tumbleweed the extended australia trip

Wondering if there are surfable waves someplace you've never visited? Or have you had an injury and want to compare experiences? Do it here!

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packa
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Re: tumbleweed the extended australia trip

Post by packa » Mon Oct 13, 2014 6:48 am

Are you writing it all down somewhere? Like a travel log, say, a ships log? If not, you should ...

In years to come, you'll be able to look back and read it all and recall the trip ...

Are you still writing a book?

diggerdickson
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South Coast Ramblings

Post by diggerdickson » Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:07 pm

My love affair with the south coast started way back in 1982. As a 16 year old eager for freedom and surf trips I regularly escaped down this way. A group of five or six mates would catch the train on a friday afternoon into central station, then swap for the old box car sleepers to travel down south as far as the line would take us. We would pack our quivers of two boards , each with a sock, a massive bag of mull each plus twenty bucks in our wallet to feed us. Once we reach the end of line we would all stagger out of the sleeper, so stoned that it was hard to walk and crawl up the hill to sleep on the wooden veranders of the old school. The following morning then it was just a short walk down to seven mile to sleep in the marshes at the bus front for sat night then catch the last train home on sunday. So many memories of the place, werri point and the board riders club, the coves between werri and seven mile that held there magical waves when it was firing and of course crooked river surfboards.

Over time some of mates stopped surfing, one died, and the rest started travelling north in search of waves. The rolling hills and small communities held fast for me and once I had my licence I forgo following the sheep and travelled solo down south. So many places, so many waves.

My last trip down south was in about 91, it was when herring was a real contender and waifer thin surfboards with a banana rocker were all the go. Stupidly I didnt listen to my own advice and forked out the dough for an aloha banana, of course couldnt surf the bloody thing but man could it turn in the pocket. Anyways on that trip when I came down the hill into bombo and saw her breaking at six to eight my blood started pumping. I kept going with past with my mind racing with the multitude of reefs which would be breaking, the anticipation added 15 kmh to the speedo.

I drove down into kiama and my mind was thinking sussex, no crowds, just me, when I spotted a wave. It was breaking at the end of a rock wall in front of a caravan park. I drove up as close as I could and what I saw made my jaw drop to the ground. Straight in front of the cp was a crazy wave. It broke so close to the rock wall that if you stuffed the take off Im sure you would be was up against the breakwall with the rest of the set. No one was on it. Six foot, heaving, heavy, and no one. I didnt even need to think twice, back then I had no brains, very little fear, I changed as I watched a set explode over the shelf. I got out there as fast as I could.

You had to backdoor this wave, the take off was such that it was easiest to come in behind the peak, the wave grew as it thundered down the line. It was one session that I will never ever forget, solo barrells with no one even watching. I just caught the last wave of each set and picked my line........................ :-D-:

So with all this history I feel for the place I am approaching this trip feeling very nervous with what I will find. When I saw the devolopment of kiama my heart dropped. I couldnt bring myself to go to seven mile. I didnt want to see the town changed. I bet the old school has been totally updated. I know crooked river boards are gone, so much change. I kept bee lining it to start my south coast journey at Ulladulla.

For me the south coast was about the communities. So what I didnt find in the surf shops of ulla astounded me. Not one local shapers boards are there. I mean what the bloody hell does Al Merrick have to do with ulladulla, what understanding does he have of the reefs down there. It was hearbreaking to see. I went over to dps factory, the one he rents off Mark just near the caravan park we are staying at. As I walked in the door I saw a sign on the wall of his factory giving all the charges he has for repairs. Above this sign in thick artline are the words. for any thailand or chinese boards the prices are double plus. If you dont like it find a chinaman to fix it. After speaking to mark for a bit I left the factory a bit deflated.

To me it seems that Sydney has found it way down south. The same feeling of angst at surf shops exists which existed up at coolum with the base surf shop for one shaper I know well. I never thought in my wildest dreams that this would happen down this way.

For the rest of my trip on the coast Im going to go to each local surf shop and see if they stock any local shapers boards. I intend to visit as many shapers as I can to say gday and share a beer with. I grew up with the belief that there was no one more important than a good shaper, and when you found one they deserve as much respect as you could give them. Now it seems that a file for a computer is more important, espically if its of some brand that a pro rides.

Ahh, yup ive shown my age and my ignorance of how things are, but if this is what the is called progress, then its at the determent of a small local community and I personally want nothing to do with it. :evil: Maybe life in a bus for me was meant to be. Photos of dps factory to come later.

Thanks for the rant.
no, Im not a surfer, Im just a garbage man".

diggerdickson
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Re: tumbleweed the extended australia trip

Post by diggerdickson » Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:13 pm

packa wrote:Just caught up reading about ya travels digger ... good stuff. Keep the updates coming!

And, I still recon you can have an easy set up shaping, glassing, board building set up.

Why not get this: http://www.supercheapauto.com.au/online ... 4891#Cross

and, add this kit to it: http://www.supercheapauto.com.au/online ... 4983#Cross

Easy to store under the bus, easy to set up, and gives you plenty of room to work on boards anywhere!
Been thinking of this trut h be told, but just not workth the hassell. If I ever stop travelling will get into it agian with this sort of setup, but not till them
no, Im not a surfer, Im just a garbage man".

ctd
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Re: South Coast Ramblings

Post by ctd » Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:53 pm

diggerdickson wrote:For me the south coast was about the communities. So what I didnt find in the surf shops of ulla astounded me. Not one local shapers boards are there. I mean what the bloody hell does Al Merrick have to do with ulladulla, what understanding does he have of the reefs down there. It was hearbreaking to see. I went over to dps factory, the one he rents off Mark just near the caravan park we are staying at. As I walked in the door I saw a sign on the wall of his factory giving all the charges he has for repairs. Above this sign in thick artline are the words. for any thailand or chinese boards the prices are double plus. If you dont like it find a chinaman to fix it. After speaking to mark for a bit I left the factory a bit deflated.

To me it seems that Sydney has found it way down south. The same feeling of angst at surf shops exists which existed up at coolum with the base surf shop for one shaper I know well. I never thought in my wildest dreams that this would happen down this way.
You should be able to find Vern Jackson boards in the shop below Woolworths and also they often have them in the Milton surfshop (and Ive seen some Rabbidge boards there, but I think they were second hand).

Lots of the local shapers just dont sell through the shops, which to be fair to the shapers are usually national franchises/branded shops that probably just carry whatever the head office buys at a good price. You know the shops, 95% fashion and about 10 boards up the back corner (the Milton shop is much better if you duck upstairs).

Plus if a shaper sells though the shop then the shop will take a cut; in todays internet environment I suspect its much easier for a shaper to develop their own direct customer base than having to rely on boards going out through retail outlets like in the past. There are plenty of shapers around that area who I presume are running viable businesses even if the shops arent stocking their boards.

The South Coast of the 80s and early 90s was still fishing and farming based, really. Now its very much tourism based (I mean, look at Milton - the entire town is aimed at tourists rather than locals). And many tourists want the fashion, cafes etc that go with having a good time, for them. Not the isolated no people or shops and deserted beaches that surfers want....and the local surfers can buy from a local shaper and the blow ins can as well or have their own boards already.

There are plenty of semi isolated areas though - check out the little spots in the national parks like Depot Beach or Manyana or even South Durras. They are tourist parks but much less of the tourist trappings - back to 'basics' (or 80s) holidays

The above being said, those are the reasons for what its like now - I do agree with you that the outcome isnt for everyone. Like all tourist areas, the community is now outward focused (on the tourists) rather than inward focused (on the fishing or farming or local production); and focusing outwards really seens to weaken the community bonds. And like all tourist areas, that change is good for some and not for others.

As a heads up... from Christmas to end of school holidays, the population of the area (Kiama to somewhere down Narooma region) will triple or quadruple. The highway becomes like a city road with backups sometimes stretching for many km. Its a time to find a spot and hunker down and dont move - or go inland. Esp Christmas week and the week after

Sorry to barge into your thread, you raised some interesting points that I have myself been thinking about for a while.

diggerdickson
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Re: tumbleweed the extended australia trip

Post by diggerdickson » Fri Oct 17, 2014 1:06 pm

U havent highjacked at all. Its nice to hear a locals view. For me the change was always going to happen, though im not convinced its for the best. Rich get richer and so on and on
no, Im not a surfer, Im just a garbage man".

diggerdickson
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Re: tumbleweed the extended australia trip

Post by diggerdickson » Mon Oct 20, 2014 9:53 pm

Tommorow im heading to durras. So far my south coast journey has been dogged by bad winds. Im hoping for the morning at dum dums but i doubt it. Ive found a website on surf fitness and will get into it tommorow. I realise at 48 im slower to my feet and stiff, once im going its like nothing is wrong. So im not getting younger and i need to be right before vic
no, Im not a surfer, Im just a garbage man".

diggerdickson
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Re: tumbleweed the extended australia trip

Post by diggerdickson » Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:25 pm

So went to south durras. Cool place, real small town that has nothing there. The surf was crap but saw the potential of the place. Durras has a totally different vib to uladulla. There is a lot less aggression in the water, most of the locals I saw surfing had local boards, a few had firewire boards, but what pleased me is I saw no chinese boards in the line up.

I had a few waves off the point on the right tide, only real small though I felt like a giddy grommet when I caught each wave and was so stoked to be standing agian and regaining my sea legs. Definatley feel like a beginner agian and the stoke that comes with each surf is outstanding.

Sorry there are no pics of decent surf, cause when its decent I dont have time to take a photo :oops:

Maybe when I get a place going off a few pics will come up.

I bumped into a older guy in the line up (my age) and he was surfing with his fifteen y.o. His kid ripped. I talked to him about the stoke it must be to watch his kid surf and the smile that came over his face told it all. The old man wasnt doing to bad either, he rode a small firewire and he said that his young son kept him off the longboards and gave him the drive to keep at the hp surfboards. It was just a pleasure to watch them both, the drop ins, the laughter.

Anyone here surf with their kids.
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no, Im not a surfer, Im just a garbage man".

ctd
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Re: tumbleweed the extended australia trip

Post by ctd » Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:11 pm

Love South Durras - the downside is there is nothing there and you have to travel to get anything (cafe, supermarket, food, fuel, DVDs or whatever). The upside is...there is nothing there. My wife loves the former, I prefer the latter. I guess most of the people in South Durras are either locals who want the seclusion (and hence are probably pretty relaxed quiet types) or holiday makers (mostly from Canberra - who are, on the whole, much less aggro than Sydney surfers...much less competent as well, probably the two qualities going hand in hand) vs Ulladulla that has the usual small country town issues. Had a friend who grew up living at South Durras, the most relaxed guy I have ever known.

Pop over to Depot Beach or Pebbly Beach (although the road to Pebbly was bad the last time I went - gravelly/ruts). Anyway, lots of kangaroos and local birdlife to entertain the kids for an afternoon (although you probably have to go out to the highway then back in - unless you want to hike over the north headland from North Durras to Depot) or do the walk around the headland rocks (the difficulty is getting across the lake - and its a fairly long walk).

diggerdickson
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Re: tumbleweed the extended australia trip

Post by diggerdickson » Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:28 pm

ctd wrote:Love South Durras - the downside is there is nothing there and you have to travel to get anything (cafe, supermarket, food, fuel, DVDs or whatever). The upside is...there is nothing there. My wife loves the former, I prefer the latter. I guess most of the people in South Durras are either locals who want the seclusion (and hence are probably pretty relaxed quiet types) or holiday makers (mostly from Canberra - who are, on the whole, much less aggro than Sydney surfers...much less competent as well, probably the two qualities going hand in hand) vs Ulladulla that has the usual small country town issues. Had a friend who grew up living at South Durras, the most relaxed guy I have ever known.

Pop over to Depot Beach or Pebbly Beach (although the road to Pebbly was bad the last time I went - gravelly/ruts). Anyway, lots of kangaroos and local birdlife to entertain the kids for an afternoon (although you probably have to go out to the highway then back in - unless you want to hike over the north headland from North Durras to Depot) or do the walk around the headland rocks (the difficulty is getting across the lake - and its a fairly long walk).
My little boy (7 months) is real sick and in bega hospital. He is in for 24 hr observation and once that is over we are coming back to south durras. I find the hospital better there and easier to see the docs. Bega was a huge let down from my memories of the place and a few shut shops and problems very visible on the streets with certain people there drinking out of paper bags :cry: Maybe I travelled through bega with closed eyes before, who knows :?:

I surfed the breakwall and had a great time. The locals there of course told me I shoulda been there yesterday :lol: Got along with them great, all I had to do was show respect, give em waves, and then when my turn was up there was no hassles, smiles all round.

Wont really be moving from south durras due to boys health until he is better so I will easily be found of the small point when the tide and winds are right. Apart from that hiding in caravan park drinking jimmy and relaxing.

Its a hard life, someone has to do it
no, Im not a surfer, Im just a garbage man".

Yuke Hunt
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Re: tumbleweed the extended australia trip

Post by Yuke Hunt » Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:36 pm

All the best for the little tacker, hey.

Seems like the gypsy life is doing you wonders.

Keep it moist old son ... keep it moist.
The moving finger writes and having writ moves on ... now all thy piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel even half a line ... nor all thy tears wash out a single word of it.

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Re: tumbleweed the extended australia trip

Post by diggerdickson » Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:54 pm

CHEERS WOMBLE.

Just wondering who remembers the article in the surf mag years ago about "Were tops now"

It talked about surfers from oz compared to America were more suited to aggressive vert surfing due to the nature of our beach breaks, short snappy waves that required an aggressive approach to get the most out of the wave. This in turn lifted the level of our surfing so that we now were the once more the greatest surfing nation in the world.... Or something like that.

The article was written by our Nick Carroll, if ive got it wrong sorry Nick, not sure if you even read this thread Nick but please correct me if Im wrong.

The reason I bring this up is what I boards ive seen in the water down here. One comment from a local was "Al Merrick boards are cutting edge, who wouldn't want to ride them, so much better than the local boards as they are all over the hill???? :-? I didn't pay much attention to him but it got my juices thinking.

Has our surf created the best shapers in the world??????

As a proud aussie I would like to say "Yes it has"

I think this is espically true in the underground movement as these guys have less global interaction and they have to make boards to suit the local conditions, that is very responsive, top to bottom boards,

I know todays market is more a global market now and there aint nothing wrong with American boards, but am I truly hiding my head right up my arse in plugging local boards for locals....... :?:

Would love you thoughts on our shapers guys.

Nick do you think that our surf also generates shapers as much as it generates surfers? Would be a bloody good article anyways......
no, Im not a surfer, Im just a garbage man".

diggerdickson
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Re: tumbleweed the extended australia trip

Post by diggerdickson » Fri Oct 31, 2014 11:55 pm

no swell today. Im hoping the wind is going to bring some swell in tommorow.
no, Im not a surfer, Im just a garbage man".

andy2476
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Re: tumbleweed the extended australia trip

Post by andy2476 » Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:24 am

firewires are made in thailand
Drailed wrote:
#goteamiggy

diggerdickson
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Re: tumbleweed the extended australia trip

Post by diggerdickson » Sat Nov 01, 2014 1:51 am

sad, thats sad.
no, Im not a surfer, Im just a garbage man".

andy2476
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Re: tumbleweed the extended australia trip

Post by andy2476 » Sat Nov 01, 2014 8:44 am

Why
Drailed wrote:
#goteamiggy

diggerdickson
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Re: tumbleweed the extended australia trip

Post by diggerdickson » Mon Nov 03, 2014 10:04 pm

andy2476 wrote:Why
I am definately to old and have had my head buried in the sand for to long not to know that firewire are not aussie. In other words the only way these days that you know you are getting a board that is shaped and made in oz is to buy straight from the factory, the old way.

Andy, to answer your question I have to say I try very hard and always have to buy aussie products made in australia, its just the way I am. In some parts of our life it is impossible to buy aussie as its hard sometimes to know what is aussie and what isnt, for instance, vegemite is not aussie anymore. One thing I do know Andy, is that by buying from a local shaper ( not hard to find a good shaper by the way, even if he isnt trendy) is keeping the local industry alive. Its supporting those and putting food on their table. It use to be that as a young kid I would hang out at the shapers shed just to watch em work and listen to em talk, it was the thing to do. This even carried across till I was 45 and started hanging with yorky in his bay, just shooting the shit. I believe strongly in aussie shapers andy and I find it sad that people buy overseas boards.

I just find it sad. It possibly shows my age at 48, but so be it, its who I am.

As for know, im off to Kiama on thursday in the hope to get my gearbox fixed as ive lost second gear, it looks like the band has burnt out. If the cost is too much my journey ends there and then, if not then nullabour here I come. My missus is hanging for us to get to red bluff and explore the area for a few months, my im panicing bout the drive back to Kiama as i have no second gear for the hills. I will have to crawl up the hills in first gear.
no, Im not a surfer, Im just a garbage man".

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Re: tumbleweed the extended australia trip

Post by andy2476 » Mon Nov 03, 2014 11:12 pm

A good mate of mine is a local aussie shaper. He sponsors local grommets and up and coming young pros. Until recently he sponsored exclusively a young aussie kid from his pre teens until now where he is one of the major players on the WCT. He also has deals with boards made in Thailand that are sold all over the world. He is a one man band with great skill and incredible eye for detail and a firm grip on the quality of his product no matter where it comes from. He also has a family, drives a second hand commodore and an old ute donated as a hand me down from hi in laws. You telling me that in seeking an opportunity to value add his product and make money not just from the hours he has to put in at the shaping bay is somehow a negative thing?

Wake up man. Where is your new clutch gonna be made?
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diggerdickson
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Re: tumbleweed the extended australia trip

Post by diggerdickson » Tue Nov 04, 2014 10:36 am

Hey Andy, I dont need to wake up, anything not done is australia I wouldnt touch, Im allowed my opinion. If that goes against what you think then thats cool, for me overseas is overseas. If the local shaper wants to have a deal with stuff in Thailand then thats fine but I personally wouldnt touch something from there if I can aviod it. I wish him all the success I truly do, but my thoughts are my thoughts and theres no need to tell me wake up, pull ya head in a bit andy.

Also people dont have to agree with me, most dont actually, it doesnt bother me at all if you disagree, but to tell me to wake up, oh well, whats the point hey.

The bottom yard of Kiama Coaches is where I will have to go to. He will drop the gearbox out and look at the band on the second gear. We believe its burnt it totally. It can go two ways, either simply replace the band at a cost of around 1800 bucks or if more damage has been done inside as it probably has then it becomes a game changer. To overall the gearbox is upwards of 8 to 10 grand, soooo, I will just buy another leyland and swap the gearbox then wreck the bus, much cheaper, could end up costing bout 4 grand or less.
no, Im not a surfer, Im just a garbage man".

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