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oil and water don’t mix - the fight for the bight, surfboards & more<br />

SUMMER 18<br />

SURF MAG<br />

thomas<br />

surfboards<br />

the more things change...<br />

take a look inside the new<br />

creative hub of surf culture<br />

on the sunshine coast<br />

pictured: 3 x salty surf dogs


<strong>Surf</strong> Shop<br />

G E R R I N G O N G , N S W<br />

Celebrating<br />

40 YEARS<br />

I N - H O U S E<br />

C A F E<br />

c<br />

“Australia’s Largest IndependEnt <strong>Surf</strong> Shop”<br />

HUNDREDS OF SWIM<br />

+ FASHION BRANDS<br />

1,000+<br />

SURFBOARDS<br />

S.U.P<br />

EXPERTS<br />

DEMO<br />

150+B O A R D S


smorgasboarder<br />

a small corner of Thomas Surboards’ new digs.<br />

photo: @andrewmaccoll<br />

foreword<br />

Let’s start by saying we were absolutely blown away<br />

by your feedback to Part 1 of our Australian Road Trip<br />

adventure that appeared in our Spring edition. You all<br />

seemingly enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed the trip.<br />

Thank you. It was possibly one of our most popular<br />

issues ever, and we know, we’d we promised to bring<br />

you Part 2 this edition...<br />

But just as the ocean is fluid, so too are our editorial<br />

plans (a term used loosely) and with some truly<br />

engaging stories coming across our desk worthy of<br />

your immediate attention, we rejigged said plans - in<br />

particular to accommodate an extremely timely and<br />

important piece put together by our South Australian<br />

correspondent Jimmy Ellis.<br />

Jimmy conducted countless interviews with some<br />

truly fascinating characters all with a vested interest<br />

in the goings on in the Great Australian Bight,<br />

namely that permission has been granted for a<br />

company to commence seismic testing for oil prior<br />

to offshore drilling in one of our most pristine marine<br />

environments. If something was to go wrong the<br />

potential scale of disaster would make the Deepwater<br />

Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico look like a drop<br />

in the ocean, pardon the pun. The environmental<br />

impact would extend well beyond just the state of<br />

South Australia but include parts of Western Australia,<br />

Victoria, Tasmania and even New Zealand. It begs<br />

the question why we would even think to risk such a<br />

catastrophe? Jimmy gets a perspective on this issue<br />

from the grassroots surf community alongside worldleading<br />

environmental scientists.<br />

In this edition, we also look at some interesting<br />

developments in the eco board building movement,<br />

we talk to some surfboard shapers celebrating<br />

monumental milestones, and we showcase the<br />

amazing world of Thomas <strong>Surf</strong>boards, along with a<br />

whole heap of the usual good stuff - lots and lots of<br />

beautiful surfboard designs from Australia and New<br />

Zealand’s best shapers. Part 2 of our Road Trip will<br />

hopefully appear in Easter edition... Fingers crossed.<br />

Love beer and smorgasboarder? We do, so we’ve<br />

got the Smorgasbox back for Christmas, featuring a<br />

pack of Pale Ale perfection by the brilliant blokes at<br />

Ten Toes Brewery in Alexandra Headland, and some<br />

super-special smorgasboarder gear. See page 15!<br />

Finally, in case you’ve been living under a block<br />

of surf wax for the last few months, we’ve also<br />

launched our <strong>Smorgasboarder</strong> Podcast, featuring<br />

conversations with surfers, surfboard shapers, retailers<br />

and fascinating salt-encrusted individuals with an<br />

interesting story to tell. To listen in, all you have to do<br />

is go to our website at smorgasboarder.com.au or<br />

search for smorgasboarder on Apple iTunes or Spotify.<br />

Enjoy!<br />

3


The<br />

Flying<br />

Fish<br />

Our latest Fish model is a great alternative to<br />

your regular short board or longboard for the<br />

right days.<br />

The Flying Fish is an EPS foam core<br />

performance fish which features stringerless<br />

flex and memory return. This can turn on a<br />

dime and drive when its required. The board is<br />

more for the average to advanced surfer.<br />

The 2 ½’’ thickness of the board under the chest<br />

area makes this board a great wave catcher.<br />

Call 0412 376 464 or<br />

Email mark@riley.com.au<br />

www.balsasurfboardsriley.com.au<br />

HANDCRAFTED IN AUSTRALIA<br />

Riley Balsawood <strong>Surf</strong>boards are made using renewable resource balsa and recycled<br />

polystyrene for performance, durability, beauty and lower environmental impact<br />

SHIPPING ANYWHERE, INCLUDING NZ


BRUSH<br />

ON<br />

CLEAR<br />

GRIP<br />

• Easy, DIY clear and clean<br />

paint-on grip<br />

• Gearbox fin boxes with all wood covers<br />

• Wood coloured fin boxes<br />

• Fin box install kits<br />

• Timber fins<br />

• <strong>Surf</strong>boards<br />

• Blanks<br />

• Cork tail pads & SUP deck grip<br />

• Aussie-made leashes<br />

• Raw balsa/ cedar DIY board kits<br />

• Instructional DVDs<br />

• Timber Board racks<br />

• Pinch and Roll storage<br />

• Tide clocks<br />

• Sharkbanz shark deterrent<br />

wearable devices<br />

ALSO AVAILABLE<br />

Clear board grip tape - Let the beauty of<br />

the balsa show through with clear Versa<br />

Traction Grip Tape. Environmentally<br />

friendly and suits all size boards.<br />

Wholesale enquires welcome<br />

Australian Environmentally-friendly handcrafted<br />

surfboards for the individual in all of us, with a<br />

guarantee. Enjoy Responsibly


smorgasboarder<br />

beer, mags, t-shirt, sunnies and other<br />

good stuff... the smorgasbox is back!<br />

Find out more on page 15, order online at smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

issue forty-four<br />

summer 2 0 1 8<br />

03 foreword<br />

12 stuff<br />

24 thomas surfboards<br />

34 art<br />

38 fight for the bight<br />

52 surfboards<br />

64 grassroots<br />

surf businesses<br />

67 aloha barry<br />

cover photo<br />

thomas bexon and jake bowrey<br />

of thomas surfboards<br />

credit: @andrewmaccoll<br />

WINNER<br />

BEST NON-DAILY<br />

PUBLICATION<br />

QUEENSLAND MULTIMEDIA<br />

AWARDS 2013<br />

FINALIST<br />

BEST NON-DAILY<br />

PUBLICATION<br />

QUEENSLAND MULTIMEDIA<br />

AWARDS 2017<br />

listen up!<br />

the<br />

smorgasboarder<br />

podcast:<br />

full-length interviews and<br />

conversations<br />

enjoy an intimate listen-in with<br />

dave, as he has linteresting chats<br />

with interesting people about<br />

surfing, surfboard building and<br />

completely unrelated things.<br />

available on:<br />

iTunes/Apple Podcasts<br />

Spotify<br />

Buzzsprout<br />

(search for smorgasboarder and<br />

remember to hit subscribe)<br />

or listen on our website<br />

smorgasboarder.com.au for<br />

additional links and show notes<br />

want to get your hands on a copy?<br />

there’s three ways to score yourself a<br />

copy of smorgasboarder.<br />

1) subscribe - the mag is still free - you<br />

just pay for delivery. 4 editions per year -<br />

$25 annual subscription (Aus and NZ)<br />

2) call in to one of the businesses<br />

featured in this mag - they’ll have some<br />

free copies. If they're not, they won't.<br />

3) download or read it online at<br />

smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

<strong>Smorgasboarder</strong> is published by Huge C Media PTY<br />

LTD ABN 309<strong>44</strong>673055. All information is correct at<br />

time of going to press. The publication cannot accept<br />

responsibility for errors in articles or advertisements, or<br />

unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or illustrations.<br />

The opinions and words of the authors do not<br />

necessarily represent those of the publishers. All rights<br />

reserved. Reproduction in part or whole is strictly<br />

prohibited without prior permission.<br />

advertising<br />

tami argaman<br />

tami@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

0466 439 330<br />

editorial<br />

dave swan<br />

dave@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

0401 345 201<br />

new zealand<br />

jiff morris<br />

jeff@smorgasboarder.co.nz<br />

0220 943 913<br />

south australia<br />

jimmy ellis<br />

james@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

0410 175 552<br />

design<br />

the team at horse & water creative<br />

mark, kate, elise, helen, eunji<br />

mark@horseandwater.com.au<br />

accounts<br />

louise gough<br />

louise@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

8


FULL RANGE OF NEW BOARDS FOR<br />

SUMMER INSTORE NOW.


COWES 03 5952 2578<br />

SMITHS BEACH 03 5952 3<strong>44</strong>3<br />

ISLANDSURFBOARDS.COM.AU


smorgasboarder<br />

stuff<br />

black magic<br />

"This is our all round performance model. With a perfect blend of curves<br />

and concaves, it’s able to generate high speeds quickly, and still allows<br />

you to maintain control through your turns. A go to board for our team<br />

riders and a must have in your quiver! Check out our whole range of high<br />

quality, high performance surfboards online."<br />

gen4surf.com<br />

12


smorgasboarder<br />

13


smorgasboarder<br />

sup and surfing essentials<br />

Located in the Auckland city suburb of Newmarket,<br />

is the SUPcentre, a stones throw from the old Hot<br />

Buttered surfboard factory, when the area was<br />

recognised as more of an industrial hub.<br />

Very accessible if you are travelling through Auckland,<br />

with easy access from the motorway, SUPcentre is one<br />

of the very few SUP / <strong>Surf</strong> shops located close to the<br />

CBD. An ideal spot for those seeking some respite for<br />

the day-to-day toil of city life.<br />

SUPcentre is home to a bunch genuinely friendly folk<br />

who enjoy being out on the water, surfing, paddling<br />

or generally just enjoying an adventure together. The<br />

team are well versed in the products they stock and<br />

practical ability to answer any questions you may<br />

have. The shop is well stocked with a number of key<br />

brands as well as some new and exciting players.<br />

Often holding stock on items that you can find hard<br />

pressed to locate elsewhere, it should definitely be on<br />

any passionate Stand Up Paddlers list to visit if passing<br />

through Auckland. Explore the vast range of boards,<br />

with brands such as Jimmy Lewis, Smik, Tom Carroll<br />

Paddlesurf, Deep Oceanboards, and Red Paddle Co.<br />

Paddles from Quickblade, Hippostick, KeNalu, Axis and<br />

a huge lineup of SUP specific accessories are also on<br />

hand can easily steal a few hours of your day.<br />

Initially the shop was set up as a SUP specific store<br />

catering for those who were passionate about stand<br />

up paddling. It was a place where you could find that<br />

certain paddle, or accessory that you required. More<br />

recently with the disappearance of surf shops within<br />

the Auckland City area, more and more folks have been<br />

searching out surfboards and associated accessories.<br />

With this in mind the team at SUPcentre have<br />

expanded their range into longboards, soft tops, surf<br />

leashes, wax and other surf speciality items for those<br />

requiring a quick stop before heading away.<br />

They’ve even gone to the point of acquiring a few<br />

specialty longboards from the likes of Steve Morris at<br />

Morris <strong>Surf</strong>boards, as well as mid lengths and fishes.<br />

So if hunting down a new shape, it may be worth<br />

stopping by.<br />

SUPcentre has a great range of clothing from<br />

Patagonia, O’Neill, Rip Curl and Sharksin. If you're<br />

looking to get yourself geared up for the summer.<br />

Being located in Newmarket also comes with other<br />

benefits! They are fortunate enough to have a one of<br />

New Zealands best cafes right next door, Café L’afarre.<br />

Ideal to keep those not so passionate entertained while<br />

you hang out.<br />

supcentre.co.nz<br />

14


smorgasboarder<br />

smorgasboarder<br />

gift box<br />

sorted!<br />

the smorgasbox is back!<br />

Once again, we bring you the ultimate-in-awesome<br />

smorgasboarder Christmas gift for Dad, Mum, your<br />

brother, sister, friend, random stranger or yourself!<br />

1.<br />

2.<br />

3.<br />

4.<br />

smorgasboarder subscription<br />

1 x year, 4 editions - a gift that keeps giving<br />

smorgasboarder ‘rabid’ t-shirt<br />

classy, understated yet classic<br />

smorgasbrew rabid pale ale 4-pack (4.7%<br />

alc./vol.) - a collab with Ten Toes Brewery<br />

smorgasboarder coaster/bottle opener<br />

your multipurpose beer companion!<br />

order online<br />

only $79!!<br />

smorgasboarder.com.au/shop<br />

free shipping on orders over $100<br />

coastal sports kaikoura<br />

the best<br />

XMAS<br />

pack*<br />

*2 years running, as<br />

voted by us<br />

For that next surf adventure that goes further than your<br />

local coffee shop. They are cold water specialists that<br />

want to get you further out there for longer.<br />

Not just your average surf shop, Coastal Sports, are<br />

more about the journey than the end. Rain, sun or<br />

snow, be ready for what nature wants to throw at you.<br />

Same location for 15 years.<br />

Call on +64 3 319 5028.<br />

coastalsports.co.nz<br />

5.<br />

6.<br />

smorgasboarder sunnies!<br />

UV400 shades for your eyeballs<br />

smorgasboarder 2019 wall calendar<br />

a month per spread, for all year enjoyment<br />

Order online today for Christmas delivery<br />

(selected items also available for individual purchase)<br />

smorgasboarder.com.au/shop<br />

15


smorgasboarder<br />

perfect christmas gift<br />

The growing interest in board<br />

building courses coupled with the<br />

use of environmentally-friendly<br />

materials and construction methods<br />

has proved a winner for the folks at<br />

Tree to Sea. Countless men, women<br />

and children have done their eco<br />

surfboard building courses with<br />

some people returning five or so<br />

times to handcraft different types of<br />

surfboards.<br />

Pictured here are some photos from<br />

a recent board building course.<br />

If this interests you, we suggest<br />

you persuade your better half or<br />

inform your loved ones of what you<br />

would really like for Christmas. Gift<br />

vouchers are available.<br />

For further information,<br />

workshop dates, board building<br />

kits and to view boards for sale,<br />

go to treetosea.com.au<br />

a few fast facts<br />

• Tree to Sea are based in Mt Eliza on Victoria’s<br />

Mornington Peninsula<br />

• Their Eco Board Building workshops are conducted<br />

over 2 days, which at its completion will see you with<br />

a surfboard near ready to ride that you shaped with<br />

your own hands<br />

• Boards aren’t glassed. They simply need to be sealed<br />

with a marine grade varnish at home<br />

• The boards are incredibly lightweight and are a<br />

composite construction made of a Paulownia timber<br />

veneer with fine grade cork or timber rails and a<br />

recycled polystyrene core<br />

• Three instructors are on hand throughout the entirety<br />

of the course to give you a helping hand along every<br />

step of the build<br />

• Board building kits are also available so you can make<br />

one in your own time<br />

• You can even choose to have the guys at Tree to Sea<br />

build one for you<br />

• There are 14 models to choose from ranging from<br />

performance shortboards through to fish, guns and<br />

longboards<br />

16


smorgasboarder<br />

17


smorgasboarder<br />

stuff<br />

pedal and paddle<br />

Whangamata has some spectacular coastline and<br />

Whenuakura Island is one of its hidden gems. This<br />

unique wildlife sanctuary is an easy kayak or SUP<br />

off the beach, in the right conditions. It’s a surreal<br />

experience paddling through a cavern in the island into<br />

the picturesque lagoon inside that gives the island its<br />

donut-like shape. They have everything you need at<br />

Pedal and Paddle (Rentals) for an awesome adventure<br />

on the water.<br />

pedalandpaddle.co.nz<br />

supshed<br />

More and more surfers are taking up foiling to make use<br />

of waves that no-body else can ride, and are having<br />

a great time. Foils at first were thought, dangerous,<br />

however perceptions have changed and more people are<br />

giving it a try and getting hooked. It's recommend to at<br />

first, get a lesson from somebody who knows what they<br />

are talking about and who foils. Nik at SUPSHED is that<br />

person and has taught many people to foil. They stock<br />

the best brands and have gear ready to go. Get in touch<br />

with Nik, and get your foiling off to a flying start.<br />

supshed.com<br />

multi board storage system<br />

Following the launch of the Gnarwall <strong>Surf</strong>board Hanger,<br />

SHEPPSolutions has expanded the collection to<br />

include a Multi Board Storage System. Keeping with the<br />

Gnarwall design philosophy, the Multi Rack is built from<br />

sustainable materials. The Multi Rack's arms can be<br />

reconfigured on the fly without the use of tools making<br />

it work for fluctuating quiver sizes. Check out the<br />

website for other innovative surf-related products.<br />

sheppsolutions.com<br />

Real <strong>Surf</strong><br />

Real <strong>Surf</strong> in Lyall Bay, Wellington is exactly that - a real<br />

surf store - with a huge range of surfboards, wetsuits<br />

and surf hardware. <strong>Surf</strong>board repairs on site and helpful<br />

staff who all surf.<br />

So if you want a store that brings you real quality gear<br />

as well as board repairs and a surf school for those just<br />

starting the surfing experience then REAL SURF is the<br />

one for you. NZs #1 Core <strong>Surf</strong> Store<br />

realsurf.co.nz<br />

18


smorgasboarder<br />

stuff<br />

natural sun shield paste<br />

SeaZinc is a 100% natural zinc sun shield<br />

paste handcrafted in small batches in Australia.<br />

Designed to provide long lasting protection from<br />

the sun's UV rays while in the surf, SeaZinc<br />

contains high quality pure and organic ingredients<br />

that nourish and also moisturise the skin.<br />

There are no harmful chemicals in SeaZinc,<br />

so it is safer for you and also the planet. The<br />

packaging is also completely recyclable. We<br />

deliver to all areas in Australia and worldwide.<br />

seazinc.com.au<br />

garage handplanes evolution<br />

The Garage Go Kart model is a compact<br />

handplane, offering incredible lift and wavecatching<br />

power, but with a refined profile and<br />

reduced size to allow for release, tricks and wave<br />

versatility.<br />

The Go Kart – available in high-performance<br />

carbon fibre or classic timber – gives you all the<br />

advantages of a larger plane with the benefits<br />

of manoeuvrability and a lower volume. Ideal for<br />

smaller bodysurfers, critical waveriding and those<br />

looking for even more connectedness with the<br />

ocean. garagehandplanes.com.au<br />

fun christmas gift for flat days<br />

If you’d like to educate and entertain your young<br />

grommets these Christmas holidays with something that<br />

doesn’t involve a screen, then the Flat Day Fun Book is<br />

just what you need.<br />

Requiring nothing more than some coloured pencils and<br />

a splash of imagination, the A4-sized Fun Book contains<br />

40 pages of surf-themed puzzles, find-a-words and join<br />

the dots, as well as 12 pages of cool surf art to colour-in.<br />

The Fun Book is the second book by surfer and<br />

cartoonist Buddy Ross (@buds.art), the creator of the<br />

popular children’s book <strong>Surf</strong>ing The Alphabet, and<br />

though designed primarily for both girls and boys in the<br />

5-10 years age group, it has appeal for all ages.<br />

All the content revolves around the surfing lifestyle and<br />

is a great way for young grommets to learn a few of<br />

the basics of surfing while they happily work their way<br />

through the various puzzles.<br />

The Flat Day Fun Book is available at all <strong>Surf</strong> Dive n Ski<br />

stores Australia-wide and other selected surf shops, or<br />

order now online at the <strong>Surf</strong>ing The Alphabet website.<br />

Stockist enquiries welcome.<br />

surfingthealphabet.com.au<br />

19


are naked boards<br />

Set ten minutes from Noosa Heads, Bare Naked<br />

Boards is situated on a small private acreage lot where<br />

Greg Facer relocated with his family in 2017 to run his<br />

wooden surfboard workshops after a number of years<br />

shaping in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Dedicated to<br />

producing high quality hollow core wooden surfboards,<br />

Greg delivers a one on one experience where people<br />

can relax and really enjoy the hands on experience of<br />

creating their own board leaving them with a sense of<br />

deep satisfaction, improved knowledge and skillset.<br />

Many have reported massive shifts in mental health and<br />

wellbeing as a result of his workshops and spending<br />

time in a relaxed and creative space. It helps that<br />

Greg always finds time for his customers to get some<br />

Vitamin ’Sea’ during the course hitting the beach for a<br />

surf or swim while the glue dries.<br />

Using no foam and sustainably sourced timber,<br />

Greg makes custom boards to order at his Doonan<br />

workshop but his real passion is teaching the art of<br />

making wooden surfboards in his personal 3 day<br />

workshops. “Literally anyone can make a board under<br />

my guidance” assures Greg. “Seeing how stoked<br />

customers are when they take strips of wood and<br />

turn them into a stunning wooden surfboard is the<br />

best feeling” he adds. Greg’s customers travel from<br />

interstate as well as locally and with a huge choice of<br />

accommodation in the area, it makes an ideal<br />

getaway experience.<br />

barenakedboards.com.au<br />

20


smorgasboarder<br />

stuff<br />

summer is a coming<br />

With the winter months behind us and the longer day<br />

hours gracing our brows, it’s time to crack into those<br />

outdoor activities we all love so much.<br />

NZSHRED has kicked off summer with fresh stock for<br />

<strong>Surf</strong>, Street, Skate and Water pursuits. Just In … Red<br />

Paddle Company Inflatable SUP’s in usable Lake and<br />

<strong>Surf</strong> sizes, as well as all the accessories to make your<br />

recreational water time fun, safe and enjoyable. This is<br />

backed up with a solid range of rigid boards from NSP,<br />

<strong>Surf</strong>tech, Adventure and Ocean & Earth. New Zealand’s<br />

most inland surf shop also caters for the regular surf<br />

cat, with options from Torq, Modern, Al Merrick Designs<br />

and NSP … as well as the largest range of PFD’s to<br />

keep you bobbing on the surface.<br />

With skate on the comeback, they are super stoked<br />

to carry decks and completes in longboards, cruisers<br />

and parkboards from Globe, Arbor, Sector9, Blind and<br />

Penny. Or, if you just need to upgrade last seasons kit,<br />

a range of trucks, bearings and wheels is also on offer.<br />

Check them out online at www.nzshred.co.nz – but<br />

as always, they like it most when you come by the<br />

shop to say G’day.<br />

NZ Shred<br />

nzshred.co.nz<br />

And, not to be forgotten, at their shops core is their<br />

heritage of providing premium snow hardware and<br />

apparel. So it’s no surprise, they have just landed the<br />

new season ranges of snow product from Nitro, Burton,<br />

Arbor and Volcom – just in time for those Northern<br />

Hemisphere trips to Japan, Canada and the States.<br />

21


SURF Noosa<br />

the NEWest World <strong>Surf</strong>ing Reserve<br />

22


smorgasboarder<br />

NOOSA FESTIVAL OF SURFING<br />

2-10 MARCH 2019<br />

Noosa launches the 2019 WSL Longboard<br />

Tour as some of the world’s best surf<br />

First Point in the WSL Noosa Longboard<br />

Open from 7-10 March. Part of the Noosa<br />

Festival of <strong>Surf</strong>ing with surfers of all ages<br />

from around the world.<br />

Entries now open.<br />

W noosafestivalofsurfing.com<br />

@noosa_festival_of_surfing<br />

NOOSA WORLD SURFING RESERVE<br />

A SURFING, ENVIRONMENTAL AND<br />

CULTURAL WONDER<br />

Noosa is the 10th World <strong>Surf</strong>ing Reserve,<br />

with 4km of stunning point and beach<br />

breaks from Sunshine Beach and Noosa<br />

National Park headland to the Noosa<br />

River mouth.<br />

noosaworldsurfingreserve<br />

W visitnoosa.com.au/play<br />

SURF NOOSA'S EASTERN BEACHES<br />

BEACH BREAKS AND LAIDBACK VIBES<br />

Head down the coast road just minutes<br />

from Noosa Heads for 15km of open<br />

beach breaks and laidback villages,<br />

from Sunshine Beach through Sunrise,<br />

Castaways, Marcus and Peregian.<br />

W visitnoosa.com.au/regions/Beaches<br />

IVORY PALMS RESORT NOOSA<br />

STAY 3 PAY 2*<br />

A relaxing holiday resort on<br />

7.5 acres of tropical gardens, ideal for<br />

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23


smorgasboarder<br />

Thomas<br />

territory<br />

words: dave swan<br />

photos: @andrewmaccoll<br />

Thomas and Jake at<br />

their party demolished<br />

former factory. The<br />

holes in the roof are<br />

a little bigger.<br />

24


smorgasboarder<br />

Simply put, this<br />

is a story about<br />

constant motion.<br />

It’s about two<br />

guys who are<br />

passionate about<br />

what they do,<br />

have worked their<br />

clackers off and<br />

are just starting<br />

to get a glimmer,<br />

a small glimpse<br />

of reaping the<br />

rewards of all<br />

their blood, sweat<br />

and tears.<br />

I for one personally couldn’t be happier for<br />

them. Most of all because to a certain degree I<br />

understand what they have gone through and what<br />

hard work, struggle and toil is all about, and for the<br />

fact that Thomas Bexon and Jake Bowrey are still<br />

as down-to-earth as when I first met them many,<br />

many years ago.<br />

What they have managed to create, the monument<br />

that is their new digs in Project Avenue Noosaville,<br />

is something truly remarkable. Something out of<br />

this world. Something that quite frankly, is friggin’<br />

unbelievable. Something that any surfer worth their<br />

salt just has to see. Yes, at some stage of their<br />

life, all surfers need to make the pilgrimage to the<br />

Temple of Thomas.<br />

Humble Beginnings<br />

I first met Thomas way back in 2010. We had<br />

just published our very first <strong>Smorgasboarder</strong> and<br />

Thomas was keen to support a fellow ‘little guy’<br />

and be involved in our second edition. Thomas<br />

<strong>Surf</strong>boards ended up being our shaper’s feature<br />

piece. At the time he was more or less starting out,<br />

shaping boards part time at the Hayden Factory in<br />

Kunda Park whilst doing ding repairs and waiting<br />

tables at a local café.<br />

The next time we spoke at length, Thomas<br />

had formed a partnership with master glasser<br />

Jake Bowrey and had taken up residence in a<br />

ramshackle shed not much bigger than a shoebox<br />

(just enough room to tightly manoeuvre yourself<br />

around a longboard) out the back of Noosaville on<br />

Eumundi Noosa Road. That was Easter 2011.<br />

By 2015 the boys had taken over the shed beside<br />

the shoebox, and the one beside that as well. All of<br />

a sudden there was a barbershop, a small café, a<br />

retail space and a larger shaping and glassing bay.<br />

Well, just wait until you see where they are today...<br />

I asked both Thomas and Jake about their<br />

seemingly momentous rise and how the speed<br />

of their evolution has made the rest of us feel like<br />

we’re standing still.<br />

Jake: Our family has been as surprised as you are.<br />

Thomas: It wasn’t like when I sat down with you<br />

originally in that cafe or even later at the old shed,<br />

that we had a plan at that point to be where we are<br />

now. It’s just sort of evolved. It’s felt pretty natural<br />

in terms of the fact nothing was planned. It has<br />

just happened the way it has happened. Like when<br />

Malakai first came on board with the barber shop.<br />

We knew Mal, we knew that he was keen to open<br />

a barbershop somewhere, we needed a bit more<br />

space, ‘Hey, let’s share the shed next door. We can<br />

go halves in the rent and it’ll suit us both’ and yeah,<br />

it definitely did, it worked.<br />

Jake: That informality has worked and that’s what<br />

has added to the appeal I think.<br />

The fact that it just happened that way on its own<br />

made it appeal to us and I think to other people too<br />

because it has never been a corporate plan to do<br />

this. It just sort of happened the way it happened<br />

and at the end of the day we’re still doing what we<br />

want to do. There’s just more people involved in it,<br />

doing what they want to do.<br />

>><br />

25


smorgasboarder<br />

ew digs<br />

Tired of spending money on an old shed that was<br />

more or less falling down and sick of shaping in<br />

one foot of water every time it rained (thanks to<br />

a few holes in the roof) they made plans for new<br />

premises. It was 18 months in the making and<br />

came by way of a fortuitous conversation with a<br />

customer who became a business advisor, and<br />

ultimately a partner in their business.<br />

Thomas: We originally met Andrew (St Baker) as a<br />

customer and he sort of just offered advice to us on<br />

the business side of things. We talked and Andrew<br />

knowing our situation, where we were at and our<br />

aim to grow the business, came on board to help<br />

us achieve our goals and provide the support<br />

needed to get into a building like this. Having the<br />

support to help reach those goals is pretty epic.<br />

There are not enough superlatives to describe their<br />

new premises other than it is mind-blowing. The<br />

boys filled me in on the lay of the land and just how<br />

epic it is exactly.<br />

Jake: A lot, and it keeps growing.<br />

Thomas: Yeah, it’s about just under a thousand<br />

square meters that we’re occupying. Our HQ is<br />

now a collective of business activities that intersect<br />

surfing and surfboard manufacturing and contribute<br />

to surf culture. And of course, there’s the outdoor<br />

area that’s a sort of communal hang out space.<br />

Jake: And the heart of it is still the manufacturing -<br />

everything is based around that. Hence all the glass<br />

and everything. We wanted to create an ‘open<br />

kitchen’ kind of effect.<br />

Thomas: Yeah, so people can see the boards<br />

being made. People can actually see the one<br />

part that you don’t normally get to. You may see<br />

surfboards in a shop or maybe some pictures<br />

of a shaping bay. You never actually get such a<br />

television view of the glassing room.<br />

I might just add here that it is the scale of what you<br />

see that is so impressive. You are not looking in on a<br />

tiny shaping bay with one single board being made.<br />

Thomas: Yeah, here you can look straight in from<br />

every angle into the glassing room and you just see<br />

everything being done. It’s kind of interesting for<br />

most people to watch. You get to see the resin and<br />

tints going on boards.<br />

Jake: I mean, we get all kinds of people, of<br />

different ages coming in for a coffee and just sitting<br />

there watching - lots of women in particular.<br />

I was keen to know if it was at all daunting to be<br />

working under constant observation and whether<br />

that had necessitated a change in the usual<br />

surfboard manufacturer attire.<br />

Jake: To be honest, I got taken out of the email<br />

with regard to the plan for the windows...<br />

Thomas: Well, initially it was going to be a wall,<br />

and there was going to be two little windows into<br />

the glassing bay and that got changed to all glass<br />

walls. To be honest, it’s the best room ever, like you<br />

feel like you are outside when you’re inside. You<br />

don’t feel like you’re trapped in a glassing room.<br />

Jake: It would have been horrendous (without the<br />

glass walls). I actually pulled them (blinds) down<br />

the other night. We hosted a 21 st here and I was<br />

working whilst the party was on and the room felt<br />

completely different. It actually felt pretty small<br />

even though it’s quite a big room, it felt horrible. So,<br />

the windows are a great thing.<br />

As for fashion choices, I did get all the boys<br />

matching suits to wear, but it’s getting a bit warm at<br />

the moment. We keep it casual.<br />

26


smorgasboarder<br />

>><br />

27


smorgasboarder<br />

creative<br />

The premises aren’t just a surfboard factory plus<br />

a few little extras though. It’s way more than that.<br />

It has attracted some of the most creative and<br />

artistic minds – photographers, artists, musicians,<br />

designers, fashionistas, marketers, web gurus and<br />

leading exercise physiologists.<br />

Jake: Yeah, there is always something new. We<br />

are running an art gallery sort of space at present.<br />

We’ve had a couple of different art shows and<br />

we’ve got another one coming soon. There’s<br />

a small photo studio that we use to shoot our<br />

own surfboards, clothing, t-shirts, stuff like that.<br />

Thomas: There’s a good mix of people upstairs<br />

(referring to their ‘office space’ at the rear of the<br />

building) - a few graphic design crew, web guys.<br />

Jake: So, it’s collaborative space designed to<br />

attract those with skills that compliment and<br />

contribute to the evolution of the Thomas business<br />

and surf culture generally.<br />

Thomas: We’re also starting off a bit of a jam<br />

room. Guys have recorded a couple of tracks that<br />

have been used on surf clips. We’re beginning an<br />

emerging artists in residency program in 2019,<br />

our first young artist is a kid called Mac. We’re<br />

designing our own clothing ranges now too. We<br />

make high quality board shorts, tees and hats, and<br />

the friends we have working with us in our new<br />

space are helping to legitimise that side of our<br />

business. We’ll also look to slowly do more of the<br />

podcast sort of stuff.<br />

(Incidentally, this interview in full is available<br />

on our <strong>Smorgasboarder</strong> Podcast, simply<br />

subscribe on Apple iTunes or Spotify (both under<br />

SMORGASBOARDER) or listen - with some<br />

additional links and show notes - on our website:<br />

www.smorgasboarder.com.au)<br />

ub<br />

Jake: We get a lot of quite cool people through the<br />

whole area so we feel like it should be documented<br />

when they come in. So that is what Andy Maccoll<br />

has been doing. He’s a very good portrait<br />

photographer, done some famous guys, Robert De<br />

Niro, Matt Damon, Kelly Slater and so on. He works<br />

out of here now too. He’s shooting a lot of the guys<br />

that come through the barbershop now.<br />

Thomas: Then we’ve got Pro Movement run by<br />

Dean Brady and a guy called Jarryd Bates. Dean<br />

is an ex-pro surfer, Jarryd is ex-AFL, and what<br />

they do is kind of like core fitness training. Brady<br />

trains all the local surf groms or the good kids, surf<br />

coaching, a lot of that style of stuff. And then they<br />

offer yoga and Pilates as well, which all sort of fits<br />

really well with the surfing side of it.<br />

Jake: We’re also doing a few events. We’ve held<br />

surf functions here, movie nights. We’ve got one<br />

coming up for Bob McTavish and another event<br />

for the Deus guys. We’ll just put on a few beers<br />

and some music and people can come hang out<br />

for a couple of hours. I mean we’ve got all sorts of<br />

ideas that people could have their weddings here<br />

or parties.<br />

Thomas: It’s celebrating all the other areas of<br />

surf culture that inspire surfboard design like art,<br />

music, photography, all that stuff that is also a big<br />

part of surfing. That’s the creative culture we want<br />

to foster here.<br />

28


“It’s celebrating all the other areas<br />

of surf culture that inspire surfboard<br />

design like art, music, photography...”<br />

>><br />

29


family<br />

The creative culture both Thomas and Jake have<br />

aspired to foster has taken root. The collective<br />

have grown from the very people who work in the<br />

business to the team riders and those affiliated<br />

with Thomas <strong>Surf</strong>boards. Indeed, everything<br />

from the brands stocked in the retail store to the<br />

individual businesses that have set up residence<br />

in the complex have stemmed from long term<br />

associations and friendships.<br />

Captain Sip Sops Barbershop<br />

As we mentioned earlier, it was with the intention<br />

of helping one another out that started Thomas<br />

and Jake’s association with Malakai Mitchell from<br />

Captain Sip Sop’s Barbershop. Malakai filled us<br />

in on how they first met and what he thought of his<br />

new work space.<br />

Malakai: I’ve known Thomas forever just surfing<br />

the points. I was born in Noosa and anytime there<br />

was waves on the points, big hairy Thomas would<br />

rock up. We’re also into similar music, surfing<br />

similar boards, doing similar stuff. We’ve been more<br />

or less working alongside each other for 7 years<br />

now too - since April 2012. This place of course<br />

is a huge improvement on the last. It was good to<br />

start from scratch and create what we wanted.<br />

Growing up there was nowhere cool to get a<br />

haircut. When I began cutting my own hair and<br />

mate’s hair I set out to create something a little<br />

different, a bit more niche, a bit more boutique, with<br />

character away from black and white tile boring<br />

barber shops.<br />

A barbershop is heaps more than just somewhere<br />

to get your haircut. There’s that community aspect.<br />

That feeling where a vast demographic of people<br />

can all come to the one spot and sort of coexist,<br />

work through things and talk. We’ve just made it<br />

more fun. Somewhere cool to go hang out. You<br />

don’t have to be a surfer or a skater or a punk<br />

rock kid or a musician, businessman or whatever.<br />

I just wanted to create somewhere where all those<br />

different types of people can come together, have a<br />

chat and find out about more than what’s just within<br />

their own bubble.<br />

We have the kind of space now where it can all<br />

intertwine with the lifestyle aspect of the place. And<br />

I guess that’s where the broadness of the scope is<br />

cool. We’re not trying to make everyone look like a<br />

really clean and sharp businessman or give them<br />

a real rockabilly style from the ‘50s. We now have<br />

that comfort zone space so they can really tell us<br />

what they want, and we’ve got the skills to be able<br />

to create all those broad styles and give it to them.<br />

smorgasboarder<br />

As Thomas explained, “It’s<br />

not just, oh we’ll put that<br />

brand in the shop because<br />

it’s cool. It’s sort of like,<br />

there’s always some level<br />

of association somewhere.<br />

There’s a bit of a backstory<br />

I guess to everything. It’s<br />

cool because it’s supporting<br />

each other and helping one<br />

another out.“<br />

Pro Movement<br />

That ‘association’ of sorts extends to the other<br />

collaborators - Dean Brady and Jarryd Bates of<br />

Pro Movement.<br />

Dean had been riding Thomas <strong>Surf</strong>boards for a<br />

while and had struck a good friendship with the<br />

boys. Later on both he and Jarryd were training<br />

Jake’s daughter Lilly.<br />

When Thomas and Jake approached them about<br />

their new venture they were interested but didn’t<br />

think the space would be suitable - they need an<br />

exceptionally high rooof. Dean summed it up best<br />

when he first sighted the new digs, “We just went<br />

hang on. This is actually perfect.”<br />

Dean and Jarryd’s own association has been<br />

virtually a lifetime. The boys have known each<br />

other since kindergarten right through school. After<br />

graduating however their paths deviated away from<br />

one another to pursue their passions. Jarryd was<br />

drafted by the Brisbane Lion’s AFL team where he<br />

earnt ‘Rookie of the Year’ honours the same year<br />

the Lion’s won the National AFL Premiership.<br />

Dean on the other hand, after a successful junior<br />

career having achieved state and national surfing<br />

titles, was offered a spot by Rip Curl on their<br />

‘International Search Team’ to travel the world in<br />

search of perfect waves.<br />

Unfortunately, both boys encountered some<br />

misfortune. Jarryd broke his femur in 2006 cutting<br />

his promising career awfully short. Thanks to the<br />

Lion’s generosity however, they put him through<br />

his university degree in ‘Sport & Exercise Science’<br />

where he went on to work abroad under ‘L.A Laker’s’<br />

Strength & Conditioning Coach Rob Williams along<br />

with the Vancouver Canucks Ice Hockey team and<br />

the New York Giants NFL team.<br />

30


Dean was travelling the globe as a Rip Curl<br />

free surfer and all was going great until he was<br />

told they were cutting their budget and weren’t<br />

going to renew his contract. With his wife Ellie<br />

pregnant with their first child and in the midst<br />

of building their first home, the news came as<br />

a quite a shock.<br />

Fortunately, Dean and Jarryd were reunited<br />

for the first time in a decade in 2013 when<br />

they joined the same touch football team. The<br />

following week Jarryd took Dean through some<br />

training sessions and was blown away by<br />

Jarryd’s approach towards fitness, Dean asked<br />

him if he’d be interested in helping train the<br />

surfers he’d been working with. Months later<br />

they decided to combine all the elements and<br />

in 2014 Pro Movement was born.<br />

Jarryd: Our approach to fitness is all body<br />

weight conditioning and how to use your body.<br />

Think of a gymnast in terms of the strength you<br />

can build using your body weight - you don’t<br />

really need to use weights. I combined what I<br />

learnt during university and through personal<br />

experience with football; what was needed like<br />

flexibility, mobility, power but not just through<br />

heavy weight training, which we do none of. Its<br />

all body weight based. We mix it up and keep<br />

it fun. So you’re mentally stimulated because<br />

as any athlete knows, you train so many hours<br />

a day, you’ve got to have some fun at some<br />

point don’t you.<br />

Dean: It works well having the Yoga and<br />

Pilates and specific Pro Movement sessions.<br />

People can see how they go with yoga and<br />

then if that’s fine step it up to Pilates and then<br />

Pro Movement is a step up from that. So it’s a<br />

real good balance of everything.<br />

It must be working because the boys have<br />

developed quite a gathering of fitness<br />

enthusiasts along with elite athletes such<br />

as 18-year old Cooper Davies, the current<br />

Australian Open Men’s Champion, 13-year old<br />

Lilly Bowery (Jake’s daughter) who is currently<br />

the State Champion and Coco Cairns, ranked<br />

in the top 3 for the under 14 years division.<br />

Then there’s professional skateboarder Andrew<br />

Brophy, professional cricketer Ben Laughlin<br />

and even the current national under 10 years<br />

downhill skiing champion when he’s in town.<br />

>><br />

31


smorgasboarder<br />

eam<br />

And that same informality and sense of community<br />

extends even boyind the physicla spoace, to the<br />

Thomas team riders who, in turn, have fuelled a<br />

variety of different surfboard designs.<br />

Thomas: It’s kind of funny because we’ve never<br />

approached anyone and said, ‘Hey, do you want to<br />

be a team rider?’ It’s just always been, ‘I would love<br />

to try a board’. They’ll buy a board off us and then<br />

yeah. It’s never been, ‘Here’s a contract we want<br />

you to be a team rider’, that’d just be weird.<br />

Jake: In the States we have Karina Rozunko,<br />

Sierra Lerback and Mason Schremmer riding<br />

our boards.<br />

Thomas: Yeah, all three of them are in the Joel<br />

Tudor Duct Tape tomorrow in China.<br />

Jake: It’s just coincidental how we met each<br />

of them.<br />

Thomas: The first time Karina was in Noosa she<br />

didn’t have a board to ride. I was like, ‘here’s a<br />

board to try’ and she’s like ‘this is the best board<br />

I’ve ever had. Can I buy it.’ It was like that with<br />

Devon Howard. I have known Devon for years.<br />

The last time he came out he borrowed a couple<br />

of boards, and he was like, ‘I want one’. Then the<br />

following year I went to California and shaped him<br />

a board when I was there. He’s just constantly<br />

sending me messages about how good it is.<br />

I ended up sending a bunch over to him. Growing<br />

up, he was one guy who’s up there with Joel Tudor.<br />

I couldn’t believe that Devon wanted a board<br />

from me.<br />

Jake: But it’s the same with Kassia (Meador).<br />

She’s sponsored by someone else but bought a<br />

board off us. Same with Dane Peterson (all names<br />

famous to the world of longboarding).<br />

Thomas: Here locally we have Harry (Harrison<br />

Roach), Zye (Norris), Cuddles (Matt Cuddihy) and<br />

Hus (Husni Ridhwan) – some of the world’s best<br />

stylists on our boards. Hus of course ended up<br />

coming out here from Indo and now works with us.<br />

Jake: And then on the shortboard side of things,<br />

we have Dean (Brady), which is a nice crossover<br />

and why Pro Movement ended up being here<br />

because we were building him boards. Dean’s been<br />

great to work with because he comes from a full<br />

white shortboard background and we’ve sort of<br />

pushed him into everything.<br />

Thomas: It’s opened his mind up a lot.<br />

Jake: Yeah, and he reckons he’s having more fun<br />

surfing now than ever because he’s got access to<br />

a 12-footer and a log and a three fishes and you<br />

know,... He’s openly telling people to order a sevenfoot<br />

fish in the shop and he’s kind of blowing his<br />

mind a little bit as well.<br />

Thomas: And then we’ve got young Cooper<br />

(Davies) who is a full blown shortboarder, but we’ve<br />

made him a fish and a log and it’s just nice to see<br />

these guys riding everything. It’s just like ‘ride the<br />

right board for the right conditions’.<br />

Jake: So, it’s all about just riding the right board<br />

for the right time and having a team that all have<br />

the same values. And that has a flow on effect on<br />

what we are doing. The guy who first buys a white<br />

shortboard off us is coming back in six weeks time<br />

and he’s looking at fishes and eventually buying a<br />

longboard.<br />

Thomas: I guess our original focus were old<br />

school designs when we started 10 years ago. I<br />

was just making the board’s that I wanted to ride<br />

and then as it has grown, it has slowly changed.<br />

I’ve evolved. Now I’m making boards for Jake’s<br />

daughter (Lilly Bowrey) who wants a four-foot<br />

thruster shortboard. And it’s an interesting<br />

challenge. It makes it more interesting. It just<br />

expands your skill base, your customers.<br />

Jake: And being known for being able to shape<br />

anything is a pretty good attribute for a shaper. The<br />

guys riding our shortboards are some of the best.<br />

Thomas has proved he can shape a shortboard. I<br />

don’t think there’s anyone else in the world really<br />

that’s covering all bases like that.<br />

Thomas: And at the end of the day, it’s just<br />

designing surfboards, and it’s just another element<br />

of design. Instead of making a board to go slow so<br />

it will sit there and nose ride, you make a board to<br />

go fast. It’s just a different way of approaching the<br />

same thing.<br />

Jake: And it’s the same even with the glassing.<br />

We don’t have one day that’s monotonous, we’ll be<br />

glassing a 12-footer and a 4-footer and everything<br />

gets glassed differently.<br />

Thomas: Keeps it interesting. I mean I’d get bored<br />

shitless if I was shaping a 9’6” every day and I’m<br />

sure Jake would get bored glassing the same. The<br />

fact it’s, ‘alright today I’m going to shape a couple<br />

of 5’6” thrusters, a 12-footer and two fishes’, that<br />

mixed bag definitely makes it more interesting.


smorgasboarder<br />

the future<br />

Thomas <strong>Surf</strong>boards is now a worldwide brand, which has possibly exceeded all<br />

expectations of its founders, particularly considering the speed of the brand’s evolution.<br />

They personally manufacture surfboards in California, France, the UK, Japan, Indonesia<br />

and more, all while maintaining close relationships with their customers and stores, and of<br />

course, surfing the waves they come across. It no doubt all looks and sounds very sexy<br />

from the outside looking in but the reality is a lot of hard work has gone into where they are<br />

today and that hard work continues.<br />

thomassurfboards.com captainsipsops.com promovement.com.au<br />

33


smorgasboarder<br />

the minimalist wave<br />

words: tami argaman<br />

Originally from France, Alain Bourdon spends<br />

most of his time as a graphic designer between<br />

country, ocean and city – depending on work<br />

and weather. He likes to “compose his life as an<br />

independent and make something with pleasure<br />

every single day.<br />

“<strong>Surf</strong>ing for me is connecting with nature.<br />

Feeling small but also knowing what an<br />

individual person or wave can do is what<br />

amazes me.” Al says.<br />

“Nowadays, we are taught to control everything:<br />

time, animals, nature or our relationship with<br />

people through Facebook and Instagram.<br />

<strong>Surf</strong>ing gives me a break from all that.<br />

“The wave has control over me and lets me<br />

return to the essential and deal with the<br />

whole. And you must admit, it does feel sick<br />

riding a wave on a log!”<br />

One of Alains biggest beliefs is respect<br />

for those around him, the awareness of<br />

other people’s needs as well as their<br />

struggles.<br />

“My mother raised me to be polite<br />

and to pay attention to others. When<br />

we had a meal, we would wait for everyone to sit<br />

down before eating and consider that others would<br />

still be hungry before having seconds. It’s the same<br />

when you are at work or when riding a wave.”<br />

Alain knows, paying attention to your surroundings<br />

will embrace your own presence.<br />

“When I draw The Minimalist Wave, I pay attention<br />

to details, people and nature. It’s what helps me<br />

create what I love.”<br />

The Minimalist Wave is an obsessive project about<br />

a wave, designed by Alain Bourdon. It obeys a ritual<br />

process but is never the same.<br />

It evolves constantly over the course of meetings,<br />

trips and experiences but always remains singular.<br />

Everything is drawn by hand.<br />

The Minimalist Wave an invitation to meet in the<br />

ocean and get lost.<br />

Check out more of Alains work and give him some<br />

love on Instagram. Also feel free to flick him a<br />

message on there or via email, he always answers<br />

and will love to hear from you.<br />

instagram: @the_minimalist_wave<br />

34


smorgasboarder<br />

“Using a highdensity<br />

foam blank,<br />

I’ve chambered<br />

it extensively<br />

with 4-inch deep<br />

chambers each side<br />

of the stringer and<br />

filled the voids with<br />

near weightless<br />

Styrofoam.”<br />

no hollow feat<br />

The master is always innovating. You’ve no<br />

doubt heard of chambered wooden boards but<br />

how about chambered foam core surfboards?<br />

Mitchell Rae has revisited a construction<br />

method he trialled “back in the day” but<br />

introduced a new means to address equalising<br />

the pressure within.<br />

“Yes, this is Chapter 37 of ‘you’ve gotta be<br />

Outer your mind’. It’s the construction story<br />

of a ‘Style Master ‘ glider, 9’4” x 22 ¾” x 2<br />

7/8”. Using a high-density foam blank, I’ve<br />

chambered it extensively with 4-inch deep<br />

chambers each side of the stringer and filled<br />

the voids with near weightless Styrofoam.<br />

The boards balsa stringer was given the same<br />

treatment.”<br />

Most would be aware, chambered boards often<br />

require a vent to equalise pressure so the air<br />

inside the board doesn’t expand or conversely<br />

suck air in. The Styrofoam replaces the need for<br />

a vent.<br />

“I usually leave airspace, but you’ve got be careful<br />

with extreme heat which expands the air. I did quite<br />

a few of these in performance shortboards back in<br />

the day. A few crew cooked them and had to park<br />

them in the pub cool room overnight to restore<br />

the swollen sections. I also used a breather valve<br />

(a screw set in resin). They’ve invented a Mylar<br />

membrane valve now. Anyhow, this approach of<br />

filling the voids with Styrofoam replaces the need<br />

for all that.”<br />

The end result that Mitchell is seeking is a board<br />

that is both strong with increased buoyancy.<br />

“These boards are lighter but still retain the classic<br />

feel of PU / polyester construction. It’s amazing<br />

how much fun it is riding these gliders, even for die<br />

hard short boarders, feeling the lost art of trim and<br />

glide. The board will ride high on a cool wave,<br />

for sure.”<br />

outerislandsurfboards.com<br />

35


smorgasboarder<br />

powering forward<br />

Always a keen surfer, Chris Preston was at one<br />

stage struggling to get back into the water, the<br />

consequence of a debilitating shoulder injury. Long<br />

story short, his predicament led him to develop the<br />

technology behind Powerboards – his paddle-assist<br />

motorised surfboards. 11 years down the track and<br />

he is still making his boards for a worldwide market,<br />

all whilst numerous others have tried and failed with<br />

regular occurrence.<br />

To give you a brief explanation of the technology<br />

employed, Powerboards use a propeller within<br />

a tube located along the central fin. This is<br />

powered by an electronic motor within a watertight<br />

compartment in the surfboard. The powered<br />

propeller drives the surfboard forward much the<br />

same as an outboard motor on a boat. Sounds<br />

simple enough. Well, no one has been able to<br />

replicate what Chris has done with any prolonged<br />

success. We asked him what made his boards so<br />

effective and indeed reliable.<br />

“For one you, you want direct drive, you don’t want<br />

to blow bubbles (referring to jet style boards). So<br />

the prop is down in the water. We don’t suck water<br />

up, bring it up through the board and push down<br />

on the water on an angle. The direct drive allows<br />

us to use less energy and gives us s longer run<br />

time. That’s part of the success. The propulsion in<br />

the tube means there’s a whole lot less load with a<br />

whole lot more power than pulling it up and blowing<br />

it down. When there is choppy water, a jet will suck<br />

air and it causes it to be unbalanced.<br />

“The second reason is the quality of the parts we<br />

use, especially the Swiss motor. We use a brushed<br />

motor that’s stood the test of time. There’s plenty of<br />

other motors around, but they have more technical<br />

aspects to them like speed controllers and remotes.<br />

We don’t use any of that. We’ve got them, they’re<br />

just sitting on the factory shelf. We spent a lot of<br />

time and money with that stuff but in the end stuck<br />

with what’s simple.<br />

Chris is referring here to a ‘less is more approach’.<br />

The more simple the design, the less things that<br />

can go wrong, particularly when you are dealing<br />

with a product that is being bashed around in the<br />

surf with regular occurrence. This is also why he<br />

favours brush as opposed to brushless motors. If<br />

it is hard wired, it is fixed. If the components are<br />

loose, there’s more that can go wrong when tossed<br />

around by the ocean.<br />

When pressed as to why he has managed to<br />

avoid the various issues that have plagued other<br />

manufacturers such as the motors overheating,<br />

Chris did not wish to speak ill of his competitors.<br />

He did however underline the reason for his<br />

success was taking ownership of the boards<br />

assembly and not leaving it in the hands of others<br />

along with the fact he has employed one system,<br />

tested it extensively, ensures the motor runs cool<br />

and makes sure absolutely no water whatsoever<br />

runs all over the batteries and electrics.<br />

“We just decided the only way to get the quality<br />

was to assemble it ourselves. Buy expensive<br />

European parts, check every product as it comes<br />

in, go through the entire process of assembly. As<br />

soon as we have a new motor its run in a tank. Its<br />

run 10 times before it goes into a board. Once it’s in<br />

the board, it’s then run in a tank before it goes out -<br />

everything’s checked. Little companies can’t afford<br />

mistakes and that’s how we are so assured about<br />

the quality of our product.<br />

36


smorgasboarder<br />

how it works<br />

There’s a simple “on” button that’s pushed<br />

when entering the water. Then, to engage<br />

the motor you lie on the board. 10 pounds of<br />

pressure on the soft rubber bump is all that’s<br />

needed. Lifting your weight disengages<br />

the motor. If you want to power through a<br />

section, you just have to step on the bump.<br />

There’s up to 35 minutes continuous run time<br />

which equates to a good 2 hour session,<br />

depending on how much you rely on the<br />

motor. Keen to check them out?<br />

Visit powerboards1.com<br />

<strong>Smorgasboarder</strong> gear tester<br />

Gus Brown<br />

“To avoid the motors overheating is a two-part<br />

approach. I figured you’re in the water, you might as<br />

well cool your product and that was one of our first<br />

things, even though ours don’t need cooling. It’s just<br />

a longevity thing. The motor is also set up to run at<br />

no greater than 65 per cent of its capacity to ensure<br />

it never runs hot. As for the system itself, it is sealed<br />

watertight like a diving bell. Water doesn’t travel back<br />

up into the product as with some others. Electric<br />

motors don’t like salt water. You can treat them with<br />

special sprays and stuff but eventually the salt will eat<br />

through it.”<br />

As for the range of boards and watercraft that<br />

Powerboards now manufacture, Chris explains it is<br />

pretty extensive but largely dictated by the market.<br />

“Everyone likes a different style of board. We’re<br />

making 6’2”s for guys, bat wings, channel bottoms.<br />

We mostly do customs in the shortboards. The<br />

main market is in the 9 footers, 9’6” longboards and<br />

10’6” and 11 foot SUPs. I am also now working on a<br />

lightweight, super-fast rescue board.<br />

“So we just played around, and like most Aussies,<br />

like a dog with a bone, I couldn’t help myself. Spent<br />

a lot of money, ended up putting patents on it and<br />

spent a whole lot more money. But for me it was just<br />

so I could go surfing and getting them to surf with<br />

no noticeable drag, getting them to surf like a normal<br />

board. But that’s a small part of our market, the<br />

stand-up paddle boards is the thing that carries us…<br />

and maybe the foils, they’re growing at a rapid rate.<br />

But virtually, it’s all about the amount of testing we did<br />

for the first four or five years. And once we got that<br />

right it was like they can be on anything.”<br />

powerboards1.com<br />

37


smorgasboarder<br />

38


smorgasboarder<br />

#fightforthebight<br />

words: jimmy ellis<br />

oil<br />

&<br />

water<br />

DON’T MIX<br />

The Great Australian Bight is home to some of the richest benthic<br />

marine biodiversity on our planet. In fact, most of the wilderness is<br />

endemic: meaning it occurs nowhere else on earth.<br />

People who live along The Bight love their<br />

land and their ocean. It’s fishing, its surfing, its<br />

pristine environment: has been maintained by<br />

generations of state and local governments,<br />

yet largely locals. Locals who care about their<br />

land, their coast, their way of life. In fact, these<br />

locals don’t usually tend to share photos, yet<br />

they love sharing stories. And they have been<br />

sharing their story as they Fight for the Bight.<br />

photo: SA RIPS<br />

39


smorgasboarder<br />

Right along the southern coast of Australia our way<br />

of life is under threat. Big Oil wants to move into the<br />

Great Australian Bight. As we progress, we will go<br />

into more detail, yet the summary is best explained<br />

by Heath Joske, former WQS professional surfer,<br />

now local fishermen, father, husband and free<br />

surfer. I spoke to Heath as he was aboard his work<br />

vessel, steaming 70 knots south of the ancient<br />

limestone Bunda cliffs. I asked Heath about his<br />

thoughts of the oil companies going for oil out there<br />

off the continental shelf.<br />

“I just can’t believe it, the sea is so big and wild<br />

all winter. To think that they can keep an oil rig<br />

platform located, in those 7-15m seas, with a motor<br />

on each corner. it’s near impossible. It’s never been<br />

done before, and they are using our local ocean<br />

to try this! And then if something went wrong, our<br />

entire coast along the south of Australia, even<br />

WA, NZ and NSW, could be affected. Thousands<br />

of fishermen will be ruined, and our beaches and<br />

our amazing surfing will be impossible. I think that<br />

they have targeted this region because of the lower<br />

population. <strong>Surf</strong>ers should do their own research<br />

to find out more about this issue, then pen their<br />

thoughts to Equinor. And send their letters to me<br />

at the #fightforthebight website. We are collating<br />

all letters, so that a Norwegian Environmental<br />

Organisation can present a bound hard copy to the<br />

Head Office of Statoil/Equinor in Norway soon.”<br />

Researching this matter, has taken me across WA,<br />

SA, Victoria and Tasmania. Phone calls to Alaska,<br />

Mexico, Solomon Islands, UAE, California, Texas,<br />

Florida, Norway, UK…. The hours spent talking to<br />

locals from across these regions has added up, and<br />

many of their stories cannot be shared, because<br />

there are too many. Farmers, surfers, fishermen,<br />

miners, conservationists, local/state/federal<br />

government officers, ministers and senators. I can<br />

honestly say that I did not interview or meet anyone<br />

who ultimately thought this plan for oil prospecting<br />

was going to end well for the coast. Even oil<br />

advocates became reluctantly quiet when they<br />

considered the impacts of an oil spill. You may be<br />

wondering about the sequence of events leading<br />

up to now. It’s now November 2018 and I’ll give you<br />

what I’ve got.<br />

40


smorgasboarder<br />

<strong>Surf</strong>ers should do their<br />

own research to find out<br />

more about this issue.<br />

Heath Joske, Great Australian Bight<br />

photo: SA RIPS<br />

41


smorgasboarder<br />

- A total of six companies hold exploration leases<br />

in the Bight. BP and Chevron have decided to<br />

cease plans.<br />

- Now Statoil/Equinor are making plans to contract<br />

PGS to survey using seismic testing methods to<br />

do exploratory 3D modelling, and drill for oil in<br />

their leased area in water depths ranging from<br />

approximately 1200 m to 4600 m.<br />

- Commercial fisheries have expressed extreme<br />

concern about the multiple strandings of three<br />

different species of whales on Kangaroo Island,<br />

York Peninsula and Eyre Peninsula while seismic<br />

survey vessels were operating in the deep waters<br />

adjacent to the continental shelf off the Great<br />

Australian Bight through November-December<br />

2014 and January 2015.<br />

- In 2018 Sir David Attenborough named the Leafy<br />

Sea Dragon, endemic to the bight, his favourite<br />

sea creature. He’s a strategic thinker.<br />

- 275 species new to science and 887 species<br />

were found in the Bight for the first time in a<br />

research study in 2017.<br />

- A haven for 36 species of whales and dolphins<br />

and the world’s most important nursery for the<br />

endangered southern right whale.<br />

- New research from the University of Tasmania<br />

shows seismic testing can kill large swathes<br />

of zooplankton, the basis of the marine food<br />

chain, up to 1.2 km from each seismic test blast<br />

site, leaving the ocean dotted with areas void of<br />

plankton.<br />

- Older research points towards fossil reserves<br />

[oil] as providing subtle release of hydrocarbons<br />

for bacteria to form and feed the zooplankton, to<br />

support the base of the food chain<br />

As a surfer this concerns me, as if we mess with<br />

the bottom of the food chain, who knows what can<br />

happen to the peak predators at the top! Let’s keep<br />

the sharks well fed thanks.<br />

This oily story began in 2011 when a number<br />

of Exploration Petroleum Leases were granted<br />

to BP Exploration (Alpha) Limited and Bight<br />

Petroleum by the Australian government. These<br />

permits allowed them to prospect for oil in<br />

extremely deep water in the Great Australian<br />

Bight less than a year after the Deepwater<br />

Horizon - Gulf of Mexico Spill [1500m deep, and<br />

in a gulf, not an open ocean].<br />

In 2010 Kangaroo Island Mayor, Peter<br />

Clemments, considered research and anecdotal<br />

evidence given to him by his electorate, and<br />

with their support lobbied for a Stop Action<br />

to prevent Bight Petroleum from performing<br />

seismic testing in the waters west of Kangaroo<br />

Island [the eastern zone of the Great Australian<br />

Bight]. They were successful, yet over the next<br />

few years, both BP and Chevron, multinational<br />

oil companies, purchased holdings in exploration<br />

leases and made plans to drill for oil. So, Peter<br />

42


smorgasboarder<br />

Catrina Spitzkowsky from Penong SA is<br />

concerned as a Bight resident; concerned for<br />

the sea creatures who have no voice that will be<br />

at risk from seismic testing looking for oil, and<br />

at risk if an oil catastrophe occurred.<br />

photo: SA RIPS<br />

decided to write to all the coastal South Australian<br />

Councils and alert them to this issue.<br />

You may be wondering what’s so bad about an oil<br />

rig, or an oil spill. Well rather than spell it out, I’m<br />

gonna paint you a picture using interview extracts<br />

from different people from vastly different walks<br />

of life - yet their lives collide as they tell of their<br />

connection to big oils prospecting in the Great<br />

Australian Bight.<br />

Professor Rick Steiner, University of Alaska, was<br />

originally a commercial fisherman in Alaska and<br />

was present researching the ocean when the<br />

Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in 1989. He was<br />

also on the scene researching the after effects of<br />

the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Interestingly this<br />

method of oil extraction is the one being proposed<br />

for the Great Australian Bight, a deep water unfixed<br />

platform, located in position with motors on each<br />

corner. I spoke with Dr. Steiner who was visiting<br />

Australia in November/December to meet with the<br />

political and scientific community. We talked for<br />

hours as he recounted some 30 years of research<br />

in this space. I asked him to summarise how local<br />

people [first responders] may be at risk if there was<br />

a catastrophic accident with deep water drilling.<br />

“There is a lot of complexity in all of this, but<br />

essentially, in a major oil spill, responders and<br />

others are exposed to toxic hydrocarbons, toxic<br />

dispersants, fumes and smoke (which contain<br />

dioxins and furans), and an extraordinary amount<br />

of emotional stress. All of these stressors combine<br />

in various ways, for various people, particularly the<br />

most vulnerable.<br />

“I worked in the Gulf during the Deepwater Horizon<br />

spill, and many people experienced respiratory<br />

issues, skin rashes, headaches, digestive issues,<br />

and a lot of stress - all are indicative of chemical<br />

exposure. The same should be expected in the<br />

Great Australian Bight, should such an unfortunate<br />

disaster occur there.”<br />

43


smorgasboarder<br />

Travelling time of<br />

the socioeconomic<br />

threat zone under<br />

summer conditions.<br />

Scenario 1A in solid<br />

line and scenario<br />

2B in dashed line<br />

Stochastic analysis<br />

of deep-sea oil spill<br />

trajectories in the<br />

Great Australian<br />

Bight.<br />

Laurent C.M.<br />

Lebreton, MSc<br />

October 2015<br />

In November 2018, I spoke with Linda Marsa,<br />

investigative reporter from California, USA.<br />

Linda referred to her 2016 article, summarising<br />

the after effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil<br />

spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the worst in maritime<br />

history. 4.2 million barrels of oil leaked into the<br />

Gulf, and officials released 1.8 million gallons of<br />

Corexit (a chemical dispersant used to break up<br />

the oil) to combat it as the well was sealed. Years<br />

later, controversy still rages about the wisdom of<br />

carpet-bombing the Gulf with these chemicals, and<br />

newly released documents reveal that government<br />

scientists expressed concern at the time about<br />

the health consequences of mixing such large<br />

quantities of dispersants with the millions of barrels<br />

of sweet crude. Occupational health experts<br />

now believe it created a toxic mix that sickened<br />

thousands of locals — including some of the<br />

47,000 people that worked in some capacity on<br />

BP’s clean-up operation — crippling them with<br />

chemically induced illnesses that doctors are still<br />

unable to treat.<br />

“There is a core of very sick patients who<br />

undoubtedly will be ill for the remainder of their<br />

lives as the result of exposure to chemicals<br />

involved in the Deepwater Horizon tragedy,” says<br />

Michael Robichaux, an ear, nose, and throat<br />

specialist in south Louisiana, USA and a former<br />

state senator.<br />

Catrina Spitzkowsky from Penong, SA is<br />

concerned as a Bight resident; concerned for the<br />

sea creatures who have no voice that will be at<br />

risk from seismic testing looking for oil, and at risk<br />

if an oil catastrophe occurred. Her community is<br />

concerned for their way of life, surfing, fishing,<br />

living along the coast. Catrina stated clearly that as<br />

a local resident, she would feel compelled to assist<br />

in any clean up in the aftermath of an oil spill. That<br />

says it all in my mind. A local who knows about<br />

the inherent risks associated with these harmful<br />

dispersant chemicals, yet loves their land, their<br />

environment and their community so much that she<br />

would be willing to risk her own health if an oil spill<br />

occurred. Let’s hope that Catrina is never put in<br />

that situation.<br />

Joint 2017 Nobel Peace Prize winner Sue<br />

Coleman-Haseldine, fronts up to any Big Oil<br />

plans for the Bight from the perspective of a local<br />

indigenous leader. “It’s not a matter of if, it’s a<br />

matter of when. Do you think that they meant for<br />

that tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico to happen? What<br />

happened there isn’t the only thing that can go<br />

wrong you know. There’s a whole bunch of things<br />

that can go wrong on a floating platform in the<br />

middle of the Bight. And they are taking those risks<br />

close to me, my family, my country. The very idea is<br />

hurting my people. This has to be stopped and you<br />

tell your readers we need everyone’s help. Because<br />

<strong>44</strong>


smorgasboarder<br />

#fightforthebight<br />

photo: Big wave surfer, Camel, enjoying daily life on the Bight with family and friends<br />

these companies won’t just ruin our coast, they will<br />

ruin everyone’s coast.”<br />

The interesting this is, that residents of the Bight<br />

are not anti-energy. Kym Callaghan, mayor<br />

of Elliston, has been talking to a renewable<br />

energy company with interests in solar and wind<br />

renewables for years. Port Lincoln, SA and Moyne<br />

Shire [Port Fairy, Vic.] councils are exploring<br />

renewable energy projects, and have been part<br />

of trials to plan for their region’s future. Out of the<br />

70 people I interviewed along the coast of four<br />

states, all openly stated that energy was part of<br />

our lives, yet our decisions should be focused on<br />

renewables.<br />

The most alarming information was introduced by<br />

Heath Joske initially. Professor Rick Stein explained<br />

that if a capping stack was required to stop the flow<br />

of oil well post blow out, it can only be deployed in<br />

seas of less than 4m and may take several days to<br />

To give you an idea, this weather report was<br />

taken from NOAA for the Gulf of Mexico.<br />

...GALE WARNING…S to SW winds 20 to 30<br />

kt, Seas 4 to 6 ft. [up to 1m]<br />

This weather report for the Great Australian<br />

Bight, by B.O.M., equivalent wind speed with<br />

HUGE wave height difference<br />

...STRONG WIND WARNING…SW winds 20<br />

to 30 kt, Seas 8-12m !<br />

complete. And to cap the well in the Gulf of Mexico,<br />

they dumped tonnes of cement on it, which didn’t<br />

work, and the oil flowed for months. Fishermen in<br />

the bight laughed when they heard this less than<br />

4m seas comment. I heard the same thing, across<br />

four states. If the seas were always under 3-4m we<br />

wouldn’t need these boats with these motors. We<br />

are not in a gulf, like the rig in Mexico, we are in<br />

the open ocean, every month we see 7-15m seas,<br />

sometimes bigger.<br />

IN 2015, Peter Owen from the Wilderness Society<br />

got fed up with asking oil companies to release<br />

their oil spill modelling to the public. So, he and<br />

his team paid $46,000 for the world’s leading<br />

experts, Laurent C. M. Lebreton, MSc., to produce<br />

a model and report. It turned out to be modest<br />

when compared with BPs own report released<br />

later. The modelling shows due to strong winds and<br />

highly energetic waves in the Southern Ocean, the<br />

trajectories of an oil slick and its particles have the<br />

potential to cover vast areas of Australia’s southern<br />

waters and coastline. If a blowout and spill were<br />

to occur in summer, aside from the direct and<br />

severe impact in near water, the oil would very likely<br />

impact the shores of Western Australia. Simulations<br />

show oil contamination could reach as far as Albany<br />

and Denmark. Under these conditions, the model<br />

predicts that within four months, an area of roughly<br />

213,000km2 would have an 80% chance of surface<br />

oil thickness likely to trigger the closure of fisheries.<br />

And some scenarios model the oil going further!<br />

45


smorgasboarder<br />

The hours spent talking to locals from across these regions<br />

has added up, and many of their stories can not be shared,<br />

because there are too many. Farmers, surfers, fishermen,<br />

miners, conservationists, local/state/federal government<br />

officers, ministers and senators. I can honestly say that I did<br />

not interview or meet anyone who ultimately thought this<br />

plan for oil prospecting was going to end well for the coast.<br />

Bjornar Nicolaisen<br />

Norwegian fisherman<br />

Bjornar is a Norwegian citizen, a fishermen and he’s<br />

concerned about what a lot of Aussies are concerned<br />

about. Bjornar flew from Norway to Port Lincoln in<br />

South Australia when he heard about the plans of a<br />

Norwegian company (Equinor, previously known as<br />

Statoil and reportedly 67% owned by the Norwegian<br />

Government), planning to drill for oil in the Great<br />

Australian Bight.<br />

Bjornar has gradually gained recognition for his stance<br />

towards the oil industry, sharing his story with the<br />

General Assembly at the United Nations in New York.<br />

Earlier this year, he surprised Equinor officials when he<br />

stood up in front of 300 people, including Equinor Oil<br />

executives, local councillors, local industry, fishermen,<br />

photo: SA RIPS - Beach break,<br />

Great Australian Bight<br />

farmers, and said that it was not a good idea to allow<br />

seismic blastings in the quest for oil in the Bight.<br />

“Too many things can go wrong. And the fishery is<br />

at risk. The Norwegian seismic blasting giant PGS<br />

wants to kill down Australian coastlines. Airgun blasts<br />

every 10th, 12th or 15th second, hour after hour, day<br />

and night, month after month next year. The air guns<br />

create shockwaves in the water while the vessel is<br />

crisscrossing huge areas off the coast. Every time<br />

the blasts hit the seabed a small earthquake is to be<br />

created. This is terror attacks on the environments<br />

connected to the Oceans included fishing industries,<br />

fishermen, fish farmers, tourist industries and coastal<br />

communities. Act to stop it!”<br />

46


smorgasboarder<br />

Camel [Jeff Goulden]<br />

Big Wave <strong>Surf</strong>er<br />

“We have to bring some attention on this. The nutrient<br />

rich water changes colour as the leeuwin current in the<br />

winter is exchanged for the summer currents moving<br />

west. Our fish, our whales, our dolphins, our seals,<br />

our sea grass, our waves, our lives…. it’s all on the<br />

line here. And no one is asking us if it’s ok. It’s not<br />

worth the risk. <strong>Surf</strong>ers... will you risk your surf, and our<br />

environment? We should all do our little bit.”<br />

Mark Spalding<br />

Port Lincoln local<br />

Mark works and surfs along the Bight, and comments<br />

that the fishing industries and the wellness of the local<br />

people are issues being ignored Big Oil proponents.<br />

“Whoever is making these decisions, is clearly not<br />

thinking about the residents and industries who live<br />

and work along the coast...Cause if they were, they<br />

would be considering how many people would be out<br />

of a job and out of their health if anything went wrong.”<br />

Bunna Lawrie<br />

Mirning Indigenous Elder<br />

Bunna Lawrie joined with Seashepherd’s Jeff Hansen,<br />

The Wilderness Society of South Australia’s Peter<br />

Owen and the <strong>Surf</strong>rider Foundation to form the Great<br />

Australian Bight Alliance.<br />

When I spoke with Bunna, he proudly spoke of the<br />

Wanchyla, the dolphins of the sea, “the ones who are<br />

playful, who will come up alongside the whales and<br />

the surfers to protect them”. Several near drownings<br />

as an 8-year old led Bunna to begin tuning into the<br />

“Big Ocean”, where he began communicating with the<br />

“Living Waters of Life”.<br />

“It’s living this ocean you see, from the nutrients on<br />

the sea floor, all the way to the whales. These whales<br />

and dolphins are our story, our lifeblood. Our whales,<br />

dolphins, seals and penguins are our family. They<br />

welcome the surfers to our waters and offer protection<br />

and balance to our waters of life. You surfers visit<br />

occasionally, and you feel our ocean’s energy pulse<br />

in the way the waves form, but the Wanchyla ride the<br />

waves all day, every day. We have cared for our land<br />

for 60,000 years. You see our Big Ocean is not still,<br />

it’s living. It’s in balance, and we must not let anyone<br />

poison our ocean. It’s a criminal offence to do this. We<br />

must not let our governments give the oil companies<br />

permission to do this. It will kill our culture and destroy<br />

our people.”<br />

Cristel Chambers, Peta Page and Danny Carney, from<br />

the Wilderness Society tells us, thus far 13 councils<br />

(12 in SA, 1 in Vic) representing half a million people<br />

have either passed the motion to oppose deep sea oil<br />

drilling in the Bight or (as with Moyne Shire) demanded<br />

full consultation before any projects kick off. Kudos<br />

to the peaceful, learned and respectful citizens of<br />

Kangaroo Island for originally propelling their concern<br />

- and it’s spreading all the way to Tasmania.<br />

Tim Flannery<br />

Australian mammalogist, palaeontologist,<br />

environmentalist, Australia’s leading<br />

conservationist, explorer and global warming<br />

activist.<br />

We asked Professor Tim Flannery from the Climate<br />

Council to inject some leadership into this issue.<br />

“James, there is no future in fossil fuels. We have<br />

seen a number of companies seeking approval to<br />

conduct exploratory drilling for oil and gas in the<br />

Great Australian Bight. Any new fossil fuel project is<br />

incompatible with effectively tackling climate change.<br />

Australia is one of the sunniest and windiest countries<br />

on the planet, with enormous renewable resources. We<br />

need to accelerate the transition to clean, affordable<br />

and reliable renewables and storage technologies.<br />

We also need to ramp up other climate solutions in<br />

sectors like transport and agriculture. Fossil fuels are<br />

not an option.”<br />

Peter Reeves<br />

World renowned surf traveller<br />

At 63, Peter’s spent more time at sea navigating his<br />

commercial fishing interests and surfing islands along<br />

the Indonesian archipelago than anyone we know.<br />

He has commercial fishing licences in SA, WA and<br />

Tasmania. He is also a resident and surfer of the Great<br />

Australian Bight. We asked why he chose to call this<br />

place home?<br />

“Because Elliston and Cactus still look they basically<br />

the same as they did in 1974 ( when he first visited the<br />

region). And that’s because the local people look after<br />

their land and look after their ocean. If you chuck a beer<br />

can on the ground at Cactus or Elliston, you are littering<br />

on the locals’ efforts to keep their wilderness pristine.”<br />

Peter thanks Patagonia, the one surf company he<br />

considers began supporting the Bight through spending<br />

money on building awareness to surfers globally of the<br />

plight of local residents and the threat to our marine<br />

environment.<br />

“We remain pretty quiet Australians, but now it’s time to<br />

put aside our differences, and try and stick up for the<br />

ocean, cause it’s part of all of us on the Great Australian<br />

Bight. And if something goes wrong here, it’s gonna ruin<br />

the whole show.”<br />

Michell Schleimigen-Smith<br />

Integral Hatha Yoga Teacher<br />

Michell has lived worked and surfed her way across<br />

Victoria, SA and WA. Early this year Michell contacted<br />

the FFTBA (Fight for the Bight Alliance) and was<br />

supported to run a self-funded a road trip, showcasing<br />

the film, Operation Jeedera to expose the alarming<br />

effects of oil exploratory seismic testing on the benthic<br />

and pelagic environment. Her solo contribution has<br />

resulted in inspiring a community in WA to successfully<br />

halt Seismic Testing in their region for now.<br />

47


smorgasboarder<br />

Ben Druitt<br />

Port Fairy local<br />

Ben grew up travelling with his family around the<br />

Australian coastline. In the 80s his family settled<br />

on Port Fairy and have lived there ever since. He<br />

and his partner Phuong-Dung Hoang are donating<br />

members of the Wilderness Society and it was<br />

through them that they found out that the coastline<br />

of Australia was about to be risked in the name of<br />

fossil fuels.<br />

Ben and Phuong-Dung wanted to do their bit to<br />

stop Equinor and protect the magnificent marine<br />

wilderness of the Great Australian Bight and the<br />

southern coast of Australia. They tuned into the<br />

launch of the Great Australian Bight Alliance, a<br />

platform for people to stand together against deep<br />

sea oil drilling in the Bight.<br />

Ben and Phuong-Dung engaged with their<br />

community in the Moyne Shire to run one of the<br />

‘Hands Across the Sand’ days of action, where<br />

thousands of people across 20 council electorates<br />

joined hands, forming symbolic barriers against<br />

spilled oil and to stand against the impacts of other<br />

forms of extreme energy. Ben posed a question for<br />

fellow coastal dwellers to consider.<br />

“It’s just not worth the risk. Millions of Australians’<br />

homes across four states are being put at risk -<br />

risking their beaches, their homes, not the fossil<br />

fuel prospectors. Should we really be looking for<br />

oil in 2018, in 2km deep ocean, in the middle of the<br />

Great Australian Bight?”<br />

Craig Anderson<br />

Professional freesurfer -<br />

world traveller<br />

It bewilders me that drilling in the Great Australian<br />

Bight is a topic that Is even up for discussion. I<br />

guess that’s the age we live in- where politics, big<br />

corporations and greed go hand in hand. I stand<br />

against BP, Stat Oil, Equinor, and any LNG drilling<br />

or exploratory seismic testing, due to it impact on<br />

the health of the oceans, it’s biodiversity. I want to<br />

preserve one of Australia’s most amazing nature<br />

enriched coastlines, that has brought me so much<br />

joy surfing and travelling. I want your readers to tell<br />

people to #fightforthebight<br />

Tim and Ann Taylor<br />

Tim and Ann sail, surf and live in the Great<br />

Australian Bight, and have been peacefully<br />

advocating for common sense to prevail regarding<br />

shortsighted environmental exploitation. They feel<br />

that a Doughnut Economics approach would be a<br />

great framework to explore the potentials of this<br />

issue.<br />

photo: Phuong-Dung<br />

Hoang - Ben Druitt surfing<br />

in Southern Victoria<br />

48


smorgasboarder<br />

Marti Paradisis<br />

Tasmanian <strong>Surf</strong>er<br />

Marti is standing up for the Great Australian Bight.<br />

“The Bight to me, is some of the most beautiful<br />

coastline I’ve ever been to. It’s sat there, relatively<br />

untouched for millions of years. When you travel<br />

through this part of Australia, you really feel at one<br />

with mother nature. Every surf I’ve ever had there,<br />

I’ve had some type of encounter with either whales,<br />

dolphins or seals and sometimes all three. The thing<br />

that’s similar to the South Oz and Tassie coastline,<br />

is the inaccessibility of most of it, with the majority<br />

only accessible by boat. An oil spill would potentially<br />

wipeout many species found in these areas and<br />

destroy not only the environmental factors, but also<br />

the fishing industries.<br />

“<strong>Surf</strong>ers are ambassadors to the ocean and mother<br />

nature. It’s the least we can do for what she provides<br />

for us. Education is key for any issue. Everyone to<br />

do with surfing can play their part - older surfers<br />

passing on knowledge to the younger generations,<br />

general talk in work places, even surf schools<br />

feeding information in lessons. Many people in the<br />

community have no idea what is happening, so<br />

to generate conversations amongst us is going to<br />

spread the word. Everyone that has any care should<br />

do all they can - writing letters to politicians, and<br />

definitely signing the statement of concern.<br />

Mikey Brennen<br />

Tasmanian Big Wave <strong>Surf</strong>er<br />

“We have to do anything that we can to spread this<br />

issue as this could very quickly change our lives.<br />

When I’m surfing Shippies, I look into the water so<br />

much. There’s so much energy and power in mother<br />

ocean. And we are part of it, people who surf. We all<br />

share it. And we are gonna share what we do with it<br />

too. The ocean only speaks to those who are in tune<br />

with it. The ocean’s speaking to me.<br />

Ronnie Gates<br />

Cactus Campground Owner<br />

“<strong>Surf</strong>ers, just get on with it, and look after your coast”<br />

By the time you open this magazine, Greenpeace’s<br />

Rainbow Warrior will have travelled from NZ, along the<br />

east and south coast of Australia and made its way<br />

into the Bight. Nathaniel Pelle tells us that Greenpeace<br />

is joining other organisations to stand up for one of<br />

the richest, biodiverse areas in the world, an area of<br />

incomparable natural beauty. Join in or initiate one of<br />

the paddle outs in your region.<br />

#fightforthebight<br />

49


smorgasboarder<br />

Over the last 100 years, when the mine<br />

closes down, all the money leaves and<br />

so do the people. Yet with this oil in the<br />

water business, it’s impacts are staged<br />

both pre and post extraction<br />

and with a potential catastrophe.<br />

In January 2016, at the height of the campaign<br />

to stop BP from drilling the Great Australian<br />

Bight, Peter Owen from The Wilderness Society<br />

South Australia, Jeff Hansen from Sea Shepherd<br />

Australia, Mirning indigenous elder Bunna Lawrie,<br />

the <strong>Surf</strong>rider Foundation and many other groups<br />

launched the Great Australian Bight Alliance. The<br />

Alliance is a platform for individuals, organisations,<br />

businesses and people to stand together, united<br />

against risky deep-sea oil drilling in the Bight,<br />

for the protection of this magnificent marine<br />

wilderness. Currently Equinor has stated it will<br />

release an Environment Plan (essentially its oil<br />

drilling proposal) for 28 days of public comment.<br />

This could happen any time now! When it does, the<br />

Great Australian Bight Alliance will put out a call<br />

to stand up to BIG oil. If this concerns you, sign<br />

the statement of concern at fightforthebight.org.au<br />

Join the Alliance.<br />

The remote Australian coastal communities are<br />

bearing all of the risk. And they have not been<br />

asked if it’s okay or not.<br />

Federal Independent Senator, Tim Storer would<br />

like, “The current drilling application process to<br />

be governed by the Federal Environment Minister<br />

to provide for a more rigorous assessment of any<br />

drilling proposals with greater safeguards than the<br />

current NOPSEMA process. It would not be for the<br />

Minister alone to make the decision. For example,<br />

the Minister must: act consistent with international<br />

treaties and conventions; take into account ‘threats<br />

of serious or irreversible environmental damage’;<br />

take into account community and stakeholder<br />

concerns; and ensure any decision is consistent<br />

with the principles of ecologically sustainable<br />

development. This would not replace the<br />

NOPSEMA process; it would remain one step in the<br />

process. Should NOPSEMA recommend against<br />

drilling, that would make it that much harder for<br />

government to advocate such an environmentally<br />

risky enterprise.<br />

“Two months ago, the SA Government banned<br />

fracking in the southeast of the state for 10 years<br />

in response to community concerns, now it should<br />

50


smorgasboarder<br />

photo: Phuong-Dung Hoang<br />

- Ben Druitt surfing in Southern Victoria<br />

end its support for drilling in the Great Australian<br />

Bight for the same reason. Communities all the<br />

way along the coast from Port Lincoln to the mouth<br />

of the Murray have declared their opposition to<br />

drilling. The government should apply the same<br />

principle to drilling as it did to fracking.”<br />

For me personally I can’t imagine driving through<br />

Port Augusta, past a world leading 300MW solar<br />

energy plant in full swing, and then driving into<br />

Ceduna and seeing a finite fossil fuel industry<br />

starting up in 2019. Backward. Surely the writings<br />

on the wall. Let’s stop the potential footprint<br />

for an eventual ghost town, when industry flees<br />

after something goes wrong. These ghost towns<br />

are scattered across Australia. Over the last 100<br />

years, when the mine closes down, all the money<br />

leaves and so do the people. Yet with this oil in<br />

the water business, its impacts are staged both<br />

pre and post extraction and with a potential<br />

catastrophe. It’s more like: Damage the oceans<br />

life and wilderness to locate the exact entry points<br />

to the large fossil fuel reserves. Risk killing the<br />

industries which these small towns have slowly<br />

built themselves on. Risk the places of respite,<br />

connection, story and recreation that residents and<br />

custodians exist in and for. Don’t listen to them<br />

when they try and speak to you. Don’t ask them<br />

before you make plans. Ignore local and worldrenowned<br />

scientists trying to lead your businesses<br />

to reinvent itself and reflect community feeling.<br />

Drill anyway. Make as much money as you can for<br />

people who live nowhere near the Bight, until an<br />

unplanned accident occurs. Then pay billions in<br />

clean-up costs, clean up less than 10% of the oil<br />

and dispersants, then make the government pay<br />

several billion too [this is what happened in the Gulf<br />

of Mexico]. And then abandon the Region, while<br />

the residents of the Great Australian Bight have to<br />

somehow survive, live, work and surf in the mess<br />

you made to their way of life.<br />

To finish, is it worth the risk? Our surfing could<br />

be taken from us in an instant, and we have a<br />

chance to prevent it. <strong>Surf</strong>ers, we just got handed<br />

the baton in this decade long relay. The future of<br />

surfing as we know it in Australia needs you, to<br />

#fightforthebight<br />

51


smorgasboarder<br />

Robbie Marshall of Soul Arch<br />

<strong>Surf</strong>boards is six months in to a<br />

self-imposed hiatus. His reason<br />

for doing so is his pursuit of a<br />

more sustainable surfboard by<br />

way of its construction strength<br />

– sustainability through longevity.<br />

sustainability through longevity<br />

52


smorgasboarder<br />

Having started his surf label some 9 years ago and<br />

crafting his boards by traditional means he felt there<br />

had to be a better way to build boards. During this<br />

time he also did his fair share of ding repairs and that<br />

fuelled the idea to reinvent his business.<br />

“The desire for me to go down this path has been<br />

driven by the overwhelming amount of repair work<br />

I have done and seeing the areas in which boards<br />

commonly deteriorate and improving on that. I<br />

also have realised what impact traditional ways of<br />

building surfboards have on the environment and my<br />

personal health.<br />

“I make particularly reference to ‘eco boards’ as the<br />

focus should not be purely on the materials used but<br />

also how long the board lasts. It is not sustainable or<br />

eco-friendly if they fall apart every 12 months.”<br />

Robbie felt the disposable nature of their build,<br />

is contrary to the motivation behind their very<br />

existence. As such he made the decision to change<br />

the way he went about building his boards.<br />

“Sustainable surfboards have to last otherwise they<br />

contradict what they are all about. My new approach<br />

to building boards is based on the ethics of a more<br />

environmentally conscious and stronger build.<br />

“I want to rebuild my business to specialise in timber<br />

as composite construction and refine the process<br />

involved in this method. And I won’t relaunch my<br />

range of boards with my new construction methods<br />

until I have extensively tested them and am 100%<br />

satisfied they are exactly how I want them to be.<br />

Being a bit of a perfectionist, I have earmarked the<br />

1st of the 1st 2020. I won’t be talking any orders<br />

during this time.”<br />

This decision has necessitated Robbie return to<br />

his former life as a carpenter to earn a crust whilst<br />

undertaking his surfboard crusade.<br />

“I am dedicating all of my down time into solely<br />

developing these boards and I am really happy with<br />

how they are progressing. The boards so far are<br />

great and are only going to get better through the<br />

course of time.”<br />

Robbie has focused his attention on where he<br />

considers many boards fail in their construction.<br />

“Where boards commonly fall apart are all around<br />

the same areas; your nose, your tail, your rails and<br />

around your fin boxes. And I just want to build<br />

boards that really emphasise on fixing those areas<br />

and make those weak points, their strong points.<br />

“Cracks around fin boxes are a really common<br />

problem and this leads to water leaking into the core<br />

and weakening the area. If it’s an EPS core, it will suck<br />

water in and carry it throughout the board and that<br />

creates a bigger problem. So, I’m a big fan of glasson<br />

fins where there’s no penetration actually into the<br />

board, which isn’t for everyone, but I’m just playing<br />

with different ways to strengthen these areas.<br />

“Your tail is another one which is commonly<br />

damaged. So, I am trialling putting timber blocks or<br />

fibreglass in around these areas, stronger cloth - the<br />

bulletproof board doesn’t exist but if you can halve<br />

the amount of time that they are getting repaired<br />

then I see that as a win.”<br />

Robbie’s boards will focus on construction ranging<br />

from lightweight EPS cores with a timber “springer”<br />

(traditional surfboards have a “stringer”, a thin piece<br />

of timber that runs through the centre of the board.<br />

A “springer” is a piece of timber laid flat on the deck<br />

of the board) along with boards with timber decks,<br />

timber inlays and flax cloth bottoms right through to<br />

solid timber and chambered boards.<br />

“The timber springer replaces the stringer, so it’s<br />

still working as a stringer giving it that bit of lateral<br />

strength. It is a 65 mm by 3 mm deep timber that<br />

is recessed into the board and I have glued that<br />

in under tension. So as the glue sets it holds that<br />

spring in the blank.<br />

“For instance, I glue it into a board that’s got five<br />

inches of nose rocker and two inches of tail rocker<br />

and with that I’m actually bending an extra half inch<br />

into the blank, which gives me a nice consistent<br />

seamless curve. You do feel that in the water. It<br />

adds a liveliness and spring to the board. And then<br />

with that construction to keep them cost-effective,<br />

it’s just got a clear double four-ounce bottom. On<br />

the deck and rails I use a reverse cut lap with flax<br />

and I have done a basalt one as well. These cloths<br />

do have more strength than just a standard cloth.<br />

The whole emphasis on that just being on the top<br />

and the rails is, these are your problem areas where<br />

you’re going to get compressions and your rails are<br />

also prone to dings. So, it’s covering up the heavy<br />

traffic areas in a stronger cloth, but not the whole<br />

board to just keep the cost down a little bit. That’s<br />

my high-performance option.<br />

“With the chambered timber boards, the timbers are<br />

split and bent. They also have chambered rails. They<br />

take a fair bit of a set out to make sure I’ve still got<br />

some meat to play with when I actually shape them,<br />

so they’re chambered in different thicknesses.”<br />

Keen to know more about Robbie’s new breed<br />

of Soul Arch <strong>Surf</strong>boards? Subscribe to the<br />

<strong>Smorgasboarder</strong> podcast on Apple Itunes and<br />

Spotify under ‘<strong>Smorgasboarder</strong>’ or visit<br />

www.smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

enquiries@soularchsurfboards.com<br />

53


smorgasboarder<br />

“Usually I guess you start with foam<br />

and fibreglass and maybe go to wood.<br />

I started with wood and went to foam<br />

and fibreglass.”<br />

Matt Williams came to look at surfboard shaping from an entirely<br />

different perspective to the norm thanks to a six year apprenticeship<br />

under a man voted by <strong>Surf</strong>er <strong>Magazine</strong> in 2009 as the World’s Best<br />

<strong>Surf</strong>board Shaper, Tom Wegener. Today Matt finds himself celebrating 25<br />

years of Factory <strong>Surf</strong>boards in Caloundra - the business he bought upon<br />

completing his apprenticeship. We spoke with Matt about the business,<br />

his plans for the future and the focus of his designs today along with<br />

how he first got into this crazy business.<br />

reverse reverse rewind rewind<br />

Matt in the testing room. photo: froggy


smorgasboarder<br />

“Learning the craft from Tom was such a different<br />

experience. The way with Tom was straight into wood<br />

and finless and 12-foot boards and making them out<br />

of stuff that won’t kill you in a couple of years.”<br />

Matt in fact started the very first surfboard<br />

manufacturing apprenticeship in Queensland at age<br />

16. It was via TAFE but being a new offering, the<br />

course wasn’t fully developed and it subsequently saw<br />

Matt undertake a cabinetmaking course to understand<br />

how to use the tools of the trade and a resins course,<br />

whilst doing a diploma in business management of his<br />

own volition.<br />

When asked about the most notable aspects of<br />

surfboard design he learnt from Tom aside from the<br />

“kilometres of glue joins” involved in his wooden<br />

surfboard construction, Matt was most complimentary.<br />

“I guess it was just learning the true way to shape from<br />

Tom, and Tom being from Donald Takayama - just a<br />

real focus on rails, rockers… such an eye opener.”<br />

With Tom being allergic to resins and the big wooden<br />

boards still needing to be glassed, this was done<br />

through Paul Carson at Factory <strong>Surf</strong>boards in<br />

Caloundra. It was here that Matt met Paul along with<br />

Joel Beck (Beck <strong>Surf</strong>boards) and Thomas Bexon<br />

(Thomas <strong>Surf</strong>boards) who were all working there back<br />

in the day. It would prove fortuitous in the coming<br />

years.<br />

At one stage, with Matt by his side, Tom was making<br />

up to four big wooden surfboards a week with a heap<br />

of alaias slotted in between. They were killing it. The<br />

problem was, they were making them too good as<br />

Matt explains.<br />

“The thing with the wooden boards was, they don’t<br />

break. Everyone that wanted one, got one and never<br />

bought another one because of that. Tom made them<br />

so well that he kind of stuffed himself up. Those<br />

boards have probably been since driven over by fourwheel<br />

drives and they are still perfect.”<br />

As a result, after a great run, the work with Tom dried<br />

up and Matt sought other employment. He began<br />

making laminated beams in a factory but slipped two<br />

discs in his back leaving him 12 months out of the<br />

water lying on his back and in search of something<br />

better. When he heard Paul was closing Factory<br />

<strong>Surf</strong>boards he expressed his interest.<br />

“He tried everything in his power not to sell it to me<br />

but I said I want to buy it. The second year after<br />

buying it I tripled sales.”<br />

Not long after, Matt also took on Black Apache<br />

<strong>Surf</strong>boards.<br />

“I knew Jesse really well and he told me he was selling<br />

it. I took that on as another little brand. Extended my<br />

stuff to make boards - more templates, shapes and a<br />

box full of decals.”<br />

Right now, Matt’s overall focus with his board designs<br />

is construction and making them lighter and stronger.<br />

“I know my shapes that work as I have been working<br />

on them for ages. I am now playing with how a shape<br />

works in a different construction.<br />

“I am really liking the feel of the normal poly blank<br />

wrapped in epoxy. It is a stronger board. You can glass<br />

it lighter and potentially don’t need a stringer. Then<br />

you expand something like that to a finless board and<br />

it is altogether different again.”<br />

Crafting such a diversity of craft in different<br />

constructions, I was keen to hear from Matt what<br />

surfers were coming in and requesting he build.<br />

“It is just to do with the season. In the cyclone season<br />

I am doing a heap of white boards with black stringers<br />

for boys that want to get barrelled and do airs. Soon<br />

as winter comes along you get your finless and<br />

longboarders. If there’s a winter swell, the shortboarder<br />

guys are back for some step-ups in between us making<br />

some logs. And with the northerlies right now, people<br />

are looking at 12 footers and 10 footers and as soon as<br />

January rolls around, we are straight back into the high<br />

performance sort of thing.”<br />

It was particularly pleasing to hear from Matt as well<br />

that Paul Carson was back at the Factory helping out<br />

part-time whenever he’s required. Paul has also found<br />

time to dust off his old templates and shape some of<br />

his original Free Fluid shapes when he’s in the shed.<br />

Coincidentally, this year not only marks 25 years of<br />

Factory <strong>Surf</strong>boards, it is also the 40th anniversary of<br />

Free Fluid <strong>Surf</strong>boards. Joel Beck too has returned<br />

every now and again to use the glassing and sanding<br />

bay for his own shapes. As for the future of the factory<br />

itself, Matt had this to say.<br />

“I want to have the shed running seven days a week.<br />

We just did a big renovation on the place and got a<br />

(shaping) machine in, I have five glassing racks, a<br />

shaping room with air con, a sanding room with two<br />

fans in it - just seal the deal and let everyone know<br />

that we are here. Everyone is coming to the Sunshine<br />

Coast to surf, you can be guaranteed of that. Besides<br />

Noosa this is the other right-hand point coming<br />

up from Brisbane. In time we will develop a little<br />

showroom. Other than that we will keep making good<br />

quality boards.”<br />

thefactorysurfboards.com.au<br />

If you’re keen to hear more from my chat with Matt along with his love of finless surfboards, get into<br />

the <strong>Smorgasboarder</strong> podcast. Simply search for SMORGASBOARDER on iTunes or Spotify (don’t<br />

forget to hit “subscribe!”) or visit smorgasboarder.com.au to listen with links and show notes.<br />

55


smorgasboarder<br />

6’8” x 21 1 / 4” x 2 3 / 4”<br />

Thruster set-up with a<br />

mini 4 channel bottom.<br />

HARVEST &<br />

JACK KNIGHT<br />

SURFBOARDS<br />

2/24 Christine Ave, Miami<br />

P: (07) 5576 5914<br />

E: hello@harvestsurfboards.com<br />

HARVESTSURFBOARDS.COM<br />

The etc fish finga 6’0” x 22” x 2” 3 / 4 etc boards incorporate a skin<br />

of paulownia wood sandwiched between layers of fiberglass on<br />

the deck. This makes the boards incredibly strong and resistant to<br />

pressure dings yet maintains great flex characteristics. The board<br />

building process involves vacuum bagging which infuses resin deep<br />

into the eps core. The resultant board is lighter yet much stronger than<br />

traditional surfboard construction. Steve has a range of designs and<br />

custom builds are also available.<br />

ETC SURFBOARDS<br />

Insta: @etc_surfboards<br />

ETCSURFBOARDS.COM.AU<br />

5’8” X 20 1 / 4” x 2 1 / 2”<br />

This is my “twinkle toes”<br />

model with a mix of a retro<br />

twin outline, Modern rocker<br />

and concave, it’s the perfect<br />

option for the smaller summer<br />

days and long point breaks.<br />

Ideal wave size 1-4 ft.<br />

Also available with 2 channels<br />

for more speed and stability.<br />

THE HOUSE PARTY MODEL<br />

Designed by Shaper Ricky<br />

Latham, the House Party<br />

model is made locally on<br />

the Sunshine Coast from<br />

high quality Australian<br />

manufacturing materials.<br />

A high performance<br />

shortboard, great for all round<br />

competition and an outline<br />

derived from hours of R&D.<br />

Features: a continuous<br />

smooth outline for increased<br />

drive; less entry rocker to get<br />

you in early and a little extra<br />

foam up front for stability<br />

when landing technical<br />

tricks. Advanced glassing<br />

technology produces a<br />

strong and light board for<br />

controlled speed and tight<br />

arcing turns with a looser feel<br />

- when you’re in that “party<br />

mode.” Custom order today!<br />

SHORTIE SURFBOARDS<br />

Insta: shortie__surfboards<br />

Facebook: shortie surfboards<br />

E: shortie_surfboards@hotmail.com<br />

P: 0421 948 007<br />

RYPL LAB SURFBOARDS<br />

Insta: @rypllabsurfboards Facebook: @rypllab<br />

E: rypllab@gmail.com P: 0432 365 351<br />

RYPLLAB.COM.AU<br />

56


smorgasboarder<br />

Glider<br />

11’4” to 12’2”<br />

Perfect for those small<br />

days, Single to Panel<br />

Vee, modern 60/40 rails<br />

with a hard edge in the<br />

rear for release.<br />

Stand there and trim<br />

or work all of the foam<br />

under your feet,<br />

100% handshaped and<br />

made on the Central<br />

Coast NSW.<br />

Contact us for anymore<br />

information<br />

IMPRINT SURFBOARDS<br />

Central Coast, NSW<br />

E: imprintsurfboards@hotmail.com<br />

M: 0451 220 800<br />

Out with the old<br />

and in with the new.<br />

Two sprays 30 years<br />

apart. Custom for<br />

Craige who’s early<br />

80’s Lipstixs had<br />

to be reproduced.<br />

#clarksurfboards<br />

#thedingking #custom<br />

#foamsprays<br />

THE DING KING / CLARK SURFBOARDS<br />

Units 7 & 8, 9 Chapman Road, Hackham, SA<br />

E: leightonclark01@yahoo.com.au<br />

M: 0422 <strong>44</strong>3 789<br />

CHRIS GARRETT SHAPES /<br />

PHANTOM SURFBOARDS<br />

M: 0424 450 690<br />

E: phantomsurfboards@gmail.com<br />

CHRISGARRETTSHAPES.COM.AU<br />

Custom surfboards, contact Chris<br />

or see Board Culture at Mermaid<br />

Beach for stock boards<br />

57


smorgasboarder<br />

High Pro Log<br />

I feel like this is where boards<br />

could have gone in ‘67 if they<br />

didn’t go shorter. The High Pro<br />

Log has foiled out rails and<br />

a rolled bottom with a hint of<br />

panel vee around the fin. You<br />

might call it an involvement<br />

style longboard. The extra<br />

ticket for this model however,<br />

is a tucked edge through<br />

the last couple of inches of<br />

rail. I personally can’t get off<br />

this shape at the moment.<br />

Tried and tested at home,<br />

in Indonesia and California,<br />

with input and inspiration<br />

from Harrison Roach (who<br />

won the <strong>Surf</strong> Relik contest<br />

at Lower Trestles riding it)<br />

and Devon Howard. This one<br />

is responsive with plenty of<br />

drive off the tail and a fast trim<br />

speed that makes locked in<br />

pocket noserides a dream.<br />

Available from 9’0” to 10’2”<br />

THOMAS SURFBOARDS<br />

4 Project Ave, Noosaville<br />

THOMASSURFBOARDS.COM<br />

Different strokes for different folks.<br />

I make surfboards specifically tailored to the rider not<br />

carbon copy cut-outs. Talk to me about your next<br />

custom. Shortboards through to longboards and<br />

everything in between.<br />

The XXXL is a high<br />

performance board<br />

for the bigger guy.<br />

With the same design<br />

features as the<br />

Bantam with beefed<br />

up volume to suit<br />

more kgs for drive and<br />

paddle power. Suited<br />

for beach breaks and<br />

points.<br />

Available sizes<br />

6’-6’6”<br />

FCSII/FUTURES<br />

- 3 fin<br />

PU- $650<br />

Epoxy - $750<br />

RABBIDGE SURF DESIGNS<br />

P: 02 <strong>44</strong>56 4038<br />

M: 0427 767 176<br />

E: markrab88@gmail.com<br />

ROOSTER BRAND<br />

Instagram,Facebook & Tumblr: roosterbrand<br />

E: roosterbrandltd@hotmail.com<br />

WWW.ROOSTERBRANDLTD.COM<br />

58


smorgasboarder<br />

5’6” - 20 3 / 4 ” - 2 3 / 4 ”<br />

Black Fish<br />

#customiseyourlife<br />

6’0” AV Twin<br />

Insta: @darcysurfboards<br />

M: 0409 527 467<br />

E: darcy@darcysurfboards.com<br />

DARCYSURFBOARDS.COM<br />

9’6” x 24” handshaped by Chok<br />

THE NOSERIDER<br />

Long, wide, and<br />

stable!<br />

The NOSERIDER<br />

features a parallel<br />

style outline,<br />

flipped tail,<br />

concave under the<br />

nose and 60/40<br />

rails.<br />

Set your line, get<br />

to the nose, and<br />

enjoy the view.<br />

from $1095.00<br />

6’0” x 20 1/2”<br />

BLACK SQUARE SURFBOARDS<br />

1/28a Acacia Ave Port Macquarie, 2<strong>44</strong>4<br />

M: 0407 604 753<br />

E: info@blacksquaresurfboards.com.au<br />

BLACKSQUARESURFBOARDS.COM.AU<br />

OKE SURFBOARDS<br />

1/1-7 Canterbury Rd, Braeside, VIC<br />

P: 03 9587 3553<br />

E: rory@okesurfboards.com<br />

OKESURFBOARDS.COM<br />

59


smorgasboarder<br />

Plush Signature Model 9’4” x 23” x 3”<br />

Signature Model Resin tint swirl, volan glasses.<br />

BROWNDOGG SURFBOARDS<br />

Leamington, Oak Flats 2529<br />

M: 0416 455 985<br />

E: browndogg1@optusnet.com.au<br />

Old Skool Tweaked Semi-Pig<br />

9’4” x 23 1/8” wide<br />

I was 20 when I first made this board. This is a modernised<br />

version with a dish concave up in the nose running through to a<br />

rolled bottom. More concave in the deck and rail line.<br />

50/50 banana rail chimed.<br />

50 years of shaping passion has gone into this board. A true<br />

original, not copied. Speak to me about your next.<br />

Kingfish Seven Zero Blue tint deck, Red tint bottom, Gloss<br />

coat polish 7’0” x 23” x 3” Available now #ilovetwinfins #fish<br />

#nmcsurfboards #talktoyourshaper #surf #customsurfboards<br />

#barwonheads #red #blue #color #purple<br />

MAXIMUM SURFBOARDS<br />

M: 0427 767 176<br />

E: maximumsurf@bigpond.com<br />

MAXIMUMSURFBOARDS.COM.AU<br />

NMC SURFBOARDS<br />

Barwon Heads, Victoria<br />

M: 0438 800 539<br />

E: nmcsurf@bigpond.com<br />

60


smorgasboarder<br />

Ron celebrates over 50 years<br />

of designing and shaping<br />

experience.<br />

Australian made, designed and<br />

shaped by Ron Wade<br />

9’0” x 22 ½” x 2 7 / 8”<br />

Single concave under the nose<br />

which flows through to a speed<br />

or trim section then into a dual<br />

concave with slight tail kick to<br />

help loosen the tail.<br />

Rails are a medium round with<br />

hard edges in the tail area.<br />

Our high quality boards are<br />

hand shaped.<br />

We do have some longboards<br />

and other great shapes<br />

available of course shaped and<br />

designed by Ron and made<br />

overseas, available at heavily<br />

discounted prices until sold.<br />

Call Ron for a chat on<br />

0410 <strong>44</strong>3 776.<br />

Before<br />

RON WADE<br />

8 Angorra Road, Terrey Hills, Sydney NSW<br />

P: +61 2 99<strong>44</strong> 3409 M: 0410 <strong>44</strong>3 776<br />

E: info@ronwadesurfboards.com.au<br />

RONWADESURFBOARDS.COM.AU<br />

5’9” x 19” x 2 7 / 16”<br />

After<br />

After<br />

ENTITY SURFBOARDS<br />

1-2/1 Regmoore Close<br />

Culburra Beach NSW<br />

P: 0423987492<br />

E: entitysurfboards@gmail.com<br />

Insta: @entitysurf1<br />

ENTITYSURFBOARDS.COM.AU<br />

Restoration Specialists // Custom <strong>Surf</strong>boards<br />

// <strong>Surf</strong>board Glassing // Anything Fibreglass<br />

or epoxy<br />

BUCKO’S SURF BOARD REPAIRS<br />

Unit 12 22/24, Arizona Rd<br />

CHARMHAVEN<br />

M: 0422 304 078<br />

E: buckossurfboardrepairs@outlook.com<br />

61


smorgasboarder<br />

7’6” x 21” x 2 3 / 4”<br />

swallow tail.<br />

I’ve made this board for<br />

myself having found myself<br />

under-gunned in Indonesia.<br />

The largest board I had<br />

at the time was 6’9” and<br />

the waves were 2-3 times<br />

overhead.<br />

QUARRY BEACHSURFBOARDS<br />

75 David Street, Caversham, Dunedin NZ<br />

P: +64 3 455 7414 M: +64 27 518 8678<br />

E: grahamcarse@xtra.co.nz<br />

QBSURFBOARDS.COM<br />

SHEELY SURFBOARDS<br />

M: 0417 264 739 E: peter@sheelysurfboards.com<br />

SHEELYSURFBOARDS.COM<br />

El Pescado is my modern take<br />

on the retro fish, with new<br />

school performance and design<br />

without sacrificing the old<br />

school, retro look. I’ve shaved<br />

some of the unnecessary area<br />

out of the nose section of the<br />

board, making the board faster<br />

and quicker off the top. The<br />

shaved nose also helps deliver<br />

fluid rail-to-rail surfing, unheard<br />

of with a conventional fish.<br />

This board should be ridden<br />

four-to-six-inches shorter than<br />

your regular shortboard.<br />

El Pescado is available in a quad<br />

setup, as well as a hell twinnie.<br />

The Astral Tracer<br />

twin fin ranks high for<br />

maneuverability. A twin fin<br />

that can practically turn on<br />

a dime. When making a<br />

turn, one fin will act as the<br />

pivot point while the other<br />

spins around it. The result is<br />

a board that will go exactly<br />

where you point it. It is also<br />

known for being very fast.<br />

It doesn’t have a trailing<br />

center fin producing drag<br />

which means the board can<br />

speed down the line. The<br />

Astral Tracer has a concave<br />

deck in the tail making a<br />

lower centre of pivot and<br />

increased control.<br />

MG SURFBOARDS<br />

4/527 Pitt Water Rd,<br />

Brookvale NSW Australia<br />

M: 0404 422 811 P: 02 9939 3213<br />

E: mauricio@mgsurfboards.com<br />

insta: mgsurfboards<br />

MGSURFBOARDS.COM<br />

DIVERSE SURFBOARDS<br />

Australia +61 419 246595 Bali +62 812 37368771<br />

E: dave.verrall@gmail.com insta: diversesurf<br />

DIVERSESURF.COM.AU<br />

62


smorgasboarder<br />

support the grassroots<br />

surf directory<br />

alkali adorn<br />

Beautifully handcrafted artisan jewellery with rustic unpolished silver,<br />

shells and precious stones to create one-of-a-kind pieces. Inspired<br />

by the surf and the natural wonders of the sea.<br />

Instagram: @alkaliadorn<br />

the surf emporium<br />

Clothing, wetsuits, surfboards, surfboard and wetsuit rentals.<br />

Open 7 days 9am – 5pm<br />

Volcom Lane, Raglan<br />

P: +64 7 282 0018 E: info@raglansurfemporium.com<br />

raglansurfemporium.com<br />

the board shop<br />

New Zealand’s <strong>Surf</strong> Specialists – The Board Shop has been at<br />

the cutting edge of hi-tech epoxy surfboard, longboard and SUP<br />

technology for over 20 years. Drop in or check them out online.<br />

49 Barrys Point Rd, Takapuna, Auckland<br />

P: +64 9 486 0930 | theboardshop.co.nz<br />

coolest spot in town<br />

A front row seat to beautiful Lyall Bay, Wellington’s top surf spot and<br />

the best brunch around!<br />

Located at Lyall Bay in Wellington. Opened 7am – 5pm<br />

maranuicafe.co.nz<br />

island surf shack<br />

Gear we carry: Carve sunnies, watches, clothing, boards & surf<br />

hardware, Ocean & Earth clothing & surf hardware, Maddog Boards<br />

& surfing hardware, Bear clothing, Bamboozld Bamboo Socks &<br />

Boxer shorts, Mexican Bajas , Sunbum sunscreen, ILoveEarth<br />

recyclable collapsible reusable coffee cups, Old Guys Rule Tees &<br />

accessories, Nepalese woollen yin yang jumpers & ponchos, Golden<br />

Breed, Hawaiian dashboard hula girls, coconut soy candles, Kombi<br />

giftlines and replicas, fun beach and hawaiian gift lines.<br />

150A Thompson Avenue, Cowes,<br />

P: 03 5952 1659<br />

Holloway Gallery<br />

“Anatomy of a Wave” by artist Col<br />

Chandler, Holloway Gallery is at Moffat<br />

Beach, QLD. We specialise in unique art<br />

to fill your home.<br />

Come in store or see us online.<br />

1 Roderick Street, Moffat Beach QLD<br />

p: 07 5491 5557<br />

hollowaygallery.com.au<br />

64


smorgasboarder<br />

the heart of the surf community<br />

your original surf shop - packed full of the best gear<br />

Celebrating great customer service along with the latest surf gear<br />

and fashion for <strong>44</strong> years and going strong.<br />

T7, 119 Princes Highway, Woolworths Centre, Ulladulla<br />

P: ​(02) <strong>44</strong>54 4904<br />

Instagram: @southernmansurf<br />

southernman.com.au<br />

goodtime surf skate and sail<br />

Caring for a surfer’s every need since 1971.<br />

Goodtime <strong>Surf</strong> Skate and Sail @goodtimesurfandsail<br />

29 Ipswich Rd, Woolloongabba 4102, QLD<br />

Car-park at rear of the store, off Gibbon St<br />

P: (07) 3391 8588 E: info@goodtime.com.au<br />

www.goodtime.com.au<br />

surfware australia<br />

So much surf gear in store you will be amazed!<br />

From surfboards to skateboards, wetties, surfwear and all the latest<br />

gadgets. SPECIAL FOR THIS ISSUE: BUY A NEW BOARD<br />

RECEIVE “FREE” LEASH & GRIP.<br />

2 Bulock Street, Caloundra Qld<br />

P: 07 5491 3620 surfwareaustralia.com<br />

surfing accessories<br />

We have Australia’s hottest new surfing accessories to keep you<br />

in the surf longer. Our innovative products can help you enjoy the<br />

surf and outdoors even more and provide you with protection and<br />

comfort as you follow your passion! Stockists of H2Odyssey webbed<br />

gloves and X-STING-WISH®IT. Organic sting relief.<br />

seeyououtthere.com.au<br />

tried and trusted blanks<br />

Family owned and run for the past 56 years, our consistency is the<br />

best in the world. Our blanks come in a multitude of different lengths,<br />

rockers and weights. We also have an extensive variety of timber<br />

stringers of varying widths. And we have all the shaping tools you<br />

need to make a board from scratch!<br />

5 Stewart Road, Currumbin Qld<br />

P: 07 5534 3777 burfordblanksaustralia.com.au<br />

for your culinary delights<br />

The Rivermouth General Store. Great coffee + speciality teas,<br />

gourmet food, fresh juices, smoothies, art, awesome vibe, surfing<br />

stories + the floor is worth reading.<br />

101 Sunpatch Parade, Tomakin Nsw<br />

Instagram: @therivermouth<br />

Facebook: The Rivermouth General Store<br />

65


smorgasboarder<br />

support the grassroots<br />

raglan longboards<br />

Quality surfboards Long or Short<br />

Short or Long term rentals<br />

Mickey T. custom shapes<br />

Full repair service.<br />

P: +64 7 825 05<strong>44</strong><br />

raglanlongboards.co.nz<br />

standup paddle boarding nz<br />

South Island’s complete SUP centre.<br />

Lessons, hire, demo, training, sales.<br />

Unit 2, 1030 Ferry Road,<br />

Christchurch NZ<br />

P: +64 3 384 5086<br />

groundswell.co.nz<br />

up surf coaching trips<br />

Travel with like-minded surfers at your<br />

level, surf fun waves with video analysis<br />

of your sessions, improve your skills.<br />

Designed for intermediate/average surfers.<br />

Locations in NZ, Indo and more to come.<br />

upsurfcoaching.co.nz<br />

surfboards designed and shaped<br />

by mike jolly<br />

Full repair service. Rentals, surfing gear<br />

and good advice.<br />

122 Seaview Road, Piha Beach NZ<br />

P: +64 9 812 8723<br />

pihasurf@xtra.co.nz<br />

PIHA<br />

DOMAIN<br />

MOTOR CAMP<br />

piha domain motor camp<br />

Camp on the beach in front of the iconic<br />

Lion Rock, at one of NZ’s top surf breaks.<br />

Rates from $18 a night for tent sites.<br />

E: pihacamp@xtra.co.nz<br />

P: +64 9 812 8815<br />

preece’s surf shop<br />

Plenty of new and used surfboards,<br />

bodyboards, wetsuits, clothing and<br />

accessories. The only surf shop right on<br />

the coast. Open 7 days.<br />

159 Esplanade, Port Noarlunga Sth, SA<br />

P: 08 8386 0404<br />

preece-sthport-surf.com.au<br />

indo surf travel insurance<br />

The NEW Travel Insurance that also<br />

covers<br />

SURFBOARDS - even IN USE surfing!<br />

$25 Million Emergency Flights & Hospitals<br />

Price Beat Guarantee!<br />

indosurf.com.au<br />

sup centre<br />

Life’s better standing up. A one stop<br />

shop for everything SUP with the best<br />

brands, range, prices and expertise. With<br />

access to all the major SUP brands in NZ,<br />

through a nationwide delivery service.<br />

20 Melrose Street, Newmarket, NZ<br />

P: +64 9 520 3366<br />

supcentre.co.nz<br />

brunswick surf shop<br />

Chock full of awesome threads, sunnies,<br />

surf and skate accessories, Therapy,<br />

Matt Hurworth and RA Hand Shaped<br />

<strong>Surf</strong>boards to have the locals frothing.<br />

1/12 The Terrace, Brunswick Heads NSW<br />

P: 02 6685 1283<br />

brunswicksurf.com.au<br />

66


Please note - we apologise to anyone made to feel inadequate by the manly fitspiration images above. Merry Xmas!!

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