This Perfect Cycle
SW: So mate, tell us a little bit about life in the Deane house. Was it a happy place to be a kid?
ND: Yeah it was. We’ve lived in the same place forever, on the same street that comes around the point from Kirra, but a few blocks back. Maclean St. My Dad was a builder and he was always going huge on the house. The structure itself was pretty epic, a huge concrete box and he was always talking about going massive on it, like he’d say, “We’re going up!” And the plan was to have this two-storey concrete box thing with a Queenslander dropped on top of it [laughs], like maniac shit. Like, when I think about it now I just think, “Holy fuck, how did he build that thing?!” [Laughing]
Was it all planned out in his head do you think, or just one of those projects where you keep adding rooms?
Ha ha, yeah, it had a few things that were probably thrown together, but he would have had it all drawn up. One way to sum him up is, “measure twice, cut once.” He was always stressing that point all the time. But it was crazy, man, like he built the top and the roof and everything but it wasn’t ready to live in for ages, so we had this little garage set up where we kinda used to have our space as kids and we’d be in there playing Sunny Garcia Surfing and Kelly Slater Surfing video games and shit like that. That garage sort of became the room where my Dad’s room was too. Now it’s just a big garage, but back then he had all the rooms partitioned off and his room had this big trophy cabinet. Fuck, he had so many trophies, heaps of trophies, and heaps of boards too… fucken shitloads of boards. And I’d kinda just always be looking at them. Grabbing them out and looking at them.
So there was never a time in your life when you were introduced to surfing? It was just always there surrounding you?
It was always there, for sure. I mean, there was this one little phase where I used to play golf with my brother Jimmy and I remember this little dividing point that happened when I was around 10 when surfing became more important to me. Mum would go to work and Dad was like, “Alright, well, do you wanna get dropped off to golf with Jimmy or do you wanna come to the factory with me, because I’m gonna be in here for five or six hours working?” And I remember that because it must have been right at that moment where I became so psyched on surfing that I’d rather sit at the fucking surfboard factory watching my Dad glass and sand boards rather than go and play fucking golf. And it wasn’t like we were hanging out that much either. Dad was working his arse off and I’d get sooooo fucking bored that I’d wind up just looking at boards all fucking day and talking to anyone who happened to come in because Dad was just all about the work. But it was so much better than having to go to golf. Fuck golf. I couldn’t handle that I wasn’t allowed to go surfing all weekend. I mean, Mum couldn’t take me and Dad had to work too, but I wasn’t about to go and play golf. I’d been at school all week, why the fuck would you go and play golf after that shit? Anyway, after a while I just went “fuck it,” and I started going to the beach. But yeah, I spent all day in that factory watching him work and I remember this one time he was under the pump. He had all these boards to do for this Japanese lad and I remember the polisher gripped the board and just flung it straight into the wall. And all you could hear was Dad just going “FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRK! He was just fully flipping his lid. And I come walking over and Steve Barber stops me and says “Yeah, I’d give him a bit of space if I were you, mate.” So Steve and I sat out the front of the factory for 10 minutes while Dad just lost it over this board. I think it was either purple or red with these fucked up resin tints and this polisher had just flung it into the wall and hammered it. It was one of the most memorable things ever because he was so precise in absolutely everything he’d do. He couldn’t leave an edge rounded, the nose had to be perfect, everything had to be fucking perfect. There couldn’t be any bumps, there couldn’t be anything wrong with them anywhere. He put a lot of time and effort into every board and everyone loved them. They were so fucken gnarly, the tints and the glass jobs, people were freaking out on them. (Excerpt)
To read the full article, purchase Surfing World issue 406, available now from your local place that sells it, as well as here.