Wave Porn: Gratuitous Seaside Grot

A top shelf gallery of red hot surfing even your mother would be proud of.

As a general rule thumb; when a magazine is endowed with mind popping imagery like this, it should be the devout duty of the editorial staff to mirror it with a solid backbone of words.

It is imperative to serve the reader with an insight into the world of surfing, so they are left bedazzled by a flavour of an existence that most of us would rim our own grand mothers for. Unfortunately, in this instance we’ve had to kick this mantra into touch. Not out of choice, because there’s nothing more I’d love than to be sitting here editing a 10,000 word draft about the day when James Hick and co tackled this slab.

Nothing fancy, though, just a descriptive, perceptive piece of writing, perhaps starting off with the surfers’ grunting out their nerves in the shitter that morning – and finishes later in the evening with a fuck off great ruckus down the pub.

Paul Morgan, this is the view from a little later along the wave of the money spread, our man Rod is on the ski with his motor drive burning. The difference in perspective and light is out of control Photo: Paul Morgan

Paul Morgan, this is the view from a little later along the wave of the money spread, our man Rod is on the ski with his motor drive burning. The difference in perspective and light is out of control Photo: Paul Morgan

But I’m not. I’m writing this instead. However, fear not, the absence of a thesis doesn’t mean I will patronise your perfectly intellectual consciousness by using the same big wave shot 50 times – and also attempt to destroy any panache with some lazy, garbled John Lennon shit such as ‘the light refracted, like a million suns glowing on the oceans oily surface.’

Because feeding you this joss stick hippy spunk just isn’t fair and merely is a waste of Amazonian shrubbery. But we have no shame. We’re left with little choice but to go down the grot mag route for this because there is no story to tell as such.

All of the shots were from a single session, at a spot which cannot be named somewhere in vicinity of Australia. They simply launched their skis, whipped each other into a few bombs, performed a photographic spit roast and then got out.

James, super deep with only gurgles, shockwaves and a reef carpeted in nice soft Cunge for comfort

James, super deep with only gurgles, shockwaves and a reef carpeted in nice soft Cunge for comfort

Rod (the photographer) emailed me the shots and I processed them. And that’s it, I have nothing more to say on the matter – other than while it goes against all of our principles, the Porn mag approach, with honest to goodness big, bright, tasty looking photo’s (and a few tantalising words from the starring players) is a tried and tested formula.

It works in the sex industry because believe it or not, in spite of choking on the fall out dust from last ten years of the internet porn phenomenon, they still actually exist! And if they’re doing it right, there’s no reason why can’t use the same blueprint. All you have to do now is pop your cock back into your trousers, zip up your fly and look at the pretty pictures, because this isn’t that kind of magazine.

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Jersey’s James Hick

So how’s it going in Oz?
This year, we’ve been pretty unlucky. When The Ours session went down, we arrived there in the morning about 5am before the swell properly hit and a mate called from the Central coast saying it was going to be off the scale so we headed up there. It was ok there, like four feet, but we then found out the swell hit Ours and was twice the size – and perfect.

But it’s cool, I have been pretty much bouncing between NSW and Tas hanging out waiting for the bomb swells. I’m pretty lucky in that respect because I have really good friends in both places so I can just go and hang when ever I want.

‘The Pom’ as he’s become known in Aussie tow circles darned nearly scored a cover with this bomb, undoubtedly one of the better waves of the sessions, the lad is doing us proud out there running with some of the top tow fiends the lucky country has on offer

‘The Pom’ as he’s become known in Aussie tow circles darned nearly scored a cover with this bomb, undoubtedly one of the better waves of the sessions, the lad is doing us proud out there running with some of the top tow fiends the lucky country has on offer

So I hear you have a ski out there?
Yeah, I went halves with Marty (Paradisis). His focus has waned lately because he has a new chick. Love does that to you!

You been back out at Shippies yet, or has the place not worked properly recently?

We have had one swell this year, just a small paddle day, the Old girl has been sleeping far too long!  This time last year she had broken six times with massive swells pounding the shores every week, and with just the wind determining the outcome. I just hope the late season delivers the goods.

So to this session, you been waiting for this wave for a while, or did it just happen out of the blue?
We just saw a chart took a punt and headed down. The swell seemed too small in the morning but she turned on pretty quickly. There are so many waves in Oz that pump all the time you just got to know where to look.

How easy is it to tow? Makeable or a bit sketchy? 

The big ones broke a little wide at low tide and had this hell step but once the tide came in they started holding up and we just started standing in these heaving pits. We got smashed on most of our waves just pulling in too late or to deep. The reef’s so shallow everyone hit it pretty hard but come up laughing most of the time. My back felt mangled the next day, I felt like renaming it The Chiropractor.

Yeah, it looks pretty shallow there.
Ha, it’s not too bad, the reef is covered in Cunge – a seaweed that looks like dread locks. It’s like getting rammed into a mattress.

There’s not many Jersey boys out here trying to do what I’m doing so the boys are stoked on it

Who are the rest of the crew you’ve been hanging out with over there, you sort of accepted as being the lone crazy pom?
There are too many to mention. Not sure about crazy, but yeah lone I guess, I wouldn’t have it any other way though. Travelling on your own is amazing; the only person stopping you from doing something is you. I get to experience so much more this way.

There’s not many Jersey boys out here trying to do what I’m doing so the boys are stoked on it. When I tell the boys how small Jersey is they freak out, and laugh at the idea that 100,000 people live on it. I think they think we live shoulder to shoulder, like king penguins or something.

You got plans to stay there till the end of southern winter?
Yeah planning on being here until October, I just want to score a few new waves and explore some different regions. This county has so much potential it insane.

I agree, I think we’re living in the wrong country!
You got that right.

Brett Burcher on playing photographer

“Mate, the session was sick. It was my first barrels for eight months and I was proper shitting myself. I only just came back from a broken leg and it wasn’t exactly the most mellow session to be holding a fuckin $3000 dollar camera with a couple of feet of water underneath you.

You’re focusing so hard on where you’ve positioned the camera and if you’re deep enough, I kinda forget about riding the wave, but the angle looks sick and it kinda refreshes your memory. The wipeouts are a punish, your pretty much putting yourself up for grabs for $3000 because its the camera that comes first, then your well-being second!”

James Hollmer Cross on Amnesia

It was the first time I ventured around the South coast. I’m from Tasmania so I was expecting it to be more built up and accessible but it was a lot like home, with no houses lush forest and clean water, just an amazing coastline with heaps of nooks and crannies.

The morning of the swell we all met at the boat ramp, the vibe was good, the sun was out and the left was visible from the ramp. I paddled my first couple and got fucking destroyed. The third one I made, but it almost sucked bone dry and had steps through it but managed to hook under it.

Paul Morgan, on the bomb of the day

Paul Morgan, on the bomb of the day

The Pom asked me if I wanted to tow and I was pumped. My first wave was a solid funnel, it looked easy, not like Shippies or the outer bombies – but I got to the bottom of it and just slid sideways and got lipped.

I thought it was weird and put it down to being on my shortboard groveller and figured I would just have to nurse it a bit more. So, my second wave came in and I skipped out again which totally pumped me. I hit the reef really hard and winded myself in the process.

The session was sick. It was my first barrels for eight months and I was proper shitting myself…

I came up kinda laughing but felt like a bit of dick. When I got to the channel I thought I would check my board for creases and noticed that I hadn’t screwed my back fin in at the ramp and had been riding a twinny the whole time!

As soon as I got the three fins in I bagged two really good ones, the first was just a really fast hollow stand up pit that reminded me of Pipe, even the colours inside it were similar, and my last wave was just a real nuggety thing; thicker and wider than it was tall. I just held my line and got as deep as I could go.

It was epic to surf some little slabs on my backhand as I’m used to surfing big slabs on my forehand all the time. I will definitely be chasing backhand slabs more often after that session but gotta remember to put that fin in.”

James Hollmer Cross, thick, glassy and doubling up, The Shippy charger woud have it no other way

James Hollmer Cross, thick, glassy and doubling up, The Shippy charger would have it no other way

Rod Owens on halving the work load

“It actually panned out better than I could have ever imagined. Morgs and Birch were frothing to shoot as usual and they were onto this swell five days beforehand, I juggled the idea of coming down for a day or so, as a lot of places were going to dish up the goods for this swell.

But it was Birchy’s first solid session after snapping his leg on the piss six months ago and Morgs was SO amped to use this rig at the wave. Anyway when the day arrived we had James Hollmer-Cross and Pommy lad James Hick with us also, which worked out perfect. We got out to the wave about 7 am, and didn’t come in till 5pm, it was pretty much on fire the whole day.

Brett Burcher, think about this for a minute, you’re yanked into a bomb, it’s hard to make and your priority is taking a shot and then protecting a 3k camera from the reef at the expense of your own well being. Right laugh Photo: Brett Burcher

Brett Burcher, think about this for a minute, you’re yanked into a bomb, it’s hard to make and your priority is taking a shot and then protecting a 3k camera from the reef at the expense of your own well being. Right laugh Photo: Brett Burcher

The whole deal with the dual angle was just something I wanted to do from both POV’s in harsh lighting. So, shooting into the wave with it intensely backlit, but from the boys view in the pit was pretty much perfect lighting.

This camera came about due to going over the falls with my 270 degree rig with Ritchie Vas’ six months ago and losing one of the cameras to flooding, so with what I had left, this is the best thing that I could do with it.

Morgs and Birchy took to the job perfectly and were dropping into some full on stepping ledging ones whilst holding the rig

Morgs and Birchy took to the job perfectly and were dropping into some full on stepping ledging ones whilst holding the rig.I was totally wigging out thinking we would never see the rig again, yelling ‘don’t go the bombs! We are just testing!’ Next thing you know, they’re on the bombs!

Whilst getting a dusting the lads said it was fucked up, only having one arm to swim back to the surface with while trying to protect the camera from the rocks etc at the same time.

Photos: Rod Owens unless otherwise stated. Lead Image Paul Morgan

This article was originally published in Wavelength issue 186. Be the first to get our articles in print and online by subscribing here.