By Chas Smith
Western Australia is so wild surf land! Like, thousands of miles of untamed wilderness, crusty weird locals, kangaroos, sunburns, endemic vegetation, zip-off pants and hiking boots, difficult to comprehend dialects, Burrows, blonde hair, sharks, rocks, sharks, slabs, dirt roads leading leading leading toward sharky slabs being surfed by weird crusty locals. Most wave checks are full missions. Two hours of dirt driving with conflicting reports from Lefties, North Point, Gallows, Booj, The Box, Smiths and no cell phone reception with which to corroborate. Rumors. Wild!
But sometimes it feels good to enjoy the simple things. Howling onshore air winds. Totally fucked up sloppy beach break. A ski. Sometimes Western Australia is quietly wild. I present a stream of consciousness portrait of sunset whip-ins near Margaret River. Close your eyes. Feel the cancer.
Briney salt water smell blowing in on icey cold onshores. So coldish when the sun starts to set. Winds. Rotting seaweed. Various beachgrasses. Driftwoods and shells etc etc etc. Sandy berms covered in non-descript knee high plants. Low clouds broken and moving quickly. Grey light. Grey white. The sliding sun so bright and piercing it hurts the eyes through sunglasses. Skin cancer. Howling onshores. Bumpy bumpy seas the color of whitewater and green and aquamarine and turqoise with some sand mixed in and also dead seaweed. Craig Anderson and Anthony Walsh bounce across the horizon on a ski.
The swell is supposed to be so thick tomorrow. Pumping. And it is rising this late afternoon evening but it is not yet full.
Craig drives first. He guns and sends Walshy flying at a wind smashed ramp I can’t even see until he hits it and launches. Grabs. The wind blows. The seagulls fly. Walshy gets slung at another. Lunches backside. Grabs. The most hideous little peaks everywhere!
Nate Tyler runs down the beach in a neon green and grey wetsuit. So classy! Curly mop bouncing. Nate doesn’t eat curry because the smell reminds him of painted boobs. Finger painted naked hippie boobs. He had a wonderful but traumatic childhood. He paddles to the ski while Walshy paddles in to swap boards.
Craig whips Nate. Nate spins and spins and wheeeweeeeeweeeew the board blows out from right under his feet. People stand on a bluff watching and shielding the cancer from their eyes with their hands. Nate decides to paddle for a few.
A lone kite surfer dances between sky and sea like a fairy. As in queer. Another queer joins him.
The wind! The wild! West Oz!
There probably won’t be anything good to eat tonight but maybe. Certainly nothing good to eat that won’t require loads of surf industry insider chat chat. When did you get in? Where did you surf today? Swell is supposed to be puuuuumping tomorrow!
The clouds now look like a Mormon fresco.
The ski guns and now Craig flies into the air and spins spins hands free spins. So effortless! So without grab! He flies again. The conditions are deteriorating so totally much.
Nate Yeomans runs down the beach wearing a black Body Glove. Two boards tucked under tanned San Clemente arm. Whip in party!
So windy! So raw! The clouds never block the sun and it is almost down. It burns and burns and kills and burns.