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smorgasboarder<br />

2023<br />

#55<br />

SURFmagazine<br />

hands down our happiest edition

Celebrating<br />

48 YEARS<br />

Celebrating<br />

45 YEARS<br />

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#55<br />

2023<br />

76<br />

94<br />

14 news<br />

24 competition<br />

32 controversy<br />

34 Across the ditch<br />

44 shay lajoie<br />

64 sustainability<br />

68 surf shack<br />

76 bali for beginners<br />

80 Foiling<br />

86 gear<br />

94 surf art<br />

smorgasboarders<br />

Editorial | Dave Swan<br />

dave@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

0401 345 201<br />

Editorial | Amber O’Dell<br />

amber@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

0420 615 107<br />

Advertising | Simon Cross<br />

simon@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

0413 698 630<br />

Social Media | 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, val, helen, taylah, sarah<br />

mark@horseandwater.com.au<br />

Accounts | Louise Gough<br />

louise@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

smorgasboarder<br />

2023<br />

#55<br />

SURFmagazine<br />

hands down our happiest edition<br />

our cover<br />

Shayelle Lajoie<br />

photo: walkandseemedia<br />

get involved<br />

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

interesting surf-related stuff you<br />

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

editorial@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

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

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Photo: tommywilliams.photography

ello sunshine<br />

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.<br />

Helen Keller, Author

Publishing this edition has been a mixed bag. Smorgasboarder is<br />

a passion project. It is something we love to do, myself especially.<br />

It is a great creative outlet, plus surfing is so good for you in<br />

so many ways from the physical to the mental and even the<br />

spiritual. With all that said, putting this particular edition together<br />

proved difficult initially. You see, my dad passed a few days after<br />

Christmas and everything about the ocean constantly reminds me<br />

of him. The memories just come flooding back.<br />

Dad, my brother and I, along with many of my mates, spent so<br />

many fun times out in the surf together. I have so many great<br />

memories that I can be thankful for but at the same time, right<br />

at the present moment, it is still so raw and makes me miss him<br />

even more. I just have to remind myself of what dad always said<br />

when experiencing any sort of adversity in his straight-up, matterof-fact<br />

way, “Deal with it. Deal with it and get on with things.”<br />

So, with that in mind, this edition celebrates positivity and the<br />

kind of positive people that serve as a reminder to get on with<br />

life and be thankful for all that we have, not just what we have<br />

lost. There is no stronger role model for having a positive mindset<br />

than a lovely lady called Shayelle Lajoie, who’s very name means<br />

“joyful” in French.<br />

Many may know Shay as a former contestant on Australian<br />

Survivor. She shares with us her passion for surfing, yoga and<br />

healthy living. Shay has a joy for life that is simply infectious and<br />

following our recent interview/shoot with her, the entire crew that<br />

attended returned to our office absolutely buzzing, constantly<br />

remarking what a beautiful, down-to-earth, gentle soul she is.<br />

Despite the many challenging times she has encountered, she<br />

has come through each ordeal better for it, stronger than she was<br />

before and with an even more upbeat outlook on life.<br />

Speaking of a positive outlook, we also talk with experienced<br />

Brazilian surfboard shaper and environmental enthusiast Mario<br />

Ferminio. Tired of the toxic nature of surfboard production and<br />

its negative impact on our environment, Mario has developed<br />

a 100% natural resin made from vegetables. Remember your<br />

mum always told you to eat your vegetables because they are<br />

good for you, well now they’re also good for the environment and<br />

potentially the future of the surf industry too. Wonderful stuff.<br />

We also talk with nomadic artist and surfer Paul Tyler about life<br />

on the road. His is a story of losing it all only to find something so<br />

much more meaningful. Through his art he has found happiness<br />

as well as a means to live. His travels and experiences have<br />

enriched his life so much more than mere money in the bank. It’s<br />

his memory bank that is now overflowing.<br />

Then there’s Jack Field, who’s simple remedy for happiness is<br />

to avoid the frustration and confrontation of fighting for waves at<br />

crowded surf breaks. His trip is foiling which, as he explains it,<br />

enables surfers to take to an endless array of uncrowded waves<br />

along our coastlines, estuaries and lakes.<br />

Finally, we road test a balsa beauty from Mark Riley. Who doesn’t<br />

like getting a new surfboard? As a cheer me up, Mark Riley gifted<br />

me the stunning balsa board I watched him craft by hand when<br />

interviewing him in the previous edition. Mark’s boards are one of<br />

a kind and so is he.<br />

So, all in all, plenty of good cheer and good vibes in this edition<br />

to keep you stoked. Shakkas to you all. Go get out there, get wet<br />

and enjoy life, it’s not there forever so make sure to make the<br />

most of it.<br />

The Smorgasboarders<br />

photo: walkandseemedia





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Ken<br />

Swan<br />

in memorium<br />

Words: Dave Swan<br />

This little piece<br />

is dedicated to my<br />

dad as a thank<br />

you for all his<br />

support through<br />

the years from my<br />

sporting days to my<br />

professional career<br />

through to the day<br />

I told him of our<br />

crazy plans to start<br />

a surf magazine.<br />

It was a huge leap<br />

of faith away from<br />

the safety of the<br />

corporate world.<br />

He always believed<br />

in me and supported<br />

me in the pursuit of<br />

my dreams.<br />

I thought the most fitting way to celebrate dad’s<br />

life was to briefly revisit a few of his favourite<br />

sayings.<br />

There were many dad taught me growing up but<br />

three in particular have been ingrained in my<br />

psyche and have indeed steered me throughout<br />

my life:<br />

On the sporting field it was, “Show some<br />

mongrel” – fully commit. Dad loved his sport<br />

and that was passed on to my brother Mike and<br />

I. I guess we wanted to emulate what he had<br />

achieved, I mean there wasn’t that much to live<br />

up to: Queensland footballer, State and National<br />

surf lifesaving surfboard champion, Caption<br />

Coach of the Queensland Men’s Water Polo<br />

team and part of the Commonwealth Games<br />

Squad. Yep, small shoes to fill.<br />

Anyhow dad loved to say to Mike and I, and<br />

later the grandkids, “Show some mongrel.”<br />

Let your opposition know and feel they’re in a<br />

contest. And this was fine when we were playing<br />

water polo but the rule even applied to noncontact<br />

sports. So, it was when I tried my hand<br />

at basketball, I never saw out a full game before<br />

being fouled out. Phoebe (my daughter) knows<br />

something of this, the feisty little thing she is.<br />

Another saying dad loved was, “Silence is<br />

golden but sometimes it is yellow”<br />

meaning simply, speak your mind and don’t<br />

remain silent if something needs to be said.<br />

Dad’s brothers know something of that saying.<br />

Dad was never shy in letting people know what<br />

he thought, that too applied to the sporting field.<br />

The final saying he particularly loved was,<br />

“Actions speak louder than words”. To<br />

that end, nothing I say today will truly convey my<br />

love for dad. I tried to show him each and every<br />

day and I am pretty certain he knew how I felt.<br />

There’s also another one, in fact there was a<br />

heap of them, but it was, “If you’re going to<br />

do a job, do it properly”. So I am going to<br />

give it my best not to get upset and get through<br />

this little speech, “show some mongrel” and not<br />

be a wuss.<br />

The truth is dad taught me so many things and<br />

the lessons didn’t end as a kid. He kept sharing<br />

his wisdom and knowledge with me right up<br />

until the final few days.<br />

sb / #55 / 12

I owe my dad a huge debt of gratitude. He meant<br />

so much to me and so I thought I would share<br />

some of what I said about him at our memorial<br />

at the beginning of this year following his<br />

passing on 28 December 2022. I love you dad.<br />

Above all things, what he taught all of our<br />

family was love. For family and friends, to<br />

feel and show unconditional love for them, to<br />

openly show affection. And speaking of love, I<br />

just have to say how mum cared for dad, not<br />

just throughout his whole life but over the last<br />

12 months, is nothing short of amazing. I am in<br />

awe of mum.<br />

In regards to music, dad shared with us his<br />

love of music which now lives on through me<br />

and our family from James Brown “makes me<br />

get down” to Gordon Lightfoot, Little Richard,<br />

Elvis, Billy Joel, the Doobie Brothers, Bob<br />

Segar, John Fogarty – everything from Motown<br />

to Rock’n’Roll to Country & Western and<br />

everything in between. Dad frequently called<br />

me over and said, “Have you heard this?”<br />

Indeed, Mikaela our eldest, often asks where<br />

she got her musical talent from as she had<br />

already concluded that neither her mum nor<br />

dad could hold a note or play an instrument<br />

with any kind of finesse, although I do disagree<br />

as I play a mean recorder after a few beers.<br />

Anyhow, perhaps dad could be credited with<br />

giving Mikaela her rhythm.<br />

For the ocean, dad instilled in Mike and me<br />

a respect and love for the surf. He always<br />

encouraged us to face our fears and tackle<br />

them head on. So many good times we shared<br />

out in huge seas daring each other to ride<br />

THAT one.<br />

For the officials, yep, Dad also taught us about<br />

his unconditional love for hating refs, umpires<br />

and sports selectors of all descriptions,<br />

particularly those that umpired Collingwood<br />

games and refereed State of Origin matches.<br />

Most importantly, Dad always told us we could<br />

never really imagine how much he loved our<br />

family and all the kids. To that I can simply<br />

reply by saying that I never think he could really<br />

comprehend how much we loved him, despite<br />

the fact he drove us up the wall at times.<br />

Dad, you have left a huge void in our lives,<br />

which is understandable because he stood<br />

6’4” – how I wish he gave me that height.<br />

We love you dad and are going to miss you like<br />

you would not believe.<br />

RIP Ken Swan, my dad.<br />

11 August 1941 – 28 December 2022<br />

Queensland footballer<br />

State and National surf<br />

lifesaving surfboard champion<br />

Captain Coach of the Queensland<br />

Men’s Water Polo team<br />

part of the Commonwealth<br />

Games Squad<br />

13 / #55 / sb

see the wood<br />

sb / #55 / 14

for the seas<br />

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15 / #55 / sb

ontroversy<br />

Kook by<br />

A term often used to describe someone who isn’t<br />

an accomplished surfer and/or does not yet fully<br />

understand surf etiquette. ‘Kooks’ are recognised<br />

the faux pas they commit out in the surf.<br />

Let’s call it for what it is, it’s a derogatory term used by tools<br />

to demean people. I can’t help but feel that most people who<br />

resort to this kind of stuff have some deep-seeded insecurity<br />

they’re trying to conceal and by putting down others, they are<br />

trying to deflect attention away from their own shortcomings.<br />

Sure, the said person may rip, which in their own eyes<br />

justifies them labelling other lesser surfers ‘kooks’ but what<br />

are they hiding? Perhaps they went surfing regularly at the<br />

expense of going to school and are not the most intelligent<br />

human beings or perhaps one too many bongs affected their<br />

cognitive abilities. Maybe in the interest of being ‘hard core’<br />

they never managed to hold down a decent job, or perhaps<br />

don’t even have one. To that end, should people yell at them<br />

whilst they’re standing in the dole queue, “Go home, you<br />

bloody kook. We’re sick of paying your way because you’re<br />

an imbecile” or bark at them when waiting at a roadworks,<br />

“Hold the STOP sign straight you bloody kook!”<br />

Think of any other sport/leisure activity/pastime and consider<br />

how they treat newcomers. More often than not there is<br />

encouragement and respect for those giving it a go, even<br />

reflection on what it was like to start out at a particular<br />

discipline. With surfing, however, there unfortunately appears<br />

to be a significant number who wish to deride people who are<br />

learning to surf. Don’t get me wrong, beginners attempting to<br />

surf in critical take-off zones need to be directed elsewhere<br />

but not admonished, abused and even ridiculed for it. They<br />

possibly don’t know any better, so politely help them out and<br />

steer them in the right direction. Don’t be a knob and threaten<br />

them for their ignorance.<br />

Interestingly, some people are so enamoured with the word<br />

kook and so incredibly hip they have even incorporated the<br />

term into the name of their brand. Think of the equivalent,<br />

imagine if someone brought out a line of surf lifesaving rescue<br />

boards called Deceased Nippers or Aussie Rules footballs<br />

called Dear Departed Auskickers. Maybe I am reading it all<br />

wrong and simply don’t understand this comical expression<br />

because I am not part of that inner circle of naturally gifted and<br />

incredibly talented surfers.<br />

Personally, I prefer to dispense with this never-ending quest<br />

to be cool in pursuit of simply enjoying my time out in the surf,<br />

by myself or with others. What I will say though is that if you’re<br />

insecure about something, get to work on improving that<br />

aspect of your life. In the long run you will feel far better about<br />

yourself than by humiliating someone else. And let’s face it,<br />

that beginner is only going to get better but if you’re stupid,<br />

things aren’t going to improve unless you start educating<br />

yourself. Anyhow, that’s just my thoughts on the matter and<br />

why I hate this derogatory term but what would I know, I am<br />

only a kook.<br />

words: dave swan<br />

sb / #55 / 16





Mon, Wed & Fri: 9am-5pm<br />

Sat & Sun: 10am-3pm<br />

29 Ipswich Rd,<br />

Woolloongabba QLD 4102<br />

(parking at rear on Gibbon Street)<br />

office@goodtime.com.au<br />

www.goodtime.com.au<br />

17 / #55 / sb

news<br />

A window<br />

into surf<br />

We catch up with Craig Levers,<br />

internationally acclaimed and<br />

award-winning photographer,<br />

former editor of New Zealand<br />

Surfing Magazine and, most<br />

importantly, our good mate.<br />

words: amber o'dell<br />

Readers who are familiar with our story on Craig in edition 46<br />

will remember him as the legend behind Photo CPL Media<br />

and, as you know, our favourite all-time surf hardcover book,<br />

The South Seas.<br />

Craig’s photos are ever popular for encapsulating the spirit<br />

of New Zealand’s beach, surf and landscape, which hasn’t<br />

changed since Smorgasboarder last caught up with him in<br />

2019. As you can imagine, we were eager to talk about his<br />

newest projects.<br />

When asked about what he’s been up to, Craig said two<br />

things – bloody Covid and his brand-new book, NZ Surf<br />

Windows.<br />

“It’s been a minute aye, it feels like I’ve spent the last few<br />

years in home detention. The Covid years really affected my<br />

ability to shoot around the country, and a lot of surfing events<br />

which I’d normally cover were cancelled. But on the swing<br />

side, I got our troopy camper looking mint as, and Warren<br />

Hawke and I made a new surf book.<br />

“This one varies slightly from the others in the NZ Surf series<br />

in that Warren has tried to reign his writing in – he didn’t do a<br />

great job of that – and really let the images feature – he did do<br />

a great job of that.<br />

“NZ Surf Windows is a distillation of what we learnt working<br />

on the other books. But it has the same focus, which is to be<br />

highly inclusive of the entire New Zealand surf community.<br />

There’s a large historical chapter, then there’s logging, high<br />

performance, groms, shapers, places, artists, men and<br />

women. You could say its highly unfocussed, but Warren really<br />

thrives on the idea of being all encompassing and exploring<br />

our Kiwi surf culture in depth.”<br />

In total, Photo CPL Media has published nine hardcovers that<br />

make for some stunning editions to anyone’s coffee table.<br />

Craig’s new book marks the fourth he has published with<br />

Warren Hawke, South Island’s most prolific surf photographer.<br />

Naturally, we asked about the motivation behind doing another<br />

collaboration.<br />

“Money… haha – I wish. Nah, while all of the NZ Surf series<br />

books have been successful financial projects, so that’s not<br />

the primary reason. Warren and I both feel that we are adding<br />

to and documenting some of that Kiwi surf culture. If you<br />

read through the four NZ Surf Books you’d definitely be quite<br />

conversant in that history. Unlike Oz, no-one has put together<br />

a New Zealand Surf History Book. It’s been talked about, but<br />

it’s an intimidating and huge project.<br />

sb / #55 / 18

“My role is publisher, so I have an over-arching view of the<br />

project. Though I’m largely hands off with Warren, as he has<br />

his own clear direction. This time around, he did set me quite<br />

a few more editorial features to cover and I was the main<br />

contributor. It was pretty busy there for a few months being a<br />

full-time surf writer and photographer. After that I had to flick<br />

back into publisher mode – working with the printer, managing<br />

post-production, shipping, tax and then distribution, pre sales,<br />

sales and then even more distribution and marketing.<br />

“That said, Warren’s role is so full on – this is Warren’s baby,<br />

so he is the driving force behind the book. He started work on<br />

NZ Surf Windows two years ago and was driving around the<br />

country shooting, creating content, finding content and then<br />

curating all of that into a cohesive volume. Warren also sits in<br />

with our graphic designer, Josh O’Rourke, during production.<br />

He does a tremendous job of generating interest in the book.<br />

He’s a PR machine.<br />

“As a side note, we fricken caned our production and print<br />

deadlines on NZ Surf Windows. We made every deadline,<br />

and we were running smooth as and ahead of time. As you<br />

know, this is unheard of in surf print. Then, we got whooped<br />

up in shipping and lost six weeks of critical time with the ship<br />

sitting in Hong Kong and then off the port of Auckland. Ships<br />

are booked into ports, so if the ship misses that slot, it gets<br />

bumped to a casual spot.<br />

19 / #55 / sb<br />

Photo Credit:<br />

Craig Levers, CPL Media

“Our shipment sat in the Hauraki Gulf for a fortnight. We had<br />

to cancel the book tour, wait, stress, then scramble to get<br />

the books into stores prior to Christmas. Pre-Christmas sales<br />

account for 50% of print run sales normally. So Warren and<br />

I were stressed. But it’s sold faster than any of the other NZ<br />

Surf books. We only have 250 left, so we’ve sold through<br />

90% of the print run, which is probably the acid test of how<br />

good this book is.”<br />

Readers may remember Craig’s beautiful corner of the earth<br />

and the seaside village he calls home, Piha. The scenic<br />

black-sand beach on New Zealand’s North Island is praised<br />

for its consistently amazing waves and delightful community,<br />

which was why it was devastating for us to hear that Cyclone<br />

Gabrielle hit the place especially hard in February.<br />

Despite many people dealing with the uncertainty of losing<br />

their homes, it was lovely to hear from Craig that the<br />

community has banded together to help get everyone back<br />

on their feet.<br />

“Phew yeah Gabby got us good aye. There are so many<br />

homes that families won’t be able to return to. I feel for those<br />

families and friends both here at Piha and Muriwai, because<br />

they are in a whirlpool of not knowing what is going to happen<br />

and where they are going to live. I’ve got mates that have been<br />

red stickered, that means the house is too dangerous to return<br />

to, but they still have to pay the mortgage, rates, insurance<br />

and now rent.<br />

“The Piha community was largely left to its own to fare for itself<br />

for the first week after Gabby. Local surfers like Dunc’s Clarke,<br />

Willie and Amber Beggs, Will Bailey, Ants Piggins and a whole<br />

bunch more just got in there with their diggers and manpower<br />

and cleared the broken houses, roads, driveways, ditches.<br />

Without a second thought they volunteered time and mahi to<br />

help our neighbours. They are legends.<br />

“Things are settling now, the roads are nailed, only residents<br />

are allowed in and out of the west coast beach communities,<br />

and we are actually a gated community at this moment! The<br />

upside is we have this crazy window of just surfing with other<br />

locals. The vibe in the water is so good, I guess ‘cos the place<br />

is a bit broken, everyone has that shared feeling<br />

and experience.”<br />

No doubt Craig is going to continue chasing waves, pursuing<br />

his passion and have lots of fun while doing so. To support our<br />

good friend and his new book, NZ Surf Windows,<br />

visit www.photocpl.co.nz.<br />

"Local surfers like Dunc’s Clarke,<br />

Willie and Amber Beggs, Will<br />

Bailey, Ants Piggins and a whole<br />

bunch more just got in there with<br />

their diggers and manpower and<br />

cleared the broken houses, roads,<br />

driveways, ditches. Without a second<br />

thought they volunteered time and<br />

mahi to help our neighbours. They<br />

are legends."<br />

sb / #55 / 20

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We can explore once more.<br />

#52<br />

#53<br />

#51<br />

#54<br />

NEWS<br />

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smorgasboarder<br />

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2021<br />

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

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cool tunes blank pages<br />

dynamic duo<br />

And warm waves board Builders Directory<br />

New surf blank tech<br />

2022<br />

SURFmagazine<br />

email: outereye@gmail.com | phone: 02 6655 7007<br />


Surf travel is back.<br />

Top of the tree wayne winchester Bricks & mortals<br />

Wood Boards galore The art of restoration<br />

best surf shops guide<br />


world’s longest surf session<br />

Aussie legend Blake Johnson smashes the<br />

world record for the longest surf session.<br />

At 1am on the 16th of March, the 40-year-old the former<br />

surfing pro paddled out to Cronulla Beach in Sydney with a<br />

goal to conquer 40 hours straight surfing while raising money<br />

and awareness for mental health.<br />

Dehydration, sleep deprivation and sharks were just a few of<br />

the dangers involved in the Guinness World Record attempt,<br />

but Blake was cheered on every step of the way by family,<br />

friends and locals as he powered through the legendary surf<br />

and pushed his body to its limits.<br />

Exhausted but beaming, Blake emerged from the waves<br />

at 7:11am on the 17th of March and told the crowd that he<br />

was feeling “pretty cooked” after spending 30 hours and 11<br />

minutes in the water.<br />

He didn’t stop there though. After saying “Everyone<br />

deserves to feel awesome, everyone should take care of<br />

themselves”, Blake turned back towards the surf and told<br />

the crowd, “I said I’d do 40 hours!”<br />

The amazing human ended up catching more than 500<br />

waves, and successfully completed the goal he set for<br />

himself all in the name of raising money and awareness<br />

for mental health. At the time of writing, he has raised over<br />

$400,000 for the Chumpy Pullin Foundation and Youth<br />

Mental Health. The cause is something close to his heart, as<br />

this year marks 10 years since losing his father to suicide.<br />

Blake said he conquered the surf for his father and three of<br />

his friends who sadly lost their mental health battles.<br />

“I push myself to the limits with my adventures to prove to<br />

myself that I’m worthy and can get through hard times, and<br />

that’s when my lessons are learnt.”<br />

To show some support to the legendary Blake and his<br />

equally legendary cause, visit worldslongestsurf.com.<br />

Good on you Blakey!<br />

Great Coffee + Speciality teas + Gourmet food + Fresh juices<br />

Smoothies + Art + Awesome Vibe + Surfing stories + The floor<br />

is worth reading.<br />

101 Sunpatch Parade, Tomakin NSW<br />

Business for sale<br />

Contact peter 0417 727 857<br />

peter@kpsgroup.com.au<br />

Brunswick Surf<br />

1/12 The Terrace,<br />

Brunswick Heads NSW<br />

p: 02 6685 1283<br />

brunswicksurf.com.au<br />

21 / #55 / sb

Shaping Brews<br />

&<br />

crafting boards<br />

Inspired by the foam of the sea and the rich surfing culture of the<br />

Northern Beaches in New South Wales, the lovechild of craft beer<br />

and surf, SurfCraft Brewing Co, have released their first beers –<br />

The Pintail Lager and the Vee Bottom Session Ale.<br />

Going hand-in-hand with the brewery’s motto, ‘shaping brews<br />

and crafting boards’, the beers pay homage to the founders of the<br />

Australian surfing industry who surely need no introduction – the<br />

Brookvale Six.<br />

In the 1950’s, Barry Bennett, Gordan Woods, Bill Wallace, Scott<br />

Dillon, Greg McDonagh and Denny Keogh, also known as the<br />

Brookvale Six, supplied the entirety of Australia with balsa wood<br />

and foam surfboards from their home in Brookvale, where they<br />

took turns in turning on a keg of beer every Friday.<br />

Founder of SurfCraft Brewing Co, Nathan Gazzard, said craft beer,<br />

surfing and the history of the Brookvale Six inspired him to launch<br />

the craft beer brand on August 21 2022, along with cans of his<br />

Pintail Lager and Vee Bottom Session Ale.<br />

“These men pioneered the surfboard manufacturing industry in<br />

Australia and helped transform how surfing was shaped and I am<br />

thrilled to share their story so we can revere, have a beer, admire,<br />

respect and never forget them or our craft.”<br />

The Pintail Lager is a result of a collaboration with one of the<br />

Brookvale Six and one of the largest surfboard manufacturers in<br />

Australia, Bennet Surfboards. The design of the Pintail Lager is<br />

inspired by old-school surf branding and culture, and the beer itself<br />

is easy, crisp and sessionable with a slight unique twist, designed<br />

in collaboration with Dad & Dave’s Brewery and the Bennett’s.<br />

The Vee Bottom Session Ale is the next in the SurfCraft series<br />

and is inspired by the founder of Keyo Surfboards, Denny Keogh,<br />

who was an unheralded leader of the shortboard revolution of<br />

the ‘60s. It was in the Keyo Factory that the game changing Vee<br />

Bottom came to life, giving surfers the shape they needed to carve<br />

a tighter, shorter arc on the wave and<br />

creating a new movement.<br />

surfcraftbrewing.com<br />

SurfCraft is planning on launching a core<br />

range of six beers, which will continue to<br />

be shaped and crafted from the factories<br />

where Australian surfing was born.<br />

sb / #55 / 22

One of<br />

the greats<br />

As one of Australia’s iconic Brookvale Six, Keyo<br />

is steeped in Australian surf history and has<br />

always acted as the common thread between the<br />

surf, the craft and the community.<br />

You don’t end up as one of the founders of the<br />

modern Australian surf industry without being one<br />

of its pioneering brands and a major player in the<br />

shortboard revolution.<br />

For surf brand Keyo, it all started in the Northern<br />

Beaches of Sydney with the legendary Denny Keogh<br />

and his openness to innovate. In 1957, a young Denny<br />

started shaping surfboards from a garage, and in<br />

1959 officially opened the Keyo Surfboard factory and<br />

retail store in Brookvale, which would soon become<br />

Australia’s surfboard manufacturing centre.<br />

The first surfboard shaper that was brought in to<br />

help out Denny was none other than Midget Farrelly,<br />

winner of the 1963 Makaha international. In fact,<br />

Denny even shaped the board that Midget rode to<br />

victory in the first World Surfing Championships held<br />

at Manly Beach in 1964.<br />

Bob McTavish also joined Keyo in 1967 where he<br />

shaped his Vee bottoms and wide-backed nine<br />

footers, which in part kicked off the shortboard<br />

revolution. Bob even designed the ‘Keyo Plastic<br />

Machine’ vee bottom models that ended up selling at<br />

the astonishing rate of 70 per week.<br />

During the early days, other high-profile shapers and<br />

surfing royalty that worked with Keyo consisted of<br />

Kevin Platt, Neil Purchase, Geoff McCoy, Col Smith,<br />

Phil Cooper and Mickey Mac. In 1968 Nat<br />

Young also came on board and produced<br />

another popular model, the Tracker.<br />

Later that year, sadly the Keyo factory<br />

burnt to the ground but was quickly<br />

re-opened in the premises right behind<br />

the gutted factory.<br />

In 1972, things were fast-changing, and<br />

Denny acquired the Hobie Cat franchise<br />

to begin building catamarans. This meant<br />

that, by 1974, the production of Keyo<br />

surfboards stopped, giving way to the high<br />

demand of the popular Hobie Cat.<br />

Fast-forward to the mid 90's and a young<br />

Johnny Gill married Denny's daughter,<br />

Vanessa, and continued the legacy of<br />

producing Keyo boards. The iconic name<br />

in surfboard manufacturing has thrived<br />

through many long and competitive<br />

years in the surf industry by consistently<br />

embracing production technology, designing<br />

with ingenuity and perfecting quality through<br />

craftsmanship. To this day, the brand is still family<br />

run and owned by Johnny and Vanessa.<br />

Now based in Kincumber on the Central Coast of<br />

New South Wales, Keyo creates all kinds of stylish<br />

surfing craft and cloth on an international scale,<br />

complete with beachy tints and down-to-earth styles.<br />

As one of the greats, you can really tell when you<br />

pick up a Keyo board that it has been passed down<br />

through many talented hands and perfected over the<br />

course of Australia’s rich surfing history.<br />

keyointernational.com<br />

23 / #55 / sb

news<br />

A new<br />

lease on<br />

life<br />

oceanfoil<br />

Last time we caught up with<br />

surfboard shaping legend Keith<br />

Robinson, he was receiving orders<br />

in droves for his life-changing<br />

Oceanfoils's Gut Sliders. Now, we<br />

explore just how special these boards<br />

really are.<br />

Readers may remember the 74-year-old surfer and<br />

shaper from our last editions as the man eliminating the<br />

heartbreak of retiring from the ocean. Based in Nambucca<br />

Valley, Keith has spent the last couple of years innovating<br />

the original Gut Slider – a board that you can lie on that<br />

allows the rider to paddle into waves easily and perform<br />

cutbacks just as you would with a regular surfboard.<br />

Keith’s Gut Sliders have breathed new life into so many of<br />

his customers who have had to say goodbye to traditional<br />

surfing due to age or injury. Few have felt as joyful to be<br />

back among the waves as 65-year-old Irma Rainford, who<br />

is zipping through sets again thanks to her Gut Slider she<br />

has lovingly nicknamed ‘Candy’. Irma said she used to<br />

surf when she was in her twenties before she moved to<br />

South Australia.<br />

“When I came back to New South Wales I decided to get<br />

back in the water and surf, which was a bit like riding a<br />

bike really, but in my age it definitely became harder to<br />

push up. I ran into Keith, and he told me about these new<br />

boards he’s been making, so I got him to make me one<br />

and I just love it – it’s fabulous.<br />

“It’s such an<br />

enjoyable way<br />

to surf, because<br />

when you are<br />

lying down on<br />

the board it<br />

gives you a new<br />

perspective on<br />

the beauty of a<br />

wave...<br />

sb / #55 / 24

“I’ve used the board for about six weeks<br />

now. My health has improved heaps since<br />

I’ve been using it, because it’s just so good<br />

for you. I never believed I’d ever be back in<br />

the water after 40 years, because when you<br />

get older, balancing is just that hard. But<br />

Candy has been so wonderful – it’s made all<br />

of my dreams come true and has given me a<br />

new lease on life.<br />

“It takes a special sort of board design to<br />

give me what I need to enjoy riding waves,<br />

and Keith’s managed to achieve that. He<br />

made me my first board when I was 23, so<br />

it’s a little bit special. He’s come a long way<br />

since then.<br />

“When I was younger, there weren’t many<br />

female surfers, and the blokes would often<br />

give us a hard time. But today is so different,<br />

the people out there are really lovely and<br />

polite, and they just want to talk to you. It’s<br />

so nice seeing all the young girls surfing out<br />

there and being able to surf myself.”<br />

Irma is one in a long list of people<br />

embracing the waves again with Oceanfoil's<br />

Gut Sliders. Keith said the boards remain<br />

in very high demand, even internationally,<br />

so he is still enlisting the help of Oke<br />

Surfboards in Victoria so he can concentrate<br />

on the orders placed in New South Wales<br />

and Queensland.<br />

“It’s continuing to go crazy, so I am<br />

grateful for their help. I still go down to Oke<br />

Surfboards occasionally and spend a couple<br />

of weeks to help them shape and make any<br />

little changes to the board design.<br />

“Surfing is why I make surfboards. It’s<br />

always been about the surfing lifestyle from<br />

day one. So I make sure I don’t take on any<br />

more then I can handle, because otherwise<br />

the quality suffers. If I try to push myself<br />

above my comfort zone, then something is<br />

going to go wrong.<br />

“I spend a good 15 hours on a surfboard,<br />

because I try to cater to any colour and<br />

design the customer wants. I think that<br />

makes it way more valuable than any mass<br />

production board that can be churned out<br />

in six hours. The process has always been<br />

pretty personal all the way down the line.”<br />

Since Keith’s very first board he created<br />

for a mate of his, the design of the Gut<br />

Sliders has continued to improve with every<br />

passing day. In addition to an enhanced fin<br />

shape, the boards are a lot tighter and more<br />

manoeuvrable than they were originally.<br />

Keith said he is continuously tweaking the<br />

design and handcrafting it to suit the needs<br />

of every customer.<br />

“I always take into consideration how old<br />

the customer is, how long they’ve been<br />

surfing and where they surf. I put all of that<br />

information together and make those subtle<br />

changes as I am shaping the board because<br />

I’ve always been a custom surfboard<br />

shaper. I don’t like making craploads of<br />

boards to chuck in a rack to sell. That<br />

doesn’t ring my bell.<br />

“I’ve surfed just about everywhere in<br />

Australia that there’s waves, so that makes<br />

it easy for me to customise because I know<br />

the kind of waves they’ll be surfing. It’s<br />

not just knowing their idiosyncrasies, its<br />

knowing the locations they surf.<br />

“The customisation of the boards is also<br />

thanks to Graham Smith. He’s just retired<br />

but is just as much a part of this as I am and<br />

actually came up with the name Gut Slider. I<br />

worked with him for over 20 years, and he’s<br />

just a genius and so unbelievable with his<br />

precision and detail. I’d want changes and<br />

say it in the most layman way possible and<br />

he was able to translate it into engineering<br />

terms and pull it off perfectly.”<br />

It’s not hard to see why Keith’s Gut Sliders<br />

have become so popular. Not only do<br />

the boards give people a second chance<br />

at doing something they love, but also a<br />

completely new surfing experience that<br />

sounds as whimsical as it is fun. Keith said<br />

the surfboards give a similar experience to<br />

the oldest form of surfing there is, but with a<br />

modern twist.<br />

“It’s such an enjoyable way to surf, because<br />

when you are lying down on the board it<br />

gives you a new perspective on the beauty<br />

of a wave. You also get to identify the<br />

energy pockets when normally you don’t<br />

see much of that standing up.<br />

“When people get over the ego nonsense of<br />

laying down on a surfboard, they realise how<br />

much fun and lifechanging it really is. It’s so<br />

rewarding to see that so many people’s lives<br />

are improving because of the Gut Sliders.”<br />

“I spend a good<br />

15 hours on<br />

a surfboard,<br />

because I try<br />

to cater to any<br />

colour and<br />

design the<br />

customer wants.<br />

I think that<br />

makes it way<br />

more valuable<br />

than any mass<br />

production<br />

board...<br />

25 / #55 / sb<br />

Keith and Oceanfoil Surfboards<br />

can be reached by phone<br />

0434 211 779

NEWS<br />

A sustainable<br />

sesh<br />

In our last edition we explored wooden surfboards and how appealing<br />

they are – not just from the natural patterns of their timber, but also<br />

from their materials being more environmentally friendly than their<br />

alternatives.<br />

Sustainably crafted boards really do make you feel good, so we<br />

thought it would be worthwhile noting a collection of people out there<br />

that certify and measure the environmental impacts of surfboards<br />

being made.<br />

The following organisations help those looking for a more sustainable,<br />

feel-good surfing sesh and provide direct ways for surfboard shapers,<br />

businesses and individuals to measure and reduce their carbon<br />

footprint – which can be a very confusing process without a guiding<br />

hand.<br />

The ECOBOARD Project<br />

For surfers wanting help choosing a sustainably made surfboard,<br />

or shapers wanting a way to showcase the eco-friendliness of their<br />

products, The ECOBOARD Project is one way to go. When a surfboard<br />

has the verified ECOBOARD label, the board is considered by the<br />

company to have a reduced carbon footprint, renewable or recycled<br />

material inputs or reduced toxicity and waste during manufacturing.<br />

Depending on qualifying materials and criteria, an ECOBOARD<br />

certification can be either Level One or Gold Level.<br />

ecoboard.sustainablesurf.org<br />

Wavechanger<br />

Based in Australia, Wavechanger commits ongoing research,<br />

collaborations and innovation in the hopes to create a carbon-neutral<br />

surf industry that embraces sustainable solutions. After three years of<br />

building an environmental surf movement, the organisation has joined<br />

forces with Surfers for Climate and now provides memberships in<br />

addition to a new website with heaps of resources for those curious.<br />

Recently, Wavechanger has collaborated on a new report called ‘The<br />

Carbon Cost of Surfboards’ which is available on their website and<br />

provides some pretty interesting facts on the environmental impact of<br />

the surfing industry.<br />

www.wavechanger.org<br />

Carbonhalo<br />

Carbonhalo is another useful Australian organisation that allows<br />

individuals and businesses to take simple and affordable climate action<br />

– like balancing out unavoidable emissions by planting trees, providing<br />

marketing toolkits to spread sustainable efforts (without being<br />

obnoxious) and giving helpful advice on living with low emissions.<br />

The organisation’s website even offers a quick, free calculator that<br />

estimates your business and personal carbon emissions. It’s mindboggling<br />

how many emissions are produced from the simple act of<br />

driving a tiny car down to the beach.<br />

Carbonhalo even provided the data for Wavechanger’s ‘The Carbon<br />

Cost of Surfboards’ project – so you know its number one for all those<br />

complicated carbon calculations that are opening the eyes of so many<br />

people and inspiring them to live and surf more sustainably.<br />

www.carbonhalo.com<br />

sb / #55 / 26

STUFF<br />




OPEN<br />

7 DAYS<br />

soft<br />

serve<br />

We review the Soft<br />

Surf Helmet (SSH) by DMC Fins.<br />

When this product arrived at our office we knew just<br />

the man for the job, our mate Pat Quirk, aka Helmet.<br />

Not only does he don a Gath helmet no matter the<br />

condition, he recently took up shooting and is now<br />

regularly seen wearing camo. Alas, we were too close<br />

to our print deadline so there no time to post it across<br />

the Tasman for review. We had to find a new gear<br />

tester despite some saying they would rather sustain<br />

a brain injury. We don’t know what they’re on about.<br />

You merely look like a rugby player who’s got lost on<br />

their way to the scrum.<br />

The SSH gives good protection for those undertaking<br />

extreme sports like big wave surfing or power foiling<br />

(read our story a little further on). Not only that, it<br />

keeps your head warm (shout out to our southern Oz<br />

and Kiwi readers), protects the ears, keeps the sun off<br />

your neck and the flip peak gives you some protection<br />

from the sun. We’ve even insisted our sales rep Simon<br />

dons it in the office having run into the corner of our<br />

front door, head first, on more than one occasion. So<br />

many uses.<br />

Where to buy: dmcfins.com.au<br />

Price: $99<br />


PH: (08) 8386 0404<br />

surfer_Tahlia Hirst<br />

photo_@lennylester<br />

Specialising in all<br />

fibreglass supplies<br />

and accessories..<br />




Sunshine Coast, QLD<br />

P 07 5493 9974<br />

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

BE OUR<br />






Custom Shortboards, Hybrid, Fishes, Mals and Logs<br />

Factory 3/6 Kerta Rd, Kincumber NSW 2251 | m: 0415 577 085<br />



gear tester: pat quirke, AKA 'helmet'<br />

angleseasurfcentre.com.au<br />

Ph: 0352631530 @anglesea_surf_centre<br />

111 Great Ocean Road, Anglesea VIC 3230<br />

27 / #55 / sb

Win!<br />

Surf is free,<br />

and so is<br />

this quiver.<br />

Here at Smorgasboarder we don’t believe in<br />

doing things by halves. The very definition of a<br />

smorgasboarder is someone who rides all kinds of<br />

surf craft.<br />

So why would we give away one surfboard? Giving<br />

away one measly surfboard goes against the grain<br />

of smorgasboarding and everything we are, so we’re<br />

going one better, two better in fact and giving our<br />

readers the chance to win a quiver. That’s right,<br />

three boards - a fish, a shortboard and a gun and it’s<br />

all thanks to Stephen Halpin of Shapes by Steve O.<br />

sb / #55 / 28

1.<br />

2.<br />

So how do you enter?<br />

This is a game of chance. All you need to do is two<br />

things to be in with a chance to win:<br />

Signup to the<br />

Smorgasboarder newsletter.<br />

Go to our website smorgasboarder.com.au and click<br />

on the Newsletter Sign Me Up link and enter your<br />

email details<br />

Go to our Smorgasboarder<br />

Instagram page:<br />

a. Follow our Smorgasboarder Instagram page<br />

b. Like the WIN A QUIVER COMP post<br />

c. Share it on your Instagram page<br />

d. Tag Smorgasboarder on your shared post<br />

It’s that simple.<br />

Quiver<br />

The boards you are in the running to win are from<br />

Stephen’s HempTech range – super lightweight, strong<br />

and as eco-friendly as you can get.<br />

GHOST<br />

RACKS<br />

COMP<br />

Beautiful boards require racks that don’t detract from<br />

the presentation. You want to see the boards not what’s<br />

supporting them and that is why Ghost Racks created their<br />

near transparent, super strong acrylic rack system. The appeal<br />

is undeniable and the reason why the racks have taken the<br />

world by storm.<br />

The good folks at Ghost Racks now make every kind of<br />

rack imaginable from surfboard racks to skateboard racks,<br />

corner racks, horizontal, vertical, multi-angle, free standing<br />

and overhead options … you name it they have it. Better yet,<br />

Ghost Racks cater for a diverse array of board shapes and fin<br />

setups too, so your board doesn't get jeopardised. We love<br />

them so much at Smorgasboarder we are offering up a set of<br />

Ghost Racks for one lucky reader in every edition.<br />

Fish: 5’10” x 22 ½ x 2 ½” fish<br />

Shortboard: 6’0” x 19 ¼ x 2 3/8”<br />

Gin: 7’0” x 21 x 2 ½”<br />

how to enter<br />

29 / #55 / sb<br />

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

We’ll pick a winner on Wednesday 31st May 2023 so you<br />

have plenty of time to enter. We will share a link in our<br />

Smorgasboarder Instagram bio to announce the winner<br />

along with an update to our WIN A QUIVER COMP post.<br />

This competition is open to our wonderful Smorgasboarder<br />

readers throughout Australia and New Zealand, and it will be<br />

the winner’s responsibility to collect their prize from Shapes<br />

by Steve O at Shed 30, 133 Quanda Road, Coolum, QLD.<br />

Shapes by Steve o<br />

Hemp Tech is a new eco-friendly board range created by<br />

Stephen Haplin, the founder of Shapes by Steve O based<br />

in Coolum Beach on the Sunshine Coast. As someone with<br />

a penchant for hydrodynamics and sustainable shaping<br />

methods, Stephen uses recycled wood, sustainably grown<br />

timber and other eco-friendly materials wherever possible to<br />

create his innovative selection of boards.<br />

This is a game of chance.<br />

Go to our Smorgasboarder<br />

Instagram page:<br />

a. Follow our Smorgasboarder Instagram page<br />

b. Like the GHOST RACKS COMP post<br />

c. Share it on your Instagram page<br />

d. Tag Smorgasboarder and Ghost Racks on your<br />

shared post<br />

It’s that simple.<br />

Things you need to know…<br />

We’ll pick a winner on Wednesday 31st May 2023, so<br />

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

We will announce the winner on our Instagram via an<br />

update to our GHOST RACKS COMP post.<br />

This competition is open to Smorgasboarder readers<br />

worldwide. The prize will be your choice of either a<br />

vertical or horizontal wall rack from the Ghost Racks<br />

surf range. We will even post the racks to you at their<br />

expense! This is a game of chance.

STUFF<br />

give me a boost<br />

Boost Fin Review<br />

words: dave swan<br />

As the years edge on, I undeniably get slower. My kids have<br />

all but passed me in terms of speed. First it was sprinting and<br />

then long distance running and next it was snowboarding…<br />

the list goes on. The only thing I have managed to maintain the<br />

edge over them is swimming and surf paddle power, although<br />

it is a very tenuous and disputable grip. In short, my days<br />

are numbered.<br />

So, when this little product arrived at the office, I was more<br />

than keen to not only try it out, but secretly attach it to a board<br />

and somehow get it in the water without my kids seeing it.<br />

There was a reason for my secrecy.<br />

On the day in question, acting very nonchalant, I made sure<br />

to have the fin facing the other direction as we made our way<br />

to the beach so they could not see it. I hadn’t told them about<br />

the Boost Fin. Amazingly, I managed to pull the feat off. The<br />

look on their faces as I pulled away was priceless, their little<br />

arms paddling as fast as they can, all whilst trying to figure out<br />

how I was trouncing them and nearly out the back while they<br />

were still battling the whitewash.<br />

So, to answer the first question everyone has asked me since,<br />

does it work? Yep, it definitely works. And how fast does it<br />

go? Like I said, I left my kids in their<br />

late teens and early twenties<br />

behind in my wake. How<br />

fast specifically? The Boost<br />

Fin can reportedly reach a<br />

maximum<br />

speed of<br />

17 kilometres per hour. If you consider world class elite 50m<br />

swimmers can reach speeds of 1.655 metres per second, and<br />

if you extrapolate that out to an hour (if it was possible to<br />

maintain that speed for an hour, which it is not) the speed<br />

clocked would be just shy of 6 kilometres per hour. So<br />

basically, you’re paddling 3 times faster than Ian Thorpe.<br />

The glassier the conditions the more effective the Boost Fin<br />

is. In whitewash it takes a little time to get going but with that<br />

said, you do notice it. Many people would know of those days<br />

when your arms are tired and you have just come up from a<br />

duck dive, the water is turbulent, and it takes a little time to<br />

get going. Well, the Boost Fin speeds up that ‘getting going’.<br />

It really is a paddle assist rather than a complete paddle<br />

replacement system if that makes sense. If you just lay on<br />

your board, you’re not really going to get moving at any great<br />

speed but with the addition of your own strokes, you feel the<br />

pace of your paddle pick up.<br />

We tried it on a couple of boards from a mid-length through<br />

to a longboard and the bigger the board, the greater effect.<br />

The added propulsion assists with your glide. You simply turn<br />

the power on and off via a small device resembling a watch<br />

on your wrist.<br />

Aside from the added paddle power you do notice it once on a<br />

wave. On the first day of testing, the waves were quite full and<br />

the midlength I was riding would have not only struggled to<br />

get on the waves, it would have struggled to stay on. With the<br />

Boost Fin, I got on the waves quite easily and stayed on, riding<br />

the waves all the way to the beach. On the second testing<br />

day, we choose a longboard and here you noticed its effect<br />

even more on a wave, particularly on a<br />

clean face. The board really did take<br />

off and literally motored across the<br />

face of the wave, linking up sections<br />

usually beyond reach.<br />

sb / #55 / 30

STUFF<br />



Power adaptor: You simply plug in your fin via a<br />

custom 100-240V wall charger and it takes about 2<br />

hours to fully charge the battery. Once installed, you<br />

can even charge the fin on your board.<br />

Installation: Is super simple. You fasten a little insert<br />

into your chosen fin system and then attach the<br />

Boost Fin to that. The whole set up takes less than<br />

5 minutes.<br />

Battery: Lasts for around an 1.5 hour surf session<br />

Weight: It’s just shy of 1kg (0.86kg) so it definitely<br />

adds some weight but you’re not exactly going to be<br />

putting this on your high performance shortboard.<br />

Big wave gun, yep. Longboard, egg, mid-length and<br />

SUP. We imagine over time the weight of the fin will<br />

reduce with advancements in technology, which will<br />

only add to its appeal.<br />

Leash: There’s an additional leash to attach to<br />

your fin to safeguard it should it fall off from being<br />

incorrectly installed. This is available as an optional<br />

extra accessory.<br />

Fin adaptor: The Boost Fin has a range of adapters<br />

to suit almost any surfboard or paddleboard. The<br />

longboard adapter is supplied by default in the<br />

package. However, they have adapters for pretty<br />

much all of the fin box systems from FCS, FCS 2,<br />

Futures, Futures (Side Fin), NSP FCS, Soft Top, Flip<br />

Lock, Wayler, Slide-in and Stick-on Fin Box.<br />

Motor: 800-watt<br />

Verdict: It is going to most assist those who perhaps<br />

are recovering from an injury such as a shoulder<br />

reconstruction or like myself who are getting on in<br />

their years and whose paddle power is not what it<br />

was. It would also be beneficial to those surfing more<br />

remote breaks that entail a kilometre or twos paddle<br />

to get to.<br />

Where to buy: Ben Buckler Boards has it here in<br />

Australia so you can skip the long international wait<br />

times and order through them for same day despatch.<br />

benbucklerboards.com.au<br />

Price: $749

STUFF<br />


Roark’s Adventure Atlas<br />

By Roark, Bleu Flemister (editor), Chris Burkard (photographer),<br />

Dylan Gordon (photographer) and Jeff Johnson (photographer).<br />

words: amber o’dell<br />

As an unconventional photographic guidebook<br />

about surfing, skating, riding and climbing around<br />

unexpected destinations of the world, Roaming:<br />

Roark’s Adventure Atlas was just destined to come<br />

into Smorgasboarder’s peripheral vision.<br />

Along with photography that captures the unique<br />

beauty of several unexpected places around<br />

the world, the book features tips, itineraries and<br />

testimonies through the lens of surfers, climbers,<br />

skaters and others that can’t help but seek a little bit<br />

of danger on their holidays.<br />

Far from the usual, oversaturated destinations talked<br />

about in droves, Roaming: Roark’s Adventure Atlas<br />

makes for a fascinating read by exploring the road<br />

less travelled in 16 global locations. Cliff-jumping in<br />

Vietnam, rock climbing in Argentina, motorcycling<br />

in Nepal and surfing in wild places such as Iceland<br />

and the Falkland Islands are just a few documented<br />

experiences that make the book such a fun read.<br />

It’s definitely something to hold onto for anyone<br />

interested in captivating travel tales, unique itinerates<br />

across the world and simply stunning photography.<br />

Just be careful when reading, because we’ve heard<br />

that you’ll end up dropping everything and packing<br />

your bags as soon as you turn the last page.<br />

Roark<br />

Naturally, Roaming: Roark’s Adventure Atlas led us<br />

to exploring its author, Roark, a modern outdoor<br />

apparel brand based in California that explores<br />

the lifestyle of adventuring while also tying stories<br />

of surfing, skating and traveling to its products.<br />

Obviously, the company was way too cool for us not<br />

to share.<br />

Roark was originally created in 2010 after one of its<br />

founders, Ryan Hitzel, grew tired of the commercial<br />

surfing and outdoor industries being boring,<br />

formulaic and lacking in the art of storytelling. Ryan<br />

wanted to explore the enriching moments that come<br />

with adventuring and immersing yourself in other<br />

cultures through retail, and so, Roark was born.<br />

The brand itself is wrapped in a story about the<br />

chase for Roark, a bar-brawling adventurer that<br />

can be found in different parts of the world. His<br />

stories are woven through every avenue of the Roark<br />

business, from their clothing to their books, journals<br />

and bi-annual ‘Artifacts’ magazines.<br />

Each year the company produces two collections<br />

inspired by the culture and climate of Roark’s everchanging<br />

destination. The collections include pieces<br />

of clothing, luggage, trinkets and gear – also known<br />

as the ‘artifacts of adventure’.<br />

Along with their aesthetically pleasing website, Roark<br />

has fashion photography we can also appreciate,<br />

with their products commonly being draped over<br />

palm trees by the beach and soaked in salt water<br />

after a surf – as all good clothing should be.<br />

The brand certainly deserves to be commended for<br />

its youthful and down-to-earth approach to travel,<br />

and its simply genius idea to capture people’s<br />

imaginations and adventurous spirit with clothing<br />

that also acts as an empowering message to explore<br />

the road less travelled.<br />

au.roark.com<br />

sb / #55 / 34

STUFF<br />

gaining<br />

traction<br />

words: dave swan<br />

It’s the first time I have tested the Versa Traction grip and what<br />

I would have to say quite plainly is, I like it a lot.<br />

In terms of your board stance and grip, I noticed absolutely<br />

no difference whatsoever underfoot to wax. Paddling out with<br />

a wetshirt was perhaps a little different to wax. I found myself<br />

shifting a little more but nothing major and believe with a<br />

wetsuit this would be next to nothing.<br />

It did initially take a bit of bark of my knees because it is like<br />

a super soft sandpaper so to speak but interestingly after I<br />

surfed the board a few times, I didn’t have any further issues.<br />

I do tend to grip the board with my knees when I paddle so<br />

perhaps I eased off my ‘knee gripping’ a little or my skin just<br />

toughened up.<br />

The biggest difference I noticed was whilst my son was busily<br />

waxing up his board, I was ready to go. Furthermore, slipping<br />

it in and out of the board bag was as easy as. No fuss, no<br />

expense and no need to scrape off old wax.<br />

Most importantly, it keeps a board like this in absolute pristine<br />

condition. Indeed, you would have to look very, very closely to<br />

try and see the Versa Traction grip on this board. Over 20,000<br />

kits sold worldwide speak volumes as to the popularity of it.<br />

Verdict: In all honesty, a big thumbs up. I am a fan. I love<br />

it and if I was buying a board like this, I would certainly be<br />

getting Versa Traction grip put on it.<br />

Cost: For a board like this you<br />

are up for around $100<br />

Where to buy:<br />

balsawoodsurfboardsriley.com<br />

35 / #55 / sb

photo: Raglan Longboards

Across the ditch<br />

In this edition our very own Phoebe Swan does a little road tripping around the North Island<br />

and Jase John from Queenstown in the South Island gives us a rundown on his latest trip<br />

to Japan chasing Japow. You will see Jase scored big. To kick things off with our Across<br />

the Ditch section, we thought we would share a little magic from Raglan and why New<br />

Zealand is aptly named The Land of the Long Lefts.

andom<br />

ales from<br />

he road<br />

raglan<br />

words: phoebe swan<br />

This was my first time to<br />

the North Island, having<br />

visited the South Island<br />

with my family back in 2014<br />

when I was twelve. Back<br />

then I wasn’t as passionate<br />

surfer as I am now. When<br />

dad (Dave Swan) took to the<br />

Dunedin breaks in the middle<br />

of winter with the outside<br />

temps around 1 degrees and<br />

the water about 8-9 degrees,<br />

I wasn’t having any of it,<br />

but things have changed. I<br />

absolutely love my surfing<br />

now. When the opportunity<br />

finally came to visit my best<br />

friend Sophia (a Kiwi) who<br />

returned home to attend uni,<br />

and who I hadn’t seen since<br />

the start of Covid, I was very<br />

keen. I was confident I would<br />

get the chance to surf during<br />

my stay, in fact I was going to<br />

make certain of it.<br />

Dad always raves about<br />

New Zealand, about how<br />

different the North Island<br />

is to the South Island and of<br />

course, how good the surf is,<br />

and how down-to-earth all<br />

the surfboard shapers are. I<br />

found myself eager to follow<br />

in his footsteps and amazingly<br />

I think I pretty much did.<br />

Here’s a little rundown on my<br />

recent trip.<br />

MUST DO NO 1<br />

I was told I must visit Roger Hall at Surfline Custom<br />

Surfboards. I don’t know how many times dad told<br />

me how incredible his boards are. “True works of<br />

art”, he said and how the day he rode Hot Curls<br />

with Roger and then drank beers until the early<br />

hours of the morning at McLeods’s Pizza Barn &<br />

Brewery in Ruakaka was, “one of the best days of<br />

my life”.<br />

Well, unfortunately Roger wasn’t there when I<br />

visited, he was off on holidays testing his boards,<br />

but I did manage to catch up with Reece who<br />

does all the artwork on the boards, a talented<br />

artist himself. Reece was just incredible, so<br />

accommodating and happy to walk me through<br />

the workshop. And I can conclude, dad was right,<br />

Roger’s boards are amazing and his latest iteration<br />

of the Hot Curl out-of-this-world. Hopefully next<br />

time I get a chance to test one.<br />

MUST DO NO 2<br />

Surf the Mount, Mount Manganui that is. Thanks to<br />

Sophia’s housemate Fran and good friend Jai I got<br />

the opportunity to surf this place and I just have to<br />

say how special it is. The water was so crystal clear<br />

and we managed to get in some fun, mellow waves.<br />


Thanks to the wonderful Fran, who’s driven me<br />

everywhere with Sophia tied down with uni, we<br />

made a quick dash down to Pokohino Beach on the<br />

Coromandel Peninsula, not far from Whangamata.<br />

It is quite possibly the most beautiful beach I have<br />

ever been to.<br />

like father<br />

like daughter<br />

MUST DO 3<br />

Raglan, the epicentre of New Zealand’s famed long<br />

lefts as seen in movies like The Endless Summer.<br />

This is the ‘holy land’ and I so wanted to dip my<br />

toe in the waters here. My first stop was Mickey<br />

T’s (Mike Thomson) Raglan Longboards to grab a<br />

board for the next few days.<br />

Dad rang ahead and spoke with Mickey’s wife<br />

Sunny. A little while later I was greeted by both<br />

of them with the offer of a longboard and no<br />

acceptance of payment. “You’re family” was all<br />

Mickey replied. When I Facetimed dad later that day<br />

I think it brought a tear to his eye – the old softy he<br />

has become. “I haven’t seen them in 10 years and<br />

yet that is how they welcome you. I am so lucky to<br />

have met so many people like that during our days<br />

with Smorgasboarder. I love them” was all he could<br />

say again and again.<br />

New Zealand is like that. Time and time again you<br />

are taken aback by how friendly and welcoming<br />

they all are. I have been told so many times by my<br />

parents that is how Australia used to be. When and<br />

why did we lose this side of us?<br />


There were many other must dos on my list from<br />

dad but alas I couldn’t ‘do everything’.<br />

Hopefully I will be asked to return to<br />

visit the other corners of the North<br />

Island I have heard so much<br />

about like Gisborne, Taranaki,<br />

Wellington and of course<br />

Northland. I will be back.

Mount<br />

Maunganui<br />

sophia, phoebe,<br />

jess & fran<br />

hot curl<br />

Reece showing off some of<br />

his impressive artwork on<br />

another of Roger’s boards<br />

Pokohino Beach<br />

Mickey-T<br />

& Sunny<br />


Across the ditch<br />

JAPOW<br />

2023<br />

words: jase john<br />

With the weather forecast<br />

becoming ever more<br />

-<br />

threatening in Te Ika-a-MAui<br />

(North Island), the nervousness<br />

of a successful and timely<br />

Auckland exit to the ‘Land of<br />

the Rising Sun’, WAs looking<br />

more and more sketchy.<br />

With the stories of vehicles, then houses, then people<br />

washing away with the unprecedented rainfall across northern<br />

Aotearoa, the delays in departure and the fact we had been<br />

waiting over two years to rekindle our relationship with yuki in<br />

Nippon, soon paled into insignificance. The only positive from<br />

this natural disaster, was the anticipation of what impact these<br />

La Nina weather patterns might have on our quest for that<br />

bottomless Japan powder – if, or when, we did get there.<br />

With the initial delays to our 2023 NZSHRED Japow Tour being<br />

constantly brought into perspective as the internet delivered<br />

us image after shocking image of this destruction, our 787<br />

finally winged its way across the Pacific and closer to Narita<br />

airport. Our attention soon swung to the formalities of entering<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #55 / 40

one of the post-Covid world’s most restrictive and regimented<br />

countries. What started as days of delays and destruction, was<br />

now morphing into a seamless pathway of harmonious timing<br />

and faultless luck. As we pressed towards the mountains, even<br />

the charming taxi driver, who met us at 11pm at the railway<br />

station amid the ensuing blizzard, showed that unwavering<br />

smile and feverish offering of assistance that only the Japanese<br />

can emulate.<br />

We dropped our bags full of Jones, Nitro and Season demo<br />

boards, Oakley goggles, helmets and riding packs at our<br />

ryokan, and headed straight to a quintessential smoky late-night<br />

‘locals venue’, to meet the rest of the crew. As a bar by most<br />

standards, with that typical Japanese chic, you retrieve your<br />

tipple-of-choice, then pay at the bar for it to be opened, which<br />

is an absolute stella business regime, especially considering the<br />

size of the venue made any chance for the provision of service<br />

to their clientele about as easy to achieve as Aabhi fitting his<br />

huge 6’4” frame and 167cm Nitro Magnum within their four<br />

person gondolas. Inside the bar, Nick (US) and Grant (Scotland)<br />

were holding court and telling yarns of the last three days of<br />

riding we’d missed. Then there, in the corner, was Steve (U.K.),<br />

our quintessential Pom, and token ‘straight stander’ never sure<br />

‘where he was’ or ‘where he was headed’ and always expecting<br />

someone had it organised, but into everything just the same.<br />

The quaintness of this first snow village, was not lost on the<br />

newer members of our group. Nor, what it must take to carve<br />

a life in this environment with the thin, narrow streets, steep<br />

gradients and the constant trickle of Onsen water lapping at<br />

your snowboard boots. And, what about the yuki? How about<br />

that yuki! The next three days were filled with that constant<br />

English retort from seasoned NZSHRED snow tripper, Robbie,<br />

“Just extra-ordinary!!!”. Danny (Dunedin) was soon remembering<br />

why he’d frequented Japan some 10 years earlier, and equally<br />

asking himself, why he’d taken this long to return.<br />

The terrain variety of this upper mountain proved a brilliant<br />

playing field for the talent and experience across the group.<br />

Lines allowing individuals their necessary measure of trees<br />

(or not), dictated by experience or lactic acid build-up, were<br />

plentiful. However, by day four the itch of frequenting a different<br />

apres environment was requiring more than just a passing<br />

scratch. With a quarry of Asahi Dry and rice triangles, we<br />

negotiated the well-manicured highways and byways to land us<br />

in our next village. It was a destination of greater size, however<br />

still had streets numbering no more than fingers on our hands.<br />

We were again blessed with four ‘local’ resorts and another three<br />

within the region with the furthest being a mere 45 minute drive,<br />

even on a solid snow day.<br />

With group numbers swelling by the day, the Melbourne boys<br />

Hugh and Imran hit the ground running. Shortly after, Ange<br />

(Christchurch) and late trip member Rahul (Sydney) saw 2023<br />

NZSHRED Japow Tour reach 11 crew. Despite the idiosyncrasies<br />

of a manageable dining experience fast becoming more of a ‘fend<br />

for yourself’ objective, the snow fall and quality did not waiver<br />

and there was just metres of it. As the days passed, we ticked<br />

off ski field after ski field. Our 18 days of riding saw us gather a<br />

quarry of 9 different ski areas in three separate snow regions of<br />

Honshu and just one lone day of no snowfall within that.<br />

With snow conditions favourable on a daily basis, there was<br />

abundant opportunity to move the Oakley Flight Deck, Flight<br />

Tracker and Fall Line goggles around the group, as well as to try<br />

their new lens variations of Prizm Sage Gold, Prizm Rose Gold<br />

and Prizm Snow Garnet. With NZSHRED having pre-trip catered<br />

for a number of the group members snowboard requirements,<br />

a quarry of additional powder planks were generously passed<br />

among the team. Of specific mention, were the revamped camber<br />

2024 Jones Mind Expander (156cm), the historically ever-reliable<br />

2024 Nitro Squash (159cm) and the well-received 2024 Season<br />

Nexus (155cm). A further highlight of the demo gear was a set of<br />

the new, revolutionary Nidecker Supermatic quick-entry bindings.<br />

With no end to the yuki falling, our riding days were fast coming<br />

to an end as we arrived at our third and final mountain village.<br />

Differing from the other venues, by way of it being a purpose-built<br />

snow destination, we experienced our largest daily snowfall of<br />

the trip some 50 plus centimetres over the course of our riding<br />

day. After almost three weeks on our boards, and attention now<br />

turning to some lazy days touristing in the effervescent metropolis<br />

of Tokyo, we bulleted south by way of one of Japan’s most<br />

famous engineering achievements, the shinkansen.<br />

Stomachs filled of outstanding cuisine, broad smiles from<br />

rekindled snow interactions and bodies sufficiently tired and<br />

worn out, each group member returned home, satisfied with<br />

the playtime and fuelling a desire to look towards that next yuki<br />

chapter – So, to the 2024 NZSHRED Japow Tour.<br />

NZ SHRED<br />


Across the ditch<br />

Beachstreet<br />

Beachstreet Surf Shop - is a core surf shop, locally owned and<br />

operated, just up from Fitzroy Beach.<br />

We stock surfing products for all types of wave riding. Home to local<br />

brands Lost in the 60’s and Blacksand.<br />

Also offering trade in’s, ding repair, hire equipment and stand-up<br />

paddle and surf coaching.<br />

Beachstreet Surf Shop, it’s all about surfing!<br />

+64 6-758 0400<br />

chip@hotmail.co.nz<br />

Real Surf<br />

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

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

our new store just down the road at 5/56 Kingsford Smith St, Lyall<br />

Bay, Wellington.<br />

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

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

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

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

+64 4 387 8798<br />

www.realsurf.co.nz<br />

team@realsurf.co.nz<br />


NZ Board Building Supplies<br />

NZ Board Builder Supplies, is New Zealand’s only online specialist<br />

shapers supplier.<br />

Stocking a full range of Bennett PU and EPS blanks, known for their<br />

whiteness, small cell structure, consistent density, strength and<br />

lightness. We also have fibreglass cloth and tapes, polyester and<br />

epoxy resins, Shapers tools, DIY kits and installation equipment.<br />

Whether you’re a seasoned shaping veteran or a backyard expert, we<br />

have the tested, professional equipment to craft your own board.<br />

Buy online or visit us in store at Sadhana Surfboards, Christchurch.<br />

Shipping New Zealand Wide<br />

sadhanasurfboards.co.nz<br />

+64 03 3895611 sales@sadhanasurfboards.com




SHAPES<br />

New Zealand’s fi nest manufacturers of<br />

longboards, hybrids and classic surfboards.<br />

All boards are crafted on site at our Raglan<br />

premises, to the highest possible standards,<br />

using the fi nest materials available.<br />



257c Wainui Road, RD3, Raglan 3297<br />

(on the way to the beach)<br />

SHOP PHONE: +64 7 825 0544<br />

MICKEY T: 0274 460 396<br />

EMAIL: mickeytsurf@hotmail.com<br />


hayel<br />

balance<br />

words: amber o’dell<br />

photos: walkandseemedia<br />

You will often find Shay next to<br />

her blush longboard on the<br />

beach, smiling at sunset colours<br />

next to a bowl of quinoa oats and<br />

berries.<br />

We all work towards the bliss of a perfectly balanced<br />

lifestyle. For Shay, the daily chase of finding the key balance<br />

of health and happiness has never stopped, and she<br />

comes closer to reaching it every day. As a lover of life,<br />

health and the surf, she carries with her a buoyant spirit that<br />

is contagious enough to lighten any moment, which is why<br />

we humble Smorgasboarders were so lucky to have a surf<br />

and a chat with her.<br />

Many may recognise Shay and her bright smile from<br />

Australian Survivor’s 2022 season, Blood Vs. Water, where<br />

her fitness and inner strength earned her runner-up in what<br />

was considered the most ruthless season to date.<br />

As a surfer, yoga instructor, biomedical student, dancer and<br />

organiser of retreats, Shay’s lifestyle is anything but bland.<br />

Constantly chasing health and happiness, her enthusiasm<br />

has taken her across the world to her current home in the<br />

Sunshine Coast. Here, her lifestyle is so full it’s a wonder<br />

how she fuels her mind and body to be so physically and<br />

mentally active – surely there isn’t that many hours in a day.<br />

Shay proved to us there actually is if you put your<br />

mind to it, and said her daily routine is usually filled<br />

with study, yoga, running, work, surfing and meetings<br />

from sunrise to sunset.<br />

“I’ll usually do a lot of my work from uni, so I try to split<br />

my day up. I’ll surf in the morning, go to uni, have two<br />

hours in the lab and then I’ll do two hours of personal<br />

business for my retreats or whatever else. I might go<br />

for a run, get back to work and then maybe go for a<br />

sunset swim or walk. Sunsets on the beach are such<br />

a nice way to relax and get time to yourself. I just sit,<br />

read or play Wordle.”<br />

Shay’s love of a healthy life and the ocean is<br />

canvassed all over her body in the form of tattoos,<br />

with a manta ray gliding over her shin, a palm tree on<br />

her hand, a whale tail on her forearm and the amusing<br />

addition of ‘eat your veggies’ on her other forearm.<br />

She also has ‘salty’ tattooed on her thigh, which she<br />

got after she was inspired by the salt left on her skin<br />

after going for a surf.<br />

For Shay, surfing combines her love of fitness with<br />

her love of meeting different communities and people,<br />

even when she is travelling. She understands the best<br />

way to meet someone is when you are both doing<br />

what you love, and as a self-proclaimed ‘goofy and<br />

fun’ surfer, said she has never been the one to take it<br />

very seriously.

le<br />




<strong>SB</strong> / #55 / 46

“Surfing it’s<br />

the perfect<br />

crossroads<br />

of all things<br />

that make<br />

life good &<br />

healthy”<br />

47 / #55 / <strong>SB</strong>

“Things constantly go wrong, and it just shows that<br />

you’ve got to adapt, be ready for anything and be<br />

ready to laugh. I feel sorry for people trying so hard,<br />

missing waves and getting angry, because if you aren’t<br />

having fun, why are you out here? Have a laugh!”<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #55 / 48

Shay’s approach to life is best<br />

reflected in her surname, Lajoie<br />

– a French word meaning ‘joy’,<br />

and a common nickname for a<br />

happy, cheerful person.<br />

“I love surfing because it’s the perfect intersection<br />

of exercising and meeting people. It’s getting your<br />

heart rate up, it’s getting out and moving, it’s the<br />

social life and the mental relief and it’s seeing<br />

sunrises, sunsets, rainbows, dolphins and turtles.<br />

It’s the perfect crossroads of all things that make<br />

life good and healthy.<br />

“I think for me, surfing is like forced meditation.<br />

When you duck dive the ocean has a silent roar<br />

that has the most calming feeling to it. You’re just<br />

taken away from the chaos of everyday life.<br />

“It’s also such a challenge and really pushes my<br />

ego to the side because you can’t expect to be<br />

good at everything or predict how the waves are<br />

going to go. Mother nature just throws a gigantic<br />

set at you when you don’t expect it. I love that.<br />

“Things constantly go wrong, and it just shows<br />

that you’ve got to adapt, be ready for anything and<br />

be ready to laugh. I feel sorry for people trying so<br />

hard, missing waves and getting angry, because if<br />

you aren’t having fun, why are you out here? Have<br />

a laugh!”<br />

After seeing her quiver of boards, you’d think Shay<br />

hand-picked them for their harmonised pink and<br />

cream colours. Actually, she said her surfboards<br />

make up an aesthetic little colour pallet by<br />

complete coincidence and were collected across<br />

her life as various gifts from photoshoots and<br />

friends.<br />

“Currently, my quiver is my 6’8 single fin, 9’2 mal,<br />

5’6 fish, 5’7 shortboard and then my two other<br />

longboards. I’ve got a little collection.<br />

“I learnt on a fish and I loved that. As soon as I<br />

transitioned to a shortboard, I spent like ten years<br />

getting really excited and learning how to turn,<br />

which took so freaking long.<br />

“I’m definitely a shortboarder at heart but having<br />

gotten a longboard in the last year, I’ve loved trying<br />

silly things and it’s been fun to do some party<br />

tricks. It’s nice to have a move.”<br />

The move Shay is referring to is her wicked surfing<br />

handstand, which had us all cheering on the<br />

shores of Cotton Tree and wondering how much<br />

balance, strength and concentration is needed to<br />

learn such a thing – and if we would ever have a<br />

chance at doing it ourselves (not likely).<br />

“I was in this photoshoot with a longboard down in<br />

Byron and the waves were really big. They made<br />

me come into the whitewash because I was too<br />

scared to go out with the big waves. It was too<br />

boring to just get up on whitewash and stand<br />

there, so I kind of threw my arms down and just<br />

started doing it, and it brought me so much joy.<br />

Now I can probably surf better on my hands then I<br />

can on my feet.<br />

49 / #55 / <strong>SB</strong>

<strong>SB</strong> / #55 / 50

“When I first moved up here, I pretty much only surfed<br />

Mudjimba and Red Gate. I surfed there pretty much every<br />

morning on a shortboard. Now, I surf from Cotton Tree to<br />

Alexandra Headland, and it’s just beautiful.”<br />

Shay said her love of surfing truly came to fruition when she<br />

was 17, after her and a bunch of her dancing friends decided<br />

in the classic Aussie teenage spirit to skip school, grab some<br />

Macca’s and go down to the beach.<br />

“We pulled into one of my friend’s driveways to get some<br />

boogie boards and towels, but when she opened her garage,<br />

there was like 20 surfboards and all of this surf equipment.<br />

“Next thing you know, we are putting surfboards on top of<br />

my car. I didn’t have roof racks, so they were piled wax-down<br />

on my Mitsubishi Lancer – it was a terrible mess. We just took<br />

some rope, put it over the roof, looped it into the car and shut<br />

the doors. My friends had to hold the ropes tight in the back<br />

seat – it was very safe as you can see.<br />

“We drove them down to the water. I can’t even remember<br />

if we had leg ropes, but we paddled out in our dancing<br />

leotards and just caught whitewash – we didn’t even realise<br />

surfing was meant to be hard. We popped up without even<br />

practicing and it just kind of happened. I was on a San Juan,<br />

which was like an original board from the 70’s or something,<br />

and I didn’t even know it was.”<br />

Shay and her friends continued to paddle out a few times<br />

at sunrise and sunset every week, to the point where they<br />

skipped school for almost the whole year of 11 and 12.<br />

Shay’s natural tendency to get swept into the limelight and<br />

entangled in tricky situations had already started when she<br />

was young and growing up in Cronulla on the southern<br />

outskirts of Sydney.<br />

“When I started surfing, my parents were like, ‘what is this<br />

foreign sport?’ You’d think a Cronulla family would surf, but<br />

my brother was into soccer, my dad was into golf, my mum<br />

was a jazzercize teacher and I was a ballerina. So for me to<br />

be on a skateboard or a surfboard was very naughty.<br />

“My ballet teacher always made examples of why ballerinas<br />

should only do ballet. So I kind of stopped going. I actually<br />

took my ballet a lot less seriously because I realised I couldn’t<br />

do all the sports I wanted to. I started meeting some really<br />

cool people surfing, so I just wanted to stick with that. It was<br />

nice.”<br />

Despite all sorts of predicaments seeming to gravitate<br />

towards Shay, no matter what is thrown her way, she always<br />

manages to overcome it. We aren’t just saying that either.<br />

Many of Shay’s stories have so many unpredictable plot<br />

twists and bizarre coincidences that we struggled to keep<br />

our jaws from hanging open and our hands from covering our<br />

faces while listening to them.<br />

For example, her passion for being a yoga teacher flourished<br />

when she was 23 after she met someone on her trip to<br />

Thailand. Shay said their relationship was supposed to be a<br />

casual holiday fling, but by the end of her trip they just didn’t<br />

want to part.<br />

“After coming back to Australia I started flying over a couple<br />

of times a year and we kept coming up with these business<br />

ideas so we could stay together. One day he called me and<br />

said he’s going to open up a yoga school, and he wanted me<br />

to run it with him. I loved yoga, and I’d already done 20 years<br />

of ballet, but I didn’t know how to teach it. So he flew me<br />

over to Bali and I did my yoga teacher training there. I learnt<br />

so much – it really changed my life.<br />

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ife is all fun<br />

“I mean, at times life can be terrifying,<br />

but when you look back you realise how<br />

insane, hilarious and weird it all was.<br />

That’s what you’ve got to look forward<br />

to. People say they don’t want to get old<br />

and turn thirty, but trust me, life gets<br />

good once it happens.”<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #55 / 52

“When I came back to Thailand, he wasn’t there, so<br />

I ran around advertising, ordering around builders,<br />

painting walls and opening the yoga school. I started<br />

teaching and the business took off, it was so busy<br />

every day.”<br />

It was here Shay found one of her greatest<br />

motivator’s – helping people do, be and achieve the<br />

best they can through yoga and wellness. While she<br />

did discover her love and talent for being a yoga<br />

teacher in Thailand, her hopeful trip turned sour<br />

when she fell victim to an incredibly unfair series of<br />

events that landed her in danger. Shay was able to<br />

escape back to Australia with the help of her friends,<br />

and said the second the plane took off on her way<br />

home, she was overcome with emotion and relief.<br />

“I was sitting at home in Cronulla for about a month<br />

after that. I didn’t surf, I didn’t leave the house, I<br />

didn’t cook – I did nothing. So much had happened,<br />

and I just convinced myself that I was okay and put<br />

it on the backburner, because I didn’t want to think<br />

about it. Then, my mum got me one of those adult<br />

colouring books, and that was how I meditated by<br />

way out of feeling stuck.”<br />

The universe seems to weave some pretty difficult<br />

situations for Shay – without realising she has the<br />

physical and mental strength to take them on headfirst<br />

and come out the other side with a bright smile<br />

on her face. Her many adventures would make for a<br />

gripping book, or maybe even an inspirational Netflix<br />

series. Shay assured us that she had considered it<br />

before – after all, she was almost cast in one of the<br />

Matrix movies as a little girl.<br />

As someone who thrives on adventure and positivity,<br />

it was no surprise when Shay said despite all of the<br />

rollercoasters she has been on, she strongly believes<br />

life is all fun.<br />

“I mean, at times life can be terrifying, but when you<br />

look back you realise how insane, hilarious and weird<br />

it all was. That’s what you’ve got to look forward to.<br />

People say they don’t want to get old and turn thirty,<br />

but trust me, life gets good once it happens.<br />

53 / #55 / <strong>SB</strong>

“My experiences have taught me a lot about<br />

relationships. There was this guy recently, and I<br />

think the whole time I secretly knew that he was<br />

maybe still in love with his ex. He was just giving me<br />

breadcrumbs and I was chasing them, but I ended<br />

up learning to actually respect myself a lot more, not<br />

to be someone’s second choice and all of these hard<br />

lessons that I’ve been ignoring my whole life.”<br />

After journeying across the world and living in Canada,<br />

Shay has since followed her whims to the Sunshine<br />

Coast. While she originally visited to help her parents<br />

renovate a house they bought, she said she stayed<br />

after something awakened inside her – a fascination<br />

for science.<br />

“At this point, I sort of knew I wanted to study<br />

something in nutrition, but then I started going out with<br />

someone who was doing biomed and that changed.<br />

We went out for a date and a surf, but the waves<br />

sucked, so we ended up on the beach talking about<br />

science for seven hours – we got so sunburnt.<br />

“He signed me up to a bridging course where I got a<br />

99 in chemistry and a 98 in biology, so my chemistry<br />

teacher pulled me aside and told me to consider doing<br />

biomed at the University of the Sunshine Coast – and<br />

so I did. Now I live here and call this place home, and<br />

it’s amazing. Making friends was really hard at first, but<br />

that’s what’s so good about dancing and surfing – I<br />

made friends through that.”<br />

Like so many miraculous things in her life, Shay said<br />

her name turned out to be prophetic as she took<br />

an interest in biomedical science and followed her<br />

passion into nutrition and genetics.<br />

“My dad is from Mauritius, so my name is French.<br />

My mum wanted Shay, and my dad wanted Elle, so<br />

they stuck it together to become Shayelle. Then, like<br />

a decade later, it turned up in a baby name book and<br />

means ‘mathematical scientific ingenious one’ which<br />

is ironic because both my grandparents have PhD’s in<br />

science.<br />

Like so many miraculous things in her<br />

life, Shay said her name turned out to<br />

be prophetic as she took an interest in<br />

biomedical science and followed her<br />

passion into nutrition and genetics.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #55 / 54


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

P: 03 9587 3553<br />

E: rory@okesurfboards.com

from sunrise<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #55 / 56

“Every decision you make, even the first thing you<br />

do in the morning, changes your genetic expression.<br />

I know it sounds hectic when you hear it, but then<br />

you realise that you can actually make a positive<br />

impact on your genes with just the little choices.”<br />

57 / #55 / <strong>SB</strong>to<br />


“One of the biggest reasons I went to uni was because<br />

I watched a lot of family go through heart disease,<br />

dementia and Alzheimer’s. All of those things as a<br />

teenager really frightened me, because I understood at<br />

a pretty young age how genetics work. I knew that, if<br />

I had to watch my grandparents go through that, then<br />

I’d have to watch my parents and then my brother and<br />

then myself. It was always in the back of my mind that<br />

eating healthy, exercising and sleep were important.<br />

“Now I am loving biomed. My electives are all foodbased,<br />

so I am doing nutritional biochemistry. I realised<br />

that I could be potentially capable of doing a PhD in<br />

nutrigenomics, so the effect that our food and body has<br />

on the expression of genes. Doing nutrigenomics would<br />

be a lot of research, but that’s what every PhD is.<br />

“I guess for me, I would probably focus on brain health<br />

and what sort of things an average person would<br />

do if they had the gene for Alzheimer’s and wanted<br />

to prevent the expression of that gene. It’s usually<br />

sleeping between a certain number of hours and eating<br />

a certain array of vegetables.<br />

“Every decision you make, even the first thing you do in<br />

the morning, changes your genetic expression. I know<br />

it sounds hectic when you hear it, but then you realise<br />

that you can actually make a positive impact on your<br />

genes with just the little choices.”<br />

Listening to Shay talk about nutrition and people’s<br />

wellbeing with a spark in her eyes is enough to see<br />

that she has found one of her true callings. With all of<br />

her passion and knowledge, it was only natural for us<br />

to ask what on earth she fuels her body with to stay<br />

so fit. What could possibly be the key ingredient in the<br />

life of someone so active and intelligent in the area of<br />

nutrition? At first, Shay just said one thing – quinoa<br />

oats.<br />

“That’s it! No but for real I would say my diet is 95%<br />

plant-based foods with a bit of fish and oysters. I have<br />

lots of quinoa, grains, seeds, nuts and like a ridiculous<br />

number of veggies. I sort of steer away from the word<br />

vegan because it comes with extra connotations. I’m<br />

not afraid to eat anything if someone offers me a bit,<br />

but I won’t order or buy it.<br />

“My body feels so much more efficient now in my<br />

thirties then it did in my twenties. I think it’s because<br />

I was just eating whatever I wanted and was quite<br />

uneducated in terms of refined sugar and saturated fat.<br />

“I am actually writing an eBook at the moment on<br />

refined sugar, and how we are all so addicted without<br />

even knowing it. What it does to our moods has such a<br />

ripple-on effect to your microbiome and your long-term<br />

health and genes. I get super into this stuff.<br />

“Some people say that if they knew all of this<br />

information about nutrition it would be causing them<br />

more stress about every eating decision, but I don’t feel<br />

that way because I’ve chosen a life where I know I can<br />

have a treat after 16 days of lentils, so I feel even better<br />

eating it.”<br />

It was during her time studying, surfing, working and<br />

living a busy life in the Sunshine Coast when she got<br />

the call to spend almost 50 days in the Australian<br />

outback on the ninth season of Australian Survivor – as<br />

if her life wasn’t vibrant enough already.<br />

Shay said her journey with the show actually began<br />

about six years ago, when she auditioned previously<br />

and got through to the final round.<br />

“They gave me a call and said I’d made it in, but I<br />

was actually in Ecuador running one of my retreats.<br />

I obviously couldn’t do it, and at the time I was<br />

distraught because the timing just wasn’t right.<br />

“Then, years later I get an email from the producers of<br />

Survivor saying they hadn’t found the right dynamic yet<br />

for the 2022 season and they wanted me to audition<br />

just a month before the game started. Because it was<br />

Blood Vs. Water, I called my family to find someone<br />

to go with and I ended up choosing my partner at the<br />

time, Ben.<br />

“We zoom called the producers together and it was<br />

just an organic conversation. They were amazed at the<br />

difference between us, Ben is a huge human, like 6’5,<br />

and I’m like 5’3. The next day they said we were on the<br />

show, so we needed to sort our lives out quickly and<br />

do all of these tests – fitness, health, psyche and just<br />

every test imaginable. They took so much blood – I had<br />

like no blood.<br />

“Originally, we weren’t prepared at all. We had never<br />

watched an episode of Survivor. We at least tried to<br />

watch a whole season beforehand, but Ben kind of<br />

wanted to enter it as is. The funniest and most ironic<br />

thing was that we had this little argument one day<br />

because I was trying to make a fire in the back yard to<br />

practice for the fire challenge in the show, and he was<br />

getting frustrated with me and thought I was taking it<br />

way too seriously. Little did we know he ends up in a<br />

fire challenge and he left the game because of it.”<br />

From impressive shelter building to dodgy challenges<br />

to the length of time it takes to cook rice and<br />

beans, Shay’s personal experiences on Survivor are<br />

fascinating. Hearing her stories made it abundantly<br />

clear how strong, resourceful and genuine she had<br />

to be to make it to the end of the game as a runnerup<br />

– especially with how strangely cut-throat the<br />

season was. Shay said while it was an overall incredible<br />

experience, the biggest negative during the game was<br />

the bullying.<br />

“I’m not really afraid to say it anymore because I used<br />

to think I should be more positive about it. But in all<br />

honesty, it was a lot. There was a really rare dynamic in<br />

the game, and so many people from so many different<br />

seasons have told me it wasn’t normal. If you weren’t<br />

in a clique you were just an outcast, and it was actually<br />

worse than what I experienced in school.

Shay has a down-to-earth approach to life and<br />

everything in it, so naturally we had to ask her where<br />

she draws her courage from. Shay said she doesn’t<br />

think she felt truly confident until she was in her<br />

mid-twenties, when she learnt to embrace the wild<br />

and lovable sides of herself.<br />

59 / #55 / <strong>SB</strong>

ll that matter<br />

“I want to live with minimal regrets. The<br />

core of what I do is constantly seeking<br />

joy. I don’t want to ever have a day where<br />

nothing really cool happened.”<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #55 / 60

s<br />

“After being voted off and going to purgatory and then making it<br />

back into the game, it was like walking into a group of people that<br />

outwardly hated you. I got bullied for eating too much. I had the<br />

same serving size as the guys, but they always said I was a small<br />

girl, so I have to eat less. I would also wake up sometimes and hear<br />

them whispering about me. It got to the point where the producers<br />

had to step in and talk to them about it.<br />

“The positives were amazing though. The whole experience is like<br />

being in another world because you don’t have phones, you only<br />

have nature. Every night you are falling asleep under the stars and<br />

it’s beautiful. I did a lot of meditating and yoga, and it still taught<br />

me how important it is to have resilience, because if I didn’t I would<br />

have walked out of there a lot earlier.”<br />

As someone who holds themselves so naturally and with<br />

confidence, it was no surprise that Shay was able to power through<br />

the relentless social nonsense and come out of the show with a<br />

bright smile on her face – just like she always does.<br />

Shay has a down-to-earth approach to life and everything in it, so<br />

naturally we had to ask her where she draws her courage from.<br />

Shay said she doesn’t think she felt truly confident until she was in<br />

her mid-twenties, when she learnt to embrace the wild and lovable<br />

sides of herself.<br />

“That was when I realised that over the years of weird coincidences<br />

and things going wrong and things going right – you can’t control<br />

anything. So if you just let go, be yourself and enjoy being yourself,<br />

then you’re never going to look back and regret that you were trying<br />

to be someone else, or that you were timid or held back.<br />

“If I’m feeling sad one day, I’ll cry in public. If I’m feeling ecstatic, I’ll<br />

wave and smile at people in public. Just embrace yourself. Because<br />

my biggest fear is being like 80 and looking back at photos of me in<br />

my twenties and wishing I lived life more.<br />

61 / #55 / <strong>SB</strong>

Just embrace yourself<br />

“I want to live with minimal regrets. The core of what<br />

I do is constantly seeking joy. I don’t want to ever<br />

have a day where nothing really cool happened.”<br />

In a perfect role that combines all of her passions,<br />

Shay channelled her love and knowledge of the<br />

inner and outer self into organising mindfulness<br />

retreats. She is currently the co-owner of Santé, a<br />

retreat business where she teaches surfing, yoga,<br />

nutrition and health in places like the Sunshine<br />

Coast hinterland. For those interested, Shay said<br />

she has four retreats coming up and is currently<br />

planning on running one in New Caledonia.<br />

“Another thing we are doing is a retreat in the<br />

camping grounds of Noosa North Shore, which<br />

we haven’t done before. This New Year’s I had<br />

a pretty rough time, as it was my first time being<br />

single for 15 years or something like that. I really<br />

didn’t want to drink, I just wanted to be under the<br />

stars camping and go surfing the next morning, so I<br />

thought to build a retreat around that. We are going<br />

to be taking bookings really soon with glamping and<br />

camping options, which is really exciting.<br />

“I am also about to launch a yoga training course,<br />

Shakes Yoga, with my yoga crew that I like. The<br />

teacher I look up to is basically my guru, and he<br />

wanted me to jump on board because of my level<br />

of teaching and how obsessed I am with anatomy. I<br />

think I’ve had over 50 people that are keen.<br />

“I just released an eBook as well which is actually in<br />

three parts. One chapter is based on mindfulness,<br />

and it’s all about the stuff I learnt in my twenties.<br />

The other chapters include about 65-plant based<br />

recipes and some workout routines.”<br />

In addition to studying and running her retreats,<br />

Shay also takes care of her other prosperous<br />

businesses and travels wherever life takes her while<br />

doing so. As someone who lives in the moment,<br />

she is just enjoying chasing waves, eating veggies<br />

and getting excited about the many things she<br />

occupies her days with.<br />

After a sunrise surf session and a coffee, Shay left<br />

us with the warming feeling that, perfectly balanced<br />

lifestyle or not, life is there to be enjoyed.<br />

“I’m kind of living up to everything I wanted.<br />

Everything so far in my life has fallen into place.<br />

So long as I’m enjoying life and still getting to surf,<br />

dance and do the fun things, that’s all that matters.”<br />

she said.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #55 / 62

Beau Gunn<br />

Man.<br />

Legend.<br />

Manlegend.<br />

beaugunn.com.au<br />

Coming soon.<br />

Or perhaps he’s here already.<br />

Or is he?<br />

63 / #55 / <strong>SB</strong>

The voice<br />

of resin<br />

With all these debates on polyester vs epoxy<br />

resin, it was only a matter of time before<br />

someone came up with a newer, more sustainable<br />

way to laminate surfboards: vegetables.<br />

words amber o’dell<br />

<strong>SB</strong> /#55 #51 / 64

As a sport and<br />

lifestyle, surfing<br />

is as eco-friendly<br />

as you can get,<br />

and disturbs<br />

little of the<br />

environment but<br />

the footprints<br />

you leave behind<br />

on the sand.<br />

As we all know, polyester resin paired with PU<br />

foam and epoxy resin paired with EPS foam<br />

are the long-time standard materials used by<br />

the majority of the industry. While both resins<br />

are favoured for their performance-based<br />

advantages, they are incredibly toxic and leave<br />

behind one hefty carbon footprint when used.<br />

While there are many manufacturers that have<br />

increased the percentage of biological materials<br />

in their resin, the question still remains if it’s<br />

possible to create a natural, well-performing<br />

resin in the surfboard manufacturing process<br />

without using any synthetic materials.<br />

Enter experienced Brazilian shaper, Mario<br />

Ferminio, who has managed to create a 100%<br />

natural and biodegradable vegetable-based<br />

resin that can be used to laminate surfboards.<br />

Mario said his journey in surfboard shaping<br />

started in 1985, when he started crafting PU<br />

boards and then travelled to France to learn how<br />

to build epoxy boards from the best in the world.<br />

“Upon returning to Brazil I lived in Guarujá, São<br />

Paulo, because at the time it was the best surf<br />

city in Brazil. While I was there, I surfed and<br />

worked with some amazing professional surfers.<br />

I can say between 1989 and 2012 I made more<br />

than 10,000 surfboards with epoxy.<br />

However, where surfing can sometimes suck<br />

for sustainability is not in the act of carving<br />

waves, but in the manufacturing of surfboards.<br />

While we have previously covered how the<br />

industry is making huge leaps in becoming<br />

more environmentally conscious, it’s still hard<br />

to avoid producing a lot of carbon emissions in<br />

the surfboard shaping process when some of its<br />

key components are hazardous chemicals like<br />

styrene and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s).<br />

65 / #55 / <strong>SB</strong>

“We all know surfing is<br />

wonderful, it’s a lifestyle for many<br />

people, but it needs to evolve a lot<br />

in its environmental awareness.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #55 / 66

“I am happy to<br />

know the first<br />

surfboard in the<br />

world made with<br />

100% vegetable<br />

resin was made<br />

with my hands.<br />

Surfing is life, and<br />

our future will<br />

depend a lot on<br />

taking actions like<br />

this,” he said.<br />

“In 2005 I decided to build a factory in my home<br />

town of Santa Catarina, where we really made<br />

an effort to put an end to surfboard wastage<br />

and developed an environmentally-sound<br />

manufacturing process.<br />

“Two years later I decided to make an ecological<br />

manifesto during the world surfing championship<br />

in Hossegor, France. There, I witnessed a surfing<br />

market that was totally detached from my purpose<br />

and values, so I stopped making epoxy surfboards.<br />

That is when I invented a recycling process with<br />

wooden boards, and I managed to get a green<br />

patent.<br />

“In 2017, I got a call from a person that was in the<br />

process of developing a more eco-friendly resin,<br />

so I bought some of that to apply to my wooden<br />

boards, and that’s when I saw an opportunity to<br />

create a completely natural resin.”<br />

Laminating a board naturally is not an easy task, as<br />

every ingredient is going to affect the resin’s drying<br />

speed, strength, clarity, hardness and weather<br />

resistance. For three years Mario experimented<br />

with all sorts of natural materials until he created<br />

the perfect mixture with castor beans.<br />

Mario said for every board he’s made he has<br />

strived to understand how to work with the<br />

materials, so for the vegetable resin it was no<br />

different.<br />

“So many years were dedicated to finding the<br />

answers to the problems that the vegetable resin<br />

presented to me until I finally validated it for the<br />

market.”<br />

“The resin makes the boards light and strong – and<br />

the amazing thing is that it performs in water just<br />

like a PU board but uses EPS foam.<br />

“I would love other board shapers to have access<br />

to the vegetable resin. In relation to expanding, I<br />

think it would be perfect to start in the country of<br />

surf – Australia. I am open to the idea of starting a<br />

lamination company there and later expand to other<br />

countries.”<br />

Mario said while concocting his unique resin, he<br />

reached out to Entropy Resins, a company that<br />

supplies bio-based epoxy for surfboards.<br />

“From talking to them I discovered that they do use<br />

a lot of clean energy and natural materials in their<br />

product. For epoxy especially, it’s a feat to make it<br />

that environmentally conscious. However, making<br />

epoxy still leaves a lot of emissions no matter what,<br />

which is why I wanted to focus on a new type of<br />

resin that produced little to no carbon emissions.<br />

“Right now, the biggest hurdle I have found with my<br />

resin is that, to cure the oil completely, it needs a<br />

few months. It’s like making wine. At the moment<br />

the resin cannot be used on white boards either,<br />

only colour, because it has little UV protection.”<br />

Mario is in the process of launching a new series<br />

of boards laminated with his vegetable resin.<br />

In his spare time, he uses the leftover resin to<br />

create earrings from dried leaves in an attempt to<br />

showcase that synthetic materials are not needed<br />

to create beautiful products.<br />

Mario said he realises that professional surfers are<br />

the most influential opinions of the industry, and so<br />

what they think and use – the market accepts.<br />

“It’s with the help of professional surfers<br />

that we can change the overuse of<br />

toxic resins and begin to use more<br />

ecological and sustainable methods<br />

of laminating boards.<br />

“We all know surfing is wonderful,<br />

it’s a lifestyle for many people,<br />

but it needs to evolve a lot in its<br />

environmental awareness.<br />

“I am happy to know the first<br />

surfboard in the world made<br />

with 100% vegetable resin<br />

was made with my hands.<br />

Surfing is life, and our future<br />

will depend a lot on taking<br />

actions like this,” he said.<br />

folhabyferminio<br />

67 / #55 / <strong>SB</strong>

elax, reset,<br />

release, repeat<br />

Those who read<br />

edition 51 would<br />

know we were pretty<br />

enamoured with a offgrid<br />

cabin operation<br />

called Unyoked<br />

which we discovered<br />

while interviewing<br />

photographer<br />

Stephen Liew.<br />

So impressed were we that we have<br />

decided to embark on a special editorial<br />

series whereby we will showcase over<br />

several editions some of the bespoke<br />

getaways in their range, the first being<br />

Whetū in Raglan, New Zealand. After all,<br />

aside from publishing Smorgasboarder, we<br />

run a creative agency called Horse & Water<br />

and writing retreats are always in favour.<br />

Escapes like these certainly free up the<br />

creative juices, and it’s kind of handy some<br />

of them are coincidentally near surf breaks.<br />

featured retreat: Whetū, Raglan<br />

photos supplied courtsey of Unyoked: @jonny_goose

...Our unique locations give easy access to the<br />

wild, so that getting lost in nature becomes as<br />

natural as getting stuck on your feed.”

Whetū, Raglan<br />

Notes from the field<br />

Derived from the Indigenous peoples Te reo Maori<br />

name for the stars which guided and navigated the<br />

people of Tainui Waka for centuries, Whetū can be<br />

seen on clear nights from Whaingaroa Te Moana<br />

all the way to Karioi Te Maunga. A symbol of the<br />

relationship between the people and the land, Whetū<br />

has always been part of our journey, wherever we are.

“An ancient remedy for<br />

modern times. We provide<br />

9-5ers, creatives and<br />

dreamers a place to define<br />

yourselves beyond your<br />

desks...<br />

Aside from the elegant simplicity of these retreats,<br />

the ethos behind them is equally as engaging.<br />

Some text from their website encapsulates it<br />

all, “An ancient remedy for modern times. We<br />

provide 9-5ers, creatives and dreamers a place<br />

to define yourselves beyond your desks. Our<br />

unique locations give easy access to the wild, so<br />

that getting lost in nature becomes as natural as<br />

getting stuck on your feed.”<br />

Company spokesman Julian Rapattoni, Head of<br />

Global Operations, expanded on that statement<br />

explaining Unyoked’s core purpose. “Nowadays<br />

we all lead increasingly busy lives. We get so<br />

caught up in the day-to-day of juggling work<br />

commitments that we lose perspective. We forget<br />

to live. It’s commonly known that modern day<br />

living comes hand-in hand with mental fatigue and<br />

low productivity. Numerous scientific studies have<br />

shown spending an extended period of time in<br />

nature is the perfect antidote.<br />

“Unyoked was created to help us all understand<br />

how nature can make us better and allow us to<br />

weave it into our lives easily, and regularly. The<br />

cabins came second; nature was first. Everything<br />

we do is to help our people kickstart a nature<br />

habit, one built on understanding how- and whenit<br />

can help them personally.”<br />

To that end, Unyoked have curated a super select<br />

range of high-quality nature experiences to help<br />

people relax, rest and release. So selective are<br />

they that they have reportedly said no to many<br />

more locations than they have said yes to.<br />

Julian elaborated on this statement.<br />

“We search until the most unique and unyoked<br />

landscapes have been found. We want our guests<br />

to truly relax. Most of us have a busy, noisy,<br />

always-on life in the city. So, we aim to get people<br />

out into nature where there’s no interruptions. We<br />

want to provide an environment where our guests<br />

can reset their expectations and get some regular<br />

perspective thanks to the vastness of the outdoors<br />

and ‘release’ by way of giving them a change of<br />

scenery. Nobody ever comes up with great ideas<br />

staring at the same four walls. So, we get them<br />

out there, so they can be inspired and finally<br />

get the space to start that big creative project,<br />

whether it’s work, relationship or personal.”<br />

Wise words indeed, in fact the Unyoked website<br />

reaffirms the science behind this approach.<br />

71 / #55 / <strong>SB</strong>

Nature helps<br />

you feel better.<br />

Cortisol is another name for a stress hormone, otherwise<br />

known as the thing that peaks in busy people around 3pm<br />

every Wednesday. Recent studies have shown that even<br />

one night in nature - as opposed to the median strip near<br />

your office that someone called a park - can significantly<br />

decrease your cortisol levels. Getting out into greenery<br />

regularly not only slows down overactive minds and<br />

replaces circulated office aircon with crisp 02, but it can<br />

genuinely affect your mood.<br />

Nature<br />

recentres you.<br />

If you want to get an instant understanding of how small<br />

our issues are in the grand scheme of things, there’s<br />

nothing quite like throwing your arms around a tree that’s<br />

been alive for hundreds of years. Out in the middle of<br />

nowhere, distraction-free with only rolling hills, clear night<br />

sky and a few birds for company, the truth about what<br />

really matters naturally presents itself.<br />

Nature<br />

stimulates<br />

creativity.<br />

The uninterrupted vastness of wild green spaces, away<br />

from screens and schedules is the perfect place to bend<br />

your grey matter, follow strange new thoughts down<br />

rabbit holes and daydream productively. Whether it’s<br />

work-related or simply the chance to think differently<br />

about life or love, nature is your new creative happy place.

Whetū is described as being a perfect way to<br />

“find the relief you’re searching for”. 2 hours<br />

south of Auckland in the hills overlooking<br />

Manu Bay in Raglan, it is awe-inspiring.<br />

This retreat, if only for a weekend, is sure to<br />

relieve those stress headaches from work.<br />

As you weave your way uphill to your cabin<br />

you will feel your blood pressure drop as<br />

you gaze out at the expanse of Manu Bay<br />

extending all the way to the Tasman Sea.<br />

Feeling bogged down by<br />

the same old routine? Head<br />

uphill to the epic expanse<br />

of Whetū, spectacularly<br />

positioned with sweeping<br />

views of the sea.<br />

$269 weeknights<br />

$299 weekends<br />

Price per night in NZD. Min 2 nights Fri/Sat.<br />

Check in 3pm. Late check out at 11am.<br />

Because, sleep-ins.<br />

What’s Provided?<br />

Bedding<br />

Gas Stove<br />

Fan<br />

Towels<br />

Bar Fridge<br />

Picnic Table<br />

Solar Power<br />

Fire Pit<br />

Heater<br />

And, TP<br />

Composting Toilet<br />

Cooking Utensils<br />

Pots and Pans<br />

Plates and Bowls<br />

Shower<br />

What to pack?<br />

Shoes<br />

Mosquito repellent<br />

Water bottle<br />

Sunscreen<br />

Flanno<br />

Spreadsheets<br />

Anxiety<br />

Busyness<br />

unyoked.co<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #55 / 74

75 / #55 / <strong>SB</strong>

for beginners<br />

words: helen chapman<br />

As the affordable, hop-skip-and-a-jump for Aussies – particularly<br />

surfers – there’s an unspoken assumption that every Aussie has been<br />

and knows exactly what it’s all about.<br />

We know that’s not true, and there are plenty of us that haven’t<br />

yet enjoyed all the unique experiences the Indonesian island has to<br />

offer. So for the first timers, here’s a few Bali tips for beginners.<br />

sb / #55 / 76

Know before you go.<br />

Knowledge is power, and a little planning goes a long way<br />

in a foreign country. There are so many brilliant online and<br />

printed resources available, you simply have no reason to not<br />

do your research before you go. Planning will take the mental<br />

load off for when you hit that busy airport terminal.<br />

Some recommendations? The evergreen Indo Surf and Lingo<br />

book by the late Peter Neely still stands the test of time<br />

and is a valuable offline guide for surfers of all abilities. For<br />

more general info online, Bali Buddies (balibuddies.com) is<br />

an excellent resource to answer your pre-travel questions,<br />

like currency exchange tips and advice on being respectful<br />

of Balinese culture. The Bali Bible (thebalibible.com) is a bit<br />

more commercial travel and accommodation-focused, but<br />

has some handy inspiration on everything from activities to<br />

accommodation options, dining, nightlife and more. Other<br />

than that? Google.<br />

Make it out of the airport<br />

and get around.<br />

You’ll be swamped with offers of taxis and transport at the<br />

airport. One easy way to prepare is to get a driver to pick you<br />

up. Rates are generally reasonable and you know you have<br />

local knowledge on your side.<br />

Jason, otherwise known as “Ade”, is a local artist who also<br />

drives, and is the Smorgasboarder go-to for airport pickup<br />

and driving around the island. It’s great to have someone you<br />

get to know and trust. Most often the local recommendations<br />

are worth more than the transport. Contact Ade on<br />

WhatsApp +6287861026492 or Instagram @coastin_bali.<br />

To keep things super cheap and flexible, download the Gojek<br />

app – the Balinese Uber. Using Gojek, you can get around on<br />

the back of a moped, or in a car, for a couple of dollars. Plus,<br />

you can use it to order food, which is really handy.<br />

If you do hop in a cab or onto a scooter, just make sure you<br />

negotiate the rate first! People will shout “taxi” and hoot at<br />

you no matter where you are walking. If you hop in, or on a<br />

vehicle – even with the Gojek branding – and you haven’t<br />

negotiated a rate you will pay up to 10 times the price<br />

you would pay by using the App. Make sure you have the<br />

correct money if possible (change can sometimes end in an<br />

awkward negotiation).<br />


Keep your life simple – not all places accept cards in Bali, and<br />

cash is generally king. Shop around for a decent currency<br />

exchange rate locally and have some Rupiah in your wallet<br />

ready to go. Plus, you get to feel super rich with all those<br />

millions in your moneybag...<br />

When in Bali, try to only use an ATM inside a bank or other<br />

reputable business. Steer clear of street money changers.<br />

You might get your money changed into thin air...


Whatsapp. Everybody seems to use Whatsapp for general<br />

communication - from drivers to surf schools to restaurants... Have the<br />

app installed and you’ll have that communication channel open to you.<br />

Make sure you either have roaming set up on your mobile phone, or<br />

grab a new tourist sim card at a kiosk at the airport. WiFi isn’t always<br />

readily available, so don’t rely on finding a connection.<br />

HAGGLE.<br />

Advice given by a Bali local: “Start at half price, then go lower”. Jokes<br />

aside, haggling at market stalls is part of the experience, but be fair.<br />

Don’t try to knock people down just because you can and always be<br />

respectful. Haggling can be a bit of fun, but don’t be afraid to politely<br />

say no and walk away. However, if constant negotiation gets your<br />

blood pressure up, you can find fixed price shopping options. Bigger<br />

supermarkets, like Bintang Supermarket in Seminyak, have rows of<br />

souvenirs that you would get at the street markets at fixed prices. So if<br />

you were looking to have a less vocal, albeit less ‘authentic’, shopping<br />

experience, simply head to a supermarket.<br />

TIPPING.<br />

Although not a written rule in Bali, tipping your driver, masseuse or<br />

wait staff is pretty much expected. You already have service charges in<br />

most hotels, restaurants and beach clubs so tipping isn’t required, but<br />

it’s definitely the nice thing to do. The general word on the street is to<br />

simply round up, so if your taxi costs Rp32,0000 (approx. $3.20) give<br />

the driver Rp35,0000 (approx. $3.50) everyone is happy and no one is<br />

scratching around for small change.<br />

Explore and experience it.<br />

Especially for us Aussies spoilt with a local surf break or beach,<br />

it doesn’t have to be all about the beach. Take a trip to Ubud, for<br />

example, and you can enjoy everything from interacting with cheeky<br />

monkeys, to white water rafting, to taking in the majestic views from<br />

a giant swing. Take in a temple, learn about the local people and<br />

culture.<br />

You could even participate in a traditional ceremony like a full<br />

moon blessing where you get dressed in traditional sarongs, make<br />

offerings as a gesture of gratitude (usually flowers and incense in<br />

a woven bamboo container), meditate and eat delicious food. For<br />

example, Conrad Bali Hotel in Nusa Dua do one every month –<br />

follow them on Instagram to get dates and notifications for when<br />

the next ceremony will happen.<br />

Getting off the beaten track is always rewarding, but even the<br />

well-worn tourist tracks offer up something so different from the<br />

typical western holiday experience, so it’s worth not writing anything<br />

off before you’ve tried it – especially as a first-timer. Make some<br />

memories and Bali will expand what you think you know.<br />

sb / #55 / 78

Beaches vs beach clubs.<br />

On a Balinese beach you’ll generally expect to have locals selling<br />

you trinkets while trying to give you pedicures and massages.<br />

You can choose to go with the flow while trying not to get fleeced<br />

of too much of your holiday cash, or politely decline and try to<br />

enjoy the sunshine, but they don’t take no for an answer easily.<br />

Alternately, you could take the route of the rich and famous and<br />

stump up for a committed spend at one of the beach clubs.<br />

Spend a set amount of money and you get access to a beach<br />

lounge away from the hustle and bustle, generally with a DJ<br />

and a hundred Instagram influencers elbowing each other out<br />

of the way for the perfect shot. Why knock either? Both are fun<br />

experiences, and that’s why you’re going to Bali, right? So, give<br />

both ends of the spectrum a go.<br />

An important note is that there are no flags at beaches. Tragedies<br />

do happen. The rips are no different to what we experience in<br />

Australia, so be safe, staying waist deep for the kids and those<br />

that aren’t confident swimmers.<br />

Absolute beginner or with kids?<br />

Learn to surf.<br />

As much as there are surf spots of legend to visit here, Bali is a<br />

perfectly idyllic spot for learning to surf. With friendly instructors and<br />

affordable prices, this is the top item on the beginners’ bucket list.<br />

Balangan beach is a great example, where a surf lesson sets you<br />

back less than $60. This is negotiable, like everything in Bali.<br />

The girls here booked through WhatsApp: $100 for two people doing<br />

a two-hour private lesson, including boards and rashies, where<br />

people walking in off the street were a firm $60 and some even $75 if<br />

they were pushy. Either way, an hour or two spent in the water with a<br />

friendly local surf instructor, worth every second for the unforgettable<br />

feeling of popping up for the first time.<br />

FOOD: Enjoy the Adventure<br />

BUT DON’t drink the water<br />

You’re not going to get your typical western feed here, so<br />

be prepared for some tastebud challenges and be ready for<br />

rice. Be as smart as you can about the hygiene of where you<br />

choose to eat – Bali belly is real and can cut a good day or<br />

two out of your holiday. That said, definitely don’t drink the<br />

water! Water quality isn’t what you’d be used to at home<br />

and swigging from the tap – even just getting some tapwater<br />

ice in a drink – could see you chatting on the porcelain<br />

phone for a few hours – or worse. Stick to bottled water,<br />

even for brushing your teeth and simply avoid the hassle.<br />

Don’t fret, you can still drink those cheap cocktails,<br />

restaurant and hotel ice is generally good, made with filtered<br />

water, so sip away.<br />

79 / #55 / sb

FO LED<br />

no more<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #55 / 80

Assumedly, no one in their right mind wants<br />

to surf where everyone else is. Uncrowded<br />

waves, isn’t that what we all dream of?<br />

So, why is it that we all congregate on<br />

top of one another in the same spot?<br />

Partly, it is due to the simple fact that is where<br />

the waves are breaking. It is possibly also due<br />

to the fact that many humans have similar<br />

traits to those of sheep. But what if there was<br />

an alternative where you didn’t have to surf<br />

where everyone else is? Where you didn’t have<br />

to surf where particular waves were breaking<br />

and instead you could surf completely<br />

unridden waves all by yourself away from the<br />

hordes?<br />

Well, dream no more. It is a reality. It is called<br />

foiling. Jack Field talks with us about the true<br />

spirit of foiling.<br />

As Jack passionately explained throughout<br />

our conversation, foiling was never intended<br />

to be something you take to crowded lineups,<br />

potentially slicing through unsuspecting souls<br />

like a giant knife through butter. Its original<br />

invention was to capitalise on wind-generated<br />

swell that, until now, remained unridden due<br />

to the fact that missing from the essential<br />

ingredient in the mix to create surfable<br />

waves was a complementary sea floor. If the<br />

wave doesn’t break, you can’t ride it with a<br />

surfboard, but you can with a foilboard.<br />

First things first, for those who might have<br />

missed edition 51, what is a foil, or specifically,<br />

foiling? As we firmly tongue-in-cheek<br />

described it, foiling is where you attach what<br />

resembles a huge butcher’s cleaver with<br />

wings to a platform resembling a surfboard.<br />

Technically it is about engaging hydrofoil<br />

technology.<br />

A hydrofoil is a lifting surface that operates<br />

in water, and are similar in appearance and<br />

purpose to aerofoils used by aeroplanes. The<br />

hydrofoil has a flat or curved winglike surface<br />

that is designed to lift the board by means of<br />

the reaction upon its surface from the water<br />

through which it moves. A hydrofoil works<br />

on the principle of Newton’s third law — “For<br />

every action in nature, there is an equal and<br />

opposite reaction.” As the surfboard begins to<br />

gain speed, the wings push the water down,<br />

creating an upward force lifting the board out<br />

of the water and, as the board gathers speed,<br />

there is less friction, creating less drag and<br />

assisting with an acceleration of speed.<br />

So basically, once you have the speed to<br />

engage the foil and lift the board out of the<br />

water, you have the kind of acceleration you<br />

cannot achieve on a normal surfboard without<br />

riding a breaking wave. If the wave doesn’t<br />

break, a traditional surfboard will drop back<br />

off the face of the wave because the wave<br />

is moving faster than the surfboard, but with<br />

a hydrofoil you are engaging the energy in<br />

the water below the wave, rather than on the<br />

surface, to generate speed and hence you can<br />

more easily maintain your momentum on the<br />

wave.<br />

In short, you can catch unbroken waves with<br />

a foil that you cannot on a normal surfboard,<br />

thus opening Pandora’s box and unridden<br />

swell galore right along the Australian coast.<br />

Jack elaborates on the potential breaks all<br />

within our grasp.<br />

“Look out the window on nearly any given day<br />

and what you see is wind. The resulting effect<br />

of wind travelling across a body of water is<br />

that it generates swell, whether that be in the<br />

ocean or on a river or a lake.<br />

“Well, my focus for many years has been on<br />

getting in sync and harnessing this energy,<br />

the energy that is transferred from wind to<br />

water. From my own esoteric point of view,<br />

I find it calming – to endeavour to be in sync<br />

with nature and ride that energy. What we<br />

have to do as surfers however, is wait until all<br />

that energy hits something (an elevated ocean<br />

floor) and throws it up in the air, whether it’s<br />

30 to 40 foot waves at the Eddie (Eddie Aikau<br />

Memorial Big Wave Contest in Hawaii) or a<br />

two foot swell here in Mooloolaba. We all<br />

congregate around that transition from swell<br />

into waves.<br />

“Some of us get carried away with the fact<br />

that ‘it’s mine’ and we will snake and carry on<br />

and get all worked up about our ‘ownership’<br />

of those said waves, when in actual fact, if you<br />

look around at the some 3000km of eastern<br />

seaboard, there are thousands of rideable<br />

swells that are coming into beaches, or not<br />

even to beaches, it can be just the shoreline<br />

that is unridden and totally there. We simply<br />

don’t go there because it’s not breaking.<br />

But there is a way we can capitalise on wind<br />

generated swell, and that is through foiling.<br />

And to be able to ride a wind generated swell<br />

with no one around, it gives you such a sense<br />

of serenity through feeling the connection to<br />

the energy source. It is hard to describe. Ask<br />

anyone who has foiled downwind offshore.”<br />

81 / #55 / <strong>SB</strong>

Jack explains the whole appeal of foiling<br />

to him, whether it be with a kite, wing,<br />

paddle or just the foilboard alone, is the<br />

fact that you can actually go somewhere<br />

without having to interrupt everyone<br />

else’s enjoyment out in the surf.<br />

“Yeah, the Wambos as I call them<br />

(wannabe wave Rambos) are the guys<br />

who will screw it up for everyone because<br />

they’re egomaniacs and they have to have<br />

an audience of people watching them in<br />

and out of crowded surf breaks when in<br />

actual fact they can go wherever all by<br />

themselves.”<br />

It is at this point I discussed with Jack his<br />

focus on what can be best described as<br />

‘assisted foiling’. The big issue with foiling<br />

being generating enough initial speed to<br />

engage the foil and get the board out of<br />

the water. Only so many people are skilled<br />

enough and light enough to be able to<br />

generate the speed required to get a<br />

small foil board up out of the water on foil,<br />

otherwise they have to rely on a foilboard<br />

the size of a SUP to give them the<br />

flotation they need to generate enough<br />

paddle power and speed to get on foil.<br />

With the smaller foilboards that is why you<br />

see the riders jumping up and down like<br />

jackhammers to try and engage the foil<br />

and get the board to lift. When you lean<br />

back, the wings tilt upright and in turn the<br />

board lifts up. You tilt forward and the<br />

foil levels and glides with the board out<br />

of the water. Pumping backwards and<br />

forwards, front foot, back foot, front foot<br />

again generates forward motion thanks<br />

to the mysterious law of physics falling<br />

under the category of kinetic energy, but<br />

it is bloody difficult and exhausting. It is<br />

here Jack picks up on our reference to the<br />

current crop of motorised foilboards we<br />

mentioned in this former article.<br />

“I’ve just reread your story on foiling<br />

and specifically in relation to motorised<br />

foilboards and you’re right, you’ve got<br />

a thing there which is 30kg (the battery<br />

alone weighs 11kg) and it’s designed<br />

to go full tilt at 40km an hour. So, if you<br />

ride one of those you’re just a petrol<br />

head. You might as well be on a jet ski or<br />

speedboat. It doesn’t enable you to feel<br />

and connect with the natural energy force<br />

I previously mentioned at all.<br />

“So, our focus has been on finding a<br />

means by which you can be assisted to<br />

get the board up and out of the water and<br />

on foil, and then, let Mother Nature do her<br />

thing.”<br />

Jack’s discovery of Foil Drive appears to<br />

be a solution for now.<br />

“These guys have been really clever<br />

about it. Instead of making a foilboard to<br />

go 40kms an hour, they’ve considered a<br />

way in which they can simply assist riders<br />

to get up on foil and over to the swell<br />

line where Mother Nature can then take<br />

over. This has seen the battery required<br />

significantly reduce in size from 11kgs<br />

down to 2kgs.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #55 / 82

The Foil Drive essentially allows you to<br />

move at twice the paddle speed.<br />

“There is still someways to go I believe<br />

in terms of bringing down the price but<br />

at $5,500 for the motorised Foil Drive<br />

propellor plus say $1500 for a board it is<br />

significantly cheaper than a motorised<br />

Flightboard that will cost you anything<br />

from $14,000 through to $18,000. I see<br />

this advancement in the technology as<br />

opening up more avenues for people<br />

to get into foiling. We believe there<br />

will be improved assist systems as<br />

more people discover the joy of riding<br />

uncrowded swells.”<br />

As Jack explains it, learning to ride a foil<br />

is not dissimilar to riding a bike. Once<br />

you have the hang of it and have done<br />

it a few times, muscle memory takes<br />

over. It is training your muscles in the<br />

first instance that just takes a little time,<br />

which is made all the more difficult by<br />

the challenge of firstly getting the board<br />

up on foil.<br />

“That’s the real challenge, getting the<br />

board on foil initially. You have to get<br />

this thing moving fast enough to get it<br />

up on foil and then you have to quickly<br />

get to your feet and make sure your<br />

feet are in the right position. Then when<br />

it comes up on foil you have to deal<br />

with balancing the foil while you’re<br />

two feet above the water, which just<br />

further exaggerates the whole balancing<br />

thing. But once you are up on foil it is<br />

like riding a bike, you will have a little<br />

wobble but it will maybe take you a<br />

couple of sessions to get the hang of it.”<br />

So, to recap what Jack is saying here,<br />

learning to balance the foil doesn’t take<br />

too long, it is getting the board on foil<br />

that takes some doing. That is why you<br />

see foilers trying to catch the whitewash<br />

to get some initial momentum, pumping<br />

feverishly up and down to get the board<br />

going fast enough to get it on foil.<br />

Alternatively, they will use larger boards<br />

the size of a SUP to assist with flotation<br />

and paddle power, but once up on<br />

foil you don’t particularly want all that<br />

board sticking up in the air because it<br />

becomes unwieldly. All you really need<br />

once up on foil is a small platform upon<br />

which to stand, the board is simply a<br />

mechanism to help you get up on foil.<br />

The Foil Drive essentially eradicates the<br />

need for a big board.<br />

“All you really need is tiny platform upon<br />

which to stand. That’s why you see<br />

those who can really foil up on a 4’, 35<br />

litre board. The board simply provides<br />

the buoyancy to help get you to your<br />

feet. The bigger you are, the bigger<br />

board you require. The better you are,<br />

the smaller board you require. The Foil<br />

Drive simply levels the playing field. The<br />

motorised propellor gives you the speed<br />

and buoyancy you need to get up on foil<br />

so you won’t need as big a board.<br />

“So, our focus has been on<br />

finding a means by which you<br />

can be assisted to get the<br />

board up and out of the water<br />

and on foil, and then,<br />

let Mother Nature do<br />

her thing.”<br />

83 / #55 / <strong>SB</strong>

“Our boards are still<br />

lightweight as we<br />

utilise sustainable<br />

natural materials to<br />

deliver great strength<br />

to weight ratios with<br />

high impact strength.”<br />

“Once you are up and running, you can motor<br />

out to the swell line, pull around and onto some<br />

swell and turn off the motor. Doing it that way<br />

you will get about two hours riding out of the<br />

battery and I challenge many to go beyond that<br />

two hours because you are knackered. That is<br />

all you need. This way you have the assist of<br />

the motor where you need it and then you tap<br />

into nature’s energy source, being the wind and<br />

water. It is the best of both worlds.”<br />

Jack simply sees the technology as a means<br />

to introduce more people to foiling and open<br />

up the opportunity to ride unridden swells. As<br />

many would attest to, our local breaks are most<br />

definitely becoming more and more crowded<br />

so any reduction or diversion of these numbers<br />

has to be seen as a positive. What Jack does<br />

craft however is a pretty impressive range of<br />

foilboards for beginners<br />

through to the most<br />

experienced.<br />

“We basically produce<br />

right here on the Sunny<br />

Coast two ranges of Foil<br />

boards. The Foilz8 is our<br />

entry level beginner board<br />

range priced at $880 and<br />

comes in two lengths – 4’8”<br />

and a 5’. The SURFoilz<br />

is our high-performance<br />

foil board range and here<br />

we have boards for prone foiling through to<br />

downwinding, SUP and wingsurfing.<br />

“We’re really concentrating on producing<br />

a more sustainable foil board. We have<br />

steered away from carbon because, whether<br />

or not people are aware, it is not great for<br />

the environment, absolutely terrible to work<br />

with (carbon dust), has extremely low impact<br />

resistance, and the boards are prone to<br />

overheating if left in the heat. We exclusively<br />

use vacuum technology, having manufactured<br />

over five thousand boards in the last decade<br />

using this technology.<br />

“Our boards are still lightweight as we utilise<br />

sustainable natural materials to deliver a great<br />

strength to weight ratios with high impact<br />

strength.”<br />

Jack informs me his workshop right near the<br />

Sunshine Coast airport also specialises in foil<br />

repairs and the installation of the Foil Drive<br />

motorised propellor we spoke of earlier. Not<br />

only that, but he also has a foil simulator in the<br />

workshop where you can experience the feeling<br />

of balancing the foil board prior to going to the<br />

expense of purchasing a foil board. It’s basically<br />

a one stop shop – beginner foil boards,<br />

performance foil boards, foil repairs and foil<br />

experience all in one. It prompts Jack to recall<br />

his childhood growing up near Williamstown<br />

Beach in Melbourne’s southern outskirts.<br />

“I used to ride my bike over to Williamstown<br />

Beach from Spotswood with a huge board in<br />

tow whenever there was some wind generated<br />

swell. The board was the first I hand shaped<br />

from a solid slab of balsa 8’ long by 2’ wide and<br />

6” thick. I used to clamp on pram wheels to the<br />

nose and hang onto the<br />

big plywood fin while I<br />

rode my bike the 6km trip.<br />

Who would have thought<br />

60 years on this whole<br />

wind and water energy<br />

transfer I loved so much<br />

as a kid would have such<br />

an effect on me all these<br />

years later.”<br />

surfoilz.com<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #55 / 84

gear<br />


Looks good, feels good, surfs incredible.<br />

words: dave swan<br />

First of all, this board is drop dead sexy. If<br />

you’re currently single, this will fill any void<br />

in your life. Secondly, it is incredibly light.<br />

Indeed, I have never owned a board this light<br />

(and I presently have a 6’4” Sunova quad<br />

in my quiver that doesn’t even come close).<br />

Thirdly, the length and plan shape are just<br />

what I love and being a twin, it was the icing<br />

on the cake. With all that said, I confess to<br />

some trepidation when trying out this board<br />

for the first time.<br />

My surfing over the last five to six months has<br />

been limited to say the least. Regular readers<br />

will know I am accident prone way beyond<br />

the norm. Over the last half a year I have torn<br />

my calf twice, in two different spots, a grade<br />

two and then a grade three tear, just getting<br />

myself right from the first injury to do it all<br />

over again before I got a chance to surf (how<br />

do you even tear a calf twice when you don’t<br />

even have any?). Then, when I was finally<br />

right and heading out for a surf one afternoon,<br />

just before I ventured out I managed to fall<br />

three metres from a ladder onto a frameless<br />

glass pool fence somehow avoiding cutting<br />

myself in two but still managing to near<br />

sever my left ear off, split open my head and<br />

break six of my ribs. A trip to the hospital,<br />

five staples to the noggin, some crafty<br />

plastic surgery stitching to the ear and a can<br />

of toughen up for the ribs is what ensued<br />

and needless to say, I was out of the surf<br />

for another couple of months. Anyhow, this<br />

incredible board arrived as a cheer-me-up<br />

Christmas gift from none other than Mark<br />

Riley of Riley Balsa Surfboards. I was super<br />

keen to try it out as soon as my body healed.<br />

My first surf back was on a longboard to<br />

simply test all my injuries had healed, and the<br />

second surf back was on this beauty. Before<br />

I entered the water however, questions rolled<br />

around inside my head that, given the amount<br />

of injuries I had sustained, my extended<br />

absence from the water, and the fact my<br />

surfing was never flash anyhow, could still<br />

surf a board like this? This little fish quickly<br />

allayed any fears. Thanks to the EPS core it<br />

was super buoyant and easy to paddle out<br />

which in turn made it just as easy to paddle<br />

onto waves. A magic rail line with a tucked<br />

in tail enabled me to slot into the pocket of<br />

some little Sunshine Coast sliders. Thanks<br />

to the two hand-shaped wooden fins it had<br />

plenty of drive whilst enabling you to perform<br />

some nice drawn-out curves. The boards<br />

lightness further assisted in this area as it<br />

allowed you to whip it around.<br />

This board featured the Versa traction grip,<br />

and this was the first I had tested it. It was<br />

steady under foot, I didn’t slip at all and in<br />

fact noted no difference to wax. What I did<br />

appreciate however was not having to wax<br />

my board and the fact the board looks so<br />

pristine. This shape was also the first Mark<br />

had produced with a matte finish as opposed<br />

to a gloss polish. Not only did it look amazing,<br />

but I far prefer it to the polish. For mine, it<br />

complements the light colour of the balsa<br />

better than the gloss and you have more<br />

traction when gripping the rails duck diving<br />

and getting to your feet.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #55 / 86

gear<br />

SAM SWAN<br />

Mark riley<br />


Mark Riley has been shaping beautiful<br />

balsa boards for over 27 years,<br />

shipping them to his clientele around<br />

the globe. Whether it is a lightweight,<br />

high performance recycled EPS core<br />

and balsa skin surfboards such as this<br />

or a traditional solid balsa collectible,<br />

he shapes them all for their intended<br />

use, by hand. Fishes, longboards,<br />

single fins, guns, funboards and<br />

paddleboards, there is absolutely<br />

nothing he hasn’t shaped. Having<br />

ridden a number of his boards and now<br />

the proud owner of this little fish, I can<br />

testify they are the ducks guts and surf<br />

as good as they look. There is nothing<br />

better than having a functional piece<br />

of art that you can mount on a wall at<br />

your home or office and then take it<br />

down and surf it, and not just meander<br />

around on wave but really rip it to<br />

pieces (in my mind anyway).<br />

Mark’s high-performance range feature<br />

a recycled EPS form core with a<br />

vacuum-wrapped 2-3mm balsa skin<br />

glassed in epoxy resin. This not only<br />

delivers an incredible strength to weight<br />

ratio, it makes them super durable and<br />

arguably one of the most sustainably<br />

made surfboards on the planet.<br />


6’2” x 21 ½” x 2 7/8”<br />

x<br />

x<br />

Fully hand-shaped<br />

100% recycled<br />

EPS foam core<br />

x x<br />

x<br />

x<br />

x<br />

Vacuum-wrapped<br />

2mm sustainablygrown<br />

balsa skin<br />

Solid balsa rails<br />

Cedar and balsa<br />

handmade nose<br />

and tail blocks<br />

Cedar feature<br />

pinlines<br />

x<br />

x<br />

Hand-shaped<br />

balsa and cedar<br />

fins<br />

Revered Gearbox<br />

fin system with<br />

matching wood<br />

covers<br />

Carbon footprint<br />

reportedly less<br />

than a quarter of<br />

a traditional PU<br />

surfboard<br />

balsawoodsurfboardsriley.com<br />

87 / #55 / <strong>SB</strong>

gear<br />

Hemp-powered<br />

You may remember Stephen Halpin from our last edition as<br />

the shaper who miraculously transforms venetian blinds<br />

into beautiful wooden surfboards.<br />

Every surfboard Stephen shapes is created with the<br />

belief that we all have to look after the environment<br />

however we can. Based in Coolum Beach on the<br />

Sunshine Coast, he is the founder of Shapes by Steveo<br />

and uses recycled wood, sustainably grown timber and<br />

eco-friendly materials wherever possible to create his<br />

boards.<br />

Having been around docks and aircraft hangars for<br />

most of his childhood, Stephen has always had an<br />

appreciation of hydrodynamics and aeronautics.<br />

Growing up, he was constantly building and tinkering<br />

with timber. This, paired with his passion for surfing,<br />

made him want to learn more about how to design his<br />

own surfboard and experiment with a board’s lines,<br />

curve and flow.<br />

After moving to Noosa at 26, he studied the subtle craft<br />

of surfboard manufacturing under many well-respected<br />

shapers. Now, Stephen has his own business designing<br />

and manufacturing a variety of surfboards, although,<br />

wooden boards is what he truly enjoys the most.<br />

Most recently, he has delved into the vast capabilities of<br />

hemp in his new eco-friendly board range: Hemp Tech.<br />

Stephen said his Hemp Tech boards are made from<br />

a variety of hemp materials such as hemp flax, cloth,<br />

linen, silk, a basalt/hemp woven cloth, and they use<br />

recycled polystyrene blanks with organic epoxy resin.<br />

“I use the leftover polystyrene that I get from Brisbane<br />

factories. When I get the re-ground and re-blown blanks<br />

I then put in sustainable plantation timber –<br />

Paulownia for the stringer.<br />

“There is also a minimum amount of<br />

fibreglass that is used when making it, so it’s<br />

a lot greener than a normal PU surfboard.”<br />

Each board is fully handmade in Australia<br />

from the start of the shaping process to the<br />

finish and has the personal touch of a handpainted<br />

logo on each. In addition to being<br />

eco-friendly, Stephen said hemp comes in a<br />

lot of different styles of fabric and can make<br />

for a very beautiful board.<br />

“Hemp has a greyish sort of look to it, but<br />

the linen can come in any colour that you<br />

want. Hemp flax comes in a light or dark<br />

chocolate and the hemp silk is white with a<br />

pearly sheen.<br />

“Hemp was used all over the world until it<br />

got outlawed and plastics began to surface.<br />

I’d really like to see a comeback in it,<br />

because it can do everything plastic can do<br />

and a lot more.<br />

“Hemp was the past, and it’s going to be the<br />

future, because people are starting to realise<br />

the number of plastics that are in the ocean,<br />

and just don’t want to see it anymore.”<br />


WACKO<br />

5’11<br />

19 - 2 1/2<br />

31.0L<br />

The Wacko can<br />

be a one-board<br />

quiver. It’s good for<br />

wedging, slabbing<br />

waves and is also<br />

a great follow-on<br />

as a better wave<br />

step-up board for<br />

those who ride a<br />

wider, high-volume<br />

shortboard or fish<br />

design. I also ride<br />

mine as a lazy<br />

winter paddler in<br />

small waves.<br />

NAPALM<br />

6’4<br />

19 - 2 1/2<br />

32.5L<br />

The Napalm loves<br />

being surfed hard<br />

and fast and is my<br />

personal favourite<br />

for overhead waves.<br />

What surfers have<br />

enjoyed with this<br />

board is the free<br />

and forgiving feeling<br />

combined with the<br />

ability to really put<br />

the board on rail and<br />

push as hard as you<br />

want with no need<br />

to hold back. This<br />

board has no limits.<br />

DESERT<br />

STORM<br />

7’6<br />

19 3/4 - 3 1/8<br />

48.5L<br />

The Desert Storm is<br />

making a significant<br />

impact on big wave<br />

gun design as a<br />

proven performer<br />

in many locations.<br />

The Desert Storm is<br />

the next level gun<br />

where volume is<br />

the key between<br />

missing and<br />

catching the<br />

biggest wave of<br />

your life.<br />

webstersurfboards.com.au<br />

Webster Surfboards has become world<br />

renowned for innovative, trustworthy<br />

and versatile designs. We understand<br />

that all of the variables involved in the<br />

shaping of a surfboard are dependent<br />

on the surfer, the waves they ride and<br />

their surfing style.<br />

The correct volume for any surfboard<br />

will simply provide a surfer with the<br />

best opportunity to enjoy their surfing!<br />

The first consideration is the surfer<br />

– specifically, their size, height,<br />

weight and their surfing style and<br />

technique. Webster Surfboards<br />

considers a surfer’s quiver in any initial<br />

design consult and relevant width<br />

considerations given across the quiver<br />

will help the transition between boards!<br />

The next considerations are the speed,<br />

power and size of the waves the surfer<br />

intends to ride. The final consideration<br />

is how the surfer approaches waves.<br />

The more demanding and critical the<br />

manoeuvres a surfer wants to perform,<br />

the less tolerance there is in varying<br />

from correct volume.<br />

A board with correct volume that is<br />

well foiled and distributed will paddle<br />

and catch waves well, create and<br />

sustain planning speed, and most<br />

importantly, engage rails with sufficient<br />

rail volume to accelerate out of turns.<br />

Correct volume offers a surfer<br />

optimum performance in every section<br />

of a wave – which is why this process<br />

is so important to Webster surfboards,<br />

because quality and satisfaction is<br />

what our boards are all about.<br />


0416 049 205<br />


1/13 CLARK ST, BALLINA NSW 2478<br />

89 / #52 / <strong>SB</strong>

surfer_ Benny Hansen<br />

photographer_ Michael Lester<br />

shaper_ dburge<br />



Custom Shortboards<br />

Hybrid & Fishes<br />

Mals and Logs<br />

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

M: 0415 577 085

It all began in 1957 in the<br />

back streets of Brookvale<br />

on the Northern Beaches<br />

of Sydney, Australia, by our<br />

legendary Denny Keogh.<br />

Through his foresight and openness to<br />

innovate; Keyo became one of the pioneering<br />

brands in Australian surf history and a major<br />

player in the shortboard revolution.<br />

Keyo embraced technology for production,<br />

pushed design through ingenuity and quality<br />

through craftsmanship. This is still the way<br />

things are done today. The brand is still<br />

family run and owned. Headed up by Denny’s<br />

daughter, Vanessa and her husband/shaper<br />

Johnny Gill.<br />

Together they collaborate to<br />

create simple and fun-ctional<br />

surfboards and essentials for<br />

all your adventures.<br />

Keyo is all about the common-thread created<br />

by the surf, the craft and the people that help<br />

build our ever-growing community.<br />

0414 577 813<br />

johnny@keyointernational.com<br />


gear<br />

When we say we make custom<br />

surfboards we mean custom!!! All<br />

the bells and whistles on this one.<br />

Challenging but fun build with all the<br />

best materials and labour.<br />

#clarksurfboards #thedingking<br />

#customsurfboards #burfordblanks<br />

#ridefutures #foamspray<br />

#glosspolish #madeinadelaide<br />

#quality #oneofakind<br />



Units 7 & 8, 9 Chapman Road,<br />

Hackham, SA<br />

E: leightonclark01@yahoo.com.au<br />

M: 0422 443 789<br />

Go<br />

Wild!<br />


SURF<br />


different to the rest.<br />

PHONE: 02 4456 4038<br />

MOBILE: 0427 767 176<br />

EMAIL: markrab88@gmail.com<br />

mark_rabbidge_surf_design<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #55 / 92

gear<br />

Burford Blanks<br />

provides surfboard<br />

blanks and<br />

other surfboard<br />

materials to help<br />

you build your<br />

ultimate surfboard<br />

including:<br />

Foam surfboard blanks<br />

Polyester resin<br />

Fibreglass<br />

Fibreglass fins<br />

@burfordblanks<br />

Burford<br />

blanks<br />

Located in Currumbin, we have<br />

been supplying to the surfboard<br />

industry since 1966, providing<br />

services Australia-wide and<br />

exporting internationally. Our<br />

goal is to get your project on<br />

the right track with the right<br />

surfboard blanks and materials<br />

for your needs. When you shop<br />

for surfboard blanks with us,<br />

you can rest assured your needs<br />

are in the hands of a dedicated<br />

family-run business.<br />

Whether you know exactly what<br />

you need for your surfboard<br />

requirements or you could<br />

benefit from some professional<br />

advice, we’re happy to help.<br />

Call us today!<br />

07 5534 3777 to speak<br />

to one of our surfboard<br />

blanks specialists!<br />

www.burfordblanksaustralia.com.au<br />

93 / #55 / <strong>SB</strong>

art<br />

Life’s<br />

a trip<br />

Chances are, if you<br />

follow Paul Tyler’s<br />

journey up the east<br />

coast of Australia,<br />

you will find his art<br />

adorning something<br />

or another, whether<br />

it be surfboards,<br />

murals or stickers<br />

posted on beachside<br />

lampposts.<br />

Known by many as Tyler, the surf artist<br />

is notorious for living the nomadic van<br />

life and trailing behind vibrant, quirky<br />

canvasses wherever he goes. Inspired<br />

by coastal landscapes, his life on the<br />

road and ocean conservation, Tyler’s<br />

psychedelic paintings were originally a<br />

colourful way to relax during a not-socolourful<br />

time in his life.<br />

In a far cry from his current lifestyle, Tyler<br />

used to live in Torquay, Victoria where<br />

he owned a few businesses including a<br />

skate shop, restaurant and café. Tyler<br />

said everyone goes through things in<br />

their life that change their direction, and<br />

for him, it was bankruptcy and divorce.<br />

“After that, I sort of questioned<br />

everything that I was doing in my<br />

adulting. I guess when you live with all<br />

these materialistic things like money<br />

and houses and then you lose it all, you<br />

realise you can’t go through life doing the<br />

same and expecting a different result.<br />

So, I did everything differently.<br />

“As I was going through bankruptcy, I<br />

didn’t have anywhere to live. I guess you<br />

could say homeless, but it depends on<br />

how you approach homelessness. Some<br />

people sleep on the side of the road,<br />

whereas I had a little tent that I set up in<br />

a park in Byron.<br />

“It was kind of sad, but then I started<br />

drawing my art, and I think that brought<br />

me both happiness and something to<br />

ground myself with. More importantly,<br />

my art kind of kept my mind still and<br />

made me focus on drawing with bright<br />

colours and happiness even though<br />

personally, I was in a pretty dark place.<br />

“From that, I learnt how to live really<br />

basically – with needs and not wants.<br />

I have learnt so many lessons living<br />

like that, which I am still learning today<br />

five years on. The solitude is hard<br />

sometimes, but you also learn a lot about<br />

yourself. You need to be comfortable in<br />

your own skin and in who you are as a<br />

person, and you have to be humble and<br />

happy with living simply.”<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #55 / 94

Everyone is so insistent on telling you what you<br />

can’t do in life – you can’t surf, you can’t take your<br />

dog, you can’t stay in your van. If there is a rule<br />

that hasn’t been made yet, they put it on a sign.<br />

After living in a tent in Byron, Tyler<br />

said he travelled to New Zealand<br />

and lived in the mountains near<br />

Tongariro Alpine Crossing, where<br />

every morning was like walking out<br />

the back door and seeing a volcano<br />

in his backyard.<br />

“When Covid came along in 2020,<br />

I was required to head back to<br />

Australia, which turned out to be<br />

the best thing that ever happened<br />

to me, because I got back and had<br />

access to money. So I bought a<br />

van and then just started travelling<br />

the east coast of Australia while<br />

dodging lockdowns. Everyone else<br />

had to stay home, but I was free,<br />

so I went all the way to the top of<br />

Australia and back.<br />

“It was bizarre, because I went<br />

through Cape Tribulation and there<br />

were a lot of people in vans and<br />

being nomadic, but no tourists.<br />

I also remember driving to Airlie<br />

Beach and just being wowed,<br />

because there was all this beautiful<br />

blue water but no one around.”<br />

Tyler’s art is best described as<br />

psychedelic snapshots of Australian<br />

surf culture, with each having a<br />

meaningful message behind its<br />

madness. A great example is a<br />

beautiful piece of his depicting<br />

whales being taken away by UFO’s<br />

over a desert. He explained it was<br />

about aliens taking their pets back<br />

home before humanity made them<br />

extinct, which gave an impactful<br />

meaning behind its title, ‘Homeward<br />

Bound’. Tyler’s soft spot for whales<br />

and their conservation is seen in<br />

many of his pieces, as well as his<br />

advocacy for more freedom on<br />

Australian beaches.<br />

“My favourite piece would probably<br />

be the one with all of the signs.<br />

Everyone is so insistent on telling<br />

you what you can’t do in<br />

life – you can’t surf,<br />

you can’t take your<br />

dog, you can’t stay<br />

in your van. If there<br />

is a rule that hasn’t<br />

been made yet,<br />

they put it on a sign.<br />

Seeing the signs and<br />

people breaking the<br />

rules right next to<br />

them always gives me<br />

a bit of a laugh and inspires<br />

heaps of my canvasses.<br />

95 / #55 / <strong>SB</strong>

art<br />

“I can paint every day for hours on end and can<br />

lose days so easily. It’s very peaceful and such a<br />

nice way to relax, because when you’re focussing<br />

there’s no room for clutter in your head. To immerse<br />

yourself in art and then share it with other people is<br />

such a positive thing.<br />

“The selling of my art just came about on its own,<br />

someone simply came up to me and offered to buy<br />

one of my canvasses. My intention was never to<br />

really to sell my art. I just drew because it made me<br />

happy and kept my mind still, but then the more<br />

that I drew the more I started putting myself out<br />

there.<br />

“I think people also don’t expect to see someone<br />

with all of their canvasses spread out all over the<br />

footpath and drawing on the spot. People will stop<br />

and chat and it’s the conversations that come out of<br />

it that are so special.”<br />

After travelling to just about every gorgeous beach<br />

and national park on the east coast of Australia, it<br />

would’ve been an oversight not to pick Tyler’s brain<br />

about the very best his trips had to offer. With a<br />

map in front of him, Tyler easily pointed out his gem<br />

locations, which included Wilsons Prom in Victoria<br />

and Jervis Bay, Blue Mountains and Newcastle in<br />

New South Wales.<br />

“The east coast has so many beautiful, stand out<br />

beaches, but I would definitely recommend Cape<br />

Tribulation. I love it and keep going back to it. It’s<br />

where the rainforest meets the ocean and reef –<br />

where two national parks meet each other. The<br />

entire Great Ocean Road is also just beautiful.<br />

“A few places are really strict. In the Gold Coast I<br />

had a ranger stop me because they consider what<br />

I do a commercial business. I am just painting<br />

out of a van, I just want to spread art, colour and<br />

happiness, but I get asked to pack up a lot, and<br />

it’s whatever. In the Gold Coast, I got fined $667<br />

because I was sleeping in my van, and it’s a similar<br />

fine with my art on the beach.<br />

<strong>SB</strong> / #55 / 96

art<br />

I just want to spread art,<br />

colour and happiness..<br />

“Over the last three years, I have done<br />

90,000 kms on the east coast. So I mean<br />

that is a lot of laps. I am at the point now<br />

where I struggle to think about what beach<br />

I haven’t been to. Now when I travel I’ll<br />

start driving up some random road and see<br />

what’s at the end.”<br />

One of Tyler’s new avenues is drone<br />

photography, which allows him to view the<br />

beaches he has visited so many times from a<br />

new perspective. He has also found a lot of<br />

success after releasing his first jigsaw puzzle<br />

and would love to create more, although he<br />

will be travelling to Asia and cannot make<br />

sales until he gets back in June.<br />

When asked about his long-term plans, Tyler<br />

said he simply doesn’t have any besides<br />

continuing to travel, spread colour and leave<br />

a trail of vivid artwork in his wake.<br />

“It’s just finding a balance between my<br />

projects and the life that I live. I am also<br />

going to Asia, so hopefully I save money<br />

being overseas and find some inspiration for<br />

my art.<br />

“I just wish the universe sends me<br />

something amazing every day, but then, it<br />

does that anyway. I don’t know if I’m ever<br />

going to settle, or even what that means for<br />

me. Every day is just another day, and it can<br />

bring anything,” he said.<br />

97 / #55 / <strong>SB</strong>

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