23 April 2009

South Coast Easter Magic

Rouge about to slash a Binji beach break
Rouge stylin at Binji on his backhand
That trailing arm gives deja'vu of Marrawah 1975
The casual hand of the leading arm
Rouge slotted on a small one

Looks like Rouge scored over easter, here's his account:

"Loved your “Feud” blog.

Here’s my Easter diary…cheers mate

Day 1: Easter Friday. Arrived at Bingi (5 hours south of Sydney) around 3pm. Had not been here before, but had surfed nearby at Tuross back in the 70’s. Unpacked the car, settled everyone in. Light NE blowing. Ocean visible. Cruised down to Bingi Point. Two guys out. Neat 3’ left and right beach breaks. Surfed for one hour, best surf I’d had in over a year (I don’t usually surf in Sydney).

Day 2: party time. Spent all day setting up for Jo’s 50th. Great night, played guitar till 2am.

Day 3: Sunday recovery day.

Day 4: Monday. Light SE blowing. Cruised down to Bingi north side around 11am. 2 guys out. Fantastic 3’ right handers peeling off the end of a rip near the point. Great session, finished with a little head dip.

Day 5: Tuesday. Surf tiny. Take kids for a boogie board. Paddle out and catch a few 1’ waves. Noone out. Beautiful crystal clear water.

Day 6: Wednesday. Surf tiny. 1’ waves south side of Bingi point. Took the young kids out for a boogie board, then surfed 1’ waves to myself for half an hour. See photos…

Day 7: Travelling home this morning. Get up early to see that a big swell has arrived. I paddle out North side of Bingi at 8am. I’m the only surfer in sight, not even a car in the car park. Beach is like a washing machine. Huge peaks breaking almost 100m out. Manage to get out, float around for half an hour but cannot catch a wave! Strong offshore, so quite cold. Still no surfers, guess they are all a lot wiser and have headed to the points probably Mullumburra or even Pink Rocks. Get out after half an hour, pack the car and head home.

To me, this is the essence of surfing. Isolated back beaches, with a couple of mates or locals. Great surf, great feeling."
Easter 2009

19 April 2009

No Banks Blues

There is nothing more frustrating than arriving at your local beach to find a perfect straight hander from one end to the other. Commonly called the Clifton Closeout, the wave has its advantages:
  • you can go left, right or straight ahead on any wave anywhere along the beach.
  • you can share the peak with dozens of other surfers.
  • its great for practicing take offs.
But above all, iIt lowers you expectations about what a good wave really is so that when a small peak does appear you are easily pleased. The Oldfartsurfer has always said that the secret to happiness is to be easily pleased - a carollary of admitting yer an oldfartsurfer.

The banks have disappeared and the search is on.

Fine Art Surfcraft takes Shape

The view from the nose showing the creative use of timber

The clean curvature from nose to tail.

The fine touches to the 6'8" hollow timber retro fish being created by The Dude are complete and it is now waiting for a tin of UV resistant epoxy resin to arrive so it can be glassed. By any accounts, the board created by the master surfcraftsman is a work of fine art and would hold its own in any gallery. The careful placement of the timber grains, the curves and the sculpting of the rail transition from full at the nose to hard at the tail are beauty to behold. A spokesman for the Old Farts Surf Co. suggested that if the board went to auction bidding could start as high as $3,000. However, The Dude said the board is being made to be used and not sit in a gallery being dusted by a curator every day. At 5.5 kg it is only 0.8 kg heavier than his glass 6'8" Nomad, despite its greater volume so floatation and wave catchability should really suit the discerning oldfartsurfer.

12 April 2009

Hit Counter

Ashton or Stephanie who would you hit on?

Old Feud Still Unresolved

Rouge, The Mexican & Mark, Four Mile Creek, 1975

Photo 1: Rouge or The Mexican? Marrawah , 1975

Photo 2: The Mexican, Marrawah, 1975

Photo 3: Rouge, North Plomer Reef, 2004

The Mexican, Uluwatu, 2006

A long running dispute between Rouge and the Mexican still seems unresolved even with the discovery of an old box of photos taken on a trip to Marrawah in 1975. The photos were taken by avid photographer, Morton, who didn't surf but loved a trip. The dispute is over the identify of the surfer in the best photo taken at the session.
The session was one of those that sticks in your memory, the waves were back lit by the afternoon sun combining with the offshore wind to create glistening emerald green waves. "Emerald City" cried Rouge and the Mex simultaneously as a set rolled through, recalling a recent caption of a photo in an American surf magazine that was identical to what they saw.
Photo 1 was considered by the participants on this early surfari to the wild west. The surfer is perfectly slotted into the line of the wave with a casual backhand stance and it just looks cool. Photo 2 is similar but the positioning on the wave isn't so hot and looks like a bit of a lame bottom turn. Now the Mex and Rouge both claim to be the surfer in Photo 1.
The back lighting makes the figure a silhouette and distance and age of the photo prevent any distinguishing detail being recognised. The photo of the crew taken at Four Mile Creek (on the way home south) shows both Rouge and the Mex have similar size shape and their hair length and style is almost identical.
Two recent photos of the boys on their backhand might help determine if their is something in their surfing style that will help solve the dispute. In the original photo the surfer has his knees bent in a semi crouching position, the shoulders are twisted to face down the line and the left arm has a casual hang to it. Photo 3 is of Rouge at North Plomer Reef on a trip he and the Mex did in 2004, 29 years after the Marrawah surfari. The photo shows an almost identical casual stance to photo 1, nicely slotted on an early morning east coast four footer. Looking at this you would think it was almost proof that the surfer in photo 1 was Rouge. But look at the photo of Mex in photo 4 taken at Uluwatu in 2006, it shows an almost identical left arm and the shoulders moving around nicely to swing the bottom turn. Its nothing like the stance he has in photo 2 at Marrawah in 1975 and is enough to cast some doubt on the true identify of the surfer in photo 1.
Look at the photos and decide for yourself, is it Rouge or Mex in photo 1 at Marrawah in 1975?

06 April 2009

Decking the Dude Board

The third installment in "how to make a 6'8" timber fish by The Mastersurfcraftsman The Dude. Check out the timber fins.

04 April 2009

The Who - The Real Surf Band Returns

They were kicked out of Australia in 1968 for drinking their own beer on a plane. Prime Minister John Gorton told them never to come back - so they didn't, well not for a long time. OK they're in their 60's but surfers and other Who tragics have been waiting 40 years for these guys to come back to Oz. "We haven't been here for a long time because its such a s**t hole" announced Pete Townsend from the Albert Park stage. They sang "I hope I die before I get old" and thankfully they are still youthful.

Back in the early 70's when the Oldfartsurfer was a grommet The Who Live at Leeds was pumping out the back of every panel van around the coast. It was real music that made you want to grab a can of beer and jump up and down on lounge room couch It is still considered by music critics to be one of the best live albums of all time. The Who were famous for their guitar smashing live performances, songs about disafected youth, wirdos and outcasts, not No. 1 hits. That's why we loved em, no one else seemed to, we could relate to what their songs were about and the powerful music. Still relevant today, their music can be heard on our sons undderground skate movies along with the latest rap artis.

The Oldfartsurer had to put up with noisy F1 race and buy Platinum tickets but it was worth the spot 10 m from the stage moshing with all the other over 50's! A lot of pommie accents in the crowd as in pommieland and the US The Who are as big, if not bigger than the Stones or the Beatles. It was great to see some gen Y's singing every word along with 14 and 17 yo nephews who loved it.

Roger Daltry sipped from a mug throughout the concert, persumable an elixer to keep the greatest rock voice from cracking up mid concert. Pete bashed and crashed his guitars with his signature windmill style and the crowd went berko on every bash. The concert was staged to finish the Australian F1 Grand Prix at Albert Park on a perfect clear still night. Master of the power chord, Pete, thought there was a motor bike race there ealier won by "some f**king pommie prick who was going to buy a car off me once and never did".

The concert opened with a few of their old 60's hits like Can't Explain, moved through some of their big ones like My Generation, Baba O'Rielly, Behind Blue Eyes, Who Are You, Won't get Fooled Again (including the big guitar crash and scream from CSI), 5:15 & Rain O're Me from Quadraphenia, and the encore started with Pinball Wizard and went through a half hour version of Tommy (including all those fantastic overture and underture instrumentals) before finishing with just Pete and Roger on stage for a quiet accoustic number to finish. The band were as tight as anything the Oldfartsurfer had heard, allowing Pete to go crazy on the guitar. Pete and drummer Zak Starky (Ringo's son) had a great rapport using a lot of eye contact to pump out some massive finishes to songs.

"Smash yer guitar Pete" yelled someone at the front as he was about to launch into the encore set. "Do you realise that if I smash my f**king guitar then thats the end of the concert" replied Pete, "and that would be the end of it, we used to smash our gear to get out of doing what we are about to do - an encore". Thankfully Pete didn;'t smash his guitar and the encore went off briallantly, except for a small technical hitch with Pete's accoustic guitar in the final number. Pete's frustration showed on his face but the show must go on and they finished the song. At the end Pete picked the $10k Gibson up by the neck and made as if to smash it , the crowd roared in anticipation, but he put it down gently and he hugged Roger for a final bow.

01 April 2009

Mako Wynyard - Nuff Said

Master SurfCraftsman on Track with Prototype Dude Board

Master SurfCraftsman, The Dude, is making steady progress on his prototype 6'8" western red cedar retro fish . Head full of saw dust, perspiration and covered in glue, The Dude poked his head up from his workshop for a brief coffee break and a chat with the Oldfartsurfer. "Progress is great" he said, "but we can't forget our roots. This is how they made boards in the 1920's using solid timbers and copper nails. We're adopting traditional methods but using lighter timbers and modern epoxy glue's and fibreglassing techniques to produce something lightweight, modern and surfable while keeping tradition and a link to the past."
The Dude said "we've laid up the hull and bottom rails and its really starting to take shape."
The Oldfartsurfer will be keeping you posted on the progress and sea trials of this exciting surf craft. Something special is being created here and the rest of the surfing industry is keeping a close eye on developments.