12 April 2009

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?

3 comments:

Rouge said...

Hey Mex, I thought this one was laid to rest over a bourbon or three down at Travs. Photo one is obviously you! It's because you're in the stink bug stance which you later went on to show off around various Australian surf spots, later getting world wide acclaim.

Kezza said...

Nope, photo one is definetley (and being deaf at Nettleys on drop ins is another tale....)I say again, assuredly, RougeakaGrubbo. Hey, remember that time at Pink Rocks when you landed on your ear after digging the nose, and I had to stop you paddling to New Zealand cause your whirligig was out of order?

Old Fart Surfer said...

I'm still trying to figure this Rouge business - can anyone shed some light on that? Grubbo's the go I reckon!