A thrilling adventure to surf empty cold-water reef ledges, and filmed before the country was burned to a cinder.
Russell Bierke is one of those breathtakingly rare surfers who aren’t quite WCT level and yet in some way are far more magical.
Russell is twenty-two years old, diminutive and old world. A bantamweight, small, muscular and wiry. He was born in Hawaii and is the son of the Californian-born shaper Kirk Bierke whose boards are sold under the label KB Surf and made in Ulladulla, three hours south of Sydney. Russell’s earliest memories are of watching his dad run out the door whenever the surf was big, going to the beach and seeing him ride these big, blue-water reef waves, and wanting to be part of the game.
He has nearly been ushered into heaven several times (read about the time he was “blue as a Smurf and all fours spewing” after a wipeout in Victoria) and Russell was the protagonist in the highly cited film Flow State, which was released in October.
This film, in which he co-stars with his Ulladulla neighbour and pal Darcy Piper, features these two little bees drawing their nectar and existing in a state of perpetual euphoria from a series of empty ledges along the coastline of…oh we really don’t need that detail do we?
All of this was filmed before the inferno that engulfed Australia and had, at one point, flames licking at the border gates of Bondi Beach.