Heavy Melbourne Locals Are Gonna Regulate, QS Crunch-Time, and the WSL Is Making A Reality TV Show at the Surf Ranch?!

15 Nov 2019 0 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

Photo: URBNSURF/Adam Gibson

Photo: URBNSURF/Adam Gibson

COASTALWATCH | THIS WEEK IN SURFING

Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was November 15, 2019

1. The Melbourne Wave Pool Looks Good, Like, Incredibly Good

Your weekly dose of wave pool news was big this week. Wave pool news even made the front page of the Herald Sun and was featured on national morning television. My mum texted me about it for goodness' sake! That's mainstream surf news, baby!

So, what happened? Well that Melbourne Wave Pool, under the name URBNSURF Melbourne, operating on the WaveGarden Cove tech that we've seen on a smaller scale in their Basque-based testing spot, finally released footage of surfers riding the thing. Alongside that, they also divulged the first details of membership and session prices. 

For full details, read our news piece on the pool's launch over here

But the bullet-point version is this:

  • The Tullamarine Pool will open in January 2020.
  • There will be 18 different wave types.
  • Foundation Memberships are now on sale ($3500).
  • Gold Memberships, four surfs a month, will cost $3100.
  • Advanced Surf Sessions will go for $79 an hour.

On a personal note, this is all very exciting. I am a surfer from Melbourne, I grew up surfing 30 knot onshores in Port Phillip Bay (like the Trigger Brothers!) any chance I could get, and begged my dad to drive me down the coast every single weekend, regardless of conditions. As kids, we used to daydream about somehow the Port Phillip Heads getting chopped off and our local beaches being flooded with actual surf. But decent surf close to home was always confined to right there in that world of daydreams.

As a surfer who's moved back to Melbourne after a long time away, this new pool is a 25 minute drive from my house. A full hour closer than Torquay, and just shy of an hour closer than Point Leo. On top of that, these waves actually look probably better than any waves I've surfed in the past year. This new pool could actually change my surfing life quite significantly (at least it feels that way today in the excitement of the moment, a year from now? Who knows?). And I dare to guess that amongst the almost five million other people in Melbourne, there's a few other surfers with the exact same relationship to surfing. Also, as I'm a millionaire, I can afford to surf this pool all the time!* For surfers like us, comparisons of this to, say, a trip to Indo doesn't really apply (though I get for many Aussie surfers, it totally does).

Stab Magazine has the best Melbourne pool content first up, taking Parko, Harry Bryant, Ryan Callinan and Dion Agius over to test the thing in an exclusive trip, which you can watch below.

Those are just a very few of the wide ranging pros and surfers of note to have given it a go in the past week or two. Others include Taj Burrow, Sally Fitzgibbons, Tyler Wright, and even Thor (Chris Hemsworth).

My question is... they've had plenty of icons fly in to surf this new spot... but who are these guys? Have they paid their dues in the onshores of Half Moon Bay, Williamstown, Mentone, et al? Do the inland Melbourne surfers, who've so long-suffered, need to rise up, Black Shorts style, and demand some respect for the locals? Is it time to regulate? We're coming, wielding tote bags and dressed in all black we're coming. We're not used to things being closed, and we're upset.**

*Lol, yeah, nah.

**I'm very much joking, but also... can I pretty please surf the pool soon?

2. It's Crunch Time for the QS!

Just a reminder that we're officially into Hawaiian Triple Crown season and the final big, often-career defining competitions of the QS year. 

Nick Carroll did a run through of our Australian hopes on the men's QS as Haleiwa gets underway and Sunset looms beyond it. Get over there and acquaint yourself with the boys we're getting behind this Hawaiian winter

On the ladies side, the final major QS the Port Stephens Toyota Pro is underway at Birubi Beach.

Aussie surfers to keep an eye on there are: Super grommet Zahli Kelly (currently ninth), Nikki Van Dijk (currently 24th) who desperately needs a result here or at the last event of the year on the CT, Macy Callaghan (currently 18th) who is in the same boat as Nikki, Keely Andrew (currently 11th), Phillipa Anderson (20th) Sophie McCulloch (21st) as well as top-end QS leaders Bronte Macaulay and Isabella Nichols (1st and 3rd respectively).

There is certainly a LOT that could move around on the Women's QS rankings by the end of this weekend, and there are a LOT of Aussies in the mix. Let's go!


3. The WSL Is Making a Reality TV Show?

At the 1.05 mark below the WSL details it, but it’s going to be a reality TV show called Ultimate Surfer where competitors will live at the Surf Ranch and compete for a spot on tour – it’s unclear for now whether that’s a legit CT spot, or just a wildcard for the wave pool event. There will be individual and team challenges and weekly eliminations, there's even talk of alliances, Survivor style. I can tell you right now that this show is both going to be something I pan the hell out of constantly, but also watch every single minute of religously. Good, bad? I don't know, but boy are we going to put stuff on the internet about it. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE WSL?! Haha, this is so much the best, most fun, most weird time we've had in surfing!

4. Pumping Chopes

Here's a short and sharp video of Matahi Drollet and Michel Bourez surfing their local wave pool, Teahupo'o. Is it as good as the Tullamarine pool? Tough to say.

5. Forget Wave Pools, What About Artificial Reefs

The forgotten tech/man made surf space of artificial reefs has been chugging along quietly and is set to make a fresh return in WA very soon with this "Airwave" technology. Remember artificial reefs? Artifical reefs are back! ("In pog form")

6. Imagination Roulette Episode 3

Filmmaker Darcy Ward's collaboration with Luke Hynd takes the thoughtful film series onto the deck of a twin-fin for some beautiful surfing through Indonesia.

7. Your Weekly Mason Clip

Mason rides a big board around Hawaii and puts it on rail and into the air. The board is a full foot longer than his usual shape, and gee it's pretty nice surfing, isn't it? Shouts to the Coco Ho cameos in this clip too, she rips.

8. Bodysurfing Nazare

This seems like a normal, safe, fun thing to do on the weekend. Might give it a crack some time.

9. Laurie Towner Starred in the Clip of the Week

It's a truth universally acknowledged, that when perenially underrated Aussie charger Laurie Towner stars in a major surf edit, we all drop what we're doing, watch it with full attention, and get stoked the hell out. He is the best. This fresh 13 minute vid from needEssentials sees Loz head on a scenic trip through the vast Aussie desert in search of waves. It's slow and beautiful and awesome in the true sense of the word. Laurie Towner is the sort of guy who makes you proud of working class Aussie surfing, don't you reckon?

10. A Nice Logging Clip To Start Your Weekend

Surfing is nice! It's Your Island Now is a Californian easy listening jam that will infuriate the people who love to be infuriated by easy going loggers and dudes with purple hair. Isn't it nice that the Internet can bring this content and those people together though?The internet is wonderful!

And that was this week in surfing. Have a good weekend everyone.

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