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smorgasboarder<br />

2023<br />

#56<br />

SURFmagazine<br />

COLD AS ICE<br />

KAMCHATKA<br />

SNOW GOOD<br />

Silver star<br />

CHUFFED<br />

GREAT BRITAIN


Celebrating<br />

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28<br />

52<br />

CONTENTS<br />

#56<br />

2023<br />

82<br />

56<br />

8 News<br />

12 Controversy<br />

16 Competition<br />

18 Winter Stuff<br />

22 Across the Ditch<br />

28 Corners of the Earth<br />

50 Roam<br />

56 SilverStar<br />

82 Wuux SURFBOARDS<br />

86 A British Surf Trip<br />

92 Gear<br />

98 Aloha Barry<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 />

SURFmagazine<br />

COLD AS ICE<br />

KAMCHATKA<br />

SNOW GOOD<br />

Silver star<br />

2023<br />

#56<br />

CHUFFED<br />

GREAT BRITAIN<br />

our cover<br />

Corners of the Earth - Kamchatka<br />

Photo: Guy Williment<br />

get involved<br />

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

interesting surf-related stuff you<br />

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

editorial@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

get your fix<br />

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editions per year - $25 annual<br />

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some free copies.<br />

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smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

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smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

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

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

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


Photo: Guy Williment


This edition is dedicated to those with ice in their<br />

veins. People who say weird things like, ‘the colder, the<br />

better’. Those who yearn for frigid waves, snow-covered<br />

beaches and steep slopes deeply coated with powder.<br />

I must confess, I am one of those weirdos. While<br />

some may wish for warm weather and waves, I seek<br />

something a little different from the norm. Born and<br />

raised in Queensland, I am over the heat. I guess it is<br />

true what they say, ‘the grass is always greener on the<br />

other side’. I like things on the chilly side and the road<br />

less travelled for me is by far the most interesting.<br />

In this edition, we most certainly seek out the road less<br />

travelled. We follow four intrepid Australians on a very<br />

different surf trip to Siberia of all places, widely known<br />

as one of the coldest places on earth. The story and<br />

photos are truly out of this world, and we feel incredibly<br />

privileged to publish them.<br />

From Siberia we then travel across to one of the most<br />

dreamlike destinations on earth, a town that resembles a<br />

miniature Disneyland in the snow. Simply put, SilverStar<br />

is special. Anyone who has ever been describes the<br />

place as magical. The village is quaint and cosy, yet the<br />

scale and variety of mountain terrain is vast. Of all the<br />

surf and snow destinations combined, believe it or not,<br />

this quite possibly could be my number one. I dream of<br />

the day I can soon return.<br />

Following these two feature stories, we then make<br />

a quick dash across to the British Isles. Here James<br />

Sledmere takes us on a completely foreign English surf<br />

trip made up of artificial waves and Australianesque<br />

temps.<br />

We talk with artisan board builder Wilhelm Margreiter<br />

from Salzburg, Austria of all places. We did say this<br />

edition was going to be a focus on all things cold and<br />

lovely. Wilhelm is crafting some incredible boards<br />

specifically designed for the waves in his corner of the<br />

world – river waves. He also happens to build some very<br />

nice ones for the ocean as well.<br />

If that wasn’t enough, we also visit one of the ‘coolest’<br />

purveyors of longboards in Australia. We are talking<br />

about none other than one of the forefathers of the<br />

Australian surf industry, Bennett Surfboards. Here<br />

we discuss how his his son and grandson, Greg and<br />

Tom Bennett, are carrying forth the flame of legendary<br />

founder Barry Bennett. Stocking some of our favourite<br />

shapers such as Mark Rabbidge and Sam Egan, this<br />

is a store you must visit on any surfing road trip down<br />

Australia’s east coast.<br />

There’s also more reader comps to win free stuff, plenty<br />

of surfboards to drool over, irreverent humour from our<br />

mate Curl, more incredible escapes from Unyoked,<br />

cranky rants in our Controversy column and heaps<br />

of the latest and greatest surf and snow gear. It is an<br />

incredibly ‘cool’ edition we reckon. Enjoy.<br />

The Smorgasboarders


see the wood


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NEWS<br />

Big win for surfers<br />

# 56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

8<br />

For anyone wondering why<br />

we don’t see many surf<br />

clubhouses around, look no<br />

further than the unyielding<br />

effort of the WindanSea<br />

Boardriders, who finally<br />

have their clubhouse after<br />

a decade-long battle.<br />

The club has been surfing at the Currimundi break<br />

for over 50 years, and was finally given the green<br />

light to build a clubhouse in the Sunshine Coast in<br />

2019 despite opposition from a pair of businessmen<br />

who argued the club would end up hosting boozy<br />

late-night functions… I mean honestly.<br />

Everyone is welcome to celebrate the grand opening<br />

of the WindanSea Boardriders Community Club on 1<br />

July, where a free barbeque will be held to thank the<br />

community who advocated for the club when they<br />

needed it most.<br />

We were lucky enough to sit down and have a chat<br />

with Cr Terry Landsberg, a member of the club for<br />

35 years and an avid surfer himself, who said it was<br />

an amazing opportunity to build a home for the<br />

surfing club in Caloundra.<br />

“I’ve been president of the club for nearly 15 years. I<br />

was always wanting it to evolve and knew it was time<br />

to get serious about having a supportive base for<br />

members and building a club where we can promote<br />

surfing, as it has become such an important part of<br />

our lifestyle here on the coast.<br />

“Obviously it's all new to us. It's not like a surf<br />

lifesaving club. There's no pokies or alcohol licence.<br />

It’s really a clubhouse committed to promoting the<br />

benefits of surfing in Caloundra."<br />

The construction of the clubhouse was driven<br />

by some extremely passionate members and<br />

supporters of the club. Terry said it's been a long<br />

road, from going through development applications<br />

to the funding process and finally getting approval<br />

from council.<br />

"We were just extremely lucky that the right people<br />

came along at the right time and offered their<br />

support, because otherwise it would have never<br />

been achieved. It's an amazing story.<br />

“We're really fortunate. There's a lot of different<br />

waves available down this end of the coast and<br />

heaps of alternative breaks. That’s probably a good<br />

reason why so many great surfers come from our<br />

region. Surfing promotes such a healthy lifestyle in<br />

our community.”<br />

By fighting for their clubhouse, the WindanSea<br />

Boardriders have done the hard part of laying down<br />

the legal foundation for other surfing clubs to follow<br />

in their lead, meaning that we may be seeing a whole<br />

new world for surfing clubs in the years to come.


NEWS<br />

Shane and Keilani in 2013<br />

They grow<br />

up so fast<br />

Smorgasboarder veterans from back<br />

in 2013 will remember Shane and his<br />

beautiful little girl, Keilani, who was three and<br />

a half when she went piggybacking on her dad’s back –<br />

while on a surfboard of course.<br />

Shane Clark is still living the dream in one of the most<br />

remote regions in Papua New Guinea with his lovely<br />

family, although Keilani is now ten years older, and<br />

his family has gotten a lot bigger. When we finally had<br />

the chance to catch up with him, Shane said there is<br />

a healthy three-pronged surfing rivalry between them<br />

all.<br />

“Keilani, my oldest, rides mals. She has been riding a<br />

9’0” that I shaped for her but has recently discovered<br />

my TJ Pro – I don’t think I am getting it back.<br />

“Mahea, the middle child, has more boards than me I<br />

think. She mostly rides a 5’6” Dylan Longbottom and<br />

is always chasing the barrel.<br />

“Zuzu, the youngest, rides Keilani’s old 5’10” quad<br />

that a friend of mine shaped. She has only just<br />

started surfing on her own in the last two months –<br />

she is four.”<br />

newirelandsurf.com<br />

Shane continues to run Rubio Plantation Retreat<br />

in the mostly uncharted, surf-rich coast of New<br />

Ireland Province in Papua New Guinea. Despite the<br />

difficulties that came with his business being shut<br />

down for the past three years due to Covid, Shane<br />

said his family have had some great waves all to<br />

themselves nonetheless.<br />

“Other than the restriction of travel and loss<br />

of income, life was pretty normal – no social<br />

distancing, no masks, no problem.<br />

“Life here is good. Tourism was close to being back<br />

to normal this past season and bookings are decent<br />

for the upcoming season, so we should be okay.<br />

“We still mostly just surf out front, it’s hard to go<br />

anywhere else when it is this good.”<br />

It would be obvious to say Shane remains the most<br />

stoked surfer in the whole country. For a chance to<br />

see the marvellous waves in his corner of the world,<br />

visit newirelandsurf.com.<br />

# 56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

9


NEWS<br />

Letter<br />

We’re constantly reviewing what we<br />

should do in the future and revisiting<br />

what we have done in the past to<br />

continue building Smorgasboarder<br />

as the magazine for the grassroots<br />

surf community. What we did in the<br />

early years was to feature plenty<br />

of you, photos of you surfing and<br />

letters to us about the mag. So,<br />

with that in mind, we thought<br />

we would publish a bit of your<br />

recent feedback, which we greatly<br />

appreciate because it lets us know<br />

what you would like to see more or<br />

less of. On the photo side of things,<br />

let’s get this happening again and<br />

get ‘you’ in our mag. Send them in.<br />

phoebe@smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

# 56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

10<br />

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Groups from 6 - 12 pax catered for.<br />

Wide variety of activities available.<br />

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MALDIVES SURF CHARTERS<br />

Hi Dave,<br />

You probably won't remember me, I'm the old bloke who<br />

picked up a stack of old Australian Longboarding and Pacific<br />

Longboarder magazines from you about 6 to 8 years ago.<br />

Whenever I see your magazine in a surf shop I always take<br />

one to read and really enjoy the content, well done to you!<br />

I wish to comment on Edition #55 of your Smorgasboarder<br />

magazine.<br />

I was touched by the moving story about your father,<br />

particularly his succinct comments, obviously a giant of a<br />

man in many ways, gone too soon. Mine too introduced me<br />

to surfing (at Portsea, Vic) as a 10-year-old.<br />

We all only ever have one Dad.<br />

Keep up the good work,<br />

Regards, Trevor Gill<br />

Thanks Trevor. As always, we appreciate all<br />

feedback on the mag and thanks for your kind<br />

words about dad. As for Portsea, love that<br />

place. So many good spots in Vic.


s<br />

On<br />

a personal note, I would sincerely like to thank so many of our readers<br />

that reached out to me following the death of my dad with their well wishes<br />

and condolences. I was really taken aback by the number of emails, social<br />

media messages and texts received.<br />

Hi Dave,<br />

Firstly, let me say how much I enjoy your Mag -<br />

Smorgasboarder.<br />

Good editorial about the term 'KOOK'. I'm an<br />

old school surfer, 65 now and been surfing since<br />

12, albeit I can’t get up anymore so I ride a 'Gut<br />

Slider'. The term KOOK to me was something I<br />

didn't know and hadn't heard before until quite<br />

recently. I don't think we (old blokes) had a term<br />

for beginners in the water other than 'L Platers’,<br />

but it wasn't used in a derogatory nature, it was<br />

more of an observation of a certain person's skill set and<br />

understanding in the water.<br />

I've seen it and done it quite a few times, given a beginner<br />

a couple 'hints and tips' out in the water especially if they<br />

have paddled out into a reasonable size swell and may<br />

be sitting in the wrong spot and could possibly get hurt<br />

by accident. Sadly, surf etiquette seems to be a thing of<br />

the past. Do the young crew not know to look inside when<br />

paddling onto a wave or do they just drop in deliberately?<br />

I'd like to think they just don't know how the 'right of way'<br />

on a wave works.<br />

As above, I surf on my guts now due to a crook knee and<br />

my 21st birthday being way too long ago.


Rich people<br />

I could not count the number of times we have discussed advertising<br />

campaigns with the marketing managers of national firms only to be told<br />

surfers weren’t really their market, or that surfing was too niche, or that they<br />

are appealing to a more well-heeled clientele. I have always found it to be an<br />

interesting observation by these marketing gurus given that:<br />

1. Firstly, they were using surfers to promote their product or service and<br />

yet surfers aren’t really their market. It is kind of like using an image of a<br />

butcher to advertise a new line of vegan cupcakes.<br />

2. Surfing is too niche? Well, by all reports there is conservatively over 2.5<br />

million recreational surfers in Australia. That’s just shy of 10% of the<br />

population. To put that in perspective, that is more than the number of<br />

people who play golf, tennis, netball, cricket, soccer and even cycling<br />

(thank goodness). Only swimming surpasses the number of surfers.<br />

Surfing nowadays is practically a way of life for most Australians (Kiwis<br />

too! There’s 315,000 of them in the Land of the Long White Cloud).<br />

3. Surfers aren’t well-heeled? Basically, this means the perception that<br />

surfers are bums with no jobs, who live out of their car and surf all day<br />

is alive and well. This being the case, over 10% of our population live<br />

out of their car (the way things are going, this could scarily come true<br />

but hopefully not) and our unemployment figures are completely out<br />

of whack. Strange how an estimated $91 billion USD a year is spent<br />

globally on surf tourism to a demographic that apparently has no<br />

money.<br />

These little misconceptions from our marketeers led me down the rabbit<br />

hole of whether all surfers are poor and if there are indeed any wealthy ones<br />

among us. Surely, given that approximately 10% of our population surf,<br />

there must be an even spread of various economic groups and all surfers<br />

can't be destitute. My little bit of research into the matter lead to some pretty<br />

interesting findings that prove the Vice President of Marketing for Bud Light<br />

Blue, Alissa Gordon Heinerscheid, isn’t alone in her understanding of what<br />

appeals to her target audience. I confess, I am being facetious here (just<br />

google Alissa to find out what she is now famous for). Here’s a little roll call<br />

of some folk who have a coin or two to their name, who also happen to like<br />

surfing and presumably do not live out of their car.<br />

I guess one place to start is Forbes Magazine’s top 40 Richest People in<br />

Australia. Coming in at number 3 and 4 is Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott<br />

Farquhar, founders of software company Atlassian, whose net worth is $14.2<br />

billion AUD and $14 billion AUD respectively, who both appear to like surfing.<br />

In the past they have even stationed their graduates to work in a beach<br />

house in Narrabeen to spend weeks combining “surfing fun and hard work”<br />

to develop new products.<br />

But, maybe that’s just the new-world-order tech moguls? How about the<br />

legal or banking fraternity? Well, it just so happens former lawyer and<br />

investment banker, Andrew Ross, loved surfing so much he embarked on<br />

building Australia’s first wave park, URBNSURF in Tullamarine utilising the<br />

world renowned Wavegarden artificial wave technology. The development<br />

reportedly took 7 years and cost around $40 million to build. Surely that<br />

amount of cash wouldn’t be spent on no-hopers with no-money.<br />

Then there’s serial entrepreneur David Trewern, the founder of Fliteboard,<br />

an electric-powered foil surfboard. He sells his boards for around $16k, far<br />

from small change, which have appealed to the likes of aforementioned Mike<br />

Cannon-Brookes and the German billionaire founder of Shopify, Tobias Lutke<br />

– another surfer of sorts that happens to have a little cash.<br />

Then there’s the world of acting and Chris Hemsworth whose net worth is<br />

rumoured to be around $162 million. He likes to surf. Simon Baker recently<br />

sold his $17 million house in Bronte for a humble, fibro beach shack in<br />

Lennox Head, one of Northern New South Wales most famed surf breaks,<br />

presumedly to surf a little more.<br />

Even if we go to the world of surfing itself, ex world champ Mick Fanning has<br />

built himself a cool little $20 million empire, and I can confidently state that<br />

he likes to surf.<br />

So, there you go, in summation, it appears that surfers are representative of<br />

the general population: some have cash, some have lots of it and some do<br />

sleep in cars. Surfers are basically everyday people who live, breath and earn<br />

a wage like everyone else, albeit with the hope of enjoying some healthy,<br />

meaningful downtime at their local break.<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

12


THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE BEARS FRUIT ALL YEAR AROUND<br />

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

P: 03 9587 3553<br />

E: rory@okesurfboards.com


ove board<br />

Leg ropes in the line-up<br />

are we looking after one another?<br />

Earlier this year the coastlines along South-<br />

East Queensland and Northern New South<br />

Wales experienced their best summer swell<br />

event. The source of this was Tropical<br />

Cyclone Gabrielle which developed in<br />

the Coral Sea and tracked offshore from<br />

Queensland, eventually wreaking havoc as<br />

an ex-tropical cyclone in New Zealand. As<br />

is usually the case with these types of swellproducing<br />

events, the most manageable<br />

breaks were limited to the points. Naturally,<br />

crowds tend to become very concentrated in<br />

these areas during these swells.<br />

During this recent swell Matthew Cassidy<br />

was surfing at Wategos Beach in Byron Bay<br />

when he was struck by a stray surfboard. He<br />

suffered life-threatening injuries. As the ABC<br />

reported, a leg rope was used as a tourniquet<br />

to stem significant blood loss before he was<br />

flown to Gold Coast Hospital. 1<br />

This incident renewed an ongoing argument<br />

about the use of leg ropes while surfing.<br />

This debate has waxed and waned over the<br />

years in response to incidents like this, which<br />

appear to be happening more frequently.<br />

The apparent increase in the number<br />

of surfing-related incidents is perhaps<br />

unsurprising. According to recent data from<br />

the Australian Sports Commission, surfing<br />

was one of the fastest growing activities<br />

during the pandemic with 196,000 people<br />

over age 15 learning to surf. 2<br />

With swathes of the population moving<br />

into the coastal paradise, a boom in surfing<br />

numbers was inevitable. Increased crowds<br />

during peak swell events, naturally increases<br />

the risk of injury to those out there who are<br />

simply trying to enjoy the best of it. Several<br />

recent studies have analysed the nature and<br />

frequency of surfing related injuries. A 2021<br />

study analysed 8,066 acute surfing injuries,<br />

among 8,393 surfers. Of these injuries,<br />

lacerations were the most common surfing<br />

injuries occurring about 39.1% of the time.<br />

The most common cause of an acute surfing<br />

injury was being struck by a surfboard (either<br />

the person’s own board, or someone else’s) –<br />

this was the cause of nearly half of all surfingrelated<br />

injuries according to that study. 3<br />

The most obvious way to reduce the risk<br />

of these injuries occurring, is by using a leg<br />

rope. The primary purpose of a leg rope is to<br />

avoid a surfboard from being washed away<br />

when you fall off. It clearly guards against<br />

(but doesn’t entirely avoid) the exact types<br />

of injury mentioned above, caused by stray<br />

surfboards dancing around in the waves.<br />

Ironically, some studies have shown relatively<br />

high incidence of hand and finger injuries<br />

associated with the leg rope recoiling. 4<br />

Ultimately though, what we have is a relatively<br />

cheap, easy and almost universally adopted<br />

piece of equipment that significantly reduces<br />

the risk of another person in the ocean being<br />

struck by a stray surfboard. While leg ropes<br />

obviously do not avoid the risk entirely, they<br />

do significantly reduce the risk of incidents<br />

like this happening.<br />

When surfing in crowded breaks or where<br />

there are swimmers and children playing in<br />

the shore break, it is difficult to understand<br />

why you would not take one small step to<br />

protect them from possibly significant injury in<br />

the event you fall. Even the most experienced<br />

surfers regularly fall. The ocean is inherently<br />

unpredictable. The unpredictability is part<br />

of the beauty of surfing. Perhaps this is why<br />

competitions held in wave pools like the Surf<br />

Ranch are so bland in comparison (that is a<br />

topic for another time).<br />

From a legal perspective, a surfer could<br />

potentially be held liable if they are not<br />

wearing a leg rope and their stray board<br />

strikes and injures another. There are<br />

numerous practical challenges with such a<br />

claim, applying to both the injured person<br />

(due to potential defences that might<br />

arise and the likelihood of recovering any<br />

compensation from an individual in the<br />

absence of an insurer) and any respondent to<br />

the claim (in explaining why they do not take<br />

a simple measure to protect others from what<br />

is a reasonably foreseeable risk).<br />

I am not arguing for some sort of rule or law<br />

about the mandatory use of leg ropes, like<br />

that recently adopted by Byron Shire Council.<br />

Time will tell whether the Council enforces<br />

this or whether it is simply all bark and no bite<br />

(I expect the latter). However, common sense<br />

to me comes down to a simple risk-reward<br />

analysis. Not wearing a leg rope in crowded<br />

breaks has little reward or benefit but comes<br />

with potentially great risk to others.<br />

I am also not suggesting this applies to every<br />

session. If you head out at a beach break and<br />

there is no-one around, go for it. But if you<br />

are heading out amongst a crowd, why not?<br />

It’s common sense, isn’t it?<br />

1<br />

B MacKenzie, ‘Byron Bay surfer Matthew Cassidy’s injury sparks call for legropes to be made mandatory’, abc.net.au,<br />

10 February 2023, accessed 15 March 2023.<br />

2<br />

Australian Sports Commission, National Sport and Physical Activity Participation Report, November 2022.<br />

3<br />

Biskley, R, Belyea, C, Harpstrite, K and Min, K, Surfing Injuries; A review for the orthopaedic surgeon, April 2021 9(4).<br />

4<br />

Ruijs AC, Langenberg LC, Rezzouk J, Finger trauma due to surfing; a case series and analysis of fracture patterns.<br />

J Hand Surg Asian Pac Vol. 2017 Mar;22(1):10-3.<br />

schultzlaw.com.au<br />

i


# 56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

15


Surf<br />

Competitions<br />

Winners!<br />

IS FREE<br />

A big congratulations to lucky readers<br />

Benjamin Hall and Ryan Huthnance, the proud<br />

new owners of a quiver of boards from<br />

Shapes by Steve O and a set of Ghost Racks.<br />

Here at Smorgasboarder,<br />

we don’t do things in<br />

halves, which is why in<br />

our last edition as part<br />

of our WIN A QUIVER<br />

COMP, we gave readers<br />

the chance to score three<br />

boards from Stephen<br />

Halpin’s HempTec range.<br />

This competition was a<br />

big one, and we were<br />

thrilled with just how many<br />

entries everyone sent in.<br />

Unfortunately, there could<br />

only be one winner, so by<br />

random draw, Benjamin<br />

was chosen to take home<br />

the fish, shortboard and<br />

gun. When we reached out<br />

to Ben to see how he was<br />

enjoying his new boards, he was stoked.<br />

“The call of soulful surfing left me searching for a retro swallowtail<br />

fish to cover the commonplace winter mushy days, and with the<br />

thanks of Smorgasboarder and Shapes by Steve O, the search is<br />

now over. The pre-dawn peaky waist-high surf provided the perfect<br />

time to test out one of the wins from the competition, the 5’10<br />

HempTech Surfboard fish.<br />

“This stocky board wrapped in hemp skin makes the stick feel<br />

bulletproof and yet is still very light. The fish provided plenty of float<br />

to get into the waves early, gliding down the face and along the<br />

line with ease, while the tail and rocker allowed for easy rail-to-rail<br />

control. This loose and flowy ride left me with an ear-to-ear grin."<br />

Congratulations mate! That’s great to hear. We hope you’ve already<br />

had a chance to surf on every one of them.<br />

Of course, we hardly ever stop at just one measly competition. Last<br />

edition we also gave our readers the opportunity to win a wall rack<br />

from our brilliant friends at Ghost Racks. After another random draw,<br />

it was Ryan who scored the prize for his coffee shop, Uncle Espresso<br />

Bar, in Ahuriri/Napier New Zealand. Congratulations! We know<br />

there’s a snail-mail situation across the ditch, but we hope you can<br />

show off your boards in style with your new Ghost Racks very soon.<br />

A massive thank you to everyone who entered, signed up to our<br />

newsletter and visited our socials.<br />

And now, onto our next competitions…<br />

winner Benjamin Hall<br />

A THANK YOU AND A GIFT<br />

Speaking of competitions, Steve O was blown away by<br />

the number of entrants to the WIN A QUIVER COMP,<br />

so as a special note of thanks he wants to send all<br />

entrants a gift – a bock of wax, some surf stickers and<br />

a gift voucher.<br />

All you have to do<br />

is email him at<br />

steveosuperior1@gmail.com


Competitions<br />

Like to win<br />

this board?<br />

Wooden I?<br />

Here’s your chance to be<br />

the proud-owner of this<br />

beautiful 7’2” hand-crafted<br />

hollow wooden surfboard<br />

by Stephen Halpin.<br />

Board<br />

The board you are in the running<br />

to win is Stephen’s mid-length<br />

7'2" x 21 1/2 " x 2 1/2” paulownia<br />

wooden board, glassed in bio<br />

epoxy resin and featuring a handdrawn,<br />

burnt-in turtle design with<br />

Pāua shell inlays for eyes.<br />

When shaping the board over a<br />

40-hour period, Stephen found<br />

himself being inspired by turtles,<br />

which are often an uplifting<br />

sight to surfers and a unique<br />

experience that connects many<br />

surfers together.<br />

Things you need to<br />

know...<br />

We’ll pick a winner on Monday<br />

31st July 2023, so you have<br />

plenty of time to enter. We will<br />

announce the winner in our<br />

September 2023 Spring edition.<br />

This competition is open to<br />

all Smorgasboarder readers<br />

throughout Australia and New<br />

Zealand.<br />

Please note: It will be the<br />

winner’s responsibility to collect<br />

their prize. This is a competition<br />

of skill – the better you (comp) the<br />

greater your chance of winning this<br />

beautiful wooden board.<br />

Shapes by Steve O<br />

As someone who has been tinkering,<br />

shaping and creating with timber<br />

since he was young, no doubt some<br />

of Stephen Halpin’s best work is seen<br />

in his beautiful and unique collection<br />

of wooden boards. Based in Coolum<br />

Beach on the Sunshine Coast, Stephen<br />

likes to use recycled wood or sustainable<br />

plantation-grown timber wherever<br />

possible, as he strongly believes we all<br />

have to look after the environment however<br />

we can.<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<br />

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

taken the 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<br />

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

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

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

how to enter<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 Monday 31st July 2023, so you<br />

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.<br />

# 56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

17


stuff<br />

inter stuff<br />

Here<br />

is a rundown on a bit of gear we got for our<br />

recent trip to Canada that we absolutely loved.<br />

Unisex Khusi Beanie<br />

Each beanie is hand-knitted in<br />

Nepal and helps to improve the<br />

lives of the knitters who value<br />

their independence and the<br />

chance to use their traditional<br />

craft. Made from lambswool<br />

with fleece lining, its super<br />

warm and comfy and available<br />

at Kathmandu.<br />

$49.98<br />

Kathmandu<br />

Epiq 600 Fill<br />

Down Jacket<br />

Oboz Bridger<br />

B-DRY Waterproof Hiking Boot<br />

# 56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

18<br />

Kathmandu Epiq 600 Fill Down Jacket<br />

Wrap yourself in a blanket with this classic puffer just perfect for around<br />

town. Made of a recycled outer fabric, it allows the insulation to fully<br />

loft, which traps air and keeps you toasty without weighing you down.<br />

It also features internal stretch cuffs to comfortably seal around your<br />

wrists and an adjustable hem for extra weather protection.<br />

Includes:<br />

600-fill power duck down<br />

(80% duck down, 20% duck<br />

feather)<br />

Duck down is Responsible<br />

Down Standard certified,<br />

which means it independently<br />

certifies animal welfare<br />

practices in down and feather<br />

production<br />

$349.96<br />

The Recycled Pertex<br />

Quantum Eco outer fabric has<br />

a Durable Water Repellent<br />

(DWR) finish on the outer<br />

fabric which encourages water<br />

to bead off the fabric’s surface<br />

Two front zip pockets with<br />

soft, brushed lining, plus an<br />

inner stash pocket and inner<br />

zip pocket with a cord port for<br />

headphones<br />

The reasons why we bought<br />

these for our Canada trip<br />

were several: they come<br />

highly recommended by<br />

the Kathmandu crew, who<br />

were extremely helpful when<br />

helping us select the right<br />

gear for our trip; they are the<br />

boot of choice for the team<br />

at Australia Zoo, who are on<br />

their feet all day and challenge<br />

the boot with all sorts of wear and tear; and it is a boot that is not<br />

only warm enough for the substantial negative climes in Canada, but<br />

also breathes so well you can still wear it back home on the Sunshine<br />

Coast. Let’s face it, you don’t want to spend this kind of money and<br />

only get to wear them on holidays.<br />

Being warm and waterproof, you can march through the snow in these<br />

babies without a care, and if it is icy, they have good traction to avoid<br />

you going ass-over. Best of all, the boots look smart, so you can wear<br />

them around town without looking like you’re on a never-ending safari,<br />

AND they’re durable and super comfy.<br />

Includes:<br />

B-DRY waterproof,<br />

breathable membranes -<br />

your sweat escapes while<br />

moisture’s kept out<br />

O Fit Insoles - provide<br />

support and improve natural<br />

cushioning to your feet<br />

High friction outsoles - you’ll<br />

enjoy grip on both wet and<br />

dry surfaces<br />

BFit deluxe quality footbeds<br />

- supporting the arches of<br />

your feet<br />

Nubuck leather uppers -<br />

helping to keep your feet dry<br />

on long hikes<br />

Rubber toe caps - protecting<br />

your toes from roots, rocks<br />

and trail debris<br />

Supportive heel counters<br />

Deep trail gripping lugs -<br />

provide reliable traction and<br />

shed mud<br />

$299.98


stuff<br />

XTM Merino Balaclava<br />

Why wear a balaclava? Simply, to protect your<br />

face from going numb when snowboarding<br />

in places like Canada where temps can drop<br />

down to -30 degrees, particularly when the<br />

wind blows. I swore I wouldn’t need one and<br />

didn’t want one but wore it more than few<br />

times. Our preference was for this one, made<br />

from 100%, 230gm Australian Merino Wool and<br />

pretty reasonably priced.<br />

When it comes to natural fibres v synthetic, it<br />

is a matter of personal preference. Personally,<br />

I like merino wool because of its warmth to<br />

weight ratio, it isn’t itchy and doesn’t get stinky<br />

like some synthetics can.<br />

$31.49<br />

Unisex, one size fits most.<br />

Kathmandu Alpine<br />

Trek Unisex Socks<br />

Our bit of strong advice based on previous<br />

mistakes - don’t go cheap on socks. These<br />

were the bomb. Some socks simply don’t<br />

cut it for warmth when you’re dealing with<br />

-15 temps and below. Some make you<br />

sweat, some make you itch and some just<br />

plain stink. These were superb and worthy<br />

of a double thumbs up. They contain<br />

Merino wool, have high stretch tops for<br />

minimal compression, arch support and<br />

are reinforced in high wear areas and<br />

cushioned for impact protection.<br />

$54.98<br />

POW Tallac Mit<br />

The jury is out in our opinion.<br />

Mittens are superior to gloves.<br />

And ones with the separate<br />

lobster claw inners are best.<br />

Why? They’re warmer, comfier,<br />

easier to get on and off, and… ‘the<br />

claw’ overcomes the setbacks of<br />

standard mittens by enabling you to<br />

still grip your snowboard bindings.<br />

Inners are best to dry your gloves<br />

and to simply put them on, and we<br />

recommend a little bit of extra length<br />

to stop the snow coming up your<br />

sleeve when you drawing those<br />

big powder turns. These ones<br />

by POW were crackers (pardon<br />

the pun... lobster claw. Sorry).<br />

Featuring a premium Grade A<br />

water repellant goatskin leather<br />

palm, HIPORA® waterproof<br />

insert, premium anti-pill microfleece<br />

lining, PrimaLoft® Gold<br />

insulation and a removable fleece<br />

and quilted Softshell® trigger<br />

liner that allows this mitt to be<br />

used in full winter or spring<br />

conditions.<br />

$99.99


stuff<br />

TOUGH STUFF<br />

AS AN AUSSIE ICON, HARD YAKKA HAS ALWAYS<br />

BEEN A BRAND SYNONYMOUS WITH QUALITY,<br />

TOUGHNESS AND DURABILITY – BUT DOES ANYONE<br />

KNOW HOW INCREDIBLY STYLISH THEIR WORKWEAR<br />

HAS BECOME?<br />

Stroll onto any worksite and you’ll be hard pressed<br />

not to find most people wearing gear featuring that<br />

iconic red ‘Hard Yakka’ label.<br />

There’s a reason why Hard Yakka has stuck around<br />

for so long as one of the most recognised workwear<br />

brands in the country, and it’s simply because their<br />

clothing is just so bloody durable.<br />

Even better, after taking a closer look at their winter<br />

collection and their recent collaboration with the<br />

beachy lifestyle brand, Thrills Co, we noticed just how<br />

cool their stuff really is.<br />

While it’s one thing to make quality, tough-as-nails<br />

gear feel comfortable, it’s another thing altogether for<br />

a workwear brand to create clothing so stylish that<br />

you find yourself shopping for gear despite the fact<br />

that you’re not visiting a worksite anytime soon.<br />

Both their men’s and women’s collections are<br />

chockers with everything from hooded flannels and<br />

boots to camo joggers and sherpa jackets — each<br />

designed with harsh conditions and Australia’s hectic<br />

climate in mind.<br />

Who would have thought some of the most tough and<br />

reliable clothing in Australia suited everything from<br />

long workdays to weekend surfing trips?<br />

The evolution of Hard Yakka’s gear and storytelling<br />

has been noticeable over the past couple of years, but<br />

honestly, the brand’s ethos has always been rooted in<br />

the passion and work ethic of everyday Aussies since<br />

it was founded all the way back in the 1930’s.<br />

It was David K. Laidlaw who started the brand off<br />

as a humble clothing company in his parent’s house<br />

in Brunswick Victoria and had high hopes for its<br />

success.<br />

After consulting with Jim Cushen, an independent<br />

advertising agent, he named the company Yakka, a<br />

word derived from the Aboriginal word for work. It’s<br />

a word that David obviously took to heart, as hard<br />

work has echoed through every aspect of the brand’s<br />

legacy ever since.<br />

Lately, Hard Yakka has garnered a lot of attention for<br />

their ‘Meet The Legends’ collaborations, where they<br />

feature everyday heroes that embody the spirit of the<br />

brand.<br />

Most recently they teamed up with fast bowling<br />

legend and Australian international cricketer, Scott<br />

Boland, who discusses his passion for cricket and his<br />

efforts to make the sport more popular and accessible<br />

within Aboriginal communities.<br />

Before that, they also caught up with photographer,<br />

surfer and zookeeper at Australia Zoo, Robert Irwin.<br />

As someone who has been wearing Hard Yakka’s<br />

workwear since he was little, Robert and his family’s<br />

longstanding history with the brand resonated with<br />

a lot of people, as well as his passion for animal<br />

conservation.<br />

They’re great stories, and encompass everything<br />

awesome about the craftsmanship and inspirational<br />

journeys associated with the brand and the kind of<br />

exceptional humans that Hard Yakka gets behind<br />

every day.<br />

We seriously recommend checking out their cool<br />

gear. I mean who doesn’t find themselves battling<br />

the toughest conditions and want to feel comfortable,<br />

protected and, of course, look bloody good while<br />

doing so?<br />

hardyakka.com.au


stuff<br />

Clandestine<br />

[klan-des-tin] adjective<br />

Planned or done in secret,<br />

especially describing<br />

something that is not<br />

officially allowed.<br />

Clandestino Coffee has always strongly<br />

resonated with this word, with clandestine<br />

flying missions in Papua New Guinea<br />

marking the beginning of their story. The<br />

brand’s obvious enthusiasm for aviation<br />

and flying is a homage to their origins and<br />

free-spirited nature, with even their flagship<br />

café in Noosa having an actual plane hanging<br />

from the ceiling.<br />

It’s been eight years since we had the<br />

pleasure of vouching for Clandestino’s<br />

heavenly Papua New Guinea coffee blends<br />

— can you believe it? When we finally caught<br />

up with marketing coordinator Barbora<br />

Tomikova, she said the brand has evolved<br />

out of a desire to be in their own niche while<br />

still being true to their brand story.<br />

“The freedom of flying inspires passion,<br />

taste and flavour, and so the evolution of<br />

Clandestino expands this vision. We have<br />

become more colourful, playful, bolder and<br />

definitely more rebellious, as we’re not afraid<br />

to try new avenues and don’t take ourselves<br />

too seriously.<br />

“Our new colours and packaging are inspired<br />

by coastal life and nature and fits in with our<br />

relaxed tone and our ethos of working to live,<br />

not living to work. The designs feature icons<br />

that further delve into our brand story<br />

– lightning bolts, sparks in plane engines,<br />

a plane propellor and the little beaten-up<br />

mug that one carries on adventures to brew<br />

cuppas.”<br />

Coffee is a surfers best friend, and so<br />

Clandestino has always been intwined<br />

with the ocean life, especially since it was<br />

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

destinations in 2011. Barbora said the brand<br />

has a strong affinity for the water, which is<br />

embedded in everyone who works for them<br />

in one way or another.<br />

“We love to surf, kitesurf, climb, travel<br />

and cook, and if there is good swell, we’re<br />

encouraged to start later and fill our cup.<br />

Work-life balance is a big thing at Clando.<br />

in addition to leading a rebellion against<br />

mediocre coffee.<br />

“Through our commitment to ethically<br />

sourced beans, personal craftsmanship and<br />

a passion for education and community, we<br />

want to positively influence the experience<br />

people have with coffee. Brew it as you like<br />

it, and we provide the goods & gear.”<br />

Simply, Clandestino not only knows good<br />

coffee, but they also know Noosa, and is as<br />

free-flying as the seaside community that<br />

is comforted by their warm cuppas every<br />

morning.<br />

“As a coffee, Noosa would taste as an earthy,<br />

slightly nutty blend that is well balanced and<br />

has a clean red berry sweetness and finishes<br />

off with sparkling acidity,” Barbora said.<br />

Magneto Organic<br />

Blend Review<br />

Dried red berry fruitiness with a cocoa nib<br />

backbone and a rich smooth character.<br />

Aptly named as it keeps me coming back for<br />

more with its magnetic personality!<br />

clandestino.com.au<br />

# 56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

21


# 56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

22


Across the ditch<br />

Sing it— snow glorious snow... or was that food? Anyhow, winter is upon us and that means<br />

it is the perfect time to head over to our cousins in the east. New Zealand is the most magical<br />

of places and winter is the time to enjoy it to the fullest — a few chilly surfs around Dunedin, a<br />

couple of powder runs in the Remarkables and a few frothies in Queenstown… and you might as<br />

well bungee jump off the Kawarau Bridge as well to top things off. We love this place, as we tell<br />

you again and again. When there, make sure to support these fine Kiwi businesses who keep us<br />

going and are sure to kit you out for a superb holiday in the Shaky Isles.<br />

# 56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

23


Across the ditch<br />

Your Next<br />

Snow Step…<br />

When you’ve done a few winter seasons,<br />

When you’ve been on a few snow trips,<br />

When you’ve given freestyle and the Park a go,<br />

When you’ve even entertained the idea of trying skiing!!!<br />

Hang on, let’s be serious…<br />

For many boarders, there comes a time when you feel you’ve<br />

mastered the art that is snowboarding, or at the very least<br />

achieved a level of competency that encourages you towards<br />

wanting to do more. For some, this is throwing cash at a day<br />

of heli boarding on your next winter snow holiday. For others,<br />

it’s collecting your thoughts and booking that trip to the<br />

States, Canada or the powder mecca of Japan.<br />

There is also a new thing in town. Stepping outside of your<br />

comfort zone and stepping outside of the boundaries, literally!<br />

Slack and backcountry riding have been a growing part of the<br />

sport of snowboarding for a number of years now. In the early<br />

days, pioneering from brands like Voile developed the riding<br />

digression of splitboarding. Crude in its infancy, boards were<br />

literally sawn in half and bindings were elevated on heavy and<br />

cumbersome metal plates so as to be hinged forwards for the<br />

uphill ascent, then sideways for the traditional downhill riding.<br />

Jump forward almost 40 years, and technology and apparatus<br />

have progressed through commercialism and the gross<br />

numbers of snowboarders wanting to take that ‘next step’.<br />

words: jase john<br />

# 56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

24


Across the ditch<br />

Splitboarding kit is now highly refined, with very specific product<br />

showing design implementations to reduce weight, provide rider<br />

comfort and allow for easy and seamless transitions. It’s not all<br />

what you see in the movies. Products now effectively service rider<br />

needs to just get them ‘to that little section over there’.<br />

So, what do you need to take that ‘next step’? Well, outside of a<br />

desire, you will need a range of dedicated kit which service both the<br />

requirements for performance and safety. Most snowboard brands<br />

these days produce splitboards in their range. At NZSHRED, we<br />

carry New Zealand’s most extensive offerings, from Burton, Nitro,<br />

Nidecker, Arbor, Season and of course the industry leaders, Jones.<br />

While Voile and Karakoram both produce great binding options,<br />

which also allow for cross over to your solid board. Spark RnD<br />

are the most prolific in this department, even allowing their base<br />

framework to be used by brands such as Burton and Nitro.<br />

Another crucial piece of equipment is skins. G3 produce the most<br />

cost-effective varieties, which fit most traditional shaped boards.<br />

Jones have a pre-cut series that are specific to the individuals<br />

within their full men’s and women’s ranges, while brands such as<br />

Nitro take the guess-work away by retailing their boards with skins<br />

included. Once you have added the last pieces of a kit (backpack<br />

and poles), you’re pretty much ready to go.<br />

However, there is one final component that is critical to your<br />

experience - being smart. Once you go through that gate, past the<br />

fence or under the rope, you are ‘out of bounds’. This is significant,<br />

because not only are you outside of ski area responsibility, you are<br />

also loading this all on your own skills and knowledge. Having the<br />

basic additions of a transceiver, probe and shovel means you are<br />

set up with the minimum tools to help in a rescue or indeed help<br />

to be rescued. There are also a plethora of slack and backcountry<br />

courses that you can undertake, from a simple introductory snow<br />

awareness, through to full avalanche level courses (a pre-request<br />

for working in ski patrol).<br />

Understanding the factors involved in getting beyond the boundary<br />

is important for your own safety, as well as those around you.<br />

Australia and New Zealand have some very good online resources<br />

for pre-trip education. The Mountain Safety Collective<br />

(www.mountainsafetycollective.org) and Snow Safety, Australia<br />

(www.snowsafety.com.au) provide a mass of information on the<br />

backcountry in the Australian snow regions, while Avalanche NZ<br />

(www.avalanche.org.nz) and New Zealand Avalanche Advisory<br />

(www.avalanche.net.nz) offer the same for us here ‘over the<br />

ditch’. Regionally, we have set up a social media group called<br />

‘Splitboarding Queenstown & Wanaka’, which not only allows<br />

members to trade kit, however also provide information and opinion<br />

on conditions, routes and safety in our local backcountry areas. A<br />

good saying I’ve heard used is, “Don’t buy the kit, without doing<br />

the course”, and this seems like a pretty good way to move safely<br />

into taking ‘your next step’.<br />

NZ SHRED<br />

www.nzshred.co.nz<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 ins, 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<br />

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

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

St, Lyall Bay, Wellington.<br />

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

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

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

# 56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

25


DUKEY TEES<br />

Two years ago Sumner local, legend and all round nice<br />

guy Mark “KIP” Calcutt, started printing T-shirts for fun<br />

and himself. Soon enough, everybody wanted one, so<br />

he took it a step further and created Dukey Tees and a<br />

website to sell them.<br />

More than 17 designs later Dukey Tees are going strong.<br />

After losing a few mates to un-talked about health and<br />

subsequent depression issues, Mark designed the<br />

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such issues and beyond. They have been quite a hit.<br />

The title says it all.<br />

CHECK ON DUKEY TEES<br />

AND YOUR MATES<br />

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# 56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

27


ерф<br />

photos: guy williment<br />

Corners of the Earth<br />

амч<br />

words: amber o’dell<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

28


There’s something soul-stirring<br />

about following your curiosity to<br />

somewhere unknown and setting<br />

foot where few people have before.<br />

It’s one thing to surf an uncrowded, or even undiscovered<br />

break, but it’s another matter altogether to literally travel to<br />

the ends of the earth to one of the most remote, wild and<br />

frigid landscapes in Siberia, Kamchatka specifically, on the<br />

far northeast coast. We love the cold, but this is friggin’ crazy!<br />

атка<br />

еры<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

29


Guy (a fantastic photographer and a strong<br />

believer that if it can be written or thought, it can<br />

be filmed) said their trip to Iceland was their first<br />

attempt at taking a punt into cold water surf.<br />

“Growing up, Spenny and I always filmed each<br />

other doing these little trips down to the coast.<br />

So, we got pretty excited to go to Iceland and try<br />

to find some good shots and awesome waves in<br />

a cold, unexplored landscape. We kind of didn’t<br />

know what we were doing when we got there. We<br />

just had a camera each and brought one of our<br />

mates, Fraser, who was a semi-pro surfer at the<br />

time. We ended up having the most amazing time<br />

and caught some wild waves. In 2019 we made<br />

a little 40-minute doco from that trip and toured<br />

a few surf film festivals. It did quite well, people<br />

really enjoyed it.<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

30<br />

Corners of the Earth - Kamchatka chases this<br />

feeling, which some may refer to as insanity, to the<br />

other side of the world. It also takes the search for<br />

new waves to the extreme – picture mountains,<br />

ice, blizzards, torrential surf and a war between<br />

two countries.<br />

The awe-inspiring film is the passion project of a<br />

group of legends from Avalon Beach in Sydney,<br />

and follows surfers Fraser Dovell and Letty<br />

Moretensen as well as filmmakers Spencer Frost<br />

and Guy Williment as they set out to search for<br />

new waves in one of the coldest, most remote and<br />

unexplored coastlines on the planet.<br />

After experiencing the film and following the<br />

four Aussies on their two-month journey through<br />

unpredictable waves and pure white expanses – it<br />

was impossible for us not to share in the spectacle<br />

that is Corners of the Earth - Kamchatka.<br />

Nestled by The Pacific Ocean and Okhotsk Sea<br />

and packed with more than 150 volcanos (29 of<br />

which are active) the gang thought the Kamchatka<br />

Peninsula in the far east of Russia would be a<br />

perfect place for their next surfing adventure.<br />

Which sounds crazy, granted, but less so when<br />

you find out their previous surfing adventure was<br />

in Iceland.<br />

“We were really keen to start planning the next<br />

one, but then obviously Covid hit, and we couldn’t<br />

do much. During those two years we were thinking<br />

about where we could go next that was cold,<br />

mountainous and had kinda never been explored.<br />

We saw this snowboard movie called The Fourth<br />

Phase, and in it these people were flying over the<br />

coast in Kamchatka, and we could see there was<br />

so much potential there. So we got in contact with<br />

the local surfer, and he said there’s waves, but no<br />

one’s really ever been there to explore them.<br />

“When we started looking at weather maps, we<br />

saw that during winter Kamchatka gets one or two<br />

big swells with offshore winds. We thought if we<br />

could access the coastline and catch one of these<br />

swells, we might be able to capture something<br />

really amazing. We started talking to helicopter<br />

pilots and seeing how to get to these parts of the<br />

coastline, because there is no roads there in winter<br />

– everything is covered in metres of snow.


#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

31


SHORTLY BEFORE<br />

THE GROUP<br />

HAD BOARDED<br />

THEIR FLIGHT TO<br />

MOSCOW, RUSSIA<br />

INVADED UKRAINE.<br />

“Things just started falling into place. We all got<br />

really excited and started looking into the visa<br />

situation. That was a bit of a shit show, but we<br />

finally got a humanitarian visa after two years’<br />

worth of planning. Unlike Iceland, Letty could<br />

come this time, and I think it was nice for Fraser<br />

to have his best mate and not be surfing by<br />

himself. It was really epic having him on.”<br />

After years of meticulous planning however, the trip<br />

was almost over before it started. Shortly before the<br />

group had boarded their flight to Moscow, Russia<br />

invaded Ukraine. At a time when the world was<br />

seeing the worst of human nature, the boys found<br />

themselves stuck, with no clue on where to turn next<br />

and no idea what they could be getting themselves<br />

into.<br />

When asked about how everyone had felt in that<br />

moment, as they watched the news unfold on the<br />

small TV in the Abu Dhabi airport, Guy simply said<br />

waiting in transit was extremely hectic.<br />

“We were constantly worried about whether we<br />

wanted to push on with the trip or not. In the end,<br />

we thought to just keep going until we couldn’t<br />

anymore. Our producer, Luke, was behind the<br />

scenes doing a lot of hard work. He was absolutely<br />

incredible on the ground back in Australia dealing<br />

with our shenanigans and making sure we were<br />

getting through Russia safely. He had the worst<br />

job, because that day in transit I think most of our<br />

parents were freaking out and wanting us to get the<br />

hell out of there. From the outside, I can totally see<br />

it, but we had all spent so much time, effort and<br />

money planning this trip.<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

32


Kamchatka Peninsula<br />

“At the time, we didn’t really know<br />

how serious the situation was with<br />

the war, so we were just taking it step<br />

by step. Eventually we made it into<br />

Kamchatka and just had, you know,<br />

the craziest, most amazing time<br />

ever. Everyone we met over there<br />

was so nice to us and just wanted<br />

to showcase the best of Kamchatka.<br />

Going in, we didn’t really know what<br />

to expect, but the people understood<br />

we were pretty uncomfortable and<br />

fearful with the situation, so they<br />

made us feel so safe and welcomed<br />

while we were there.<br />

“Fraser’s board had all these Russian<br />

icons on them, and one of them was<br />

this little animated bear, and all of<br />

the Kamchatka locals just thought<br />

that it was the funniest thing. They<br />

were constantly telling us ‘How the<br />

hell do you know this Cheburashka<br />

character?’. They called us the<br />

Cheburashka gang, which is why<br />

we ended up naming our left<br />

break after it.<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

33


“The water was always<br />

around one degree, and<br />

then the air was always<br />

from -10 to -15 degrees,<br />

so yeah... fairly cool.”<br />

“Our experience with these people was so different to what<br />

everyone was seeing on TV, and we really wanted to show<br />

that. Everyone in that small part of the world was so amazing<br />

and friendly. They loved nature and snowboarding and adored<br />

being amidst the water and mountains. Legends.”<br />

The boys captured many intense moments during the long<br />

and nerve-wracking journey to Kamchatka, but there would<br />

be nothing but wholesome greetings and a stunning view of<br />

a town overshadowed by a snowy mountain range when they<br />

finally arrived in the welcoming embrace of Petropavlovsk, the<br />

peninsula’s city centre.<br />

After witnessing the group messily meander through customs<br />

with enough equipment and gear to warrant two months’<br />

worth of filming, surfing, camping and everything in between,<br />

it was only natural to ask how on earth they did it. They had<br />

a total of 12 surfboards for crying out loud, not to mention an<br />

abundance of hefty gear. Guy confirmed that the camera gear<br />

itself was around 180 kilograms, and that Spenny and himself<br />

had the pleasure of carrying the brunt of it.<br />

“We brought three RED <strong>digital</strong> cameras, and I had two Canon<br />

R5 cameras. We also had about three or four drones. Next time<br />

we need an assistant or something, because it was definitely<br />

a wrangle. One of us would always be shooting in the water,<br />

then the other would be on land. I was doing stills mostly when<br />

it was action, and then doing a lot of B-roll (alternative footage)<br />

when we were moving and on the run. Spenny is just so good<br />

with the drone and the RED, but we’d mix it up.<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

34


“Nothing got damaged, but we did get caught<br />

in a blizzard on the snowmobiles one day and a<br />

lens froze up and got scratched up from all the<br />

ice particles on it. That was a stitch up – it was a<br />

$5,000 lens! But it’s all bound to happen over there,<br />

and we weren’t losing or breaking too much gear.<br />

“Our biggest problem, with both the cameras<br />

and us, was the cold. Definitely. It kills batteries.<br />

We’d learnt a lot about managing cameras in the<br />

cold from our Iceland trip, so we had heat packs.<br />

If we were shooting in the water we’d also wear<br />

these adhesive heat packs on our kidneys to keep<br />

us warmer. The water was always around one<br />

degree, and then the air was always from -10 to -15<br />

degrees, so yeah… fairly cool.”<br />

The cold was clearly half the fun for the group, as<br />

they chose to go in the long and brutally freezing<br />

winter of the region – which is frankly just an insane<br />

idea, especially considering they would surf and film<br />

in water that is one degree above freezing.<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

35


“It just made<br />

it so much<br />

sweeter<br />

when you<br />

do score in<br />

environments<br />

like that,<br />

because<br />

it’s just so<br />

challenging.<br />

When you do<br />

get a shot of<br />

a wave that<br />

everyone’s<br />

happy with,<br />

you’re just so<br />

stoked.”<br />

You can’t fault them though, as the wintery landscape<br />

of Kamchatka is as remote as it is unique – and when<br />

combined with some talented and gutsy people,<br />

makes for some breathtaking, out-of-this-world<br />

footage. Guy said the group always had a camera on<br />

them, because they knew there would always be those<br />

fleeting moments when you are in a place as beautiful<br />

and unpredictable as Kamchatka.<br />

“The landscape there was just so incredible and it was<br />

an amazing trip, but it was no holiday, that’s for sure.<br />

I think nature was in control every step of the way. We<br />

only had these small weather windows where we’d see<br />

the swell would be good, the helicopters would drop<br />

us to the coast and we’d camp out for a few days to<br />

search for waves.<br />

“It was definitely hard. There was this one particular<br />

trip where we’d spent a lot of money, because the<br />

choppers aren’t cheap, getting to the coastline and<br />

staying the night, and then we woke up the next<br />

morning and got a satellite call from one of the pilots<br />

saying the storm has gotten worse and they need to<br />

come pick us up. We hadn’t even surfed – we could’ve<br />

just spent a month in Indo for that amount of money!<br />

“Then again, it just made it so much sweeter when you<br />

do score in environments like that, because it’s just<br />

so challenging. When you do get a shot of a wave that<br />

everyone’s happy with, you’re just so stoked.<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

36


“Project Blank were our main<br />

sponsor. They custom made us<br />

wetsuits to bring over and they were<br />

great. Helly Hansen also gave us a heap<br />

of gear and hooked us up big time...<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

37


#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

38


“It was always pretty<br />

run and gun, but that’s<br />

just the nature of<br />

the beast when you’re<br />

doing these kinds of<br />

docos. The shots are<br />

so hard to get, but<br />

when you do, it’s epic.”<br />

“Before we went, we had these pages of dream shots,<br />

like the boys running into the chopper and running<br />

into the surf, but then when you’re there it’s just so<br />

chaotic, and you’ve got this five-minute window to<br />

land the chopper before the weather comes in. It was<br />

always pretty run and gun, but that’s just the nature of<br />

the beast when you’re doing these kinds of docos. The<br />

shots are so hard to get, but when you do, it’s epic.”<br />

It’s one thing to prepare for hectic filming conditions,<br />

but then there was the surfing, and the fact that four<br />

people from the sun-drenched beaches of Avalon<br />

would have to adjust to being enveloped by some of<br />

the coldest and most intense waves on earth.<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

39


Not knowing what the Kamchatka coastline<br />

could possibly throw at them, Letty and<br />

Spencer covered all of their bases by bringing<br />

over six boards each, including twins, thrusters<br />

and a mix of both fun and high-performance<br />

boards. Guy said it was thanks to their many<br />

sponsors that they were as prepared as they<br />

possibly could have been.<br />

“Project Blank were our main sponsor. They<br />

custom made us wetsuits to bring over and<br />

they were great. Helly Hansen also gave us a<br />

heap of gear and hooked us up big time, so<br />

we were definitely as ready as we could be for<br />

the cold. There are some days in Kamchatka<br />

where it gets to -25 degrees, so we needed to<br />

have legit gear, and we did, thankfully.<br />

“To prepare for the trip we were doing heaps of<br />

ice baths, but we all joke they didn’t really help<br />

much. Once you get in the water over there, it’s<br />

just so, so cold. I think for the surfer boys they<br />

did really well because they’re moving. But if<br />

Spencer and I were shooting in the water, it’s<br />

really, really hard to keep warm. You probably<br />

get 30 minutes to an hour before you’re just<br />

done and need to get out and get warm.<br />

“On our Iceland trip, we kind of took a punt<br />

and we were very lucky. When you’re young,<br />

there’s such a fine line between having a good<br />

time and being pretty reckless, so I think we<br />

were right on that line for the last two trips.”<br />

While the group was introduced to many of<br />

Kamchatka’s known surfing spots, including<br />

a black volcanic coastline littered with giant<br />

slabs of ice, they never stopped chasing their<br />

true purpose for travelling to the far east of<br />

Siberia – to discover a perfect swell all on their<br />

own and surf its untouched waves.<br />

After many exploratory helicopter rides through<br />

mountain ranges and volcano smoke, the boys<br />

found their very own left break and proudly<br />

named it Cheburashka. Despite being the only<br />

member of the group to endure a near death<br />

experience at the hands of the left, Guy said<br />

discovering and battling their very own surf<br />

break was still pretty special.<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

40<br />

“That left hander was always a dream of ours –<br />

just to find a wave that has never been surfed<br />

before and document the boys surfing that. It<br />

was pretty incredible. Obviously, I had a bit of<br />

a shocker that day, I nearly drowned. I’ll tell<br />

you it was very uncomfortable watching that<br />

back.


#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

41


#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

42<br />

“That left hander was always a<br />

dream of ours – just to find a wave<br />

that has never been surfed before<br />

and document the boys surfing<br />

that. It was pretty incredible.”


#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

43


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“At the time it was really hectic, it was definitely the<br />

gnarliest ocean experience I’ve ever had for sure.<br />

It’s like being in an ice bath – your body’s kind of<br />

panicking and wanting to get out, but your head<br />

knows that you’re in a situation and you can’t get<br />

out. My body was shutting down and I knew I still<br />

had like another hour in the cold ahead of me to get<br />

back to the chopper. So I just collapsed and cried.<br />

“It’s pretty funny to look back on now, but yeah<br />

at the time it was pretty hectic. It’s just one of<br />

those places where, if stuff goes wrong, your just<br />

completely isolated. Thankfully, none of us got hurt,<br />

and we are all safe and back home now.”<br />

Speaking of danger, if you’ve never heard of the<br />

Kamchatka Peninsula and feel the need to look up<br />

what its known for, you’ll see ‘the abundance and<br />

size of its brown bear population’ and ‘the highest<br />

recorded density of brown bears on earth’. Guy said<br />

while they had been told there weren’t many bears<br />

or sharks there in winter, it didn’t stop them from<br />

looking over their shoulder when they were trekking<br />

through desolate mountain peaks and paddling in<br />

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#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

44


“Ignorance is bliss sometimes – we’d swim out<br />

and just hope that it’s too cold for any of these<br />

scary creatures. But there was lots of sea otters,<br />

which were pretty cute, and lots of seals.<br />

“In summer they get so many bears. We didn’t<br />

see any, but on the last week of the trip, the<br />

guides were telling us that they had spotted them<br />

waking up. Thankfully, they were still sleeping<br />

while we were camping and snowboarding in the<br />

mountains.<br />

“We made sure to snowboard heaps. Fraser had<br />

never done it before, but the rest of us had and<br />

we were super keen to. We didn’t know if we’d get<br />

the chance, but after being in Anton’s cabin for a<br />

few days, a crew from Moscow had invited us to<br />

all go snowboarding with them.”<br />

Anton Morozov – how could we have gone on this<br />

long without mentioning him? If the landscapes,<br />

shenanigans, dangers and swells of Corners of the<br />

Earth - Kamchatka haven’t yet convinced everyone<br />

just how much fun the film is, Anton certainly will.<br />

“Ignorance is<br />

bliss sometimes<br />

– we’d swim out<br />

and just hope<br />

that it’s too<br />

cold for any<br />

of these scary<br />

creatures. But<br />

there was lots<br />

of sea otters,<br />

which were<br />

pretty cute, and<br />

lots of seals.<br />

As the legend who pioneered surfing in one of the<br />

coldest, most remote and unexplored coastlines<br />

on the planet, Anton has an incredible story. After<br />

growing up snowboarding in Kamchatka and<br />

watching a surf movie called In God’s Hands when<br />

he was 14, Anton never stopped wanting to be<br />

a surfer. When he did finally get his hands on a<br />

surfboard ten years later, he taught himself how to<br />

carve waves after failing to convince his friends to<br />

try it with him. He was hooked, but often faced a lot<br />

of isolation in a community that thought surfing was<br />

a crazy and alien thing to do.<br />

After lighting up at the very mention of Anton (he<br />

has that effect on people), Guy said they first met<br />

the Russian surfer when they reached out to the<br />

locals in Kamchatka.<br />

“He’s a bit of a rockstar in the country and is<br />

generally known as the surfer from Kamchatka,<br />

so he was really excited that we were coming. He<br />

often said that it’s his dream to come to Australia<br />

and surf, so to have us reach out to him must have<br />

been so special.<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

45


“He said he knew<br />

surfing was his<br />

purpose, which<br />

was really<br />

sweet. I remember<br />

him telling us his<br />

heart was on fire<br />

for surfing. Now<br />

he’s got a surf<br />

camp and people<br />

come from all<br />

over Russia to<br />

surf with him,<br />

and it’s pretty<br />

incredible. He<br />

gets emotional<br />

talking about<br />

it because it’s<br />

been such a hard<br />

journey for him.<br />

“He helped us with our visas, and when we made it<br />

over there he picked us up from the airport. Straight<br />

away you could tell he was the most amazing dude.<br />

He just felt like one of the boys, one of the brothers.<br />

Within the first five minutes of meeting him we were<br />

all hugging him, telling him we love him and singing<br />

with him in the car. We just knew in that moment<br />

the trip was going to be fun.<br />

“He said he knew surfing was his purpose, which<br />

was really sweet. I remember him telling us his<br />

heart was on fire for surfing. Now he’s got a surf<br />

camp and people come from all over Russia to<br />

surf with him, and it’s pretty incredible. He gets<br />

emotional talking about it because it’s been such a<br />

hard journey for him.<br />

“Its super cool to hear someone just be so sure of<br />

their purpose in life and see what he has created.<br />

It’s really special. He’s in the midst of applying to<br />

visit Australia at the moment. We really want to<br />

get him here because he’s just an absolute legend<br />

and welcomed us with open arms, so we’d love to<br />

return the favour, get him to some Aussie beaches<br />

and get him in some boardies.”<br />

After almost a year of artfully squeezing their entire<br />

Kamchatka trip into a 90-minute film, the boys<br />

introduced Anton and the awe-inspiring Kamchatka<br />

peninsula to the rest of the world through a 13-<br />

stop Australian tour, with each showing quickly<br />

selling out. After taking the hint on just how well<br />

received the film was, the boys had another round<br />

of unplanned encore screenings. Guy said the<br />

support for the film all over Australia and even<br />

internationally has been unreal.<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

46


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#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

47


“When you’re doing these big projects, or even<br />

when you are taking a singular photo, there’s<br />

always a bit of self-doubt whether people are<br />

going to enjoy it. We spent years planning,<br />

two months on the trip and then about ten<br />

months in post-production, so you start to kind<br />

of question your own eyes. We were all pretty<br />

nervous showing it on that first tour – but it just<br />

got received so well and we’ve been blown<br />

away by the support we’ve had.<br />

“I think we were definitely concerned that doing<br />

the trip at a time in Russia might make people<br />

kind of boycott it, but they haven’t at all. It’s<br />

been amazing and everyone’s loved Anton and<br />

everyone else over there. The feedback’s been<br />

unreal and we’re so stoked and grateful with<br />

how it’s been received by everyone.<br />

“There’s been so many speed bumps and it’s<br />

been such a team effort pulling it all together.<br />

The editor of the film, Lucas Vazquez, also did<br />

an absolutely incredible job weaving a story<br />

out of all of our shots. The collaboration with<br />

this project has just been so good. Everyone<br />

in Australia and Russia and everywhere in<br />

between has just been amazing.<br />

“We’re actually going to Bali to show off the<br />

film, which will be a fun little warm water<br />

adventure for us. I think we’re all pretty<br />

exhausted to be honest. We’ll probably have<br />

another year off from a big project and then<br />

start planning the next one. Another cold-water<br />

adventure of course – because people seem to<br />

enjoy us suffering.”<br />

For those wanting to contain Kamchatka’s<br />

stunning peninsula and coastline and place it<br />

on a coffee table at home, Guy has created<br />

an accompanying hardcover book filled to the<br />

brim with the incredible imagery and stories<br />

from the group’s wild surf adventure to the far<br />

east of Russia.<br />

For those that missed the showings, the film is<br />

scheduled to appear online in the next couple<br />

of months. In the meantime, we will be waiting<br />

with bated breath for the groups next ultimate<br />

surfing trip, where they will inevitably seek out<br />

that feeling of finding new waves in some other<br />

perilous place in the corner of the earth.<br />

амчатка<br />

ерферы<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

48<br />

IN THE POETIC WORDS OF<br />

ANTON, SHRED OR DIE.


#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

49


oam<br />

be free<br />

ben buckler bikes Review<br />

Getting tech to do half of the leg work has<br />

opened up a whole new world for many. Now,<br />

Ben Buckler Boards are offering a premium<br />

selection of electric bikes, which combine the<br />

very best qualities of a bicycle and motorbike<br />

into one dreamy machine.<br />

# 56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

50<br />

I know you’re thinking, “Why not just get<br />

a motorcycle?”. Well, unlike motorcycles,<br />

the Super73 S2-E is natively classified as a<br />

bicycle and street legal, meaning it requires<br />

no expensive licence or registration. Not only<br />

that, but the bike is specifically designed for<br />

urban adventurers, with its recognisable and<br />

sleek silhouette being perfect for city rides<br />

and exploration.<br />

Besides its convenient adherence to bicycle<br />

laws, one of the most attractive things about<br />

the bike is simply how it feels to ride it. Not<br />

only does it look super cool and stands out<br />

from your standard electric bikes, but it also<br />

makes for an incredibly freeing, comfortable<br />

and smooth ride.<br />

Super73 is a well-known brand in the<br />

electric bicycle market, and is renowned for<br />

producing high-quality and reliable products,<br />

which is especially important, seeing as it will<br />

be one of the only ways you’ll travel as soon<br />

as you get your hands on one.<br />

The bike’s stable and powerful build will<br />

reportedly last for a long time and not require<br />

frequent repairs or maintenance. However,<br />

If you do run into trouble, both Super73 and<br />

Ben Buckler have an amazing track record<br />

for customer service and support. Have<br />

any questions or issues with your bike? No<br />

worries, they’ll be sure to talk you through it<br />

and be there for every step of the process.<br />

The Super73 S2-E is really the best of<br />

both worlds, and with fully customisable<br />

accessories like a surfboard rack and foot<br />

pegs for passengers, it’s certainly a winner in<br />

our books.<br />

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Frame: Sports an aircraft-grade aluminium alloy frame<br />

and a fully adjustable air spring suspension fork.<br />

Battery: The S2-E provides an estimated 64-120+<br />

km of range depending on the pedal-assist mode and<br />

environmental conditions. Charging on the go is also<br />

made easy with a removable battery.<br />

Pedal-assist and throttle modes: Each<br />

bike comes with four Pedal Assist Modes, so you can<br />

customise your riding mode to your terrain. You can even<br />

switch between ride modes to access off-road mode and<br />

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Connectivity: By downloading the app, you can<br />

unlock all of Super73’s e-bike features and receive<br />

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featured retreat: Ashi, Northern Rivers, NSW<br />

photos supplied courtsey of Ashi @ttylanistokes<br />

roam


oam<br />

Calm, Clarity,<br />

Creativity<br />

words: dave swan<br />

How nature<br />

nurtures your<br />

creativity<br />

Most would be aware of what it feels<br />

like to be ‘stale’. After slogging it<br />

out day upon day, weekends too,<br />

our ability to think clearly suffers.<br />

Our judgement becomes clouded,<br />

our creativity stifled – these are the<br />

classic signs of mental fatigue –<br />

‘burnout’.<br />

As difficult as it is to step off the<br />

hamster wheel we put ourselves on,<br />

we have to, not only for our own<br />

sanity, but also to aid our ability to<br />

move forward with purpose. To have<br />

clearly defined objectives and goals,<br />

and most importantly how these can<br />

be realised, we need to have clarity<br />

of mind. This can’t be achieved while<br />

we have mental lethargy.<br />

Company spokesman and Head<br />

of Operations for the off-grid cabin<br />

operation Unyoked, Julian Rapattoni,<br />

explains how addressing ‘burnout’<br />

became their core purpose.<br />

# 56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

53


oam<br />

Ashi Given that this is our Winter edition, there is nothing that<br />

conjures up the image of warm and cosy more than a woodfired<br />

bathtub and this little escape in the Northern Rivers of New South<br />

Wales, just an hour inland from Byron, has one. Hidden at the<br />

end of a valley among lush Byron hinterland, it’s the ideal place<br />

to regain a sense of space, peace and tranquility.<br />

$283 weeknights<br />

$363 weekends<br />

Price per night in AUD. 2 night minimum,<br />

everyday. Check in 3pm. Late check out at 11am<br />

What’s Provided?<br />

Bedding<br />

Solar Power<br />

Fire Pit<br />

Kitchen supplies<br />

Wood fired bath<br />

Bar Fridge<br />

Composting Toilet<br />

Aircon<br />

Towels<br />

Plates<br />

Fan<br />

Toilet<br />

Gas Stove<br />

Hot shower<br />

And, TP<br />

# 56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

54<br />

Expedition<br />

Packing List<br />

Shoes<br />

Mosquito<br />

repellent<br />

Water bottle<br />

Sunscreen<br />

Flanno<br />

Spreadsheets<br />

Anxiety<br />

Busyness<br />

unyoked.co


oam<br />

Many of the world’s great<br />

business leaders have been<br />

doing Think Weeks for years,<br />

recognising the benefits that<br />

being off-grid has on basically<br />

getting sh*t done...<br />

“It’s commonly known that modern day living comes<br />

hand-in hand with mental fatigue and low productivity.<br />

We believe spending an extended period of time in nature<br />

is the perfect antidote, and that thinking is backed by<br />

numerous scientific studies.<br />

“Many of the world’s great business leaders have been<br />

doing Think Weeks for years, recognising the benefits<br />

that being off-grid has on basically getting sh*t done.<br />

Visionaries throughout history have used frequent nature<br />

immersion to help them dream up game-changing ideas.”<br />

There’s no denying the claims. I believe all of us would<br />

be aware of what it is like to claim some ‘quiet, alone<br />

time’. That’s what surfing presents to many of us. I know<br />

that is primarily what surfing is to me, an opportunity to<br />

switch off, relax and simply immerse myself in nature.<br />

Perhaps if you’re surfing Snapper Rocks it’s an altogether<br />

different experience, you’re only alone time is perhaps<br />

when you’re returning to your car. Needless to say,<br />

we all need that alone time to reset and recalibrate our<br />

minds. Unyoked retreats are another means that not<br />

only facilitate the chance to rest but, with an extended<br />

period in nature, get your creativity flowing again. New<br />

business ideas, new ways of doing things, solutions to a<br />

problem/s, Unyoked presents you with the key to unlock<br />

the answers. Jordan expanded on this way of thinking by<br />

way of their Calm, Clarity, Creativity philosophy.<br />

“In terms of our reference to ‘Calm’, out in nature,<br />

there’s no interruptions. We present an opportunity to<br />

unplug from you’re busy, noisy, always-on life in the city.<br />

Reconnecting with nature is scientifically proven to lower<br />

your cortisol levels, so you can stress less.<br />

“With regards to ‘Clarity’, it’s often hard to see the smoke<br />

from the trees when you can’t see any trees. We facilitate<br />

a reset of your expectations to get some perspective<br />

thanks to the vastness of the outdoors.<br />

“And finally with regards to ‘Creativity’, let’s just say that<br />

nobody ever comes up with great ideas staring at the<br />

same four walls on a deadline. The reason why creatives<br />

and visionaries regularly venture to the outdoors is that it<br />

is proven to boost creative thinking by up to 50%.”<br />

Julian is certainly not alone in his thinking, pardon the<br />

pun. There is no denying the power of nature on lateral<br />

thinking. Showcased amidst these few pages is further<br />

inspiration to undertake an Unyoked retreat and get your<br />

creative juices flowing.<br />

# 56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

55


ILV<br />

The expression “every cloud has a silver lining”<br />

is usually said as an encouragement to a person<br />

who is overcome by some difficulty or grief. Unable<br />

to see any positive way forward, it’s intended to<br />

motivate you to keep forging ahead because for<br />

every sad or unpleasant situation, something<br />

positive must come out of it. Back in January this<br />

year, Silver Star was our “silver lining”.<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

56<br />

words : dave swan


ER<br />

SILVER<br />

LINING<br />

Mountain photos : courtesy of<br />

SilverStar Mountain Resort<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

57


#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

58<br />

This saying “every cloud has a silver lining” I have<br />

at times questioned. In my lifetime, and through<br />

what I have experienced, I am not so sure it<br />

rings true. Does something bad always have to<br />

proceed something good? Why can’t there just<br />

be good times followed by more good times. I’ve<br />

experienced my fair share of trials and tribulations,<br />

and not always has something good come out of<br />

it, indeed, rarely has this occurred. Anyhow, all I<br />

knew, considering the year we had last year, with<br />

dad battling prostate cancer that eventually spread<br />

throughout his body getting the better of him at<br />

Christmas, was that my family and I were in need of<br />

something uplifting, some change of scenery. Well,<br />

there’s no polar opposite to January in Queensland<br />

than British Columbia in Canada to deliver such a<br />

“change of scenery”.<br />

And so it was, rather than proceeding with the muchneeded<br />

home renovations we had been saving up<br />

for quite some time, we instead used that money<br />

to go on a family holiday. With the kids all in their<br />

early twenties and late teens, we figured this could<br />

be one of our last holidays all together. Time spent<br />

together is far more valuable than material things.<br />

ini<br />

The destination we had our heart set on was Canada<br />

– the northern hemisphere Australia. The question<br />

that remained though was, where in particular should<br />

we go? My wife Katie and I had travelled through<br />

Canada in 1996, visiting Toronto, Quebec City, Banff,<br />

Lake Louise, Jasper and Whistler. Indeed, it was in<br />

Banff where Katie and I got engaged. Getting married<br />

the following year, it seemed surreal that 25 years<br />

on, we would return to the place where it all began.<br />

What better place to celebrate your Silver Wedding<br />

Anniversary than SilverStar?


You see Katie has never been one for fancy gifts or<br />

jewellery. What we do value however above all else<br />

is our family. We have all longed to go to Canada<br />

for some time now, the kids having never been and<br />

Katie and I not venturing back there since we got<br />

engaged.<br />

I visited my good friend Craig Russell at Helloworld<br />

Kawana to see what magic he could swing this time,<br />

considering the miracle he conjured up for us last<br />

time back in 2019, before the world went crazy.<br />

ng<br />

He didn’t disappoint. Maybe there is a silver lining<br />

after every dark cloud after all. The time we got to<br />

spend as a family over in Canada will be forever<br />

etched in my memory and I know dad would have<br />

been so happy that something so joyous came out<br />

of the pain and suffering he endured. Family meant<br />

everything to him too. Dad would have sacrificed<br />

anything to see us happy, healthy and well.<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

59


LAY OF<br />

THE<br />

LAND<br />

Simply put, the mountain is vast and the village<br />

is small. If you lose your friends or family on the<br />

mountain, you are bound to catch up with them in<br />

the village.<br />

SilverStar just has this incredible charm about it. The<br />

colourful buildings with their sparkling fairy lights<br />

make it appear like a mini-Disneyland in the snow.<br />

This appeal combined with lots of child friendly<br />

amenities and activities, leaves you with no doubt as<br />

to why it is so popular with families.<br />

It is unassuming and casual. There are little show<br />

ponies to speak of and no tearaways screaming and<br />

yahooing at the top of their voices. I must say, this is<br />

what we loved about the place.<br />

That and the fact that it is ski-in and ski-out from<br />

virtually everywhere in the village, which is what<br />

appealed most of all.<br />

It is quaint and compact. The village is centrally located<br />

(and completely car free). There’s a convenience<br />

store (stocking some incredible Canadian craft beer<br />

I might add), a few bars, restaurants and shops, just<br />

enough to give you a variety of options for a week or<br />

two’s stay. The nightlife is perhaps a little sedate but<br />

again, that is what we wanted. We wanted to have<br />

some quality time with the family and not be visiting<br />

party central. The reality of the matter is you’re there<br />

to snowboard and to be up early and hitting the<br />

slopes, not nursing a hangover.<br />

Apart from snowboarding and skiing, there’s iceskating,<br />

tubing, snowshoeing, cross country skiing,<br />

fat biking and snowmobile tours.<br />

If I were to give SilverStar a rating out of 10 it would<br />

be a 10. The whole family loved it and we have most<br />

certainly promised to return. I just hope the kids are<br />

shouting next time.<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

60


canada<br />

BC SKI RESORTS<br />

left to right<br />

1<br />

2<br />

3<br />

4<br />

5<br />

6<br />

7<br />

8<br />

9<br />

10<br />

11<br />

12<br />

Mt Washington Alpine Resort<br />

Whistler Blackcomb<br />

Sun Peaks<br />

Apex Mountain Resort<br />

SilverStar Mountain Resort<br />

Big White<br />

Revelstoke Mountain Resort<br />

Red Mountain<br />

Whitewater Ski Resort<br />

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort<br />

Panorama Mountain Village<br />

Kimberley Alpine Resort<br />

british<br />

columbia<br />

13 Fernie Alpine Resort<br />

alberta RESORTS<br />

14 Lake Louise Ski Resort<br />

alberta<br />

15<br />

16<br />

Mt Norquay Ski Resort<br />

Sunshine Village Ski Resort<br />

3<br />

7<br />

14<br />

10<br />

16<br />

15<br />

2<br />

5<br />

11<br />

1<br />

vancouver<br />

4<br />

6<br />

8<br />

9<br />

12<br />

13<br />

WHERE<br />

IS IT<br />

EXACTLY?<br />

SilverStar ski resort is located in the Okanagan<br />

Valley, 22 km northeast of Vernon in British Columbia,<br />

Canada. The resort is basically smack bang between<br />

Vancouver and Calgary, being 464km northwest of<br />

Vancouver and 574km west of Calgary.<br />

The best way to get there, particularly in the winter<br />

months, is by plane from Vancouver flying into<br />

Kelowna International Airport. From there it is about<br />

an hour’s shuttle bus trip northeast to SilverStar<br />

Resort, which is 75km away.<br />

Other renown ski resorts are also nearby if you’re<br />

considering mixing up your snow terrain over a couple<br />

of weeks. Big White ski resort is 56 km southeast of<br />

Kelowna (less than an hour). Sun Peaks ski resort is<br />

just under 3 hours northwest and Revelstoke 2 ½<br />

hours northeast. Basically, you have four renown ski<br />

resorts all within a couple of hours of one another. A<br />

few more hours down the road and you have more<br />

resorts again on offer such as Apex Mountain Resort<br />

in the southwest and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort<br />

in the northeast.<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

61


Around 1921, Bert Thorburn and Tini Ryan<br />

road their bicycles up Silver Star Road with<br />

skis strapped to the frames of their bike.<br />

They continued to trek by foot and by ski for<br />

a further 17 kilometres. After many hours,<br />

they reached the open slopes and became<br />

the first to ski the slope.<br />

A BIT OF HISTORY<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

62<br />

During the warmer months, the Syilx People of<br />

the Okanagan Nation frequented the area for the<br />

mountain’s rich hunting and foraging grounds. When<br />

white settlers arrived in the region, the peak became<br />

known as Aberdeen Mountain after Lord Aberdeen,<br />

Canada’s Governor-General from 1893 to 1898.<br />

In the late 1800s the mountain became the site of<br />

a promising but ultimately unsuccessful mining<br />

operation with the earliest claim staked in 1896 by the<br />

Silver Star Mining Company. Trace amounts of metal<br />

such as silver, lead, zinc and copper were found in<br />

the ore leading miners to believe they had found a<br />

treasure mine. Unfortunately for these prospectors<br />

however, they soon realised that the ores were too<br />

low grade to be worked at a profit. The mountain’s<br />

mining era ended in disappointment around 1926.<br />

Around this time, 1921 in fact, two gentlemen by<br />

the names of Bert Thorburn and Tini Ryan road their<br />

bicycles up Silver Star Road with skis strapped to the<br />

frames of their bike. Ditching their bikes they then<br />

continued to trek by foot and by ski for a further 17<br />

kms up to the mountain’s summit. After many hours,<br />

they reached the open slopes and became the first<br />

to ski the slope. Indeed, Bert was credited with being<br />

the first.<br />

In December of 1938, the hill’s first downhill race was<br />

held, with competitors coming from the nearby towns<br />

of Vernon, Kelowna, Penticton and Summerland. In<br />

the ensuing 20 years, SilverStar gained a reputation<br />

as a skiing mecca across the Okanagan Valley.<br />

Although SilverStar was originally part of a Class A<br />

provincial park with no development allowed, Silver<br />

Star Sports gained approval from the Province to<br />

build a ski hill in the Class A park in the summer of<br />

1957. In 1958 the final three kilometres of the Silver<br />

Star Road was pushed through to the current day<br />

village area.<br />

Construction of two rope-tow lifts and an A-frame<br />

day lodge were built in 1958. Fast forward to 1984<br />

and between that year and 1990 many new hotels<br />

and amenities were built on the mountain. Desmond<br />

Schumann, an Australian, who earlier had bought Big<br />

White Ski Resort in 1995, then reached an agreement<br />

with Judd Buchanan, the majority shareholder of<br />

SilverStar Mountain Resort, to purchase the majority<br />

of SilverStar Mountain Resort assets in 2001.<br />

The two resorts remained a joint venture, but then<br />

in 2012 Desmond died at the age of 94, leaving his<br />

son Peter Schumann with Big White and his daughter<br />

Jane Cann with SilverStar. The two resorts soon<br />

became separate entities.<br />

In December 2019 it was announced SilverStar had<br />

been sold to the Powdr Corporation, a Utah-based<br />

owner of 10 other ski resorts in Colorado, Utah,<br />

Vermont, California, Oregon and Nevada.<br />

Reportedly POWDR tends not to invest in residential<br />

real estate and hotels at ski resorts, and this saw Jane<br />

Cann retain Schumann Resorts Ltd., which holds 12<br />

hectares of SilverStar real estate development land.<br />

POWDR is said to embrace SilverStar’s master<br />

development agreement, which includes the<br />

development of more ski terrain and restaurants.<br />

As to the famed 19th century saloon-style architecture<br />

of the town which resembles an old British Columbian<br />

mining town with its pillbox red, sunflower yellow and<br />

royal blue colour scheme, you now know it’s a nod<br />

to its history.


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the<br />

mou<br />

Silver Star<br />

Mountain, BC,<br />

Canada<br />

6,283’ Summit<br />

3,789’ Base<br />

Est. 1958<br />

132 Runs<br />

1328 hectares of<br />

skiiable terrain<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

64


ntain<br />

As<br />

Phoebe black run days<br />

Dave, Katie, Phoebe and Sam (Mikaela resting)<br />

I previously mentioned, the resort is compact,<br />

but don’t let that mislead you as to the variety and<br />

amount of terrain. There is 3,282 acres of skiable<br />

terrain and 132 marked runs. The amount of skiable<br />

terrain is enormous in comparison to so many other<br />

resorts, and yet it still appears so compact thanks to<br />

the way it has been set out.<br />

The trail statistics are 15% beginner, 40%<br />

intermediate, 35% advanced and 10% expert,<br />

which aptly describes the spread of terrain. Strong<br />

intermediate riders will love SilverStar Mountain<br />

Resort for the many blue runs as well as some of<br />

the black runs, and the resort also caters very well<br />

to beginners, which is what appealed to us so much.<br />

We enjoy pushing ourselves but not to death-defying<br />

levels. Katie and Mikaela are on skis and are firmly<br />

in the green run (beginner) and occasional blue run<br />

(intermediate) camp. Phoebe, Sam and I snowboard<br />

and are comfortable in the blue (intermediate) to black<br />

(advanced) range. Sam, who clearly has no fear, is<br />

pushing more towards the double black diamond<br />

terrain and I, in my growing years, am coming back<br />

from those kinds of slopes to more cruisy runs. As<br />

Sam kept reminding me, “Dad, you’re getting soft.<br />

You’re not pushing as hard as you used to.” In my<br />

defence, I reminded him I had just broken six ribs,<br />

near lopped of my ear and split my head open only<br />

six weeks prior to our trip thanks to a three-metre fall<br />

from a ladder onto a frameless glass pool fence. Yes,<br />

2022 was quite the year!<br />

The mountain has 7 lifts, which includes 2 high<br />

speed quad chair lifts and a gondola. Vance Creek<br />

on the front side of the mountain was definitely<br />

our favourite: a good cross section of beginner,<br />

intermediate and advanced terrain with plenty of<br />

treed runs. Plus, there was the added bonus of some<br />

night time skiing to add to the experience.<br />

Putnam Creek on the backside of the mountain has<br />

lots of terrain for advanced riders, although when we<br />

were there, it was a little icey, which, as everyone<br />

kept telling us, was very unusal. The area has<br />

numerous black diamond runs but quite a few cat<br />

tracks too, which if you are not aware, are the bane<br />

of all snowboarders.<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

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#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

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15%<br />

40%<br />

35%<br />

10%<br />

BEGINNER<br />

INTERMEDIATE<br />

ADVANCED<br />

EXPERT<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

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FAVOURED RUNS<br />

For mine it was all the treed runs. On The Front Side it was<br />

Peanut Trail, Spruce Meadows, Deer Park, Silver Meadows<br />

and Trinity Trees. On The Back Side it was Canntastic, Russty<br />

Whistle and the various runs either side.<br />

There is something so special about carving through deep<br />

snow amidst the trees. It is taxing on the legs but so forgiving<br />

and a totally different sensation to groomed runs. It is also has<br />

the added bonus that if you stack, it is like falling into a pile of<br />

pillows, which did give me some comfort knowing I was still<br />

nursing some broken ribs.<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

68<br />

Speaking to a many<br />

locals, they said they keep<br />

coming back to SilverStar<br />

because of the ski<br />

conditions – not too cold,<br />

a good powdery base and<br />

lots of blue sky days.


On average the ski resort receives 7 metres of<br />

snowfall, which is 100% all-natural. This is less<br />

than their west coast counterparts such as Whistler<br />

Blackcomb that gets on average 11-12 metres of<br />

snow per year, but the cooler temperatures inland<br />

mean the snow is drier and the snow quality can be<br />

maintained thanks to the colder temperatures.<br />

Speaking of temperatures, SilverStar for mine is ideal<br />

- not too cold so you’re absolutely freezing your ass<br />

off and not too hot that you have to strip off layers<br />

when exerting yourself. When we were there the<br />

temperature generally hovered between -5 degrees<br />

and -15 degrees. On average the Winter temps are<br />

-4 degrees to -11 degrees. Whistler is usually a few<br />

degrees warmer and somewhere further inland like<br />

Banff is usually a few degrees or more colder.<br />

I generally find it quite comfortable up to about -20<br />

degrees, from there it starts getting a little chilly on<br />

the lifts when you’re not moving or when there is no<br />

sun about. Visibility on the slopes is also generally<br />

quite good. Speaking to a many locals who have<br />

been visiting the mountain for 30 to 40 years or<br />

so, they said they keep coming back to SilverStar<br />

because of the ski conditions – not too cold, a good<br />

powdery base and lots of blue sky days as opposed<br />

to perhaps nearby Big White ski resort which has<br />

earnt the unfortunate nickname of Big White Out due<br />

to the reported number of days with low visibility.<br />

For those unaware, a whiteout typically occurs when<br />

there is a dense, even layer of cloud over a snow<br />

field. The sun light is diffused through the cloud, and<br />

then further scattered while reflecting between the<br />

snow surface and the cloud layer.<br />

The lack of a single light source results<br />

in a lack of definition thus affecting<br />

one’s ability to judge depth, distance<br />

and space. It is hard to determine where<br />

the horizon is let alone an undulating<br />

landscape. Everything blends together<br />

and can’t be defined unless it is really<br />

dark like a tree, which are always good<br />

to avoid.<br />

During our week and a bit in SilverStar<br />

we experienced the perfect weather<br />

combo: a few blue-sky days, a few days<br />

with it snowing heavily (my most favoured<br />

condition), a few overcast chilly days and<br />

a couple of warmer ones.<br />

SNOW & WEATHER<br />

Sam and Phoebe ready to roll (waiting for Dad to strap his bindings on)<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

69


Country<br />

COMPARISONS<br />

Canada<br />

To gain some perspective on various<br />

snow destinations, I have always found it<br />

fascinating to view comparative statistics<br />

measuring things like the average season<br />

snowfall, elevation and skiable terrain.<br />

The following table compares a few of<br />

the various destinations from around the<br />

world, some of which I have been fortunate<br />

enough to have visited and some yet to be<br />

explored.<br />

It is interesting when you are on deadline<br />

with a magazine. When you can ill afford<br />

the time to go down these rabbitholes but<br />

can’t help yourself because it is just so<br />

intriguing. I thought it was just me but then<br />

all the team got in on the conversation<br />

so we decided to include my litlle ready<br />

reckoner. It may not be entirely 100%<br />

accurate but serves as a guide and was<br />

compiled thanks to various snow websites<br />

like snowstash.com and powderhounds.<br />

com.au, which is an absolute cracker.<br />

United States<br />

Switzerland<br />

Austria<br />

Japan<br />

New Zealand<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

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Please note, as I have been told many times<br />

before, it is not just the amount of snow, but<br />

the quality of the snow. Dry and powdery<br />

is generally considered to be best. The<br />

closer you move to the ocean, the wetter<br />

the snow.<br />

Australia


Resort<br />

Average Season<br />

Snowfall (m)<br />

Vertical Rise<br />

Skiable Terrain<br />

(hectares)<br />

No. of Trails<br />

Silver Star 7 760 1328 132<br />

Sun Peaks 6 882 1728 137<br />

Big White 7.5 811 1147 119<br />

Lake Louise 3.6 1300 1204 133<br />

Revelstoke 10.5 1713 1263 75<br />

Whistler Blackcomb 11.9 1609 3307 200<br />

Vail 9.4 1050 5317 195<br />

Mammoth Lakes 10.2 945 1420 175<br />

Palisades Tahoe 10.1 870 3600 170+<br />

Titliss 10 1978 81 25<br />

St Anton 11 1507 2000 141<br />

Nozawa Onsen 10 1085 297 36<br />

Myoko Onsen 15 1124 200+ 60<br />

Hakuba 12 1071 960+ 125<br />

Niseko 17 940 870 79<br />

Mt Hutt 4 683 365 26<br />

Cardrona 2.9 600 400 38<br />

Treble Cone 5.5 700 550 40<br />

Falls Creek 1.4 380 450 92<br />

Mt Buller 1.2 415 300 81<br />

Mt Hotham 1.5 395 245 72<br />

Perisher 2.0 355 1245 110<br />

Thredbo 2.1 672 480 53<br />

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Snowbird Lodge<br />

Top three: Snowbird Lodge<br />

Bottom three and far right: Firelight Lodge<br />

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where to<br />

stay?<br />

I mentioned earlier how my mate Craig Russell at Helloworld Kawana has<br />

worked his magic for us in the past. Well, this time around he absolutely<br />

excelled himself.<br />

With the resort near fully booked for the tail end of January (by the time I<br />

came around to making our decision to take a break) we could not secure<br />

accommodation for the full 8 days we intended to be there. The decision was<br />

made to try two alternate accommodation offerings for 4 days a piece with<br />

our luggage conveniently taken across from one to the other while we were<br />

on the slopes. Even though each property was at either end of the resort,<br />

given the village is quite small, there was less than a 5-minute walk between<br />

the two.<br />

The first property we stayed at was the Firelight Lodge, one of SilverStar<br />

Mountain’s newest properties located right by the skating pond and Tube<br />

Town. It was so modern, spacious and beautifully furnished. I could quite<br />

honesty easily live there with our family of 5. It was incredible. You could<br />

snowboard virtually to your door (well maybe 40-50 metres from your door).<br />

It had a beautiful big fireplace and private outdoor spa bath. It was the<br />

absolute lap of luxury by our standards and truly magnificent and massive.<br />

All the facilities you would want were there including a drying room for your<br />

gear downstairs. Shops, restaurants, bars and the convenience store was a<br />

leisurely 3-minute stroll away.<br />

The second property we stayed at was Snowbird Lodge right in the heart<br />

of the village. Our room was literally 20 metres from the main street/village<br />

square/rectangle. But don’t worry, because there is no late-night yahooing,<br />

there is no noise to speak of. The main Comet Express gondola was the<br />

same distance away – 30 seconds on a snowboard. You could snowboard<br />

right to our private jacuzzi and night skiing was directly in front.<br />

You get it by now, the proximity to everything was incredible. The apartment<br />

itself was older than Firelight Lodge and 2/3 the size but it was comfortable<br />

nonetheless and way fancier than any place we usually stay. Again, it had its<br />

own fireplace and private hot tub too with the added bonus that when you<br />

soaked in it, whilst enjoying a beer of course, you could watch the snow fall<br />

on the main run, getting you psyched for the next day’s play.<br />

Which one was better? That is an incredibly tough call. I sincerely loved both,<br />

and both had their own advantages (there were no disadvantages, we were<br />

in SilverStar for goodness sake). What I will say is that given they were fully<br />

equipped apartments, we could wash and dry our own clothes and cook our<br />

own meals when we felt like it and that for mine was better than staying at a<br />

hotel and far gentler on the wallet.<br />

Contact Peter 0417 727 857 peter@kpsgroup.com.au<br />

1/12 The Terrace,<br />

Brunswick Heads NSW<br />

p: 02 6685 1283<br />

BUSINESS FOR SALE<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

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OTHER THINGS TO DO<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

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At the end<br />

of each<br />

day, we still<br />

managed to<br />

have enough<br />

energy to<br />

get in a raft<br />

of other<br />

activities like<br />

ice skating.<br />

Well, you can’t snowboard all the time. Believe me,<br />

I tried. I pushed myself from start to finish for 3 days<br />

straight but eventually had to have a half day on the<br />

4th just to give my 52-year-old body a break. At the<br />

end of each day, we still managed to have enough<br />

energy to get in a raft of other activities like ice<br />

skating. The setting at SilverStar is just so beautiful.<br />

Give me a natural, outdoor skating pond any day<br />

over an ice-skating rink.<br />

Right beside the pond was Tube Town where we<br />

went tubing more than a couple of times. It is so<br />

much fun with the family and even after a tiring day<br />

on the slopes is well worth it because it is not taxing<br />

on the body and just so serene looking out over the<br />

landscape as you spin down the big dipper-esque<br />

slope.<br />

There’s also snowshoeing in town, with the trails<br />

equally incredible, as well as cross country skiing<br />

and fat biking. We had no more energy left for the<br />

last two – possibly next time we visit I hope.<br />

Other than that, the Lord Aberdeen Convenience<br />

store is a ripper and has all you need at reasonable<br />

prices with a cracking selection of Canadian craft<br />

beers, as I earlier mentioned. Trash Can Panda by<br />

Parallel 49 Brewing Company (such a great name)<br />

was for mine the best, but there we so many good<br />

brews to choose from. Believe me, I tried a different<br />

4-pack every second day or so.<br />

For a breakfast/brunch coffee and snack Bugaboos<br />

Bakery Cafe was incredible. Great little pastries,<br />

coffee and hot chocolate.<br />

Our lunch ritual was the Red Antler. Great ‘pub grub’,<br />

pardon the pun, friendly service and a superb spot<br />

to down a few nice IPAs to dull the muscle aches<br />

before hitting the slopes again.<br />

For dinner the winner was The Bulldog. At first I<br />

couldn’t believe how this place in this tiny little village<br />

of SilverStar had ripped off one of the most iconic<br />

coffee shops in Amsterdam which I visited in my<br />

youth. I was later to find out the owner was one and<br />

the same. He loved coming to SilverStar so much<br />

he opened his own bar/restaurant/accommodation<br />

there. The décor is very appealing - all rustic, wood<br />

and stone with my new favourite sport of ice hockey<br />

playing on the big screen.<br />

Other things to do in SilverStar, if that wasn’t enough,<br />

is relax and unwind. You’re on holiday. Jokes aside,<br />

that was possibly one of the most appealing aspects<br />

about the resort – it is not too full on. Simply read<br />

a book in front of the fireplace, watch a movie,<br />

occasionally pinch yourself to make sure you’re<br />

really there or share a laugh and a chat with your<br />

family in the hot tub as they tell you how you’re not<br />

as good as you once were. Speaking of which, my<br />

theme song for the trip written by American country<br />

music star Toby Keith was, “I ain’t as good as I once<br />

was.” Sums me up perfectly nowadays and I am<br />

100% fine with that estimation.


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WHERE TO VISI<br />

Last time we ventured to Canada, Katie and I didn’t<br />

leave enough time to explore Vancouver. It is something<br />

we always regretted and hoped to rectify one day. We<br />

weren’t going to make the same mistake this time around<br />

and allowed 4 days to explore this most stunning city,<br />

which was the perfect amount of time in our opinion.<br />

On our “must see and do list”, in no particular order,<br />

were: Granville Island, Gastown, Stanley Park, Grouse<br />

Mountain, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, an ice hockey<br />

game and a number of Vancouver’s galleries given our<br />

eldest, Mikaela, is obsessed with art and music – Phoebe<br />

and Sam are less culturally enamoured shall we say.<br />

Stanley Park<br />

Definitely don’t walk it, the park is huge. To put it is<br />

context, at 1001 acres it is 1/5 larger than New York’s<br />

Central Park. We started walking it and promptly grabbed<br />

some bikes, which is the ideal way to explore this urban<br />

forest.<br />

Located in the north-western half of Vancouver’s<br />

Downtown Peninsula, Stanley Park is surrounded by the<br />

waters of Burrard Inlet and English Bay. The land was<br />

originally used by Indigenous peoples for thousands of<br />

years before British Columbia was colonised by the British<br />

(of course) during the 1858 Fraser Canyon Gold Rush.<br />

Much of the park today remains as densely forested as<br />

it was in the late 1800s with about a half million<br />

trees. Some of these trees stand as tall as 76<br />

metres and are hundreds of years old.<br />

The historic lighthouse on Brockton Point<br />

marks the park’s easternmost point. It is here<br />

where the park’s famed totem poles stand.<br />

Reportedly first introduced in the 1920’s, the<br />

Vancouver Parks Board started buying them<br />

thinking that they would eventually build a<br />

replica First Nations village in Stanley Park.<br />

Some of the original totem poles are said to have been<br />

carved as early as the 1880s. They were originally located<br />

at Lumbermens’ Arch and at Prospect Point. In 1962, they<br />

were moved to Brockton Point where they now reside. By<br />

the mid-1980s, many of the totem poles in Stanley Park<br />

were damaged and rotting and consequently many were<br />

moved into museums with replicas carved.<br />

The Totem was the British Columbia Indians’ coat of<br />

arms and are unique to the northwest coast and lower<br />

Alaska. They were carved from western red cedar with<br />

each carving telling a story of a mythical event. Each<br />

carving on each pole has a meaning: the eagle represents<br />

the kingdom of the air, the whale the lordship of the sea,<br />

the wolf, the genius of the land and the frog being the<br />

transitional link between land and sea.<br />

Anyhow, Stanley Park presents a good opportunity for<br />

some exercise to get the jet lag out of your system after a<br />

long flight and some great vistas and photo opportunities<br />

of the city surrounds.<br />

Ice Hockey<br />

The last time we visited Canada we didn’t catch an ice<br />

hockey game. I wasn’t going to make the same mistake<br />

again. We saw a game between the Vancouver Canucks<br />

and Edmonton Oilers.<br />

Let me say, even tickets right up in the rafters (where we<br />

sat) will set you back a couple of hundred bucks each<br />

(yep). But, you don’t travel half way around the world to<br />

miss a spectacle like this. Even though there wasn’t a biff,<br />

it was electric. The speed, the skill, the toughness, the<br />

show – it even had Mikaela who isn’t generally a sports<br />

fan wanting to see another game. So we caught another<br />

local fixture while in SilverStar between the Vernon Vipers<br />

and Penticton Vees, which was equally as engaging –<br />

smaller stadium, closer to the action. My only challenge<br />

now is how to watch games back home.<br />

Yes, we loved<br />

absolutely<br />

everything<br />

about<br />

Vancouver,<br />

but this<br />

was just the<br />

cherry on top.<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

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photo: alex shapovalov


T ON THE WAY<br />

swan’s cycling no lycra<br />

photo: esteban arango<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

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WHERE TO VISI<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

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T ON THE WAY<br />

Capilano Suspension<br />

Bridge<br />

The bridge is undeniably impressive suspended some<br />

70 metres above the rapids below, but the gardens<br />

are equally impressive resembling a set out of Lord<br />

of the Rings. I went there interested to see if it was<br />

worth all the hype and left absolutely gobsmacked at<br />

how awe-inspiring it was. It truly was magical and well<br />

worth the visit.<br />

When you cross the bridge it certainly does sway,<br />

not just a little, but a lot, and the more people who<br />

walk on it at the one time, the more it sways. Looking<br />

over the edge does give you a kick of adrenaline, even<br />

more when someone walks hurriedly past. Little kids<br />

understandably freak out when crossing. It is 100%<br />

safe but not for the fainthearted.<br />

Grouse Mountain<br />

We knew we were heading to the snow, but it couldn’t<br />

come soon enough and considering Grouse Mountain<br />

was just up the road from the Capilano Suspension<br />

Bridge, we thought we might as well check it out. As<br />

we only had a few hours we decided to hire some<br />

snowshoes and absolutely loved it. Yes, we loved<br />

absolutely everything about Vancouver, but this was<br />

just the cherry on top. If we ever had an extended stay<br />

in Vancouver in the future we might book a couple of<br />

days skiing here. The slopes looked like fun and there<br />

is even night skiing.<br />

Art Galleries<br />

While the remainder of the family went shopping,<br />

Mikaela and I took in some culture visiting the likes of<br />

the Vancouver Art Gallery and Coastal Peoples Fine<br />

Arts Gallery but by far our favourite was indigenous<br />

artist Bill Reid’s art gallery. An acclaimed master<br />

goldsmith, carver, sculptor, writer, broadcaster,<br />

mentor and community activist, Bill Reid was born<br />

in Victoria, British Columbia, to a Haida mother (an<br />

indigenous group who have traditionally occupied an<br />

archipelago just off the coast of British Columbia) and<br />

an American father with Scottish German roots. The<br />

Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art was created<br />

in 2008 to honour his legacy and celebrate the diverse<br />

indigenous cultures of the Northwest Coast.<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

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Guud san glans Robert Davidson - Oliver Adams<br />

Potlatch Gift (Eagle) 1976


WHERE TO VISI<br />

Gastown<br />

Gastown is the original settlement that became the<br />

core of the city of Vancouver. Its name funnily enough<br />

originates from a publican. As legend has it, “Gassy”<br />

Jack Deighton, a Yorkshire seaman, steamboat<br />

captain and bartender arrived in 1867 to open the<br />

area’s first saloon. He was famous for talking a lot<br />

(“or gassing”) and so his saloon soon became known<br />

as Gassy’s town. The name evolved into Gastown<br />

and the area is now regarded as Vancouver’s first<br />

neighbourhood.<br />

Gastown quickly became a general centre of trade and<br />

commerce thanks to it being the site of the seaport<br />

and the Hastings Mill sawmill. In the 60’s however,<br />

the area was earmarked to be demolished to make<br />

way for a major freeway into the city’s downtown.<br />

Citizens became concerned with preserving<br />

Gastown’s distinctive and historic architecture. A<br />

campaign led by local businesspeople and property<br />

owners thankfully put an end to its destruction and<br />

Gastown lived on.<br />

Today Gastown is a mix of hip contemporary fashion<br />

and interior furnishing boutiques, restaurants,<br />

brewpubs, bars, internet businesses and professional<br />

offices, along with art galleries, music and art studios,<br />

film and acting schools. Its heritage listed buildings<br />

and cobblestone streets add to its eclectic appeal.<br />

It’s most famous, though nowhere near its oldest<br />

landmark is the steam-powered clock on the corner<br />

of Cambie and Water Street. It was built in 1977 to<br />

cover a steam grate, part of Vancouver’s distributed<br />

steamheating system. It was a way to harness the<br />

steam and to prevent street people from sleeping<br />

on the spot in cold weather. Apparently the original<br />

design was faulty though and it had to be powered by<br />

electricity after a breakdown. The steam mechanism<br />

was then completely restored with the financial<br />

support of local businesses (as it had become a<br />

major tourist attraction) and is now promoted as a<br />

heritage feature although it is of modern invention.<br />

Gastown also happens to be home to many<br />

microbreweries and watering holes specialising in<br />

local craft beers. You can perhaps see where my<br />

interest lay with regards to checking out this area.<br />

Three establishments you must visit are Steamworks<br />

Brewing Co, The Lamplighter Public House and Six<br />

Acres.<br />

#56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

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T ON THE WAY<br />

Granville Island<br />

Granville Island is a small cultural, dining and retail<br />

precinct located across False Creek from Downtown<br />

Vancouver under the southern end of the Granville<br />

Street Bridge.<br />

The peninsula was originally a sandbar that was used<br />

by the Musqueam Indian Band and the Squamish<br />

people as a fishing area. Interestingly, the city of<br />

Vancouver back then was called Granville until it<br />

was renamed in 1886, but the former name was kept<br />

and given to Granville Street and the rickety wooden<br />

Granville Street bridge that spanned the small inlet<br />

known as False Creek.<br />

This sandbar would eventually become Granville<br />

Island following a reclamation project in 1915 to<br />

create a 14-hectare industrial area. It was originally<br />

called Industrial Island, but Granville Island, named<br />

after the bridge that ran directly overhead, was the<br />

name that stuck. In the 1970’s, Granville Island began<br />

a transformation from an industrial precinct to now<br />

one of the most popular public spaces in Vancouver.<br />

Today it is home to more than 50 independent food<br />

purveyors and contributes to the island’s appeal<br />

as a renowned culinary destination. It’s here where<br />

customers can purchase the freshest of fresh<br />

produce, meat, fish, seafood, cheeses and other<br />

products, many of which are locally sourced.<br />

The area has also become Vancouver’s premier<br />

artistic and cultural hub and is home to numerous<br />

performing arts theatres, artisanal jewellers, art<br />

galleries and designers, further adding to the island’s<br />

charm.<br />

A visit to Granville Island is not complete without<br />

dropping by Canada’s first microbrewery, the famed<br />

Granville Island Brewing.<br />

I was only given a set amount of time to sample<br />

their wares by the family, but I was determined to<br />

make my way through all eight available varieties (no<br />

tasting paddles here thank you). I only managed four<br />

in my allotted time slot, but it was fun all the same.<br />

With another item on my Vancouver visitation bucket<br />

list ticked, I happily sauntered out of there with a belly<br />

full of beer and in search of a BeaverTail (a Canadian<br />

delicacy made up of fried dough pastry with helpings<br />

of maple syrup in case you were wondering).


Wuux<br />

uux going on<br />

Being our Winter edition<br />

and in the pursuit of all<br />

things alpine, you sometimes<br />

come across some weird and<br />

wonderful things. This is most<br />

definitely on the wonderful side<br />

of things. May we introduce<br />

our readers to qualified<br />

architect and third generation<br />

woodworking artisan, Wilhelm<br />

Margreiter, from where “the<br />

hills are alive with the sound<br />

of music” (couldn’t resist<br />

sorry). Yes, Wilhelm is from<br />

Salzburg, Austria and this is<br />

the story of Wuux Surfboards.<br />

Wilhelm’s wooden joinery business itself was<br />

originally founded by his grandfather in the 1950s<br />

and later passed on to his dad. They were famed for<br />

building snow skis, sledges (commonly known as<br />

sleds or sleighs to us) and furniture – the kind of craft<br />

you would expect to emanate from a land-locked<br />

country like Austria with no sea in sight. Anyhow, the<br />

spirit and enthusiasm of building sports equipment<br />

was well and truly there.<br />

When Wilhelm later took over the business from his<br />

father he was approached by some crew to make<br />

surfboards for local river waves like the Eisbach in<br />

Munich (which is a man-made wave on the 2kmlong<br />

river of the same name in Munich) he readily<br />

accepted the challenge with vigour.<br />

Wuux Surfboards feature a multilayer foam core<br />

Wilhelm and his crew make themselves with a ‘full<br />

wooden jacket’. The nose and tail are additionally<br />

reinforced. Said Wilhelm, “All our products are<br />

handmade in our workshop in Grödig, Austria. Every<br />

step, from the construction of the core to the final<br />

sanding is done on-site. Also, unlike conventional<br />

glassing, the exact amount of resin is calculated for<br />

every Wuux surfboard – saving more waste. We are<br />

very environmentally conscious.<br />

“We use high quality materials and a sophisticated<br />

construction to get long-lasting surfboards with<br />

less maintenance. We buy all our materials from<br />

local partners - reducing long transportation times<br />

to our workshop. We produce the core ourselves in<br />

the workshop. The left-over materials are used by<br />

a partner company as insulating materials. And as I<br />

said earlier, we use the exact calculated amount of<br />

epoxy resin – no resin on the floor, no waste.<br />

words: dave swan<br />

images: supplied courtsey of wuux surfboards


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“We try to improve our processes constantly to be more<br />

sustainable and environmentally friendly. We love upcycling.<br />

No matter if it is the fins, which consist of upcycled materials<br />

from the surfboard production, we try to give every piece<br />

of unused material another purpose. We even undertake<br />

consistent waste separation and use as little packaging as<br />

possible – no packaging if you buy at our shop.”<br />

Reportedly, due to the unique construction, the Wuux<br />

surfboards are easy to repair and in keeping with their<br />

environmental ethos the residual material from surfboard<br />

production gets upcycled into Wuux Fins.<br />

“In 2019 we invented a special technique for floating fins to<br />

reduce our waste and give the left-over materials a renewed<br />

purpose. This project was given financial support for<br />

prototyping by the Austrian Wirtschaftsservice – AWS.<br />

“If you lose a fin, it is easy to collect it again because they<br />

swim – this is an advantage for surfers and nature! Our fin<br />

base is made of carbon and gives the fin stiffness and extra<br />

pop. The wood look and feel makes the fins not only perform<br />

but also look good, like unique little design pieces!”<br />

Thanks to the foam core, Wuux Surfboards are very light<br />

compared to your standard wooden surfboards and<br />

approximately as light as a PU Surfboard. For example, their<br />

9’4“ Wuux Wahoo (Longboard) is about 6.2 - 6.5 kg.<br />

Each custom board takes around 6-8 weeks to build from<br />

scratch and retails from about $950 Euro ($1540 AUD). In<br />

terms of the wood used in all Wuux Surfboards, well, there<br />

are over 30 different varieties to choose from.<br />

Wilhelm ships his boards and fins all around the world but if<br />

you happen to be in Austria, you might like to check out his<br />

showroom in Salzberg at Schützenstraße 12 5082 Grödig.<br />

There, Wilhelm has a range of boards on display as well<br />

rentals/test boards, 12 different types of centre trailers (a<br />

centre fin in a thruster setup specially designed for river<br />

surfing), pads, leashes, boardbags, surfboard tools, board<br />

racks and accessories. Indeed, the boardbags are made<br />

in a community project Wilhelm started with a local surfer,<br />

who makes each of them by hand right there in Salzburg<br />

and another local surfer is producing the patches, which<br />

Wilhelm designed, made of vegan leather. Wilhelm even has<br />

a surfboard repair service.<br />

wuux-surfboards.com<br />

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A<br />

VERY<br />

BRITISH<br />

SURF<br />

TRIP.<br />

Melting Road<br />

Falling Birds<br />

and Wave Pools.<br />

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words and photos: james sledmere<br />

Sitting in an ancient pub with views<br />

overlooking a slice of the North Atlantic that<br />

had decided to do its best impersonation of<br />

a Caribbean lagoon, on one of the warmest<br />

days recorded in this part of England since<br />

records began, with a pint of Cornish bitter<br />

and a plate of fish and chips, having just<br />

surfed slightly chilly, slightly good Fistral<br />

Beach was, well… bloody lovely!<br />

He was right of course, my brother, it is a<br />

different kind of heat. I have called Sydney,<br />

Australia home for the past 15 years and<br />

have somehow acclimatised to her extremes<br />

of baking heat, bushfires and brain numbing<br />

humidity then month-long rain events and<br />

catastrophic flooding.<br />

Leaving the climate change debate at the<br />

door, the UK summer of 2022 definitely hit<br />

different. It was as if this ancient peninsula<br />

had upped her anchor and drifted on down<br />

to the Mediterranean for a few weeks. Our<br />

rental car radio informed us of emergency<br />

“But it’s a<br />

different<br />

kinda heat,<br />

innit!?”<br />

government Cobra meetings warning us<br />

NOT to throw birds (birds that might have<br />

fallen from the sky that is) back into the<br />

sky! Oh, and of course, there was the odd<br />

melting road.<br />

So not then, the sort of backdrop you’d<br />

really expect to find a building southwest<br />

ground swell beginning to trickle in,<br />

especially one that was going to be kissed<br />

each day by ENE offshore winds, but that<br />

was exactly what happened!<br />

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# 56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

88<br />

The Wave.<br />

But that was all to come and luckily, Huey of the North held<br />

the swell back just long enough for a quick one-day road trip<br />

up to Bristol and the chance to tick ‘surf a wave pool’ off my<br />

list. The Wave by Wavegarden was finally completed in 2019<br />

after 9 years of planning and building. There are plenty of<br />

opinions on the location of the pool itself, this is in-part due<br />

to the literal one-mile walk from the carpark to the reception,<br />

but we were up for a stroll/hike/adventure and having not<br />

brought skateboards like everyone else, we walked… and<br />

got sunburnt!<br />

But oh my was it worth it! I would have walked three miles<br />

because, for me personally, it had everything a surfer wants<br />

after a long drive and walk. A surf shop that smells like<br />

coconut scented wax full of great things you never knew you<br />

needed, a coffee shop that smells like coffee (and sells beer),<br />

good food, good Wi-Fi, and then, out the front, a perfect<br />

peeling left and a perfect peeling right.<br />

“You won’t need those,” said the guy who checked us in and<br />

who’d just spotted our wetsuits, “The water was 25 degrees<br />

the last time we checked!” This sounded like crazy talk but<br />

made perfect sense, the pools had been basking in the same<br />

summer sun that we had and as we strolled out into the bay,<br />

it began to feel more like a quick trip to Indo than Bristol!<br />

As you would expect in this surfer’s candy store, you can select the<br />

type of waves you want to surf, ranging from a little splash in the<br />

shore break on your foamie to the coveted Advanced Barrels setting.<br />

We chose Advanced Lefts.<br />

One of the nicest surprises for me was the new type of line-up that a<br />

wave pool creates. Everybody is pretty much guaranteed around 25<br />

waves each, so the competitive jostling is taken away and in its place<br />

is chatting and banter, comrades marching out for a common cause.<br />

While queuing in the channel, gradually paddling up as the line got<br />

shorter, we met a salesman and Bristol local riding a boogie board,<br />

who blocks out a day in his calendar each week for a quick slide. Two<br />

Dutch students that seemed to be even more surprised


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about the current weather situation than parliament<br />

was, and the Wave’s very own window cleaner<br />

who chooses to be paid in part, in waves. Cue the<br />

banter – “Good job you’re here mate, someone’s<br />

got to clean the spray off those windows after we’ve<br />

finished shredding!”<br />

Taking off by a painted marker, next to a concrete<br />

wall with a lifeguard looking down on you is strange,<br />

but after a few goes it becomes easier and easier to<br />

wait for the mechanical clunk of the wave generator,<br />

paddle and take off on a wave that offers a quick,<br />

turn-friendly section, fattens slightly for a little cutty<br />

and then reforms into a really fun inside section.<br />

Once you kick off, you join your brothers and sisters<br />

in the queue along the central jetty and deep-water<br />

area, smiling strangely to do it all again.<br />

Yes the ocean waves were fun that trip, staying<br />

opposite Fistral Beach and checking them from<br />

the window at dawn each day was a treat that I am<br />

very thankful for. But there was something magical<br />

about that dang wave pool. The usual images and<br />

flashback recordings from a decent session that all<br />

surfers carry with them seemed to be filed away in<br />

a different brain compartment for that day, marked<br />

‘artificial’, they seem to have slightly altered the<br />

way I look at waves, especially smaller waves, in<br />

the actual ocean. Seeing potential where maybe I<br />

didn’t before. Some kind of new sight. Maybe I’m<br />

not alone in this?<br />

That one fun, memorable session has really helped<br />

this average, improving surfer. A surfer who dodged<br />

those falling birds, didn’t get stuck in tarmac and<br />

who will always remember that crazy summer of<br />

2022, the smell of artificial coconut and that clunk<br />

of the mechanism!<br />

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gear<br />

A surf<br />

revolution<br />

After three generations of supplying<br />

quality surf craft products and services,<br />

Barry Bennett’s passion, legacy and business<br />

lives on through Bennett Surfboards.<br />

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Circa 1969 – Phil Jacques (glasser), Nipper Williams (shaper/<br />

glasser), Warren ‘Wagga’ Holmes (blank blower), Barry Bennett<br />

(president/shaper/blower), Wayne Burton (shaper) and Tony Dunn<br />

(assistant/pourer/bucket boy).<br />

Founded in 1956, Bennett Surfboards has<br />

been a part of the Australian surf industry for<br />

longer than any other manufacturer. Hailing<br />

from Brookvale, the birthplace of surfing<br />

in Australia as we know it, Barry started<br />

building plywood and balsa surfboards when<br />

he was 25.<br />

Bennett Surfboards opened its doors<br />

as a dedicated surfboard and blanks<br />

manufacturer back in 1960. Since then,<br />

Barry has been involved in every aspect of<br />

Australian surfing, from the surf lifesaving<br />

hollow wooden board days to the ultra-light<br />

blanks and longboard revolution. Dozens of<br />

iconic surfboard shapers have worked under<br />

the Bennett Surf label, such as Gary Lopez,<br />

Ron Grant, Bill Cilia, Greg Clough, Russell<br />

Head, Mickey Mack, Frank Williamr, Nat<br />

Young, Doug Bell, Ben Aipa, Neil Purchase,<br />

Bob McTavish, Geoff McCoy, Wayne Burton<br />

and Peter Cornish – just to name a few.<br />

You could say Barry was one of the original<br />

entrepreneurs of surfboard shaping in the<br />

country, as he guided many leading surfers<br />

and shapers and helped launch surfing as<br />

a mainstream culture in Australia. Purely<br />

because he loved it so much, Barry worked<br />

full time in his beloved surfboard factory until<br />

he was 90 years old.<br />

When he passed away in August 2022, his<br />

son and grandson, Greg and Tom Bennett,<br />

formally took over the business with a<br />

passionate focus on continuing to supply<br />

quality surf craft to their customers. Due to<br />

the family’s strong links to the surf lifesaving<br />

movement, they continue to supply paddle<br />

boards and rescue boards to local and<br />

overseas clubs.<br />

To this day, they still trade out of 180<br />

Harbord Road in Brookvale, and maintain<br />

their reputation for expertly crafted boards<br />

through renowned surfboard shapers such<br />

as Billy Tolhurst, Mark Rabbidge, Steele<br />

Lewis and Sam Tehan.<br />

The company remains as Sydney’s premier<br />

longboard outlet with a showroom full<br />

of their range along with an impressive<br />

showcase of vintage surf craft. Most<br />

importantly, Bennett Surf Co. continues to<br />

keep Barry’s great legacy alive and keep<br />

their customers stoked with every ‘BB’<br />

board, as they have done since the 1950’s.<br />

bennettsurf.com<br />

# 56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

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gear<br />

Another ripper<br />

slider from<br />

the master<br />

Peter Sheely.<br />

Super light (only weighs<br />

7.2kgs amazingly) and<br />

will have you gliding all<br />

the way from Newcastle<br />

to New Zealand.<br />

6’10” x 22” x 2 7/8”<br />

Slot Channel Swallow model made<br />

for the bigger/older guy looking for<br />

more volume without compromising<br />

performance.<br />

12’plus x 23 ½” x 3 ¼“<br />

16 ½“ nose and 14 ½“ tail<br />

HARVEST SURFBOARDS<br />

2/24 Christine Ave, Miami, QLD<br />

P: (07) 5576 5914<br />

E: hello@harvestsurfboards.com<br />

M: harvestsurfboards.com<br />

SHEELY<br />

CUSTOM MADE<br />

SURFBOARDS<br />

M: 0417 264 739<br />

# 56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

94<br />

Go<br />

Wild!<br />

RABBIDGE<br />

SURF<br />

DESIGNS<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


gear<br />

SURFING<br />

TAKES GUTS<br />

(family support helps too)<br />

Robbo (Keith Robinson) has some quality<br />

talent in the wings as back up for his Gut<br />

Slider orders.<br />

Not only is his daughter Karley a keen surfer and<br />

good for a test ride or two, but little Atlas, now 8,<br />

has been asking to get on the tools for 3 years. He<br />

finally got his chance to recently and really is a chip<br />

off the old block, even with a gap of 2 generations.<br />

robbo<br />

atlas<br />

Isla<br />

Karley<br />

CUSTOM ORDERS AVAILABLE<br />

OCEANFOIL SURFBOARDS, Urunga, NSW.<br />

M: 0434 211 779<br />

As the boards remain in high demand,<br />

Oceanfoils is enlisting the help of the expert<br />

shapers at Oke Surfboards in Victoria.<br />

M: 03 9587 3553 | E: roryoke@hotmail.com<br />

Burford<br />

blanks<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 />

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


gear<br />

THIS WAS COOL.<br />

Copy of a 70’s Greg Webb<br />

(Noddy) single fin for Simon<br />

McLean. It came out great. Might<br />

make a few more sometime.<br />

6’4” – 20 ½ “ – 2 5/8” can’t<br />

remember the volume but who<br />

cared about volume in the 70’s.<br />

6x6x6oz glassing so she should<br />

be around in another 40 years!!<br />

You were lucky if the length was<br />

ever written on it!! What size<br />

would you ride?<br />

THE DING KING /<br />

CLARK SURFBOARDS<br />

Units 7 & 8, 9 Chapman Road,<br />

Hackham, SA<br />

E: leightonclark01@yahoo.com.au<br />

M: 0422 443 789<br />

Established Surfboard<br />

Factory retail<br />

Showroom<br />

For Sale<br />

Expressions of Interest are invited for<br />

the purchase of an established surfboard<br />

factory and Retail Showroom in the<br />

Byron Bay Arts & Industrial Estate.<br />

It is a going concern with established<br />

clientele.<br />

CONTACT BRETT:<br />

02-66856211 or<br />

Email bm2481@hotmail.com<br />

smorgasboarder<br />

IT’S A STICK UP<br />

# 56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

96<br />

smorgasboarder.com.au<br />

Sticker packs available<br />

at the Smorgastore


HOLLOW WOODEN<br />

SURFBOARDS<br />

Paulownia, cedar, balsa combinations.<br />

Recycled or plantation wood used<br />

wherever possible!<br />

FISHES, GUNS, MALIBUS AND<br />

STAND UP PADDLE BOARDS.<br />

All models can be made in any style be it HempTech<br />

(hemp cloth), Kaizen (foam/fibreglass) or Wood.<br />

gear<br />

CUSTOM ORDERS WELCOMED!<br />

WORKSHOP AVAILABLE ON REQUEST.<br />

WOODENSURFBOARDSSHAPE<strong>SB</strong>YSTEVEO<br />

SHED 30 / 133 QUANDA ROAD<br />

COOLUM BEACH QLD 4561<br />

0421 522 503 | STEVEOSUPERIOR1@GMAIL.COM<br />

shapesbysteveo.com<br />

# 56 // smorgasboarder //<br />

97


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Fresh Fish L<br />

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

outerislandsurfboards.com

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