Noa Deane, Backdoor. Image by Tom Carey.

SW Predictions Issue: The More Things Change

Crisp Vision From SW 395

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As surfing becomes more popular (and infuriating) one thing will always remain the same, the timeless lure of perfect empty line-ups. Take the above for example – Noa Deane – running the gauntlet at the Backdoor Shootout, frozen in time by the masterful Tom Carey. According to Noa, “the session was scary for sure because it was a ‘no practice’ kinda situation but at the same time there’s no crowd which makes surfing it a whole lot easier. It’s definitely still scary but you can sit where you want to sit instead of trying to hunt around and get lucky if someone misses something, which often puts you in really shit situations. I think staying at the Volcom house helps your confidence when it comes to getting waves out there because you’re watching it all day. The more you watch it the more you learn. It kinda fries you doing that but it makes you better at it. After a while you see when it’s about to get good and not too crowded and you just run straight out – it’s pretty quick, you know? I think there’s more stigma around that place than there should be. Everyone at the house is real cool.” Word Noa, word indeed. Here are some more offerings for your viewing pleasure taken from our new magazine out now…

Image by Rambo Estrada

When I was about 12 my older sister had this boyfriend from down the coast. He’d tell me tales of his local wave which I pictured as this long rocky point break that you had to scale this full-on cliff to access. Maybe he added that bit, maybe I made it up? But I had to wait another 4 years until I got my license to actually see the joint with my own eyes. Turns out it was actually a rivermouth sand bar, but what a sand bar! It actually looked just like this that day and I thought I’d struck gold. But after returning time and time again I came to realise how fickle this spot is. Often it would be an absolute burger, other-times guys would be throwing down Kirra comparisons. I still haven’t worked out the science behind the wave, does the bank need lots rain? No Rain? No idea!? The river-mouth is an ocean gateway for local fisherman and crossing the bar can be pretty extreme when there’s a decent swell running. Recently, a boating company sponsored a webcam that’s pointed directly at rivermouth so now I can see exactly what the bank is like from home. I could have a moan about how the webcam has made the spot way more crowded, but I’m probably it’s number one user so I’ll just keep quiet. – Rambo Estrada


Image by Ed Sloane

King Island sits just North of Tasmania, and while being one of Australia’s natural beauties it’s also home to the prettiest beach breaks in all the land. Alarmingly, King Island’s surfing fun park is at risk of being discontinued with dingbat fish farming co. Tassal pushing to introduce an offshore salmon farm.

The head honchos at Tassal have chosen to set up shop just south of Martha Lavina beach, a stretch of sand responsible for the dreamy wedges King Island has become famous for.
What makes Martha such a fun wave is how swells roll in from both the North and the South then refract back into the beach at different angles creating those amazing wedges. Veteran surf photog Sean Davey describes it as his favorite beach in the world. With the proposed site sitting just south of Martha, it would directly block all southerly swells rendering the A-frames useless.

As well as royally screwing up the waves, Tassal’s proposed farm will pose a serious threat to the local environment on King Island. The farm would see over 1 million salmon introduced to the Martha lineup, meaning there would be 1 million extra fish shitting in the sea. The increase of fish poo would be detrimental to the health of the local aquatic life and jeopardise King Island’s reputation as a pure food source.

If the locals have anything to do with it the suits at Tassal will realize how harmful this farm will be and move along. The King Island community has been busy in protesting the proposition and educating the public about the harm of salmon farms. If you feel like sticking it to the man and saving one of Australian surfing’s treasures then sign the petition and make some noise. – Oscar Long


Image by Damien Poullenot

For the past three years we’ve had giant Atlantic winter storms bashing the southern coasts of France. These systems create monster swells that rip the banks to pieces and attack the dunes. If you’ve visited the beachbreaks around Hossegor you’d know that the dunes are very tall and very wide, but one particular storm last winter chewed an unbelievable 20 meters of sand off the dunes, which would normally be very bad news, except for one thing… it left us with these incredibly rare high tide banks that lit up on the cleaner groundswells to give locals like Charlie Quivront some of the most beautiful surf he’d ever seen. It only lasted a few days, but it was absolutely perfect.
– Damien Poullenot


Image by Rambo Estrada

Growing up on the East Coast, if a wave peeled long enough to get to my feet and fit in a floater it was considered a good one. So when I first laid eyes on the never ending lefts of Raglan I couldn’t believe it. It looked nothing like this photo on that day. 2-3ft and onshore, but I remember catching a wave and just looking up to the gods and laughing. At that stage it was the greatest ride of my life.

As soon as I left school I moved out to Raglan. My buddy Marc and I lived in a house that cost $60 a week, for the whole house! Still, we struggled to pay the rent at times as there was always something to surf and working wasn’t really a priority. Back then there wasn’t any decent access to the beach, you had to hike down a steep hill through the bush and no one really bothered. So the town didn’t have much appeal to the general public. In the 90’s it was sleepy little town made up of fishermen, hardcore surfers and arty muso types. There were no girls, if you wanted to find a girlfriend you had to brave the Hamilton nightlife and try pick up one of the local bogans.

I remember on Christmas day they opened the road to the beach. I don’t remember what year it was, but I do remember we went for a dawny down there. Little did I know how much that road to the beach would change Raglan. Soon Raglan had it’s first café, then a backpackers, sushi spot, a bar, pizza joint and even some girls moved to town. The place blew up and these days it’s New Zealand’s version of Byron Bay. But the waves have never changed, there’s a lot more people in the line-up, but you’ll still be able to snag one of the longest waves of your life out there. – Rambo Estrada


Image by Ant Fox

Cape Town is a big city with a lot of amazing waves and thanks to an ever-growing surfing popluation waves such as this one are getting more and more crowded by the week. This particular wave has certainly has its deterrents; it’s a long hot walk to get to in the summer and plenty have people have been mugged getting from the carpark to the shoreline and back. And then there are the sharks. But none of that seems to put anyone off. Surfers gonna surf. And why wouldn’t they when it gets this good? This is Mikey February’s timeless style during one of the best sessions of last year. – Ant Fox


Surfing World
Surfing World

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