, Lightning, Animals, Events, Film Sets..etc.

Beach Access % / Population / year-km's

100% Life Guards (All Access) Not in Hazardous conditions
95% Board riders (15% of Locals 90,000 + Visitors 50,000) Least banned.
95% Fishing Grounds (20% of Locals 120,000)
80% Watercraft Access (10% of Locals 60,000)
75% Ocean Swimming ( .2% of Locals 1,000 re: Ocean Swim Clubs)
25% Dog Beaches (10%-60K-14kms + '5 cities-150km' share GC) (Straddie Ban)
15% Ghostbreaks (12% -8 kms are Suffocated Deadzones )
4% Patrolled Bathing Reserves (700% Total 4 million - 2.4kms) re: Bodybash'n

Bathers (Breakdown) 40 Flags @ 60m wide =2.4kms
(Local Bathers = 50-80% 300K-400K / yr)- NZ / NSW % rises in Winter
(Regional visitors = 31% surf/bathe 1.6m / yr)
(Interstate visitors = 52% surf/bathe 1.7m / yr)
(International visitors = 50% surf bathe 500,000 / yr) Approx data!

Notes:
GC Surf Board riders 90% Male -18-30 Middle Class 35% Wealthy 25%

2004-8 Barcode Gromz storm peak GC Surf Line ups over the next 4-16 years
Gromz hit Schoolie's Beaches to checkout City Beach Unis & Line-Up rentals
30 y/o Hodads will be hassled out by gromz > 25 y/olds (50% of lineup)
https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Capture-361.png

Imported Peak Surf Education Units ~ GC Wanted : (18+ _/ Middle class _/ Rich _/ )
Dutto's -25,000 o/s [L] 2 Surf students spy on dole bludgers in Goldie WSR's
Dutto's -23,000 migrants/yr roll out Burleigh Barrels for 3 years-to win a [Gold Pass]
(It's all a bit rich isn't!)

Now before any go pushing bang for yer buck valuations per Square km.

One needs to consider levels of Ocean engagement.
Boats / Jetskis are not permitted near beach zones & Ramp in creeks
Fisherman are mostly shorebound but will hook surfers nearing their patch.
Bathers push out to the break as a mob.
Regional Dogs up 10% / yr... book out Beach [P] Early Sat/Sun mornings

Boardriders push beyond the break requiring more resource but also save lives?
Onshore Resource / pollution as surfers Wash Boards & Wettie goop into Oceans
Trip hazards + Extra Shower queue time behind Boardriders & Dog Washes.

Inshore Sealife count is increasing in CBD beaches resulting in stricter lockdowns.
None give a shit with Dogs shitting on every beach during lockdown.

GCCC Reefs eat beaches & their pumps kill surf breaks.
WSR has lost 20 breaks + 4kms of breaks, crowding more onto tight take off points.

Post covid-19 Qld Kick Start groupies are drooling over commercial beach licenses.
Ballina Ocean Pool is the same...all need car parks (82% surfers drive to the beach)

Surfers do police own breaks...
tbb has been ousted from every local break by LG's & boardriders from every nation.

GCCC could easily shape surfing crowds by Social Distancing & new Car Park tags.
Recent Qld Govt 50km "Locals Only" day was the busiest day in Surf History.
World's biggest {WSR} M1 sign directed all to shark netted Closed Beaches?

PS: Everyone here already knew that Boardriders boss the ocean.
Noosa Festival Skeg'z pet Dogz bossed the new WSR with basherz in sea pens.
All here know that Dogs are banned from Noosa WSR NP Beach & Point wildlife.
Pioneer Noosa Surfers were bound & robbed. (WSR historic crime is on record!)
Upper middle bogan class in ocean size penthouse pools need to get christened.

{WSR} Legislation now comes down to what level of destruction do we champion.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 8:16pm

Speaking of parking TB, i'm wondering, where do all those masses park when Snapper is on? If I remember, parking around Burleigh was pretty easy but Snapper (and I haven't been there in years) only had that little kinda cul-de-sac carpark behind rainbow.

On the flipside to this article, where I am, surfing seems to be dying. Maybe it's a reflection of cementing of the coastline but the average age of surfers in my area seem to be around 40 with very few young kids taking it up.

I for one would like to see a few more kids taking up surfing.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207 commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 9:09pm

Southwest most crowded time ever through the covid period.
Heaps of new adult learner kooks ,sups, worse the same but foliers (re rich adult learner kooks) kids off school, learners, surf moms, rich Perth holiday home crowd hiding down here despite being told not to, locals out of work, locals (not really out of work but milking the jobkeeper/seeker angle =heaps of them) , locals working less than normal, Bunbury mongs (same as above and allowed to travel to same region) ,, heaps of "stranded" backpackers (re rich Euros and South American kids who decided that mum and dad can pay for their extended holiday in Aus rather than going home like they should have done - extra wanker points, did I miss anyone?
Bit of a shock but mostly cause it was unusual time of the year for such crowds. Not going to get better any time soon as intrastate borders and no travel means everyone (re more than half of the region) cant head NW or Indo this winter . Surfing around Margs is no better than being in a city crowdwise anymore, waves may be better for sure but crowds are here to stay for the time being.
The only plus so far IMO was lack of annual WSL contest locals fuckover , different girl , same panties you could say....

Dale -Cooper's picture
Dale -Cooper's picture
Dale -Cooper commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 12:35am

No love for the 'white flight', fellas?

It was quite the imported buzzword on here a little while back.

Don't tell me it was...gasp!...dogshit?!

“The dog leg. That dog had four legs. One you found in my trunk. The other three went out with the information you're thinking about right now. Two people you don't want coming around here if anything bad happens to me.”

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 9:38pm

I think it's a real thing Dale.
not spoken about in polite company but it's happening big time around here.

maybe not with the full unpleasant connotations but flight from the congestion of the cities is in full swing, and most of that flight is white.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Monday, 25 May 2020 at 10:07am

The Covid situation has definitely made people sit up and think about whether they want to continue to live in the big cities, there have been quite a few articles in media about it. Whatever else, being locked down for 3 months is a good way to get people to think about what they are doing with their lives, and some are gonna decide they don't like the way their life is headed and may want to make the change.

But not white flight in terms of escaping people of diverse ethnic origins. God forbid that that makes anything but a tiny percentage of people contemplating their lives.

Dale -Cooper's picture
Dale -Cooper's picture
Dale -Cooper commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 10:07pm

I think I get it! It's kind of a 'domino theory' thing!

Say your poor Werribee 'white flighter' heads to Geelong, driving the aspirational there to Ocean Grove, and then the OG aspo heads to Torquay! And so on and so on down the Great Ocean Rd. The older and richer you are, the further you head down it!

Then again the old 'domino theory' that 'justified' our involvement in Vietnam was well, dogshit!

And let's not mention 'treechange'!

What a can of worms!

“The dog leg. That dog had four legs. One you found in my trunk. The other three went out with the information you're thinking about right now. Two people you don't want coming around here if anything bad happens to me.”

mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207 commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 10:55pm

Would be a thing if they were all white I guess? Lot of olive skins, few coffee colour and some yellow even if its comes down to it ,(couple of Africans also but lets not even delve into that one, I dont want to be screamed down as some kind of One Nation type by certain swellnetonions).
Fuckwit flight might be a more appropriate term ? More of them than any particular race as such.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Monday, 25 May 2020 at 10:10am

Fuckwit flight is definitely on my mind Mike. Trouble is, wherever I go, there's another fuckwit! ;-)

:-)

mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207's picture
mikehunt207 commented Friday, 22 May 2020 at 10:57pm

Is a fuckwit a race? There is a whole new forum on its own!

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 9:05am

swellnet top secret Snapper Parking Tips...print this out chew it, then swallow it!
Won't even mention zenagain put tbb up to this...someone's gotta die here!

Apply reverse logic...Busy Beach = Less Crew vs Empty Beach = Packed Line-Up.
Hot Holidays mean Tourists Hog all the Car Parks...locking out board riders.
Midday=Golden hour or a pre dawn Winter Raid (Each buys 2 waves) Don't bank on it.
Sneaky Tip...straggling Key Paddler has inside priority to spin for rising creeper set wave.
Camp downwind of Photographer > Hero crashes Helicopter > Rescue WOTD from the ashes.

*Over Greenie ...Go ultra ultra slow into Rainbow (Brake & hug left...buying yer time!)
Shit! So gonna killed for this cheat! Just pretend tbb never said it! Fark! Local's Gold!
Note on the left are many toilets- that many locals dart in & out of. (Stalk them!)

*Opposite on the Up-rise heading outta Rainbow toward Greenmount. Why?
(1) Being a rising thru-road, cars can't camp to wait for a parked car to exit.
(2) Because flow runs opposite + most rival vehicles are leaving..(Way better odds!)

* The Checkout
Quite a few surfers pull in to Check out then move on...More than you think!
These Carparks line both sides of the entry into Snapper.(Not a hang - in/out zone!)
Again a tight point + being Snapper Entry so few cars risk camping here.(Be Quick!)

* When it's really busy (Summer Holidays) Retreat back a fair way & mosey on in.
Boundary Street has heaps of shade & off road surplus. (Be cool & do that!) Too Easy!

* Greenie Maccas Carpark + (Plenty of Cafes) Has cars change on regular cycle)
Ok for week days (A Brizzo camp on w/e)...Weekends see Boundary Street...
Use the Greenie Point track as valuable reconnaissance on busy days.+ Sip water!

*Avoid Camp sites (Greenie Lookout / Snapper Car Park / TOK / Snack Bar / GSLSC.)
All are hangs & Double Park Zones that hold up valuable scouting time!
Cars idle to check surf! B-e-e-e-p! FU2 (Surf Car Park Rage..You want some! C'mon!)

Snapper [P] Attendant : "Wot can they do, run me down & take my wave...yawn!"

Dale -Cooper's picture
Dale -Cooper's picture
Dale -Cooper commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 12:49am

I think fuckwit is a state of mind. And/or a state of being. Whatevers.

Now...a coastal 'fuckwit flight'!

I like it!

But is it a flight of fuckwits? Or a flight from fuckwits? A flight to fuckwits??

Fuckwits of a feather flock together?

Coastal cluster-fuckwittery!

“The dog leg. That dog had four legs. One you found in my trunk. The other three went out with the information you're thinking about right now. Two people you don't want coming around here if anything bad happens to me.”

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 9:22am

^ There’s some pretty deep philosophical thinking right there good people. Something for us to mull over while we’re fighting it out with the crowds.

D-Rex's picture
D-Rex's picture
D-Rex commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 8:39am

D-C the new blowin? Please don't feel the need to publish your thoughts on every topic on this site as if anyone cares.

Dale -Cooper's picture
Dale -Cooper's picture
Dale -Cooper commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 8:54am

That's a nasty slur, D-Rex.

But noted.

Nobody wants to be compared to Blowhard.

“The dog leg. That dog had four legs. One you found in my trunk. The other three went out with the information you're thinking about right now. Two people you don't want coming around here if anything bad happens to me.”

spencie's picture
spencie's picture
spencie commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 9:44am

I've never seen so many surfers in southern Tassie (Clarence area) as lately, despite the cooling water and air. Worse than the xmas holidays whenever good waves appear. Will be happy to see things get back to "normal".

easterly

haggis's picture
haggis's picture
haggis commented Sunday, 24 May 2020 at 7:48am

Cars on the road at a few select places. Cops checking parks to see if anyone has come more than 30 km away. Been crazy. Half the people I’ve never seen before. But it is because many of these would be playing football for a club or at the pub watching footy, or at school or have a job.

dandandan's picture
dandandan's picture
dandandan commented Sunday, 24 May 2020 at 8:35am

Totally. My mate said it's been the same on the bike trails. Without cafes, morning markets, and club sport on, people are waking up and thinking they may as well go surfing or bike riding. A disaster for us all. If it goes on much longer some of them might become lifers!

JimmyMac's picture
JimmyMac's picture
JimmyMac commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 10:11am

Just add a few more surfcams, that won't lead to an increase in crowds!!!!! The mid coast now has 5 cameras. Please tell me why????

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 10:25am

Multiple cams in regions is a bit much. They should be used as a general guide not to know exactly what every spot is doing.
Gold Coast has 10
Sunshine Coast has 8

My guess is ‘because we can’ type if reasoning. Same reason it’s ‘because we cant’ at quieter regions of Australia.

But just because you can, does that mean you have to? ........we all know the answer to that.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 10:56am

tbb isn't just anyone, he's a fan of Dale's & other posters here...Stokededed!
Also had a bash at Blowin's 100th...God save our Queen!
Never really cared to mention it...may have let it slip a few too many times.

{Surf cam car park troll rage} So that's what it's come down to...cue the classics
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QveJv7V4OZI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9-SMSiY8S8

bipola's picture
bipola's picture
bipola commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 10:50am

normal is finished never to be seen again

troppo dichotomy's picture
troppo dichotomy's picture
troppo dichotomy commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 11:01am

I was thinking with covid people might be more apprehensive to procreate?
Slowing population growth.
Heard on the radio that they're expecting the opposite!Within 9months to a year a surge in births.Everyone's on lockdown,drunk at home watching net flix getting busy with it!

Years ago i seen a guy wearing a t-shirt that said
'SURFING SUCKS!..DON'T TRY IT.'
Spread the word my friends.Mamma's dont let your babies grow up to be surfers.......

Logical's picture
Logical's picture
Logical commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 11:05am

CLIMATE CHANGE IS A HOAX – read why.
Climate Change – is only a symptom of GLOBAL OVER POPULATION.

So sad so many people duped into believing climate change is the root problem, it is only the symptom. And climate change will not resolve the decimation of species and insects (like bees), and deforestation in Brazil to grow more cattle and for timber products. Or stop massive over fishing to feed to many people. Or stop oceans full of plastic.

Big Business, Big Catholic Church and Big Government (Left inside the public service) all want BIG POPULATION.

Big Business are basic oligopolies and have near zero competition – big 4 banks, Coles and Woolworths, Bunnings a virtually monopoly, IGA insurance etc etc. Big Mining need exponential increasing 3rd world populations to sell gas, minerals, iron ore, coal etc to – and create demand to increase the price of these commodities and thus increase profits.
These businesses can’t keep paying those executive $millions a year unless they are growing the business. Otherwise a static year on year revenue stream means a CEO in Australia is just a $250,00 a year job. Yes a virtual care taker role !!
The Catholic church in particular (and many other churches) are obsessed to stop any form of birth control and abortion. Plus need more converts.
Catholic church went to extraordinary efforts in the WHO world health organisation and at the United Nations to remove all efforts by experts to discuss world population as a problem for the 21st century.
Churches also know educated and middle class white Europeans are leaving the churches. While the churches know poor people with little or no education from the 3rd world are very susceptible to superstition and easy to recruit as converts. Hence why Churches are obsessed here supporting massive immigration (mostly 3rd world).

Hope you get the picture folks and this changes your support for STUPID CLIMATE CHANGE.
And realise the massive media campaign internationally supported by these powerful Churches and Businesses and socialist Public Servants to keep you distracted away from over population by mis directing you to CLIMATE CHANGE.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 12:12pm

"Hope you get the picture folks and this changes your support for STUPID CLIMATE CHANGE."
Logical, I reckon all those scientists researching and measuring "climate change" might be in cahoots with the Lord High Priest Al Gore. Not to mention the Chinese who are making a fortune manufacture wind turbines / bird graveyard makers and solar panels that steal energy from the sun. They are probably all deeply involved in Obamagate and that pizza shop in NY. You know the one. Lucky we have people like you and the folk from Q Anon to blow the whistle on all these grifters.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Logical's picture
Logical's picture
Logical commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 2:04pm

"scientists"
When Julia Gillard raised climate change NOT A SINGLE climate scientist was prepared to stand as her climate spokesman. They knew it was rubbish and so she recruited Tim Flannery who was a Bone scientist with zero climate training.

Now any scientist working in Left Wing Universities will lose their teaching jobs or never receive a research grant again if they denounce climate change.

Just as scientist who raised issues with mobile phone radiation in the 1990s quickly realised their fates when they raised it. Lost teaching posts and research grants.

Or perhaps the "scientists" of economics where NOT ONE EXPERT saw the last GFC (financial crisis) coming ??

Or the medical Scientist across Australia who cannot even agree on COVID responses like if a state should be shut down or not. Or if schools can open and under what conditions. Just watch the shit fight on TV every night as they can't agree with each other.

So please DO NOT QUOTE Scientists as experts - as they cannot agree on anything !!

Or Scientists who after 40 years cannot even develop a vaccine for the common cold !! - are these the "ëxperts" you are referring to ??

Or ask why Scientists took 50+ years to get Govts to ban Asbestos when the first attempts to close the industry started in 1940s when they knew it caused lung cancer.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 2:39pm

And yet a shit load of scientists worked together to produce the technology you just used to type out a mad rant. WTF is it with RWNJs who mock experts and think they are smarter than people who went to university?
I suspect when push comes to shove, your anti-science attitude goes out the window when you get sick, and you head off to the doctor begging to be treated.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 2:52pm

Don't worry Vic, there're plenty of regressive lefties who mock experts etc,.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 3:30pm

The same bloke mocked the expert opinion of the University’s over reliance on Chinese students yesterday.

Logical's picture
Logical's picture
Logical commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 6:35pm

Vic be respectful to other peoples views. Mad rants comments show your ignorance and in-ability to counter a intellectual argument.

Your low IQ is showing claiming I am anti science.
I am not - I clearly articulated Scientists are divided on numerous issues. I have a a under grad degree and a post grad masters. I did Physics and Chemistry at school so am far from anti science.

Take on the facts I presented - TV every night no medico at states and federal level agree on COVIS response. No vaccine after 40 years on the flu. Please stick to countering my points rather than showing your ignorance with idiotic and irrelevant comments.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 7:18pm

One minute Logical is saying climate change is a hoax, the next he's denying he's anti-science, and then says "there's no vaccine after 40 years for the flu". WTF did I get injected with when I got my 'flu shot Logical? I'd really love to know your theory on this one.
Here's the deal Logical. I will be respectful of people's opinions when they deserve respect. When you publish complete gash, I will mock you.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Sunday, 24 May 2020 at 7:25pm

You got injected with the strains of last season. Maybe some cover if it hasn't mutated in the meantime.

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 3:36pm

No blowin, I mocked you when you said that foreign students only came from one nation. And I also mocked you when you couldn't tell the difference between an SBS story about another organisation's report and an SBS opinion piece.
Stop making shit up blowin. You're just embarrassing yourself.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Saturday, 23 May 2020 at 8:35pm

Is there going to be an increase in "surfers" or surf users?
I think that might be another question ............
The changing face of surfing some might say.

jacksprat's picture
jacksprat's picture
jacksprat commented Sunday, 24 May 2020 at 8:12am

Many years ago I swore when the crowds finally caught up to my favorite spots, I would, after 50 years of surfing, walk away, rather than be the bitter old guy. Then, one day, the locations of places I loved so much were published in Lonely Planet. Now those places are crowded. And I walked away. Reading the above rants, I advise many of you to take a similar course of action.

onetimeonly

jacksprat's picture
jacksprat's picture
jacksprat commented Sunday, 24 May 2020 at 8:16am

Oh, and by the way, the crowds, they're only going to get worse.

onetimeonly

greyhound's picture
greyhound's picture
greyhound commented Sunday, 24 May 2020 at 10:02am

I’m not walking away jacksprat,, Not a chance.. I will not be beaten!!

bipola's picture
bipola's picture
bipola commented Sunday, 24 May 2020 at 11:19am

i left the goldy 29 years ago, i wasn't sure if i did right but after seeing the crowds it was a good move, i have my memories. i will never give up surfing i found a place with fair fat waves and i go early so no crowds.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Monday, 25 May 2020 at 10:33am

Such interesting views, except for logical, who isn't.

Relax a little. Yes, super-crowded at some beaches. Noticed that nobody came on here to say that there local is super quiet because people can't travel. Why is that, you think?

I know of a batch of places that are quiet as church mice right now. I'd be there, but can't go. That's why they are quiet.

This will blow over. Not the coronavirus, that's here for a good while yet, but people's behaviours around it will change. The points about weekend sport are absolutely spot on. People who aren't allowed to play their winter sports are going to the beach.

The local golf club, where I used to be able to rock up any time Saturday or Sunday, and is basically going out of business, has been bookings only you'll be lucky to get on for the last month. Surfing - golf, yep, you're allowed to do those. That probably explains half the crowds.

Unemployed or on job seeker, well that work gig isn't keeping you out of the water any more. Probably explains a high proportion of the weekday crowds.

Yeah, it's crazy crowded, but it will settle down a bit as kids go to school, people go back to work (slowly), life returns a bit more to normal.

But the population rise has been government policy, via immigration, which was ramped up considerably since Howard got in. Higher population hides the incredibly poor political and economic decisions of the last 20 years. It's an ideological pursuit, not a policy one.

That does have a material effect on quality of life. Sydney is bloody near unlivable these days, if you started out sane. Has so many attractions though, you just have to put up with huge amounts of shit. The population problem aint going away.

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batfink commented Monday, 25 May 2020 at 10:40am

And what I really came on here to say, before being sidetracked by all the comments, is that for me surfing has always been an ebb and flow, and has always involved lots of shitty, crowded surfs for every good quality surf in uncrowded waves. Now I'm less inclined to surf crowded shitty conditions, and have always been happy to surf onshore lumpy messes with just a few out. My choice.

But those real quality surfs, those ones that burn into your brain, that you are remembering right now as you read these words. Those days have always been rare, and the majority of your surfs have been in shitty waves, crowded waves, great waves where you could barely find one, great waves that you continually fucked up or they were just a bit too good for your talents, rainy horrible cold days, wait for 15 minutes for a wave that always breaks 'over there' days.

Surfing is the cheapest of tramps, promising so much and making you work so hard for her, and seriously delivering only occasionally. But when she delivers, oh boy.

That is the nature of the beast. Get over your addiction, or learn to live with it. Me, I'm gonna live with it.

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Blowin commented Monday, 25 May 2020 at 11:23am

Not really , Batfink.

Good waves are a regular part of life in some places. Even the difference living an hour or two away can increase your quality wave count immensely on many occasions. The difference between Perth and Margs or Sydney and Ulladulla is the difference between eternal closeouts and regular tubes.

I remember talking to Ketut Menda about when he came to Sydney and he couldn’t believe how bad the waves were that people lived to surf .

I’m not having a go and I realise that not everyone can or wants to live in an area with good waves , just making the point that plenty of people exist on a diet of great waves regularly. Poor waves are a lifestyle choice.

Re : Wuflu crowds.....has been blissfully quiet around here. I don’t want it to end ! Another week and it’s going to be permanent holiday crowds for a while . Spewing.

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zenagain commented Monday, 25 May 2020 at 11:29pm

I think it was a great post BF, surfing is so many things to so many different people. One turn, a little of vision, that little speed section, whatever makes you smile. Those rare days will always come, perfection is subjective.

That's what makes surfing so addictive.

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

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Solitude commented Tuesday, 26 May 2020 at 8:04am

I enjoyed that post too Batfink.

Just like the ocean itself I feel like 'surfing' comes in waves for me. I'm always looking, always surfing, however there's just times where it comes together more than others.

There was another contributor in another thread talking about being in the rhythm with the ocean. I feel like that at times. You're in synch and you're on the best waves, the windows of good surf seem to line up with your outside life, its effortless. Other times you paddle around like a chook with their head cut-off with a different, less settled vibe that feels like you're so foreign to this whole shtick.

Guess the ups are better for the downs though.

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hatchman76 commented Monday, 25 May 2020 at 12:49pm

Surfed the Mornington Peninsula for 30 years. Sure it is crowded at the moment, but I think it's being a bit over-blown. I haven't had any issues getting waves at a number of well-known places along the coast.

It is likely that in the decade to come our population will start to spread out a lot more as a result of COVID, and the stigma against remote working that was held by (mostly) the over 50's who are generally at the top of the org hierarchy has now all but been eliminated - I know that is a generalisation but I'm basing it on personal experience.

As long as you have a strong internet connection then a lot of jobs (and jobs into the future), will mix both hybrid and office, meaning people will live with longer commutes if they are only doing them a couple of times a week. It is with consideration of that point that we also should remind ourselves we live on a rather large island of which about 95% of rideable waves go unridden.

Lastly UrbnSurf at Tullamarine seemed to be doing quite good business, with more wave pools coming in our future, that will suck a lot of the crowds away from the beaches.

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Blowin commented Monday, 25 May 2020 at 1:19pm

I’m hoping the whole country soul thing amongst metro crew blows over to be honest. Let’s face it , there’s not too many small towns which aren’t irreversibly rooted once the city crowds move in and start gentrifying the joint. Fingers crossed it’ll be just like the temporary vibe crew get when they’re on holidays any other time .

You know the one . Have a chilled time somewhere regional , check the real estate window , make plans to grow out the hair and have a veggie patch , return to work and forget all about it within a few days back in their bubble.

Fingers crossed anyway.

Who wants the entire East coast turned into an interlocking suburb ?

Going to happen regardless I guess .

https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/why-melbourne-sydney-and-bri...

BTW : Whoever selected and captioned the photos in the article has an awesome sense of irony.

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Solitude commented Monday, 25 May 2020 at 1:33pm

That first photo made me gag. I found my neck rotating left and right involuntarily whilst reading the whole article.

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Blowin commented Monday, 25 May 2020 at 1:57pm

Here’s the photo Solitude is referring to :

Bit of an own goal for an article trying to sell the concept of the entire Eastern Seaboard becoming a Megaregion.

The name sounds like one of Godzilla’s foes. About as user friendly too.

The same conversation going down in every one of those houses in the planned Megaregion - “ I’m so glad we left the hustle and bustle of the city ! “

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tango commented Monday, 25 May 2020 at 10:10pm

Well Matt Wade just dropped a few pegs in my opinion with that lazy old-school parroting of the good old boys claptrap. And he starts off with reference to the Happines work only to go on with all the inhuman economic bullshit you'd expect The Australian to promote.

Personal favourite: "....a more sustainable pattern of growth". These blokes should write comedy.

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velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 26 May 2020 at 9:25pm

They could call it Mydbane.

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sypkan commented Monday, 25 May 2020 at 10:31pm

Megagrogan

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Craig commented Tuesday, 26 May 2020 at 10:40am

Some great visuals from 1984 through to 2018.. (damn there's an error with their embeds, changed to links).

Mandurah: Timelapse

Torquay: Timelapse

Gold Coast: Timelapse

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mikehunt207 commented Wednesday, 27 May 2020 at 8:47pm

Awesome Craig,thats some fucked up "progress" could you do one of Margaret River?

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mattlock commented Tuesday, 26 May 2020 at 10:36pm

Good link Craig.

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Remigogo commented Tuesday, 26 May 2020 at 10:51pm

Over a long weekend why do the city folk have to travel in hordes to the regions.

There are 40 odd other weekends to choose from.

They make normally perfectly good line ups look full of fuckwits.

Snakes and paddlers.. best played as a board game in the family home. So get fucked!

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billythekid commented Wednesday, 27 May 2020 at 7:29am

Way too much whingeing here. The only hierarchy in the surf is how good you are. if you can get waves, you get them, local or not. Being better than the next guy entitles you, not living around the corner.

Stunet saying that people who live near the surf are somehow more entitled to sit at the peak is ridiculous. Thats not how surfing works. Its not take a number and then wait your turn. If you want that go live in the UK and make a pastime of standing in queues and following rules so everything is "fair".

It doesn't really matter how many take up surfing cos its still only really the best/fittest who will get the waves. Long board, mid board, doesn't really matter. A better, fitter surfer will consistently catch way more than any kook/intermediate whatever on any board

So stop the whingeing, stop the nightly beers, go for some runs, get your home gym going, stop making excuses for being old and fat and get competitive again so that you can surf your local and all those new surfers are just noise around you that you can ignore.

And age is no excuse. Ive seen plenty of over 60s who way out surf younger guys. Its a lifestyle choice.

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Blowin commented Wednesday, 27 May 2020 at 7:56am

A broken jaw as a result of being a hassling fuck is also a lifestyle choice.

I remember seeing Jeff “ Hitman “Harding and Danny Green surfing and pondering the fate of the bloke who elected to paddle inside them after believing his slightly better cutback gave him entitlement to their waves.

Good luck to you Billy, if you ever decide to take your Gold Coast / Sydney mentality on a road trip around Australia. Would surely be educational for you .

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Bob Sacamano commented Wednesday, 27 May 2020 at 9:12am

i agree billy. Grew up surfing south coast nsw many moons ago and crowds were non existent and waves at a premium. Now im on the GC and its just a massive circus the past 10 years and I've had to learn to adapt. Unless you can claim birthrights at Burleigh or snapper you're in for a dogfight with 100 others. So you either drive somewhere else, get fit and out paddle everyone (theres always a sweep on a decent swell) or get more foam under you and gain an advantage that way. One thing is for sure, you'll never be offered courtesy.

EDIT: That attitude doesn't travel, stays on the GC, the only place where you need it to get a wave.

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Vic Local commented Wednesday, 27 May 2020 at 9:59am

Oh FFS Billythekid is back.
Hey Billy, do you still stand by your "spread the virus as fast as possible" opinion? How is that nutter option working out?
Secondly, that "how good you surf" crap may fly at Snapper Rocks but it sure-as-shit doesn't apply down on the Surf Coast. I suspect you're one of those "Armstrong Creek Boardrider" types who thinks paddling around like a blue-arsed fly gives you the right to waves.
The Lord of the Flies approach makes life a fucking misery in the water. I could take your bullshit approach and snake 75 year old Donnie, and then claim rights to a wave he's been waiting for for 30 minutes, but I don't do that, because I'm not a complete $unt.
I know your type. People sit and wait for a wave and when the sets come you sprint paddle inside everyone thinking it's your wave. And then you'd have the nerve to cry about someone dropping in on you after snaking them.
Go back to Queensland ya 5 minute local.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

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billythekid commented Wednesday, 27 May 2020 at 11:26am

fuck you are a wingeing grumpy old man. complete joke. You paying a subscription yet VL or still too cheap?

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Vic Local commented Wednesday, 27 May 2020 at 11:39am

At least I wasn't encouraging people to spread a deadly virus in some idiotic bid to protect the economy. Are you going to put up your hand and admit you were dangerously wrong?

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

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billythekid commented Wednesday, 27 May 2020 at 12:15pm

Ok VL still too cheap. I'm glad I'm paying to enable you to sit on swellnet forums and take cheap shots, misrepresenting not only what I say but what anyone says if it means you can have a go. Maybe it stops you belting your wife and kids, being able to throw your gut around here.

You are completely depressing, you add nothing, you are insignificant, the worst thing about this forum which I thought was a place to discuss views on whatever, but which you take as a chance to criticise and judge people.

I mean, you even have a go at people who live in Armstrong creek! People have to live somewhere. I live in Barwon Heads btw so what????

Dont answer that VL. At least pay your subscription you cheap cunt

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Vic Local commented Wednesday, 27 May 2020 at 12:42pm

Wow, that escalated quickly.
Misrepresent your opinions? Oh please. You were a very strong advocate against any lockdown laws and wanted to spread the virus to protect the economy. A simply mad position.
And as for more rights in the water for better surfers, those are your words mate. There's no misrepresentation there at all. The fact is the lineup is remarkably calm where I surf because people don't take your shitty attitude into the surf. Nobody thinks better surfers deserve more waves. Time in the water and how people behave in the lineup determines how much respect someone gets from fellow surfers. There's regular Melbourne crew who get more respect than local guys because they surf regularly and aren't fuckwits in the lineup. Come down to the reefs with your me first attitude and see how far it gets you.
As for mentioning domestic violence in your previous post, that really is pathetic. What sort of arsehole does that?

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

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freeride76 commented Wednesday, 27 May 2020 at 10:42am

doesn't sound like you've travelled much Billy.

love to see you pull that kind of shitt anywhere from Tahiti up to Hawaii.

re: Danny Green. Anzac Day couple of years ago, a van pulled up beside me in the carpark. Danny Green hopped out, he was cruising with his family. Had a nice chat, he asked me where the best place to jump off was etc etc.

anyhow, his first wave one of the local wags decided he wasn't going to make it and took off. It was a very funny moment when I said, you know who that was don't you?
Anyway, Danny was very gracious, took it in his stride etc etc and had a great surf.
Had a couple of beers with him in the carpark later.
top bloke, handy surfer.

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billythekid commented Wednesday, 27 May 2020 at 11:21am

Hey relax Im not advocating snaking and dropping in!!

Im merely saying that surfing better creates rights in the water not living around the corner

What is it with you guys and the fucking judgements - its a fact isn't it? You surf better, you get more waves

People worried about crowds need to take a reality check and work on their surfing

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Wednesday, 27 May 2020 at 11:46am

yeah but nah.

but hey if you want to try your theory at Burleigh, or Pipe or Padang I'll happily sit on the rocks and film the results.

"but, but, I'm a good surfer!?"

Vic Local's picture
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Vic Local commented Wednesday, 27 May 2020 at 11:48am

"Im (sic) merely saying that surfing better creates rights in the water"
Bullshit. I surf better than lots of blokes in the lineup, but I don't think that gives me special rights in the water. There's guys who rip way better than me, but they don't think that gives them the right to a wave if I've been waiting longer.
How many times have you sat in the lineup and given a better surfer a wave because "surfing better creates rights in the water"? I'm tipping never, because it's always all about you billythekid.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

adam12's picture
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adam12 commented Wednesday, 27 May 2020 at 12:23pm

You'd think with a name like 'Billy the kid' he would know more about regulators.

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Remigogo commented Wednesday, 27 May 2020 at 5:31pm

Nobody given a thought for underwater populations?

Here is an interesting conversations...

I'm listening to the "With a shark under each arm: Dr Fish Feelings" episode from "Conversations" , presented by Richard Fidler-Sarah Kanowski - https://abclisten.page.link/mYG4ooDFxctPQ1zy5. Available now through the ABC listen App - http://bit.ly/ABCradioApp

old-dog's picture
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old-dog commented Wednesday, 27 May 2020 at 6:12pm

Unprecedented times require unprecedented actions. One way to cull about 80% of the crowds at recognized breaks would be to ban all non essential surf craft, say anything over 6'4"or under 5' during daylight hours when the waves are over knee high. Level playing field. Btw I'm joking. Cheers.

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goofyfoot commented Thursday, 28 May 2020 at 6:07am

Billy that attitude is hilarious.
That would lead to so many punches in the head around Oz and the world you’d be walking around with 24/7 concussion