Clowning Around

Tuesday, February 04, 2014


I was checking the surf forecast sites yesterday hoping for some good news after what has been a pretty shit summer so far for waves. Came across this clip of pretty solid Mavericks & some dickhead on a SUP thinking he has some kind of chance with this wave. Hilarious to watch but in all seriousness a really, really stupid play & pretty dangerous for not only himself but the other guys as well. There are some surf smart users of these boats but, there are far, far more idiots like this clown. Its thick, unstable, quite lightweight for its size & totally unsuited to the waves this guy has decided to paddle out in. There in lies the problem with these things. Too many clowns with little or no ability paddling them in places where they have no place being. I believe anyone can ride whatever they want in the surf. We're all there for the same reason but you need to know your limits, show respect for others & don't leave your manners on the beach. Paddle out with with the right attitude & we'll all get our fair share. The guys that surf Mavericks & other big wave spots use the boards they do for good reason. Why this guy even attempted waves like this on what is clearly the worst choice of equipment ever is even more justification that the sooner these things are policed in some way or given their own designated area the better.  In the meantime have a good chuckle at this guy he is probably still got water dribbling out his nose!


Spirit Of Akasha Take 2

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Back in the early part of December I knew that the World premiere of Spirit Of Akasha was taking place at the Sydney Opera House as part of the Sydney Festival. All kinds of ideas were beginning to enter my head. Get extra tickets to surprise a good friend on his birthday which was around the same weekend. Get a ticket for a guy I know who would never be able to afford his own. Book a nice city hotel for the night & treat my wife to a little luxury.

However, procrastination & really poor time management stepped in. None of the above happened & when I finally got around to checking for seats two weeks out from the showing date there were just 6 left & none were seated together! Really disappointed & pissed off with myself I broke the news to Lee & guessed we would be waiting for the cinema release.


Next morning, she suggested that I should still go anyway on my own. Everyone should be so lucky to share their life with someone like this. Quickly onto the Opera House site & unbelievably what you see above was the sole remaining seat in the 2,000 plus seat concert hall. Last Saturday night the Opera House reverberated with live renditions of Simple Ben, Open Up Your Heart & I'm Alive as well as songs from the new movie. Some played as the corresponding movie sequence shone out from the big screen. It was quite a night with equal amounts of young & old devotees to the original all eager to see The Spirit Of Akasha come alive. Anyone who thought they were going to see a 'new' Morning Of The Earth were possibly disappointed. The Spirit Of Akasha was never intended to be MOTE Mk2. Its sole intention was to celebrate the original by making its own statement in keeping the spirit of the original alive via its own visuals & soundtrack.

In my opinion I think Andrew Kidman & his associates have met & surpassed their original goal. Two segments for me really connected the old & the new. The surfing of Tom Curren just flowing with the wave, not trying to attack it but just letting it take him with it. So much like Nat Young surfing Broken Head in the original. The other was Sam Yoon living a real organic life in the hills of Kauai, making his own boards & just letting nature drive things along. Exactly like Chris Brock living in his tree house at Angourie. Same spirit, different time. But, be your own judge & make it a priority to check out The Spirit Of Akasha when it hits the road coming to a cinema soon.

The clip below from the 'Ideas at The House' series gives some insight into Albe Falzon's thinking & why the original is still timeless over 40 years since its release. Jed Smith and Kirk Docker put together this film ahead of Spirit of Akasha’s Australian premiere.

Just to remind us why the original still resonates watch the clip below with the unofficial 'anthem' of the original movie, Simple Ben. If this doesn't make you want to pack it in & move to the country somewhere then nothing will. Enjoy.

Spirit of Akasha

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Over 40 years after its release, Albe Falzon's Morning of The Earth continues to resonate with surfers old & young everywhere. The fact that there is a whole new younger generation looking for their own 'Morning of The Earth Moments' is testimony to the film & its portrayal of a simple surfing life. Morning of The Earth is a genuine 'one of' & to attempt to make a sequel would only remove the soul of the original. Can you imagine being faced with the challenge of making such a film? Much like Albe, Andrew Kidman with movies like Litmus,Glass Love etc has always pursued a more soulful line. Now that its done, he sticks out as such an obvious choice to take this on that I am surprised it took so long for something like this to happen. Perhaps, with the take as many waves at any cost mentality found at most breaks these days, the timing couldn't be better!

The clip below from Positive Productions gives a little bit of an insight into Andrew's background & his thought process when brainstorming in his own head how to pull together this project.  


The movie had a showing at The San Sebastian Film Festival in September & was very well received. It has its official world premiere release at The Sydney Opera House on January 25th 2014 as part of the Festival of Sydney . There is a short trailer on the net but it does not really give to much away in terms of actual footage. To get the full effect with live music we'll have to wait until Australia day long-weekend. I know Albe has been helping out here & there over the past few years that it has taken to get this film together. I have no doubts that, like its source of inspiration, it will be another important marker in Australian surfing & film making.

World champion surfers such as Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore, Tom Curren, Kelly Slater & Beau Young have joined the new guard of Heath Joske, Harrison Roach, Ellis Ericson and Ace Buchan & Jon Jon Florence, alongside 'soul surfers' Fergal Smith, Joel & Kye Fitzgerald among many more.

Filmed in locations throughout the world including Australia, Hawaii, Bali, Fiji, Tahiti, Mexico & Ireland, the film uses striking visuals & music reminiscent of the classic Koyaanisqatsi & Baraka, to portray the compelling beauty of surfing & its associated lifestyle.

The Spirit of Akasha soundtrack features mainly original songs composed & recorded by musicians with strong ties to the surfing community & includes a rare Brian Wilson recording. Other artists featured include Atoms for Peace, Andrew VanWyngarden, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Xavier Rudd, Angus Stone, Matt Corby, Dirty Three & many more.

Albe Falzon decided at a pretty young age that normal employment & a regular life were not going to satisfy him. Since making that choice he has been places & done stuff that the majority of us cannot even imagine. Living simply on the North Coast eco farm he purchased back in the 70's he continues to live in the moment according to his own set of values in total harmony with nature & whatever the world send his way. His comments in this short clip really make you think about where you are at & where you are going in life. Morning of The Earth still shows us what we all should be doing & I have a pretty good hunch that Akasha will more than serve that legacy.

Hands On & Hand Shaped is Best

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Dick Van Straalen the 'Flying Dutchman' has always been somewhat of an 'underground' shaper despite making boards for most of the big names from Australia & Hawaii during his career. Particularly, during what many refer to as the 'Golden Age' of Australian surfing in the 1970's! 

Dick, Ann & kids 'Down on The Farm' - Pic by Albe Falzon - Dig the peace sign!

Dick has always followed his own path when it comes to surfboard design & has never wanted to drive the twisted highway of commercial success. Those who have surfed one of his boards know how special they are.  I had my first back in late '77 & was immediately hooked. Without exception the best board I had owned. My biggest mistake was not giving it the care it deserved & waiting 32 years to get another. Brought my first one from the shop in the Dick Hoole pic below. No longer there now it was replaced by the home of Ronald the Red Headed Clown. Great shot of the young crew of hotties Dick always seemed to be happy to help in surfing & life skills. 

Choosing only to shape to his own schedule & completely by hand, a new DVS shooter takes a little time to be born. If you want one be prepared to wait or drop by & see the couple we have in the rack right now. A couple of Dick's most popular designs in 6'1" & 6'2" lengths. One of those innovative shapers who is always looking forward but drawing on his successes of the past & refining as he goes. I recall an old Tracks article showing Dick boring holes into the two halves of a yet to be glued up blank & stuffing those holes with ping pong balls to see the results.

 pic courtesy of 

The above quote by Dick pretty much sums it up. Don't be a clone, try a different ride. Surfers don't come out of computer - neither should your surfboard!!


Great video below of Dick gives some insight into his character & approach. Also has some great footage of Rasta breaking the sound barrier on one of Dick's creations. As long time friend Dick Hoole says " Van Straalen is the real deal."

 video courtesy of mysurftv

Dirk 'Dick' Van Straalen, one of those shapers who just seems to have 'the touch'! Look into his history on the web & keep any eye on what his early boards sell for on the collectors market. Get a new one or get an old one. Hang on to it, take good care of it & it will only appreciate in value. Where else can you get a surfboard that does that!! 

Words From The Shaper

Thursday, November 14, 2013

We have been singing the praises of the 'Quartet' design from Neal Purchase Jnr for a while now. The most common questions we get from people are: "How do they work?" / "What is the go with the glassed on fins?" / "Why do they look so different to other quads?"

I lifted the following content & video from Neal's  web site. It provides all the answers you need & why they look the way they do. If you don't like to read then check the video of  Jason 'Salsa' Salisbury. Like they say.....a picture is worth a thousand words.

We have only got 2 boards left from the last batch of quartets. Pics etc are on here a few posts back. Drop by & check one out if you like what you see.

Neal Purchase Jnr: "The design came from riding and experimenting with twinnies around 2009 using MR-style fins. I really like the speed they had but the ones I rode spun out through a carve, so I moved the fins back to 7 1/2 “ from the tail and they felt quite good. I just wanted a bit more stability without going to a longer based, bigger keel twin. I was riding those for ages around 2001-2004 in the Fish renaissance.

So I added the smaller back stabilisers, and moved them up to 6 1/4 for the back fins and 10 1/2 for the fronts. Actually the front fins were at 10 3/4 originally then after a few trials I preferred a more clustered set up at 10 1/2 . They are both the same cant, and both towed 2” from the nose. Together they are really drivey and predictable. I've always liked clustered fins, they release a lot faster and they pivot nice in the pocket. Fins that are spread out tend to work against each other through a turn and slow you down. So being clustered they almost still feel like a twin fin except with way more drive.

The fins have to be glass ons which is hard for the sanders, but there isn’t a fin system strong enough to hold the front MR fins. It’s these G-forces and drive which accelerate and catapault you out onto the face and out of turn, with the smaller back fins guiding and releasing with a controllable fin area. The big front and smaller back actually naturally want to turn when pressure is applied.
I actually like a full round tail for an all rounder, but Salsa saw a double-ender pin tail I did for a Nick Chalmers and wanted one of those. I thought it could be cool for Indo too with the pin stabilising the fin set up. I used the same nose template for the tail. He had been riding single fins and all sorts of boards, and I have been there too so we kinda had that connection I guess. I saw some footage of him in that Tracking movie, which was beautifully shot, but I could see the boards holding him back. He’s a great surfer, tube rider and stylist. I could see a lot of myself in him actually - ha!
The size, shape and area of the board had been based off what I’d been making for years with a formula of compact volume and area, 3-4 inches shorter and around an inch or so wider than standard short boards. It's meant to work in a broadrange of conditions. I was incorporating a lot of old templates of my fathers, and MP-like stuff in the outline with the wide point 2” forward 'cause they are shortish boards. They have a bit of hip in the tail outline around the fins for release.
Lower rocker in a smaller board, for paddling and planing and you can over power 'em. The Quartets are best surfed shortish. The bottom shape is slight vee or flat entry, to single or double concave around front foot, going to slight spiral vee in the tail, I think all twinnies and quads need a bit of vee around the fins. All very subtle though, around a 1/8 ", not like most deep modern concaves or old vee bottoms you see around. The volume foil is forward with the thickest area being around the chest for paddling - more traditional, I guess. The deck is slightly rolled to a low softish rail. 
They were made for general East Coast Australian conditions. Good for point stuff too. They excel in the barrel, I think most quads do. With those large side fins hugging the face you can sit up higher and go faster without a back single fin slipping."

A Quartet Of Quartets

Sunday, August 25, 2013

For the past year or more we have been singing the praises of these boards from the hands of Neal Purchase Jnr. Right now we have 4 newbies in stock ranging from 6'4" down to 5' 11" with a variety of outlines, colour schemes, width & thickness dimensions. If you are curious as to how they perform, check out the vid below. Neal also does a wicked range of single fins if thats more your bag.

Prices on the current crop range from $950 up to $1200 for 'The Pumpkin.' This is a wicked looking 6'1" weapon. A slightly narrower more pulled in outline that looks like it could break the sound barrier. By far my fave of the bunch. Resin tint glass job with contrasting resin pin lines. Very cool!!

We also have a bit of a bargain in the mix. Due to some minor cosmetic damage suffered at the hands of the courier, the 6' 4" beauty below is marked down from $1200 to $950.  So if a little more length is what you're after then grab yourself a bargain. All damage has since been repaired & was not performance affecting at all. A deep maroon/cherry resin tint glass job looks so good.

By no means the poor cousin. A stock standard clear glass job in a 6' 1" with the usual extra width & volume that Neal's boards are known for. If the tax man was not kind this year, then maybe this is your option at just $950.

If you want to try something shorter then this 5'11" baby could be your vehicle of choice. All the Quartet attributes in a smaller slightly more compressed package. Plenty of volume for a board this size so don't be scared to step down a little. This one is $990.

There you have it. A Quartet of Quartets with something for everyone. Call or email if you need more info on dimensions or have any questions. If you're in town drop by & check them out we'd love to see you.

Sons of the Sultan

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

T. F. needs no introduction. Who can forget seeing footage of 'The Sultan Of Speed' redlining it across Jeffreys Bay during the 70's. Always on his own trip with design & innovation, Terry Fitzgerald built surfboards with one purpose in mind. To carve whilst going as fast as possible. The Hot Buttered team flashed & swaggered across the competitive surfing landscape backing up their brash attitude with solid contest results. It stands to reason that sons Joel & Kye Fitzgerald, given their pedigree, would carve as per the original they were molded from.


Whilst flicking through an old issue of Surfing World I came across as small piece penned by T.F. on one of his designs known as the 'Drifta' & his thinking behind its design. From the Autumn 2007 issue he details the circumstances that drove the development of 'Big Red' as he affectionately called number 8 in the Drifta series. It makes for interesting reading & is actually a background story to the boards ultimate death at the hands on his son Kye.

T.F. informs us "When Kye was growing up his first boards were all single fins, even a keel fin Drifta" & how Kye used to whinge to him about how badly he wanted a tri fin like all the other kids. Terry's response was " No son, why do you want to whip whap? Stick with the single fin for a while longer & learn how to set a rail, use your power & carve your turns. And he did & he does."  In fact both boys do!


After surfing a few of these old boards at Jeffreys it seems as though both Joel & Kye could not get enough of the ride they provided. T.F. admits to taking satisfaction from "seeing 25 year old boards tearing it up."  In hindsight he wishes he had made both boys new versions of the originals they were thrashing. But, better to "go out with your boots on, getting barrelled" than "being put back in the shaping bay roof with a bunch of tired old relics."

I guess we would all like to take our last breath doing what we enjoy the most. The original Big Red did just that. Doing what it was designed for & giving back right to the end. Big Red was dead......long live Big Red!

The fruit does not fall far from the tree they say & it seems a logical conclusion that one or both boys would pick up a planer & start to make their own mark in foam. The clip below shows Joel surfing a board he shaped at the Deus set up in Bali & test driving it at Ulu. Very reminiscent of a lot of his dad's early designs. Looks like that 'single fin' education was worth it in the end. Enjoy!

You Have Got Mail

Monday, August 05, 2013

In this high tech increasingly digitised, sanitised & need it now world its funny how something as simple as checking the PO box can provide so many hours of daydreaming enjoyment. A recent visit to my local post office delivered some pure gold. 

About a year or so ago I was arranging some prints for a customer from the archives of respected photographer John Witzig. John's lens captured the unfolding shortboard revolution in Australia as well as many of the scenes & colourful characters that made that era so special on the surfing timeline . I was aware that John was in the process of putting a book together chronicling, via his wonderful photographs & wordsmith skills, a trip back to that time period that so many people still classify as surfing's golden age.

At that point, still quite a while from being ready for printing & release for sale, John very kindly forwarded me an email of his draft copy to whet my appetite. It gave me some insight into how much time & effort goes into pulling something like this together. The finished product shiny & new finally arrived at the PO & I could not wait to get it home to pore over the content & read all of John's comments.

Chapters are themed to reflect the images & commentary with titles like Road Tripping, Revolution & Country Soul. Accompanying John's impeccable design & layout is commentary from the likes of Drew Kampion, Steve Pezman, Nick Carroll & others. All respected surf writers offering their own take on both Witzig's contribution to surfing & the time period covered.


 To quote directly from the inside of the books dust cover:

"Soulful, poetic, iconoclastic, filled with rare images, A Golden Age is a unique look at surfing's cultural revolution"

Not a cheap ride but worth every penny of the price of admission. Get your hands on a copy of this book & ride back to when surfing was truly a subculture populated by its own tribe.

Covered Up

Wednesday, July 24, 2013
As we experience a little bit of an Antarctic blast this little clip from the folks at Patagonia will warm you up. Somewhere in Mexico where it always looks warm & inviting. Would be happy with waves this size & quality for the rest of my life. The big wave chargers can have their spots I'll take these any day. Looks like the most fun.

For anyone who never saw the real Kirra break, pre the superbank & hope its coming back. This wave reminds me a lot of what it used to look like sometimes. Of course it was always bigger way more powerful & would kick your ass whenever it wanted to. Enjoy!!

Switch - Foot

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Andrew Crockett author, muso, surfer, family man & commentator on 'the other side of surfing' lives in the north coast hinterland with his lovely wife, daughter & another little one due soon. Author of both the fantastic Switch-Foot volumes & his insightful Q&A handbook, Acumen. Andrew, like most of the people in his books, continues to carry the torch of surfing for surfing's sake. His passion for all aspects of the non competitive surfing world & a healthy respect for what a lot of the pioneering surfers can offer the rest of us is really infectious. I found my first copy of Switch-Foot Vol 1 quite by chance & then gave it away to a dear friend as a birthday gift because he was always into trying to switch-foot when we were kids. I was lucky enough to get both volumes as a gift from my kids at a later time & I treasure them both. They are something you can go back to time after time & always lose yourself amongst the images & anecdotes of a surfing world that most of the main players have never left.

Supporting both volumes is Andrew's excellent web site which covers artists, photographers, musicians, books, & whatever else Andrew feels is a good fit. His description pretty much sums it up -

"This site is dedicated to the subculture within surfing that is represented in the switch-foot publications. Through this website, it is hoped that more people come together to support the artistic side of surfing and the many offshoots that it breeds in music and art."

Andrew, via the 'join' tab on the switch-foot web site, also offers you the option to subscribe to his wonderful 'Hodaddy Newsletter'. A fantastic read delivered direct to your in box covering a broad selection of surfing topics all composed with Andrew's usual passion. His most recent covered an interview with Bob McTavish on the origins of the vee bottom to Jacob Stuth's quiver & everything in between. Andrew puts these newsletters together driven solely by his desire to shine a light on the true soul of surfing. Its a very time consuming process for little if any recognition so go to the website & subscribe. If you enjoy what you read let Andrew know how much you appreciate his efforts & hopefully he'll continue to put these new letters together for the surfing community. While you're there grab a copy of either of the two Switch-Foot Volumes if you don't have them already. Vol 2 is currently on sale at just $50 which is a bargain!

A few newsletters back, Andrew was busy drumming up support for a reader's poll to determine Australia's most influential surfer. This was begun by Andrew due to disbelief that the Surfing Australia list for their own award omitted George Greenough & many other notable contributors to surfing in Australia. After receiving just 953 responses, compared to who knows how many for the Surfing Australia Poll, three names made Andrew's independent poll that you won't find in Surfing Australia's top ten.

George Greenough - number 1

Wayne Lynch - number 4

Albert Falzon - number 10

Subscribe to the newsletter for the complete independent top 10 & drop Andrew a line to show you're appreciation for his efforts in keeping the 'soul' alive.

The passion to create the switch-foot books came from an intense dislike of the printed media at the time. I loved surfing but there wasn't a magazine or a book I could pick up which represented what surfing was for me. There were dozens of churned out corporate magazines, but there wasn't anything with any soul about it and surfing to me has a lot of soul, especially when you find someone like Chris Brock who has spent his whole life chasing the waves and not chasing a career. - See more at:



Adrift Surf is not your everyday surf store. It's a place where anyone, not just surfers, can feel comfortable, find something not available everywhere and enjoy the experience. We aim to attract like-minded people and encourage a new generation of free spirited individuals with a vision of the surfing lifestyle.

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