World’s most famous poet Amanda Gorman serenades her heart’s true love: “There’s no place I’d rather be than on a surfboard out at sea!”

Legendary.

Oh but there is absolutely no way you are, today, unfamiliar with the world’s most famous poet, the very exceptional Amanda Gorman. The Harvard student has already achieved much acclaim throughout her 22 years but nothing more high-profile than her reading an original work at the inauguration of President Joseph R. Biden a week, or some such, ago.

Her poem, as well as her presentation, received only rave reviews and deservedly so but there is something much greater than fame or fortune tugging on those heartstrings.

Enter our surfing.

“There’s not place I’d rather be…” she penned on a July 15, 2017 Instagram post “…than on a surfboard out at sea.”

And are you pleased as punch to count someone so accomplished amongst our ranks or do you feel the need to warn her of this all-consuming, all-destroying lifestyle choice?

Well, if there is anyone who can make surfing great again it is Ms. Gorman and I would like to encourage her to write more surf-specific poetry.

Heaven knows we need it.


Invasion Day, Brisbane.

Breaking: Queensland authorities find Covid-19 fragments in coastal sewage sparking panic as Australians gather for “Invasion Day” protests!

"Australians all let us rejoice for we are young and free..."

But oh rats. Mere hours ago we learned of 2x world championship Tyler Wright’s impassioned call to her fellow countrypersons to forego traditional Australia Day celebrations and attended protests for Invasion Day instead.

“Jan 26th is Invasion Day…” she wrote. “My fellow white and non indigenous Australian friends where are you all showing up for Invasion Day marches? If you can’t make one, how else are you showing up for First Nations people everyday? Unity comes after accountability and truth telling. Let’s hold each other accountable. Let’s all do better to dismantle individual, systemic, structural and institutionalised racism founded in white supremacy.”

Woke n wonderful… except…….

Oh nuts.

Queensland authorities from Maroochydore in the south to as far north as Cairns found fragments of Covid-19 in the sewage sparking panic as it suggests undetected cases are roaming amongst the general population and very likely heeding Tyler Wright’s call to show up everyday.

Queensland recorded zero locally acquired cases of coronavirus on Tuesday but an alert was issued after fragments of the virus were detected at seven sewage treatment plants in the state and then a large Invasion Day march took place in Brisbane.

Much testing is being encouraged as the fragments could be from persons who had already had the disease but could also suggest the lightly-symptomed are out holding other persons accountable, dismantling individual, systemic, structural and institutionalized racism etc.

Yeopersons work, no doubt.


@joeherron.net

Shocking amount of native surf sense growing naturally in Minnesota’s frigid north: “I think it’s important to be conscious of yourself and your impact on others, especially if they’ve been surfing these waves longer than you and you’re a newcomer!”

Heaven on earth.

Every year, or some such, the world is re-treated to almost unbelievable stories of men and women who surf, surf, in the Great Lakes and do it in winter, winter, when there is snow on the shore. The genre is generally forgettable with the same tropes rolled out consistently (surfing seeming like a summer activity with its participants festooned in short-pants, winter storms actually required to create waves, the fact wetsuits exist etc.) and boring except, except, I just stumbled upon one from Duluth, Minnesota wherein the featured surfers possess a shocking amount of native sense and let us meet Big Wave Dave Rostvold and Joe Herron.

Rostvold is a shaper who works out of Castle Glass Surfboards and says, “It kind of feels like a fairytale. Surfing is a dream for a lot of people around the world. To be able to do it here in the Midwest, that’s a dream come true.”

Poetic, no?

Herron is a photographer who once saw surfers plying their pastime on Lake Superior and “asked permission to photograph them” because he knew surfers “are justifiably protective of their knowledge, especially in the North Shore’s frigid waters. Good waves are a finite resource, and mastering simple maneuvers, like popping up into a standing position, can be deeply humbling.”

Thoughtful, no?

Herron became so enchanted that he began surfing himself though adds, “It’s funny—I can both see that I’ve improved immensely since I started, but I’m also still really bad. It’s very tough, it’s physically demanding, it can be scary, but certain people just enjoy those kinds of activities.”

Certain people like us, no?

The piece segues into the standard “waves on lakes need high wind, the sort that is only produced with winter storms” etc. but flips back around to Rostvold and Herron who basically encourage beginners not to, point to a kook spot for them to go if they must and declare, “I think it’s important to be conscious of yourself and your impact on others, especially if they’ve been surfing these waves longer than you and you’re a newcomer. You shouldn’t be putting yourself in a position that could hurt someone else. I think selflessness should be the first goal, then it’s ‘Can I catch a wave?'”

Wise, no?

The sort of wisdom that is more and more difficult to find in our Wavestorm clogged oceans.

Does it make you think lake surfing is the dream come true for you?

A fine home in Duluth will run you 200k.

Smart money.


Two-time world surfing champion Tyler Wright heats up surf fans with Australia Day post critical of country’s “genocidal history, “institutional racism” and “white supremacy”!

"No pride in genocide!"

The two-time world champ Tyler Wright has again fired up against the forces of rabid prejudice in a post denouncing Australia as genocidal, racist and its annual day of celebration a symbol of the country’s structural and institutionalised white supremacy.

For non-Australian readers, and for many Australians too, I suppose, who might be unaware of the date’s significance, January 26 represents the day in 1788 when eleven prison hulks from England arrived in Sydney Cove to establish a penal colony.

This penal colony has since become one of the world’s most stable democracies, free healthcare, school, and so on. A free-wheeling capitalist society wrapped in the loving arms of a generous welfare state.

For our indigenous brothers and sisters, the arrival of the European was a catastrophe, a disaster still unfurling two centuries later.

Ain’t no secret there.

From Tyler,

Jan 26th is Invasion Day. My fellow white and non indigenous Australian friends where are you all showing up for Invasion Day marches? If you can’t make one, how else are you showing up for First Nations people everyday? Lets show @scottmorrisonmp that there is No Pride in Genocide, celebrating on jan 26th is ignorant of our colonial and genocidal history. Unity comes after accountability and truth telling. Let’s hold each other accountable. Let’s all do better to dismantle individual, systemic, structural and institutionalised racism founded in white supremacy.

Apart from the usual high-profile groupies, rank and file fans weren’t so convinced.

Good or bad, history is history. I’m proud of our country, what it stands for and what we’ve been able to achieve. I feel this post is ridiculous and divisive but being a free country we are all entitled to our own opinions and we have to right to freely express our thoughts. Why do we have to apologise for everything? We should celebrate that there has been good and bad, but through it all, our country is an amazing place for everybody. I find it difficult to believe there’s systematic racism, everybody in this country has the same opportunities and choices and it’s up to you what you want to make of it. Happy Australia Day everybody.

Ill be celebrating Aussie day on the 26th January like everyone else should be. Yes I’m ABORIGINAL and I’m over all this crap about changing the date. History is history, move on and enjoy life. Cant change the past

Haha aussie black lives matter movement. Maybe it will completely divide your country like it did mine. Good luck virtue signaling just like the 🇺🇸

Thanks but no thanks!!! Love this Country for everything and everyone who is part regardless of Nationality,colour or what ever else you are!! Was nice following you but catch ya later!!🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺

Very divisive comment, how about coming together like Warren Mundine is advocating

One fan asked,

Can you be more specific about the systemic, structural and institutionalised racism that you see? As you mention that this was founded in white supremacy, do you think white supremacy is a problem that still exists in Australia today? Is there another date that you would suggest for an Australia Day celebration?

And received this reply,

I think it’s more a focus on outrage, hate, division, blame and generally telling young indigenous kids that the world is against them. I’m sure Tyler feels good about the virtue signalling though……..

You’ll remember, four months ago, when Tyler dropped a knee at the Tweed Heads Pro for for four hundred and thirty-nine seconds in solitary with Black Lives Matter, the number representing “one second for every First Nations person in Australia who has lost their life in police custody since 1991.”

Tyler correctly raised the issue of black deaths in custody, something that’s been in the public consciousness in Australia since a royal commission was called in 1987 after a horror run of indigenous Australians dying while in police custody.

The result wasn’t quite so clear cut.

The four-year long Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody “did not find higher rates of death of Aboriginal people compared to non-Aboriginal people.”

And, now, “Overall, the rate of Indigenous deaths in custody has reduced since 1991, as of June 2020 lower than the rate of death of non-Indigenous people.”

Of 2608 total deaths in police custody between 1979 and 2018, roughly five hundred of ‘em were indigenous.


Surf-lit: “God, when did he stop striding and start shuffling? He used to run, sprint down this hill to check the waves. Used to.”

A dying man's last surf.

The old man shuffles down the slight incline.

God, when did he stop striding and start shuffling. He used to run, sprint down this hill to check the waves.

Used to.

Used to drive down a dirt track with a car full of mates, punk tapes blaring the soundtracks from surf videos, timing the hand break yank perfectly to skid to a stop just in front the wooden barriers in the carpark.

Then the mad sprint to be the first to check the waves.

Conditions in the little cove on the way in gave a fair indication of what you were in for, but until you set eyes on the little reef ledge, you could never be totally sure.

Resigned to the slow shuffle of the aged, but the old impulse to run, to sprint, tickles the back of the cortex. A Pavlovian response.

Mentally willing, but physically weak.

So the shuffle nearly increases a little in speed.

Still, a slower pace enables one to notice the details that are often missed with haste. The little circular grove of trees to the right? A generational meeting place for the area’s traditional custodians before whitey starting sniffing into the area chasing red cedar.

The wooden rotunda where he once found a local chef hanging from the beams early one new year’s morning on the way to a surf check.

The way the granite pavers laid so long ago don’t quite match the length of a normal step, making the shuffling even more awkward now.

The narrow track, fringed by coastal bansksias and low grass, opening up to the foreshore headland. The headland of a countless viewings and shit talk, story swaps, and debate on conditions.

He should have got married here, not in the church with the mealy mouthed old priest who couldn’t even remember his name during the ceremony.

His place of worship and devotion.

The sickies pulled from work, arguments and pleading and bartering with the wife to fit in a go-out when he just knew it was on.

Taking the kids diving the ledge when it was flat, showing them the best way to get in and out as their confidence and ability grew to joining him in the line-up too.

Hug the big round rock, and if you come in too wide, don’t try to paddle against the sweep, you have to go out and come around again.

Watch the crevice halfway out to the jump spot as you walk up, it’s covered in water, but it’s there, ready to be fallen in and twist a knee or ankle.

He stands on the edge of the slight cliff face, in line with the edge of coastal heath that never seemed to grow any larger, even after all these years.

This was his line of sight marker for the deepest makable take-off spot, adjusted five metres either way to allow for south or east in the swell direction.

Huge days, onshore days, grovel days, perfect days.

Days spent out there just to learn, to become intimate with the what makes the ledge tick, building the base of understanding that comes to be called local knowledge.

Days all now past.

His days all now past. Wife passed a year prior.

The big C.

The same evil shit now riddling his body. Considering how much time he’d spent in the sun, it was always coming.

He surveys the track down the headland. Dirt and winding, but not that far.

Manageable.

Maybe it’s time for one last go out.

One final session.

Eyes close, a few deep lungfuls of air, for a few moments in his memories he’s fifteen again.

One last look around at his place on earth.

He starts to shuffle down the headland to the jump rock.

One last go out. One final session.

This is the way and the place he wants to go out.