The shuttle tales part 1.
There was a time when surfers roamed Australia in beat up old rust buckets, hand made skateboards and even the trusty old foot sandal. Oh those were the days of empty lineups, nude babes waiting on the beach and camping out with friends right there on the sand.
The cars got better, the nomadic surfers were able to wander further, and more points were discovered. For the surfer, domestic travel was a wonderful thing. What a lifestyle it was, and the surfie sub culture blossomed throughout 60s and early 70s, an attractive movement welcoming free spirited, natural souls around the country.
They made clothes that suited their surf style, rubber suits to keep them warm down south, toyed with surfboard design and construction in backyard tin sheds and nothing made them happier than testing out their gear in the water. They had their own media; magazines, newspapers, movies. New films were welcomed by sold out audiences in quaint theatres and surf scribes aired their expressive opinions without restraint speaking out about politics, the environment, Yoga, drugs, DIY home building and of course, surfing.
Clock forward to 2010. Reliving the 60s domestic road trip experience in a little bit more style, my husband Kuni and I launch our rental van and head north from Brisbane to Noosa, 1 year old son Ryder singing happily in the back. We are on the road in our ‘Spaceship’, a very funky orange Toyota Tarago van completely decked out with air conditioning, CD player stereo, double bed, sheets, gas cookers, DVD player and mini TV, camp table and chairs, curtains and of course a built-in fridge.
We feel a little spoilt. Locals talk of weeks of rain, onshore winds and flat swells on north east coast but we are welcomed with nothing but blue skies, offshores and fun waves in glassy waters. To our excitement we get to shoot with cool young surfies well educated in their local surf history and keeping the old days alive by driving well restored old Holden wagons, surfing vintage single and twin fin boards and stocking t-shirts promoting Albe Falzon’s cult classic film ‘Morning of the Earth’ in their local surf shop, Solace.
This is the start of our two month adventure recapturing those ‘analog’ surf days in Australia as we travel east to west in our digital get-up, checking the surf as we go on our iphone, and drinking plenty of cold ‘Coopers’ ales after surfs from our mobile fridge. Embracing the simplicity of those before us, a twinnie is in our quiver, Kuni is shooting with both digital and a well restored full manual ‘Bronica’ format camera, I am writing notes with pencil and paper then blogging to you from wireless internet and we are meditating and doing Yoga along the way.
I smile as I write this. Can the surf world return full cycle and re-embrace analogue-ness? I’m not sure the rust bucket Holden wagons are the most ideal travel machine of choice for the current generation, but I’m sure most new-age surfers wouldn’t mind searching re-discovering empty lineups, nude babes and beach camping.
To be continued.
2010 space shuttle surf adventures
SOLACE surf crew reliving the good ol days, Noosa Heads
Roadies can take you amazing places
Mr Morning of the Earth
Open earth, no need to go to outer space just yet...