Watch: Russell Bierke // Flow State

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

It's been three years since ol' Russ released his signature film, 'Bezerke'. The same year, Russ won the nastiest big wave comp of all time, the 2016 version of the Cape Fear contest, held 6/6/16 when the Black Nor'easter swell lashed the Solander bedrock.

And there's been other milestones since: big Peahi, big Nazare, a big injury incurred down in Vicco, and a couple of big Shippies paddle ins (1:30 and the last wave).

You may notice the common adjective...

Yet despite the outsized efforts, Russ has kept his ego in check and it sings to our collective psyche: let your actions talk.

Like 'Bezerke', 'Flow State' is a longer form clip clocking in at fifteen minutes, however it ain't all action with Russ and Brett Burcher indulging in some banter across the console. But don't look for profundity, you wont find it here, as like all elite athletes with innate talent, Russ can't quite say why he can do what few other surfers can.

However, it's a rare chance to hear him talk and he's serene, almost meek, and wonderfully unpretentious. The same attitude that's served him so well in the water.

Click in, people.

Comments

blower's picture
blower's picture
blower commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 8:35am

Far out man, fifteen minutes of heavy drops and mad barrels with the odd swerve....
never grows old.
This is one of those longer clips that you really should check out.

jez's picture
jez's picture
jez commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 9:02am

love that you get to see the paddle in and drop on some of the heaviest ones.

Jezdawg

boxright's picture
boxright's picture
boxright commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 9:08am

XXXX beer? Seriously?

atticus's picture
atticus's picture
atticus commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 11:16am

Breathtaking surfing, beautifully shot and edited, and that's all you can say?

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Saturday, 2 Nov 2019 at 3:14am

+ take your fucking feet off my dash?

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Saturday, 2 Nov 2019 at 2:59pm

Definitely take your feet off my dash!

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo commented Tuesday, 5 Nov 2019 at 11:30pm

No you can't swear ...mate!

Get your feet of the dash....

bipola's picture
bipola's picture
bipola commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 9:58am

some of the best late take offs i have seen. this guy has it wired.
the slow mo and music were perfect. i was holding my breath on some late take offs

blower's picture
blower's picture
blower commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 3:55pm

Spot on bipolar, the slow mo in this case is absolutely necessary.
Ditto the paddle ins... this is where it all begins and what we want to see in these types of waves.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 10:09am

Bloody hell, he's getting better switchfoot backside barrels than I get frontside, non-switch (10:18).

Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 10:17am

Haha I was thinking "hang on wasn't he backhand on the lefts now he's backhand on the rights?"
Some serious skills.
Fantastic footage, though being at work I have to mute sound so can't comment on the sound track.

millsy351's picture
millsy351's picture
millsy351 commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 3:40pm

Ha! I just figured they flipped the footy...

P'tai's picture
P'tai's picture
P'tai commented Saturday, 2 Nov 2019 at 2:47pm

Didn't you notice his legrope is on the front foot, ergo, switch foot!

SurferSam's picture
SurferSam's picture
SurferSam commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 10:16am

That was incredible

Kham's picture
Kham's picture
Kham commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 10:19am

He is next level. I would love to see him on a surf trip on a surf trip with JJF. They have a very similar temperament.

Kham

seen's picture
seen's picture
seen commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 9:42pm

Yep. Totally agree. And don’t force the dialogue....

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 11:42am

That last one at Shippies. Insane skills and instinct.

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 11:48am

Fucking brilliant! Definition of a hard core charger.

Trentslatterphoto's picture
Trentslatterphoto's picture
Trentslatterphoto commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 11:52am

THIS CLIP IS NEK LEVEL

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 12:14pm

Best clip i've seen all year. Incredible waves. An Aussie surfer to be proud of. Those extra paddles he does to get down the beasty ones are a beautiful display of holding his nerve when every instinct is probably telling you to jump up early. Great footage.

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 12:40pm

I was thinking the same, leaving the jump late, I reckon most would’ve tried to get up earlier and failed.

As said above amazing clip. He appears to be at the pinnacle of Australian slab surfing. Nice to see such a humble bloke getting some credit for what he’s doing.
How late is he on those lefts? Does Russ get waves at pipe? Does he bother?

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 2:52pm

Would be amazing to see him in the Pipe Masters Solitude... He'd give alot of the top guys a run for their money.

seen's picture
seen's picture
seen commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 9:44pm

He’d be a worthy wildcard that’s for sure.

pcrisp's picture
pcrisp's picture
pcrisp commented Saturday, 2 Nov 2019 at 2:07pm

He is Hawaiian

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 12:23pm

The two angles of the last wave are fantastic. In the first, the land angle, he seems to delay his bottom turn and I wondered why - was he struggling to get his rail in? - but the answer is clear in the water angle when you see the step, not a big one but a step nonetheless, move up the wall of the wave, and he has to clear it before putting his edge in, only just managing to evade the lip.

Amazing wave.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Tuesday, 5 Nov 2019 at 4:03am

And apparently on a 6'2. Stunned.

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 1:07pm

Wow. Glad I put the headphones on and watched intently. Sound and vision. Amazingly technical left backdoor take offs and a new line from further back at Shippies. A camera is there but know he would do it anyway with no-one watching unlike more than a few other big wave surfers.

Frogg

stephen.allen's picture
stephen.allen's picture
stephen.allen commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 1:23pm

Complements to the director/photographer... top shelf film... rare in this day.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 1:33pm

nuts how he solved the step problem at Shippies by going deeper, thus avoiding it, as Stu noted.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 2:56pm

Almost all paddlers take off deeper than the step when I've been there. There's a little chip in which then grows down the line towards the step ledge (some waves go ugly, others don't and are perfect) onwards into the big end bowl barrel.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 3:23pm

ok, that was the first time I've really seen someone deeper than it paddling.

Ed Sloane's picture
Ed Sloane's picture
Ed Sloane commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 1:47pm

Amazing stuff Russ & AK. Some beautiful work in here.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 2:01pm

Wow, incredible vid. The soundtrack for suspense and drama, those waves and the vision.

Iv'e said it before and will say it again, no one else is taking off as deep and making slabs as heavy as he is in Aus, and even the world..

Mallimitch's picture
Mallimitch's picture
Mallimitch commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 2:02pm

Between this and Noa's clip... and the 1ft SC lunchtime beachies... I think I'll just keep pretending to work.

backyard's picture
backyard's picture
backyard commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 2:10pm

Huge balls, determination and skill - he is incredible. Beautifully shot.
What a great bookend between the first and last wave that looked just as impossible.

backyard

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 3:02pm

Incredible.
Waves, surfing, thoughts, music, sound....
wow.

Breath. Murdoch's empire will one day fail to control our minds.

JackStance's picture
JackStance's picture
JackStance commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 3:02pm

and the switch foot..

Breath. Murdoch's empire will one day fail to control our minds.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 3:48pm

Well to me Brett Burchers latest and this would make good bookends....both great vids and the guys are good mates....be hard to find better.

simba

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 4:26pm

Can’t add much more to what’s been said.
He’s just got something different in his reflexes or something.
Between him, JJF, and Jack Robbo If I only had to watch their clips for the rest of me life I wouldn’t mind a bit

saltman's picture
saltman's picture
saltman commented Saturday, 2 Nov 2019 at 9:40am

Yeah how about a specialist event - scrap the WSL endless heats at pipeline instead have
JJF
Jack Robo
Russell
Surf the best of the winter swell

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Saturday, 2 Nov 2019 at 10:34am

Can't believe you picked 3 natural footers, goofy. haha

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 7:56pm

Hard to think of someone who’s surfing waves like that better. Maybe JJF? The guy’s an absolute natural. Makes it look effortless.

Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams's picture
Robwilliams commented Friday, 1 Nov 2019 at 8:35pm

epic

rooftop's picture
rooftop's picture
rooftop commented Saturday, 2 Nov 2019 at 1:38am

Amazing surfing, cinematography and soundtrack.

Numbatt's picture
Numbatt's picture
Numbatt commented Saturday, 2 Nov 2019 at 9:38am

Amazing! Your surfing is now the best on Earth! Or is now the time?

Mishad's picture
Mishad's picture
Mishad commented Saturday, 2 Nov 2019 at 12:55pm

The perfect fusion of equipment, skill, mind state and self belief = Russel Bierke. So much to appreciate in such a relatively small video clip.

Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous's picture
Ape Anonymous commented Monday, 4 Nov 2019 at 6:30pm

(Everything plus) Equipment! Yes. Confidence and skill ain't worth dung if we can't rely on our equipment. Good work Russ' dad, keeping the young fella safe.

Russ, man. Look after those shoulders, knees and hips - you'll keep charging till at least 55.

tyzee63's picture
tyzee63's picture
tyzee63 commented Saturday, 2 Nov 2019 at 12:58pm

That was a truly masterful display of big-wave surfing! Top shelf production levels too.

Finntim's picture
Finntim's picture
Finntim commented Saturday, 2 Nov 2019 at 2:03pm

Just watched this with my boys and my 7 yr old goes( super deadpan)" That was epic". Yes it was mate. Cheers Swellnet for epic content.

Filthyboy's picture
Filthyboy's picture
Filthyboy commented Saturday, 2 Nov 2019 at 4:49pm

Pure barrel fest..yeeew!!

troppo dichotomy's picture
troppo dichotomy's picture
troppo dichotomy commented Saturday, 2 Nov 2019 at 10:08pm

What?WOW!!Just lost for words??Russ n Jack Robb=Oz has the best free surfers in the world

The MIDdleman.'s picture
The MIDdleman.'s picture
The MIDdleman. commented Sunday, 3 Nov 2019 at 9:55am

I wasn't lost for words...I said bullshit!!! Atleast 4 times.

Signature.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Sunday, 3 Nov 2019 at 10:59am

Ha ha- me too.

Interspersed with 'you're fucking kidding me!'

Watashi wa metabo oyagi desu.

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo commented Tuesday, 5 Nov 2019 at 2:18pm

Me too. Absolute bullshit might I add!!!

Tele's picture
Tele's picture
Tele commented Sunday, 3 Nov 2019 at 2:01pm

Epic classy edit..perfect combo music and timing..

mrkook's picture
mrkook's picture
mrkook commented Sunday, 3 Nov 2019 at 4:01pm

Unbelievable, I’ve got goosebumps watching that! One of the best clips I’ve ever seen. No one comes close to him in those slabs, he has such an instinct and incredible reflexes. So sick!

MK

Andrew Pegler's picture
Andrew Pegler's picture
Andrew Pegler commented Monday, 4 Nov 2019 at 3:12pm

This is the best big wave vid I have seen. The guy is balls on legs and the direction, music cinematography etc world class. Well done team!!

Bungan33's picture
Bungan33's picture
Bungan33 commented Monday, 4 Nov 2019 at 9:38pm

Sheeesh...Ive got a sore neck from tensing up as I watched. That was beautiful and scary and intense all at the same time. Best thing Ive seen in ages.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Monday, 4 Nov 2019 at 11:13pm

Wowzers!

Remigogo's picture
Remigogo's picture
Remigogo commented Tuesday, 5 Nov 2019 at 11:27pm

This vid really is something...

Blue Blue Room's picture
Blue Blue Room's picture
Blue Blue Room commented Thursday, 7 Nov 2019 at 8:42pm

There's not too many vids that I'll watch again, but this one takes the cake.
I was manoeuvring the office chair under the lip, I didn't make it
I'm lowering the chair on my next viewing

drodders's picture
drodders's picture
drodders commented Sunday, 17 Nov 2019 at 3:47pm

Outrageous!!! Thanks Russell, not many surf vids I revisit as many times as this one!!