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2021<br />

smorgasboarder<br />

#51<br />

SURF<br />

magazine<br />

We’ve got boards galore, getaway shacks,<br />

coastal art, photography and more.

Surf Shop<br />

Gerringong<br />

90min SOUTH OF SYDNEY<br />

Celebrating<br />

45 YEARS<br />

Celebrating<br />

45 YEARS<br />

500<br />

+<br />

O N L I N E S T O R E<br />

R E V I E W S<br />


c<br />

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

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


c<br />

1,000+<br />





Proudly family owned & run naturalnecessity.com.au (02) 4234 1636


#51<br />

2021<br />

24<br />

46<br />

36<br />

84<br />

12 comps + news<br />

18 controversy<br />

20 stuff<br />

24 island time<br />



78 INTO THE WILD<br />

88 gear<br />

98 aloha barry<br />

smorgasboarders<br />

Editorial | Dave Swan<br />

dave@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

0401 345 201<br />

Editorial | Geoff Crockett<br />

geoff@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

0413 988 333<br />

Advertising | Simon Cross<br />

simon@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

0413 698 630<br />

New Zealand | Jiff Morris<br />

jeff@smorgasboarder.co.nz<br />

0220 943 913<br />

South Australia | Jimmy Ellis<br />

james@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

0410 175 552<br />

Design | Horse & Water Creative<br />

mark, kate, val, jimbo, helen, taylah<br />

mark@horseandwater.com.au<br />

Accounts | Louise Gough<br />

louise@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

2021<br />

#51<br />

smorgasboarder<br />

SURF<br />

magazine<br />

We’ve got boards galore, getaway shacks,<br />

coastal art, photography and more.<br />

our cover<br />

Island Surfboard’s Sandy Ryan.<br />

Cover photo by: Andy Chisholm<br />

FB: andychizphotographics<br />

Insta: andychiza<br />

get involved<br />

Stories, photos, ideas, new and<br />

interesting surf-related stuff you<br />

want to share? drop us a line on<br />

editorial@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

get your fix<br />

There’s three ways to<br />

score yourself a copy of<br />

smorgasboarder.<br />

1. Subscribe - the mag is still<br />

free - you just pay for delivery. 4<br />

editions per year - $25 annual<br />

subscription (Aus and NZ)<br />

2. Call in to one of the businesses<br />

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

some free copies.<br />

3. Download or read it online at<br />

smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

Smorgasboarder is published by Huge C Media PTY LTD ABN 30944673055. All information is correct at time of going to press. The publication cannot<br />

accept responsibility for errors in articles or advertisements, or unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or illustrations. The opinions and words of the authors<br />

do not necessarily represent those of the publishers. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or whole is strictly prohibited without prior permission.

photo: lime light creative studios<br />

Eco-conscious. Sustainable.<br />

Hand-made. High performance.<br />

All Australian. Built to last.<br />

Boards. Kits. Fins. Blanks. Accessories.<br />



photo: Pieter Plooy photography<br />

Rider: Jeremie Bernard<br />

Courtesy of CLOUD IX SURFFOILS<br />

... there are just so many developing, morphing and<br />

emerging board “sports”, for want of a better word,<br />

that we thought, let’s bloody explore them all -<br />

every imaginable board sport. After all, that’s what<br />

smorgasboarding is all about – riding everything and<br />

anything that get’s you wet.

Surfing is truly an incredible thing. The mere fact that we can<br />

derive so much pleasure from something so many of us are<br />

honestly pretty crap at (if we stare down the cold hard truth of<br />

reality) is truly amazing. Imagine if it was drawing for instance and<br />

the best you could manage after years of practice was a stick<br />

figure. Would you still be heading out to the art studio early every<br />

morning, putting pen to paper to draw another stickman? We<br />

think not. And yet, so many of us embrace the ocean with open<br />

arms no matter how foolish she may make us look or how many<br />

beatings she delivers.<br />

Surfing brings a smile to our dial, prompts a laugh, a bit of chat, a<br />

holler and a hoot. Yes, it is such an incredible thing… an incredible<br />

feeling… and once you have tried it, you just want to experience<br />

more of it… in different places, in different conditions, and for<br />

many of us, on different craft.<br />

That’s what makes surfing even more addictive. Nowadays there<br />

are just so many different types of boards and ways to enjoy a day<br />

on the waves.<br />

Now the reason this edition came about in particular, was a new<br />

found obsession with foiling. Nothing like a bit of danger and<br />

excitement to get the blood pumping... or flowing... if you happen<br />

to fall off and slice yourself in half.<br />

Anyhow this obsession saw us, like most things in life, do<br />

absolutely nothing about it. I mean, how many years has it been<br />

around? At least a few? And do those silvery sharp bits that race<br />

along just below the surface of the water truly attract sharks?<br />

There has been a few incidents – looks like a big mackerel I am<br />

thinking. Nonetheless we digress, we had done nothing about<br />

our obsession with foiling until this edition came around and it<br />

prompted some action. We thought, let’s find out a little more<br />

about foiling, what the setup cost is, how you can learn to ride the<br />

thing and so on. It just looks so cool.<br />

Well, foiling then lead us down the garden path of wing surfing.<br />

Now, that looks super, super cool and best of all, you can<br />

combine the two. And if that shark does come along to bite your<br />

foil, you can simply go wooshka up in the air and fly over that big<br />

sucker.<br />

What this really highlighted is there are just so many developing,<br />

morphing and emerging board “sports”, for want of a better word,<br />

that we thought, let’s bloody explore them all - every imaginable<br />

board sport. After all, that’s what smorgasboarding is all about –<br />

riding everything and anything that get’s you wet. Or damp… if<br />

you’re in the snow. Or damp with blood if you’ve tackled downhill<br />

skateboarding or freebording.<br />

At the end of the day, apart from some self-proclaimed ripper who<br />

only rides a 6’0” and states all the other stuff is for kooks, we’re<br />

not going to upset anyone, apart from that guy, and he is probably<br />

way too cool to read this mag anyhow.<br />

You see at Smorgasboarder, we are truly all about inclusivity<br />

- shortboards, longboards, paddleboards, wakeboards,<br />

skateboards, kooks, rippers, retro riders, male, female, young and<br />

old. We’re here to celebrate all that is great about riding mother<br />

nature, in any form. Most importantly, how would you ever know<br />

if something is fun or not if you didn’t give it a go. So, enjoy the<br />

edition, have a read, feel inspired, hopefully have a laugh and go<br />

get out there and enjoy whatever you’re riding.<br />

The Smorgasboarders

Win!<br />

Viking Kayak<br />

2 + 1<br />

valued at $1199 AUD<br />

To celebrate all things watersports with this very special<br />

edition of Smorgasboarder, we thought it only fitting to have<br />

some additional prize draws, none more special than this<br />

cracking Viking Kayak from the good folks at Kayak & Sup<br />

in Kawana. These guys are a one-stop specialist shop for<br />

kayaks and paddle boards. You can even try before you buy<br />

at their Sunshine Coast store or you can order direct online.<br />

So what is up for grabs<br />

we hear you say?<br />

You can just picture yourself now heading off solo for a bit<br />

of fishing, or perhaps taking a cruise with your better half,<br />

even a paddle with the family. It really is the ideal kayak for<br />

those wanting the versatility of a double kayak that can be<br />

easily paddled solo too. The 3 moulded seat positions and<br />

foot wells are designed to make sure you're comfortable in<br />

all 3 positions. The Viking 2+1 is a double kayak that’s been<br />

designed specifically for easy paddling as a single, double or<br />

even as a double with a junior sitting in the middle, making it<br />

much easier to get the whole family on the water.<br />

Awesomely stable, the Viking 2+1 offers room and comfort<br />

while the rounded edges and sides make this an excellent<br />

kayak for easy re-entries during those snorkelling adventures<br />

along the coast or when having fun in the waves.<br />

So how do I enter?<br />

All you have to do is tell us what it means to be a true<br />

waterman/ waterwoman and send your entry to us at<br />

competitions@smorgasboarder.com.au We will choose<br />

what we believe is the best entry and publish it in our next<br />

edition of Smorgasboarder.<br />

Viking 2+1 includes:<br />

2 x Propelz Ergo Seats<br />

2 x Propelz Eco Paddles<br />

3 hatches & two hatch buckets<br />

2 x paddle parks<br />

Deck grabline<br />

Bow & Stern carry handles<br />

2 x flush mount rod holder<br />

Specifications: 3.9m length, 81cm width, 27kg weight,<br />

200kg carrying capacity, Stability rating = Very stable<br />

Things you need to know...<br />

We’ll pick a winner on Monday January 31, 2022 so<br />

you have plenty of time to enter. This competition is<br />

open to Smorgasboarder readers throughout Australia<br />

and New Zealand. It will be the winner’s responsibility<br />

to collect their prize from Kayak & Sup at 188 Nicklin<br />

Way, Warana, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.<br />

This is a game of skill – the better you describe what<br />

it means to be a waterwoman/ waterman, the greater<br />

your chance of winning this awesome Viking Kayak.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 12






We are kayak, fishing and SUP specialists, carrying some<br />

of the world’s most popular brands.<br />

Our friendly, expert team can answer all your questions<br />

and guide you to your ideal kayak or board – you’re<br />

welcome to use the demo pool before you buy so you can<br />

be sure it’s perfect for you.<br />

Packages range from $399 to $4000+ so you can be sure<br />

we have the perfect kayak or Paddleboard for you.<br />


07 5437 7035<br />

188 Nicklin Way, Warana, Sunshine Coast

comp<br />

Win<br />

Yep, there is even more stuff to win<br />

in this edition of Smorgasboarder!<br />

The legends at Ghost Racks have thankfully provided<br />

us with ANOTHER set of their super strong, invisible<br />

racks to give away. All you have to do to enter and<br />

potentially win is send us an email to competitions@<br />

smorgasboarder.com.au telling us why a surfboard, or<br />

skateboard for that matter, is a living piece of art.<br />

We will choose the winning entry from all the<br />

submissions and you never know, it just could be you<br />

staring lovingly at your beautiful board up on the wall<br />

thanks to Ghost Racks - just like Will Furney from last<br />

edition. Read all about the special board he is mounting<br />

on his set of Ghost Racks he won on page 88.<br />

Things you need to know...<br />

We’ll pick a winner on Monday, 31 January 2022,<br />

so make sure to flick us an email.<br />

Open to Smorgasboarder readers worldwide. Prize<br />

will be your choice of either a vertical or horizontal<br />

wall rack from the Ghost Racks surf or skate range.<br />

We will even post the racks to you at their expense!<br />

This is a game of skill - the smarter your comment,<br />

the better your chance. Dazzle us with your wit and<br />

win. RACK ‘EM UP!<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 14

surfer_ Benny Hansen<br />

photographer_ Michael Lester<br />

shaper_ dburge<br />



Custom Shortboards<br />

Hybrid & Fishes<br />

Mals and Logs<br />

Factory 3/6 Kerta Rd, Kincumber NSW 2251<br />

M: 0415 577 085

comp news<br />

Win<br />

Do you want wax with that?<br />

And if the last two prizes weren’t enough, thanks to the<br />

best surf wax in the land, Hueys Choice, we’re giving<br />

away 24 blocks of the sticky stuff and a Hueys Choice<br />

cap to the person who sends in the best wipeout photo.<br />

It can be of either yourself or a mate (always funnier<br />

when it’s not you).<br />

Make sure we are authorised to use the photo because<br />

it will more than likely feature in the next edition of<br />

Smorgasboarder.<br />

With so much bad news about the world of late there is<br />

nothing that brings a smile to your dial like a hilarious<br />

wipeout photo. The one featured here is of our good<br />

mate Pat Quirk, aka “Helmet”, and it never ceases to<br />

amuse, even though this is the third time it’s made an<br />

appearance in our mag over the last 10 or so years.<br />

To enter, simply send your wipeout photo to<br />

competitions@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

Things you need to know...<br />

We’ll pick a winner on Monday, 31 January 2022,<br />

so make sure to send your funny photo in.<br />

Open to Smorgasboarder readers worldwide.<br />

24 block wax and cap prize pack can be one or<br />

a mix of Hueys different wax types – cold, cool,<br />

warm or tropical. And we will even post the wax<br />

pack to you at their expense! This is most certainly<br />

a game of skill, it takes a lot to wipeout with style.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 16

news<br />

Endless Surf<br />

Surfers looking to jump on board continuously perfect waves of the artificial<br />

variety still have some time to wait in Australia it seems.<br />

UrbnSurf, which operates Australia’s only public Wave Pool at Tullamarine<br />

in Melbourne, has plans for a second venue at Sydney’s Olympic Park.<br />

The Sydney Olympic Park Business Association noted on its website that<br />

construction began there in August this year, and UrbnSurf has listed<br />

Summer 2022 as the likely date for first rides on the new waves.<br />

UrbnSurf Sydney will also have a café, function room and training centre<br />

attached.<br />

At Yeppoon, the Surf Lake design has been active for several years now<br />

as a research and development site for the plunger-based technology that<br />

promises to be able to cater for up to 200 surfers at a time.<br />

There have been several plans announced around potential tourism<br />

accommodation to surround the park, and the last media before we went to<br />

print suggests the opening is expected at the end of 2022.<br />

For those on the Gold Coast the The Club Parkwood, home to the Gold<br />

Coast Titans, has announced its intention to install an Endless Surf wave<br />

pool as part of its future development, adding to the golf course and other<br />

facilities already on offer.<br />

As of November, the concept was just that, an idea to incorporate a surf<br />

pool into a large-scale expansion including an eight storey, 222 room hotel<br />

and apartment complex on one side of the pool, all of which is yet to be put<br />

to Gold Coast Council for approval.<br />

The same Endless Surf technology, which is a brand created by its designer<br />

WhiteWater based out of Canada, has been mooted as part of a proposed<br />

Actventure water park and 160-villa Invigorate Family Resort on the<br />

Sunshine Coast, just up the road from Australia Zoo in Glenview.<br />

Groundworks on the theme park and villas started in November as part of<br />

Stage 1 of the development which is being overseen by Sanad Capital.<br />

Sanad Capital’s managing director Bradley P. Sutherland said the surf pool<br />

would fall within Stage 2 of the project and he was hopeful it would all be<br />

open in December 2023 / January 2024.<br />

Other Sunshine Coast wave pool proposals include Surf Ranch at Coolum<br />

Beach and Surf Parks Australia’s proposal for a park using the Perfect<br />

Swell technology at Glasshouse Mountains.<br />

Surf Ranch has been backed by Consolidated Properties, Hutchinson<br />

Builders and Kelly Slater Wave Systems. The proposal is for the surf pool<br />

to be part of a large residential and tourism development likely to have<br />

1500 homes if allowed. The project would require the State Government to<br />

change the status of the land in the area to allow residential development<br />

as it falls outside the current urban footprint of the Sunshine Coast. There<br />

appears to be little movement here since August 2020.<br />

Surf Park Australia at Glasshouse Mountains is at the stage of lodging plans<br />

with Sunshine Coast Council with no confirmation yet of any proposed<br />

dates for opening.<br />


THE ART OF<br />


SINCE ‘79<br />



E: info@rhemagraphics Ph: 07 5534 1469<br />

Unit 1 / 7 Wheeler Crescent, Currumbin QLD 4223<br />

www.rhemagraphics.com<br />

17 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

ontroversy<br />

As the great Andy Samberg, aka Connor4Real,<br />

once said in his smash hit Equal Rights,<br />

“Discrimination, it ain’t right.”<br />

words: dave swan<br />

Well just as it is wrong to discriminate against one’s skin<br />

colour, height, weight, hair colour (or lack of it), sexual<br />

orientation or more... the same applies to surfing. We have<br />

to cease ridiculing the board sports we don’t participate<br />

in and appreciate their appeal to the devotees. And as we<br />

explore the myriad of board sports in this special edition of<br />

Smorgasboarder, we hope that it provides a pathway to a<br />

greater understanding of each discipline and the people who<br />

partake in it and true aquatic inclusion for all. Each one of us<br />

are surfers in our own special way.<br />

In essence, that means if you’d like to pretend you forgot how<br />

to stand up and lie down on a surf mat like good friend Neal<br />

Cameron, you go get ‘em tiger. You ride those waves all the<br />

way to the shore on your blow-up pin cushion without a care.<br />

Never mind what other people might say. If the truth be told,<br />

most surfers of the fibreglass board variety will be relieved<br />

to have you in the water - you guys, girls and others have<br />

absolutely no chance of fending off a shark with one of those<br />

things - reportedly it gives the sharks gas and slows them<br />

down somewhat as well, just enough anyhow for everyone<br />

else to make their way safely to shore.<br />

And to all those ocean janitors standing atop their trusty<br />

12-foot rotoplastic barges with paddles in hand, the same<br />

applies. You ride that big boy with pride. From all the way<br />

up there it’s easier to stay out of the commotion around you.<br />

Ignore all that screaming and<br />

shouting as you accidentally<br />

mow down a migrant family<br />

visiting the seaside for the first<br />

time. We get it. We understand.<br />

Those things are hard to control<br />

and accidents most certainly do<br />

happen.<br />

And speaking of those on high,<br />

foiling fans: we all welcome<br />

you and your flying Freddy<br />

Krueger fin as you head down<br />

the line towards us. Like a<br />

boiled egg welcomes the<br />

wire cutter that’s about to<br />

separate it down into neat<br />

salad slices... Who’s afraid of<br />

a bit of blood?<br />

The same applies if you’re a burnt-out shredder hasbeen<br />

on a partially submerged shortboard with a massive<br />

beer gut who paddles for every wave, swearing at all and<br />

sundry for dropping in when the only wave you’re getting<br />

is if someone gives you an almighty push. You carry that<br />

surf rage with pride, you’ve earnt it. No one more than<br />

you knows what it’s like to paddle for 600 waves and<br />

catch only one. You have the right to keep paddling and<br />

swearing incessantly.<br />

And the longboarders, hell, I guess it’s best we leave those<br />

guys alone for now (don’t worry, we don’t miss them later<br />

on). They’re on their way out the door of life so just let them<br />

experience a little joy before they catch their last wave.<br />

Then there’s those paragons of virtue and extreme patience -<br />

the kiteboarders who spend more time on the beach setting<br />

up their gear than they do actually getting in the water.<br />

Even goat-boaters with their budgie-smugglers and strap-on<br />

hats, they’re surfers too! Ok... I might have stretched things<br />

are little far there, but you get my drift. They’re probably<br />

officially classified as flotsam, but they ARE part of the marine<br />

environment too.<br />

And that’s where it is at people. Ride what you want without<br />

being discriminated against – simply ride the right board,<br />

craft, plank, inflatable, pool noodle or other for the appropriate<br />

conditions. Let’s be real: how cool are any of us anyway? It’s<br />

not about trying to be cool, it’s about having fun.<br />

To take a leaf from a different book... Cyclists for example:<br />

do you think those guys shave their legs and wear full body<br />

spandex for performance? Of course not, they do it for fun.<br />

And society is all the richer because of them. They don’t don<br />

those lyrca unitards and prance about your local coffee shop<br />

for no reason. It’s to put a smile on your dial.<br />

So, let’s not only cease discrimination throughout life in<br />

general but most importantly in our own ocean environment.<br />

Let’s put an end to discrimination amidst the various board<br />

pursuits. Let’s respect and appreciate people can do whatever<br />

they like for fun… within reason… as long as it doesn’t<br />

offend… including this article which may have but has been<br />

very much written tongue in cheek and you can rest assured,<br />

absolutely no small animals were harmed in the process. And<br />

it’s important to note that the author identifies as many of the<br />

described surfers in the rainbow of descriptions in this article,<br />

depending on the day, mood and conditions. No judgement,<br />

please.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 18


SINCE ‘68<br />


1/1-7 Canterbury Rd, Braeside, VIC<br />

P: 03 9587 3553<br />

E: rory@okesurfboards.com

stuff<br />


A desire to help protect surfers’<br />

eyes, combined with a plan to<br />

go out on his own in business<br />

inspired Kevin Barr to launch Barz<br />

Optics at Burleigh Heads nearly<br />

25 years ago.<br />

Kevin, a former surf champ, who started out<br />

working as a surf, snow ski and sailboard retailer said he progressed<br />

into his own business after finding many customers and friends suffering<br />

from eye problems such as pterigium – a type of cataract caused by<br />

prolonged exposure to UV rays, wind, spray and salt.<br />

“We were developing something different to meet a specific need,”<br />

Kevin said.<br />

He said surfers out early on the East Coast of Australia were faced with<br />

the sun and the reflection of the sun as they paddled out and looked for<br />

waves – an environment that was challenging for the eyes.<br />

Kevin said the other problem Barz Optics aimed to tackle was the<br />

challenge of surfing for people who had eyesight that was not 20-20.<br />

The Barz Optics sunglasses are designed in such a way they can easily<br />

take a prescription lense.<br />

Another innovation in recent times has been the addition of air cells into<br />

the temples and nose piece of the frames which meant if the glasses fell<br />

off, they floated and could be found again.<br />

Now sold in 32 countries around the world the Barz Optics brand has<br />

been a hit with mariners, be that boaties, yachties or windsurfers or<br />

surfers.<br />

Lately Barz Optics have picked up another market too – with their<br />

sunglasses becoming popular with road cyclists looking for prescription<br />

glasses that beat the glare and still let them read their on-handlebar<br />

technology such as Garmins.<br />

The full range of glasses is available on the website at<br />

www.barzoptics.com and includes floating models, photochromic<br />

lenses, prescription swim goggles and the Kiama cross sport sunglass<br />

/ goggle.<br />

The business has evolved from the early days as advances in<br />

technology have sped up the process.<br />

They were originally hand made from cellulose acetate requiring 16 hand<br />

routing processes and three days of tumble polishing. Each pair took<br />

twelve days in production.<br />

At that time, a maximum of 200 pairs could be produced per week.<br />

By 2004, and three design developments later, the frame was produced<br />

by injection mould using a hybrid nylon TR90 in Barz Optics Currumbin<br />

factory. The assembly was also carried out in the same facility enabling<br />

a capacity of 1200 pairs per week.<br />

In terms of the process for customers these days Kevin said most would<br />

choose their style of frame and send through their prescription to have<br />

the glasses custom-made and sent back for years of future use.<br />

If you happen to be down Burleigh way you can find Barz Optics at 11/4<br />

Leda Drive, Burleigh Heads.<br />

www.barzoptics.com<br />

Real Surf<br />

“Real Surf is a locally owned and operated Core Surf Store<br />

specialising in surfboards, wetsuits, hardware and rentals. Come<br />

check out our new store just down the road at 5/56 Kingsford<br />

Smith St, Lyall Bay, Wellington.<br />

“We’re open 7 days a week with a friendly and experienced team<br />

ready to help out with your next purchase!<br />

Alternatively check out our website for the latest products and<br />

sale deals at www.realsurf.co.nz or find us on social media.”<br />

+64 4 387 8798<br />

www.realsurf.co.nz<br />

team@realsurf.co.nz<br />

Maranui Surf Life Saving Cafe<br />

“Pop out to Lyall Bay to visit the iconic Maranui Cafe. Here you<br />

can forget about the time and tuck into something scrumptious<br />

while gazing out over the beach, which is often filled with surfers<br />

attempting to master the waves. Brimming with personality,<br />

Maranui has a feel for colour and embraces all things eclectic<br />

when it comes to design. Sitting above the Maranui Surf Life<br />

Saving Club with a great coffee in hand and staring into the<br />

glistening blue distance, you’re sure to feel the holiday vibes.”<br />

+6 4387 4539 cafe@maranui.co.nz<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 20

stuff<br />

NZ SHRED<br />

words: jase johns<br />





If this last 18 months has taught us anything, it is<br />

about battling through, developing our strengths<br />

and just enjoying what we have around us. Outside<br />

of the day-to-day, the thing most of us have felt has<br />

been stolen, is our ‘freedom of movement’ - most<br />

importantly, our ability to get outside, travel and<br />

play. Humans are mobile creatures - we walk, we<br />

run, we climb, some of us fly … but this summer, we<br />

will float, we will ride, and we will paddle.<br />

Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUPing) is nothing<br />

new! A recent sport for the masses, however it has<br />

been part of the water culture for many of us for<br />

years. More recently, we’ve seen a development<br />

in customer interest in taking their paddleboarding<br />

experiences to the next level – Adventure SUPing. At<br />

the forefront for design and development is the RED<br />

Paddle Company. They have just landed their 2022<br />

range of inflatable SUP boards instore … spanning<br />

four riding genres and including a staggering 16+<br />

models - from the nimble 8’10” Whip (ideal for<br />

travelling surfers), through to the 10’8” Activ (for<br />

the Yogi in the group), to the enormous 14’0” Elite<br />

(accommodating the race and downwind rider).<br />

However for us, in the lakes, rivers and ocean of<br />

southern New Zealand, by far our most popular<br />

model is the award winning 10’6” Ride. These<br />

boards are easy to manage; with the well thoughtout<br />

backpack carry bags. They’re easy to inflate - in<br />

just over 5 minutes and have multi-purpose, double<br />

chamber pumps to care for your back. Using high<br />

density drop stitch in the construction, the boards<br />

are stronger and stiffer. Red Paddle Company has<br />

developed an application to laminate high-density<br />

structural PVC – meaning the boards look cleaner<br />

and ride infinitely better.<br />

With the decision making taken out of your hands,<br />

it now just comes down to “where can I take my<br />

new toy?” … and the answer really is anywhere.<br />

Here in New Zealand’s South Island, we are blessed<br />

with a multitude of different opportunities to SUP<br />

right at our doorstep. From a quick weekender down<br />

the coast for the easy beginner/intermediate righthander<br />

at Riverton, or the beachie at Colac Bay …<br />

to a noodle around the picturesque and secluded<br />

bays and coves of Lakes Wakatipu and Wanaka.<br />

However, one of our favourites, is only available to<br />

us from about this time of year. Traditionally, wellknown<br />

for the winter snowsports, Queenstown’s<br />

Remarkables mountain range holds a summer<br />

secret that really is something to behold. Perched<br />

some 2000m above sea level is the stunning Lake<br />

Alta. Frozen for well over half of the year, it is only<br />

within the last two months that the warmer Spring<br />

sun has enough punch to chemically deconstruct<br />

the 220 acres of surface area, from a flat pure white<br />

alpine plateau, to a crystal clear (freezing cold)<br />

amphitheatre of turquoise colour and contrast.<br />

With no road access further than the Ski Area base<br />

building, this is truly ‘an effort trip’. Once reaching<br />

the Lake edge, water access from the eastern shore<br />

allows the paddleboarder to circumnavigate the<br />

Lake, gazing at the 40 degree angled Alta chutes<br />

(familiar to our advanced snowboarding readers)<br />

or the breathtaking views up the Grand Coulour<br />

(leading to the high peak of Single Cone, at an<br />

impressive 2319m). While the board deflates, you<br />

can finish with a bone-chilling dip in the post-ice age<br />

water, then take the lazy downhill walk back to the<br />

carpark, through snow tussock fields and high alpine<br />

wetlands.<br />

Magical … but just one of the many “Adventure<br />

SUP” excursions that a safe andc thoughtful<br />

paddleboarder can engage in throughout the South<br />

Island, with a Red Paddle Company paddleboard<br />

available from NZSHRED.<br />

(Note: The waters of the South Island are cold and<br />

weather conditions can be unpredictable. Always<br />

have a plan and be prepared to cancel if needed).<br />

visit<br />

www.nzshred.co.nz<br />

21 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

stuff<br />


“Explore Whangamata and the spectacular Coromandel region<br />

with courtesy vehicle pick ups and drop offs.<br />

“Extensive SUP hire range, surf or explore flat water.<br />

“Visit the now natural wonder of Whenuakura Island and its<br />

spectacular bush fringed lagoon.<br />

“Have a day off the water but wish to explore the region? We<br />

have a wide range of E-Bikes available, or walk our bush and<br />

coast tracks.”<br />

www.pedalandpaddle.co.nz<br />

Coastal Sports Kaikoura<br />

“We’re a small shop living the dream in Kaikoura NZ,<br />

with adventures from the surf to mountains at our<br />

doorstep. Since 2003, owner operated, hardware<br />

focused, passion run business. Coldwater surf<br />

specialist, adventure gear, and all the fun stuff. Shop<br />

smarter, surf more, and consume less.”<br />

+6 3319 5028<br />

www.coastalsports.co.nz<br />



If you’re looking for personal<br />

service with a smile, drop in and<br />

see Toby and Bridget at Moana<br />

SUP in Nelson.<br />

Just across the road from the<br />

beach, Moana SUP is a familyowned<br />

independent surf and sup<br />

store selling premium gear, surf and<br />

sup hardware, boards, wetsuits and<br />

apparel.<br />

Toby has designed and shaped a<br />

wide range of products to suit the<br />

novice right through to top grade<br />

surfers such as Jamie “Chip”<br />

Andrews - one of New Zealand’s<br />

best all round surfers.<br />

If you’re in the greater Nelson area<br />

or just passing through you’ll get<br />

a wealth of knowledge about all<br />

things SUP and Surf from Toby and<br />

Bridget.<br />

“Best little surf shop<br />

in town (and beyond)”<br />

Shop 6, 623 Rocks Road, Moana, Nelson<br />

visit<br />

visit<br />

moanasup.co.nz<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 22

stuff<br />


SUPcentre may seem like a specialty<br />

stand up paddle store at first glance.<br />

However once you step inside it soon<br />

becomes apparent that it houses multiple<br />

wave riding tools. Its humble roots as<br />

a stand-up paddle specific store have<br />

slowly morphed over time into a hub for<br />

all watersports.<br />

The store is still renowned for its vast<br />

array of stand-up paddle equipment from<br />

high performance to all-round sup boards,<br />

paddles, fins and accessories. In recent<br />

years, SUPcentre has also taken on the<br />

role of a surf shop with longboards, soft<br />

tops, shortboards, fishes and specialty<br />

shapes by the likes of Auckland based<br />

shaper Steve Morris.<br />

If you have become or are looking to<br />

become one of the recent converts to<br />

wing foiling, SUPcentre is definitely worth<br />

a visit. We now stock boards, foils and<br />

wings from brands such as Naish, Axis,<br />

Ensis and SIC.<br />

All in all Supcentre is the destination for all<br />

your wave riding needs from surf apparel<br />

to boogie boards and hard goods. If the<br />

ocean is your thing then SUPcentre is<br />

sure to be able sort you out with all the<br />

accessories and equipment for your next<br />

adventure.<br />

The store itself is even an escape from the<br />

hustle and bustle of Auckland City. The<br />

friendly staff are available to answer any of<br />

your general or product related questions,<br />

the chilled atmosphere will likely lead you<br />

to grab a seat in front of our big screen<br />

tv and maybe a coffee from Aucklands’<br />

famous Cafe Lafarre just next door. The<br />

store is super accessible only as its only a<br />

few minutes off the motorway and not far<br />

from the CBD making it a perfect stop-off<br />

point for anyone wandering Newmarket or<br />

travelling through Auckland on their next<br />

mission.<br />

SUPcentre is one of the few inner-city<br />

surf/watersport shops, It is your one-stop<br />

shop for the keen water and outdoor<br />

enthusiasts alike. They offer a broad range<br />

of clothing, surf and sup accessories,<br />

wetsuits and more. There is sure to be<br />

something for every family member and to<br />

spark every interest. So next time you’re<br />

in Auckland pop in to hang out with the<br />

supcentre team and check out our wide<br />

range of wave riding goods to cater to all<br />

water sports.<br />

visit<br />

www.supcentre.co.nz<br />

23 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

The old shop at Cowes.<br />

Left to right - Sam Smith, Matt Ryan,<br />

Tommy Tyrrell, Neil Luke.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 24

Holy<br />

Cowes<br />

Photos supplied by Island Surfboards.<br />

Smorgasboarder delves into the world<br />

of one of Australia’s most iconic surf<br />

brands and finds the reason for their<br />

success is hardly a surprise!<br />

In the year when the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Russell Morrison<br />

and Elvis Presley were top of the pops in Australia, two surfers<br />

with a dream started shaping boards in the garage of one of<br />

their parent’s homes on a little island most commonly known as<br />

the home of the Fairy Penguins in Victoria.<br />

It was 1969, and the two surfers, Matt Ryan and Tom Tyrrell,<br />

had worked out a plan to immerse themselves in the surfing<br />

industry with enough flexibility to be able to down tools, shut<br />

the shop, and chase the waves when they arrived.<br />

It was also the year that Island Surfboards was born at Phillip<br />

Island – a business that continues to this day as one of<br />

Australia’s longest standing independent surf shops.<br />

The shop’s been going so long, it has three generations of the<br />

Ryan family invested in its ongoing success – and a factory<br />

team with a combined experience easily clocking more than 200<br />

years.<br />

For Matt, who’s now 75, and not quite retired, it’s been one wild<br />

ride. While Tom retired a while back, Matt said the strength of<br />

the business had a lot to do with the strength of their friendship<br />

which stretched over 40 years in business together.<br />

“He’s (Tom) not involved in the business anymore. He retired<br />

about 12 years ago, maybe a little longer,” Matt said.<br />

“It was funny. I was going to retire, and he was going to<br />

continue working. And then, out of the blue, he changed his<br />

mind and said - `I want to retire, and you can buy me out’.<br />

“So, instead of retiring, I got back to work. He beat me to it. I’ve<br />

got one foot on retirement and the other on a banana peel!”<br />

Over nearly 53 years Matt has seen a lot of change in the surfing<br />

industry and the small island town he calls home. He counts<br />

some of their success to the timing of when they got started.<br />

“To a certain extent, we had the benefit of luck, there wasn’t<br />

anyone else making boards on Phillip Island.<br />

“The surf industry was in it’s infancy – most of the board makers<br />

were in Melbourne.<br />

“All I wanted to do was surf and making boards was a good way<br />

to get some work done and still have plenty of time for the surf.<br />

But yeah, being in the right place, at the right time.”<br />

Matt’s son, Sandy, who has built a strong reputation as a<br />

notable big wave surfer, now runs the business for the family.<br />

He said Island Surfboards had built a strong reputation for its<br />

focus on helping others to share in their love of surfing.<br />

“The business is an iconic place in the fact that it’s about<br />

providing a service rather than running a get rich quick<br />

scheme,” Sandy said. “We’re here because we enjoy it, it’s a<br />

fantastic lifestyle and it’s a pleasure to give people technical<br />

advice and provide them with the surfing products that allow<br />

them to go out and have the time of their life,” he said.<br />

The ethos has obviously worked well as Island Surfboards<br />

now has two shops, (Cowes and Smiths Beach) and employs<br />

more than 40 people when you include casuals during the peak<br />

season, manufacturing and retail staff at the two shops. The<br />

team produce about 350 of their own boards each year.<br />

The longevity of the business has carried on to the experience<br />

of the staff with the factory brimming with talent who have stuck<br />

with the business for more than 20 years.<br />

25 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

Above: The Big Dog - Matt Ryan - in his prime.<br />

Below: Styling in front of the Smith Street shop.<br />

Left to right<br />

- Matt Ryan,<br />

Greg Wilde, Neil<br />

Luke, Fatcat<br />

Marlborough<br />

(Angus’ Dad),<br />

Tommy Tyrrell.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 26

27 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong><br />

Left to right - Neil Luke, Tommy<br />

Tyrrell, Phil Grace and the gang.

Glyndyn “Ringa” Ringrose<br />

Ringa doing his thing on a tiddly one!<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 28

29 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong><br />

We’re all good<br />

mates. We’re all<br />

friends. We started<br />

that way. I have<br />

been pretty selective<br />

when new people<br />

start, I like to have<br />

a good feeling with<br />

new people and I’ve<br />

been a pretty good<br />

judge of that so far<br />

I reckon,” Matt<br />

said.<br />

“We’re all good mates. We’re all friends. We<br />

started that way. I have been pretty selective<br />

when new people start, I like to have a good<br />

feeling with new people and I’ve been a pretty<br />

good judge of that so far I reckon,” Matt said.<br />

It’s a thought echoed by Sandy.<br />

“It’s just a nice place to work – it’s like a<br />

family,” he said.<br />

“Well, technically, it is a family, but it’s more of<br />

an extended family of staff and customers.<br />

“You know customers that have been coming<br />

in since before I started working here. It’s fun,<br />

it’s social, it’s enjoyable – rewarding.”<br />

On the family front, Sandy said plenty of<br />

Ryans had appeared behind the desk in the<br />

shop over the years including Sandy’s sister<br />

Julia, his other sister Kate, his Mum and Dad,<br />

and now Sandy’s son Jack. He fully expects<br />

his youngest two, Julian and Tamika, will get a<br />

call up too at some stage.<br />

With a policy of work being work, and home<br />

being home, Matt said there had never been<br />

conflict within the family and he felt having the<br />

family involved had been an asset rather than<br />

a liablity for the business.<br />

Speaking of family, we had to ask Matt<br />

whether all of his children were as seemingly<br />

crazy as Sandy when it comes to taking risks<br />

and chasing huge waves. Luckily for the<br />

fatherly stress levels, it seems Sandy’s on his<br />

own on that front.<br />

“He is unique. My other kids are totally<br />

different, I love them just as much, but they’re<br />

all three different personalities. They’re not like<br />

Sandy, not extreme risk takers like he is,” Matt<br />

noted.<br />

On the factory front, the Island Surfboards<br />

website proudly promotes the team behind<br />

the creation of the boards and the team has<br />

plenty to say about why they do what they do.<br />

The Island creative line-up includes:<br />

• Custom shaper and factory manager<br />

Greg “Hoges” Hogan who has more than<br />

40 years experience in the surf industry,<br />

23 of those at Island Surfboards.<br />

• Glyndyn “Ringa” Ringrose - custom<br />

shaper and team rider with 35 years’<br />

experience in the surfing industry, 23<br />

of those at Island. He was once ranked<br />

20th in the world on the CT and is a WSL<br />

water patrolman.<br />

• Newbie, Angus “Gus” Marlborough,<br />

custom shaping and sanding for two<br />

years with the team. Worth noting the lad<br />

has a sense of humour - noting on his bio<br />

that “I’ve got more freckles than the night<br />

sky has stars”.<br />

• Dean “Deano” Bould is a kneeboard<br />

shaper with 10 years at Island. He also<br />

happens to have won plenty of local and<br />

State kneeboard titles.<br />

• Adam “Adzy” Vyverberg has been<br />

spraying boards and sorting out dings at<br />

Island for 12 of the 15 years he has spent<br />

in the game. He also creates custom<br />

boards and reckons 99% of the dings he<br />

fixes are Sandy’s boards.<br />

• Peter “Pud” Coffey has clocked up more<br />

than 40 years in the surf industry, the last<br />

three at Island where he’s in charge of<br />

glassing and tints. He started at Klemm<br />

Bell Surfboards in 1967 and has probably<br />

forgotten more than most people will ever<br />

learn about this game. He’s often joined<br />

on the job by his son James.<br />

• Terry “Klemmy” Klem has the title of<br />

classic customer shaper - and with 56<br />

years in the game, the last 10 at Island,<br />

it’s a journey that started way back in<br />

1959 when he crafted his first board out<br />

of balsa. He digs recreating boards from<br />

original 60’s templates and at Klemm<br />

Bell was one of the first manufacturers in<br />

Victoria.<br />

• James “Jimmy” Coffey has clocked up<br />

three years at Island out of his 15 years<br />

in the industry. He’s on the sander and<br />

repairs and is the second generation of<br />

Coffey to work at Island.<br />

• Greg “Slim” Hyndman is a master glasser<br />

- 35 years in the game, 30 of those at<br />

Island. He’s been making boards since<br />

he was 16 years old.<br />

Slim remembers his start in the game.<br />

“I turned up here in ’86 and there was Tommy,<br />

Neil, Matt. Andy was the glasser – Greg Wild<br />

was here as well,” Slim said.<br />

“I did a few boards shaping and did all the<br />

polishing of the boards you know.<br />

“All the boards were polished in those days,<br />

so I did that. Andy left and I started doing all<br />

the glassing from then on - so it’s been a few<br />

years.”<br />

Veteran shaper, Hoges, has been at it for<br />

many a year too.<br />

“I shaped my first board back when I was 13,<br />

but I’ve done heaps of other sh*t as well,” he<br />

notes. Hoges was also quick to point out that<br />

it was about more than the shapers, saying<br />

everyone contributed to the creation of their<br />

boards.<br />

Former Tour surfer Glyndyn “Ringa” Ringrose<br />

is another shaper in the team. He started in<br />

1993 and has been there ever since. He jokes<br />

about riding his own boards during his time on<br />

the circuit.<br />

“There were a few guys before me that did<br />

that too, but I was the last one, the last bloke<br />

to ride exclusively my own boards on tour.<br />

Maybe it was my downfall,” he laughs.<br />

If you go looking online there’s a few pics of<br />

Ringa surfing all manner of boards including a<br />

finless selection in some pretty gnarly waves<br />

in Fiji. Just as the team will ride all manner<br />

of gear, they will not shy away from shaping<br />

anything.<br />

“No way. I have a go at it all. Everything and<br />

anything. Kneeboards, goat boats, wave skis,<br />

mals, sups, shortboards, fishes. Whatever<br />

anyone wants me to do, I’ll have a go,”<br />

Ringa said. “I just want to keep improving,<br />

keep getting better, adjusting to the times.<br />

Constantly tweaking to get something a little<br />

bit more.”<br />

While stories abound in the surfing industry<br />

about top secret designs and delicate egos<br />

in the shaping bays, the Island Surfboards’<br />

team say the years of working together have<br />

created an equilibrium that works.<br />

“Back in the day, shapers didn’t share<br />

anything,” Slim said. “It was like a secret<br />

society. No-one shared anything, unless a<br />

guy put you under his wing. Nowadays, some<br />

people share, other people go, `nup – I’m top<br />

secret’. We just do our own thing here. I come<br />

in, do my work. They come in and do their<br />

work – that’s it.”

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 30


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OPEN<br />

7 DAYS<br />

Hoges said a few years of experience helped.<br />

“Most of the time, it works well because, number 1 –<br />

everyone’s really f*#ken old. You know, I say to them -<br />

`you’re on piece rates – you’re all f*#ken adults – I shouldn’t<br />

have to tell you what to f*#ken do,” Hoges said.<br />

“It’s the surfboard industry you know, the shaper can make<br />

it hard for the glasser, the glasser can make it hard for the<br />

sander, the sander can make it hard for the finisher. So,<br />

there is co-operation here so none of that happens.<br />

“But as I said, they’re all adults and they get paid to do the<br />

job. There’s a certain team that’ll share and another team<br />

that don’t. Personally, I couldn’t give a f*#k.”<br />

Ringa said the fact they all worked in the same factory<br />

meant they all saw each other’s work at any rate – and that<br />

both he and Hoges made a point of sharing their work with<br />

their apprentice Gus as part of his training.<br />

Matt said the strength of the factory team was reflected in<br />

the strength of the brand.<br />

“Everyone in the factory is an expert at their craft, and<br />

there’s always been a good mix of experience and youth,”<br />

he said.<br />

The other half of the creation of great boards is great<br />

feedback and Island Surfboards have a team of willing<br />

surfers on their list who are happy to help on that front.<br />

Aside from Sandy and Ringa, The Island Surfboard’s talent<br />

list includes: Harry de Roth, Carl Wright, Brock Jeffrey-<br />

Warren, Eli Curry, Simon McShane, Codie Jeffery, Francis<br />

Meade, Adrian Maier, Kirra Marlborough, Bridget Gregson,<br />

Nick Huigsloot, Blake Green, Josh Griffin, Kyle Griffin, Eden<br />

Goldsbury, Jamie Liatos, Niamh Moore, Ollie Van Venrooy,<br />

Rye Cicero and Jarrah Cicero.<br />

Hoges said different surfers had different strengths when it<br />

came to providing feedback.<br />

“Sandy’s exceptionally good. Harry’s sh*thouse. But nah, a<br />

lot of guys just grab them and surf them good, they like it,<br />

but they don’t really know why.<br />

“Sandy will go, `why does it do this?’ or `feel like this?’ and<br />

you can work it out from there. McShane’s probably as<br />

good as anyone, he’s incredibly fussy but you can learn a<br />

lot from that feedback.”<br />

For Ringa, all feedback’s worth noting.<br />

“You always get feedback from all sorts of areas,” he said.<br />

“You’ve obviously got the pros and the team riders, they’ve<br />

got their own ideas anyway, you’ve got to modify their<br />

ideas.<br />


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“He is unique. My other<br />

kids are totally different,<br />

I love them just as much,<br />

but they’re all three<br />

different personalities.<br />

They’re not like Sandy,<br />

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<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 32

33 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong><br />

“Then you’ve got people who might not have a lot of idea,<br />

but they’ve got an idea in their mind of what it should look<br />

like or how it should go.<br />

“Everyone expects that their board is going to make them<br />

a surfer.<br />

“What I’ve learnt over the years is that you can make the<br />

board go. You are the person that has to adjust, work,<br />

understand the board to make it perform to its limitations.<br />

But you can always push those limitations to the max.”<br />

The combination of talent behind and on top of the boards<br />

has certainly worked for the business - taking them to great<br />

heights, including winning the Quiksilver Core Surf Store<br />

Challenge event held on the Gold Coast - up against some<br />

giants of the industry.<br />

“It was pretty big for a little surf shop from Phillip<br />

Island to take out the biggest and best surf shops<br />

across Australasia, so yeah, it was pretty huge,” Sandy<br />

reminisces.<br />

“On top of that it was really fun surfing Snapper, and<br />

obviously a big party ensued which was a bit of fun too!”<br />

Helping others to build their skills extends beyond their<br />

own team too. Island Surfboards is renowned on the<br />

East Coast of Australia for having one of the biggest surf<br />

schools in the country – a reputation that has been built<br />

over many years.<br />

“It’s been going a long time, coming up to 30 years now,”<br />

Sandy said.

Sandy Ryan<br />

Pic: Andy Chisholm<br />

“We provide a very hands-on service of teaching people<br />

how to surf, as opposed to just crowd control. A lot of return<br />

customers. We offer group lessons, school groups right across<br />

Victoria.<br />

“It’s a very personalised approach, no matter how big the<br />

group is.”<br />

With so much time in the market and such a strong brand to<br />

build from, the opportunity has been there for further growth –<br />

however Matt said it had never really been of interest to him.<br />

“I didn’t want the stress I suppose,” Matt said.<br />

“For most of my time, being directly involved, I’ve wanted<br />

to surf as much as I can as well. I just haven’t been that<br />

ambitious.<br />

“The potential was always there, but you have to throw a lot<br />

more time out of the water into it all. We’ve just been plodding<br />

along. It is a selfish point of view really, we just wanted to<br />

surf.”<br />

Sandy said it comes down what they love about the business.<br />

“We just love Phillip Island, it’s where I’ve grown up. We’ve<br />

only been growing within our means. A lot of other brands<br />

seem to go big and it’s often to their detriment. I guess it<br />

comes back to that lifestyle that we’ve got here on Phillip<br />

Island.”<br />

Off the back of a tough two years of COVID-19 restrictions and<br />

lockdowns Sandy said the focus for the future was to just keep<br />

getting better.<br />

“In terms of outlook going forward, we’ll just keep the same<br />

thing running and obviously try to improve where we can. Just<br />

do what we do, better,” Sandy said.<br />

As for Matt, he’s happy to take a backseat on what comes<br />

next.<br />

“I’ll leave that to the younger generation. No one wants to<br />

be taking any notice of what a 75 year old thinks. The young<br />

people can make the decisions now, and I’m happy with that.”<br />

Sandy said it comes<br />

down to what they love<br />

about the business.<br />

“We just love Phillip<br />

Island, it’s where I’ve<br />

grown up. We’ve only<br />

been growing within<br />

our means. A lot of<br />

other brands seem to<br />

go big and it’s often to<br />

their detriment. I guess<br />

it comes back to that<br />

lifestyle that we’ve got<br />

here on Phillip Island.”<br />

If you happen to be down south in Victoria and want<br />

to check out Island Surfboards, you’ll find them at<br />

147 Thompson Ave, Cowes or 225 Smiths Beach<br />

Road, Smiths Beach. Failing that, find them online at<br />

www.islandsurfboards.com.au<br />

Facebook: @islandsurfboards<br />

Insta: @islandsurfboards1969<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 34

Team Rider – Zac Haynes<br />

Pic – Matt Macdonal<br />



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35 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 36

Through a<br />

different lens<br />

words: geoff crockett<br />

37 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 38

If you happen to be<br />

wandering down<br />

a bush track to an<br />

isolated surf spot along<br />

the Great Ocean Road<br />

to make the most of<br />

some huge waves and<br />

you hear a rustle in the<br />

bushes – don’t be too<br />

alarmed.<br />

If the swell’s up and the conditions are right, that rustle<br />

could well be Torquay photographer Romy Roache<br />

heading toward the edge of a cliff for an eagle-eye view of<br />

nature unfolding.<br />

Romy is a multi-talented creative soul. She plays music,<br />

speaks German fluently, has travelled extensively and<br />

spent countless hours on the water sailing and enjoying<br />

nature with her family as she grew up on Victoria’s<br />

coastline. Right now, she’s also learning how to be a Yoga<br />

teacher.<br />

Most recently though Romy has developed a new career<br />

for herself, taking a childhood love of photography and<br />

applying a passion for learning to morph from interior<br />

designer to photographer and open her own studio in the<br />

surfing mecca of Torquay.<br />

For Romy it’s a journey she’s undertaken later in life. She<br />

said it’s been at times nerve wracking and scary, but now,<br />

it’s increasingly, rewarding.<br />

Her latest piece of good news was that one of her photos<br />

was selected by author John Ogden to open a section of<br />

his latest book Waterproof: Australian Surf Photography<br />

Since 1958. The book was released in September this<br />

year.<br />

Tracking back to when her interest in photography began<br />

Romy said while she can remember enjoying taking<br />

pictures as a child when it came to choosing a career and<br />

further study she had been drawn towards interior design.<br />

She said as she started to travel, taking photos was<br />

always part of the experience. Feedback from friends<br />

inspired by her snaps shared on social media or in person<br />

let her know people enjoyed her work.<br />

39 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 40

“I moved back to Torquay and I started going down the beach and<br />

enjoying the ocean and taking photos and got more and more into it,”<br />

Romy said.<br />

“I met my husband down here and he surfs and I think that’s been a big<br />

part of the bigger picture as well.”<br />

As for when the idea of being a photographer full-time became a reality,<br />

Romy said: “I do remember the moment very well”.<br />

“I made friends with a guy who had a studio down here – I used to<br />

come in with my Iphone and say look at the shot I took this morning.<br />

“Over time, he picked up my phone one day – and he took it out of my<br />

hand. He goes – `you’re buying a camera’.<br />

“I said I don’t know what to buy and he just said - go to Melbourne, pick<br />

them up, play with them and buy one. I came home with the Olympus.<br />

“He showed me a few things – I found this awesome lady to teach me<br />

too. That’s how it started.<br />

“Then he gave me a job to work in the studio on the weekends. Then I<br />

formed my own eye for the shots I like.<br />

“He pretty much said to me from the very first day – you’ve got<br />

awesome composition – he said don’t worry, whatever you’re doing,<br />

you’re doing right.<br />

“Some of my shots are not the correct composition as to what you’re<br />

taught at school. It’s not perfect. I don’t want that perfect look. I just see<br />

lines – as soon as I see lines, I’m hitting the camera button and I’m off.<br />

“I just wait. Over time you just learn how to read the waves – you can<br />

already see what’s happening in the background and you start to think<br />

what settings am I going to use for this shot. It’s all quick.<br />

“I do like to go up high to shoot – I usually climb in the bushes and hide<br />

from everyone else. Someone the other day went `Oh My God – you<br />

gave me such a fright’ when I came back out onto the track.<br />

“It is work though – I’m working and I’m out there to get something. It’s<br />

easier to do it without interruptions.”<br />

When it comes to the best time of year for photography, Romy said it<br />

was a mix.<br />

“I was going through my favourites looking for my best shots, and as<br />

much as winter are the best waves, autumn has the best colours.<br />

“Winter is my best time though – you need everything – you need the<br />

full gear – sometimes you can’t even tell if you’re a boy or girl. It gets<br />

really cold – Antartic winds blowing in.<br />

“Every time you go out, it’s so different.<br />

“The colours are different, the swells are different, the wind’s different,<br />

the tides different, what’s exposed on the rocks is different, you can<br />

never get sick of it. It’s such a beautiful thing to be part of. God I’m<br />

lucky, I’m doing this as a job.”<br />

Since taking up the camera in earnest – Romy said she was surprised<br />

by the speed at which her business has grown.<br />

“Some of my shots are not<br />

the correct composition<br />

as to what you’re taught<br />

at school. It’s not perfect.<br />

I don’t want that perfect<br />

look. I just see lines – as<br />

soon as I see lines, I’m<br />

hitting the camera button<br />

and I’m off.<br />

41 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

You owe it<br />

to your eyes.<br />

Barz Optics developed their initial surfing<br />

sunglass / goggle in the mid 90’s — since then<br />

they have developed a further six eyewear styles<br />

for surfing.<br />

Barz latest model The Coolie provides that classic<br />

sunglass look.<br />

Featuring a dual moulded nose piece and temples<br />

for a comfortable fit. Ideal for protecting the eyes<br />

from glare, salt and spray while surfing and the<br />

protecting the eyes from pterigium growth.<br />

Available in either a matt grey or matt black<br />

frame with either a amber or grey 1.1mm acetate<br />

polarised lenses.<br />

The Coolie can also be fitted with limited RX<br />

prescription lenses for those who are optically<br />

challenged.<br />

The nose piece and temple tips are non slip.<br />

Each pair is supplied with a leash that keeps the<br />

glasses close to the chest if the frame has been<br />

ripped off the wearer head in the surf.<br />

Available at good surf shops or at<br />

www.barzoptics.com<br />

11/4 Leda Drive Burleigh Heads Qld 4220.<br />

Phone +61 755764365<br />

“For me it’s come a long way very quickly, even with the hard times of<br />

COVID.<br />

“There was one moment where I wondered what was going to happen.<br />

I feel very privileged, very looked after.<br />

“It is a good story – it’s a good story for people who don’t come across<br />

their dream until later in life.<br />

“I went to school as interior designer. When I took up photography<br />

again obviously all the cameras had really changed.<br />

“I found this amazing teacher. There were only certain things I wanted<br />

to freshen up on and learn and she taught me, one-on-one, about the<br />

<strong>digital</strong> cameras and all the different apps.”<br />

Much like a surfer, Romy said her days are planned around the<br />

weather and the swell – constantly monitoring the surf apps to try<br />

and understand when the next big swell is likely to roll through, and<br />

the weather apps to know when the conditions might be just right to<br />

capture nature at her best.<br />

“I’m not really a surf photographer, I’m a landscape or ocean<br />

photographer.<br />

“People love it – it’s a bit mystical – it takes them away from the reality<br />

of the hardships of life at the moment.<br />

“They want to know where it was shot and when it was shot. And they<br />

seem to like the idea that it was me who took the shots.<br />

“I just like to get out there and do my own thing. I think I always try to<br />

find spots that look appealing or different to me.<br />

“I think a lot of it is just luck and the only planning I really do is swellnet<br />

and the weather conditions.”<br />

Romy said she’d also developed a bit of a following with local surfers<br />

who’d message her to find out if she was going to be out shooting.<br />

“You get a lot of surfers going – are you going out? I can’t wait to see<br />

what you get.<br />

“The other day I went out and took a few shots of the 50 year storm<br />

down here at Bells – and they were in touch asking did you get any<br />

shots of me? I do have a good look and try and help them out.”<br />

Predominantly Romy said her photos were of the coastline around<br />

Torquay and along the Great Ocean Road close to where she lives.<br />

While most are ocean shots, she also has a love of the tree ferns and<br />

forests of the Otways and has started to take more shots of Australian<br />

native animals she encounters on her journeys.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 42

There was one moment<br />

where I wondered what<br />

was going to happen. I<br />

feel very privileged, very<br />

looked after.<br />

“It is a good story – it’s a<br />

good story for people who<br />

don’t come across their<br />

dream until later in life.”<br />

Romy said the holidays she and her husband Phil take most often<br />

revolve around surf and photography, but so far, the timing’s not gone<br />

her way.<br />

“We often go up to Crescent Head, or Byron, but it’s funny, we keep<br />

missing the swell somehow. We keep saying next time there’s a<br />

cyclone we’re heading up and take photos.”<br />

When it came time to choose a honeymoon destination, Romy and Phil<br />

headed to the Mentawai’s, home to nearly 30 different surf breaks.<br />

For Romy, her surf time is normally spent up high, looking down on the<br />

action through the lense, although she said she has a longboard she’s<br />

been known to dabble with occasionally.<br />

On the business front, Romy said she had started an online business<br />

first and started to sell prints of her best photos to people all over the<br />

world.<br />

While slow to start, she said the interest grew, surf sites picked up or<br />

shared her posts, and the comments gave her the confidence to go all<br />

in and explore setting up a studio space in the main street of Torquay<br />

to better showcase her work for locals.<br />

“I had my online business and that was growing – I had people<br />

ordering stuff and I’d have it framed up. But I wanted to see those<br />

images on the wall. Not just be sending them away in a tube.<br />

“I put all my money into it and thought if I don’t give it a go, I’ll never<br />

know whether I’ll be able to do this. So I found a little studio that ended<br />

up opening way, way, later than it was meant to, which was in March<br />

last year, exactly when COVID hit.<br />

“Everything was done, and then I couldn’t get the keys. It was about<br />

nine months behind schedule – I missed out on the Christmas before,<br />

then Easter. I finally got the keys in March and brought them home<br />

and my husband and I just put them aside and we didn’t say anything<br />

about them for about a week.<br />

John Ogden’s latest book<br />

Waterproof: Australian Surf<br />

Photography Since 1958.<br />

43 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

“Then one day I just woke up and said I’m doing<br />

this and we started to set it all up. Decked it out,<br />

painted it, got the signage, tried to make it really nice<br />

and had it ready to go for when that first lockdown<br />

ended.<br />

“It’s just been a bit of a whirlwind – but I believe it’s<br />

been to my favour.<br />

“The locals have been so supportive. Predominantly<br />

I thought it would be all the tourists – but COVID<br />

stopped that. I’d had small pictures set up that<br />

would be easy for travellers to pack and take home,<br />

but it just never went that way.<br />

“Then I realised that people were coming in and<br />

wanting to buy big scale pictures for these holiday<br />

homes. I just think people wanted beautiful pictures<br />

on their walls to make them happy as well.”<br />

Right now though Romy’s continuing to explore<br />

what’s possible with her photography, creating<br />

postcards, pictures of different sizes and even<br />

having an image printed onto a surfboard created by<br />

Matty Shaw from Pale Horse Surfboards.<br />

“You know what I really love. I have my hours 11am<br />

to 3pm most days and you don’t have to always be<br />

there – it’s a nice atmosphere. I find it really present.<br />

“If there’s great swell you can put a sign on your<br />

door and say - `I’m out taking shots’.”<br />

Keen to be environmentally sustainable, Romy said<br />

she uses sustainable products for her frames and<br />

her paper choices and has also started to dabble in<br />

driftwood art and driftwood lights which are sold in<br />

the studio as something a little bit different.<br />

“I’ve tried to give it a bit of a quirky feel. I want<br />

something else in here that’s local and a bit of fun.”<br />

As for what’s next, Romy said she was looking<br />

forward to next year when the Bells Beach surf event<br />

would be on again, and hopeful that in a post-COVID<br />

world she’ll be able to share her photos with even<br />

more visitors.<br />

As for a favourite photo so far – Romy can’t go past<br />

a shot she calls the Golden Tube.<br />

“It was actually the biggest swell that I’ve seen to<br />

this date – it was a beautiful swell – it wasn’t blown<br />

out waves.<br />

“I remember taking shots and shots and shots and<br />

I thought I reckon I got this big tube and I reckon<br />

there’s guys in the back of it – oh my god I can’t wait<br />

to get home and check it.<br />

“And straight away, when I looked at it, it was<br />

exactly as I thought.<br />

“I’ve got that in my studio now in a beautiful acrylic<br />

and I ended up doing my A-Board and my photos<br />

on it too.<br />

As for what’s next,<br />

Romy said she was<br />

looking forward<br />

to next year when<br />

the Bells Beach surf<br />

event would be on<br />

again, and hopeful<br />

that in a post-<br />

COVID world she’ll<br />

be able to share her<br />

photos with even<br />

more visitors.<br />

To see more of Romy’s work go to<br />

www.romyphotographer.com.au<br />

@Romyphotographer<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 44

45 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

OARD<br />

ENSELE<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 46







This feature article is perfectly suited for surfers like us<br />

with an increasingly short attention span. So, if you’ve<br />

grown tired of nowhere near mastering what you are<br />

doing now but want to try your hand at something else<br />

S<br />

you will be equally crap at, please read on.<br />

We aim to provide you with a rundown on the appeal<br />

of each given board sport, the initial bit of kit you<br />

require, associated setup costs, lessons, etiquette and<br />

any other useless bit of information we can find…<br />

basically everything you need to know to get started. In<br />

doing so, rest assured, in true Australian spirit we will<br />

mercilessly take the absolute p*ss out each discipline.<br />

After all, that’s part of the fun.<br />

words : dave swan & geoff crockett<br />

47 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>


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Dave’s grom boards<br />

The main thing to remember when looking<br />

through the history of surfing, the evolution<br />

of the surfboard and all its various offshoots is<br />

that you should assume everyone and anyone<br />

you know has invented something. There is<br />

no limit to the legends who have staked their<br />

claim on how they radically changed the face<br />

of surfing. So one thing is for certain when you<br />

read this article is that we will more than likely<br />

get it all wrong and give credit to the wrong<br />

person and offend someone, but as they say<br />

“sh*t happens”. So here we go, a speed dating<br />

approach to the evolution of the surfboard.<br />

Top image: Magazine illustration of First Nation Hawaiians<br />

surf-riding (surfing) from an article entitled "Our Neighbors<br />

of the Sandwich Islands" in Hutchings' California Magazine,<br />

November 1858. Butler / Hutchings’ California Magazine<br />

According to the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center<br />

in San Clemente, the oldest known papa he‘e nalu, or<br />

surfboard, dates to the 1600s and comes from Chiefess<br />

Kaneamuna’s burial cave in Ho’okena on the Big Island.<br />

Image: Wiki Commons<br />

49 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

There are reportedly some 23 million people across the globe who surf,<br />

close to 2 million in Australia and about 200,000 in New Zealand.<br />

Historians believe surfing evolved as part of ancient Polynesian culture,<br />

dating as far back as 1200 AD and although the origins of surfing are<br />

not known, sailors on a ship in Tahiti were said to be the first Europeans<br />

to witness it back in 1767. It was said the top surfer was also the chief<br />

of his local community. It is pretty much the same in our office, so it is<br />

clearly apparent that kind of thing continues to this day.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 50

Making a surfboard was a spiritual ritual of<br />

sorts and a great deal of care went into its<br />

construction, which I can certainly relate to<br />

given my supernatural shaping skills. The<br />

Polynesians were interested in learning how to<br />

tame the ocean and only the most skilled surfers<br />

were highly respected in society.<br />

As far as surfboards go, they were made of<br />

wood: the smallest was the paipo, next was<br />

the 20 ft-long olo and the the third type was<br />

the alaia, said to be the predecessor of modern<br />

surfboards. Many may have seen them in recent<br />

times, they look like a wooden ironing board,<br />

flat as a tack with absolutely no fins. Only skilled<br />

people like myself know how to ride them, which<br />

I don’t mind informing you about.<br />

From Hawaii, surfing eventually made its way<br />

to the East Coast of the United States in 1912<br />

where James Matthias Jordan Jnr took to the<br />

waves at Virginia Beach on a Hawaiian redwood<br />

board. Then in the 1920s, surfboard design<br />

took a major leap forward when Santa Monica<br />

lifeguard and surfer Tom Blake took a boat trip<br />

to Hawaii. He was of the opinion surfboards<br />

were too bloody heavy (he probably didn’t use<br />

those exact words) and started adapting his<br />

15ft-long redwood model by drilling holes in it.<br />

Blake’s hollow style board was a massive<br />

success and in the 1930s the number of surfers<br />

in California quadrupled. Blake then decided to<br />

add a stabilising fin in 1935 and violà, we pretty<br />

much had the basics of a surfboard as we know<br />

today.<br />

Later in 1949, Bob Simmons, dubbed the “father<br />

of the modern surfboard”, became obsessed<br />

with creating the world’s fastest surfboard. His<br />

experiment with plywood, balsa and Styrofoam<br />

composites resulted in a board made of a<br />

polystyrene core and mahogany veneer sealed<br />

with resin and fibreglass. The result reduced<br />

the weight by 50% and created a massive<br />

improvement in performance.<br />

Fast forward to the 1960’s and things went<br />

crazy, possibly in part due to the types of<br />

lawn being grown as we entered what was<br />

considered surfing’s “golden era”. Boards went<br />

from 10ft long to around 8ft and by 1970, the<br />

top competitors in Australia had reduced the<br />

board size further to between five and six feet.<br />

This enabled them to adopt a lower and more<br />

aggressive stance, connecting more closely<br />

with the waves than ever before.<br />

51 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

Now before we get into all these other board<br />

sports, let’s talk about plain old surfing first,<br />

riding a wave in its purest form. At least this is<br />

something we can do here at Smorgasboarder,<br />

albeit not very well. It doesn’t matter if you’re a<br />

long planker w*nker who is really just there to<br />

drink cappuccinos with your mates afterwards,<br />

or a slop-groveller on a board so small you<br />

clearly love paddling for hours on end to just to<br />

miss out on every single wave whilst swearing<br />

at everyone around you, or even one of those<br />

weird kneeboarders. I mean, who would ever<br />

understand why you would kneel when you can<br />

stand, or even those poor boogers that resemble<br />

giant sea slugs, but we digress. Despite your<br />

preference, we love you all, in all your unique<br />

special ways, and we celebrate you. That is what<br />

Smorgasboarding is all about - ride what you like.<br />

Just don’t expect us not to have a little fun along<br />

the way. Life is just too serious at times.<br />

Appeal:<br />

For the water lovers among us there’s some primal<br />

instinct that drives us to want to be in the water,<br />

mixing it up with the waves and revelling in the power<br />

and beauty of nature.<br />

While body surfing could arguably present the purest<br />

form of human vs ocean, for thousands of years<br />

we’ve been tempted to take a plank of wood, or<br />

bark, or whatever we could find, drag it out to sea<br />

and then try and ride it back to shore.<br />

Whatever it was that drove us to want to be on<br />

the water, it is fair to say over the past 100 years<br />

in particular and countless thousands of hours of<br />

thinking, making, breaking and innovating have been<br />

poured into creating the perfect ride for just about<br />

any body shape, size, and skill level on the waves.<br />

While what “perfect” actually means will always be<br />

a matter of perception, the reality is, in 2021, surfers<br />

have access to boards made from cutting edge,<br />

space-travel worthy substances – right back to finely<br />

honed balsa wood masterpieces.<br />

Surfboards have gone from being super-heavy<br />

three metre chunks of wood, to being crafted out of<br />

polyurethane (PU) or extruded polystyreene (EPS)<br />

foam and covered in resin. Most recently American<br />

company Varial has developed a new core material,<br />

Varial Foam, which they say is not only 25% lighter<br />

than the usual materials, but 40% stronger too, so it<br />

can be used to produce boards without the need for<br />

wooden stringers.<br />

Needless to say surfboard design and construction<br />

is constantly evolving and as a result we are now<br />

spolilt for choice with a multitude of board designs<br />

to suit a broad range of environments and rider skill<br />

levels from shortboards to longboards, retro inspired<br />

shapes and fishes, big-wave guns and tow-boards<br />

to kneeboards and even finless creations. Plainly<br />

put, the world offers an infinite spectrum of waves,<br />

and that is why there is an increasingly wide range<br />

of surfboard shapes and styles. And that’s just<br />

the board styles themselves, there’s then all the<br />

elements of each respective design such as the<br />

length, width, thickness, outline, rocker, bottom<br />

curves, rails and fin setup to consider. Suffice to say,<br />

beginner, advanced, emerging or reformed, there<br />

are no excuses for not getting your share of waves.<br />

There is a board to suit everyone so don’t blame your<br />

equipment, just your own selection.<br />

As a basic rule, beginners tend to need longer<br />

boards with higher volumes to help them paddle on<br />

to waves. The more waves you get, the more fun you<br />

have and the more you learn. It’s that simple. Wave<br />

count is key. As you get better, there’s the myriad<br />

of board designs on offer that we just mentioned<br />

depending on what feeling or style of surfing you are<br />

pursuing.<br />

As a basic guide surfboards range in height from<br />

five feet for a Mini Simmons or Fish style board<br />

(which has a W-shaped tail), through to 10 foot for a<br />

Longboard and up to 12 foot for what is now referred<br />

to as a Glider.<br />

Shortboards obviously work best on fast, steep,<br />

waves. More often then not they have a pointy nose,<br />

thinner rails and are usually between five and seven<br />

feet in length. They are easier to turn and will respond<br />

quickly in critical sections of the wave.<br />

Longboards and Mini Mals range from eight to 12<br />

feet, generally have rounded noses and are up to<br />

3.5 inches thick on average. They’re easier to catch<br />

waves on and are often suggested as a starting<br />

point for beginners working on the basics of wave<br />

selection but equally as appealing to those who want<br />

to surf with style. These are the boards the really<br />

good riders like us can be seen walking up and down<br />

on the wave and occassionaly putting their feet over<br />

the edge (Hanging Ten as it’s colloquially known).<br />

Gliders are gargantuan longboards designed for<br />

when the waves are miniscule and you are desperate.<br />

The Fish, with it’s W-shaped tail is often shorter,<br />

wider and flatter than a shortboard with greater<br />

volume. This makes them plane better and generate<br />

a lot of speed in small to medium waves. They’re not<br />

so good for steep or hollow waves unless you can<br />

surf like Dave (or so he tells us).<br />

For big wave surfers there’s a board that kind of<br />

looks like a shortboard on steroids. It’s a little longer<br />

with a more narrow nose and tail and is known as<br />

a Gun. This style of board generally ranges from<br />

seven to 10 feet in length and is designed to be easy<br />

to paddle to generate enough speed to catch and<br />

drop into big waves whilst possessing all the turning<br />

capability of a shortboard.<br />

Tow-boards are really a different beast altogether<br />

and the technology employed insane – way too<br />

much to cover in-depth here. Suffice to say, if you<br />

are planning on tackling 20-30 ft plus waves you<br />

need some serious equipment. These boards can<br />

reportedly attain speeds of up to 120kms per hour.<br />

They need to be strong to handle the beatings, they<br />

need to be fast, and they need to be nimble and able<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 52

to turn on a dime in critical sections of monstrous<br />

waves. Think carbon/ kevlar materials, deep concave<br />

bottoms to reduce the “wetted” surface area, 80/20<br />

foil fins and you are in the realm of tow-boarding talk,<br />

which we have absolutely no idea of what all that<br />

means.<br />

Kneeboards are another option for those who like<br />

to tuck in and get inside the tube. Proponents of<br />

kneeboarding speak of the appeal of being able to<br />

see and feel the wave’s energy more intimately than<br />

when standing. The boards themselves are not unlike<br />

many of the performance shortboards and retro<br />

shapes we previously mentioned aside from being<br />

a little wider to accommodate a fin placement more<br />

suited to kneelo turns that are more drawn out.<br />

Then there’s finless creations - quite simply, boards<br />

with no fins! This style of surfing pretty much<br />

appeals to two types of people: those who could<br />

literally surf anything, meaning a tree has fallen down<br />

in your backyard, you lop off a couple of branches<br />

and that said person can take it down to the surf and<br />

go crazy; and those like us who haven’t mastered the<br />

true art of surfing but have decided to try their hand<br />

at something else to make it appear like we can surf<br />

when in reality we can’t. But hey, it’s fun.<br />

53 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

Cost:<br />

Just like the variability of the boards on offer in the<br />

surfboard spectrum the prices can differ based on<br />

board size, shape, the skills of the said shaper, or<br />

even just what’s popular at any particular time. As<br />

a guide, Australia’s longest running independant<br />

surf shop Goodtime Surf in Brisbane has an El Nino<br />

Scorcher 44” softboard with fins for $139.95 (great<br />

for kids getting started), entry level shortboards from<br />

around $600 such as their Goodtime 6’0 Hot Dog<br />

for $649 and longboards from around the $1000+<br />

mark. A quality hand shaped longboard however<br />

from the likes of the many custom shapers in this<br />

very magazine will set you back around $2000. It<br />

comes down to what you are after and your budget.<br />

As an interesting aside, a search for the most<br />

expensive surfboards ever brings up a $1.3million<br />

board called The Rampant, which, according to the<br />

Adventure Maldives site that compiled the list, was<br />

created by New Zealand-based surfboard designer<br />

Roy Stuart. It’s 3.2m long and made from the timber<br />

of a Paulownia tree, native to Asia. It’s crowning<br />

glory is a gold lion that’s been painted on with a<br />

red resin outline. It’s a big drop to the next most<br />

expensive board on their list – but still at $183,000<br />

the Aureus board created by Ellie Miller in a small<br />

studio in North Devon in England and incorporating<br />

24k gold plating in the fiberglass is something<br />

special.<br />

Lessons:<br />

Being the most common way to tame a wave has<br />

its benefits when it comes to hunting down surfing<br />

lessons. As a rough guide, two-hour group lessons<br />

at the King of Surfing (www.kingofsurfing.com.au)<br />

Surf Schools in South Australia will set you back $44<br />

per person, or three for $100. Like anything new, it’s<br />

well worth the money if you’re just starting out, or<br />

even looking for a refresher or to step up to your<br />

next level. Surf school instructors live and breath<br />

surfing. They can spot what you’re doing right and<br />

wrong, suggest where you move your feet, shuffle<br />

your torso, or focus your eyes and shoulder in just<br />

the right spot and all of a sudden your wave count<br />

will go up and the smiles will too.<br />

Etiquette:<br />

Because plain old surfing is the simplest, and<br />

arguably one of the cheapest ways to access the<br />

waves, more and more people are doing it.<br />

In Coastal towns across Australia and New Zealand<br />

it’s not an unusual sight to see a board in the back<br />

of a ute, strapped to the roof or across the back<br />

seat of a car as locals go about their days with one<br />

eye on the weather and the other on their watches<br />

just waiting for the chance to get out on the water<br />

at their favourite break. A big challenge is that the<br />

big breaks are now heavily trafficked, making it all<br />

the more important to understand a few of the basis<br />

rules that guide a surfing line-up.<br />

In its simplest form, it’s about common sense,<br />

respect and fairness.<br />

If someone has already jumped on the wave and<br />

you can’t slot in without getting in their way – they<br />

win, you lose, wait for the next one. Equally, if you’re<br />

a gun surfer and you know someone else is sitting<br />

there just waiting for their chance, don’t be a hog,<br />

maybe even give them a hand to get on a wave and<br />

have some fun.<br />

Apologise if you get in someone’s way, respect the<br />

locals, and if you know you’re out in a swell that’s<br />

really beyond your skill level, head back in and find<br />

a spot on the beach where the waves are bit more<br />

to your liking. The general rule is that the surfer who<br />

has the longest potential ride on the wave, is the<br />

surfer with the right of way.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 54

55 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

ite<br />

It just looks so cool when you see them soaring<br />

through the air but when you get to the beach<br />

to give it a go, you realise there is just so much<br />

string... so much string, more string than the eye<br />

can see and you just know you’re going to get<br />

all tangled up in that sucker, flailing about like a<br />

drunken monkey working his way along a mile<br />

of grapevine. With all that said, it does look like<br />

a hell of a lot of fun and one day we promise to<br />

master it.<br />

Appeal:<br />

What to do when the surf is blown to buggery?<br />

Go fly a kite. The popularity of this said “board<br />

sport” is quite literally soaring and for good reason.<br />

Kiteboarding is such a “thing” these days it even has<br />

its own association Kiteboarding Australia (www.<br />

kiteboardingaus.com.au). This is great news for<br />

Smorgasboarder readers, and this scribe too – as<br />

there’s some great information available on what it<br />

all means.<br />

In a nutshell, kite surfing uses a giant blow up kite,<br />

some strings or “lines” to which they are referred to<br />

as, a steering bar and a board you’re able to strap<br />

your feet into to harness the power of the wind to<br />

propel the rider through, over, and along, the waves.<br />

It’s an evolution of the original “windsurfing or<br />

boardsailing” that traces its history as far back as<br />

late 1968 when sailor Jim Drake and surfer Hoyle<br />

Schweitzer patented a “sailboard” in California.<br />

In simple terms, kite surfing has taken away the need<br />

for a sail and a mast and created the chance for<br />

riders to have double ended boards, to jump off the<br />

top off waves and to “fly” for more than 30m being<br />

carried by the kite above and the enormous speeds<br />

they’re able to reach when flying up the face of the<br />

waves for take-off.<br />

The kite surfer’s kit includes a kite (the size you’ll<br />

need depends on the strength of the wind you’re<br />

aiming to tackle), bar and lines to match the kite,<br />

a board (beginners tend to be larger than experts<br />

which are shorter), a harness, safety leash, safety<br />

knife, flotation vest, helmet and a wet suit (if you’re in<br />

those cold waters down south).<br />

Cost:<br />

Kite Surfing’s biggest costs are the kite to catch the<br />

wind and the board to stand on. While there’s always<br />

the option of hunting secondhand gear to give it a<br />

go, if you’re looking for a new set up a bit of research<br />

shows the costs range between around $3000 to<br />

$4000 for a package buy including board, pump,<br />

harness, kite, bar and lines. The best site we found<br />

so far for all things Kite Surfing is www.kitepower.<br />

com.au. Of course, like anything, you can pay a lot<br />

more for the very latest technology, or less if you’re<br />

happy to run with something two or three seasons<br />

old. Ask your local retailer for guidance is probably<br />

the best advice here.<br />

Lessons:<br />

One thing that’s pretty obvious to any of us who<br />

have watched the kite surfers get their gear ready<br />

and head out on the water is that there’s a bit more<br />

to kite surfing than just turning up, throwing a kite in<br />

the air and going splash. Lessons are a great way<br />

to find out more about the gear you’re keen to use,<br />

and to learn all of the tricks of the trade that will<br />

keep you safe and save you time on set up and pack<br />

down. Kite Surfing Australia has a Lessons section<br />

of its website which would be well worth a visit for a<br />

provider near you – otherwise your favourite search<br />

engine is your friend. As a guide to price, the team<br />

at Exmouth Surf Centre in Western Australia offer a<br />

three-hour beginners kitesurfing lesson at $290 per<br />

person.<br />

Etiquette:<br />

From setting up on the beach to hitting the waves<br />

Kite Surfing offers plenty of opportunity to get in a<br />

tangle and find yourself on the wrong end of a not<br />

so friendly spray. It’s important to understand the<br />

kites need room to breathe and you need room to<br />

lay out the lines, so unpacking close to the packed<br />

beach between the red and yellow flags is not going<br />

to work. Take a stroll or find yourself another beach<br />

entrance with a bit more space to spread out. Like<br />

surfers, kite surfers tend to congregate – the wind<br />

turns, and they’re out. And just like surfers, it’s<br />

imperative kite surfers are always aware of their<br />

surroundings, watching the progress of their fellow<br />

enthusiasts and steering clear of any chance to<br />

cross kites, tangle lines, or smash your board into<br />

someone else’s body. Boards are hard,<br />

you’re travelling fast. Another point<br />

worth noting on the kite surfing front is<br />

to keep an eye on the shore. While the<br />

technology is pretty good at helping<br />

the kites rise from the waves in just<br />

about any conditions these days – if<br />

your kite won’t come up, you’ll be left<br />

swimming to shore and not all<br />

of us are capable of swimming<br />

the English Channel. Having<br />

some kite repair tape would<br />

be handy too – as essentially<br />

these kites are giant balloons.<br />

If something pierces the skin,<br />

air gets out, and you’re left<br />

hanging on to a few strings, a big stick<br />

and a very large, wet and heavy piece<br />

of plastic. They’re built tough, and it<br />

does not seem to be too common a<br />

problem, however it gets a mention on<br />

quite a number of advice sites.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 56



Outer Island Surfboards is looking for<br />

a highly skilled all-round craftsman/<br />

woman well versed in glassing, sanding<br />

and polishing.<br />

Base yourself in Scotts Head and live<br />

the dream.<br />

Interested?<br />

Call for a chat 02 6655 7007<br />

57 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

Growing up as a kid, I was one of those first few<br />

who jumped at the chance to windsurf in the<br />

early 80s. I loved it, wish I kept at it and indeed<br />

still dream of doing what Robbie Naish did on<br />

monstrous waves. The footage of windsurfers in<br />

huge seas is still etched into my memory. Perhaps<br />

it is not too late to don some fluoro boardies and<br />

relive my youth.<br />

BEER<br />

O’CLOCK<br />

“Is it surfable?”<br />

“Is it drinkable?”<br />

Scan the code to find out.<br />


Appeal:<br />

So – as a kid you played around with sailing at<br />

school, you’ve dabbled with surfing, but thus far<br />

your financial limits have put the America’s Cup out<br />

of reach, or even some sort of small catamaran for<br />

that matter. If sails and boards are your thing, then<br />

the original wind taming, water riding gear of the<br />

windsurfer may be just for you. As the predecessor<br />

of kite boarding and wing surfing, wind surfing was<br />

once the biggest thing since sliced bread. School<br />

camps taught children how to do it, local lakes and<br />

dams on breezy days were a sea of colourful sails,<br />

and people of all shapes, sizes and levels of skill<br />

could be found floating around at the whim of the<br />

wind enjoying a fun day out. As the sport progressed,<br />

and the riders improved, windsurfers could be seen<br />

flying headfirst up the face of massive waves and<br />

launching themselves into the air to try all manner of<br />

flips, twists and turns.<br />

It certainly drew a passionate tribe, and none more so<br />

than Hoyle Schweitzer, who co-founded Windsurfing<br />

International in Southern California in 1968 with his<br />

wife Diana. In 1984 he described the windsurfer this<br />

way: “A futuristic vehicle for your dreams has risen<br />

out of the western sea, bringing new dimensions to<br />

life itself. How can such a simple, easy-rider device<br />

bring so much joy to millions? Because… it puts you<br />

– with your skills and your dreams and your hidden<br />

potential – into a perfect interaction with wind and<br />

water. Thus, this one small vehicle brings with it the<br />

power to make your visit here on planet earth even<br />

more fulfilling.”<br />

Windsurfing proved so popular world championships<br />

started in 1974, attracting 456 competitors to Nassau<br />

in the Bahamas in 1976 where a 13-year-old kid from<br />

Hawaii took out the title. The kid’s name was Robby<br />

Naish and it was the first of 22 world titles he won<br />

in the sport over the years. The sport proved so<br />

popular it was trialled as a demonstration sport at<br />

the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.<br />

In Australia, windsurfing continues to have a loyal<br />

following with the 44th Nationals coming to Parkdale<br />

Yacht Club at Port Phillip Bay in Victoria from<br />

January 20-23, 2022, offering events such as racing,<br />

slalom, marathon and freestyle.<br />

In terms of equipment, the windsurfer is going to<br />

need a decent set of wheels to cart all his gear -<br />

no mopeds here! Boards range from 2-4.7m, then<br />

there’s the mast, boom and sail, which can be<br />

anything from 3-4m2 to 7m2.<br />

Cost:<br />

So many components, so many opportunities for<br />

variable costs. Different sails, mast lengths, board<br />

lengths, board styles, materials, etc, play into the<br />

total cost here, not to mention the added bonus of<br />

cold weather wet suits and gear for those surfing<br />

at the southern end of Australia or New Zealand.<br />

As a guide, SHQ Boardsports has an intermediate<br />

package deal with all of the key elements for hitting<br />

the water on a mid-range set up for $4195.<br />

Lessons:<br />

Mastering windsurfing means mastering the feel<br />

of a board beneath your feet and the wind in the<br />

sail in front of your face. Those who learn to carve<br />

with the board and jibe properly with the wind will<br />

get the best results from their experience, go faster<br />

and have more fun. A couple of key tips from the<br />

experts online point to the need to learn the various<br />

balance points on the boards, and to teach the body<br />

the right posture, keeping your arms straight and<br />

relaxed, thumbs on top of the boom with a straight<br />

back and legs in a sitting posture. This posture will<br />

use leg power and strength to guide the sail. The<br />

alternative is a whole lot of pain for the hand, arm<br />

and back muscles and shorter days on the water.<br />

Interestingly, when you go hunting for “windsurfing<br />

lessons Australia” online Australian Sailing comes up<br />

as one of the major providers, with yacht clubs all<br />

around the country offering a range of longer courses<br />

from beginner to racing – pricing appears to be “on<br />

application”. As a guide, www.flyingfishsailing.com.<br />

au at Middle Harbour Yacht Club in NSW advertise<br />

their private lessons for $225 for three hours for one<br />

person, or as low as $125 per person if you can<br />

round up four other mates for a five-person lesson.<br />

Etiquette:<br />

When it comes to windsurfing there’s basic beach<br />

etiquette, and there’s windsurfer to windsurfer<br />

etiquette to master. On the first one – it’s pretty<br />

simple. You’re on a big boat-like piece of water craft<br />

capable of travelling pretty fast and loaded with gear<br />

including a solid mast and heavy sail that is going to<br />

do some damage if it hits or falls the wrong way on<br />

an unassuming bystander. Stay clear of the surfers<br />

and swimmers and find your own piece of beach<br />

paradise to play in. It’s a big ocean, and there’s<br />

room for everyone. If you’re windsurfing with other<br />

windsurfers, on a lake or in the ocean, there are<br />

three basic right-of-way rules that all windsurfers are<br />

taught in a bid to reduce the chance of crashes. The<br />

rules – leeward over windward, starboard tack over<br />

port tack, and responsibility to maintain direction.<br />

So - if two windsurfers are heading away from the<br />

beach with a wind coming from the right-hand side,<br />

the surfer on the upwind side (windward) must give<br />

way to the surfer coming from the downwind side<br />

(leeward) of them (in this example, a rider on the left).<br />

If two riders are coming at each other from different<br />

directions, the rider who is tacking into the wind<br />

with their right hand closest to the mast (a starboard<br />

tack) has the right of way. This rider must maintain<br />

their speed and direction – the other rider must take<br />

evasive action. On the waves – the first windsurfer on<br />

the wave has right of way, and the closest windsurfer<br />

to the peak has priority.

wing<br />

This board sport is so, so cool - yeah I know, we<br />

say that about all of them but this is the coolest<br />

and most surely would be something that<br />

we would never be able to do. It sure is good<br />

to dream about it though. Jokes aside, this is<br />

a “must master” before I die aspiration. I can,<br />

I will, I must. Sing with me, “I can believe I can<br />

fly, I believe I can fly…”, hang on, we probably<br />

can’t sing that song anymore. That dude went to<br />

prison. He ain’t flying anywhere, anytime soon.<br />

Appeal:<br />

So, wind surfing involves a sail attached to a largish<br />

board with a vertical mast more akin to a one-person<br />

yacht. Kite boarding ditches the sail and mast<br />

in favour of a parachute to harness the wind’s<br />

energy and is controlled by “lines” and a steering<br />

bar. Wing surfing/ boarding strips all of that away<br />

and opts instead for a giant inflatable sail with no<br />

chords, just hand grips and a wrist rope so you<br />

don’t lose it. With one of these blow-up wings in<br />

your backpack (literally – that’s what they come in)<br />

you can potentially harness the wind’s energy to<br />

add a bit of speed to any sort of board - if you have<br />

enough room and the inclination. Think high-energy<br />

skateboarding or snowboarding as just two ideas.<br />

Wing surfing is not necessarily<br />

a new thing – with history<br />

tracking back to the mid-80s<br />

when a bloke called Tom<br />

Magruder invented a wing<br />

called the Wind Weapon<br />

and rode in the Columbia<br />

River Gorge in the US. There<br />

was a product, Slingwing<br />

developed in 2011, but that<br />

product, and others like it,<br />

failed to captivate the market<br />

until around 2019 when<br />

Robby Naish released his<br />

Wing-Surfer and surfers around the world were becoming<br />

more interested in swapping out their shortboards<br />

for new challenges – who knows – maybe<br />

that trend has a bit to do with aging baby boomers<br />

finding the paddle out harder every day and looking<br />

for ways they can enjoy the ocean for longer. Naish<br />

was 55 years old when he launched the wing.<br />

Of all of the wind-driven surfing trends, wing boarding<br />

is arguably the most portable with the lowest<br />

entry price given you can simply buy a wing and use<br />

it with your existing stand-up paddleboard or similar<br />

to give it a go. Like most things though – there’s a<br />

high road or a low road, and if you’re super keen it<br />

would be easy to empty the credit card.<br />

Cost:<br />

A Cloud IX Wing Wing will set you back $849, which<br />

we don’t mind saying is a cracking deal. A specialist<br />

board complete with foot straps and set up<br />

to accept a foil attachment will set you back up to<br />

$2400. If you opt to go wing foiling rather than wing<br />

surfing, a carbon mast and fuselage with glass/<br />

carbon wings is $1399 at Cloud IX.<br />

Lessons:<br />

When it comes to mastering the mixture of surfing<br />

and sailing that wing surfing represents it helps to<br />

have some idea about both – but it’s not entirely<br />

necessary. Kitesandup.com.au at Warner’s Bay<br />

near Newcastle offer wing surfing lessons for $180<br />

for two hours for one-on-one tutoring, or $250 for<br />

a two-hour lesson for two people, including gear.<br />

The MACKite Wingsurf School has a few tips online<br />

for those looking for some self-learning first. Key<br />

recommendations include playing with your wing on<br />

land first to get used to the pull of the wind and the<br />

way it handles. Practicing on your knees, adjusting<br />

the sail into different positions to understand how<br />

it grabs the breeze, and how to release it and ease<br />

back if you want to slow down. The MACKite team<br />

suggest moving from ground practice to a large<br />

stand-up paddleboard on flat water with a decent<br />

downwind breeze and building your skills from<br />

there. They make the point that wing surfing upwind<br />

is near on impossible without a foil and suggest<br />

anyone who gives that a go and fails should not be<br />

too hard on themselves.<br />

Etiquette:<br />

Introducing a giant inflatable wing into a busy line<br />

up of nose to jowl surfers of all manner of skill levels<br />

is fraught with danger. Wing surfing is best done<br />

away from the main breaks where the crowds are<br />

smaller and there’s more room to take advantage<br />

of the wind power. Beginners tend to head out on<br />

heavy and stable stand-up paddleboards, the sort<br />

of weapon that can cause riders and anyone else in<br />

the water pretty solid damage at the best of times<br />

when they crash off the top of a wave and start<br />

spinning. Being trapped under a wayward surf wing<br />

would not be a great day on the beach either. The<br />

best advice appears to be to carry your board upwind<br />

and your kite downwind when you’re walking<br />

up the beach for the best control and to stay a safe<br />

distance away from other watergoers downwind<br />

when you hit the water.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 60

oiling<br />

Let’s consider you’re a grumpy old bastard who’s<br />

packed on a few kilos with age and are frustrated<br />

with surfing your submerged high-performance<br />

shortboard. Perhaps taking to your crowded local<br />

lineup with a massive 3-foot butcher’s cleaver<br />

attached to your board is something you would<br />

like to consider? It will help get out some pent<br />

up aggression whilst culling the numbers and<br />

keeping the sharks busy – 3 birds with 1 stone we<br />

reckon. So, what’s this foiling all about.<br />

Appeal:<br />

Foiling is surfing for those who like to jump up and<br />

down like a jackhammer, whilst plummeting down<br />

the front of the wave with the added risk element of<br />

potentially cutting themselves in half should they fall<br />

off and get attacked by their board.<br />

Yep, what’s been hailed as potentially the “future” of<br />

watersports is all about using hydrofoil technology to<br />

help riders to generate their own energy in the water,<br />

offering the potential for more time spent riding on<br />

top of the board than splashing around in the ocean<br />

waiting for the next big wave to roll through.<br />

The ride has less friction than a normal surfboard,<br />

the long foil with its hydrodynamic wings is what cuts<br />

through the water while the board stays in the sky.<br />

When you lean back, the wings tilt upright, the board<br />

lifts up. You tilt forward, it dives back down. Pumping<br />

backwards and forwards, front foot, back foot, front<br />

foot again, generates forward motion thanks to some<br />

mysterious law of physics falling under the category<br />

of kinetic energy, and some pretty solid speeds can<br />

be reached.<br />

Depending on where you land on the world wide web<br />

of information, the “real history” of foiling will provide<br />

slightly different answers – but fair to say big wave<br />

surfer Laird Hamilton’s name pops up more than a<br />

few times, along with Australian inventor Brett Curtis<br />

who apparently developed a paddle in version in<br />

2009. And, 2017 in Puerto Rico a small company by<br />

the name of Lift Foils took the technology to a new<br />

level by adding a propeller and an electric motor to<br />

the foiling set up. In Australia – Fliteboard has taken<br />

on the electronic challenge.<br />

The foils come in all sorts of shapes and sizes to<br />

suit different wave sizes and rider skill levels. The<br />

best bet here is to find a foil supplier and ask some<br />

questions. With so many variables to play with the<br />

set ups are almost endless – different stem lengths,<br />

wing sizes, materials on the boards, weight capacity,<br />

wave capacity, battery power and propeller style on<br />

the electric boards – need we go on.<br />

Cost:<br />

Really, how long is a piece of string. For the bare<br />

basics, as we mentioned on the page prior, Cloud<br />

IX has a carbon mast and fuselage with glass/<br />

carbon wings for $1399. The Surfboard Warehouse<br />

has carbon foil boards from $1499 sans the foil. Put<br />

the two together and you’re looking at about $2.5k.<br />

On the other side of the ditch, Sup Centre NZ can<br />

get you set up on a Naish S26 Hover Wing Foil 85<br />

($1995) with all the necessary bits and pieces for<br />

around $3300-$4000 NZD. If you want to go top<br />

of the range – the Series 2 Fliteboard, which has a<br />

maximum speed of 55km/h, a range of 40km and a<br />

duration of two hours (based on an 80kg rider), be<br />

prepared to spend close to $20,000.<br />

Lessons:<br />

If you’re a first timer aiming to get out and foil –<br />

lessons would be a great way to start. These boards<br />

add a whole new level of juggling when it comes<br />

to playing in the surf, there’s way more than just a<br />

board to hit you on the noggin if you fall off the wrong<br />

way, and the hydrofoil wings and stem can be pretty<br />

unforgiving when they come into contact with flesh<br />

and bone. Not to mention they’re heavy – the top of<br />

the range electronic motor powered Fliteboard can<br />

weigh up to 30kg – which is a hell of a big rock to<br />

come screaming off the face of a wave and into your<br />

chest or someone else’s. If you google Foil Surfing<br />

Lessons you’ll find something close to you. As a<br />

guide, Ocean Addicts on the Sunshine Coast offer<br />

a private Learn to HydroFoil Lesson being towed<br />

behind a boat in calm water for $240 for two hours.<br />

Etiquette:<br />

If you’re heading out to your favourite break with a<br />

board that weighs as much as a pre-teen child and<br />

you are not 100 per cent sure about what you’re<br />

doing – it’s not going to end well. The debate over<br />

who has right of way on the waves is never going to<br />

be solved in this paragraph, but let’s just say, these<br />

things power themselves – so there’s no need to hog<br />

the waves. You’re faster and more deadly than most<br />

of the water-based contraptions us humans like to<br />

throw at the ocean, and if you cherish your own life<br />

and the lives of your fellow surfers the best bet is to<br />

find a less crowded or more isolated spot and carve<br />

it up in peace.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 62





63 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

If you live somewhere like the Sunshine Coast<br />

where there’s no waves for long periods and have<br />

a rich mate with a boat, you might want to try<br />

your hand at wake surfing. In the open ocean it<br />

is kind of like trawling but a bit more challenging<br />

for the sharks. You can even try it with a string<br />

of sausages tied around your waist to raise the<br />

stakes.<br />

Appeal:<br />

If wave power, or wind power, just doesn’t give you<br />

the speed buzz you’re looking for when riding a<br />

board, then wakeboarding could be for you. Rather<br />

than waiting for nature to work her magic and give<br />

you a ride, wakeboarding relies on the machines of<br />

man in the form of ski boats or cable ski equipment,<br />

to pull a rider along via a tow rope at speeds of up<br />

to 50km/h.<br />

As a sport, its full history will likely never be known.<br />

The best guess is it evolved from surfers, waterskiers<br />

and snowboarders looking to replicate and innovate<br />

on the experience of being towed into waves or<br />

speeding down the slopes.<br />

One story goes that Scottish extreme sports pro<br />

Lachlan Snowie lent a “skurf” board to an Australian<br />

mate Jeff Darby in Queensland Australia in the late<br />

80s. Darby and his mates tried it behind a boat<br />

before going on to create their own boards, then<br />

meeting an American called Tony Finn and together<br />

launching boards under the “Skurfer” brand.<br />

Another is that Australian surfboard shaper Bruce<br />

McKee and a friend Mitchell Ross produced a plastic<br />

skurfboard named the “Mcski” with adjustable footstraps,<br />

a concave tunnel bottom and a keel fin – and<br />

this should be considered the start of wakeboarding.<br />

Given there’s Australians involved, there’s every<br />

chance the sport’s first true beginning came from<br />

some bloke standing up on an esky lid at the end of<br />

a tow rope and thinking there must be a way to make<br />

it go faster.<br />

All that aside, the sport has evolved, the boards<br />

have got lighter, faster, more aerodynamic, the<br />

bindings more comfortable, flexible and effective,<br />

and the human nature of always trying to go one<br />

better has created an extreme sport with a tribe of<br />

loyal followers and even a language of their own to<br />

describe the amazing array of tricks they’re now able<br />

to do by making the most of the “air” created when<br />

they jump off the top of the wave created by the<br />

wake of the ski boat and start flipping.<br />

As a sport, wakeboarding provides an option for<br />

board riders caught a long way from surf or snow,<br />

but still craving the challenge of sliding fast over the<br />

surface of the earth with the wind in their hair and<br />

tricks up their sleeve.<br />

It’s not a lonesome sport though. Unless you’re<br />

hitting a cable ski park, you need a boat and<br />

someone to drive it – which is perhaps another part<br />

of the appeal. Grabbing the crew for a weekend<br />

of waterskiing, wakeboarding, kneeboarding, and<br />

tubing behind a fast boat is part of the experience.<br />

Cost:<br />

Our friendly search engine kicked up prices here<br />

ranging from $450 for a basic board, to close<br />

to $3000 for a Ronix RXT Blackout Technology<br />

Wakeboard. The specs on this board point out that<br />

Ronix owner Danny Harf, who can land a 1260 spin,<br />

is a rider of this particular piece of high-end gear. If<br />

you’re super serious about the sport and want to buy<br />

your own boat – that’s a whole other level of expense<br />

with something like the Axis A20 specialised ski boat<br />

likely to set you back close to $72,000.<br />

Lessons:<br />

Having someone else who knows what they’re<br />

doing showing you how to get started is always a<br />

good idea. When it comes to wakeboarding, there is<br />

a fine art to understanding how to work with a tow<br />

rope, your boat driver, speeds, and stance on the<br />

board. You only need to drop by a lake and watch<br />

someone trying to teach themselves how to “get up”<br />

for the first time in an amateur environment to quickly<br />

understand that without following the right steps<br />

it’s entirely possible to find yourself moving from<br />

squatting in the water, ready to roll, to face planting<br />

in the water, hanging on to a tow rope you’ve<br />

forgotten to let go of and dragging your wakeboard<br />

like an anchor behind your ever stretching body. Not<br />

so pleasant. There are a few wakeboarding groups<br />

around the country and www.wakeboardaustralia.<br />

com.au seems to have the most links to other statebased<br />

groups and contact details that may help<br />

in finding a club close to you and someone taking<br />

lessons. As an example of pricing the good folk at<br />

the Mulwala Pro Ski Shop offer half hour lessons for<br />

$110 for 30 minutes for one-on-one tutelage, $200<br />

an hour for 2-3 people and $380 for a two-hour<br />

session with four to six people.<br />

Etiquette:<br />

If you’re wakeboarding at a cable park, the etiquette’s<br />

pretty simple. Follow the list of rules on the massive<br />

signs on the way in, wait your turn on the cable,<br />

move out of the way if you fall off, and stick your<br />

hand in the air and wave for help if you hurt yourself<br />

and you need one of the supervisors to come out on<br />

the lake and pick you up.<br />

wake<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 64

oard<br />







FASTER.<br />

If you’re on a river or a lake with a whole lot of ski<br />

boats travelling at 50km/h with riders strung out<br />

30m behind them, the rules matter. Depending on<br />

where you’re enjoying the sport, consideration<br />

for the neighbours and their land is another factor<br />

– constantly smashing the water’s edge with large<br />

amounts of wake will erode the bank and gradually<br />

steal land from the very people who may be letting<br />

you use their lake. With that in mind, Alliance Wake<br />

produced a basic list of does and don’ts for boat<br />

drivers and wakeboarders including:<br />

• Middle runs all day – meaning try and take your ski<br />

runs in the middle of the lake as much as possible to<br />

allow the wake to dissipate before it hits the shore, or<br />

rocks other people’s boats unnecessarily.<br />

• Shoreline courtesy – they say if you need to go closer<br />

to the shore, aim for longer runs rather than running a<br />

short line over and over again.<br />

• Keep the tunes down – that $70,000 ski boat will come<br />

with some great speakers – but so does everyone<br />

else’s. If everyone keeps their sounds to themselves<br />

there’s less chance of fights breaking out between<br />

lovers of Pearl Jam and Justin Bieber.<br />

• Back off – don’t follow other boats too closely or go to<br />

close at the side.<br />

• Look forward – if you’re the captain, driving the boat,<br />

don’t be looking backwards at your mate, keep<br />

looking ahead so you don’t run into anyone else.<br />

• Be respectful – don’t be the one to give other<br />

wakeboarders a bad name by behaving badly.<br />

65 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 66

tand up<br />

You’ve possibly witnessed at first light someone<br />

gracefully cleaning up a spill in aisle four at your<br />

local lineup and thought that one day, you too<br />

would like to become an ocean janitor. If that’s<br />

the case, paddleboarding could be just for you<br />

and best of all, you never have to worry about<br />

crowded lineups. You simply plough through<br />

them all without a care on your giant ocean liner.<br />

Appeal:<br />

Look back far enough in history, or at least read old<br />

scripts or see pictures of cave paintings and there’s a<br />

fair chance you stumble across mention of a human<br />

standing on some sort of board or vessel and using<br />

a big stick propel themselves along.<br />

Taking that basic concept and converting it to the<br />

surf has been attributed, in the modern context, to<br />

a Hawaiian bloke called John Ah Choy who found<br />

himself struggling to paddle out prone on his board,<br />

so decided to stand up, grab a canoe paddle and<br />

use that to get him back on to the waves to surf. That<br />

was in the 1940s.<br />

Fast forward to now and the range of boards is<br />

bigger, paddles are high tech and generations<br />

of paddleboarders since have found new ways<br />

of incorporating their big boards into their lives<br />

including such things as SUP fishing, SUP yoga and<br />

SUP touring on flat water lakes and rivers.<br />

Most recently the nature of the physiological side of<br />

the sport, standing and engaging the core, twisting<br />

the hips, using the shoulders, has been hailed by<br />

many a sports / fitness blogger as offering a solid<br />

full body workout with the added bonus of being<br />

outdoors in variable conditions as opposed to<br />

running on a treadmill and staring at the same wall<br />

for hours on end.<br />

Surfers whose shoulders and hips may no longer<br />

allow them to get a lot of pleasure out of jumping<br />

up into a stance on a standard board, or freestyle<br />

padding their way out the back, can often still work<br />

with a paddleboard to catch a wave.<br />

For stand-up paddleboarders, the surf does not<br />

necessarily have to be pumping either for them to<br />

get out on the water – with the help of the paddle<br />

surfers can generate more speed than arms alone,<br />

and the size of the board (think malibu surfboard vs<br />

short board) means their platform is well suited to<br />

smaller swells and long, smooth rides. The boards<br />

will also work on lakes, rivers and streams, adding<br />

some flexibility for the rider looking for a day on the<br />

water.<br />

While historically, paddleboards presented something<br />

of a challenge when it comes to transportation, being<br />

up to 3m long and reasonably heavy, the advent of a<br />

range of blow up paddle boards that break down to<br />

fit in an oversized back pack has added to the appeal<br />

of the sport as a portable activity.<br />

67 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

For those who want to<br />

SUP with style there’s<br />

this Riley Balsa creation.<br />

Cost:<br />

The range of uses and styles to cater for<br />

beginner through to expert paddle boarders is<br />

reflected in the variation of prices available in the<br />

market. For beginners, who are better off on a wider,<br />

longer, more stable board, there are blow up boards<br />

starting from about $700.<br />

For the pro, or those who simply like to have the<br />

cutting edge, Surf FX at Southport stock a few high<br />

end boards such as the $4300 SIC RS 2021 from<br />

master shaper Mark Raaphorst that is the latest<br />

version of the RS Board that won the SUPConnect<br />

Race Board of the Year award in 2018. It’s nearly<br />

14ft long, about 23 inches wide, and boasts a<br />

full PVC wrapped core finished in a carbon and<br />

fiberglass skin and dressed in metallic flake pain<br />

with a crocodile textured EVA deck pad.<br />

So many of our good supporters here at<br />

Smorgasboarder have great deals on sups: Natural<br />

Necessity, Goodtime Surf, NZ Shred, SUP Centre<br />

NZ and Moana NZ Sup to name a few.<br />

Lessons:<br />

The good news for anyone looking to have a crack<br />

at Stand Up Paddleboarding for the first time is that<br />

lessons are relatively easy to come by and can be<br />

bought for as little as $60 an hour through gift giving<br />

sites such as Red Balloon. In most of our more<br />

popular tourist centres around the country the local<br />

surf schools are offering stand up paddle boarding<br />

classes with a variety of add ons, including lessons<br />

and tours, or lesson packs.<br />

Etiquette:<br />

For those venturing into the surf zones, use common<br />

surf etiquette, take your turn on the waves, be<br />

conscious of who is around you at any time, don’t<br />

cut in on people and if it’s a madly busy line-up, find<br />

somewhere else. Always wear a leash so your board<br />

doesn’t decapitate 10 people on its way back to<br />

shore and don’t paddle through the line up.<br />

The sheer size and weight of the paddleboards<br />

makes them a formidable watercraft when they are<br />

careening off the face of a wave.<br />

For stand up paddleboarders hitting the rivers or<br />

bays, one golden rule is to make sure you stay out of<br />

the shipping channels – boats are big, you’re small.<br />

Boats can move fast and be slow to stop – and you<br />

can only paddle so fast to get out of trouble.<br />

For stand up paddleboarders paddling in a group<br />

– the best advice is to use your mouths and<br />

communicate if boards are close to colliding. Push<br />

someone else’s board away with your paddle and<br />

there’s every chance you’ll both end up in the water,<br />

or at the very least the person pushed.<br />









WAVE.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 68

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SLIDE<br />

69 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 70

Who wants to be a two-planker w@nker. Never mind<br />

what those toffy skiiers tell you, knuckledraggers<br />

(snowboarders) are the go. It takes you to a place<br />

where you feel like you are riding a 100ft wave<br />

without fear of a shark biting you on the ass. Better<br />

still, after riding your “wave”, someone picks you up<br />

and drops you out the back -aka the chair lift. Ride<br />

on snowboarding sisters and brethren. .<br />

Appeal:<br />

When surfers head to the hills to check out the<br />

white fluffy stuff on the top it’s not unusual to see<br />

them brandishing bags of a different kind that are<br />

carrying boards of the “snow” variety. Nowadays,<br />

there’s the extra bonus of having boards that split<br />

in two (split-boards) to allow their riders to more<br />

easily backcountry runs. It’s the latest incarnation<br />

of a snowboarding tradition that traces its origins all<br />

the way back to the infamous “Snurfer” created by<br />

one interestingly named character called Sherman<br />

Poppen on Christmas morning 1965 when he decided<br />

to brace two Kmart skis together and try and surf the<br />

snow in his backyard. Little was Sherman to know<br />

that nearly 50 years later snowboarding technology<br />

would again be based around two separate pieces of<br />

sliding material bound together for the downhill ride,<br />

and pushed apart for the climb. Not that he probably<br />

cares too much – his Snurfer sold 750,000 units over<br />

15 years and started a long line of innovation and a<br />

new sport.<br />

Early adopters of the technology included Jake<br />

Burton and Tom Sims and from 1978 they pushed<br />

their own brands of snowboards out to the masses in<br />

a bid to ride the wave of interest in the sport. In 1985<br />

the first US Open Snowboarding Championship was<br />

held at Vermont’s Stratton Mountain where it stayed<br />

as an annual event, attracting crowds up to 30,000<br />

people, before the event moved to Vail, Colorado in<br />

2013.<br />

For surfers, and skateboarders, the art of snowboard<br />

relies on similar concepts of balance, with the added<br />

element of having your boots strapped to the board.<br />

Styles of snowboarding range from flat out downhill<br />

and slalom racing, to tackling jumps and massive<br />

half pipes to showcase ever increasing feats of<br />

supreme athleticism. If you can make sense of<br />

this line describing the 2017 US Open run of Mark<br />

McMorris that “featured spins all four ways including<br />

a huge switch backside triple cork 1620”, then you’ll<br />

have an idea of just how far the best snowboarders<br />

in the world have taken their craft. The sport debuted<br />

at the Winter Games in Nagano, Japan in 1998 and<br />

remains to this day with categories including giant<br />

slalom, half-pipe, snowboard cross, slopestyle, and<br />

big air.<br />

In terms of the gear itself, much like surfing, length,<br />

weight, shape, balance, materials all play a part in<br />

how a board performs the task it’s made for. If you<br />

wanted to try and simplify the range, it might make<br />

sense to break it down to four overarching styles of<br />

board:<br />

• True Twin (completely symmetrical) – popular<br />

with freestylers, rides the same whichever way<br />

you’re facing.<br />

• Directional Twin (nose slightly longer than the<br />

tail) – another one for freestylers looking to<br />

switch leading legs while riding,<br />

• Directional Shape (longer nose than tail and<br />

often different nose and tail shapes) – optimised<br />

for carving, speed and powder in one direction.<br />

• Tapered Directional Shape – (width of widest<br />

point of the nose is wider than the widest point<br />

of the tail) – good for freeriders with a short tail to<br />

kick around trees with.<br />

As for the splitboard – or a snowboard that is split<br />

longitudinally and can be snapped together to form<br />

one board – their biggest use is for snowboarders<br />

who want to hit the back country and are sick of<br />

having to carry snowshoes and smaller skis on their<br />

backs to climb or find their next run.<br />

Cost:<br />

When it comes to all things snow there are really<br />

only two names we call on: NZ Shred in beautiful<br />

Queenstown and Shed Nine down in Rye, Victoria.<br />

Eddie Wearne always has awesome deals on his<br />

own Shed Nine branded boards starting at $499 for<br />

a Traditional Round through to $899 for a Splitboard.<br />

Jase Johns over at NZ Shred has all the top names<br />

from Burton to Jones, Arbor and more. A top of<br />

the pops Jones Hovercraft Splitboard retails for<br />

around $1500 and if you want to try something a<br />

little different there is the Burton Backstreet Driver, a<br />

snowboard sans bindings that goes for about $500<br />

odd. This is a pow surfer with an exaggerated spoon<br />

nose provides float and flow and is reportedly built<br />

to spread the joy of surfing on snow and we so want<br />

to give it a go.<br />

Lessons:<br />

When it comes to protecting yourself and others,<br />

snowboarding lessons are well worth the money<br />

spent. On the safety front, making sure you know<br />

how to unclick yourself from the board, and how<br />

to fall properly will go a long way to ensuring you<br />

don’t leave your knees on the slopes along with<br />

your pride. As basic as is might sound, if you’ve<br />

not snowboarded much it’s not a bad idea to have<br />

a refresh on how to ride the various forms of ski<br />

tows and lifts correctly, including sliding off at the<br />

end gracefully and not being the chump that puts<br />

the board down square and falls flat on their face<br />

while the chair lift threatens to take your head off (not<br />

speaking from experience here at all!). As for the cost<br />

of lessons, the average price for two hours of private<br />

tuition appears to sit around $190 per person.<br />

Etiquette:<br />

On the slopes themselves the etiquette is now pretty<br />

much the same as skiing – be aware of who is around<br />

you, don’t ski across other people and assume that<br />

whoever is on the slopes with you is no better at<br />

this than you are. If you don’t think you could stop<br />

if someone else landed right in front of you, there’s<br />

a fair chance if you do it to someone else, you’re<br />

going to get bowled over. Don’t push in on the lift<br />

queues and if you want to try and step up to a harder<br />

run than you’re used to, be conscious of how busy<br />

it is, and think about bring a mate along to try it with<br />

you so there’s someone close by should you get into<br />

trouble.<br />

71 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

Dave Hackett Slash 1980<br />

Image: 1GodDude viaWikimedia Commons<br />

Growing up in landlocked South Africa, skateboarding gave my<br />

good mate and Smorgasboarder partner Mark Chapman his “surf”<br />

fix. Indeed, he’s a pretty good skateboarder who can carve,<br />

cruise and drop into a bowl with the best of them. He can<br />

even kickflip, pop shove-it and do a benihana, whatever on<br />

earth that is. Anyhow, skateboarding is yet another outlet<br />

for us surfers to hone our skills and get our fix when the<br />

waves aren’t on… or break a few bones if your injury prone<br />

like me.<br />

Appeal:<br />

Starve surfers of good waves for long enough and they’ll likely<br />

start looking for alternatives to find their stoke. For the most<br />

part, all of the boards that have been created or designed and<br />

discussed in these pages have had at least one surfer involved in<br />

their creation – so it should come as no surprise that skateboarding<br />

is exactly the same.<br />

While skateboards appear to have been around from as early as the<br />

1920s, the early incarnations with metal wheels and pretty simple<br />

decks never really took off. It wasn’t until around 1963 when clay<br />

wheeled boards started to appear that a small following developed.<br />

The opening of the world’s first skate park in Anaheim California, Surf<br />

City, brought some more attention. When polyurethane wheels were<br />

added to the boards making it easier to skate on different surfaces -<br />

skating really started to take off. In 1976 Albany Skate Track was<br />

opened in Western Australia – one of the first in the country.<br />

When skaters in the United States started to skate in empty<br />

swimming pools, the trend caught on here with small “bowlriding”<br />

championships popping up across various states in<br />

Australia.<br />

While skateboarding dropped off from “craze” status to virtually<br />

disappear in the mid-80s, it made a comeback in the 90s as a street<br />

sport before being picked up as an extreme sport. Skateboarding<br />

was cool again, skate parks started to appear all over the country,<br />

skateboard lessons were available, skateboard riders became video<br />

game heroes too, and in 2016 skateboarding was announced as<br />

official Olympic sport for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo – even<br />

if we had to wait until 2021 for that to happen and our stars to<br />

shine – no more so that Keegan Palmer who took Gold in the Park<br />

category at the Games.<br />

For surfers, skateboarding presented a chance to use gravity to<br />

ride the footpaths, streets and skatebowls of the land, performing<br />

a range of similar tricks to those made possible when surfing,<br />

especially among the surfers with a love of hitting big “air” by<br />

flying up the face of the wave and launching into the sky for some<br />

aerial acrobatics.<br />

The boards were small enough to take anywhere, required<br />

minimal gear and were of some training value in that the<br />

skateboarding and surfing stances are similar, as is the way<br />

you shuffle the body’s weight to change directions whilst being<br />

propelled forward by gravity.<br />

In the past 20 or so years skateboards have continued to evolve<br />

in style, shape, and technology to the point where there are now<br />

hundreds of different brands out there offering all sorts of board<br />

set ups, including several models of electric powered skateboards<br />

that add a whole new range to people’s riding skills.<br />

A bit like surfing, skateboards have been designed to suit<br />

different slopes, different terrains, different riders and different<br />

skill levels. For beginners the suggested path is a wider board<br />

with flatter concave (the size of the curve across the top of the<br />

board), medium to hard wheels and low trucks to keep your<br />

centre of gravity low and help you balance on the board. The<br />

better you get, the faster you want the wheels to roll, the thinner<br />

the board you’ll aim for and the more customised you’ll make your<br />

rig to suit your style of skating and the terrain you’ll be tackling the<br />

most of – be that skate parks or public streets.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 72

Smorgasboarder team<br />

rider Sunny Jones airing<br />

at the local skate park.<br />

Cost:<br />

A decent beginners board packaged from a reputable skate shop will set you back<br />

around $150. Bigger boards such as Cruisers start heading past the $300 mark, and<br />

if you decide to trick up your accessories with high end bearings, different wheels<br />

or more, you could add another $500 pretty quickly. On the top end of today’s<br />

skateboarding market though is the electric skateboard such as the Evolve Hadean<br />

Carbon All Terrain model sold by Skate Connection for the princely sum of $3,399.<br />

This little toy has been crafted out of carbon fibre, a top speed of 42kph, dual<br />

3000w motors and a 40km range on one charge. It even has brake lights and usercustomisable<br />

LED lights that can be adjusted through the board’s remote controller<br />

or the Evolve app.<br />

Our personal favourite is the mid-range, electric FIIK Pool Cleaner V2 perfect for<br />

cruising the streets or hitting the skatepark. Super responsive with an authentic<br />

skateboard feel, it can hit speeds of up to 28 km/h and retails for $999.<br />

Lessons:<br />

Your local surf or skateboard shop is the best option for sussing out the range of<br />

lessons and coaches in your local area. Searching online shows plenty of options<br />

for children’s lessons, groups and otherwise, with specialist skate schools showing<br />

up in most states.<br />

Etiquette:<br />

On the street, skateboarders are a bit like cyclists who choose to use the footpath.<br />

Simple etiquette is to remember that those walking or jogging still can’t move as fast<br />

as you on a board. Depending on the surface too, skating up behind someone may<br />

well be something they just don’t hear. Play it smart, leave space between yourself<br />

and other path users and try not to scare anyone into jumping into your path. On the<br />

road – cars will kill you – play by the road rules or be prepared for the consequences.<br />

At the skate bowl, the rules are similar to that of a surf line up. As a guide, if you’re<br />

not skating, step off the park and watch for a distance – you don’t want to be that<br />

person who stuffs up someone’s near perfect run by standing in the wrong spot.<br />

Pick your times to visit to suit your skill level. If you’re just learning, turning up at<br />

peak times will be frustrating for you, but also for those more experienced skaters<br />

who’ve snatched half an hour to have a ride and spend 29 minutes of it dodging<br />

skaters who don’t yet have the skills to get themselves out of the way.<br />

73 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

freeboard<br />

Snowboarding is on snow. Freebording is on<br />

concrete. Powder snow is more forgiving than<br />

concrete. Freebording can certainly hurt if you’re<br />

flung to the ground like a mistimed snowboarding<br />

carve. It’s a little scary but well worth tackling<br />

your fear, just make sure have plenty of pads on.<br />

Trust me, no one will call you a pussy for doing<br />

so if they have a crack themselves. If you need<br />

further inspiration, just check out some YouTube<br />

footage of guys bombing huge canyons.<br />

Appeal:<br />

Snowboarders looking to hone their skills when the<br />

snow’s not there now have a chance to experiment<br />

with the closest thing to a snowboard on wheels, the<br />

Freebord. The Freebord looks a bit like a skateboard,<br />

until you turn it over and notice it’s actually more like<br />

a giant in-line roller skate with training wheels on<br />

either side that allow you to carve on the edges and<br />

mimmick movements otherwise only achievable on<br />

the snow. The wheels on the centreline of the board<br />

rotate 360 degrees allowing board riders to slide in<br />

any direction and even swap leading foot mid-way<br />

down a hill. Just like a snowboard, the Freebord is<br />

designed to lock your feet in, although in this case<br />

it’s a solid toe slide-in system positioned in similar<br />

stance to a snowboard, rather than the hard click<br />

lock-in of the snowboarding world.<br />

As a business, Freebord has been around since 1996<br />

when Steen Strand started to play around with an<br />

idea to bring snowboarding to the pavement. While<br />

COVID-19 has hurt the flow of boards around the<br />

world, Freebord’s CEO Bob Glashan and fellow<br />

freebord rider Bently Anderson have continued to<br />

push on with the development of their latest version<br />

of the board, the Freeboard 5-X which will hopefully<br />

make it on to the shelves in 2022. With independent<br />

suspension hangers now in place the creators say<br />

the board is perfect to master the edge-to-edge style<br />

of snowboard riding, with less vibrations over rough<br />

ground.<br />

Cost:<br />

While stocks appear to be low on Freebords<br />

right now in Australia and New Zealand, www.<br />

concretelines.com.au are still showing images of<br />

the Freebord Black Bamboo Series Pro Complete<br />

which was selling for $409.99 – so that at least is an<br />

indication of price. Much cheaper than a snowboard<br />

and a lift ticket it seems, but a little difficult to get<br />

hold of right now.<br />

Lessons:<br />

Still a relatively new addition to the on land skating<br />

line up, lessons for Freebording are not common<br />

place. If you can get your hands on a board it<br />

might be worth messaging the Freebord team at @<br />

freebordaustraliaandnewzealand and asking for their<br />

advice as to where to find a stockist or a tutor close<br />

to where you live. Key to surviving and thriving on<br />

this equipment would be learning how to stop quickly<br />

and to turn away from danger without falling off.<br />

Etiquette:<br />

Freebord’s are designed to turn any street into a<br />

downhill slope. The steeper the street, the more<br />

closely it resembles a black diamond experience.<br />

Sadly, most streets are lined with parked cars,<br />

driving cars, vans, trucks and motorbikes, the odd<br />

pedestrian, traffic lights and more. If you’re on the<br />

street, you’re another vehicle that needs to obey the<br />

traffic laws and behave in a way that does not put<br />

other people’s lives at risk.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 74<br />


Now some may question whether skimboarding<br />

is a form of surfing and to that we say go google<br />

skimboarding Puerto Escondido in Mexico or<br />

The Wedge in Newport Beach California. After<br />

you’ve cleaned your shorts out and picked up<br />

your jaw, you will have a healthy appreciation for<br />

what talented folk can do on one. As for bloopers,<br />

skimboarders have some of the best of those too.<br />

Anyhow, what those skimboarders do nowadays<br />

is a far cry from the early 1920’s when American<br />

lifeguards would use a flat piece of wood to skim<br />

down the edge of the water to get to swimmers in<br />

trouble more easily.<br />

While there are still basic wooden skimboards in<br />

play, with a finely honed shape and polished epoxy<br />

coating for smoother rides, there are also carbon<br />

fibre weapons designed to create as little resistance<br />

as possible when it comes to riders flying fast on top<br />

of the water hunting the perfect waves for a trick or<br />

three and a ride back to shore.<br />

kim<br />

While the ocean is the most common place to skim,<br />

these finless boards offer endless opportunities for<br />

enthusiasts who have posted up videos skimming<br />

inland rivers, lakes, dams and even flooded streets<br />

and back yards.<br />

In Australia there’s even an Australian Skimboarding<br />

Association that’s been set up to link skim loving<br />

riders all over the country to regular meets and<br />

competitions.<br />

For skaters and snowboarders, the motions are<br />

similar – the boards can spin to have the riders swap<br />

leading legs mid ride, they slide and the edges are<br />

used to change direction.<br />

Rather than finding a giant slope to ride down, or<br />

jumping into a skate bowl and using the forces<br />

of gravity to generate speed for the uphill side,<br />

skimboards generate their own pace, charging the<br />

base of an incoming wave, riding to it’s peak, quickly<br />

flicking their boards around as they near the top and<br />

then racing the lip all the way back to shore.<br />

Costs<br />

A basic Ryder Series 41” skimboard from Zak<br />

Surfboards featuring a teardrop template and<br />

durable plywood construction retails for $69.95<br />

At the other end of the scale an Exile Double<br />

Carbon Hybrid skimboard will leave your wallet<br />

$947 lighter. You do get the same materials as<br />

an astronaut for that though and the knowledge<br />

that you’re on the same board as World Champion<br />

skimboarders Austin Keen and Blair Conklin.<br />

Lessons<br />

Finding skim lessons may be somewhat of a<br />

challenge if our google searching is anything to<br />

go by. A good start would be to ask the board<br />

store where you buy your skim board for any tips<br />

on locals who might be able to offer a bit of oneon-one<br />

tuition to get you started. Another option<br />

is to search for SkimBoard videos along with<br />

the names Blair Conklin or Austin Keen as these<br />

champions appear to have created a range of<br />

content for beginners to intermediates looking to<br />

get better at their sport.<br />

Etiquette<br />

Like most board sports, if you’re not too sure what<br />

you’re doing, the best bet is to find your own part<br />

of the beach, without a crowd, and practice where<br />

no-one else can get hurt. If you’re skimming with a<br />

crew, take turns and be aware of where everyone<br />

is – don’t steal anyone else’s waves and be aware<br />

of the dangers that surfing waves right on the<br />

shoreline present in terms of falling off in shallow<br />

water. Most importantly though – have fun!<br />

75 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

final word<br />

Being a passionate waterman and the founder of<br />

Australia’s largest independent surf store (Natural<br />

Necessity in Gerringong), with every bit of board<br />

sport kit you can imagine under one roof, we thought<br />

it only fitting to round out this special feature with a<br />

word from Kent Ladkin.<br />

Kent’s long been an advocate of the Smorgasboarder<br />

philosophy - ride everything and anything, just make<br />

sure it’s with a smile.<br />

We asked Kent for his thoughts on surfing and here<br />

is what he had to say.<br />

“Surfing is an opportunity to immerse ourselves<br />

in nature, to feel and become one with the energy<br />

vibrations of the universe.<br />

“It’s very fleeting, but the moments dropping in,<br />

getting barrelled, turning off the bottom or the top<br />

of a wave are moments of pure ecstasy. There’s no<br />

mind, we move into the realm of being, transcending<br />

time, gravity and limitations.<br />

“It’s like making love, meditating, being in nature or<br />

listening to great music. It’s these transcendental<br />

moments that give value to life. They are key, peak<br />

experiences that are a measure of who we are and<br />

the depth of our experience and being.”<br />

For Kent it all started way back in the late 1950s.<br />

“My first experience of riding a board was in<br />

Maroubra in 1959 at the age of 8,” he said.<br />

“My grandparents lived there. It was a neighbour’s<br />

board and we took it by tram from their house off<br />

Anzac parade.<br />

“This was only three years after the first modern<br />

boards were seen in Australia, bought out by the<br />

Californians during the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.<br />

“It was over a decade before leg ropes and I<br />

remember flicking out, which was the hot manoeuvre<br />

at the time.”<br />

Kent remembers fondly his first ever board too.<br />

“I was lucky getting my own board at the age of 11<br />

in 1963.<br />

“It was a 9’5,1/2” Bill Wallace, nicknamed the Banana<br />

Boat. Then immediately I went on my first surf roadtrip<br />

up the coast to surf Crescent, Snapper Rocks<br />

and Greenmount Point in uncrowded conditions.<br />

“After two weeks of epic surf, I returned home from<br />

the August holidays, transformed into a seasoned<br />

board rider.”<br />

And for Kent, variety in the craft he chose to ride<br />

soon became a part of life.<br />

“For the previous three years growing up in<br />

Merewether, I’d ridden 5’10,” rubber pump up<br />

“Surfo’s”. This was years before bodyboards were<br />

invented.<br />

“The next major change in the design of surfboards<br />

happened in 1967 when boards dropped from 9’6”<br />

to 8’6”, then in 1968 boards dropped to 7’6, so in my<br />

HSC year in 1969, boards were 6’6”,” he said.<br />

“The following year in 1970, Mark Richards was<br />

riding Twin-Fin boards under 6’.<br />

“Thrusters, credited to Simon Anderson, followed<br />

about a decade later in 1980.<br />

“Apart from the introduction of Modern Mals in the<br />

mid 70’s by Brian Ingham, a shaper at San Juan<br />

Surfboards in Byron Bay, which I was lucky enough<br />

to try and fall in love with, and the introduction of<br />

the new EPS foam and epoxy resin materials in the<br />

late 90’s, these meta steps in design have not been<br />

seen since.”<br />

As board styles, designs and materials evolved, so<br />

to has Kent’s riding experience. If it floats, he’s had<br />

a go on it.<br />

“Over the past 62 years I’ve surfed, I’ve been lucky<br />

to have worked in the surf industry for 54 years of it,<br />

enabling me to experience the cutting edge of break<br />

throughs in boards design.<br />

“But surfing is much more than one design or<br />

dimension.<br />

“It’s not just about riding any one type of surfboard<br />

or surf craft, it’s the whole opportunity of interacting<br />

with waves and the ocean any way you can.<br />

“Limiting yourself to just Shortboards, Mals, Logs,<br />

Bodyboards, SUP’s, Windsurfers, Kiteboards,<br />

Bodysurfing or whatever is just that, limiting.<br />

“Laird Hamilton, a pioneer in different modalities of<br />

surfing, nailed it in an old surf movie called “Tow,”<br />

which was the first time most of us saw Tow-Ins &<br />

Foils. Laird said `The true Waterman is someone who<br />

interacts with the ocean in many different ways, and<br />

are they not limited’.<br />

“I believe boards are like pieces of art, and I collect<br />

them and use different boards in different conditions.<br />

“I love my 7 footer, my 8’6, 9’6 and 10’6, plus my<br />

SUP. Each is ideal for different circumstances.<br />

“I embrace being a Waterman.”<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 76

Into<br />

the<br />

wild<br />

words: geoff crockett<br />

images: stephen liew<br />

Hitting the beach, surveying the waves, smelling the salt<br />

air, feeling the sand under your toes, and then diving in and<br />

paddling out the back. For many surfers, those basic steps<br />

are like taking big, deep, breathes.<br />

Popping up to sit on the board and stare out to the horizon,<br />

a tiny speck in a seemingly endless ocean, is what brings<br />

peace, focus and a new sense of reality in what can often<br />

be busy lives.<br />

For Melbourne-based photographer, and practising dentist,<br />

Stephen Liew, that same sense of peace, relaxation and<br />

re-charge is to be found in travelling to off-the-beaten track<br />

locations, camping, and being at one with nature.<br />

What started as a hobby has morphed into a side hustle that<br />

has served up all sorts of adventures and a gallery of simply<br />

stunning images of our great wild world.<br />

“Perhaps the defining moment was an off-grid cabin holiday<br />

near Mangonui, New Zealand called Riverside Glamping,<br />

which is run by our now friends Maggie and Brooke,”<br />

Stephen said.<br />

“I’d always travelled with increasingly complex photography<br />

gear and loved capturing natural escapes for personal<br />

satisfaction.<br />

“However, after sharing the images with Maggie and Brooke<br />

it became clear how the portfolio could really help boost the<br />

popularity of not only a particular cabin.<br />

“More importantly, every time we (Stephen and his wife<br />

Susie) checked out a new remote cabin and popped it on<br />

social media, a wave of ‘where is that place!!’ comments<br />

from our mates led me to push to shoot professionally to<br />

inspire people to get outdoors for their mental wellbeing.<br />

“It was a real lightbulb moment when I realised that I could<br />

combine what we love doing, to escape, with a professional<br />

activity.”<br />

Photography was a love Stephen developed as a child, with<br />

a bit of help from his parents.<br />

“I recently found an album of wind and click photos I took<br />

at a school camp when I was 10 years old, and they are a<br />

poorly executed set of images of some amazing old wooden<br />

huts hidden in forest. “Seems that since I was a kid, I’ve l<br />

always been obsessed by hidden cabins and the quietness<br />

of escaping into the woods!

“Music puts you in<br />

a flow state similar<br />

to photography or<br />

surfing. This state is<br />

absolutely vital for<br />

wellbeing.”<br />

For Stephen and wife<br />

Susie, time in nature<br />

is another way of<br />

attaining peace.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 80

“My parents must have recognised my photography<br />

interest as they gave me a Canon Ixus IIs for my first point<br />

and shoot in my early teens.<br />

“I remember learning for hours how to use its long<br />

exposure setting to capture this stellar purple sunset at the<br />

beach and failing multiple times to translate what my eyes<br />

were seeing into an image.<br />

“This was actually how I came to learn about the effects of<br />

exposure time, aperture, ISO etc.”<br />

The creative streak is strong for Stephen who also is also<br />

musically inclined.<br />

“I’ve had a lifelong passion for music and taught USA-style<br />

drumline percussion for many years,” he said.<br />

“Along with an old mate we started an entertainment group<br />

called D2Drumline about 10 years ago.<br />

“We field choreographed, mobile drummers to entertain<br />

large events including the AFL Grand Final, World Cup<br />

Cricket etc.<br />

“Music puts you in a flow state similar to photography or<br />

surfing. This state is absolutely vital for wellbeing.”<br />

For Stephen and wife Susie, time in nature is another way<br />

of attaining peace.<br />

They have their own tiny caravan that they gutted and<br />

converted into a cosy, tiny home and bush retreat over a<br />

12-month period.<br />

“It’s our favourite place. Ask yourself when was the last<br />

time you spent a day tracking the changing light across<br />

your natural surroundings? This happens every time we<br />

visit, and we always feel better for it.<br />

“Anyone who has tried to live in a small home with less<br />

understands it ironically gives you more.<br />

“By that I mean, practically, there’s less to maintain or<br />

clean and it’s often a cheaper existence which frees you<br />

from the ties to conventional lifestyles, but in addition it<br />

flips your mindset to focus on your surroundings, explore<br />

your place in the natural world and gain understanding that<br />

there is another way besides the loop a lot of people get<br />

caught in.<br />

“Not everyone can ditch their job however, and cities have<br />

many benefits, but it’s easy to get so caught up in a narrow<br />

urban view you never have time for self-reflection, you just<br />

chase a material item instead.<br />

“My wife Susie and I love the outdoors. Half of our<br />

holidays are in that old caravan and we camp off grid really<br />

regularly.<br />

“We’ve enjoyed multi-day hikes for years. I think the driving<br />

factor was how obviously time in nature just calms the soul.<br />

The Japanese concept of Shinrin-Yoku - forest bathing - is<br />

real. I’m a better person away from the competitiveness of<br />

our time in major cities, and when we return, I have a more<br />

rounded perspective on what matters and humans in the<br />

context of our planet. This makes us more effective in our<br />

other roles in life.<br />

“I have a feeling most Smorgasboarder readers will<br />

absolutely get this.”<br />

The love affair with travel started as a youngster when<br />

Stephen’s Malaysian parents immigrated to Australia,<br />

landing first in Ballarat and spending many holidays<br />

exploring Australia.<br />

Over time they have travelled all over Australia and New<br />

Zealand and as a far away as Iceland, where Stephen’s<br />

favourite photo so far came about.<br />

“It’s a shot of a lone lady in front of Skógafoss waterfall,<br />

Iceland.<br />

“It’s an awe-inspiring spot, and unique in that you can walk<br />

right to the base of this massive wall of water which hits<br />

you with your insignificance.<br />

“The mood on the day was murky, crows circled and then<br />

this lone lady walks up, dressed like a viking and looks<br />

forlornly off into the distance. It just all came together to<br />

nail the feeling of Iceland.”<br />

While that shot and that trip had long been Stephen’s go to<br />

as his “favourite destination” he said his mind had changed<br />

over time.<br />

“I always used to say Iceland - it’s primordial. Literally<br />

forged from the core of our earth. I found it amazing that<br />

there’s no naturally occurring flora or fauna because<br />

mankind had to bring it all onto the island that formed after<br />

the eruption.<br />

“Nowadays, I actually say Australia and NZ. Nothing like<br />

home.<br />

81 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

When it comes<br />

to the style of<br />

travel, the more<br />

remote the<br />

better.<br />

“You can get everything from glaciers, volcanic plains and<br />

windswept islands to desert and tropical, world heritage, jungle<br />

across our two island nations. And it’s way closer than 28 hours<br />

travel to Iceland!”<br />

Asked for his top five dream destinations he’s yet to visit<br />

Stephen lists The Faroe Islands, Galapagos, Antartica,<br />

Greenland, and Patagonia.<br />

When it comes to the style of travel, the more remote the better.<br />

Stephen and Susie have travelled and worked with a number<br />

of different tiny home tourism businesses specialising in unique<br />

experiences across Australia and New Zealand, including<br />

Unyoked and Canopy Camping Escapes.<br />

“I’ve partnered with Unyoked for years now, and those guys<br />

really get it - they curate the experience to be accessible to all,<br />

including encouraging less outdoor-minded folks to turn off,<br />

focus into a flow state and remove the technology blinkers.<br />

“This is exactly why Susie and I get out to these cabins and<br />

decompress as often as we can. You can’t be concerned<br />

about how Karen from accounts treated you when you’re busy<br />

enjoying the view from the top of a mountain.<br />

“Having said this there are many in this world suffering right<br />

now so we cannot lose sight of the fact that enjoying nature in<br />

comfort is a genuine privilege.”<br />

Once at a destination, prior planning and preparation are key to<br />

Stephen’s amazing photographic results.<br />

“I try to work with contrasts - textures, light, colours/saturation<br />

and activities portrayed to focus the eye on the subject.<br />

“Crucially I always emphasise the scale of the natural<br />

surroundings and try to capture that feeling of how we felt<br />

walking into the site for the first time.<br />

“Given I work outdoors, I need to research the site well using<br />

sun and moon timing and angle apps to pre-plan the shoot.<br />

This eliminates the guesswork.<br />

“I never use artificial light, so timing is everything, and a lot<br />

cannot be faked during image development.<br />

“Once I shot sunrise over Wineglass Bay Tasmania from the<br />

top of Mt Amos in summer - this meant starting the climb at<br />

4am.<br />

“It’s always worth it.<br />

“I keep it extremely simple to ensure naturalness and agility.<br />

“The last thing you want climbing a mountain is a team of<br />

people tramping about in the mud.<br />

“Also, a number of my shots require hiking with a pack and the<br />

less you carry the better.<br />

“The weather changes so often where I work you must also be<br />

ready to shoot at short notice. For this reason, I’ve never aimed<br />

to work with dedicated models. Friends or family that happen<br />

to be on the hike? Sure.<br />

“That shot of the lady in the waterfall which I described before<br />

was purely chance, and we did chat with her beforehand.<br />

“The rest of the time it’s almost always Susie. She is pretty<br />

agile and a lot of the time is in a position that’s useful for<br />

framing so we capture it.<br />

“Now and again, for more precise framing, we’ll work together<br />

to find the perfect position.”<br />

Once the photograph is in the camera Stephen said he tries to<br />

minimise time spent on editing.<br />

“I rarely use Photoshop, which focuses more on creating, not<br />

editing.<br />

“It’s entirely necessary to develop the image however, and for<br />

that I use Lightroom.<br />

“Proper development is crucial, but my workflow emphasises<br />

elements of the shot, rather than adding them. My workflow is<br />

quite fast due to this.”<br />

The development of drone technology has added to Stephen’s<br />

photography practice, providing him the opportunity to capture<br />

the grand size of nature in both photo and video format.<br />

“It evolved out of a need to frame images more evocatively<br />

than what I could reach on my feet.<br />

“For my field of photography, a drone is indispensable. The<br />

vastness of nature is more obvious from the air.<br />

“I lose a drone to nature almost as an annual sacrifice, so it<br />

continually evolves!<br />

“I currently use a DJI Mavic which I love due to its DNG raw file<br />

ability - vital to allow the correct processing and preservation<br />

of data in post.”<br />

When he’s not behind the lense shooting photos, Stephen<br />

said his aims are simple: “Get outdoors! Crank some music.<br />

Whiskey.”<br />

To see more of Stephen’ s work go to www.sjl.photography<br />

@steve_jl_photography<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 82

83 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

Into<br />

the<br />

words: geoff crockett<br />


It’s amazing what you stumble across when you have<br />

a chat to someone. While interviewing Stephen Liew<br />

about his amazing photography, he mentioned staying<br />

at some amazing locations in New Zealand sourced<br />

through a company called Canopy Camping. Inspired<br />

by the photographs and the sense of freedom Stephen<br />

described when staying at these locations we thought<br />

we’d dig a little deeper and find out more so our<br />

Smorgasboarder readers could share in the joy.

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 86

We caught up with Liz Henderson, who together with<br />

Sonia Minnaar, started Canopy Camping Escapes in a<br />

bid to meet the demand from their own families for luxury<br />

camping in stunning locations.<br />

Here’s a little bit of our chat with Liz:<br />

Q. Tell me a little bit about how canopy<br />

camping came about?<br />

Back in 2012, my business partner (Sonia) and I were<br />

lamenting the lack of ‘cool places to stay’ in New<br />

Zealand.<br />

If they existed, they were hard to find.<br />

We discovered glamping around the same time - and<br />

loved the connection to nature and experiential nature<br />

of a glamping escape... having a campfire, enjoying an<br />

outdoor bath, sleeping under canvas in the middle of<br />

nowhere.<br />

We were looking for a business idea and thought that<br />

glamping would appeal to New Zealanders - and help<br />

farmers and landowners diversify into tourism.<br />

It took a few years to gather momentum, but it’s definitely<br />

a well-established trend now.<br />

Q. How many sites do you have now?<br />

About 90 and growing!<br />

Q. What do you think people get out of a<br />

canopy camping experience?<br />

The chance to escape the everyday grind and immerse<br />

themselves in beautiful, natural surrounds.<br />

It’s a chance to slow down, rest and reset.<br />

Many people turn up thinking that they will get out and<br />

about to explore the local area - but often they never<br />

leave the property.<br />

Q. For the surfers out there, are there any<br />

sites that are closer to the waves that you’d<br />

recommend?<br />

We have some great spots near amazing surf breaks<br />

- two that spring to mind are Kawakawa Station which<br />

is very close to Ning Nong break on Cape Palliser and<br />

Woodpecker Hut and Fox Hut which are just above<br />

Safety Bay on the West Coast near Punakaiki (www.<br />

nzsurfguide.co.nz/surf_breaks/west-coast/safety-bay)<br />

Q. What about the snowboarders and skiers –<br />

do you open in Winter in the snow country?<br />

The best stays we have for skiers and boarders are Ringa<br />

Kaha Cabin on the Central Plateau in the North Island<br />

and a number of Canterbury based places 40-50 minutes<br />

from Mt Hutt, a Summerhouse and converted railway<br />

carriage at Rockwood Station and a shepherd’s hut at<br />

Washpen Falls.<br />

Q. What’s on the cards for 2022 for Canopy<br />

Camping?<br />

We have lots of new and amazing sites coming on board<br />

over the next 3 - 12 months so we’ll be busy onboarding<br />

our new hosts.<br />

Q. Do you have a favourite venue?<br />

It’s too hard to choose!<br />

Q. Do you have a favourite photo of Stephen’s?<br />

Yes, I love the drone shots he took at a Kawakawa<br />

Station - beautiful! But I love all the photoshoots he has<br />

done for us over the years. Damn COVID for trapping him<br />

in Australia! He never fails to deliver exceptional shots.<br />

To check out the full list of Canopy Camping<br />

NZ’s offerings, see www.canopycamping.co.nz<br />

@canopycampingescapes<br />

87 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

gear<br />

William Furney<br />

Josh Dowling<br />

A ghostly tale of JD<br />

Josh’s chopnosed<br />

design<br />

all set for<br />

Will’s wall<br />

with his new<br />

ghost racks.<br />

This story is a cracker, if I<br />

don’t mind saying so myself. As<br />

it goes, we recently drew the<br />

Smorgasboarder Ghost Racks<br />

competition. We were stoked<br />

to get so many entries. one in<br />

particular stood out however<br />

from a guy called William<br />

Furney down in Shellharbour.<br />

The competition question was to simply to tell us in<br />

one or two sentences what you missed most about<br />

Smorgasboarder following our hiatus. William’s<br />

submission was as follows: “What I missed most<br />

about Smorgasboarder: Sitting back with my feet up,<br />

a hot cup of coffee and just reading about people,<br />

places and products that ‘I’ can relate to. That could<br />

be your neighbours, your local spot or your next<br />

favourite accessory. That’s what Smorgasboarder<br />

gives me and what I missed.”<br />

Being a mag for grassroots surfers William nailed it.<br />

What he said is in essence what we are all about.<br />

So we get in touch with William, or “Will” as I will<br />

now refer to him, to let him know he has won himself<br />

an awesome set of Ghost Racks. He then tells us he<br />

has the perfect board to mount on his wall.<br />

“I have one of the last boards Josh Dowling has ever<br />

made. It’s an absolute wall hanger and now it will<br />

finally have a home.”<br />

This piques my interest. How does a guy from<br />

Shellharbour have a board from one of the Victorian<br />

Surf Coast’s most notable shapers? Josh had<br />

always, intentionally it seemed, flown a little below<br />

the radar. I had the great pleasure of interviewing<br />

him back in 2011 and was absolutely blown away by<br />

his craftsmanship.<br />

Long story short, Josh was instrumental in the<br />

development of Firewire Surfboards. He later left<br />

the coop and started shaping boards under his<br />

own name. His boards employed the sandwich<br />

construction method with a twist that made them so<br />

unique. Below is a little snippet from that interview.<br />

“I start out with a flat block of super lightweight EPS<br />

foam instead of a blank. And unlike a blank, there is<br />

no rocker established in the plug. I actually create<br />

rocker by building the board in layers, bending and<br />

gluing each one in much the same way as how<br />

skateboards are constructed.”<br />

“On the top and bottom of a super lightweight,<br />

‘bouncy’ EPS core there is a 3mm layer of either<br />

timber or very hard high-density foam, which is a<br />

different chemical structure all together to normal PU<br />

and is very durable. This ‘outer shell’ has fiberglass<br />

on both sides as opposed to just on the outer as<br />

with other composite board construction.<br />

“The reason I fiberglass both sides of the ‘outer<br />

shell’ is because I believe with EPS you need more<br />

glass. It is much the same as a zigzag steel truss as<br />

opposed to a solid wood rafter. You are removing<br />

the material in between and reducing the weight<br />

but not the strength. The top and bottom truss is<br />

separated by the lightest possible material and this<br />

EPS core, which is holding the deck and the bottom<br />

apart, has some give in it and flexes as opposed to a<br />

more solid construction without sacrificing strength.<br />

“In the lamination process I use epoxy resin as<br />

opposed to polyester. It has a different molecular<br />

structure and in my opinion is more resistant to<br />

fatigue plus the boards stay fresh and crispy longer.<br />

“It is similar to Surftech’s Tufflite technology but as<br />

opposed to being a moulded clone of an existing<br />

shape, my boards are custom made to suit the<br />

individual. Therefore you have an individually tailor<br />

made surfboard that is still extremely durable.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 88

gear<br />

evel knievel<br />

Josh’s flaming arrow board<br />

“Further to this, I hand laminate my boards which<br />

makes them less rigid than other sandwich<br />

construction methods.”<br />

No doubt you now get the drift. Josh is an absolute<br />

freak and quite possibly one of the most talented<br />

board builders and spray artists I have ever come<br />

across.<br />

Anyhow, Will sends this photo through (top left) and<br />

it is pretty clear the bloke can surf, and then he tells<br />

me he was a guest rider for McCoy.<br />

“I think I get away with it because I am a big bloke<br />

that surfs small boards. I’m not now but at the time<br />

that photo was taken I was about 118kgs and it<br />

just kind of happened. I got some nice photos for<br />

McCoy and he wanted me to ride his boards. I think<br />

I am still up on his social media page. And I got<br />

some nice photos of Josh’s boards and sent them<br />

off to him and he said he would like to use them on<br />

his social media page.<br />

“Getting back to Josh, some mates kept saying<br />

to me to check out these Josh Dowling boards. I<br />

started getting Josh’s boards and loved them and<br />

took them overseas. I was really enjoying them. I<br />

ordered this particular chop-nosed design and it<br />

took months. And I knew it always took months but<br />

this one really stretched out.”<br />

To cut a long story short, unbeknownst to Will,<br />

Josh was struggling with an allergic reaction to the<br />

epoxy resin he used every day in board building.<br />

It’s a condition known as Allergic Dermatitis<br />

(Sensitization) where the body overreacts to an<br />

allergen. The reactions range from irritated skin<br />

(much like a reaction to poison ivy and may include<br />

swelling, itching and red eyes) to respiratory<br />

problems that can be mild or severe, acute or<br />

chronic. Josh’s condition was quite serious.<br />

“Anyhow, Josh apologises for the delay and<br />

finished up my board. It is the one I am surfing in<br />

the photo. It is a spectacular board, almost too<br />

good to ride.<br />

“Yeah, Josh apparently tried the space suit<br />

(special protective garment like the covid<br />

garb) and even still, he said when he peed<br />

it smelt of epoxy resin. So, he stopped<br />

shaping.”<br />

“Anyhow it is an incredible board and<br />

that is me riding it in the Mentawais. I<br />

think it was one of the last boards he<br />

made. That’s why I want to hang it up<br />

on the wall with the Ghost Racks I<br />

won. It is a pretty special board.”<br />

Now I know what readers are<br />

thinking, have you confirmed this<br />

with Josh as to whether this is the<br />

last board he made and what kind<br />

of journalism do you call this? Well,<br />

my reply to that is, Will didn’t pull his<br />

finger out and get back to me until<br />

we were just about to go to print<br />

so you will have to wait until next<br />

edition for us to chat to Josh. Hey,<br />

it builds a bit of suspense. Anyhow,<br />

the story continues.<br />

“Earlier on in our relationship, a<br />

few mates and I followed him on<br />

Facebook because we rode his<br />

boards, and he spoke of the first four<br />

or five Firewires he ever made. He<br />

mentioned he had the first four but<br />

sold the first one because he needed<br />

the money at the time.”<br />

The board was called RD1 – Research<br />

and Development 1 – and one of Will’s<br />

mates tracked it down. It is reportedly the<br />

very first surfboard to have the Firewire label<br />

on it.<br />

“We tracked it down and talked to the guy about<br />

selling the board and thankfully we bought it.”<br />

They sent it off to Josh with a note that read<br />

something along the lines of, “Here you<br />

go mate. Just when things look shit (he<br />

was dealing with a bit at the time), here’s<br />

something you have been trying to find<br />

for years. Hope it brings you a little bit of<br />

happiness.”<br />

How friggin’ awesome is that?<br />

As for how Will’s own JD board looks<br />

on his set of Ghost Racks he won, it<br />

is apparently still before the Ministry<br />

of Works.<br />

“I am still in negotiations as to where<br />

I can place the board.<br />

“I dropped a few hints to my wife as<br />

to where I can place the JD board<br />

whilst on a recent holiday, when her<br />

defences were down. Unfortunately<br />

the return to children and work has<br />

seen a recent resurgence in the<br />

re-employment of the death star’s<br />

deflector shields. May the force be<br />

with me.”<br />

We will just have to wait and see if<br />

Will’s reverse Jedi mind trick worked<br />

and whether his board gets beautifully<br />

mounted on his new set of Ghost<br />

Racks. Stay tuned.<br />

Josh’s evel knievel design<br />

89 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

gear<br />

6’6” x 20 1/2” x 2 5/8”<br />

1970’s curved channel bottom<br />

inspired by Jim Pollard designed<br />

to generate more speed without<br />

tracking.<br />

Classic Single Fin feel jazzed up<br />

with some more functional presentday<br />

elements.<br />

All boards are completely handshaped<br />

and customised to suit<br />

surfer ability and wave condition.<br />

Just what we love about a custom<br />

board build. The customer gets<br />

what the customer wants. Copy<br />

of his favourite 80s board shorts.<br />

Amazing free hand artwork by the<br />

amazing @robinsurfboards<br />


2/24 Christine Ave, Miami, QLD<br />

P: (07) 5576 5914<br />

E: hello@harvestsurfboards.com<br />

M: harvestsurfboards.com<br />



Units 7 & 8, 9 Chapman Road,<br />

Hackham, SA<br />

E: leightonclark01@yahoo.com.au<br />

M: 0422 443 789<br />


8’6 x 22 1/2 x 3<br />

Sooooooooo much fun to ride hence<br />

the model name whoo hoo!<br />


PLUS ONE<br />

7’0 x 21 x 2 3/4<br />



Shed 4, 10 Baines Cr, Torquay, VIC<br />

M: 0437 246 848<br />

E: dickosurf@gmail.com<br />


Unit 1-2 / 1 Regmoore Close,<br />

Culburra Beach, NSW<br />

M: 0423 987 492<br />

E: entitysurfboards@gmail.com<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 90

gear<br />


LENGTH<br />

6’10” x 20 ¾” x 2 ¾”<br />

42Lts<br />

Double stringer T-band with<br />

coloured high density foam.<br />

Custom shapes to suit the individual.<br />


Shed 2, 44 Hill Street, Port Elliot, SA<br />


M: 0416 199 764<br />

E: nxtsurf@hotmail.com<br />


David Parkes<br />

M: 0408 663 862<br />

E: d-par@bigpond.com<br />

W: www.parkesaustralia.com<br />

Dbl stringer<br />

9’- 2”× 221/2” × 2 7/8”<br />

Made in Australia. Not an import.<br />

3 stage bottom fin box and side fins<br />

can be made with only a single fin as<br />

well.<br />

zombie fish twin<br />

5’9” x 20 x 2” 3/8<br />

RON WADE<br />

8 Angorra Rd, Terrey Hills. 2084<br />

M: 0410 443 776<br />

W: ronwadesurfboards.com.au<br />


Byron Bay<br />

M: 0404 059 321<br />

E: axissurf@yahoo.com.au<br />

W: espsurfboards.com<br />

I: @edsinnottsurfboards<br />

91 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

gear<br />

Balsa board courses<br />

Keep an eye on www.balsasurfboardsriley.com<br />

for the next course.<br />

“Custom made surfboards for<br />

real surfers”<br />


2/7 Acacia St<br />

Byron Bay, NSW<br />

M: 02 6685 6211<br />

W: www.munrosurfboards.com.au<br />

Darcy Twinza Pin<br />

5`11” - 19 7/8-2 1/2<br />


Gold Coast, QLD<br />

M: 0409 527 467<br />

W: darcysurfboards.com<br />

www.balsasurfboardsriley.com.au<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 92

HOW COOL?<br />


T-shirt $39<br />

T-shirt + annual subscription $55<br />

Order at www.smorgasboarder.com.au

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 94

Aires art<br />

We recently cornered Smorgasboarder<br />

designer Valeria Borscak to ask her<br />

about her move from Argentina to the<br />

Sunshine Coast and how on earth she<br />

became so lucky to work with us.<br />

So aside from being so incredibly fortunate to<br />

work with the immensely talented and humorous<br />

crew at Smorgasboarder, what is so good about<br />

living on the Sunshine Coast?<br />

For a girl who was born in the City of Buenos Aires,<br />

Argentina, moving to Australia and more specifically<br />

Sunshine Coast has been like a dream.<br />

I´ve gone from living almost 500 km from the sea, to<br />

having it only five blocks away. From stepping on the<br />

beach two or three times a year, to every day.<br />

A friend told me the other day: you live on vacation.<br />

And he may be right. Not only do I live here, but the<br />

office where I work is in Alexandra Headland, and it has<br />

an ocean view! I consider myself lucky.<br />

The days start very early, whether to go surfing the<br />

Bluff or Cotton Tree, go for a run or ride my bike, if<br />

there are not good waves. Then go for a good coffee<br />

and go to work. In order not to lose the habit, in my<br />

break at noon it is worth crossing to have lunch by<br />

the beach and watch the surfers. The afternoons are<br />

varied, if the swell is good you go back to the water,<br />

if not there is always a good place to go and watch<br />

the sunset, a walk through Mooloolaba, a hike to<br />

Mount Coolum, a few beers at Alex Hill, even a bit<br />

of bouldering in the climbing gym. Sunshine Coast<br />

is relaxed in tone, but it is full of activities to do and<br />

new things to discover every day. Yes, you can rest,<br />

but who can rest with everything there is to do?<br />

Local produce markets, a drive to the Hinterland,<br />

camping, fishing, diving, kayaking, paddle boarding.<br />

Non stop. It is also close to one of the most beautiful<br />

and paradisiacal beaches in the world such as Noosa,<br />

and an hour and a half from one of the largest cities<br />

in Australia such as Brisbane. I can’t ask for more, I<br />

love it! The truth is that I have not chosen this place to<br />

live, but I feel that it has chosen me, and I cannot be<br />

happier, because it is not a dream, it is a reality.<br />

In December 2020 I decided to travel from Palm Cove<br />

by car along the East Coast to Melbourne, where I was<br />

planning to settle down again and work as a graphic<br />

designer. There was a plan: celebrate New Year’s<br />

in Byron, drop by to say hello to friends, and maybe<br />

explore places I hadn’t been. Perfect! Did it happen?<br />

Well, no. From that plan, nothing has come of it. I met<br />

a friend in Noosa, we went to a surf shop, she bought<br />

a longboard, I bought a mini mal, and we celebrated<br />

the first day of the year surfing. Such happiness! And<br />

so it was, I went from vacationing a month in Noosa, to<br />

living almost a year in Sunshine Coast.<br />

I believe you have been in Australia for 2 or so<br />

years now, can you tell us a little about your<br />

mother country and where you grew up?<br />

I arrived in Australia in April 2019. So, yes, it’s been<br />

more than 2 and a half years. I did more than 11,000<br />

kilometres and felt that I was in another world. I came<br />

from living in a neighborhood with low rise houses and<br />

few buildings and getting to know everyone there, to<br />

living surrounded by skyscrapers, in a city that does<br />

not sleep like Melbourne, full of culture and trying to<br />

understand a different kind of English that I wasn’t<br />

taught at school.<br />

Argentina is as big as Australia. We have large cities<br />

but far from each other, a large urban concentration<br />

near the coast, different climates from north to south,<br />

each province has its own style ... just as here each<br />

state has its own personality. So far, I have lived in<br />

Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, which is<br />

my favourite now. I don’t know if it’s the weather or the<br />

people, or maybe both. I like the relaxed atmosphere,<br />

the simplicity and the appreciation of a healthier and<br />

more active life.<br />

In Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I was born and<br />

raised, everything is more complicated. We have<br />

public education and health, but we end up using the<br />

private one, because nothing works as it should. Taxes<br />

are paid, but they are stolen by the state. There is a<br />

lot of corruption, insecurity, a lot of villages and little<br />

understanding towards poor people. The middle class<br />

abounds, and the vast majority get up very early to go<br />

to work even if it is a Saturday. And they give their all,<br />

but it is never enough ... you always have to put the<br />

other shoulder ... that’s Argentina, a fighter, it doesn’t<br />

get tired. And we complain, but still smile. I think that<br />

if something defines my country, it is that unity and<br />

95 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong>

We had no TV, no internet, and<br />

sometimes you had to have a shower<br />

in less than 5 minutes and go to sleep<br />

very early. But we spent the day on the<br />

beach, walking in the woods, reading<br />

or cooking. I had fewer distractions,<br />

and that’s when surfing started to<br />

catch my eye.<br />

passion that keeps us alive, so we give everything and<br />

endure bad times ... there is no resignation, there is no<br />

abandonment. We cultivate our customs, we focus on<br />

friendship and family, because that does not fail. We<br />

talk about it all, we tell each other everything. We find<br />

something to laugh about, we find an excuse to get<br />

together and celebrate.<br />

When did you first get into surfing and what<br />

initially drew you to the ocean?<br />

Despite having grown up far from the sea, my parents<br />

always took us (my sister and I) to spend the summer<br />

on the coast, to one of the most popular coastal cities,<br />

Mar del Plata. Only two weeks during the year... I have<br />

memories of great happiness, summer, sand, skin<br />

burning from being in the sun. It was never enough.<br />

When I was 10 years old, my parents decided to buy<br />

a house in Miramar, another coastal city located 50<br />

kilometres south from Mar del Plata, much quieter, but<br />

just as beautiful. I fell in love. It became my favourite<br />

place in the world. After that, we stayed there for one<br />

month or two months during the summer holidays.<br />

We had no TV, no internet, and sometimes you had<br />

to have a shower in less than five minutes and go to<br />

sleep very early. But we spent the day on the beach,<br />

walking in the woods, reading or cooking. I had fewer<br />

distractions, and that’s when surfing started to catch<br />

my eye. I don’t have an explanation, but I dreamed of<br />

being in the deepest part, far away in the sea, catching<br />

the waves without fear or just enjoying the silence of<br />

the water ...<br />

It took me 19 years to take my first surf class, thanks to<br />

a friend who insisted … and I remember it as if I hadn’t<br />

spent a single day, swallowing water, trying to get past<br />

breaking point and at the coach yelling: ¨Paddle Val,<br />

Paddle!!¨<br />

Of the three classes I took, I stood up only once. After<br />

that, I didn’t surf again until I did several surf trips in<br />

2016 and 2017. I don’t understand why I put it off for<br />

so long. I think I felt that I wasn’t going to be able to<br />

do it, that it wasn’t for me, that surfing belonged to<br />

others… but then I understood that surfing does not<br />

belong to anyone, that it is free, and that it is a lifestyle,<br />

waiting for you to adopt it, to practice it, to spend a<br />

little time on it, even once a week. And it’s not to prove<br />

anything to anyone, it’s to make yourself happy.<br />

Everyone gets something different out of their<br />

surfing ritual. What does surfing do for you? How<br />

does surfing make you feel?<br />

There are days when it is easier than others, you can’t<br />

wait to be in the water, there is no need for coffee,<br />

energy flows from you to the sea, from the sea to you.<br />

And there are other days when your strength is not the<br />

same, but you know that there is a good swell and you<br />

force yourself to go into the water, and you know that it<br />

will be worth it, that the effort you put in will come back<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 96

to you, and you will come out with a great smile, even<br />

when you didn’t surf your best wave.<br />

Surfing is something different for everyone. If I go<br />

alone, it is a moment of connection, it is the energy<br />

of living in the present, of being fully connected with<br />

what I am doing, without thinking about anything else.<br />

On the other hand, if I go with friends, I want to have<br />

fun, have some party waves and encourage ourselves<br />

in some difficult situations. Once you find your way to<br />

enjoy surfing, everything becomes easier. For example,<br />

I like point breaks better and surfing a longboard,<br />

and I’m practicing to be better at that. I’m not looking<br />

for a giant swell. or learning how to ride and turn a<br />

shortboard. Those kind of days, I know what makes me<br />

happy: admire from the shore, enjoy the show, while<br />

having a coffee and taking photos.<br />

Whether practicing it, or as a spectator, surfing is a<br />

magnet for me, an inexplicable positive energy that<br />

seduces and attracts. I don’t know if it’s something I<br />

could get tired of.<br />

We’re well aware you’re a talented designer but<br />

please tell us a little about your art, what you like<br />

to draw, your inspiration.<br />

Hahaha, I don’t know if I am talented, but yes, I<br />

like Graphic Design. And I consider myself quite<br />

passionate.<br />

Always gaining experience, through the years and<br />

trying to improve. But if we talk about a place where I<br />

can be totally free, it is through illustration.<br />

No matter how much you ask, I never took drawing<br />

classes. Since I was a kid I liked to copy cartoons, I<br />

spent the day drawing, locked up at home, and then<br />

I started making sketches of human figures, faces,<br />

bodies, eyes, expressions. I needed to create, all the<br />

time.<br />

Studying design at the university gave me certain<br />

tools and resources, it introduced me to photography,<br />

collages and different software. It was in that space<br />

that I started to play as I wanted. I didn’t need just<br />

pencil and paper, it was everything I wanted to add.<br />

There were no limits to colours or shapes. When you<br />

know that world, you realise that the only limit is in your<br />

imagination.<br />

If I can choose what to draw, it will never be something<br />

static like an object, or realistic based on a landscape.<br />

I had my moments of more decorative art, more<br />

abstract, full of colours. Then I approached lettering<br />

and calligraphy, but what I like and what I always come<br />

back to are figures, people, animals, the creation of<br />

characters. And that’s where your creativity comes<br />

into play, and that could keep me awake for hours and<br />

hours.<br />

Creativity depends on your inspiration, and inspiration<br />

will find you when you least expect it. While driving, in<br />

the shower, before sleep, cooking or even chatting with<br />

friends. In my case, inspiration can come in several<br />

situations: when I am reading or writing, sharing a deep<br />

conversation, listening to good music or visiting an<br />

art gallery. Not to mention when I’m bored and doing<br />

something I don’t like.<br />

Illustration can differ from design because if it is for<br />

yourself, you feel free, there are no customers to<br />

please, there is not just one solution, there is no right<br />

or wrong. It’s more like art, you can put as much of<br />

yourself in it as you please and find happiness in that.<br />

97 / #51 / <strong>SB</strong><br />

Photo: Tony Piper<br />


Art: Mitchell Rae - Telo Islands<br />

E_ outereye@gmail.com<br />

P_ 02 6655 7007<br />


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