And it was in this house, one hundred metres from the famous sandbottom left, that the surf movie classic Doped Youth was filmed in the summer of 2003-4. The movie, which was conceived and made by Ozzie and Waves editor Adam Blakey, starred Kelly Slater, Tom Carroll, Ozzie, Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson and was released as a DVD with the magazine Waves.
After around a decade in the Narrabeen house, Oz and his singer wife Mylee Grace , bought another house, this time in Newport, a short drive north. In 2015, the pair, with kids, joined the Sydney exodus north to Byron Bay, buying a house in Suffolk Park for $1.15 million.
The Newport joint got sold last year for $2.3 million and, now, Oz has put the historic Doped Youth house on the market. It don’t look a thing like the shanty town that featured in the film. I had to go back and look a few times to make sure it was the actual house for sale.
It sure is… different. From artist warehouse to stiff mammy, pappy chic.
Anyway, if living near Sydney’s best wave is your thing, it ain’t a bad place to stack your boards.
Price? Well over two million dollars, I’d suggest.
I sat down this morning with a hot cup of coffee and flipped open my computer to see if anything interesting happened in the surf world overnight. The Inertia found a #vanlife they liked very much, Stab was busy selling FCS’s new leash and then there was Sean Doherty, like a breath of fresh air, penning an ode to Snapper’s last dance as first gal on tour for Surfer. It was wistful, informative, nice.
He drove through Coolangatta, remembering what it once was when surfers were not welcomed and then went to Mick Fanning’s house.
“Joel was there.” he wrote. “Mick was asleep. He’d spent the day hanging out with Henry Rollins, the punk legend now spruiking cars more than revolution.”
Mick spent the day hanging with Hank Rollins and Joel was there? At first my mind raced to the most logical conclusion. That Rip Curl was following Billabong’s gilded path and doing a radical collaboration with Rollins and/or Black Flag. It’s got all the ingredients the surf industry loves and I wondered if Joel was jealous and trying to pry Henry over to Billabong, showing off his Iggy Pop trunks etc. but then I searched Mick Fanning and Henry Rollins and found this video.
Henry Rollins has or maybe had a radio show on KCRW in Los Angeles.
It is/was torture.
Like, real true torture.
It always made me feel better watching him get thrown through a window though. Maybe it’ll help you too.
And here we sit just one day away from the start of the 2018 World Championship Tour feat. all your favorites minus Mick.
Are you excited? Did the time between Pipeline’s closing curtain and this moment totally drag or did you sober up enough to think, “Why the hell do I waste my time watching professional surfing?”
Well that’s rude and it might take you a few moments to get back into the swing of things but by the time the tour lumbers into Brazil this May you’ll be craving the sauce once more. Who do you think will be atop the Jeep Leaderboard in May? You can now put your money where your mouth is and exciting things will be happening re. BeachGrit and surf gambling. Stay tuned.
Do you recall what else is happening in May?
That’s right! The Founders Cup at Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California. It will be open to the public and your first chance to buy a ticket and peek inside but it won’t be your last time.
For just minutes ago a conversation was intercepted on social media by a watchful friend between a person very much involved in Surf Ranch operations. That person told another person that Surf Ranch is officially opening to the public after the Founders Cup.
Like, you can drive to Lemoore, stay at the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino and surf the ranch just like your favorite surf journalists.
Can you believe? Do you excite?
Price per hour/session was not revealed but let’s also put our money where our mouths are here. I’ll start. I bet…. $150 an hour with a long waitlist.
No world title contender will touch the Games, says professional gadfly, Maurice Cole…
Obviously, you were as thrilled as I with the announcement of Australia’s Olympic teamyesterday. The squad, which will be whittled down to one man and one woman in 2020, includes: Julian Wilson, Matt Wilkinson, Owen Wright, Connor O’Leary, Adrian Buchan, Wade Carmichael, Mikey Wright, Ethan Ewing, Stuart Kennedy, Tyler Wright, Stephanie Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons, Nikki van Dijk, Keely Andrew, Bronte Macaulay and Macy Callaghan.
Of course, not everyone is standing under the money shower, thrilled by the thrill of the Olympian ideal. The noted Victorian designer and surfer Maurice Cole, whose piece “Bureaucracy killing Australian Surfing“ pointed out that despite this government largesse Australian competitors were failing miserably at every level (twelfth at the ISA world titles, just clear of Germany) says the games are gonna be lamer than a second-tier QS event.
Think about it, says Moz.
“When I saw that photo of the Olympic team…you know what was missing? No juniors! Where’s our next 16, 17, 18-year-old who’ll be 20 and peaking in 2020? Not one there! Chiba is shitty beachbreaks. Everyone agrees. It ain’t a secret. Chiba isn’t even as good as the Brazilian beachbreaks. It’s really C-grade, maybe D-Grade. What sort of athlete is going to win in those conditions? A lightweight, someone in the 65-to-70 kilo range (140-to-150 pounds), who can do every air, who is competing on the QS, competing on the ISA, knows the system, the four-man heats, the 222 repechages, the six semi-finals. Australia’s best bet is have our best junior WQS athlete who should be qualifying in a year or two for the WCT.”
“The coaches have made it clear to me that the WCT guys won’t really want to do the Olympics. At the moment we have the Dream Tour. No disrespect to the women, but it’s men in men waves doing men turns. And, in response, the athletes are bulking up. Julian Wilson, apparently, has put on four kilos. Everyone’s beefing up for Teahupoo, Pipe, J-Bay, to be strong enough to surf five heats at Snapper in one day. They won’t do well if they have to lose weight, go into four-man heats and develop different boards for the shitty conditions. If you’re a pro athlete, do you really want to sacrifice a year or two in your career to get a medal? Or do you train and look at the long game, a world title? Mikey Wright should be on tour at the end of the year. He could be going for a world title in two. Does he want to be in the ISA and disrupt his whole training program to surf four-man heats in shitty surf?”
“We should be pumping money into juniors and developing a junior series that produces a pathway to the QS and then the CT. It makes a lot more sense than hoping our WCT surfers are still young enough to beat the kids from other countries. However you look at it, the Olympics is more of an amateur style event.”
Who’s gonna come to the rescue of Australian surfing, to save the reputation of a once-great surf power? Mick Fanning, says Moz!
“This is a plea to Mick Fanning. Mick, I see your passion, I love your passion, I love how proud you’ll be to be part of an Olympic medal, in whatever form. You need to head up a taskforce to investigate what’s gone wrong, to talk to all the different people, all the creative people that’ve been put offside and get the conversation going. At the moment, the system is producing journeymen. We have to be able to attract all of our athletes. We saw what happened with Jack Robinson. What happens when our next 13-year-old prodigy doesn’t agree with the system and we lose them too? So, instead of having a system they don’t agree with, we need to create a framework where the kids are learning about surfboards, surfing big waves, getting nine-six guns and being terrified as fuck but can’t wait to use it. I was watching a boardriders contest the other day, and you know what struck me? That the Aussie mongrel is alive and well. That’s the energy level I know about Australian surfing, Mikey Wright, running over the line with a second to go. It’s in us. We love to compete, we love it when our backs are against the wall. What the fuck happened? Why no results in at any level? It’s a direct result of a broken coaching system at Surfing Australia. As one former head coach told me,
“‘We destroyed a generation of surfers.'”
(Listen to Maurice debate Victorian high-performance coach Cahill Bell-Warren here.)
I’ve been to London a good handful of times in my life and have always thoroughly enjoyed. The weather is mostly dour and the food tastes like boiled underpants but there is something about The Big Smoke that speaks to me. Maybe it is because I’m over 50% English, or so my grandmothers told me. The grandmother on my father’s side even told me I am 9th cousins to Queen Elizabeth. I spent some of my childhood wondering how many people would have to die for me to be King of England.
The other under 50% is German. A 60/40 split or possibly even 70/30. I don’t know because I haven’t done the genetic testing thing that tells everyone they’re 1% North African yet.
Have you? Genetic tested? Any surprises?
Well, there is a surprise coming from London. For today it was announced that the city is seeking to rival Hawaii and Australia as surfing powerhouses. Let’s read from Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun:
Swanley – 15 miles from central London and within the M25 – is being considered for a £20million artificial surf lagoon with cutting-edge wave machine.
Surf loving local Joby Ingram-Dodd, 37, who has been surfing for over 20 years, is fundraising £1.5m to get plans off the ground.
He made the decision after growing sick of making the 550 mile round trip to Newquay, Cornwall to take part in his favourite sport.
After years of struggling to find time to get to the coast, the father of two decided the most logical option would be to bring the ocean to the town’s 21,000 residents.
A crowd-funding project that aims to raise £20million to fund Surf London would pay for the cutting edge wave pool technology that creates the perfect artificial waves for surfing.
The proposed London Surf park will contain scuba and freediving pools, a climbing area, and a flowrider – a plastic wave that water is pumped over to surf on.
Joby said the park would provide school children and Londoners with the chance to try out extreme sports, such as surfing, that they otherwise may not have access too.
“I think it would be amazing to have an Olympic surf champion come from Swanley or London or wherever having learnt on a wave pool rather than coming from Cornwall or California.”
So? Are you excited for the champ from Swanley? And seriously, this little bit really made me think that once wave tanks are ubiquitous and basically the entirety of professional surfing then rich little nation-states can buy their way right in. If Dubai, say, built a Surf Ranch for every ten people then we’d have a Saudi champ within two decades, assuming the Saudis decided against getting as fat as they possibly can by eating powdered sugar donuts by the boxful.