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2022<br />

smorgasboarder<br />

#52<br />

SURF<br />

magazine<br />

Surf travel is back.<br />

We can explore once more.


#52<br />

2022<br />

24<br />

72<br />

34<br />

82<br />

10 comps + news<br />

14 controversy<br />

24 Out of the Ashes<br />

34 epic maldives Travel<br />

72 Wheels + waves<br />

82 Swiss bliss<br />

86 GEAR<br />

91 surfing with emus<br />

94 ART<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 />

Social M<strong>ed</strong>ial | Phoebe Swan<br />

phoebe@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

0459 705 404<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, helen, taylah, sarah<br />

mark@horseandwater.com.au<br />

Accounts | Louise Gough<br />

louise@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

2022<br />

SURF<br />

#52<br />

smorgasboarder<br />

Surf travel is back.<br />

We can explore once more.<br />

magazine<br />

our cover<br />

Photo: Chris Grundy<br />

Suppli<strong>ed</strong> by: Island Hop Maldives<br />

get involv<strong>ed</strong><br />

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

interesting surf-relat<strong>ed</strong> stuff you<br />

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

<strong>ed</strong>itorial@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 />

<strong>ed</strong>itions per year - $25 annual<br />

subscription (Aus and NZ)<br />

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

featur<strong>ed</strong> 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 publish<strong>ed</strong> by Huge C M<strong>ed</strong>ia 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 unsolicit<strong>ed</strong> manuscripts, photographs or illustrations. The opinions and words of the authors<br />

do not necessarily represent those of the publishers. All rights reserv<strong>ed</strong>. Reproduction in part or whole is strictly prohibit<strong>ed</strong> without prior permission.

photo: lime light creative studios<br />

see the wood

for the seas<br />

Eco-conscious. Sustainable.<br />

Hand-made. High performance.<br />

All Australian. Built to last.<br />

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



where: Ahtopol, Bulgaria<br />

photo: monodon<br />

...Ne<strong>ed</strong>less to say, there is so much to see, do and learn<br />

in this great big world we live in. Life is short, our<br />

time on the earth is fleeting, so go out and grab<br />

every opportunity with both hands and surf a wave<br />

you always dreamt of surfing, in a place you always<br />

want<strong>ed</strong> to go, or perhaps never even thought of.

Are we on the precipice of once again being allow<strong>ed</strong> to explore<br />

our world and the multitude of waves on offer? Our fre<strong>ed</strong>oms<br />

appear to have been restor<strong>ed</strong>.<br />

The last few years of lockdown after lockdown and travel<br />

restrictions have foster<strong>ed</strong> a new found appreciation for where<br />

we live but it has also develop<strong>ed</strong> a yearning to discover distant<br />

shores.<br />

Now that the craziness of the last few years is hopefully behind<br />

us, we can start to venture far and wide to warmer, cherish<strong>ed</strong><br />

climes like the wonderful waves on offer in the Maldives, which we<br />

explore in-depth in this <strong>ed</strong>ition, to snowboarding in Switzerland<br />

and even somewhere as far flung as where this photo was taken –<br />

Bulgaria. We bet you didn’t even know they had waves – we sure<br />

as hell didn’t. It looks super cool too – for a variety of reasons.<br />

Bulgaria is a small country situat<strong>ed</strong> in Southeastern Europe with<br />

diverse terrain – an interior full of mountain ranges and rivers<br />

and a 378 kilometre coastline along the Black Sea. It’s a cultural<br />

melting pot of Greek, Slavic, Ottoman, and Persian influences,<br />

and has a rich heritage of traditional dance, music, costumes, and<br />

crafts. Its capital city, Sofia, dates back to the 5th century B.C.<br />

You can see how excit<strong>ed</strong> we start to become when talking<br />

of travel, anyhow, the wave we see here is at a little fishing<br />

port call<strong>ed</strong> Ahtopol. The town is 20km away from border with<br />

Turkey. The wave only starts working after two to three days of<br />

good northeast to easterly wind with September and October<br />

consider<strong>ed</strong> the best months. November can get pretty good too<br />

but the water is a toasty 14 degrees Celsius and by December<br />

is down around 10 degrees. Report<strong>ed</strong>ly the Black Sea doesn’t<br />

get waves for months on end but when they do come, they really<br />

come fast and powerful – you just have to watch for the rocks.<br />

This fast, fun, lefthand point break starts working at 3ft-5ft but can<br />

hold up to 10ft+.<br />

Ne<strong>ed</strong>less to say, there is so much to see, do and learn in this great<br />

big world we live in. Life is short, our time on the earth is fleeting,<br />

so go out and grab every opportunity with both hands and surf a<br />

wave you always dreamt of surfing, in a place you always want<strong>ed</strong><br />

to go, or perhaps never even thought of.<br />

The Smorgasboarders


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you ne<strong>ed</strong> to make a board from scratch!<br />



PHONE: 07 5534 3777<br />

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fibreglass supplies<br />

and accessories..<br />




Sunshine Coast, QLD<br />

P 07 5493 9974<br />

E sales@acefibreglass.com.au<br />


Winner<br />

Congratulations to Billie Baxter who best answer<strong>ed</strong> why<br />

surfboards are living works of art and won herself an<br />

awesome surfboard rack from the good folks at Ghost<br />

Racks. Billy’s respect for the art of crafting surfboards is<br />

such, that even after they’re long past their use-by-date,<br />

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news<br />

victorian<br />

surfboard show<br />

Lindsay Becker & The Ramada Phillip Island<br />

Vintage Surfboard Display<br />

words: darren marks<br />

It’s good to surround yourself with passionate people as often<br />

as possible, there’s an infectious energy that is good to be<br />

around. People that work humbly toward something they truly<br />

believe in quite often inspire likemind<strong>ed</strong> souls to do the same.<br />

To look critically at the surf industry now, it’s hard to believe<br />

how far it has come and the trajectory it has taken. While there<br />

has been plenty of money made and lost along the way, the fuel<br />

that fe<strong>ed</strong>s the juggernaut always is and always will be passion.<br />

Lindsay Becker is a man both passionate and humble. As with<br />

most people of this ilk, he finds the limelight an uncomfortable<br />

place to stand. We can all relate to these quiet, modest types<br />

that are more than happy to illuminate the achievements of<br />

others while existing within the shadow that is cast. Sometimes<br />

though it’s appropriate to show appreciation for their passion<br />

Lindsay, originally from Mallacoota where he grew up surfing<br />

in the nooks and crannies of Australia’s South East, learn<strong>ed</strong> his<br />

trade as a builder and over time, mov<strong>ed</strong> permanently to Phillip<br />

Island. He’s carv<strong>ed</strong> out a secondary career that has seen him<br />

regard<strong>ed</strong> as an incr<strong>ed</strong>ible tattoo artist.<br />

Lindsay Becker is a man both<br />

passionate and humble. As with<br />

most people of this ilk, he finds<br />

the limelight an uncomfortable<br />

place to stand.<br />

A hobby for restoring surfboards hiccupp<strong>ed</strong> when he lost four<br />

boards in a fire when his San Remo house went up in flames.<br />

Understandably, other priorities took over until the opportunity<br />

arose to assemble a permanent display of vintage Victorian<br />

watercraft at the Ramada Resort on Phillip Island. His wife Bec,<br />

who is Assistant Manager at Ramada, must be also applaud<strong>ed</strong><br />

for the sacrifices she made on the home front as Lindsay began<br />

filling their home with fiberglass and fins.<br />

Over 18 months Lindsay amass<strong>ed</strong> an impressive 55 classic<br />

boards that document the evolution of the Victorian surfboard<br />

manufacturing industry. Luminaries such as Tom Tyrrell, Rod<br />

Stock, Terry Klemm, Russell Francis, Greg Brown, Maurice Cole,<br />

Wayne Lynch and the Oke family are all represent<strong>ed</strong> among a<br />

distinguish<strong>ed</strong> list of others.<br />

All of Lindsay’s boards were acquir<strong>ed</strong> by buying, restoring,<br />

selling, turning over and buying more until he complet<strong>ed</strong> the<br />

collection that is now on display. A lot of the dirty grunt work<br />

was taken on by Lindsay as a way of saving money in the<br />

restoration process, with the high end finishing outsourc<strong>ed</strong> to<br />

Adsy at Island surfboards. Time, money and effort invest<strong>ed</strong> in<br />

the project is calculat<strong>ed</strong> with a shrug of the shoulders and a<br />

“Bugger<strong>ed</strong> if I know”.<br />

It must be not<strong>ed</strong> that this collection was not motivat<strong>ed</strong> by<br />

monetary gain or exploitation, but for a pure love and respect for<br />

the under-acknowl<strong>ed</strong>g<strong>ed</strong> surfboard manufacturing industry and<br />

the fun, innovation and passion they have provid<strong>ed</strong> in our lives.<br />

Saturday the 19th of March saw the great unveiling in the<br />

Ramada Conference Room with the adjacent lawn strewn with<br />

other private collections of wave riding wonders from up and<br />

down the coast. Lifelong shapers and fiber glassers walk<strong>ed</strong><br />

quietly among the crowd, unpretentious<br />

in their contribution to our pleasure.<br />

These living, floating sculptures elicit<br />

visceral memories, it’s amazing watching<br />

the evolution of such a unique lifestyle<br />

captur<strong>ed</strong> so eloquently in resin, fiberglass<br />

and foam.<br />

Live music, market stalls and a show and<br />

shine under early Autumn skies provid<strong>ed</strong><br />

the perfect opportunity to engage in<br />

conversation, libation and exaggeration<br />

well into the evening. We all walk<strong>ed</strong> down<br />

memory lane and indulg<strong>ed</strong> ourselves<br />

in long lost summers of sentimentality.<br />

But that’s the what happens when you<br />

surround yourself with passionate people,<br />

you feel happy to be alive.<br />

Lindsay Becker’s work on display on<br />

this page top left and bottom right.


ontroversy<br />

“Oh the price of surfboards are just so expensive.”<br />

I am amaz<strong>ed</strong> how many, of even my own friends,<br />

utter this statement.<br />

It is time to get some perspective.<br />

photo: oke surfboards<br />

decals: chris garrett<br />

words: dave swan<br />

So, surfboards are expensive ehh? Yeah, it is a decent chunk<br />

of money to outlay for a quality shortboard or longboard -<br />

$1000-$2000 thereabouts. But let’s compare it to a few other<br />

sports and other life essentials and consider the amount of<br />

time it takes to make a surfboard.<br />

On average, a hand-shap<strong>ed</strong> surfboard takes the better part of<br />

a week or more in terms of actual labour hours. That allows<br />

for shaping, laminating, filler coat, sanding, glassing and<br />

polishing/finishing. Sch<strong>ed</strong>uling that work and allowing for<br />

the necessary drying/curing time means the whole process<br />

will take close to 3 weeks. Now consider how much you earn<br />

for a few weeks work? Then take into account the cost of<br />

materials.Also, remember to not just evaluate something on<br />

the time it takes to craft but rather the time it takes to acquire<br />

the skill to craft it in that time frame. A skill<strong>ed</strong> tradesman could<br />

construct an outdoor deck in a couple of days but it would<br />

take me several months to complete the same because I do<br />

not possess the skill they do. A skill that has been hon<strong>ed</strong> over<br />

many, many years working with timber.<br />

Let’s then consider the longevity of surfboards. I am fortunate<br />

to have acquir<strong>ed</strong> quite a few through the years and thankfully,<br />

because I value well-craft<strong>ed</strong> Australian/New Zealand made<br />

surfboards, they have last<strong>ed</strong> and last<strong>ed</strong>. As I look around my<br />

‘boardroom’ I take in the surfboards – 19 years, 6 years, 10<br />

years, 12 years, 8 years, 11 years, 3 years… and so it goes.<br />

The average age of my surfboards is easily 10+ years. Now if<br />

I go to the higher end of the price scale and value the board<br />

at $2000, that equates to $200 a year for 10 years of fun. And<br />

believe me, I regularly ride all my boards.<br />

Now, let’s say you or your kids play football. For a decent<br />

set of boots you’re up for $200 a season. Yes, you can buy<br />

cheaper but in the long run that will even up with trips to the<br />

physiotherapist and/or podiatrist as a result of wearing cheap<br />

boots – been there, done that. And that $200 for your boots<br />

is before you have bought any other gear, strapping, pads etc<br />

and well before you have paid your yearly sign-on fee that can<br />

range anywhere from $200 to $2000+ dollars depending on<br />

what code and level you play.<br />

On average a footy season is going to probably cost you<br />

close to a grand at least once you add up all the bits and<br />

pieces – equivalent to the cost of a quality shortboard. If you<br />

play 22-23 rounds and maybe finals, taking into consideration<br />

training, you will probably wear your boots 100- 120 times. If<br />

you only surf weekends and a run of holidays, you may rack<br />

up 100 surfs on your board in a year or two, and a quality<br />

surfboard will easily last you that long. And yes, you may snap<br />

or damage the board, or find out it is not what you were after,<br />

which sucks, but that also happens with football boots. Some<br />

even fall apart after half a season – even the expensive ones!<br />

And no, sports stores don’t allow you to go play in those<br />

boots for a couple of games just as a shaper won’t make<br />

you a board to surf a few times and return it. However, some<br />

shapers do have ride and trial days, or demos to test. And as<br />

always it pays to do your research as to what is right for you –<br />

surfboards and football boots the same.<br />

How about golf? There’s a popular sport. The most basic club<br />

set and bag will set you back at least $600-700 and if you<br />

play like me you might as well easily add $50-100 worth of<br />

golf balls each year. Now, all of this is before you have even<br />

paid green fees – that’s anywhere from at least $30-$60+<br />

every time you play. So, you have easily clear<strong>ed</strong> a grand in<br />

one year and that’s before you have fork<strong>ed</strong> out anywhere from<br />

$200-$2000 for that special wood. And if you wish to become<br />

a member of your local club you’re up for more cash again.<br />

Interestingly too, some days I will hit the ball superbly and<br />

others I play like Happy Gilmore. I know it is me, not the clubs.<br />

The same goes for surfboards. It is too easy to think a board<br />

is sh*t when in reality, some days you surf well and others you<br />

don’t. Some days you ride the wrong board for the conditions<br />

just like trying to use a putter to drive off a par 5.<br />

What else? If you like cycling (heaven forbid), a road bike<br />

is going to set you back close to $1000 and that is before<br />

you commit yourself to covering your body in spandex and<br />

shaving your legs. Hell, some people even spend as much on<br />

a bike as you would a small car. Mountain bikes are the same<br />

again and that’s before you pay for all the corrective surgery<br />

from the serious injuries many often inflict upon themselves.<br />

If you swim at your local pool, thanks to our government<br />

ineptitude and ridiculous insurance premiums, you’re up for<br />

around $6 for adults and $5 for kids. A yearly pass will set you<br />

back close to $900 and do you also want googles, fins, pull<br />

buoy? There’s a grand!<br />

Sports aside, think of the cost of other things nowadays. If<br />

you had a skill<strong>ed</strong> tradesman come out to your house for the<br />

better part of a week or two, I think you would be amaz<strong>ed</strong> to<br />

escape with an invoice for under a couple of grand – and that<br />

is excluding materials!<br />

So Smorgasboarders, please respect and appreciate the<br />

innate skills our surfboard shapers possess and pay them<br />

what is only fitting for their craft<br />

and the enjoyment they ultimately<br />

bring to our lives through surfing.<br />

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

P: 03 9587 3553<br />

E: rory@okesurfboards.com<br />


1/1-7 Canterbury Rd, Braeside, VIC

Snowboarding – shockingly I would consider it as good if<br />

not better than surfing. I absolutely, categorically love it.<br />

Unfortunately, given that I live in a perpetual summer town,<br />

we don’t see any snow and thus there is no snowboarding.<br />

I only get to indulge when I travel and thanks to that bloody<br />

coronavirus, none of us have being doing any of that for a few<br />

years. But soon, hopefully soon, I will once again get to glide<br />

down the face of a 100ft frozen wave.<br />

Thinking of snowboarding recently had me reminiscing about our<br />

family’s last visit to the snow before all the craziness began in<br />

2020. Those who read our keepsake 50th <strong>ed</strong>ition may recall my<br />

son got the chance to play football in Portugal in late 2019 with<br />

me his on-tour manager. At the end of his stint, the rest of the<br />

family join<strong>ed</strong> us to embark on a 20-day trip through Europe. High<br />

on our agenda was hitting the slopes, the only trouble being<br />

there’s not often a great deal of snow on offer in mid-December.<br />

Good mate Craig Russell, who owns Helloworld Travel in<br />

Kawana, recommend<strong>ed</strong> we try Engelberg, a little mountain resort<br />

in Central Switzerland.<br />

photo: Jonathan Smit<br />

suppli<strong>ed</strong> by: Seventhwave Wetsuits

Across the ditch<br />

It’s around this time of year we at Smorgasboarder pine for an NZ work trip. The chance to<br />

indulge in an ice-cold, Norsca-fresh surf, follow<strong>ed</strong> by a few frosties around a beach campfire<br />

and even a few cheeky snowboard runs nearby is something that so appeals to us. Long live<br />

the Land of the Long White Cloud we say. These next few pages pay homage to our mates,<br />

those wonderful people from across the ditch who call this magic place home.

seventh heaven<br />

photo: Jonathan Smit<br />

suppli<strong>ed</strong> by: Seventhwave Wetsuits<br />

Imagine a time before the internet, before mobile<br />

phones were smaller than a house brick, and before<br />

the first episode of The Simpsons land<strong>ed</strong> on TV.<br />

Picture two mates living in Christchurch, one<br />

making back packs for a living and the other selling<br />

clothes for Allan G Mitchell on New Zealand’s<br />

South Island. A time when wetsuits were a new<br />

thing, when Allan G Mitchell was importing them<br />

from America to sell in the shops. It was also a time<br />

when these two blokes start<strong>ed</strong> to become known<br />

as the New Zealanders that could make even better<br />

wetsuits and deliver the goods to local shops in a<br />

timely fashion.<br />

Those blokes, Paul Zarifeh and Geoff White,<br />

launch<strong>ed</strong> the Canterbury Wetsuit Company in June<br />

1987 – a date that mark<strong>ed</strong> the beginnings on a 35<br />

year journey into the surf industry that continues to<br />

this day in the form of Seventhwave Wetsuits Ltd<br />

bas<strong>ed</strong> in Ferrymead.<br />

The company’s journey is one of ups and downs,<br />

growing to have three shops at one stage, then<br />

shrinking as technology start<strong>ed</strong> to rule commerce,<br />

and the aftermaths of two earthquakes that forc<strong>ed</strong><br />

people out of the water in the Christchurch area for<br />

almost a year.<br />

Geoff left along the way to do his own thing, but<br />

Paul, and his trusty team kept on going, evolving<br />

the business to be driven by online orders and<br />

known throughout the southern hemisphere for their<br />

extra warm, custom-fitt<strong>ed</strong>, wetsuits.<br />

Sadly, on November 23, 2017, Paul lost his battle<br />

with cancer, but not before he had the interest of a<br />

crazy, passionate local surfer to buy his business<br />

and continue his legacy.<br />

Sarah “Puff” Armstrong, owner and managing<br />

director of Seventhwave, said Paul’s passion for<br />

quality, New Zealand-made, surf gear was at the<br />

heart of everything the brand and the business<br />

stood for.<br />

Puff (whose nickname came from a bad haircut as<br />

a kid, in case you’re wondering) said the boutique<br />

business operat<strong>ed</strong> with eight Wetsuits Specialists<br />

including herself and her daughter Janee who run<br />

the shop and the admin side of things.<br />

In the cutting room, the experience runs deep, with<br />

head fitter Janet having start<strong>ed</strong> with Paul 35 years<br />

ago, and a couple of the other ladies who start<strong>ed</strong><br />

there as crazy 16-year-olds more than a few moons<br />

ago and are still there. Together, Puff said between<br />

the team, Seventhwave had accumulat<strong>ed</strong> some<br />

120 years worth of skills and knowl<strong>ed</strong>ge in wetsuit<br />

creation, a rare commodity on a global level. This<br />

has, and still is, being driven by a strong female l<strong>ed</strong><br />

skill set.<br />

Puff, who’s surfing p<strong>ed</strong>egree includes competing<br />

and being on the core organising team for the<br />

Canterbury Women’s Champs, one of the biggest<br />

women’s only surfing competitions, celebrating<br />

its 20th year in 2022. Until she took ownership<br />

of the business, Puff said she had never worn a<br />

Seventhwave Wetsuit.<br />

“I’ve never had a wetsuit fit me because because<br />

there wasn’t a lot design<strong>ed</strong> for the smaller ladies. I<br />

wore a 4/3 all summer in the past and was still cold<br />

– then I wore a Seventhwave summer 1.5 suit that<br />

actually fitt<strong>ed</strong> me and I was never cold,” she said.<br />

Bor<strong>ed</strong> at work, Puff said she was looking for a<br />

business that would tie her lifestyle and deep<br />

passion for surfing together. When she heard Paul<br />

was looking to sell, it seem<strong>ed</strong> a serendipitous<br />

moment.<br />

Learning the ropes and setting up the business for<br />

today’s e-commerce world has not been without it’s<br />

challenges.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 18

photo: Jonathan Smit<br />

suppli<strong>ed</strong> by: Seventhwave Wetsuits<br />

Paul Zarifeh<br />

“The first three to four years, I didn’t take a wage<br />

and work<strong>ed</strong> for love and wetsuits,” Puff said.<br />

“I’m the tester and the product developer –<br />

somebody’s got to test them. I’m ‘that’ boss that<br />

gets bann<strong>ed</strong> from her own factory, which is perfect<br />

when the surf’s up.”<br />

Puff went on to say the fe<strong>ed</strong>back from her wetsuit<br />

ambassadors around NZ is irreplaceable for the<br />

ongoing development.<br />

When it comes to the wetsuits themselves Puff<br />

said since owning the business she had sourc<strong>ed</strong><br />

a wide range of neoprenes to trial from all over the<br />

world, but had found nothing work<strong>ed</strong> quite as well<br />

as the Japanese Yamamoto neoprene Seventhwave<br />

wetsuits are known for.<br />

The Yamamoto neoprene is a product made from<br />

limestone, not petroleum-bas<strong>ed</strong>, and is known for<br />

its exceptional thermal insulation, light-weight and<br />

unique high density cells that repel water keeping<br />

the suits dry and the weight stable in and out of the<br />

water.<br />

Seventhwave Wetsuits, in its current incarnation, is<br />

a boutique, custom-fit wetsuit business that sells<br />

a range of other neoprene products too, direct to<br />

customers all over the world via the internet and to<br />

plenty of locals from their shop at Ferrymead.<br />

Puff said the team was passionate about using<br />

quality New Zealand made products wherever<br />

possible, and about keeping their environmental<br />

footprint low – recycling neoprene off-cuts into<br />

stubby coolers and the like and sending other bits<br />

out to local schools for their art classes.<br />

The suits are built to last, which Puff jokes is a bit of<br />

an issue for a business built on word of mouth and<br />

repeat custom, as the repeat customers generally<br />

only ne<strong>ed</strong> a new suit every three to four years if<br />

they’re avid weekly surfers, or six to eight years if<br />

they’re not so regular surfers.<br />

Living where the water gets down to 8 degrees in<br />

winter and the windchill factor can turn you blue<br />

in a flash, Puff said the thermal qualities of the<br />

Seventhwave wetsuits meant about 50 percent<br />

of the suits in any line up in New Zealand’s South<br />

Island carri<strong>ed</strong> the Seventhwave label.<br />

“Our suits are the warmest, thinnest, lightest, best<br />

fitting suits you can get,” Puff said.<br />

Fully suit<strong>ed</strong> for a Winter’s Day, Puff said she can<br />

comfortably last a three hour session in the water.<br />

And while she said she’s a shortboarder at heart,<br />

these days the longboard gets the most work.<br />

The factory does repairs too, and Puff said she’s<br />

always talking to people in the line-up, checking<br />

out how they’re suits are performing, and reminding<br />

them that their services are there if something<br />

ne<strong>ed</strong>s a bit of fixing up.<br />

As we sign off from our chat, Puff heads back<br />

to the office where she suspects there may be<br />

an espresso martini waiting for her - a Thursday<br />

afternoon tradition it seems among the hardworking<br />

and fun loving crew at Seventhwave Wetsuits.<br />

One thing’s for sure, if the last 35 years are anything<br />

to go by, the next 35 years are bound to be a lot of<br />

fun!<br />

For more information visit seventhwave.co.nz,<br />

facebook.com/seventhwavewetsuits, phone<br />

+64 3 384 7878 or email info@seventhwave.co.nz<br />

19 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>

Across the ditch<br />



















LAST WEEK”.<br />

The forecast was so small … the swell, literally<br />

measur<strong>ed</strong> in centimetres, but it was a birthday<br />

weekend. It can be a fickle beast, anticipating<br />

South Island New Zealand weather? Modern<br />

day surf weekends are more a matter of; finish<br />

work at the shop as early as possible, load-up<br />

the NZSHRED wagon, run through the “DSN”<br />

List (Dead Set Necessities), grab some extra<br />

Cold Water Sexwax and just get things on the<br />

road.<br />

Despite the suggest<strong>ed</strong> swell size, we were<br />

heading to the deep south, where anything<br />

can happen. If there is one thing (and there’s<br />

many) that the diabolical nature of the last<br />

two years has taught us, it’s to ‘seize the day’.<br />

Horace thought enough to first say it 2000 years<br />

ago, then Robin remind<strong>ed</strong> us again, as that<br />

meaningful mentor. Now, more than ever, it’s a<br />

‘tool for survival’ … a head-clearer of the most<br />

refreshing type.<br />

As we got to the batch, the weather could only<br />

be describ<strong>ed</strong> as “inclement”. Kev and Mush<br />

arriv<strong>ed</strong> from the <strong>ed</strong>ge of Fiordland, with their<br />

van full of SUP’s … “How are ya mate?,<br />

So, what’s it doin?”. We crack<strong>ed</strong> a beer with<br />

that typical anticipation that midway through a<br />

can, someone would start searching for their<br />

wettie and booties and we’d be out there in no<br />

time. If there was even 10cms of swell, well, it<br />

had already been, gone, and look<strong>ed</strong> unlikely<br />

to return - replac<strong>ed</strong> by a tangl<strong>ed</strong> mess of<br />

windchop. Time to batten down the hatches for<br />

the night, cheers a mate and tell some stories.<br />

Of course, “You should have been here last<br />

week!”, as someone read the comments in the<br />

Guest Book. But we were there now, and it was<br />

what we all ne<strong>ed</strong><strong>ed</strong>. A group of friends, gather<strong>ed</strong><br />

together BY, the anticipation of some waves and<br />

solid water time, but FOR, the opportunity of<br />

comradery that is nurtur<strong>ed</strong> and develop<strong>ed</strong>, no<br />

matter what your age, where you work or how<br />

you perform in the water.<br />

The next day was something special,<br />

notwithstanding the irony of what turn<strong>ed</strong> out to<br />

be a fairly accurate surf forecast. As we awoke<br />

to the familiar sound of the verandah shuffle -<br />

the earliest riser struggling to pour themselves<br />

into their new Vissla Seven Seas Chest Zip<br />

4/3mm wettie. Realising the minute scale of the<br />

swells meandering their way into the bay we<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 20

the<br />

thinnest<br />

warmest<br />

lightest<br />

best fitting<br />

wetsuits<br />

seventhwave.co.nz<br />

gather<strong>ed</strong> our variety of floatation – including a 10’6” Adventure 60/40<br />

SUP - and immers<strong>ed</strong> ourselves. Beautiful, consistent, but miniature!<br />

As I survey<strong>ed</strong> the crew in the water, I realis<strong>ed</strong> how much of a product<br />

service we provide at NZSHRED, to our local surf community - there<br />

were Ripcurl Dawn Patrol wettie and booties, Ocean & Earth leashes<br />

and of course our highest seller for this summer, the Torq TET’s and<br />

Mod Funboards. Anything in the 7’ to early 8’ is so useful for all levels,<br />

on these cruisy right-hand sliders.<br />

That session didn’t amount to much … for most of us … dragging<br />

the spell, till the welcome smell of freshly roast<strong>ed</strong> beans, outweigh<strong>ed</strong><br />

the suggestion of “a lil’sumpthin out the back”. It’s a lovely little surf<br />

community, where you can casually walk up from the flat sandy beach,<br />

along the recently mown verges, which are refreshingly sympathetic to<br />

feet that struggle with the 14 (and a bit) degree water temps.<br />

De-rubber<strong>ed</strong> and re-rob<strong>ed</strong>, I was onto my second caffeine ‘come alive’<br />

before I remember<strong>ed</strong> Webbo was still out. Like I said, it’s a relax<strong>ed</strong><br />

community, and common to pass someone else doing the same as you<br />

… walking down the street, coffee mug in hand, seeing if the swell had<br />

chang<strong>ed</strong> at all. As soon as I perch<strong>ed</strong> myself on the railing overlooking<br />

the casual break, there on his 7’6” Santa-deliver<strong>ed</strong> stick, the Birthday<br />

Boy cruis<strong>ed</strong> past with shallow, elongat<strong>ed</strong> ‘down the face’ drops that<br />

were link<strong>ed</strong> to nicely round<strong>ed</strong> bottom turns, as accurate as if they’d<br />

been drawn by his 6th Form maths protractor. As is generally the case<br />

at this break, the termination of your wave is a fine line between the<br />

distance back to the line-up, and running your ste<strong>ed</strong> aground from<br />

exhaustion … and I definitely replac<strong>ed</strong> a few fins for customers running<br />

that gauntlet. As he pull<strong>ed</strong> one last bottom turn and casually ambl<strong>ed</strong><br />

back to sneak one more, he look<strong>ed</strong> up and gave me a hand gesture like<br />

he’d just got a points victory over his idle, Occy.<br />

And why wouldn’t he - after all, it was his Birthday. With a casual “Yooo”<br />

he yell<strong>ed</strong> out, “You should have been here … A Bit Longer”. At least it<br />

wasn’t “Last Week” … Hmmm, perhaps I’ll get back in my wettie.<br />

NZ BOARD<br />






NEEDS<br />


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and EPS blanks, fibreglass cloth,<br />

polyester and epoxy resins, tools,<br />

DIY kits and installation equipment.<br />

From casual backyarder to full<br />

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cover<strong>ed</strong> with test<strong>ed</strong>, professional<br />

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Shop online. Shipping NZ wide.<br />

NZ SHRED<br />

words: jase johns<br />

www.nzshr<strong>ed</strong>.co.nz<br />

sadhanasurfboards.co.nz<br />

21 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>

X<br />

E<br />

Across the ditch<br />

O<br />

L<br />

R<br />

E<br />

W<br />

H<br />

A<br />

N<br />

G<br />

A M<br />

P<br />

A<br />

T A<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 fring<strong>ed</strong> 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.p<strong>ed</strong>alandpaddle.co.nz<br />

N<br />

E<br />

W<br />

Z<br />

E<br />

A<br />

L<br />

A<br />

D<br />

N<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 fill<strong>ed</strong> 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 />

Before<br />

AFTER<br />


In addition to Moana’s very cool surf<br />

shop that we told you about last<br />

issue, Toby and Bridget also have a<br />

SUP School, board and kayak hire<br />

opposite the shop on Tahunanui<br />

Beach, Nelson’s favourite beach<br />

destination.<br />

It’s important to learn paddle board<br />

skills from a professional (see before<br />

and after photos) and Moana is the<br />

only Surfing N.Z accr<strong>ed</strong>it<strong>ed</strong> SUP<br />

school on the South Island of N.Z.<br />

Moana hosts a Wahine paddle<br />

morning on Fridays and they also<br />

have a floating SUP yoga studio,<br />

both of which can keep you out on<br />

the water right through Winter.<br />

So for some truly spectacular paddle<br />

destinations, sitting down or standing<br />

up, pop in to visit Moana either in the<br />

shop or on the beach.<br />

“Best little surf shop<br />

in town (and beyond)”<br />


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

visit<br />

moanasup.co.nz<br />

visit<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 22

Across the ditch<br />

Real Surf<br />

“Real Surf is a locally own<strong>ed</strong> and operat<strong>ed</strong> 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 experienc<strong>ed</strong> 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 m<strong>ed</strong>ia.”<br />

+64 4 387 8798<br />

www.realsurf.co.nz<br />

team@realsurf.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 operat<strong>ed</strong>, hardware<br />

focus<strong>ed</strong>, 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 />


“Our epic summer may be drawing<br />

to a close but with the recent ease in<br />

covid restrictions, we can finally turn<br />

our gaze back to overseas travel.<br />

Open borders and larger gatherings<br />

call for finally taking that highly<br />

anticipat<strong>ed</strong> surf mission you’ve been<br />

waiting for.<br />

“The Supcentre is well stock<strong>ed</strong> with<br />

Stand Up Paddle Boards, Paddles<br />

and the latest accessories. We<br />

have all the equipment ne<strong>ed</strong><strong>ed</strong> for<br />

your next adventure sort<strong>ed</strong>. Our<br />

great range of stock also includes<br />

surfboards ( short and long), leashes,<br />

and board bags.<br />

“Next time you drop into the<br />

Supcentre, our friendly staff and a<br />

quick peek inside our legendary fin<br />

box is sure to get you all hyp<strong>ed</strong> for<br />

your next adventure.”<br />

visit<br />

www.supcentre.co.nz<br />

23 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>

OUT<br />

OF THE<br />

SHES<br />


When Smorgasboarder set out to find<br />

people’s cool surf cars for this <strong>ed</strong>ition,<br />

little did we know the sorts of great<br />

stories we’d uncover.<br />

While Colin “Biggsy” Ashford’s 1937<br />

Vauxhall is undoubt<strong>ed</strong>ly a cool beast,<br />

the story behind its 76-year-old owner<br />

is something out of an adventure novel.<br />

Surfing, shaping, skiing, hang-gliding,<br />

bushfires, beating cancer… it’s got it all.<br />

When it comes to surfing, the adventure<br />

began 66 years ago when 10 yearold<br />

Colin first took to the water on a<br />

borrow<strong>ed</strong> board and was instantly<br />

hook<strong>ed</strong>.<br />

He grew up at Stanwell Park, a coastal<br />

community south of Sydney and north<br />

of Wollongong, in a time when kids found<br />

their own way, to school or the beach, by<br />

foot, bus, train, hitchhiking or bike.<br />


<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 24



25 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>


For Colin, kicking off riding<br />

waves in the late 1950s meant<br />

jumping onto a “16ft plywood<br />

toothpick with a D-handle on<br />

the back.”<br />

“I’ve always liv<strong>ed</strong> in the country, so it’s always been<br />

a bit of a mission to get to places,” Colin said.<br />

“Where I liv<strong>ed</strong> initially was right on the top of the hill<br />

at the southern end of the beach – it was about a<br />

300m walk to the beach. Then we mov<strong>ed</strong> from there<br />

up to the highway and it was about 1km – you’d<br />

ride the bike with the board under your arm.<br />

“Back then, we were the only locals, it was like a<br />

holiday destination – people would come to town<br />

on a Friday night go back on Sunday and leave their<br />

boards at the surf club – which was really good for<br />

those guys who didn’t have a board.”<br />

For Colin, kicking off riding waves in the late 1950s<br />

meant jumping onto a “16ft plywood toothpick with<br />

a D-handle on the back.”<br />

“They weigh<strong>ed</strong> a tonne and leak<strong>ed</strong> like a sieve.<br />

You’d catch three waves and have to go back to<br />

the beach and let them dry out. There’d be a lot of<br />

blokes around who can relate to that.”<br />

Colin’s move into shaping and building boards<br />

came when he was about 15 years old and took<br />

on a job as a carpenter/joiner. The first factory he<br />

describes as being a “convert<strong>ed</strong> chookpen” in<br />

Stanwell Park.<br />

As the board trends mov<strong>ed</strong> away from balsa and<br />

into foam, Colin would strip down the discard<strong>ed</strong><br />

boards, re-use the old balsa and re-glass the<br />

boards to create more modern designs for his<br />

mates at no cost, other than materials, that would<br />

be sourc<strong>ed</strong> from the likes of local surf industry<br />

names, Brian Jackson, Ron Cansdell or Graham<br />

King.<br />

In 1966, Colin, together with a school mate, Bill<br />

Trestrail, decid<strong>ed</strong> the time was right to launch their<br />

own board business and Bill Collins Surfboards<br />

kick<strong>ed</strong> off in an old service station site right next to<br />

the hang-gliding launch area at Stanwell Park.<br />

It was to be short-liv<strong>ed</strong>. That location only last<strong>ed</strong><br />

a couple of months before the service station was<br />

reclaim<strong>ed</strong> and demolish<strong>ed</strong> as part of road widening<br />

plans (plans that have still never happen<strong>ed</strong>).<br />

With the first factory gone and the business clos<strong>ed</strong>,<br />

Colin finish<strong>ed</strong> his apprenticeship and head<strong>ed</strong><br />

back to the ocean, completing the life saving<br />

qualifications he requir<strong>ed</strong> to become the council’s<br />

full time lifesaver, then call<strong>ed</strong> Beach Inspector, at<br />

Scarborough Beach. Meanwhile, business partner<br />

Bill hit the road to drive trucks.<br />

As a young surf addict, Colin remembers his<br />

lifesaving days as one of his best – arriving at the<br />

beach early, surfing until the flags went up at 9am,<br />

patrolling all day, then surfing in the evenings after<br />

the flags went down whenever the conditions were<br />

right.<br />


He tells a gnarly story of one of only two shark<br />

attacks he’d heard of during that time, when he was<br />

call<strong>ed</strong> to shut down his beach and head to the next<br />

beach at Col<strong>ed</strong>ale in February 1966 after a surfer<br />

had been attack<strong>ed</strong> and had his leg chew<strong>ed</strong>.<br />

Colin said the shark had been dragg<strong>ed</strong> ashore,<br />

with the boy’s leg still in its mouth, and kill<strong>ed</strong> with a<br />

surfboard fin to its head. A later autopsy found the<br />

shark’s stomach was empty and it appear<strong>ed</strong> the<br />

shark, a Great White, had been caught on a shark<br />

line and unable to escape to hunt when this poor<br />

kid’s leg just happen<strong>ed</strong> to appear before it in the<br />

wrong place, at the wrong time. The surfer, a then<br />

13-year-old Ray Short, surviv<strong>ed</strong> the attack with a<br />

very battle-scarr<strong>ed</strong> leg.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 26

27 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 28

Around the same time it could be said surfing sav<strong>ed</strong><br />

Colin from the Vietnam War.<br />

He was call<strong>ed</strong> up for National Service on<br />

February 2, 1966, however he last<strong>ed</strong> only one day<br />

after it was deem<strong>ed</strong> the “board lumps” on his feet<br />

were too big to fit into an army boot and he wouldn’t<br />

make it through training. He was m<strong>ed</strong>ically discharg<strong>ed</strong><br />

and Colin still considers that one of the luckiest days<br />

in his life.<br />

Colin sums up the next stages of his life pretty<br />

succinctly in a blog/bio he upload<strong>ed</strong> online back in<br />

2011 as part of a South Coast (NSW) surf research<br />

project.<br />

“I got marri<strong>ed</strong>, mov<strong>ed</strong> to Thirroul, start<strong>ed</strong> a factory in<br />

a big sh<strong>ed</strong> at the bottom of Kenn<strong>ed</strong>y’s Hill, between<br />

Austinmere and Thirroul. The neighbours complain<strong>ed</strong><br />

so I rent<strong>ed</strong> a workshop at 30 Flinders Street,<br />

Wollongong in 1967 and start<strong>ed</strong> Collins Surboards<br />

there.<br />

“Gave up the factory in 1974 and made boards under<br />

the house and went back to building houses and<br />

working in coal mines.<br />

“Then got a job on the professional ski patrol in<br />

Perisher Valley in 1975, then became a ski instructor<br />

in `76-77 and continu<strong>ed</strong> making boards and ski<br />

boats under the house under the brand name of<br />

Sybernaught and Seaglass. Many of these boards<br />

were sold through Southern Man Surf Shop at<br />

Ulladulla found<strong>ed</strong> and own<strong>ed</strong> by David Matthew.<br />

“A few years later I mov<strong>ed</strong> to Lake Conjola (1991)<br />

where I bought a 1 acre block. The first thing I did was<br />

to plant 10 Paulownia Trees.”<br />

Those Paulownia trees Colin plant<strong>ed</strong> when he first<br />

arriv<strong>ed</strong> at Lake Conjola grew at a great rate. While<br />

they’d been plant<strong>ed</strong> for shade, Colin said as they got<br />

larger, they became more dangerous with large limbs<br />

dropping off during the big westerly winds that hit the<br />

South Coast.<br />

Scar<strong>ed</strong> of the implications of the disintegrating<br />

trees, he had them cut down and the wood chopp<strong>ed</strong><br />

into useable pieces with a view to working with it<br />

somehow in the future.<br />

When a mate bought a milling machine, the wood<br />

was mill<strong>ed</strong> and Colin hatch<strong>ed</strong> a plan to start building<br />

hollow wooden surfboards from the light-weight<br />

Paulownia – much like he’d start<strong>ed</strong> out all those years<br />

ago with balsa boards.<br />

The boards became a work of love, and of art, and he<br />

said while he’d offer<strong>ed</strong> them to people to ride, and he<br />

was sure they’d cut through the waves as they were<br />

design<strong>ed</strong> to do – so far, none of his mates had been<br />

willing to take the wax to them, worri<strong>ed</strong> they’d wreck<br />

the final finish.<br />

It’s on that same block of land at Lake Conjola, where<br />

Colin lives to this day, that he has fought some of his<br />

biggest battles and had his biggest revelations.<br />

In a blog post in 2002 Colin frankly discloses the<br />

health battles he fac<strong>ed</strong> in his mid-50s.<br />

29 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>

While now, at 76, he no longer surfs, he<br />

says it’s more to do with his body not being<br />

able to cope with it after nearly 60 years<br />

of hard work and manual labour, than any<br />

single disease or health challenge.<br />

“It’s now 2002. I have just spent the last four years<br />

fighting for my life after being diagnos<strong>ed</strong> with<br />

leukaemia and prostate cancer. This story I am<br />

happy to tell anyone that I might be able to help<br />

understand and inspire,” he wrote. “After enduring<br />

chemotherapy and radiation I am still here. I beat<br />

leukaemia, but maybe not the prostate cancer. My<br />

PSA levels are now 36 and still rising, this is more<br />

than 10 times the norm.”<br />

Colin, then 56-years-old, went on to say he’d<br />

start<strong>ed</strong> surfing again, but had to stop briefly as viral<br />

pneumonia put him back in hospital for a while.<br />

He quit working with fiberglass and paint when he<br />

got out and hit the surf again, slowly regaining his<br />

balance and control.<br />

While now, at 76, he no longer surfs, he says it’s<br />

more to do with his body not being able to cope<br />

with it after nearly 60 years of hard work and<br />

manual labour, than any single disease or health<br />

challenge.<br />

Those pesky diseases are still hanging around<br />

though. Colin said he wound up in hospital in<br />

October 2019 and tests reveal<strong>ed</strong> the leukemia had<br />

return<strong>ed</strong>.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 30

31 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>

“On the 3rd of December 2019 I start<strong>ed</strong> chemo<br />

again, just when I was sure that things could not<br />

possibly get worse the New Year’s Eve bushfires<br />

hit Conjola park destroying 98 homes all around me<br />

with the loss of three lives - one of them my friend<br />

and surfing mate Laurie Andrew where we had<br />

mill<strong>ed</strong> the timber a couple of years earlier to make<br />

my first hollow wood surfboard,” Colin said.<br />

“My house somehow surviv<strong>ed</strong> but my sh<strong>ed</strong>, and all<br />

of the last 10 foam boards I had made for myself<br />

and one of the three hollow wooden boards - all of<br />

my tools, my machinery, and my boat, that were not<br />

insur<strong>ed</strong>, went up in smoke.<br />

“For the last two years, I have been working 7-daysa-week<br />

rebuilding the sh<strong>ed</strong> bigger and better than<br />

before.<br />

“I’ve mill<strong>ed</strong> a huge pile of timber that got cut down<br />

from all over the local area after the fires and I am<br />

well into making my next 8ft 6in Indo gun from the<br />

timber salvag<strong>ed</strong> from the ashes of the fire.<br />

“After eight months of chemo, my blood counts are<br />

good again my prostate cancer is still there and my<br />

PSA has taken more than 20 years to reach 98, so<br />

I should make it for a few more years yet. I plan to<br />

continue making wooden surfboards for as long as I<br />

am able to - all for the love of surfing.<br />

For Colin, who scor<strong>ed</strong> his nickname “Biggsy” as<br />

a fit young apprentice weighing in at over 100kg<br />

many years ago, there has been a ton of adventure<br />

in his life so far.<br />

He took to the skies, hang gliding under the tutelage<br />

of Steve Cohen, often cr<strong>ed</strong>it<strong>ed</strong> as being one of the<br />

founders of the sport in New South Wales.<br />

And he join<strong>ed</strong> some mates to learn rudimentary<br />

Japanese before heading the land to the Cherry<br />

Blossom on numerous occasions hunting for fresh<br />

powder snow in out of the way locations.<br />

As were chatting he broke off briefly to cough<br />

deeply, explaining soon after that particular affliction<br />

was the result of damage done to his throat as a<br />

younger man drinking too much port and other grog<br />

and causing himself permanent damage when he<br />

threw it up again later.<br />

“I want another innings. I want another go. To make<br />

good everything I did wrong and live long enough to<br />

implore other people to do whatever it is they would<br />

want to do. Just get up and have a go.”<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 32


MILLIONS of pieces of clothing are produc<strong>ed</strong> everyday.<br />

If you take sustainability seriously be responsible. Get Vintage

ALD<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 34

IVES<br />

words : geoff crockett<br />

photo : Niyama Private Island<br />

courtesy : Stok<strong>ed</strong> Surf Adventures<br />

35 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>

UXUR<br />

If you were to fly north,<br />

north-west for 7242km from<br />

the centre of Australia, you’d<br />

land in Male, the capital of<br />

the Republic of the Maldives.<br />

Male<br />

Australia<br />

It’s a nation made up of 1192 islands in the Indian Ocean<br />

stretching 871km from tip to toe - that’s a little bit less<br />

than the drive from Brisbane to Mackay, and about<br />

exactly the same as the drive from Melbourne to Sydney.<br />

Geographically, it’s just around the corner from Sri Lanka,<br />

off the bottom tip of India.<br />

The pr<strong>ed</strong>ominant religion is Muslim and as this <strong>ed</strong>ition<br />

of Smorgasboarder goes to print the locals will have<br />

celebrat<strong>ed</strong> the end of Ramadan for 2022 (approximately<br />

April 2 to May 1).<br />

For Muslims, Ramadan is the month where healthy adults<br />

fast from dawn to dusk. It’s also a good month for surfers<br />

booking travel to the region and looking for a few less<br />

locals on the waves.<br />

The Maldives is divid<strong>ed</strong> into a double chain of 26 atolls,<br />

and then again into regions, the northern atolls, central<br />

atolls and southern atolls.<br />

Only 200 of its islands are inhabit<strong>ed</strong>, and its unique<br />

ecology has creat<strong>ed</strong> a paradise of islands, reefs and deep<br />

channels.<br />

It’s at the breaks in the islands, where the deep water<br />

meets the reefs, that some of the best waves in the world<br />

are to be found and explor<strong>ed</strong>.<br />

Once kept secret by locals, the waves of the Maldives are<br />

now in hot demand from across the world.<br />

While for Aussie surfers, the COVID travel restrictions<br />

of the past two years have made it all but impossible to<br />

leave our country and explore – our surfing mates from<br />

Europe, the Unit<strong>ed</strong> States, Brazil and Russia have now<br />

found the Maldives thanks to the Maldivian government’s<br />

smart handling of COVID travel rules which meant it has<br />

been open for business for all but three months.<br />

Thankfully, as we head towards the back end of 2022,<br />

restrictions are easing here in Australia, passports are<br />

being dust<strong>ed</strong> off, and the Maldives are jumping out as<br />

one of the great surf travel destinations of our region, just<br />

waiting for surfers from Australia and New Zealand to<br />

come and have some fun.<br />

For this <strong>ed</strong>ition we’ve caught up with some of the big<br />

names of Maldives travel and ask<strong>ed</strong> them to share their<br />

thoughts on surfing the region and booking tours in 2022<br />

and beyond.<br />

In the following pages we’ll hear from Ian Lyon at Atoll<br />

Adventures, Chris Buykx from Perfect Wave, Steve<br />

Adams from World Surfaris, Shaun Levings from Island<br />

Hop Maldives, Chris Stevens from Stok<strong>ed</strong> Surf about<br />

what their businesses have to offer, and why now’s a<br />

great time to pack the boards and head to the islands.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 36

Y<br />


Atoll<br />

Travel<br />

photos: dara ahm<strong>ed</strong><br />

photography<br />

When it comes to having<br />

an intimate knowl<strong>ed</strong>ge of<br />

surfing the Maldives there’s<br />

only a select few who can<br />

trace their experiences back<br />

to before it became a tourist<br />

destination.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 38

Cinnamon Dhonveli, the resort at the holy grail of surfing, Pasta Point<br />

Atoll Travel’s Ian Lyon fits into that group, having<br />

been lucky enough to have become mates with<br />

the godfather of Maldives surfing Tony “Honky”<br />

Hussein Hinde in the years after 1973 when Hinde<br />

was shipwreck<strong>ed</strong>, along with another Aussie surfer<br />

Mark Scanlon, on one of the nation’s atolls.<br />

Tony opt<strong>ed</strong> to stick around and explore the region<br />

and found so many great waves to surf he chose<br />

to never leave. He became a Maldivian resident,<br />

convert<strong>ed</strong> to Islam and marri<strong>ed</strong> the love of his life,<br />

Zulfa, in 1983.<br />

The Honky’s surf break was nam<strong>ed</strong> by Tony, along<br />

with a host of other popular breaks in the region<br />

such as Sultan’s, in respect to the history of the<br />

islands, Chickens, because of a chicken farm on<br />

the nearest island, and Colas, because of the Coca-<br />

Cola factory on another nearby island.<br />

Ian got the naming rights on Jailbreak – bas<strong>ed</strong> on<br />

the prison island that in those days was on the point<br />

of Himmafushi island where Tony liv<strong>ed</strong>.<br />

“In the southern atolls, Tony nam<strong>ed</strong> pretty much<br />

all those breaks,” Ian said. “I’ve still got his original<br />

treasure map in the filing cabinet down here.”<br />

Ian said in those early days, the only way Tony<br />

could get around the atolls was to hitch a ride on a<br />

fishing boat or a supply boat. Nothing like the surf<br />

charter boats on offer these days.<br />

He remembers a time in the early 80s when there<br />

were only about 10 surfers in on Tony’s secret<br />

waves in the Maldives and years of no crowds. It<br />

was also a time when most people believ<strong>ed</strong> there<br />

“were no waves in the Maldives” - a rumour Tony<br />

and his friends had been keenly propagating to<br />

keep the location a secret for themselves.<br />

39 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>

Ahm<strong>ed</strong> Umar<br />

Dhoni team.<br />

Dara Ahm<strong>ed</strong>, Tour’s Operations<br />

Manager, through the ages.<br />

Ian said in those early days, the<br />

only way Tony could get around<br />

the atolls was to hitch a ride on<br />

a fishing boat or a supply boat.<br />

Nothing like the surf charter boats<br />

on offer these days.<br />

Tony “Honky” Hussein<br />

Hinde in the 70s<br />

When it became clear that the secret was out and<br />

tourism start<strong>ed</strong> to increase in the Maldives, Tony<br />

creat<strong>ed</strong> Atoll Adventures (1989) and ask<strong>ed</strong> Ian to<br />

manage the bookings. Atoll Travel, bas<strong>ed</strong> out of<br />

Victoria, was born at the hands of Ian and his wife<br />

Lynne soon after.<br />

In 1991 Tony chose a little resort on Kanuoiy Huraa<br />

island in North Male Atoll to set up a land-bas<strong>ed</strong> surf<br />

tour. While it was a little run down and ne<strong>ed</strong><strong>ed</strong> some<br />

work, it had the big positive of having the best access<br />

to the consistent break of Pasta Point, a wave Tony<br />

continu<strong>ed</strong> to ride until 27 May 2008 when he sadly<br />

di<strong>ed</strong> surfing there, report<strong>ed</strong>ly from a heart attack.<br />

And yep, in case you’re wondering, Pasta Point’s<br />

quirky name was relat<strong>ed</strong> back to its island - the<br />

kitchen hands on the resort us<strong>ed</strong> to throw the unus<strong>ed</strong><br />

pasta from the restaurant out onto the rocks at the<br />

surf point.<br />

Now, in 2022, with the tour’s 30th birthday behind<br />

them, the Atoll team are gearing up to help Aussie<br />

and Kiwi surfers back into the Maldivian waters once<br />

again.<br />

Ian said despite the challenges of COVID-19 around<br />

the world, the Maldivian government had done a<br />

very good job of protecting its tourism industry by<br />

targeting travellers from parts of the world where<br />

travel restrictions were a little easier to navigate than<br />

in Australia.<br />

He said the nature of the small, individual islands,<br />

made it easier to isolate travellers from crowds and<br />

keep each resort, or island, COVID-free.<br />

At Cinnamon Dhonveli (Pasta Point) resort, where Atoll<br />

Travel holds the exclusive surf tour booking rights,<br />

Ian said the rooms had tick<strong>ed</strong> over with surfers from<br />

Brazil, Israel, Russia, the Unit<strong>ed</strong> States and Europe<br />

who were able to land in Male with negative tests and<br />

transport directly to the resort and take advantage of<br />

being one of an exclusive number of surfers on the<br />

island with access to the famous Pasta Point surf<br />

break.<br />

The maximum surfers book<strong>ed</strong> with access to the<br />

Pasta Point wave at any time is 33.<br />

“The season was ok for 2021, pretty good at Pasta<br />

Point – we were selling b<strong>ed</strong>s there well to other parts<br />

of the world,” Ian said.<br />

“The phone hardly rang here (in Atoll Travel HQ in<br />

Victoria) for about two years though.<br />

“Now, it’s turn<strong>ed</strong> around, particularly among the<br />

people who are annual visitors to Cinnamon. Forward<br />

bookings are looking pretty good,” he said.<br />

The race will now be on for Kiwi and Aussie surfers to<br />

secure the bookings and dates they’d prefer for 2022,<br />

2023 and beyond against a little extra competition<br />

from the surfers from further afield who have now<br />

discover<strong>ed</strong> the joys of surfing the Maldives thanks to<br />

COVID’s travel rules.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 40

Left -hand wave machine, Pasta Point.<br />

Sultans, the majestic wave.<br />

Flexible arrival and<br />

departure dates mean<br />

the length of stay can<br />

be adjust<strong>ed</strong> to suit and<br />

fishing and snorkelling<br />

are available for the<br />

non-surfers too.<br />

Water Bungalows & Pasta Point<br />

41 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>

As for when to find the<br />

best waves, Ian said it<br />

was really in the lap of<br />

the gods, although it was<br />

generally accept<strong>ed</strong> that<br />

the bigger surf season was<br />

March to October.<br />

Horizon 2 explores the truly isolat<strong>ed</strong> southern atolls<br />

Pasta Point<br />

One thing’s for sure, those who do secure a spot at<br />

Cinnamon Dhonveli, will be landing in style and with<br />

guarante<strong>ed</strong> access to some great surf breaks.<br />

The four-star resort is the closest resort to Sultans<br />

(R), Honky’s (L) and Jailbreak (R) – all of which are<br />

within 10 minutes by boat.<br />

The tour’s operations manager Dara Ahm<strong>ed</strong>, who<br />

has more than 25 years’ experience, is in charge of<br />

a well-practic<strong>ed</strong> team who work with walkie talkies<br />

and boats to ensure surfers staying at the island<br />

have quick access to the best breaks on any given<br />

day.<br />

The first boat to Sultan’s leaves at 5.30am for those<br />

keen to be the first on the wave each day.<br />

Being bas<strong>ed</strong> on land, a stay at Cinnamon Dhonveli<br />

is perfect for surfers on their own, or with partners<br />

and children.<br />

Flexible arrival and departure dates mean the length<br />

of stay can be adjust<strong>ed</strong> to suit and fishing and<br />

snorkelling are available for the non-surfers too.<br />

As for when to find the best waves, Ian said it was<br />

really in the lap of the gods, although it was generally<br />

accept<strong>ed</strong> that the bigger surf season was March to<br />

October.<br />

At Cinnamon they run surf tours all year round –<br />

even if the waves are a little smaller outside of the<br />

season, there’s still the pool, the Makana Restaurant,<br />

the waterside Raiyvilaa Bar or the Raalhu Bar<br />

overlooking the break at Pasta Point to be enjoy<strong>ed</strong><br />

until the weather gods smile.<br />

And, just in case you’re thinking its just us who have<br />

fallen in love with the idea of a trip here, the Atoll<br />

Adventures Surf Tours have had plenty of attention<br />

from their peers in the travel world, notching up wins<br />

for Best Surf Resort in South Asia in 2016, 2017 &<br />

2018; Best Surf Resort 2019 in the Maldives Travel<br />

Awards; and Best Maldives Surf Resort 2020 in the<br />

South Asian Travel Awards.<br />

Best of all Atoll deliver peace of mind in these<br />

uncertain times providing cr<strong>ed</strong>its or refunds for<br />

COVID caus<strong>ed</strong> cancellations.<br />

4 Bridge Street, Foster, VIC<br />

(03) 5682 1088 or toll free<br />

(Australia) 1800 622 310<br />

atolltravel.com<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 42

Outer Atolls - Group or Individual Bookings<br />

Central Atolls - Group Charters<br />

43 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong><br />

Pasta Point @ Cinnamon Dhonveli<br />

Pic: Dara Ahm<strong>ed</strong> Photography

Perfect<br />

Wave<br />

photos: suppli<strong>ed</strong> by<br />

Perfect Wave Travel<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 44

45 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong><br />

Kandooma Rights breaking just out front the Holiday Inn Resort

As a global specialist travel agency,<br />

surf resort operator and surf charter<br />

operator, Perfect Wave Travel have<br />

cater<strong>ed</strong> for hundr<strong>ed</strong>s of thousands<br />

of travellers, including a few of the<br />

world’s top surfers.<br />

Jackson Dorian, the son of former pro surfer Shane Dorian<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 46

If you’re looking for a surf trip to just about<br />

anywhere in the world, a visit to the website of<br />

www.perfectwavetravel.com should be high on the<br />

research list.<br />

Hit Surf Trips: All Surf Trips and 49 destinations are<br />

list<strong>ed</strong> across Indonesia, Maldives, Asia, Pacific, The<br />

Americas, Africa and Europe.<br />

As a global specialist travel agency, surf resort<br />

operator and surf charter operator, Perfect Wave<br />

Travel have cater<strong>ed</strong> for hundr<strong>ed</strong>s of thousands of<br />

travellers, including a few of the world’s top surfers.<br />

In the Maldives, Perfect Travel Group GM Chris<br />

Buykx said the group’s luxury charter boat of choice,<br />

Carpe Vita, was also a favourite with surfing’s elite,<br />

having play<strong>ed</strong> host to Barton Lynch, Shane Dorian,<br />

Taylor Knox and Layne Beachley.<br />

Ask<strong>ed</strong> for his thoughts on the Maldives and 2022,<br />

Chris said the region was hot with surfers.<br />

“Maldives is our top destination world-wide,” he<br />

said.<br />

“It was our biggest destination pre pandemic –<br />

however Maldives has remain<strong>ed</strong> open when Indo<br />

and the Pacific clos<strong>ed</strong> – so Maldives is the top of the<br />

list for every surfer in 2022.<br />

“Only the better resorts and boat charters are fully<br />

open.<br />

“Availability can be tight – if you see something you<br />

like and it’s available just book it. It’s not going to get<br />

any cheaper.”<br />

For Chris, who, no surprise, is a keen surfer himself,<br />

his favourite waves in the world are found in the<br />

Pacific, with the Maldives not far behind.<br />

47 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>

The break has two designat<strong>ed</strong><br />

take-off spots, one for easy<br />

cruising and a more critical one<br />

for clocking time in the tube.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 48

49 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong><br />

Pro Surfer, Dash Pinegar surfing at Kandooma.

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 50

“I love the adventure and uncrowd<strong>ed</strong> waves of<br />

PNG,” he said.<br />

“Favourite breaks are many, but I am excit<strong>ed</strong> about<br />

returning to Maldives’ Southern Atolls this year to<br />

surf Love Charms! Solid outer reef barrels more like<br />

Fiji than Maldives!”<br />

As a travel agency, Perfect Wave Travel books<br />

people onto both boats and resorts and Chris said<br />

often the recommendation came down to who was<br />

travelling and whether surfing was the sole focus.<br />

The group’s favourite resort, Holiday Inn Resort<br />

Kandooma, offers an exclusive wave out front, and<br />

Chris said it was also perfect for families and nonsurfing<br />

partners.<br />

In terms of value, and time on the waves, he said the<br />

boats won out.<br />

“Boats are great value. Your accommodation,<br />

transport and meals are all includ<strong>ed</strong>,” Chris said.<br />

“All our surfers agree that you always surf more<br />

when you’re on a boat charter compar<strong>ed</strong> to a landbas<strong>ed</strong><br />

resort.”<br />

When we put Chris on the spot about the ultimate<br />

luxury surf trip, he suggests you’d struggle to go<br />

past a charter on the boat Sea Rex.<br />

A click on the weblink and it’s not too hard to see why.<br />

The 130ft, luxury super yacht can accommodate up<br />

to 16 people with two luxury suites, six luxury cabins<br />

and packages offering breakfast, lunch, dinner, visits<br />

51 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>

to desert<strong>ed</strong> islands, snorkelling, and even a sundeck<br />

with a large outdoor spa. See for yourself at www.<br />

perfectwavetravel.com/surf-trips/maldives/sea-rex/<br />

Chris said surf travel had chang<strong>ed</strong> over recent times,<br />

and Perfect Wave Travel, which celebrates its 15th<br />

birthday this year, had evolv<strong>ed</strong> with it to continue to<br />

offer surfers the best trips available.<br />

“Surf travel has chang<strong>ed</strong> over the last couple of<br />

years and surfers must adapt,” he said.<br />

“There are fewer options. Much of the Pacific is yet<br />

to open to travel, so surfers must look to what is<br />

available.<br />

“Flights are also fewer and more expensive – so surf<br />

travel is for those that really know what they want<br />

and are prepar<strong>ed</strong> to invest time and money to make<br />

it happen.<br />

“A good agent is requir<strong>ed</strong> to advise and navigate the<br />

new normal of surf travel.”<br />

When it comes to size and experience, Perfect Wave<br />

Travel would fall into that category.<br />

“Perfect Wave Travel has grown and evolv<strong>ed</strong><br />

continuously so we are the biggest specialist surf<br />

travel network in the world now,” Chris said.<br />

“The last few years have been tough, but we<br />

remain<strong>ed</strong> open, with surfers still able to travel to the<br />

Maldives.<br />

“The best thing is we have kept our team together,<br />

from the Maldivian Surf Guides and operations team<br />

through to our surf travel gurus here in Australia, Indo<br />

and in Europe.<br />

“The experience behind our trips is unmatch<strong>ed</strong> – we<br />

really have the best working with us to deliver trips of<br />

a lifetime to surfers.”<br />

“Perfect Wave Travel has grown and<br />

evolv<strong>ed</strong> continuously so we are the<br />

biggest specialist surf travel network<br />

in the world now,” - Chris said.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 52

32 Orlando Rd, Cromer, NSW<br />

1300 009 283<br />

info@perfectwavetravel.com<br />

info@perfecttravelgroup.com<br />

perfectwavetravel.com<br />

53 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>


Bless<strong>ed</strong> with white sands, azure skies, lush tropical greenery and clear turquoise waters.<br />

To complement this, Holiday Inn Resort Kandooma has creat<strong>ed</strong> services intend<strong>ed</strong> to<br />

satisfy, engage, entertain, inform, <strong>ed</strong>ucate and luxuriate. With limit<strong>ed</strong> numbers at the<br />

resort, we can now guarantee that all surfers on Kandooma Island will be able to enjoy<br />

one of the best right handers in the Maldives uncrowd<strong>ed</strong> every day. We believe that there<br />

is no closer accommodation to take off zone in the world. You barely have to walk 30<br />

meters from your villa to the paddle out point, and you literally lie in b<strong>ed</strong> and watch the<br />

hollow and highly rippable waves peel down the point.<br />

Bespoke Design<br />

We’ll plan your surf trip around your specific<br />

interests, tastes and preferences, providing<br />

helpful tips and honest advice bas<strong>ed</strong> on firsthand<br />

knowl<strong>ed</strong>ge of the destination.<br />

Authentic Experiences<br />

Our expert surf guides and brilliant travel<br />

concierges are hand-pick<strong>ed</strong> to provide<br />

a genuine experience, bringing your<br />

destination to life with care and passion.<br />

Responsible Travel<br />

Our surf experiences are design<strong>ed</strong> with<br />

responsible travel principles that prioritise<br />

surf and travel experiences that are both<br />

good for you and good for the planet.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 54

55 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong><br />

CALL 1300 009 283 | perfectwavetravel.com.au

World<br />

Surfaris<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 56

photos: suppli<strong>ed</strong> by World Surfaris<br />

When Queensland-bas<strong>ed</strong><br />

World Surfaris’ General<br />

Manager Steve Adam finally<br />

got back to the Maldives<br />

on February 18 this year,<br />

he land<strong>ed</strong> in a country<br />

that had just record<strong>ed</strong> its<br />

highest number of tourist<br />

arrivals since the pandemic<br />

began in 2020.<br />

57 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>

On the resort side<br />

of things, a stay at<br />

Hudhuranfushi Surf<br />

Resort, home to the fam<strong>ed</strong><br />

left hand break Lohis,<br />

will set you back between<br />

$400-$449 a night.<br />

Hudhuranfushi Surf Resort by Ryan Thoribb<br />

When Queensland-bas<strong>ed</strong> World Surfaris’ General<br />

Manager Steve Adam finally got back to the Maldives<br />

on February 18 this year, he land<strong>ed</strong> in a country<br />

that had just record<strong>ed</strong> its highest number of tourist<br />

arrivals since the pandemic began in 2020.<br />

With not a lot of places around the world for COVIDweary<br />

travellers to go, the Maldives had hit the top<br />

five as a tropical destination for the leisure markets<br />

of Europe, America and South America and beyond.<br />

At Hudhuranfushi Surf Resort in the Male Atolls,<br />

popular with World Surfaris’ surfing groups, surf<br />

passes were sold out in 2021 over peak periods –<br />

with demand remaining high into 2022 to be one of<br />

the 45 lucky surfers allow<strong>ed</strong> on the resort’s popular<br />

Lohi’s break at any point in time.<br />

“April is chockers,” Steve said. “We’ve got pretty<br />

much this whole month book<strong>ed</strong> out – most of the<br />

charter boats, through to June are kind of back-toback,”<br />

he said.<br />

The current bookings are travellers from places other<br />

than Australia and New Zealand.<br />

Steve said at the start of April, the Australian market<br />

was still a little reluctant to book, with clients pushing<br />

trips back and resch<strong>ed</strong>uling to 2023 in the wake of<br />

the Omnicron COVID strain’s impact at the start of<br />

2022.<br />

However, with changes in the wind around<br />

vaccination rules and testing, he expect<strong>ed</strong> business<br />

could pick up quickly from here once confidence<br />

return<strong>ed</strong>.<br />

“It is progressing toward, what I think will be a better<br />

end to the year. It’s kind of moving now, and then<br />

in three to four months, I think we’ll be jumping on<br />

planes again.”<br />

For World Surfaris, having the Maldives still active for<br />

international tourism, has provid<strong>ed</strong> some relief while<br />

other markets such as PNG, Somoa and Indonesia<br />

were off limits.<br />

Steve said the majority of World Surfari’s business<br />

each year came out of Australia, and it was really<br />

good to have the phone ringing again with people<br />

wanting to talk about travel, or the cost of a Tiger<br />

on the charter boat (about $7.50 AUS in case you’re<br />

wondering), rather than cancelling or postponing<br />

trips.<br />

He said after so long coup<strong>ed</strong> up he expect<strong>ed</strong> there<br />

would be a big rush from surf travellers all over the<br />

world to get back out on the waves, and suggest<strong>ed</strong><br />

it was wise for those seeking adventure to look into<br />

the cr<strong>ed</strong>entials of the company’s they book<strong>ed</strong> with<br />

to ensure they met international standards of service<br />

and support.<br />

World Surfaris, which this year celebrates 25 years<br />

of providing surf adventures to its clients, promises<br />

a high level of service and support, back<strong>ed</strong> by its<br />

membership of the Australian F<strong>ed</strong>eration of Travel<br />

Agents and its participation in the AFTA Travel<br />

Accr<strong>ed</strong>itation Scheme (ATAS).<br />

Another element Steve suggest<strong>ed</strong> all travellers<br />

should look into was their travel insurance, noting<br />

that a lot of the providers of comprehensive policies<br />

had now reword<strong>ed</strong> their policies to provide m<strong>ed</strong>ical<br />

coverage for COVID-relat<strong>ed</strong> m<strong>ed</strong>ical issues that<br />

happen while on tour.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 58

59 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong><br />

Photo by Richard Kotch

Pic by Rhys Bates<br />

When it comes to cancellations and refunds, he said<br />

as COVID was now a known thing, travellers were<br />

requir<strong>ed</strong> to take it into consideration when booking<br />

their holidays and should work closely with their<br />

agents to understand any cancellation or holiday<br />

cr<strong>ed</strong>it rules that might apply to a particular tour<br />

should COVID rules change in the countries being<br />

visit<strong>ed</strong> along the way.<br />

While the situation remains fluid, Steve said there<br />

was a move back to a more normal set of travel<br />

circumstances and now really was the time to start<br />

thinking about booking some waves in 2022 and<br />

2023.<br />

He said one of the great things about surfing the<br />

Maldives in particular was the range of breaks<br />

available across the atolls and the ability to move<br />

around to avoid the crowds.<br />

“There’s still some really quiet corners of the<br />

Maldives – especially with the boats,” he said.<br />

The southern atolls, and the southern breaks of Tiger<br />

Stripes, Love Charms, Five Islands, Blue Bowls,<br />

Castaway and Beacons get a mention.<br />

“If there’s even a small whiff of surf, you’re on. You’re<br />

never short of swell and you’ve got no surf resorts.”<br />

A quick look at the World Surfaris Maldives tab on<br />

their website reveals a wealth of opportunities for the<br />

keen surfer to explore.<br />

On the resort side of things, a stay at Hudhuranfushi<br />

Surf Resort, home to the fam<strong>ed</strong> left hand break<br />

Lohis, will set you back between $400-$449 a night.<br />

Niyama Resort Maldives in the Central Atolls starts<br />

from $550 a night and is describ<strong>ed</strong> as a luxury<br />

experience with two small islands and surf breaking<br />

at the door at Vodi surf point.<br />

Ayada Resort on the Outer Atolls offers a land-bas<strong>ed</strong><br />

location with daily surf transfers to Tiger Stripes,<br />

Love Charms, Two Ways, Five Islands and Antiques.<br />

For the more hardcore surfer, happy to spend their<br />

nights on the ocean and their days riding waves,<br />

World Surfaris work with four charter boats, Maavahi<br />

(Outer Atolls), MV Adora (Male Atolls), Atoll Jade<br />

(Central or Northern Atolls) and Fascination Maldives<br />

(Central Atolls).<br />

Each of the boats offer trips ranging from seven to<br />

10 days with a vast array of package deals on offer<br />

depending on the timing of your travel and the size of<br />

the particular boat you choose.<br />

Given the focus on surfing tours, it’s no surprise<br />

the World Surfaris team includes a bunch of great<br />

local surfers in the Maldives who are on hand to<br />

offer advice, direct the boats and help to find the<br />

best swell. We’d ne<strong>ed</strong> another <strong>ed</strong>ition to share their<br />

stories, but you can check them out for yourselves at<br />

worldsurfaris.com/we-are-a-great-team.<br />

L1, 100 Brisbane Road,<br />

Mooloolaba, QLD<br />

1800 611 163 (Australia only)<br />

or +617 5444 4011<br />

worldsurfaris.com<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 60

61 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>

sland<br />

op<br />

photos: chris grundy<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 62

Grabbing a bunch of friends,<br />

booking a luxurious charter<br />

boat and hunting down the best<br />

waves you can find day after day<br />

for at least a week at a time is<br />

the type of Maldives experience<br />

you can have with Island Hop.<br />

63 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>

A surf charter concept that is primarily<br />

target<strong>ed</strong> at family, friend and business groups<br />

of between 6-10 people who are keen to see<br />

the Maldives, surf lots, and enjoy great food<br />

and service along the way.<br />

It’s no surprise that when the opportunity came for<br />

Shaun to work with the owners of the charter boat<br />

Handhu and organise surf trips for small groups<br />

looking for something a little different, he jump<strong>ed</strong> at it.<br />

Shaun is a veteran of surfing tourism, having start<strong>ed</strong><br />

World Surfaris back in 1997, before selling it in 2016<br />

to John Finlay and the current crew. He was lur<strong>ed</strong><br />

back however when the owners of the boat got in<br />

touch in late 2019. Shaun was keen to see what they<br />

could do together.<br />

The result is Island Hop Maldives, a surf charter<br />

concept that is primarily target<strong>ed</strong> at family, friend and<br />

business groups of between 6-10 people who are<br />

keen to see the Maldives, surf lots, and enjoy great<br />

food and service along the way.<br />

Home, for those who book with Island Hop Maldives,<br />

is the 90ft charter boat Handhu, which will have<br />

just had a new engine install<strong>ed</strong> as this <strong>ed</strong>ition of<br />

Smorgasboarder goes to print.<br />

Shaun said the owners had opt<strong>ed</strong> to take advantage<br />

of the quieter times creat<strong>ed</strong> by COVID to invest in<br />

their business for the better times ahead.<br />

Handhu had an extensive makeover in 2019 to<br />

update the interiors and layout and now includes six<br />

guest cabins on the lower deck, all aircondition<strong>ed</strong><br />

with an ensuite.<br />

The mid-deck features a large saloon/lounge/dining<br />

area with bar, with room for fishing off the back (The<br />

Aft deck) and dining out the front. There’s also plenty<br />

of storage for the surfboards.<br />

Climb the stairs from the mid-deck to the top<br />

sundeck and there’s ample room to relax in a sun<br />

lounge and enjoy the surrounds, to host a function,<br />

or even do a bit of yoga.<br />

There’s also a spe<strong>ed</strong>boat to race surfers out to the<br />

waves, a range of basic snorkelling and fishing gear<br />

for anyone keen to make the most of their ocean<br />

experience in ways other than surfing (hard to<br />

believe, we know!).<br />

Byron Bay surfers Josie Prendergast and Oscar<br />

Langburne and a few of their friends were among the<br />

first to try out the revamp<strong>ed</strong> tour in late 2019, and<br />

Shaun said interest had been high.<br />

“The boat was nearly full for 2020, then COVID hit<br />

and clos<strong>ed</strong> everyone down,” Shaun said.<br />

“We’ve been in a holding pattern - the boat’s been<br />

working and it’s done a few dive trips. Now that<br />

Australia’s quarantine-free and people can commit to<br />

annual leave with their employers it should get better.<br />

“Hopefully it’ll gain a fair bit of momentum this year –<br />

leading into a big 2023.”<br />

While the boat itself is one thing that contributes to a<br />

great trip, Shaun said it was the quality of the people<br />

they had assembl<strong>ed</strong> to work with travellers that made<br />

the real difference.<br />

One of the contributing factors for Shaun becoming<br />

involv<strong>ed</strong> with the boat’s Maldivian owners, Radiant<br />

Heat Travels, was their decision to employ a retir<strong>ed</strong><br />

army general and head of coast guard General Zuhair<br />

as their head of operations in the Maldives.<br />

“I went over there and met him – he’s the guy you<br />

ne<strong>ed</strong> on the ground to make sure everything’s<br />

running smoothly,” Shaun said.<br />

Another big plus for travellers is the experience of the<br />

tour’s chef Gopal – and Indian train<strong>ed</strong> master who is<br />

renown<strong>ed</strong> for his ability to find rare produce even on<br />

remote islands.<br />

“Chef Gopal has been working on the boat for the<br />

last decade or more,” Shaun said.<br />

“I’ve never tast<strong>ed</strong> better food on a boat.<br />

“He finds the best local produce. Because they’re<br />

such an isolat<strong>ed</strong> nation and it’s all sand islands –<br />

they can’t grow a lot of stuff there – But Gopal, he’ll<br />

put some coriander in, or come up with all these little<br />

special things – he’s got his culinary connections.<br />

“If you catch a fish, he’ll be down on the stern gutting<br />

it promptly – you’ll have fresh sashimi within an hour.”<br />

On the surfing front Shaun said they had assembl<strong>ed</strong><br />

a strong team of local guides, including Hussain<br />

“Iboo” Areef, a local surfer who’s won numerous<br />

domestic surf championships over the years and<br />

had develop<strong>ed</strong> an intimate knowl<strong>ed</strong>ge of the nation’s<br />

best breaks and when they’ll be working.<br />

It’s on the surfing front that Shaun paints a vivid<br />

picture of the fun to be had.<br />

“We’ll anchor in the main channel, in very deep<br />

water,” he said.<br />

“During the days we drop anchor in the middle of the<br />

channel with a grandstand view of the break. We<br />

use a tinny to ferry the surfers to the break and when<br />

they’re finish<strong>ed</strong> surfing, they wave their boards in the<br />

air and we jump in the tinny and go and pick them up<br />

and bring them back to the main boat. At nights, we<br />

retire to a tranquil lagoon behind an island.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 64

“The Maldives is a lot more<br />

forgiving than Indo as it’s a deep<br />

water take off. You get on the<br />

wave, and you look down the<br />

line – Happy Days! 200m of fun<br />

ahead of you.<br />

“The Maldives is a lot more forgiving than Indo as<br />

it’s a deep water take off. You get on the wave, and<br />

you look down the line – Happy Days! 200m of fun<br />

ahead of you.<br />

“In my 26 years surfing the Maldives I’ve never been<br />

hurt. It’s super consistent, super user-friendly. When<br />

it’s six to eight feet, if you’re a good surfer, you’ll get<br />

heaps of waves. I’ve had the best waves in my life<br />

over there on the bigger days.”<br />

For Shaun, one of the best things about operating<br />

Island Hop the way they do is that the pressure’s not<br />

there to book hundr<strong>ed</strong>s of people each year.<br />

There’s flexibility in organising departure times,<br />

lengths of trips and size of the group. The boat and<br />

its crew are part of the package, and the rest of the<br />

details can be work<strong>ed</strong> out and sch<strong>ed</strong>ul<strong>ed</strong> within<br />

Island Hop’s current aim of having 10-12 tours<br />

book<strong>ed</strong> each year.<br />

As an indication only, an 8-night Male’ Atolls Charter<br />

for eight nights sole use of Handhu with a party of<br />

10 people would cost $17,735 US dollars or about<br />

$1738 US dollars per person (approx. $2330 AUD per<br />

person). Prices include three meals a day, snacks,<br />

high quality drinking water, an expert surf guide and<br />

airport meet and greet.<br />

The options are almost endless, so the best bet is<br />

to talk to Shaun at the start and work out your plans<br />

from there.<br />

+61 408 691 025<br />

info@islandhopmaldives.com<br />

islandhopmaldives.com<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 66

“Love everything about it. Had the best<br />

time with the best people. Food and staff<br />

are epic. I miss everyone already. Can’t<br />

wait to go back! One of my favourite and<br />

most memorable trips ever.”<br />

— Josie Prengergast<br />






67 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong><br />


<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 68

Stok<strong>ed</strong> Surf<br />

photos: suppli<strong>ed</strong> by Stok<strong>ed</strong> Surf Adventures<br />

When we call<strong>ed</strong> Stok<strong>ed</strong> Surf Adventure’s Chris<br />

Stevens to chat about the mighty Maldives – he’d<br />

just hopp<strong>ed</strong> back in the car after a surf on his home<br />

break at Byron Bay.<br />

Chris, who spent 10 years on the road chasing waves<br />

and adventure, found<strong>ed</strong> Stok<strong>ed</strong> Surf Adventures as<br />

a way of sharing what he found out along the way.<br />

He aims to connect other surfers with the world’s<br />

awesome waves. It also doesn’t hurt that he set the<br />

business so that the only way a tour makes it on to<br />

their site is if he, or one of his team, has check<strong>ed</strong> it<br />

out personally and given it the tick of approval.<br />

Stok<strong>ed</strong> book trips to a range of international surfing<br />

destinations, from Bali, to South Africa, Sri Lanka,<br />

the Mentawais and the Maldives, aggregating a<br />

range of trips, covering a range of price ranges, for<br />

customers all over the world.<br />

Chris said for Australian and New Zealand travellers<br />

for the past two years, surfing outside of their home<br />

breaks was all but impossible – but with the easing<br />

COVID restrictions and great deals coming online<br />

from airlines keen to get people out and about again,<br />

the Maldives was looking good for the rest of 2022.<br />

“I saw a flight from the Maldives to the Gold Coast<br />

direct for $250 US, and Air Asia has potential via<br />

Kuala Lumpur when their routes start returning,” he<br />

said.<br />

Chris said the Maldives had continu<strong>ed</strong> to grow its<br />

tourism despite COVID and some venues, such as<br />

Pasta Point, had super limit<strong>ed</strong> dates remaining for<br />

2022.<br />

He said as travellers rush<strong>ed</strong> to get out there the<br />

demand would be high – and as much as we’d all<br />

been train<strong>ed</strong> to book last minute, those who book<strong>ed</strong><br />

further in advance were most likely to get the dates<br />

and the trips they want<strong>ed</strong>.<br />

While the Maldives has develop<strong>ed</strong> a bit of a reputation<br />

as an expensive travel location, Chris said adventure<br />

Chris said adventure could<br />

still be found at a lower cost, it<br />

just took some planning, and a<br />

willingness to travel outside of<br />

the peak seasons.<br />

could still be found at a lower cost, it just took some<br />

planning, and a willingness to travel outside of the<br />

peak seasons.<br />

One thing he recommends people keen to surf the<br />

Maldives don’t go skimping on is travel insurance<br />

– simply because most of the waves finish on fairly<br />

shallow reefs and the risk is there of having a few<br />

bumps and scratches that may ne<strong>ed</strong> m<strong>ed</strong>ical help.<br />

He said most of the comprehensive policies would<br />

cover COVID-relat<strong>ed</strong> m<strong>ed</strong>ical issues that occurr<strong>ed</strong><br />

while travelling, however now that COVID was a<br />

known thing, travellers ne<strong>ed</strong><strong>ed</strong> to check on their<br />

cancellation policies when booking any trips in terms<br />

Adventures<br />

Vodi Surf Point

“The Maldives aren’t as<br />

expensive as you may think<br />

and there’s a range of resorts<br />

and local island options for<br />

all budgets.”<br />

of when, or if, refunds would be offer<strong>ed</strong> should rules<br />

change or borders be shut. He said airlines, resorts,<br />

and different countries all had different rules in place,<br />

so it made sense to take the time to research well and<br />

stay up to date when planning a trip at the moment.<br />

While Stok<strong>ed</strong> does book non-Australians into Pasta<br />

Point via Atoll Adventures as part of a deal with the<br />

team there, it also books trips to private islands, on<br />

to charters, and to other resorts.<br />

For Chris, the stand-out at the luxury end of the scale<br />

is Niyama Private Islands Maldives Surf Resort with<br />

its private left-hand break Vodi.<br />

“The seaplane journey to Niyama, it’s just next level,”<br />

he said. “The resort itself is stunning.”<br />

He said another thing to remember when travelling<br />

to the Maldives is that it is an Islamic country, where<br />

the towns and villages are “dry” and the dress code<br />

is in line with religious rules. These rules don’t apply<br />

in the resorts, but if you’re looking to stay on a locals<br />

island, it’s something you ne<strong>ed</strong> to keep in mind.<br />

On the wave side of things, Chris said the better<br />

surfer you are, the more waves you’ll catch and the<br />

more fun you’ll have.<br />

“Most of the Maldives surf breaks are shallow<br />

reefs, so its best suit<strong>ed</strong> for interm<strong>ed</strong>iate surfers and<br />

upwards. If you’re looking to learn to surf I would<br />

certainly suggest checking out destinations like Sri<br />

Lanka instead, which offer a better variety of waves<br />

for learners.”<br />

Searching the Stok<strong>ed</strong> Surf Adventures website for<br />

trips to the Maldives and the range on offer is large.<br />

At the top end, a five night stay for two adults in a<br />

Beach Villa with daily breakfast and airport transfers<br />

to and from the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa – Maldives<br />

Surf will set you back about $4200 AUD per person.<br />

The resort package can include surf transfers to the<br />

surrounding breaks of Cokes, Chickens, Sultans,<br />

Honkys and Jailbreaks.<br />

The site also lists half a dozen surf charter boats<br />

with 7-night tour prices ranging from about $3400<br />

AUD per person to $2300 AUD per person. Each<br />

boat tackles a range of breaks, some with flexible<br />

departure dates and the option of a private charter if<br />

you have a crew of mates in tow.<br />

At the budget end of the scale, a stay in a local<br />

guesthouse on Thulusdhoo with daily surf transfers<br />

to Cokes, Chickens and other North Male surf spots<br />

works out around AU$700 per person, bas<strong>ed</strong> on two<br />

sharing - including surf transfers, half board meal<br />

plan and day trip of your choice.<br />

WhatsApp: +44 7401 827 447<br />

hello@stok<strong>ed</strong>surfadventures<br />

www.stok<strong>ed</strong>surfadventures.com<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 70


OF YOUR<br />


TRIP?<br />

Nature’s Playground, Niyama Private Islands<br />

Vodi Surf Point at Niyama<br />

www.stok<strong>ed</strong>surfadventures.com<br />

Mail: hello@stok<strong>ed</strong>surfadventures.com<br />

WhatsApp: +44 7401 827 447<br />

@stok<strong>ed</strong>surfadventures<br />

71 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>

arly in the morning we’ll b<br />

Some honeys will<br />

e coming along, We’re<br />

loading up our wo<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 72

e startin’ out<br />

ody With our boards inside<br />

Photo. Ric Chan<br />

1976 Chris Fullston’s Ford Falcon station wagon park<strong>ed</strong><br />

behind the line-up at Left Handers surf break WA<br />

73 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>

It’s one thing to have a great surfboard, the<br />

coolest of wetsuits, fitness and a keen eye<br />

for the waves, but without some form of<br />

transport to get you to the breaks you most<br />

desire, surfing is just a dream.<br />

In Australia, surfing culture is strong,<br />

and in the 60s and 70s in particular it hit<br />

the mainstream to the point where car<br />

manufacturers were making cars with surfers<br />

in mind.<br />

When Surfing Australia celebrat<strong>ed</strong> its 50th<br />

anniversary in 2013 Australia Post releas<strong>ed</strong><br />

a set of 60c stamps (imagine that!) featuring<br />

four iconic images, including a Holden<br />

Sandman panel van pull<strong>ed</strong> up at the water’s<br />

<strong>ed</strong>ge with a board strapp<strong>ed</strong> to the roof.<br />

At the Australian National Surfing Museum<br />

in Torquay the relationship between Waves<br />

and Wheels has been immortalis<strong>ed</strong> in an<br />

exhibition of the same name that celebrates a<br />

time when finding the right wagon to get you<br />

to the beach was almost as important as the surf at<br />

the end.<br />

The museum’s curator, Craig Baird, said when the<br />

idea for the Waves and Wheels Exhibition was put<br />

out to the broader surfing community they’d had<br />

a great response from photographers from around<br />

Australia keen to showcase photos that captur<strong>ed</strong> a<br />

lost era.<br />

“Adrian Lockart (TAS), Ric Chan and Jim King<br />

(WA), Mal Sutherland, John Standing (QLD), Peter<br />

Kitchingham, Terry Mervin (NSW) Alan Clissold,<br />

Peter Ginnane, Dick Hoole (VIC) all suppli<strong>ed</strong> us with<br />

some epic vintage pics of surfers and their cars,”<br />

Craig said.<br />

“As part of the display we have the door of the<br />

Seaview Road Boardriders (SA) hearse, with video<br />

footage of Kym Thompson talking about seeing the<br />

hearse for the first time and wanting to be a part of<br />

the club.<br />

“We also have a tyre off the first vehicle (a WW2<br />

Willys Jeep) to drive into Bells Beach and Bells<br />

pioneer Terry Wall talking about the early days at<br />

Bells.<br />

“We built a panel van into the display to give people<br />

a sense of road tripping down the Great Ocean<br />

Road in an old Holden Panel Van with Jack and<br />

Belle the Border Collie.<br />

“Skateboards, roof racks, model cars, quotes from<br />

the Roadies book, vintage advertising, LP’s and a<br />

Great Ocean Road game for kids to play, rounds<br />

out this celebration of Waves and Wheels.”<br />

The description of the exhibition captures some of<br />

the essence of the times.<br />

“In the late 50s and early 60s surfing became part<br />

of a youth movement that swept the world,” it says.<br />

“Shorter, lighter surfboards f<strong>ed</strong> a surfing boom as<br />

music, fashion and language became center<strong>ed</strong><br />

around the beach.<br />

“Surf adventure became a central part of the surfing<br />

experience as surfers and their friends start<strong>ed</strong><br />

exploring the Australian coast in wagons, vans and<br />

other trusty surf-mobiles in search of fun times and<br />

perfect waves.<br />

“On the back of celebrat<strong>ed</strong> surfing antics the<br />

car companies start<strong>ed</strong> to release surfing specific<br />

models and often featur<strong>ed</strong> surfing in their<br />

mainstream advertising.<br />

“Sandman, Sundowner and Drifter panel vans<br />

were soon hitting the road, available in hyper<br />

colours featuring over the top graphics and<br />

advertising that made real surfers cringe.<br />

“For many, van life was reality, with surfers<br />

greet<strong>ed</strong> by a wide-open road, and very few<br />

rules.<br />

“For flat days surfers invent<strong>ed</strong> skateboards<br />

(miniature wheel<strong>ed</strong> surfboards) to maintain<br />

their stoke, invading footpaths, roadways<br />

and carparks to go sidewalk surfing (as the<br />

American’s call<strong>ed</strong> it). Originally inspir<strong>ed</strong> by<br />

surfing, skateboard moves would find their<br />

way back to the beach, with modern surfers<br />

adapting skateboard moves into their surfing<br />

repertoire.<br />

“Through the Waves and Wheels exhibition<br />

the Australian National Surfing Museum<br />

in Torquay is celebrating the relationship<br />

between surfers and their cars in the 60s and<br />

70s.”<br />

For those lucky enough to be near Torquay, the<br />

Surfing Museum can be found at 77 Beach Rd and<br />

is open 9am to 5pm seven days a week, every day<br />

of the year except Christmas Day.<br />

While the museum’s exhibition celebrates a time<br />

that was – surf culture and surf mobiles are still very<br />

much a “thing” in 2022.<br />

Among the exhibits at the Australian National<br />

Museum are several photos from photographer Ric<br />

Chen, a Kiwi who came to Australia to chase surf<br />

photos, starting on the East Coast, then moving<br />

to Western Australia where he stay<strong>ed</strong> until the<br />

early 80s before moving back home. Ric’s<br />

story in itself could fill a magazine – check out<br />

surfingdownsouth.com.au for more about<br />

his time in Australia, then Bali where he<br />

manag<strong>ed</strong> Cheaters Nightclub in Kuta for<br />

many years.<br />

Ric’s photos, sent to the surf<br />

museum, with his permission, by good<br />

mate Jim King, captur<strong>ed</strong> the essence<br />

of surfers piling into whatever<br />

vehicles they could find to head out<br />

and chase waves.

Photo. Ric Chan<br />

1968 Ric Chan’s gold kombi park<strong>ed</strong> outside Wilderness<br />

Surfboard Factory Yamba NSW.<br />

75 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong><br />

Our own Mark Chapman’s interpreation of Surfboard<br />

and hotrod loon Mark Rabbidge.<br />

One shot, taken of Ric’s gold and slightly rusty<br />

looking kombi outside the McTavish surf factory in<br />

Yamba, NSW, boards strapp<strong>ed</strong> to the roof, captures<br />

a moment in surfing history.<br />

His 1976 photograph of Mandurah surfer Chris<br />

“Feggsey” Fullston with his Ford Falcon station<br />

wagon park<strong>ed</strong> up on a limestone and sand car park<br />

made by surfers at the Left-Handers surf break in<br />

Western Australia captures the willingness to take<br />

any vehicle, anywhere, to get to the waves.<br />

Jim said surfers had bash<strong>ed</strong> a track through to<br />

the carpark they made and it was known to wave<br />

chasers and fishermen.<br />

He said the road in had since been clos<strong>ed</strong> for<br />

conservation and environmental reasons and there<br />

was now a bitumen car park further to the north and<br />

a walk back along the beach to get to the waves.<br />

On the Sunshine Coast champion longboarder<br />

Bowie Pollard has built quite a collection of<br />

classic steel to make his beach trips all the more<br />

interesting.<br />

Bowie, who manages the Caloundra Beach Beat<br />

Surf Shop when he’s not surfing or working on his<br />

cars, traces his interest in vehicular restoration to<br />

his childhood.<br />

“I’m pretty much my dad’s son,” he said. “My Mum<br />

work<strong>ed</strong> and Dad built cars and boats and sold<br />

houses.”<br />

He said his earliest memories are of surfing and<br />

cars and to this day he’s retain<strong>ed</strong> a love of classic<br />

surfboards and cars.

His Dad was a self-taught mechanic who<br />

homeschool<strong>ed</strong> Bowie as a child, teaching<br />

him the basics of academia and the<br />

realities of working with your hands and<br />

creating something from nothing.<br />

Bowie’s current car collection, in various<br />

states of repair, includes a 1959 Cadillac,<br />

a 1966 Ford XP Coupe, a 1959 Corvette,<br />

and a 1962 Ford XK wagon which is the<br />

go-to surf wagon. He also has a 1989<br />

Heritage Soft Tail Harley and a 1978<br />

TT500 Yamaha in the sh<strong>ed</strong> for some<br />

spe<strong>ed</strong> on two wheels.<br />

His daily drive for work – a Hyundai Getz.<br />

“I’ve kind of got to a point I’ve got what<br />

I want. I’m always buying, building and<br />

selling, but I’ve built my way up to go<br />

what I’ve got now,” Bowie said.<br />

“Everything I have has air bag suspension,<br />

so it’s just low. It’s something you don’t have in a<br />

lot of these cars, but the ride is really nice.”<br />

The XP Coupe was the first car Bowie bought, when<br />

he was a 13-year-old. It’s still in the sh<strong>ed</strong> and his<br />

Dad is working on it now to give it another lease on<br />

life.<br />

For the next generation in Bowie’s life, the children<br />

of his partner Janelle, Kaylah (8) and Chloe (10), the<br />

love of surfing and cars has been pass<strong>ed</strong> along.<br />

There already plenty of photos of the kids hanging<br />

out of the car windows or tackling the waves –<br />

making the most of the Sunshine Coast life.<br />

While Bowie’s choice of classic vehicles, particularly<br />

the Caddy, have ample roof room for boards, for<br />

others their choice of surf mobile has been a little<br />

more rugg<strong>ed</strong>.<br />

On the south coast of New South Wales surfer,<br />

fiberglass artist, and mad scientist Neal Cameron<br />

has always has a penchant for Manx Surf Buggies.<br />

Bowie pollard’s roadster and corvette<br />

With big fat wheels, a low centre of gravity, and<br />

plenty of power, the buggy cuts a Mad Max type<br />

vibe on the beach – with the extra practical side of<br />

being able to tackle the dunes and the road.<br />

Neal’s Manx even made the national news in<br />

January 2020 when he us<strong>ed</strong> it to drive down the<br />

beach and deliver fuel to Bendalong and Manyana<br />

when other routes were cut by the bushfires.<br />

He’s also known for travelling Australia in a coach<br />

he convert<strong>ed</strong> into a two-b<strong>ed</strong>room mobile home,<br />

complete with a bath, solar power, kitchen and<br />

living room.<br />

When it comes to the buggy, he warns that its not<br />

all fun and games when it comes to driving them.<br />

“If you make a mistake on the road, you know<br />

you’re driving - you get lots of fe<strong>ed</strong>back,” Neal said.<br />

“It understeers downhill and around corners.<br />

There’s an art to driving a short wheel-base buggy.<br />

“If you put your foot down it picks the wheels up. It<br />

takes a while to get us<strong>ed</strong> to.”<br />

When he’s not driving the buggy to the<br />

beach Neal has a V8 Holden Commodore<br />

station wagon that is his chariot of choice.<br />

Across the ditch, surf photographer,<br />

publisher and all round lover of<br />

recreational campers, Craig Levers has<br />

plenty of stories to tell about wild surf trips<br />

chasing waves, photos and fun.<br />

“Kiwi and Aussie grommets are brought<br />

up on a steady diet of road trip tales,”<br />

Craig said.<br />

“ I grew up frothing over the Road Trip<br />

issues of Surfing World in the 1980’s.<br />

It’s hardwir<strong>ed</strong> into us to want to explore<br />

coastlines, push our own surfing and<br />

boundaries.<br />

“Camping is a distillation of that and in<br />

turn having a vehicle that is specialis<strong>ed</strong> for<br />

extend<strong>ed</strong> roadies.<br />

“When I was a grommie, my best mates Ste’en and<br />

Tim Webster had access to their oldies’ VW Kombi<br />

camper.<br />

“All my first surf and skate trips where in that, so<br />

the prec<strong>ed</strong>ent was set. It had a fridge and stove,<br />

we could make hot tea after a cold winter surf at<br />

Indies!”<br />

For Craig, the early introduction to the potential<br />

of a vehicle offering more than just a seat to sit<br />

on, meant every wagon he’s had since has been<br />

work<strong>ed</strong> into a camper of some sort.<br />

“Every vehicle I’ve own<strong>ed</strong> has been with surf<br />

roadies in mind,” he said.<br />

“The standard surf buying prerequisites - can you<br />

chuck a squab in the back? Where are the boards<br />

going?<br />

“As an evolvement of my love of surf tripping, I<br />

start<strong>ed</strong> taking photos. The combination of those<br />

two passions lead to me becoming the Senior<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 76

Photo: CPL Craig Lever’s Chevy Silverado on another surf trip.<br />

Photographer at NZ Surfing Magazine.<br />

“I held that position for 15 years, and for eight of those<br />

I was also the <strong>ed</strong>itor.<br />

“I had to [want<strong>ed</strong> to] have good roadie wagons for that<br />

job. The Toyota Surfs and the Nissan Terrano were<br />

the best.<br />

“But I have always covet<strong>ed</strong> proper campers.<br />

“Ironically, seven years after leaving the magazine I<br />

finally bought a campervan.<br />

“It was an old Hi-Ace 4x4 Japanese convert<strong>ed</strong><br />

camper.<br />

“I bought it as a tester, to see if the campervan thing<br />

was really what I want<strong>ed</strong> to do. I fricken lov<strong>ed</strong> it!”<br />

One thing Craig didn’t love so much about that<br />

particular van was its slowness on the open road with<br />

all of the camper gear built into the back adding plenty<br />

of weight.<br />

“I was always mindful of pulling over to let people<br />

pass. Even so, some drivers did some pretty loose<br />

manoeuvres around you,” he said.<br />

“The missus and I start<strong>ed</strong> associating long hauls with<br />

dodgy over-takes.<br />

“So, we lost the plot and bought a Chevy Silverado<br />

4x4 ex Ambulance that had a 6 litre V8 petrol motor.<br />

“It was so sick, the only thing it couldn’t pass was a<br />

petrol station.<br />

“We lov<strong>ed</strong> the room in it, the comfort of driving it. Say<br />

what you like about Seppos, they do know how to<br />

make a mean machine.<br />

“After three years owning that we realis<strong>ed</strong> it wasn’t<br />

quite right. I have to add though, even now we have<br />

moments of seller regrets...then we remember the<br />

petrol bills.”<br />

Neal Cameron and his Meyers manx<br />

77 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>

Photo: CPL Craig Lever’s landcruiser troopy<br />

“Go! The best<br />

stories are made on<br />

surf trips, don’t<br />

procrastinate... go.”<br />

When it came time for a replacement, a Hi Top<br />

Landcruiser 75 Series Troopy popp<strong>ed</strong> up on Craig’s<br />

radar and he swoop<strong>ed</strong> in and bought it.<br />

“We both have lov<strong>ed</strong> Troopys for a long time.<br />

“Ours was convert<strong>ed</strong> from new in Auckland for a<br />

rental company. So, it had everything, it all work<strong>ed</strong>,<br />

totally functional.<br />

“I still pull<strong>ed</strong> out the whole back and replac<strong>ed</strong><br />

everything.... it was lockdown, can’t go on surf trips<br />

anyway right?”<br />

With so many vehicles to choose from, and so many<br />

surf trips to recall, Craig said picking the best ever<br />

was pretty hard.<br />

“You’d probably think I’d say the Troopy aye???<br />

“I think the Troopy is the best surf wagon I’ve ever<br />

own<strong>ed</strong>. It’s the one I go ‘this would have been THE<br />

one for working at the surf mag, doing photo shoots<br />

and trips’.<br />

“But weirdly, and it’s probably nostalgia, it’d be the<br />

second wagon I ever own<strong>ed</strong>; a 1967 HR Holden 186<br />

longblock with a Nissan 4 spe<strong>ed</strong> conversion - 4 on the<br />

floor instead of 3 on the tree.<br />

“I chuck<strong>ed</strong> a mattress in the back and had a little crate<br />

with a camp stove, plates and cutlery.<br />

“Me and the lads thought we were full-style bandits in<br />

that thing.”<br />

As for the “must have” for any decent surf wagon?<br />

“You gotta be able the stash the boards inside so they<br />

don’t get nick<strong>ed</strong> or fri<strong>ed</strong> in the sun.<br />

“At a pinch, be able to sleep comfortably in the back.”<br />

When Smorgasboarder ask<strong>ed</strong> Craig about his “wildest<br />

surf trips” – the challenge level was high.<br />

“Pretty hard not to sound like a wanker answering this<br />

one!!!<br />

“It was my job for 15 years to have the wildest<br />

surf trips. Like, literally, that actually was the job<br />

description. I’m so grateful for those times.<br />

“We had an electrical fire in a six-berth motorhome<br />

just south of Forster on a Rusty Road trip once, that<br />

was pretty hectic. Got our tires slash<strong>ed</strong> on the South<br />

Coast of NSW on another one.”<br />

As for Craig’s best advice for anyone considering<br />

sorting out a vehicle of their own and hitting the road?<br />

“Go! The best stories are made on surf trips, don’t<br />

procrastinate... go.”<br />

For Ulladulla surfboard shaper Jye Glass, who runs<br />

Glass Handcrafts (an extension of his old man’s brand<br />

Terry Glass or TG), surfing trips have been part of life.<br />

Jye sent us through a picture of his well kitt<strong>ed</strong> out<br />

B<strong>ed</strong>ford camper which has taken him to breaks all<br />

over the country.<br />

“She’s a beaut, gotten me all up and down the east<br />

coast, from the Daintree to Warnnambool, bloody<br />

weapon!”<br />

Another surfboard shaper with a penchant for cars is<br />

the legendary New South Welshman Mark Rabbidge.<br />

Mark is well known for his one of a kind surfboards,<br />

jewellery and cars, and when we spoke to him for this<br />

story he had a yard full of metal to talk about.<br />

“There’s the Woody, the Dodge, my old International<br />

School Bus, an LTD Fairlane,” he said.<br />

With training back in the day as a toolmaker Mark<br />

said he’d been tinkering with cars since he was a lad<br />

growing up in Manly.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 78

owie pollard’s 1959 cadillac<br />

Jyes Glass’s b<strong>ed</strong>ford<br />

79 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong><br />

Mark Rabbidge and his dodge

Mark Rabbidge’s woody<br />

“Back in the 60s we all had hot cars because it<br />

us<strong>ed</strong> to take 14 hours to get to drive from Manly to<br />

Crescent Head and if you could do it in 10 it was<br />

better.”<br />

Mark’s collection are customis<strong>ed</strong> to suit his own<br />

ne<strong>ed</strong>s rather than being recreat<strong>ed</strong> to original spec.<br />

Most run Ford V8 engines (you can buy a whole<br />

car for $1000 and transfer the gear), including the<br />

Dodge which in its original form Mark said us<strong>ed</strong><br />

to cost him cents per metre (not kilometre) at the<br />

petrol bowser.<br />

The bus is the most surf orient<strong>ed</strong> of the vehicles,<br />

set up specifically for trips with a ladder to the top<br />

racks so the 12ft and 13ft gliders can be taken<br />

along – and doors put in the back to load up more<br />

boards and electric bikes for road trips up to Scotts<br />

Head.<br />

Mark said there’s a joy in taking an idea and making<br />

it real – like sculpting something unique, that puts a<br />

smile on people’s faces.<br />

His vehicles are meant to be driven, and he said<br />

there’s nothing better than coming out of the café<br />

with a coffee in the morning and seeing other<br />

people enjoying the cars – posing for photos or<br />

asking him about them.<br />

“They are happy things.”<br />

Mark said<br />

there’s a<br />

joy in taking<br />

an idea and<br />

making it<br />

real – like<br />

sculpting<br />

something<br />

unique, that<br />

puts a smile<br />

on people’s<br />

faces.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 80

81 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 82

Swiss Bliss<br />

words: dave swan<br />

Snowboarding – shockingly I would consider it as good,<br />

if not better than surfing. I absolutely, categorically love it.<br />

Unfortunately, given that I live in a perennial summer town,<br />

we don’t see any snow and thus there is no snowboarding.<br />

I only get to indulge when I travel and thanks to that bloody<br />

coronavirus, none of us have being doing any of that for a<br />

few years. But soon, hopefully soon, I will once again get to<br />

glide down the face of a 100ft frozen wave.<br />

Thinking of snowboarding recently had me reminiscing<br />

about our family’s last visit to the snow before all the<br />

craziness began in 2020. Those who read our keepsake<br />

50th <strong>ed</strong>ition may recall my son got the chance to play<br />

football in Portugal in late 2019 with me his on-tour<br />

manager (believe me, it was hard work :) At the end of his<br />

stint, the rest of the family join<strong>ed</strong> us to embark on a<br />

20-day trip through Europe. High on our agenda was<br />

hitting the slopes, the only trouble being there’s often not a<br />

great deal of snow on offer in mid-December. Good mate<br />

Craig Russell, who owns Helloworld Travel in Kawana,<br />

recommend<strong>ed</strong> we try Engelberg, a little mountain resort in<br />

Central Switzerland.<br />

83 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>

Given we were travelling around Austria and<br />

Switzerland, and our budget was limit<strong>ed</strong>, Craig<br />

suggest<strong>ed</strong> Engleberg was our best chance of<br />

snow given its altitude as it is usually one of the<br />

first resorts in the Alps to get snow from the north<br />

or north-west. Engelberg is surround<strong>ed</strong> by major<br />

mountain summits, the most imposing being Mount<br />

Titlis to the south standing at 3,238 metres above<br />

sea level with the majority of ski terrain above<br />

2000 metres. With heaps of runs and stacks of<br />

off-piste options, there’s plenty of room for skiing,<br />

snowboarding and sl<strong>ed</strong>ding.<br />

Originally fam<strong>ed</strong> for its Ben<strong>ed</strong>ictine monastery<br />

found<strong>ed</strong> in 1120, Engleberg later emerg<strong>ed</strong> as an<br />

internationally known mountain resort from the<br />

19th Century onwards. With that said, despite its<br />

proximity to Zurich (less than two hours away by<br />

train) and Lucerne, Engelberg is not as well-known<br />

as other Swiss resorts but it can certainly hold its<br />

own with regards to the facilities on offer. Inde<strong>ed</strong>,<br />

amongst d<strong>ed</strong>icat<strong>ed</strong> powderhounds it is consider<strong>ed</strong><br />

to be one of the top freeride destinations in the<br />

world. Asides from downhill, there are plenty of<br />

cross-country ski tracks and an indoor and outdoor<br />

ice-skating rink.<br />

Where to Stay<br />

Thanks to Craig at Helloworld Kawana we had a<br />

truly stunning, fully equipp<strong>ed</strong> apartment less than<br />

a couple of hundr<strong>ed</strong> metres from the ski lift. It was<br />

an amazing property equipp<strong>ed</strong> with the expect<strong>ed</strong><br />

drying rooms (for snow gear) but also a day spa<br />

including a sauna, steam bath, sound wave solo<br />

pool and multi-sensory shower. Never in my wildest<br />

dreams did I think we could afford it but Craig<br />

somehow manag<strong>ed</strong> to get an incr<strong>ed</strong>ible deal for<br />

us. How good? 7 nights accommodation with lift<br />

passes and gear hire for the duration all for under<br />

$1200 per person - a week out from Christmas. It’s<br />

mind boggling how good a deal that is.<br />

How to get there<br />

Engelberg is connect<strong>ed</strong> to Zurich, Lucerne and the<br />

rest of Switzerland by the wonderful Swiss railway<br />

system, making it the recommend<strong>ed</strong> mode of<br />

transport to the ski area.<br />

The main international gateway airport is Zurich,<br />

which is only 85km north of the town (just under two<br />

hours by train). The closest city is Lucerne, 35km to<br />

the south (about 50 minutes by train). Trains leave<br />

every hour to the various cities within Switzerland.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 84

Nearby<br />

Less than an hour by train is the beautiful compact city of Lucerne. Known for its<br />

preserv<strong>ed</strong> m<strong>ed</strong>ieval architecture, Lucerne sits amid snowcapp<strong>ed</strong> mountains on<br />

Lake Lucerne. Its colorful Altstadt (Old Town) is border<strong>ed</strong> on the north by 870m<br />

Museggmauer (Musegg Wall), a 14-century rampart. The cover<strong>ed</strong> Kapellbrücke (Chapel<br />

Bridge), made entirely of wood was built in 1333 and links the Aldstadt to the Reuss<br />

River’s right bank. It is nothing short of breathtaking to see, especially in winter with a<br />

dusting of snow. As for the Christmas markets, our favourite, they are out of this world,<br />

and this dad certainly loves the beer.<br />

A further hour along the train is the city of Zurich, Switzerland’s largest city. It is among<br />

the world’s largest financial centres, with the city home to many financial institutions and<br />

banking companies but it is the way it has beautifully blend<strong>ed</strong> all the modern amenities<br />

of a cosmopolitan metropolis, without sacrificing its natural side. Inde<strong>ed</strong>, Zurich has<br />

for many years rank<strong>ed</strong> among the world’s top cities in terms of quality of life. It is a<br />

boutique city that offers everything that implies, albeit in small and exquisite format.<br />

photo: Lucerne - gotta be worth it<br />

85 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong><br />

photo: Zurich - trace hudson

gear<br />

magic<br />

phoebe stealing her dad’s<br />

new board and waves again!<br />

photo: josh mostert<br />

This board is like a self-help<br />

guide to finding your inner<br />

mojo.<br />

“Please explain”, I hear you say. Well, my surfing<br />

has never been terrific but it is not altogether terrible.<br />

However, with the passing of age it is undeniably not<br />

getting any better. Sure, I may joke around, referring<br />

to myself as the Count of Carve, regaling how much<br />

I look and surf like Slater, but the cold hard reality is<br />

I do not.<br />

Often readers ask me why I am so self-depreciating.<br />

Plainly put, I am honest with myself. I love my surfing<br />

but with work and family commitments, I do not get<br />

as much time in the water as I would like. And yes,<br />

age and niggling injuries are catching up with me.<br />

And before someone reminds me, I know, Slater just<br />

won Pipe (The Pipeline Masters) at 50, but the guy is<br />

an out and out freak.<br />

So, what does all that have to do with this board?<br />

Well, when the waves are good here on the Sunshine<br />

Coast, I love getting out on a little 5’8” fish or an<br />

even smaller mini simmons, very occasionally a<br />

performance shortboard if the conditions are right,<br />

but in the main I surf a 9’4” log and 9’8” single-fin<br />

noserider. It had been a while since I had surf<strong>ed</strong> a<br />

high performance mal. Inde<strong>ed</strong>, one of the best I have<br />

ever ridden was by Mike Thompson, aka Mickey T of<br />

Raglan Longboards fame. It was his HP model. But<br />

as I said, it had been a while between drinks.<br />

Anyhow a few weeks ago I was passing my local surf<br />

shop, Beach Beat at Alexandra Headland, and saw<br />

a second-hand Brett Munro 9’1” longboard for sale<br />

in the trade-in rack. I was tempt<strong>ed</strong>. The reason being<br />

is my brother has a few Munro shortboards and<br />

fishes, which I have ridden, and they’re all crackers.<br />

Plus, our golden rule here at Smorgasboarder is<br />

to support good people and not tossers. Brett<br />

Munro is not one of the former. He’s a real salt-ofthe-earth<br />

bloke and I am stok<strong>ed</strong> anytime I get the<br />

chance to catch up with him when passing through<br />

Byron. There are no airs and graces, he is not too<br />

cool for school, will always give you the time of<br />

day and is more than happy to explain what he has<br />

endeavour<strong>ed</strong> to achieve with each board he shapes<br />

– and he shapes a wide variety. I always recall what<br />

my brother said to me about Brett Munro that best<br />

sums up his demeanour, “He’s not up himself and<br />

there’s no attitude. He just listens to what you want,<br />

answers your questions, asks a few of his own and<br />

steers you in the right direction. You’re not made<br />

to feel like a dickhead if you don’t understand the<br />

intricacies of surfboard design.”<br />

Anyhow, back to the story about this board. As I<br />

mention<strong>ed</strong>, I saw it on the rack and couldn’t resist it.<br />

It seem<strong>ed</strong> super lightweight and I figur<strong>ed</strong> if I couldn’t<br />

get the best out of it, it would be perfect for my<br />

surfing buddy – my daughter Phoebe. It was late in<br />

the afternoon by the time I got home – a little too late<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 86

gear<br />

photo: josh mostert<br />

Phoebe Swan<br />

for a surf unless I want<strong>ed</strong> to entice num num time,<br />

so I figur<strong>ed</strong> I would just have to wait until morning to<br />

christen it.<br />

Any surfer knows how incr<strong>ed</strong>ibly important it is to<br />

have the first ride on your new stick so even though<br />

it was more than likely going to end up in the arms of<br />

my daughter, it would forever be my board with that<br />

initial surf.<br />

Paddling out I was surpris<strong>ed</strong> how quick it was. I<br />

thought being so lightweight it would have been<br />

thrown around in the choppy conditions but it rather<br />

skipp<strong>ed</strong> across the water. Then came the moment of<br />

reckoning and by goodness this thing was a spe<strong>ed</strong><br />

machine. I could not believe how quickly you could<br />

move across the face and how much it perform<strong>ed</strong><br />

like a shortboard. So us<strong>ed</strong> to riding a log, I was<br />

initially outrunning sections before I could think of<br />

what to do on the face. Being more of a front foot<br />

surfer I found the round tail so much to my benefit<br />

in terms of easily turning the board on a dime. It<br />

had been quite a while since I had done a cutback<br />

on a mal (in my own awkward way). Suffice to say<br />

this board made me feel like I could surf again. It<br />

was a rather surreal feeling and I cannot thank Brett<br />

enough for allowing me to feel a little younger again<br />

and just that incy wincy bit more like Slater (on a<br />

longboard).<br />

The Board<br />

9’1” x 22 1/4” x 2 3/4” Flat-V<br />

modern longboard<br />

burford blank with 5-ply stringer<br />

6oz bottom, 6+4oz deck with tint<strong>ed</strong> free-lap<br />

glassing, pro-sand finish<br />

carbon fibre reinforc<strong>ed</strong> rails<br />

10” fin box with FCS2 side fins<br />

The Shaper<br />

Brett Munro has been shaping boards since 1974<br />

– just shy of 50 years. He learnt to shape under the<br />

guidance of mentors such as Kingsley ‘Knackers’<br />

Kernouski, Bob Davies, the late Al Burns, and Rod<br />

‘Grub’ Dahlberg.<br />

He has ventur<strong>ed</strong> far and wide from his native New<br />

Zealand in search of perfect waves, all the while fine<br />

tuning his shapes. In the summer of 1981 he mov<strong>ed</strong><br />

to Australia and establish<strong>ed</strong> Prana Surfboards out<br />

of an old banana sh<strong>ed</strong> in Coffs Harbour before<br />

eventually settling in Byron Bay in 1993 where he<br />

has been ever since.<br />

You have to love the description of his factory setup<br />

on the Munro + Sons website:<br />

“Tuck<strong>ed</strong> away out the back of the industrial estate,<br />

Munro + Sons is an old skool family-run, no frills,<br />

dust and fume fill<strong>ed</strong> factory where boards are still<br />

made entirely by hand, start to finish under one roof<br />

by master craftsman and living fossils, with decades<br />

of experience.”<br />

Brett has shap<strong>ed</strong> for state, national, professional<br />

and world title champions and is one of the few<br />

contemporary shapers who still hand shapes every<br />

single one of his models.<br />

Performance orientat<strong>ed</strong> in their design, Brett<br />

shapes a multitude of boards from twin-keel fishes<br />

and quads to shortboard thrusters, single fins and<br />

longboards. Best of all is his focus on personalising<br />

each one of his boards to suit his customers. As he<br />

explains, “We are a humble, small scale business,<br />

who have chosen to focus on building lasting<br />

relationships with every customer that walks through<br />

our door. We work directly with them to design their<br />

perfect board, whatever their ability, or wherever<br />

their next adventure takes them. Nothing will ride<br />

better than a custom board that was built to suit their<br />

personal ne<strong>ed</strong>s.<br />

As for my brother’s Munro boards I referr<strong>ed</strong> to earlier<br />

in this piece, some are now close to 20 years old and<br />

still look brand new, which speaks volumes of the<br />

quality craftsmanship and the top end materials they<br />

use at Munro.<br />

87 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>

gear<br />


6’6” x 21” 2 7/8”<br />

Sweet twin fin for myself. Fantastic<br />

print by @surfdecals on 3.5 ounce<br />

impact glass. Hard to see but gloss<br />

finish has made this print jump off<br />

the board it’s so cool thanks Ian.<br />

Great glass and tint by @twin_peaks_<br />

glassing. Single concave to heavy<br />

vee with a deep double concave in<br />

vee running out of tail. Can’t wait to<br />

surf this little filthy piece of water toy.<br />

7’6” SPLINTER<br />

Catch waves with ease.<br />

Enjoy the single fin vibe or if you<br />

prefer set up as a thruster or 2+1.<br />

Build your own in one of our<br />

workshops or we can build for you.<br />


Mt Eliza, Victoria<br />



Sh<strong>ed</strong> 4, 10 Baines Cr, Torquay, VIC<br />

M: 0437 246 848<br />

E: dickosurf@gmail.com<br />

M: 0409 211 751 0423 804 975<br />

E: info@treetosea.com.au<br />

W: treetosea.com.au<br />

SCAN FOR<br />


A fun board that was fun to make<br />

with a sweet resin tint.<br />

#clarksurfboards #resintint #cutlap<br />

#madeinadelaide #burfordblanks<br />

#ridefutures #customsurfboards<br />


TWIN<br />

5’6” X 19 7/8 X 21/2<br />

Flat rocker, single concave into<br />

double with V tail.<br />

Single channel to tail.<br />

Lively! Plenty of volume under the<br />

chest. Go to board in your quiver.<br />

S deck tail.<br />



Units 7 & 8, 9 Chapman Road,<br />

Hackham, SA<br />

E: leightonclark01@yahoo.com.au<br />

M: 0422 443 789<br />


M: 0418 110 044<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #51 / 88

surfer_ Matt Mcleod | pic by_ Michael Lester | shaper_ Darren Burge<br />





Custom Shortboards<br />

Hybrid & Fishes<br />

Mals and Logs<br />

Factory 3/6 Kerta Rd,<br />

Kincumber NSW 2251<br />

M: 0415 577 085<br />


SURF<br />


PHONE: 02 4456 4038<br />

MOBILE: 0427 767 176<br />

EMAIL: markrab88@gmail.com<br />

mark_rabbidge_surf_design<br />

different to the rest.<br />

89 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>

gear<br />

“Custom made surfboards for<br />

real surfers”<br />

6`10” DMT<br />

Twin Fin flax se<strong>ed</strong> and basalt<br />

with bio epoxy resins.<br />

100% handcraft<strong>ed</strong>.<br />


2/7 Acacia St<br />

Byron Bay, NSW<br />

M: 02 6685 6211<br />

W: www.munrosurfboards.com.au<br />



“The Happy Planet Surf Project”<br />

4/1 Unit<strong>ed</strong> Road, Ashmore, QLD<br />

E: rocketaceecosurfboards@gmail.com<br />

M: 0415 727 670<br />

5’ 7” TWIN FIN<br />



Noosa Heads, Australia<br />

fuyusurfboards.com | Paul Winter 0418 884 242<br />



M: 0424 450 690<br />

E: phantomsurfboards@gmail.com<br />

W: chrisgarrettshapes.com.au<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 90





COAST.<br />

Maybe one day soon Yeppoon will have the coolest surf parks<br />

ever in Surf Lakes, but the ocean? Usually, it’s beautifully flat<br />

as a tack - as you’d expect on the tropical Queensland coast.<br />

But when the cyclone swell is on, so are the waves!<br />

91 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>

With recent storms, Emu Park - a little coastal<br />

village about 20 minutes south of Yeppoon - was<br />

one of the local spots that saw locals spending a<br />

good few days in water, making the most of the<br />

conditions while they last<strong>ed</strong>. Whether surfing,<br />

watching, or simply getting amongst the broad<br />

smiles and good vibes that the wind blew in, Emu<br />

Park’s main beach (just out the front of the Emu<br />

Park SLSC) was the place to be for fun waves. The<br />

lesson? Always have a board handy - you never<br />

know when you’ll ne<strong>ed</strong> it!<br />

Always have a board<br />

handy - you never know<br />

when you’ll ne<strong>ed</strong> it!<br />

Photo courtesy of Honeybee Collective

About Emu Park<br />

20 minutes from Yeppoon, 40 minutes from<br />

Rockhampton, Emu Park is home to the Singing<br />

Ship monument, a moving ANZAC memorial<br />

boardwalk, multiple beaches and walks, as well<br />

as a generous helping of country Queensland<br />

friendliness.<br />

The pristine coastline overlooks the Keppels (which<br />

are only a quick 30 minutes trip away on the ferry -<br />

or even easier, from the Emu Park boat ramp if you<br />

happen to have a boat handy).<br />

Emu Park is the perfect, picturesque base to<br />

explore the Yeppoon area, or to simply enjoy some<br />

downtime - hide away the car keys, unwind and<br />

relax.<br />

Some of the picks for a bite and a drink? Start<br />

your morning with a coffee from the friendly folks<br />

at Honeybee Collective, the little coffee shop that<br />

runs from the Surf Club. In the evening, enjoy some<br />

local craft brew and great food with live music<br />

at Forty Seven 10 in the evening. Alternately,<br />

pick up some tasty takeaways from Emu Park<br />

Pizza, or relax with a beer and some true country<br />

atmosphere at the Piney - the Pine Beach Hotel.<br />

There’s plenty of accommodation right in the<br />

village, from hotel rooms at the Endeavour Inn, to<br />

camping at the Fisherman’s Beach Holiday Park.<br />

Or why not just book a full house with parking<br />

for the boat, walking distance to everything, like<br />

the Cockatoo Beach Cottage on AirBNB - see<br />

emuparkholidays.com.au.<br />

Photo courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland

All tangl<strong>ed</strong> up<br />

words: dave swan<br />

Those of us who have rais<strong>ed</strong> kids have<br />

possibly turn<strong>ed</strong> around on occasion to<br />

find their lovely little cherub doodling<br />

away on the living room wall.<br />

That initial shock is always follow<strong>ed</strong> by an exasperat<strong>ed</strong>,<br />

“how the hell am I going to clean that off” while the<br />

little bugger smiles away at you so pleas<strong>ed</strong> with their<br />

artistic masterpiece.<br />

Many articles on child psychology will explain why<br />

kids do this, namely that it is a means of expressing<br />

their creativity and a wall is just a huge blank canvas<br />

that is so much easier to draw on then a flimsy bit of<br />

paper that moves around underneath their arms as<br />

they scribble away. And a wall has such scale for those<br />

sweeping, big, colourful swirls they so frequently like<br />

to draw.<br />

Such articles also tell us that rather than remonstrating<br />

with your child for massacring your walls, we as<br />

parents should create a “safe” space for them so that<br />

they can doodle away uninterrupt<strong>ed</strong> by your scorn in<br />

an area that won’t affect the resale value of your home.<br />

We had one such child in our family and so it was,<br />

many many, many years ago, we allow<strong>ed</strong> our daughter<br />

Mikaela to start drawing on her walls and she has been<br />

at it ever since, some 21 years now.<br />

Looking back on the decision, I think my wife Katie and<br />

I made a good one. Those walls have f<strong>ed</strong> Mikaela’s<br />

creativity and hopefully that creativity will one day pay<br />

off our house.<br />

Thinking of our decision I can’t help but recite the<br />

words of the famous and yet still anonymous street<br />

artist Banksy who has paint<strong>ed</strong> walls in cities around the<br />

world: “Imagine a city where graffiti wasn’t illegal, a city<br />

where everybody could draw whatever they lik<strong>ed</strong>.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 94

95 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>

“Imagine a city where graffiti wasn’t<br />

illegal, a city where everybody could<br />

draw whatever they lik<strong>ed</strong>. Where<br />

every street was awash with a<br />

million colours and little phrases.”<br />

“Where every street was awash with a million colours and little phrases.<br />

Where standing at a bus stop was never boring. A city that felt like a party<br />

where everyone was invit<strong>ed</strong>, not just the estate agents and barons of big<br />

business. Imagine a city like that and stop leaning against the wall - it’s wet.”<br />

Mikaela’s scribbles have brought another dimension to the room and make<br />

it so uniquely hers, not to mention a fantastic backdrop for her drum clips.<br />

Yes, aside from her art, which she now extends beyond just walls to tiles,<br />

t-shirts, tote bags, coasters, murals and music gear, she is also quite an<br />

accomplish<strong>ed</strong> drummer playing in three bands as well as amassing a huge<br />

social m<strong>ed</strong>ia following – like a 165,000 people on Instagram.<br />

In terms of her art exploration, she goes by the name Miktangle, given that a<br />

Murals<br />

Mikaela’s first work<br />

with colour on a surfboard<br />

shower.<br />

Album Covers<br />

Some of Mikaela’s cover<br />

art for Nonberk, Eli Herron<br />

and Happy Valley<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #52 / 96

large focus of her creativity is centr<strong>ed</strong> on her own<br />

unique Zentangle art she has perfect<strong>ed</strong> since way<br />

back when. For those less artistic like myself, a<br />

zentangle is a form of m<strong>ed</strong>itative doodling that has<br />

patterns, or tangles, put together to form a Zentangle.<br />

Simply put, it is a fun way to create beautiful<br />

images by drawing structur<strong>ed</strong> patterns. It is said this<br />

method for drawing not only promotes concentration<br />

and creativity but at the same time increases<br />

personal well-being.<br />

As it is just plain weird to interview your daughter,<br />

I grabb<strong>ed</strong> an excerpt from the bio on Mikaela’s<br />

website as to how her art pseudonym came about.<br />

“The name Miktangle came about when I was<br />

looking back on how I start<strong>ed</strong> this artistic journey.<br />

Funnily enough my drawings start<strong>ed</strong> off with a few<br />

simple lunch time sessions drawing small zentangle<br />

tiles (as seen on my tile wall) and believe it or not<br />

they were the very first pieces that play<strong>ed</strong> a part<br />

in discovering my style as an artist. From there my<br />

style develop<strong>ed</strong> from these m<strong>ed</strong>itative exercises. So,<br />

when figuring out my name I thought why not join<br />

Miki (my nickname) and tangle to create Miktangle.<br />

Mikaela goes on to explain<br />

her creative journey.<br />

“Ever since I was young, I’ve always lov<strong>ed</strong> art. I even<br />

start<strong>ed</strong> drawing on my b<strong>ed</strong>room walls, documenting<br />

and expressing myself in all ways possible. Every<br />

expression I have made is the subsequent entrance<br />

to my soul. Either way, my life has always veer<strong>ed</strong> in<br />

one creative direction or another.<br />

“I use inspiration from philosophical teachings,<br />

zentangles and nature to create intricate and<br />

dreamlike creatures and spaces. I specialise in<br />

creating black and white images, and I invite viewers<br />

to explore my mysterious worlds one piece of art at<br />

a time.”<br />

Aside from the murals, tarot cards and Zentangle art,<br />

Mikaela has undertaken a number of commission<br />

pieces, namely some album covers and a surfboard<br />

silk overlay. And so it was when we had the world’s<br />

greatest plumber, Stew McLean, install a custombuilt<br />

outdoor surfboard shower at our home, it was<br />

only fitting I commission<strong>ed</strong> Mikaela to adorn it with<br />

some of her work.<br />

I would like to wrap up this little piece by stating Katie<br />

and I could not be more proud of our daughter.<br />

To some this article might seem like absolute<br />

nepotism, writing about your child in your own<br />

magazine, and it is but to those I say, who cares –<br />

work your guts out, start your own mag and you can<br />

do the same. The grit and tenacity Mikaela has shown<br />

to pursue her dreams is nothing short of amazing and<br />

we simply love her so very much. And if you think<br />

her art is pretty impressive, just wait until you see her<br />

drumming. You can check it all out here:<br />

Instagram: mikaela.swan<br />

Tik Tok: mikaela_swan<br />

Web: miktangle.com.au<br />



“Drawing influences from post-punk, alternative rock<br />

and Britpop, Staples present their unique sound<br />

through a modern indie lens, combining passionate<br />

vocals with soaring guitar leads and jangly chords,<br />

and ambient synths with driving basslines and punchy<br />

drums.” - Triple J Unearth<strong>ed</strong><br />

One of the Sunshine Coast ‘s most lov<strong>ed</strong> singer<br />

songwriters, the super chill<strong>ed</strong> Oskar Campbell, has<br />

recently form<strong>ed</strong> an alternative rock band entitl<strong>ed</strong> Lounge<br />

fusing his love for old school rock with modern folk, pop<br />

and soul music. The number of gigs they’ve scor<strong>ed</strong> since<br />

forming speaks volumes for their rapid rise in popularity.<br />


Injecting fresh pop sensibility into 80’s discotheque,<br />

Brisbane’s latest dance band Dizzy Days are front<strong>ed</strong> by the<br />

goose-bump inducing vocals of Aisling O’Byrne, adroit guitar<br />

work of EJ Carey, hypnotic bass of Bridgette Dabinett, and<br />

whirlwind percussion of drum prodigy Mikaela Swan. Dizzy<br />

Days radiate swagger, offering a sound that entices indie<br />

scenesters whilst being unquestionably global in scope.<br />


“Happy Valley is an alternative rock band bas<strong>ed</strong> on the<br />

Sunshine Coast. They bring a boundless sound to the<br />

Australian music scene, colour<strong>ed</strong> by their unique choices of<br />

expression.” – Triple J Unearth<strong>ed</strong><br />

If you like bands such as Nothing But Thieves and Amber<br />

Run, you will love these guys. There are even hints of John<br />

Butler and Jeff Buckley to their sound.<br />

Aside from her art<br />

which she now extends<br />

beyond just walls to<br />

tiles, t-shirts, tote bags,<br />

coasters, murals and<br />

music gear, she is also<br />

quite an accomplish<strong>ed</strong><br />

drummer playing in<br />

three bands.<br />

97 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>







Surf is free.<br />



2021<br />

#50<br />

Art: Mitchell Rae - Telo Islands<br />

th<br />

smorgasboarder magazine<br />

2021<br />

SURF<br />

smorgasboarder<br />

<strong>ed</strong>ition<br />

magazine<br />

#51<br />

T-shirT $39<br />

T-shirT + annual<br />

subscripTion $55<br />

www.outerislandsurfboards.com<br />

E_ outereye@gmail.com<br />

P_ 02 6655 7007<br />

Portugal, wave pools, wooden boards<br />

and what it feels like to be 50.<br />

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

coastal art, photography and more.<br />

Order at www.smorgasboarder.com.au

email: outereye@gmail.com | phone: 02 6655 7007<br />


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