You want history? We found surfing relics all over the place. You wanted news. We gave you the latest swells, both in the ocean and the tank. Then there was sharks, drones, kooks, quivers, Les Norton and climate change. All this in the last 30 days. Here’s what the surfing’s keyspokeshumans said as the moon revolved once around the Earth. 

“It has been suggested that Letham was far from graceful as she rode her first waves back in 1915, and that her influence on surfing has been blown out of proportion. But what is important, I think, is not how well Isabel surfed, but that she was there and that she surfed at all.” Emily Brugman on Isobel Latham’s place in surfing, and feminist, history. 

Isabel Letham on a pioneering plank ride.

“When the big kiwi came charging after him to try and throw a king hit, Barrett saw him coming in the mirror and swung around with an uppercut that sent the guy sprawling across the floor of the pub.” Legendary Tracks photographer Tony “The Dark Room Nudist” Nolan recounts a tale of his good mate Bob Barrett, the author of the Les Norton book series that has been made into a TV drama. 

“Yes, I have a lot of roots in Texas. My dad is from Texas and his side of the family all live there still. I guess it’s just in my blood to love country music and be a redneck.” Torrey Meister, QS vet  Jaws charger dons the stetson and talks to Luke Kennedy in a revealing interview. 

“The study found that many ocean regions can expect annual mean significant wave height to increase between 5 and 15 per cent compared with a 1979-2004 baseline.” A Griffith University Study shows how an increase in the size and period of swells are some of the side effects of climate change. Good news for surfers, bad news for the coastline which could suffer dramatic change.

“This wave has so much power! It’s hard to believe it’s a man-made wave! The drop is really exciting and it felt as powerful as some of the heaviest ocean waves I’ve surfed.” Booger hellman Ben Player after testing the re-opened Surf Lakes in Yeppoon. 

Billy Kemper locked into The Hellzone from issue 573. Photo: Frieden

“And if you’re game, and if you know how to surf on your inside right rail and if you have the balls and the right passport, this is where you will find the double-rectified, guaranteed, photographically certified ride of your whole goddamned life.” The inimitable Matt George and an excerpt from his piece The Hell Zone featuring in the current issue. 

“AmEx wasn’t yet the big, swinging dick it was to become. Still, it was a global company, and they were interested in throwing dough at our little Whale Beach bong club!” Phil Jarrett recounts the start of the Tracks Travel Co. foundered in 1975. Funnily enough it didn’t succeed. “It was the first time, but by no means the last, that big business failed to understand what made Tracks tick.”

“I want people to know if they see my drone and I sound my alarm it's to warn them. Otherwise, all is well.” Forster drone operator Adam Fitzroy on a soon to patented alarm he’s made for his drone. 

“The Intrepid Kook is appreciative, humble, content, wide-eyed, and ready for adventure. Ritual humiliation has made their character strong.” Jed Smith dissects a growing member of the surf tribe.

Could these things soon turn closeouts into pumping waves?

“If the extensive research and scaled testing proves correct, Troy’s sand-filled, rubber reef will deliver a peeling, seventy metre A-frame with a barrelling take-off.” Troy Bottegal’s inflatable reef, called the Airwave, is set for launch in Bunbury in November. 

“When it’s all going well you’re getting the pats on the shoulder and the free surfboards and there are chicks on the beach and it’s pretty cool, but when it ends you’re thirty and it’s like ‘what am I going to do now? It’s ground zero and I’ve got to start again'… some of these guys are really struggling now and they need help.” Ex-pro Kurt Nyholm talks about the genesis for the Surfers Against Suicide event he organised in Ulladulla this month.