Thursday, December 22, 2011

Unreal Realm

Aye we've had some good sessions over the last 2 or 3 weeks, Christmas just around the corner, fire roaring, waves coming..Cant complain.

Mullaghmore was pumping last monday, it kind of blew me away how many perfect waves I saw that day. It was a day of mental snapshots and adrenalin. I went through the barrier of just being plain cold and thrived on waves alone, they kept me warm and also kept me out there longer, cooling me down. I could'nt come in though, it was too perfect to waste.


 The shot above shows the size of the playing field out there, and how heavy the first bowl is. Theres two, the next one is way out of the shot to the right, and on 9 waves out of 10 you cant make it through both.

This is the end bowl, once you get to this stage of the ride its nearly done..but not without one last shack.

The footage from this day is available to watch at http://vimeo.com/33652914

Its been an awesome end to the year for me, just so stoked and blessed to be doing what I love.

A big thanks to Michael Waters for the shots.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mully Hill Crew


We've almost been here a month now, and its starting to feel like home.

Some solid swells have rolled around the corner in the past week, but we've been plagued by howling winds and stinging rain. It hasn't stopped us though and spirits have been high. 
The phone rang one night and it was Tom Butler, he wanted to come over from the UK for the week and has managed to weasel himself into our house, sleeping in front of the fire on the lounge floor. That kid is amped to ride heavy waves, whether its paddle or tow and his energy has been relentless. 
One image I wont forget is Pig driving Tom into a solid ,windy ,grey beast out front. It was the biggest wave of Toms life he said afterwards.
Tom also took a pretty bad fall, not an especially big wave, but it sent him pretty deep and pulled his hood over his face. Whilst he was wrestling his wettie underwater I was on the second wave of the set, and just as I approached the end bowl I saw Tom surface right next to me. I managed to shout "watch out!" to him as the bowl exploded on his head and sent him down for round two.
Its been strangely quiet out there with just us and Paul Okane every session. I cant really blame the others for not coming out because its been more like sea survival than surfing. 
Paul has come up with a nick name for us "The Mully Hill Crew" and comes by to drink our coffee and mess up our kitchen before and after most surfs. He also uses the toilet.
Pig is nabbing a few bombs, learning quick and is quiet content to chill by the fire most evenings warming his hooves.


 Last minute running repairs

 Gotta love it

Home

Life on the hill is great, just sitting watching the wild atlantic going through its various moods is pretty special, and we are definitely leading a blessed life out here on the west coast.


  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sydney to Sligo

It was a long trip, 30 odd hours of missioning through 3 countries but finally I arrived at Sligo Train Station with good mate Pig in tow. Two days earlier I was chugging across Sydney Harbour on the ferry, on my way to the airport when I decided it was time to check the charts for Sligo bay.
A big red blob coming with favourable winds, perfectly timed for my arrival, as if ordered from Huey himself.
Plane travel isn't easy at the best of times, but with my nerves twanging away I tried to get myself mentally prepped for this first proper swell of the season.
After bunking down for the night in Strandhill we got the keys to our new rental house in Mullaghmore, its a lovely place on the hill beside the wave.
We surfed four good sessions over the next two days. Lots of sick barrels, as the wind was super clean. It felt so good to feel the power of Ireland again, in and out of the water.
The last few days have been peppered with fun paddle sessions at some local reefs, just cruising and getting back into the swing of things.
I suppose Ive never been as ready as I am now, so bring on the waves and adventures.

Heres a little clip I just made for Tiki...They sorted me out some warm rubber and a sweet board whilst I was in Oz. The Feather Foil has a really cool feel to it, the bamboo somehow dampens that "Epoxy" feel and the diamond tail has a very cool "drift" through turns. All round it was a rad board to have in my quiver and when surfing the beachies it was the first board I went for.

Anyway..watch the video.

Thanks

Sunday, September 25, 2011

No such thing as coincidence.

This trip to Oz has been more about work than surf..a first for me.

Since leaving Eliz at Sydney International Airport 3 weeks ago, Ive been trying to get some work under my belt.
I drove 2 tanks of petrol away to get down to a farm job near Canberra that promised great pay and good living conditions. When I arrived I found that we all had to stay in a dirty, run down caravan park. I was living in my van in the rain and generally hating life but the allure of earning $1000 a week kept me there. It took me 3 days of pruning vineyards to realise that everyone at the job was being seriously screwed by the company and there was no way humanly possible to earn more than $400 a week. A 7 day work week.
So after much deliberation I started the van up at 4am and drove away, I had no plan and nowhere to go. I just drove East, to the coast and into the closest National Park.
I needed a surf, I needed to wash away the dirt of the last 2 weeks, and I needed a place where I could park the van up for a while and formulate a new plan.
Murramarang National Park is an amazing place. I quickly started meeting the local surfers through van life. Got to know and tow a few of the heaviest waves down this way, and really started to feel happy and focused again. Ive been mountain biking, doing yoga and also had a few days work on the go.
I did some Wwoof'ing (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) on a beautiful farm in the area, got my own cabin in the bush for a week, and met some really cool people.
Ive lined up work for the next 10 days painting a house and the swell forecast is looking pretty good.

Yass Caravan Park. Dont ever stay here.

 Worth the drive

 Nothing shitty about this

Such a fun wave

My cabin in the bush

I cant help thinking that surfing has helped all this positive stuff fall into my lap, just when I needed it to and that theres no such thing as coincidence.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Best Beachbreak Bonanza


Its been another week or so of cooking waves here in Straaalya. Long drives through the beautiful countryside, followed by hike-in / bike-in surfs, beach barbeques and free camps in friends fields leave me thinking I lead a charmed life. Theres been alot of swell about recently, but its all been from a wierd angle so scoring good waves has been difficult. I got to bust the big wave gun out though, rode some big lumps of water at Lennox head on a windy day last week with Pig. We dodged diving birds and cleanup sets for a few hours, sitting out the very back waiting for a connection.

Earlier this week I surfed some of the best beachbreaks Ive ever seen. Jeeez it was cooking, an all day bender of barrels and beatings that left me speechless and broken as I ate my fish and chips that evening. Straddie seems to be a saviour to the Goldy surfers, a powerful wedging beachbreak, secluded from the humdrum of the city by a sharky seaway that few dare to paddle. But once on the island its a piece of paradise, km's of peaks to choose from, warm water and sunshine. Cruising along the backline on the ski looking for uncrowded waves is so much fun, seeing the odd dark shape lurking down there isn't. But when the waves are that good its worth the risk I suppose. I was chatting to an old boy on the beach whilst waiting for the tide who said the further north you go the bigger and more frequent the tiger sharks get, looks like Pig will be first on the rope next time!

video
                                                           
                                                 Pig amping to get out there..                        

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I come from a Land Down Under.

Heres a few shots Ive taken over the last week or two, I managed to get a cool app for my phone and did some tinting and retouching with it. The waves have been really good so far, and theres more on the way. A big South swell and offshore winds later this week, its snowing down south and trees are getting ripped out the ground by the wind, but up here on the Goldie its plain sailing, sun is shining and the birds are tweeting.


Eish..best Ale around.

The long walk to freedom..Greenmount
Firing
Moody Snapper
Moodier Dbah
"Occy" the van stuck in the mud

Friday, June 3, 2011

Adios Amigos


Just got back from a nice little camping trip with good mates, we scored fun waves and great weather. As I came in the door there was a delivery waiting for me. Two boxes of Tiki gear, I have been trying to keep a lid on the excitement for weeks as I knew one box was going to contain a Brand new FFX model surfboard. I dropped all the camping gear and ran into the kitchen to get a sharp knife, and I hacked and cut my way through the boxes and bubble wrap. Out came the funnest looking 5'9 I have seen in a looooong time, its bamboo/epoxy/carbon technology, and weighs less than a loaf of bread! I cannot wait to surf it over in Oz.
I hear the waves are cooking on the goldie and the crowds are down a bit. Il be meeting my mate Pig at the airport, and the rough plan is to buy a van, kit it out with the expert help of the aforementioned Pig, and drive down towards Sydney, stopping at some hidey holes I remember from last time. Waves, sun, adventures and hopefully some work await me down under. Until Next time..

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Back in the Game...Sort of.

Been a mad few weeks for me, life has some funny twists and turns thats for sure! There I was stressing out about scraping enough cash together for my Ozzie visa and along came a nice little job, dont have to worry anymore. The waves have died now, warm spring rain is falling and we've taken up fishing instead of surfing. The knee is feeling strong. Im trying to do a solid rehab routine but as usual its harder to stay focused than I imagined. Watching the charts down in the southern hemisphere is keeping me amped, a few new boards on the way thanks to Hammer & Thresher and some summer wetties from Tiki, a new POV cam, and I'll be set for a good trip. I also just found out that Zigzag Surf Magazine have run a piece on me, apparently Aaron Pierce submitted a killer shot. So a big thanks to him and Will at The Zag.
Heres a short vid of a paddle session from winter. Enjoy.

Friday, April 22, 2011

In The Waiting Line

Sitting around waiting for your knee to heal has its benefits in this lovely spring weather. Heres a little video i put together filmed last weekend, Its filmed on my little Kodak Playsport which doesnt cope too well with the zoom, but its more about the feel than quality visuals..Hope you like it. Heres to Spring!

Friday, April 1, 2011

First Steps

Its been a while since my last post, but a lot has happened.
Ive finished my Yachtmasters course, started an Eco building course, taken apart my starter motor and put it back together again, and taken my first steps since the op. Ive also edited a few videos, the latest of which is just an average day from this winter, the waves weren't great but we managed to get a few before sunset. Its really nice to have the jetski to add a different dimension to an otherwise ordinary surf.
Hope you enjoy it...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Johns shots..

I just cropped and tinted a few of John Leydons photos taken this winter, good times with mates at various waves nearby. Thanks for the images John.


Arrival

me on a slopey one

Eye in the sky

Trying new things

Me hoping the roof stays up

Gurgle

Pete 'Metallica' Craig, heavy situation.

Paul Okane, style on a groomed one

Fighting the wind

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Edinburgh Hog Roll Experience

One good thing that happened on my trip to Edinburgh was that I got to eat a Hog Roll, quite possibly the best hangover cure / meal in the world. Oink, the place that sells them will fill a floury bun with spit roasted boar, and a choice of apple or chili sauce, I was very happy to find Oink whilst Eliz and I were walking around the old town, the owner told me he gets one boar a day, and when its finished he closes up shop. Sometimes he gets to go home before lunch. Not a bad job I thought.


After Oink we found a cool exhibition in a park, loads of sea animals out for everyone to see and learn about, loads of interesting facts too. Here is a shot of Eliz, taking a shot whilst 2 baby Beluga whales watch on.


Editing is not as easy as I thought it would be. I suppose having a laptop that randomly turns off and erases everything including the time and date doesn't help too much, its only my first week but things can only get better from here!!

video

Heres a clip, taken just before my last surf, unedited for your viewing pleasure..dedicated to all twelve of my faithful blog followers, and to Sion Milosky, Hawaiian big wave surfer who died at Mavericks, California this week, I dont know you at all, but all of us over here have learned to be safer in the water and not to take our days for granted. R.I.P

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hospital Pass


After nearly two months of pumping waves my girlfriend Eliz and I decided to leave the coast and head over to Scotland to visit her sister and try score some snow in the Highlands. We left Edinburgh and and drove up to Glenshee and rented all the gear. Wow, snowboarding is so much fun, the closest Ive ever come to it is sandboarding in Cape Town. Even catching the lift up was such a buzz, it took a while to get the hang of it and on my fourth run down the kiddies slope i fell down, as I stood up i felt that familiar feeling in my knee, my lateral miniscus had torn again and folded over and locked my knee. And so began the long process of getting down the slope on my arse, hobbling, hanging onto fences and using my hands as brakes to stop my board from sliding too fast, after 2 days of painkillers and laughing gas I got operated on in Edinburgh, and am now on the mend. Six weeks of down time and a knee brace are what I have to look forward to. Im sitting here watching Cash in the Attic, amping up for Judge Judy later this afternoon! To look on the bright side at least this didn't happen in January and I missed all the amazing waves that have come through, I also have alot of cool footage to edit and now i have time on my side, so watch this space.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Days in the Bay..





What a handful of swell we have been receiving over the past 2 weeks, day in and day out its been a constant blur of checking maps, launching skis, long days on the water and riding some amazing waves. We've spent alot of the time close to home which has been great, I love looking back at land from out there, its such a rad perspective. Ive been so tired that turning down good waves is normal to me now! Save the energy for when the charts turn red, and do normal things like go shopping and buy motor tax when its only 4ft !! Just yesterday I was standing at Mullaghmore with a pro surfer who is over here at the moment and he was calling it the best big wave left in Europe, its crazy to think how good we have it in our own back yard. So keep the stoke and dont skip the 4ft days like me, Tesco isn't worth it.
All shots. John Leyden

Friday, January 7, 2011

A big Howzit..

Hey, this is my blog. Im a blog newbie, but I hope to learn as I go with this tech stuff, Il post video clips and photos of daily life and the waves that roll in. Enjoy

Heres a few shots from a fun day a while back, the boogies and I sharing some sucky lefts.