Brad Domke and foldable surfboard.

Big-wave skimboarder Brad Domke becomes face of breakthrough foldable surfboard brand!

"The kickstarter is live! What are you doing?"

The big-wave skimboarder Brad Domke needs little to no introduction, although some introduction may be necessary if we wish to to cement his bona fides as the face of a new foldable surfboard brand.

He rides Nazaré, Puerto Escondido, Jaws and even the big wave in Western Australia called The Right on his little disc.

Brad Domke became world-renowned for castrating his surfboard by using it only to paddle into the wave before jumping onto his fifty-three-inch, flat-rockered, finless disc, an event that is difficult to remove from your consciousness.

(Did you know Brad Domke only has one board? He rides the same carbon-fibre aureole at Teahupoo as he does at three-foot shorebreaks. Quivers? Who needs ’em?)

Lately, Brad Domke has become the face of NIMBL, a start-up foldable surfboard brand that is raising the required money to go into full-scale production via Kickstarter.

With four days to ago, and with sixty-five backers pledging money, NIMBL has exceeded its modest 20k goal.

The foldable surfboard has long been the holy grail of the men with slicked back hair who wish to chase waves but don’t want to give up their little red coupes or former bodyboarders who miss carrying their vehicles on their backs.

As far back as 1964, Karl Pope and Thomas Price registered a patent for their foldable surfboard. The Bisect was “characterised by its simplicity of construction and in its adaptability to economical manufacture.”

Foldable surfboard
An early version of the foldable surfboard.

A couple of years later, Herman Bank launched his multi-board, which was also known as the “suitcase surfboard”.

NIMBL, “is a no-brainer for both beginner and seasoned surfers looking to keep a spare mid-length board in the car, ready for any conditions. Now instead of meticulously securing boards on roof racks, you can throw it in the trunk and spend more time surfing. From driving to your local beach for an early morning sesh to barreling in the most remote waters when the opportunity arises – Epic trips are imminent with a board that is as on-the-go as you are. Leave your worries behind with your board safely tucked away in the trunk. NIMBL takes the hassle out of surfing, anytime and anywhere.”

In the clip below, Brad Domke, who is the salaried face of NIMBL, details its many advantages.

Domke’s fans aren’t sold, howevs.

Dude, you dominate but you know that’s gonna buckle under any pressure

This is satire ?!?!?

You’re a few days early… this is an April Fools Joke, right?

Kook stick.

To which Domke replies,

“I bring a foamie with me every time I head to the beach. And I break them all quickly. And it cost me tons of $. I’ve always kept in eye on what could be the next perfect all around foamie to ride and do transfers with. As I’ve tried so many soft top brands. When I found out about the NIMBL foldable fomie. I was instantly interested knowing the board was already in half and rideable! Which is the direction I am moving into having a one board does all “surf/transfer” and the fact that it’s already in half and not ending my sessions snapped and unusable like what ends up happening to me time after time. @aethiaoutdoors created this foamie before I had even met the company. After meeting them I personally tested this foamie model out before joining the team and seeing how well it works with this mechanism. After testing and realizing it’s worked well I’m proud to join them and help evolve this brand. But this surfboard particularly is great for beginners and up who just want to get wet and get in the water for a healthy surf however the conditions are. And it fold up.s and it’s easy to store in the trunk/backseat or bring to the beach with the back pack it comes with which lets you be hands free on the way there. Which I personally love about it.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Brad Domke (@braddomke)


Bryan and the jerks. Photo: WSL
Bryan and the jerks. Photo: WSL

Pod of narcissistic dolphins mars otherwise perfect Margaret River Pro women’s final

Big time priority interference.

The World Surf League, yesterday, became blessed for the first time in as long as its most ardent fan could remember. Waiting periods stretched out to the bitter end has been the rule for two years now? Three? Professional surfers forced to battle for their supper in low quality waves offering little natural scoring potential. Commentators done crazy by forcing to pretend “critical” and “critical” mean the same thing.

But not yesterday.

For yesterday, the sun rose upon Margaret River’s main break and the swells pulsed forth and professional surfers overlapped them to the awe and amazement of the aforementioned ardent fan, who only sometimes complained about it not being contested at a nearby Box.

Local son Jack Robinson bested Oahu’s John John Florence in the men’s final, wrapped lovingly by an in-form Derek Rielly.

One them women’s side, Kauai’s Gabriela Bryan saved herself from the cut, and beat San Clemente’s Sawyer Lindbald, hoisting the golden wine goblet in triumph.

The only blackness marring an otherwise perfect ten hours came when a group of narcissistic dolphins decided the time was right to steal the world’s attention by committing priority interference on Bryan’s second highest scoring wave.

CNN, which bills itself “the first name in news,” breathlessly shared the “magical moment” leaving the exploits of the long-suffering top tier surfers all but on the cutting room floor. Fox News, following, declared it a “postcard from heaven.”

Left unmentioned was the fact that Lindbald also avoided the dreaded mid-season cut.

Potential ardent surf fans cooing at spotlight hogging cetaceans instead of congratulating the ten women and twenty-two men who will be allowed to professionally surf moving forward.

Yago Dora survived.

Callum Robson did not.

Bonsoy, dear friend.

Bonsoy and fare thee well.

Jack Robinson wins Margaret River Pro for a second time.
Little Jackie Robinson wins Margaret River Pro for second time and again over John John Florence. | Photo: @greenroomtimes

Jack Robinson womb-strokes rampaging John John Florence in hall-of-fame Margaret River Pro final!

Daring for Jack Robinson is not a habit but a well-figured out challenge.

In six-foot waves painted the prettiest blue, Jack Robinson suffocated a rampaging John John Florence in the final of the Margaret River Pro, the second time the Western Australian has crushed the storied Hawaiian Olympian in a MR final.

If popularity can be measured by collective madness and scenes of amorous women weeping for his autograph, there is no shadow of a doubt that John John Florence is the most popular surfer in the world.

John John Florence, whose plain face is marked by a thousand anxieties and half-formed thoughts, was adjudicated to’ve completed a perfect ride when he utilised a manoeuvre in his semi-final first brought to the world’s attention by Tom Curren at J-Bay, a throwaway layback brought back underfoot; a turn weaponised by Andy Irons in the late nineties and named the frontside disaster, although it had only a passing resemblance to the skate turn of the same name.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by World Surf League (@wsl)

“I’m just excited to surf out there,” said John John Florence after. “I can’t wait to go out in these waves. I look at these walls and I feel so much excitement. I love that.”

For his effort, John John was gifted a Yeti cooler by the WSL’s celebrated sponsor, a prize worth almost five hundred dollars on the secondhand market. 

Jack Robinson, meanwhile, a Western Australian with the excessively broad shoulders of a man who makes love a lot, drew his famous lines on the wide blue faces, hitting a nine and an eight against John.

He treated the champ like a peasant he’d found among the grapevines of his vineyard, scrutinising every wave until the death case lest his victim escape.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by World Surf League (@wsl)

Read JP Currie’s analysis tomoz morn sometime.

Luigi Rosselli design for 31 Gaerloch Ave Tamarama.

Tamarama “Where the Wild Things Are” house set to become Australia’s first $100 million oceanfront build!

“The family were seeking a home where they could come together from their scattered locations across the world and get back to the source: a place to be reunited, replenished, and cocooned."

Only one year ago, Sydney surfers were stunned when a crumbling four-apartment citadel in Tamarama, which once hosted world number 32 Kelly Slater, sold for almost six times what it was worth ten years previous.

Nineteen Dellview St, Tamarama, with its panoramic views of the impossibly blue Pacific Ocean and squatting on almost five thousand feet of land, was, for a time in the early two-thousands, let’s say 2006-2012, the hub around which the city’s surf media revolved.

That sale for thirteen mill was impressive but it wasn’t even in the ballpark of the old brown-brick house called Lang Syne overlooking both the reef of Tamarama to the south and Mackenzies Bay to the north that sold around the same time for $45 mill. 

31 Gaerloch Ave, Tamarama.
Lang Syne, before.
31 Gaerloch Ave, Tamarama.
The hundred-year-old brown brick joint called Lang Syne at Tamarama, since demolished.

That joint was swiftly demolished and, now, readying to grow in its place is a house by the noted architect Luigi Rosselli, Tamarama and its surrounds is crawling with Rosselli’s trademark curved lines, that’ll take three-to-four years to build, cost around ten and make the whole package worth around one hundred mill. 

Do the sums, forty-five for the dirt, ten for the house, maybe a few mill for miscellaneous expenses and that’s one helluva return.

“The topline brief David and Marisa provided was a simple one: design a family home worthy of such a special and breathtaking location,” writes Rosselli. “Something beautiful, and organic, that exists in harmony with its natural surroundings and its occupants. A generational home that gives more than it takes.

Luigi Rosselli design for 31 Gaerloch Ave Tamarama.
Luigi Rosselli design for 31 Gaerloch Ave Tamarama.
Luigi Rosselli design for 31 Gaerloch Ave Tamarama.
Swinging little front yard.
Luigi Rosselli design for 31 Gaerloch Ave Tamarama.
The view from the lil cul de sac where surfers check Maccas.

“The family were seeking a home where they could come together from their scattered locations across the world and get back to the source: a place to be reunited, replenished, and cocooned.

“In the design approach for this new Australian ‘icon’, the goal is to retain the organic beauty of the site, with its wind-carved rocks, through an organic plan with a counterpoint play of eroded horizontal slabs and cocoon shaped vertical breaks, the latter to be constructed with the bricks, slate roof tiles, and sandstone retained from the demolition of the existing home on the site.”

Not everyone around here is thrilled as you might imagine. There was something of that lingering Australian egalitarianism in an ordinary family home being perched on the country’s most valuable beachfront land. I always found it a marvel that you could peer over the rock wall and into the front garden of a modest home where four children used to play. 

A neighbour has subsequently described the plans as an “eyesore” and “horrific. Blight on the landscape. What the actual fuck?”

31 Gaerloch Ave, Tamarama.
Like a sleeping monster from Where the Wild Things Are, the new Rosselli build dominates the headland.

I think it’s possible to be both delighted and repelled by the new design.

The elegance of a Luigi Rosselli home cannot be underestimated and what a thrill it’ll be to watch this hulking Where the Wild Things Are monster in repose take shape on the headland.

Less of a joy will be its new role as a shuttered occasional plaything of the wildly rich, the crown of the clifftop obscured by a mansion enjoyed by very few.

Surfer goes to toilet
As winter slid into spring, things did get worse. It was getting me now before every surf. It came like the waves I was chasing. Deep, growling groundswells stirring up from my polar regions. Short-interval storm chop that would hit with only a moment’s notice, leaving me racing for the nearest ditch.

The terrible secret to high-performance surfing revealed

To the outside world, I looked gaunt. Jaundiced. Consumed by my own desires. My face sunk in on itself like some collapsed star.

It was deep into winter the first time it stirred, at a secret spot buried inside the national park. A lonely, isolated ledge that came to life only in the right conditions. A roaring Southern Ocean low. An isobaric efflux.

The swell had come at a bad time. Apprentice off sick. Wife pulling extra shifts. Kids needing babysitting. But it was the sort of wave you drop everything for. A violent in-and-out, the closest thing to a religious experience I know.

I’d just trekked down to the cobblestone point that overlooked the ledge when it hit me. The need to evacuate. Like a punch in the guts. I keeled over in a cramp. I tore off my booties and wetsuit and did my business right there on the rocks, the cold wind on my bare skin.

The next time was a few days later, a little closer to home. A sharp urge just as I was heading out at the local. A race to the toilet block. Board flung down on the old terracotta tiles, I jumped into the first stall I could find and ripped off my suit. Flushed out like a tidal pool on the full moon. Waves of relief danced up my spine and into the base of my skull as I finished.

I ran into one of the local crew as I came back out. Dave. We’d grown up surfing the same stretch of spots. He was a few years older, but we were cut from the same cloth. Honest toilers, sneaking in a paddle between jobs.

“Nature calls, eh?”

“Yeah,” I said. I placed my hand on my belly, signifying my discord. “For some reason it keeps hitting me just before a surf.”

“I get that with coffee,” he said. “Just the smell of it has me running for the dunny.”

Dave slid his board under the cover of his ute.

“Or a bag of blow. It’s some sort of Pavlovian response, I suppose.”

He smiled, shook his head. “Not that I’ve felt that in a while. Anyway, fella, enjoy the surf.”

And I did enjoy it. Despite the empty stomach still turning itself in knots, I felt looser. Lighter on my feet.

The next surf, it was the same problem — a code brown at town beach. At least this time I’d waited before putting on my suit. By strike four, a run for the bushes before a late-arvo session for which I’d skipped the kids’ swimming lesson, I knew something was really up.

“Haven’t seen you here for a while,” the doc said as I pulled my pants back up. Already they felt looser on my waist.

“I stay pretty well for the most part.”

“I know. Your wife keeps me updated.”

He slid off the blue plastic gloves, threw them in the bin, and motioned for me to sit down in the patient’s chair. The same chair he’d used since I was a kid. I still remember how hard I dug my fingers into that old leather for my first tetanus shot. I’d avoided the place ever since.

“Well, I can’t see anything…untowards down there.” He looked me up and down. “But you have lost weight since your last visit. Have you had any recent changes in your diet?”

“No. I mean, maybe a few more drinks here and there. But nothing major.”

“And workwise, everything is okay? Home life? You know they’re finding out a lot about how your gut is linked to your mental health.”

I pictured my wife’s face that morning, one kid hanging from her arm, the other wrapped around her legs, as I told her I was heading off for another surf.

“Nah, it’s all good.”

“Any changes to your bowel movements otherwise?”

“No, they’re still regular. It’s just when I get to the beach, I gotta…you know. Go.”

He let slip half a chuckle and straightened in his chair.

“Look, on face value everything seems okay. But you’re getting to the age now where it wouldn’t hurt to take a closer look.”

He scribbled on his piece of paper.

“Here’s a couple of tests I’d like you to have.”

Then he pulled open his drawer and handed me a pack of nondescript white pills.

“If things get worse, don’t be a stranger. And in the meantime, try these when the urge hits.”

As winter slid into spring, things did get worse. It was getting me now before every surf. It came like the waves I was chasing. Deep, growling groundswells stirring up from my polar regions. Short-interval storm chop that would hit with only a moment’s notice, leaving me racing for the nearest ditch.

I tried preempting it, would sit on the bowl at home for an hour beforehand, willing one into existence. Nothing. I’d pack my gear and jump into the truck. But as soon as I caught sight of the car park, the sand, even the slender line of ocean on the horizon, it would come. Immaculate defecation.

The pills did nothing. The weight fell off me. I hadn’t been this skinny since I was a teenager.

“You don’t look good,” said the wife as I came home from another late-afternoon surf. “You’re not you.”

I shrugged and pulled my belt across another notch.

I started packing a roll of paper in the car with my gear as a matter of course. More often than not, I’d end up squatting behind a bush off the side of a path. It became my calling card. If the other locals saw my truck parked next to the toilet block, or pulled over haphazardly on some beachside track, they’d know the waves were good.

And here’s the thing: I’d never surfed better. I was leaner. Wilier. Putting in some of my best performances in years. I’d never felt so alive.

In the car park after one particularly satisfying bowl session, I ran into an old hippie from around the way. Leon. A relic from the drug-running seventies who never escaped the trip — living out the back of his beat-up old van, joint hanging from the side of his lip, squalid smell of incense and piss in the air.

“You’re looking well,” Leon said as I walked past.

I explained the situation.

“Ah, magnificent,” he said, not missing a beat. “Did you know your gut has the second largest amount of neurons in it of all the body’s organs?”

“No, I did not.”

Leon drained his roach. Peered at me intently from his deep-brown eyes. He had spent a lifetime surfing, smoking. Wasted the rest. He was one of those guys with an opinion on everything. Some would call him a hedonist. But I’d always been jealous.

“You might think your brain is in charge,” he continued. “But actually it’s your gut running the show. It’s the base of your desire. Your gut instinct. This is your gut telling you what it wants.”

“Which is what?” I asked.

“To be cleansed,” he said, like it was a matter of the most common fact.

I didn’t say anything, but felt that tingly post-shit sensation run up my back again.

“Research it yourself. It’s a motif across many of the world’s religions. Ritualistic purging. To become pure. Each time you’re in there, you’re wiping yourself clean. Literally. Through shitting, you’re obtaining a sort of…kundalini. An awakening. A great reset. Don’t you feel it?”

I ran my hands over my waist, the smooth, taut skin stretched over protruding bone. I definitely felt something.

“Keep at it, and I dare say you’ll find enlightenment.”

“But what if you’re wrong?” I asked. “What if it’s my gut telling me not to surf anymore? Telling me I’ve had enough?”

“Well,” Leon said with a smile, “there is that. I guess you just need to decide: Which is your truth?”

As my insides flowed, so did the swell. A glut of unseasonal lows had my secret ledge firing. I surfed it like it was on a string. Escaped from situations I never thought possible.

Was I sick? Or was this a cosmic message? A sign that I was on some path to nirvana? Correlation. Causation. Intuition. Intervention. Questions swirled around my insides like a sickly stew.

I knew one thing for sure: I didn’t want the doc sticking his hand up my arse again.

So I staged an experiment.

I set up a camp in the national park, focused only on the flow between bowel and barrel. At the cobblestone point I fashioned a ringed toilet seat from smooth rocks, complete with its own canal system. When I wasn’t in the water, I was on the bowl. Whittling down my needs. Going with my gut.

I canceled all my jobs. Ignored the calls from my doctor. Didn’t even bother with the wife. Eventually, when I did return home for supplies, I found her loading the kids into the car.

“It’s not me, it’s you,” was all she said as she drove off.

I was ready for it. I welcomed it. I waved them goodbye. Looked down at my tattered pants hanging loosely from my waist. The wind swung offshore. My tummy rumbled.

I dispensed with my worldly possessions. Let surfing rule. And things were only getting better. This wasn’t an illness. Or a warning. It was the final piece in the puzzle of attainment, just like Leon said. Only it wasn’t even a piece. It was a movement: push and pull. Expansion and contraction. Pressure and release.

I’d locked myself into a perfect synchronicity. Pared down to the most basic duality.

“Where’s your gloves now, doc?” I yelled as I threw my phone into the bowl, the last vestige of my old life smashed against the shit-stained rocks.

To the outside world, I looked gaunt. Jaundiced. Consumed by my own desires. My face sunk in on itself like some collapsed star. My own friends wouldn’t have recognized me if I’d walked past them in the street.

But out in the surf, where life truly mattered, I was king. I flew between sections with a newfound grace. An economy of movement. Lithe and unburdened by the world. The other surfers would stop and sit up and watch as I sped past them.

Emaciated. Magnificent. Streaks of brown still running down my leg.

Even when I did finally collapse, and the ambulance sirens were reverberating throughout the lineup, and I was being carried away on that stretcher, the silhouette of my former self, they still paid their homage.

“There he goes,” they said in the most reverent of tones. “There goes The Shitter.”

(Editor’s note: This article, which is fiction, originally appeared in issue 31.4 of The Surfer’s Journal.)