Tracks # 560 ushers in a slick redesign of the mag. For a sneak peak at the what's inside the issue, which is themed around the Islands of Oz, scroll down. To find out more about the aesthetic changes click here. Or better still, bolt down to the Newsagents and get your mittens on a copy.

 

Blue Arcadia | Chippa Wilson and Dion Agius ride heavenly wedges on a frigid, Island paradise.

Chippa Wilson had spent a decade poring over photos and dreaming of King Island’s blue-butter A-frames, but never quite hit the trigger on a trip. When Dion Agius reached out, the Northern NSW Coast, where Chip resides, was awash with rank brown river water – suitable for little but the cultivation of bull sharks. Cerulean wedges on a wild coast seemed even more appealing than ever.

 

 

Ethan Ewing | A Portrait of the Potential Champ as a Young Man

He’s the youngest Aussie male to qualify for the world tour in more than 20 years, but unlike most before him, Ethan Ewing’s name wasn’t being talked about in prophetic tones since he was a grom. Growing up on North Straddie, his coming of age was a low-key affair, noticed mainly by fellow locals and nourished on the friendly yet competitive surf scene that exists there. Then last year he decided to leave the island, and magic happened.

 

 

Stuck On a Rock | Norfolk Slabs With Strings Attached

As we circled Norfolk Island and I gazed down at the hypnotising water and lush vegetation, I realised I was about to explore the myths of a land that had preoccupied my imagination since I was a boy.  

Our mission was to ride a new wave we’d been tipped off about by local photographer and surfer, Zach Sanders. I’d be hunting big barrels with friends in what seemed like an enchanted location – for me it doesn’t really get any better than that.

 

 

Tree Lobster Island | Mick Fanning, Rob Machado, Kai Otton and Mikala Jones in the Land of the Giant Stick Insects.

When Mick Fanning abandoned the pro tour to indulge his sense of wanderlust, much was made of his intrepid sojourns. In a year where travel miles took precedence over trophies, Mick sent postcards from around the globe; everywhere from Iceland to Ireland; to Norway and a mystery right-hander in the middle of nowhere featured in his dispatches.

Despite relishing the life of a nomad surfer who has the mandate to travel to waves in any obscure coastal fringe, one of Mick’s favourite trips of the year involved an island off the Australian mainland.

 

 

Tasmaniacs | Talon Clemow’s Quest To Chronicle Australia’s Wildest Tribe Of Surfers.

Visualisation is a big thing in Talon Clemow’s world. As the founder of OnePalm Media and creative force behind 2014’s award winning Cloudbreak exposé ‘Thundercloud’ he’s certainly proven his ability to bring some of the most epic moments in surfing to the big screen. His challenge now lies in pushing this genre into new territory… and what better place to do it than the uncharted waters of Van Diemen’s Land?

 

 

Phillip Island Views

If the binding characteristic of islands in the surfing imagination is escapism, then Phillip Island doesn’t really fit the bill. It’s linked to Melbourne almost all the way by freeways. There’s no flight, no ferry to access it: the road just slopes upwards into a bridge at San Remo and before you know it you’re on the island. That’s the thing about bridges – they tether the balloon somehow.

 

 

Rubber Island | The 2017 Tracks Wetsuit Test

When temperatures plummet a good wetsuit is your best friend – it keeps your wave quota high, opens up an infinite number of cold-water coastlines and ensures your limbs are flexible enough to shred, while still enjoying the insulation of the rubber armour.

Alongside your surfboard, a wetsuit is probably the most important hardware purchase you will make as a surfer.