An auction for dreamers! Bid for a session (with pal) in Surf Lakes’ Yeppoon Test Pool!

How much you gonna pay for a date with the Big Plunger?

I do admire the bullish, can-do attitude of Queensland wavepool company Surf Lakes.

Despite not having a functioning pool, 0r having created a wave over two feet, we’ve read the announcement of their first commercial pool (Gold Coast, opening 2020, waves with “eight-foot faces”) and, today, a charity auction where two people can join the licensees/shareholders at the testing tank in Yeppoon, Central Queensland.

There’s a catch.

You gotta be in the Wollongong area in two days time for the KidzWish annual barbecue, which will host the former world champion surfer Mark Occhilipo who is also a Surf Lakes ambassador and minor shareholder.

KidzWish is a charity in the area whose goal is “to provide support, love and laughter to children in our community who are sick, disadvantaged or have a disability.”

Tickets cost between one hundred and five hundred dollars to get into the Wiseman Park Bowling Club, Gwynneville, on March 1, where the Surf Lakes package will be auctioned.

Now tell me.

You’re at the barbecue, you got a little ink in your veins and you want to take on the Yeppoon Plunger.

Presuming it gets going again, how much you going to throw at a day there?

Listen: “Don’t homeschool your damn kids unless they’re going to make you a millionaire!”

Come spend time with the utterly charming Matt Biolos of Lost surfboard fame!

It is almost always a pleasure to sit down with Moncler Jesus aka Matt Biolos. His lovably cantankerous take on life in general, and surfing specifically, is such a welcome relief from the usual jibber jabber of any day. It is refreshing like the last sip of French press’d coffee in the morning. The one where lukewarm and bitter grounds dance in perfect harmony.

Today, I had the pleasure of sitting down with him and David Lee Scales at the Surf Heritage and Culture Center in sunny San Clemente. We spoke of surfboard design and professional surfers. Of Brazil and a world title landing nowhere but Brazil for the next decade. Of the surf media’s love of looking at normal heart rhythms and turning them into the massive spikes and falls of a heart-attack.

“You guys take the smallest thing…” he says “…and just blow it all the way out. It’s garbage, it’s lazy and it’s damned nonsense.”

We also spoke about movies, energy drinks and the bullish surfboard market.

That enjoyable crinkly sound you’ll hear is not bad audio. It is Matt Biolos’s insistence on playing with a small piece of velcro for the entire second half.

I think it may be our best show yet.

darren handley
The great shaper Daz Handley jackrabbits his ski during last year's run of swell.

Cops: Jetski pilots fined for Kirra whip-ins!

How much y'gonna pay to avoid the rip and the takeoff at Kirra?

Ain’t nothing Australians like more than blowing whistles, riding car horns and, if a uniform is involved, handing out fines.

And therefore, when surfers used jet skis to avoid the rip and the takeoff during Queensland’s recent cyclone swell called Oma, the cops thought Christmas had arrived early, photographing the ID numbers of jet skis and sending fines in the mail.

According to local surf mag  18Seconds, “The fines have started arriving in the mail for people using skis during the Oma swell. According to sources, they’re being fine for going over 6 knots within 60 meters of (scarce) paddlers. They have even issued fines to several lifeguards going over 6 knots near the Alley breakwall. There have been lots of cases where skis are the ones helping surfers who are in trouble during dangerous cyclone swells. In fact, we were only speaking to a guy (fit in his fifties) yesterday who wiped out over the weekend. He said it was such a heavy belting, when he surfaced he couldn’t see anything – was just seeing black. With eight-foot sets washing him around, he thought he was gone. Luckily, a ski grabbed the man and took him to the safety of the beach.”

Other fineable rules include, not having an observer on the back when you tow or whip and if you’re in partially smooth waters, ie Kirra, not carrying drinking water, a map, a compass and a GPS.

Fines range range from $250 to a mandatory court appearance.

Perhaps this event, from last year, prompted the arrival of the police.

Now, some questions.

Do you appreciate it when police officers execute their duties to the letter?

Or does it make your native contempt for authority and for anyone who picks up a badge flourish?

You'll get to surf in front of tens of excited fans!

Win: A wildcard to the WCT Women’s Trials Event on the Gold Coast!

Do you identify as a woman? Do you shred? Do you Instagram?

In a month or thereabouts, the tour is back on the Gold Coast. And if you identify as a woman, or have a suitable pronoun, and you have an engaged gang of Instagram followers, you can be a part of it thanks to event sponsor Boost’s Search For a Wildcard Contest.

Real simple to enter. 

Upload a one-minute clip, surfing, to Instagram. The top ten most-voted clips go into the final. Boost-sponsored surfer Sally Fizgibbons chooses the winner.

Three or so days in and they’ve been four entries, with Isabella Caldow, a fifteen-year-old from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast leading the votes, 100 to 66, two and one.

The concept of giving away a tour event slot ain’t new.

In 1991, Coke offered a wildcard into the main event of the Coca-Cola Surf Classic at Narrabeen in 1991 as the prize for their Classic Wave Competition. The winner, Allan Willis, a bricklayer from surfless Bundaberg in North Queensland, had surfed twice in the previous six months and was recovering from distended vascular structures in his anal canal, which made sitting painful.

Willis lost his heat against Ross Clarke-Jones, although not after causing Ross immense worry, and was awarded a cheque for $1750 and free run of the VIP area.

Glory days.

Revealed: “The talent pool among Canadian surfers is huge!”

Are you secretly Canadian? Is Jesse Mendes?

I was such a “surfing in the Olympics” sceptic, overly rude as always, but must admit as 2020 inches closer that I’ve been thrilled by various storylines. Take Venice Beach’s aggressive leash pull, for example. It is very likely that nothing would have happened that day if the 1-foot straighthander, which breaks off the pier, wasn’t the training facility of the women’s Senegalese Olympic surf team. Very likely that tensions would have been muted without the chase for gold hovering like a pregnant cloud.

Also, we would not be aware that “the talent pool among Canadian surfers is huge.” And let’s learn more about that right now. Let’s do it together.

One of the world’s most renowned surfing destinations has become a training ground for a new crop of Olympic hopefuls.

Canadian athletes are in Tofino preparing for a national event in May in order to qualify for the World Championships. It will be that performance that could earn them a spot in the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, where surfing will make its Olympic debut alongside skateboarding, sport climbing, karate, baseball, and softball.

“Japan decided that they wanted it,” said Surf Canada President Dom Domic. “In just over 500 days, the eyes of the world are going to be on surfing.”

Surfers who have arrived to brave the chilly waters say they can’t believe a shot at Olympic glory would ever be in reach for them.

“I didn’t think the Olympics would ever be a thing,” said surfer Noah Cohen. “There was never even like a dream. To even have like a sliver of hope is a pretty amazing thing.”

The road to get there won’t be easy. Despite what people may think, the talent pool among Canadian surfers, including those living aboard, is huge.


And let’s play a game. Which surfers on tour are secretly Canadian?

Sebastian “Seabass” Zietz has a whiff of maple about him don’t you think? Something in the smile.

Also Jesse Mendes.

Speaking of, which surfer from your home country would you trade to Canada for a plate of cheese curds?