Watch: When the wave breaks there, don't be here
The ABC have just released a short documentary on the demise of the surf industry. At a scratch over eight minutes long, there won't be anything in there that surfers haven't heard before. You know, how back in the early noughties it was all blue sky thinking from the surf companies, money wasn't an issue so let's rebadge the Indies Trader and send it on an endless surf trip, build collossal monuments to our brands, sign off billion dollar acquisitions, and sponsor riders from every strata in surfdom, old, young, free surf, comp surf...whatever.
The blue skies ended around 2008, taking down the companies, their projects, and of course, their team riders.
This doco looks at those changes through the eyes of just one surfer, Laurie Towner. Again, all Australian surfers know the story of Loz, cast from Billabong's Adventure Division to Centrelink in one week, but his is the ideal story to tell. Reason being, there was elements of schadenfreude when the surf industry apocalypse hit. Arrogant young pros who elevated themselves above others elicited no sympathy when they were cast adrift. But Laurie was always a quiet, respectful kid so the story of collateral damage can be told without diminishing emotions.
When he speaks of the lessons he's learnt, how surfing took on a greater value after working for a living, he's venturing into spiritual territory. Not that the young tradie from Yamba would ever describe it that way.