Owen Wright’s smart phone vibrates in an empty Currumbin apartment. It pauses for a spell then it dances some more. Managers, journalists, sponsors, filmers, telemarketers: it ain’t answering for anyone. And so we text our messages and pitch our humble requests. Its owner is nearby and a million miles away. Owen Wright is in the ocean doing what he does best and today that involves steering his newly upsized JS shred stick through the eye of the best wave on the Australian coast. Kirra is on. It’s been honking for days courtesy of Cyclone Marcia and Owen Wright and his equally talented sister Tyler have been gorging. When Tracks finally gets big ‘O’ on the phone he’s all apologies and sunshine.
The Mark Of Cheyne
Reflections on a surfing radical.
Words: Monty Webber
There’s a myth that Cheyne Horan learnt to surf at Bondi. He didn’t. By the time he arrived in the summer of 1974/5 he was a fully established ripper at Bronte Beach. In fact, I remember the very first time he climbed over the fence across the road from Bondi’s iconic Astra Hotel and came down the hill above ‘The Wall’ – board and towel in arm – as I was a member of ‘The Wall crew’.
Whispers of his arrival had grown to a crescendo as a sentinel up near the Astra had run down to warn – like a town-crier – of his approach. He was not far behind his older brother Steve, who clumsily bungled over the fence and tripped on his own thong and then towel dangling from his board as he descended into our territory. There was no such uncoordination in Cheyne, either in or out of the water.
‘Twas The Waves That Made Me Do It
Searching for the loopholes that ensure you are always getting barrelled.
Words: Luke Kennedy
Once you are fully under surfing’s spell it dictates the course of your life. Every time you reach a major juncture or even make a minor decision there’s a little voice at the back of your mind saying, ‘how will this affect my surfing?’
Career choices are made with an eye towards their likely impact on your water time; girlfriends are vetted on the basis of their ability to handle you disappearing for long days at sea, and there will be certain times when you will do almost anything all for a few waves.
This feature is dedicated to all the scams, lurks, rorts and lateral thinking employed to keep the surfing dream alive. Perhaps the ends don’t always justify the means but one thing is certain, if the people in the following stories were called to account, they’d all plead the same case – ’twas the waves that made me do it.’