The opportunities to embrace surfing’s inherent diversity are rare. Most of the time we are content to stick to the cliques which exist within our subculture – shortboarders, longboarders, girl surfer, professional etc
Drawing Different Lines
It was really cool watching Beau and Taylor surf. Everyone draws such different lines. Then jumping on the longboards one morning, even though it was really small, I got so much appreciation for what those guys do on those boards and how they even control the big bastards.
Twisting Steph's Arm
Yeah Steph went nuts. I’ve seen Steph growing up and all that stuff but I’ve never been solely on a trip with her. I was really stoked she came. She was ripping. It was pretty funny. On New Year’s Eve we were both pretty drunk and I was like, ‘you should come to Ponapei’ and she was like, “Oh yeah, yeah how big is it going to be?” And I was like, ‘No you’ll be fine don’t worry.’ And then I sort of didn’t hear from her for a couple of days.
Steph\s Surfing and Her Magic BarrelOn this trip it was the best tube riding I’ve ever seen a female do and I think her turns say more than I could put it in to words.
When she got that barrel I was paddling back out, I saw the wave come in and I was saying ‘oh my god this is the best one’ and I was like, ‘fucking go’ [sorry about the swearing] I was like ‘ahhhhh’, I saw her just take off and hit the perfect line, it was pretty sick and I was waiting for her to come out then she came out blown away. It’s always good when someone can go on a trip and say they got the best barrel of their life. It was insane.
Chasing Swells in a Modern World
I love just jumping on a plane and heading for a swell. If you know it’s going to be a swell then just shooting straight for it. I think that’s the best way to do it. If you go on boat trips you can get skunked. I think the best thing is to find a good swell and just nail it.
Beau was ripping. It was so cool. Everything just seems so mellow and just easily done. I guess that’s what Nat would’ve be like back in the day. It was like taking a step back in time.
Steph Gilmore On
Mick's Grand Invitation
Well, yeah, the trip kind of came together at the very last minute. From what I can remember it was New Year’s Eve and we had kind of been going pretty hard. It was my friend’s 30th and we ended up at Mick’s house in the party room playing some pool. And then Mick kind of screamed at me, “We’re going to Micronesia, your coming and ah... we’re gunna pull into ten foot pits.” And I was like, ‘ookaaayy’ and then we kind of went on about it all night. In the morning I woke up hung over and I thought everyone had forgotten about it – just drunken talk. Then next minute I got a text from Mick and he was like, ‘I haven’t forgotten we’re still on.’ That’s when I just rang Swilly, got organised and jumped on a plane.
I’ve had a couple of trips to the Mentawais but it wasn’t like eight to ten foot. On the way over here Mick was saying it’s going to be ten foot and he’s checking out the swell charts and it was saying six to eight foot and rising. So, yeah, of course I was nervous, especially going with these guys. I knew I had to step it up. I think when I got here I was kind of shitting myself. I was talking to my dad and he was like, “You’ll be right, just cruise into it and feel it out. Just sit on the shoulder and watch it, and then get stuck straight into it.” So yeah, that was my plan and it kind of worked out that way, although it didn’t get to the massive kind of waves that I was picturing.
Embracing her Inner Margo Oberg
When I jump on those boards I instantly start thinking about all my body parts and where they’re placed. It’s cool, you’re just in a totally different frame of mind and you’re taking off thinking, ‘where am I going to put my foot this time?’And every time I see Beau and Taylor do a carve it’s just so stylish and their hands are just in that classic position. I loved watching that the whole trip, it was just awesome. So when I was taking off I was just like, ‘Yeah Margo Oberg here we go, throw a couple of these ones – sick.’
I think everybody hates technology but at the same time it’s created so many incredible opportunities. Just like this trip. Last minute jump on board all you’ve got is a backpack with three pairs of boardies, a couple tee-shirts, a few swimmers and a toothbrush in it. That’s the real beauty of it. The real adventure. You just take off, you haven’t got anything but your boards and legropes. You’re actually getting on the plane thinking ‘right I’ve got boards, legropes, fins and boardshorts. That’s all I need – sweet. I’m ready for action. And I think doing this trip is really going infl uence my future decisions on trips and it definitely got me excited about taking off at the drop of a hat and just chasing some good waves.
Beau Young On
I live on a small farm and I am a bit of hermit I have my morning coffee, I write songs and surf solo a lot. Myself and Taylor predominately ride longboards. We know how Mick and Steph surf so there was that worry that we’d be able to stand up for ourselves as far as surfing went.
I still enjoy watching movies featuring my Dad – Sea of Joy, Evolution, The Morning of the Earth. My favourite short film is A Day in the Life of Wayne Lynch and that has some of the most amazing surfing I’ve ever seen. Trying to ride Mick’s shortboard was really fun. It had been around fourteen years probably since I had tried something like that and I’d love to be able to work through the two mediums. That one session has really inspired me.
I’ve been fortunate enough to surf with quite a few girls on trips and there are some beautiful female longboard surfers. But my complete appreciation of women’s surfing changed when Steph took that wave. I have always loved how females ride a wave and the way their bodies look. I think women were made to surf. They’re just aesthetically pleasing without a doubt.
Mick's Tube Riding
Somehow Mick can turn in the foam ball, which is pretty crazy. Prior to this trip Rasta would have been the best tube rider I have ever seen but I think together they are just astounding.
The Power of the Unified Surfing Voice
I really enjoyed the fact that yesterday there were Kiteboarders, Paddleboarders, Steph, Mick, Taylor and I in the water. There was a pretty broad spectrum of surfing. Not trying to get political but we are all in this together. Surfing is a beautiful thing. We’re a big voice, we know how much we love the planet and together it’s a good thing.