Night Surfing Pumping Noosa, Wilko's Shark Scare, and Ever Seen a Whale Bodysurf?

9 Oct 2020 3 Share

Mike Jennings

Senior Writer

Wilko... behind you!

Wilko... behind you!

COASTALWATCH | THIS WEEK IN SURFING

Ten Things from Surfing & the Internet on the Week That Was October 9 2020

1. Surfing Loses Its Most Important Ongoing Document

What a gut punch it was to wake up on Sunday morning to hear that the original surfing magazine, Surfer, was being shut down. It had been chronicling surf culture since 1960. You could argue that surfing has its roots entwined with magazines more than any major sport or (counter-)culture movement in modern history, so while the demise of print is widespread, it means a little more to us and our connection to our history. This news of course comes after the other US major mags in Surfing and Transworld Surf got sent to the shredders in 2017 and 2013 respectively. The Surfer's Journal is the lone mag left standing over there. Curiously, on our side of the Pacific in Aus, we've only lost Waves mag, while every other mag apart from Tracks has gone the old school independent route with smaller distribution and less frequency.

To read a better the state of landscape at the end of Surfer, check out Sean Doherty's piece that we published on Sunday.

Interesting and disappointing has been the response by a major, if not dominant, section of the online surf community (including on Coastalwatch) attributing the end of Surfer to the mag endorsing Biden for the upcoming election just last week, despite it being very clear that the multitude of compounding factors, like Instagram and general internet consumption, spelt the end of this magazine and many others a long time ago. (Even Australia's local newspaper industry shut down in May this year when News Corp ceased printing 100 regionals.) Those things, plus the decimation of airline travel all year, where magazines do most of their over-the-counter sales, meant the end of this particular, long serving pillar of our culture. But sure, get your kicks in where you can, I guess. The whole thing is a major bummer.

2. Watch Wilko Get Buzzed by a Shark

Oooof! Matty Wilko and a decent sized shark got a little close for comfort on Wednesday at Ballina. The incredible footage was captured by a Surf Life Saving NSW drone, which also alerted Wilko to the shark danger via a warning over its speaker.

“I heard a splash and a noise and looked around and couldn’t see anything,” said Wilko. “Then the drone came down and told me that there was a dangerous shark in the area, return to the beach…I got to the shore feeling a bit weird and the lifeguards showed me the footage and I realised how close it came without knowing it was there. It looks like it’s going for my leg and it’s changed its mind…I feel grateful and pretty weird at the same time but happy it decided not to go me.”

Far out...

3. Mikey Wright and Isabella Nichols Won Straddie

This was a fun exhibition match with some of Australia's best surfers hitting Straddie for a CT-like surf comp. After this comp and the previous Cabarita event, Mikey Wright is sharing the no.1 ranking for this run of local stops. You might remember that Mikey was going to face off with Italian star Leo Fioravanti for the last remaining spot on the 2020 CT, the higher ranked of the two continuing on after the first couple of events. Watching Mikey's form at the moment, seems he would have been pretty tough to beat. Anyway, here's some barrels from the event:

4. Ever Seen a Whale Bodysurf?

*Cue joke about old mate hitting the waves after the Christmas season*. Drone pilot Daniel Cook captured a pair of Minke whales feeding amongst surfers at Lennox Head this week. Most extraordinary is the footage of them cutting across the swell like Rasta or Mark Cunningham. Reminder, whales and dolphins and things... they're not your pets.

5. Introducing Homegrown Nathan Cook

Cenny Coast early 20s shredder does some shredding in Indo, Hawaii, and at home on the East Coast of Aus. Tubes, airs and a bit of oomph in his turns to boot, what more do you want out of a surfer? Props too to young Nick Colclough/Kookley Media on the edit and for putting Hole on the soundtrack. Classic.

6. Barbarian Days Is Gonna Be a Movie

Funny thing, I was listening to a movie podcast the other day, in which the landlocked non-surfing American hosts were discussing… ahh… movies... and as a throwaway line, one of them remarked, “When are we going to see Barbarian Days turned into a movie?” The idea had never even crossed my mind. But would you look at that, a couple months later, the Pulitzer Prize winning surf memoir by the New Yorker's William Finnegan has been bought up by Amazon Studios and booked in someone to write and direct it – Stephen Gaghan.

Gaghan once adapted British TV series Trafik for the screen, which became Traffic, directed by Steven Soderbergh, and won him an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. He also wrote and directed Syriana, which copped another Academy Award screenplay nomination. Recently, and much less notably, he directed the panned Dolittle, and the mostly forgotten Matthew McConaughey vehicle Gold.

So, another major American surfing movie on the cards, don't we love it?! 

To remind us of the vibe, here is a clip of Finnegan reading some excerpts from his book, cut to some footage of the legend Rusty Miller.

7. More Pentacoastal B-Sides

Wade Goodall's epic movie released back in May (co-directed by Shane Fletcher) is dropping us that sweet sweet cutting room floor footage. This week it's a night session from Noosa. The crew hit up Tea-Tree at 2am during a full moon around the time of Cyclone Oma, avoiding the crowds by hooking up a car battery and a spot light.

8. Chris Burkard Unnur

Chris Burkard is one of the world's most formidable surf photographers. Earlier this year he premiered a beautiful 17 minute doco at the Tribeca Film Festival called Unnur. It's about an Icelandic kayaker turned surfer, whose persective on life and fatherhood changed after a near-death experience. This week it became available for everyone to watch:

9. A Pretty Nice Clip of Nate Zoller

Nate Zoller is an American wanderlusty soulful kinda surfer, perhaps in the mould of Torren Martyn, not so much in the surfing sense, but in the general approach to a semi-professional surfing life sense. This week he dropped a long edit for sponsor Roark. Roark is that outdoorsy brand that also sponsors Harrison Roach and sells things like backpacks and hatchets.

Here's what Zoller wrote about the clip:

"Leading up to the lockdown I’d been on the road a lot. Gone a lot. Mexico, South America, Fiji, Indo, Hawaii, with plans to keep going. But as the world shut down the ability to disappear was stripped and we were all left sitting in our houses nostalgic about yesterday. In honor of that chase we once held so tight in our grasp, I decided to release a longer form edit filmed entirely abroad with original songs by Matt Costa, Yves Compositions, Rebeka Fodor and some classics by the Butthole Surfers. It’s a celebration of the good times on the road, gone from home but exactly in the right place."

10. Bit of Wave Pool News: Surf Lakes Is Going Smaller

That big round steam punk pool up in Yeppoon, QLD has been tinkering with their design and come up with something that just might make the likelihood your neighbourhood gets one of these pools a whole lot more probable. Going smaller. 

You can read all about it in our report over here, or just watch the video below. Or both!

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

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