From Vol 13, No. 4 1970
SW: Are you happy living in Victoria?
I just grew up there and I guess I like it for that probably because it’s far away from the ‘where it’s happening’ type of thing. It’s a place where there is time to think, time to act and beautiful waves. You surf Bells or anywhere in that area through the week and there are only four guys on the whole coast. You surf till you’re completely shattered. Wave after perfect wave as the sunset and those bold cliffs melt into the sunset, I suppose. That’s why. Couldn’t be much else.
Why would living elsewhere restrict you?
I guess the race. Yeah. That tempo that comes from surfing in crowds. It’s a competitive thing. I dislike its meaning and there are no scenes, no bull dust, just surfers.
Are you scared of scenes?
No, not really. Only when those people in them can’t see out of them, can’t see beyond it.
How important is surfing to you in framing your basic attitude to living? What part does it play?
I guess it’s most of it. It plays most of it, but I don’t think I’m dependent upon it or anything like that. It’s just something I love doing. I have a love for the sea and that is all you need. I always have. If I didn’t surf, I fished. I just don’t remember when I didn’t play in the sea. But it isn’t everything.
Do you have a philosophy of living as such?
Yeah, I guess so, but I couldn’t just roll it off. I couldn’t sit here and say, well, this is my philosophy, and put it in a little square box and say, well, that’s it. There it is. It’s not something like that. It’s how I live, what I live. My actions are me.
What’s it tied up with?
As I flow along with design and places to go on waves, I find you must be aware of the things around you. What we are realising, my own ego, seeing beyond what you have. You become aware of your own actions. That way you can understand greater things on design and waves and yourself.
Are you a religious person?
I believe in a life after death, merely a continuation. Not a thing where we are all walking around on clouds and talking to each other. It’s all in our own heads. We’ve just gotta solve it. We are of infinity, which is never ending. Jesus Christ laid it all down for us.
Have you ever thought of what you might have been if you hadn’t been a surfer apart from a fisherman?
No. Too hypothetical, sort of negative attitude.
Do you see surfing as an escape?
There is nothing to escape from. I tried it. The only thing you run from is yourself and you’ve just gotta face it.
What do you get out of surfing?
It’s only love. How do you explain it? Just being involved with it. Doing it is greater than philosophy. Philosophising about something. It’s something where you never know what’s coming next. Never know what you’ll find.
What about contests and the commercial side of surfing?
I could be getting right out of contests very soon. I did once for five months. It’s pretty phony. A false evaluation of each other. I hate the plastic scene sensationalism and that phony stuff. Things like, ‘Wayne Lynch, the international boy heading towards the international man.’ What crap. It’s just not real. People used to publicise and say how I could be the next world champion. I never even wanted to be. I never cared. The overwritten crap is gonna drag surfing apart if we don’t stop and think and realise what we really have got at our fingertips; waves, sun, life itself. I have to live so I have to sell something. So I design and shape.
This spread features in SW’s 60th anniversary issue. You can buy it here.