Eddie would go…

It’s not often you’ll get an Aquabumps daily report before 9am…so you can hop back on your chair now.
There is a big south swell in town flanked with rain and – now – wind. Bondi only had 1 lone ranger out, Mr Eddie Scott, paddling out from the boot and picking off the rare non-closeouts types. It’s about 6 foot solid on sets, the odd larger set…so only paddle out if you know what you’re doing.
At 8am this morning a violent south change hit bringing a 25-35 knot southerly wind, which is butchering wave quality. Head to somewhere out of the wind (northside) or wait until it all calms down.
Tragic news, Bronte surfer and Bondi Rescue lifeguard, Kobi Graham has broken his neck in a bad fall surfing yesterday at the treacherous ‘Ours’ (Cape Solander). Let’s hope for a speedy recovery.
Yesterday was quite a spectacular surf day – offshore winds, 6-8 footers and clearer skies. Hope you found somewhere decent to surf.
Cheers, uge
P.S My Canon 1ds Mkiii and matching water housing are still up for grabs on ebay. Auctions end tomorrow. The camera has not got wet, been dropped, or used as a shotput. My word. It’s in top condition and works perfectly.

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N E O N

Today has it all…
It kickin’ off with a fluoro sunrise as neon hues splashed above Ben Buckler…then came the 4-5 footers from a south swell…wow, not bad…then I saw a few meaty caves in the southern corner in front of Icebergs…looking back towards the pavilion there was a good health/wealth ACP event on with 40 ladies hula hoop’in their way through the morning chill…ah yes, just another day down at Bondi.
Currently there is grooming offshore winds…even a bit of sunshine after a week of rain. A good one to take off and drive down the cost to score some good waves. Do it, do it now.
Magicseaweed.com kindly did a feature on our recent Mentawai trip. See the images large…amazing how much traffic that site gets. 60,000 have viewed our feature and it only just went live! Check it out now
I am selling 1 of my main cameras on Ebay, Canon 1ds Mark iii and the matching water housing. Have a bid and start shooting in hi res (it’s 21.1 megapixel)
We’ve got some new acrylic blocks 30cm x 20cm in the gallery, good for the office desk distractions. $250 and they come in a handmade box from our local sweat shop | Aquabumps Gallery 151 Curlewis Street Bondi Beach (behind the old Bondi Hotel) T:9130 7788 open 10am to 6pm all weekend as usual.
Ok, so I’ve ran out of things to talk about. Have a good weekend ::U G E
PS – great waves ALL weekend.

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The Onshore Massacre

As expected it’s howling onshore this morning with a rogue southerly swell hitting.
For a brief moment there the sun actually came out before being smothered by a dark rain cloud. When is it going to stop raining? I spent 2 weeks in the rain in Mentawais and now a week of rain here – feels like I’ve been living in a shower!
The waves are 4-5 foot and it’s an onshore massacre. I’d call it unsurfable, but yep, there are still people out searching for a wave even though I didn’t see anyone catch one for the time that I was down there. Forget about it and wait until it goes offshore tomorrow.
Have a good day, uge

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S O A K E D

The rain hasn’t stopped all morning making it difficult to shoot anything decent. Hence the flash back to last week’s Mentawai gold.
If you like surfing Bondi @ 3-4 foot and with only a handful of guys, today is your day. Just excuse the drain water runoff and ugly skies. Winds will swing ESE later (onshore) so now is your time (it’s clean offshore now). That’s if you can drag yourself away from the heater.
Tomorrow will be bigger but onshore, Friday is the go when the winds start to blow offshore again.
I am selling some of my camera gear that shoots all of these images. A Canon EOS 1ds Mkiii (which is top of the line) camera body and matching Aquatech waterhousing (Dv4). Both are on ebay with no reserve, reckon they’ll go for a steal and are both in perfect conditions (1 year old).
Have a good day. Great one to crank out work! Adios:: uge

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S o g g y

There were good clean waves yesterday afternoon, but it’s not so great now. The rain also took the gloss off the morning.
This week only improves from here on though…a new ground swell hitting tomorrow. Best days Wednesday, Thursday – Friday morning is looking real tasty. So I’d hang out until then.
Rainy day Random Stuff:
How good does this 20 year old kid surf – Matt Meola from Maui. Rips.
If you want to see what over-the-hill business dudes can do in the Mentawais – check out their video from James Sawyer. Oh boy, they got good Maccas. Onya fellas.
Me mate Dan from Huffer sells cool getup online. I live in their jeans, they’re like trackies (stretchy).
Melbourne based artist, Rebecca Jones, launches her new exhibition today “Open Water” which is a series of drawings inspired by being submerged in the ocean.
Adios, uge

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goodBONDI

Finally the rain stopped and the onshore winds have subsided. A neat little 2-3 footer is on offer at Bondi and there’s very few in the water (god ole’ quiet Mondays). A great day to paddle out…even if it’s only small. High tide 5:30am, low tide 11am, high tide 5:30pm. Winds NW/NE. Cold out, warm in.
This swell will fade into 1 footers tomorrow before a new swell arrives on Wednesday (from the south – good at Bondi). Gotta love these winter south swells.
Ava a great week, uge

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Friday Arvo Dabble

Hi y’all.
We’re back in Bondi now and a few shades darker.
After a brief visit to the beach with the camera I’ve defaulted to the safe haven of our recent Mentawai’s imagery. Why? Well…15 knot, sloppy, onshore, 1 footers weren’t my cup of tea. Oh it’s pouring with rain too! Boo!
The good news is that a new south swell should provide 3-4 footers throughout the weekend…it will be flanked with southerly winds (onshore/cross shore bondi) and showers – but at least you’ll be able to surf it. Good rainy weekend to come visit zee Aquabumps 10am to 6pm Sat/Sun. You’ll find us at 151 Curlewis Street, Bondi Beach NSW T 02 9130 7788.
See you soon, uge

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Homeward Bound

I am well aware that reading these photo updates for the past 2 weeks may have been frustrating whilst you’re sitting in a cubicle, trawling Facebook (especially when Sydney has rain). Well, you’ll be glad to know our Mentawaian junket is now over and the Bondi updates will resume. Yep, charter boat Tengirri returns to port and we make the long journey back home.
Our final day was classic Mentawai (pronounced men-tay-why). I’m talking sunny skies, glassy conditions and 3-4 foot H-tees. H-Tees (aka Lance’s Right) is one of the most perfect right handers in the world and features in nearly all surfing movies and mags. Swell wraps 180 degrees around a headland, gaining speed as it bends, then crashes on super sharp coral reef in perfect, hollow, distinctive almond shaped tubes.
It’s a photographer’s dream this place. A) The sun sets and lights the wave from the front (rare, lighting up the barrels). B) It’s a machine like barrel so you can expect something spectacular to happen here often. C) A deep side channel allows you a safe escape if shooting in the water, or you can just shoot from the dinghy – easy! Watch the wide sets though… It’s the most cruel of all Mentawai breaks and takes the most victims, even when small.
The sandy idyllic beach (Pantai) at H-Tees is up there with Maya Beach in Thailand (in my mind). Perhaps even more attractive seeing you’re not sharing it with 3,000 other tourists.
See you soon. Special thanks to the crew on Tengirri for putting up with 7 frothers from Down Under. By the way, if you want a trip like this, you need to get organised as bookings are done a year in a advance – oh, but there is one full booking available in July after a cancellation.

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Bank Vaults

The anticipated swell has arrived and roared in, in true indo fashion. Bank Vaults lit up for a large crowd from the local resorts. (Yep, there are now resorts and camps up here.) Heavy waves at Bank Vaults (at 6 foot) – when you’re in, you’re locked in.
Bank Vaults is also as shifty as a beach break which keeps everyone guessing – not to mention the southerly drift that keeps taking you up the point.
All in all, a pretty challenging wave.
Next move is southward bound to check out the waves in the southern chain of islands.
Adios, uge

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angin

Well, the waves have been consistently good and now we have a large inbound swell. BUT, the wind (“angin” in the local lang) is playing havoc. Storms are ripping through as intense lows grind along the west coast of Australia, smashing into the Mentawai Islands. Surf options are limited and we’re mainly hiding in coves from the gales. The good thing about up here is that it can be stormy one minute, perfectly sunny the next. The islands also provide great wind protection as they all point in different directions and long period swells wrap right the way around. Seeya, uge

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FAQ

Hi there. We’re still in the islands. Get a lot of questions on email so I’d thought I’d do a Q+A special:
How long are we in Mentawais? Back in 1 week, half way thru a 12 day charter around the islands. I like it here. Big swell hittin’ here soon.
Why? Good waves – some of the most consistent/best waves on the planet.
What boat are we on? MV Power Cat, Tengirri. It’s good.
How much does a trip like this cost? Good aussie made boat like Tengirri = $4000-$4500 pp for 12 days. Local leaking boat = $1500-$2500 pp. Pure luxury mega pad fully pimped with spinning rims = $15,000 pp
Why so many photos of Caleb Reid? Who is he? Kid Caleb is a 21 year old Bronte surfer who works at the local bottleshop in Bondi – no big sponsors (yet). The kid rips (He came 3rd to Jordy in the Jnr Pro series a while ago). Unbelievable. Can do airs on demand, pulling into anything that is hollow and charges the most ridiculous sections. Bravo. Aquabumps, Tengirri and his parents are helping him out on this trip to get some decent footage and stills. Special thanks to Huffer and GSi for also helping out the kid.
What camera do I use? Magical Canon EOS 1D Mark 4 for most, or a 5D. Lenses – too many to list, but I have 2 pelican cases full of L series glassware. Housings – a red one and a blue one made from epoxy.
Are the waves suitable for beginners up there in Mentawais? No not really, unless you like pain. (Okay okay, there are some pretty easy waves, but we don’t normally hang around there much.) I reckon Maldives is a better option. Softer landings there.
Is it a trip that my lady friend can come on? Well, it’s very male dominated on the boats – in fact it’s like a footie locker room and would take a very unique girl to like the boats… the land camps like Kandui, Aloita, WavePark, Pitstops and Ebay provide great waves, idyllic beaches and less testosterone. Bingo!
Can you surf every day? You bet. You’ll surf more here in 12 days than 1 year in Bondi (oh, and the crowds aren’t too bad as it’s so remote and quite a financial commitment to get out here).
How do you get out here? Fly to Kuala Lumpur, then across to Padang, then a long long overnight boat ride out to the islands.
Do you get boat sick? Some crew do. It’s not too bad, as most of the time you sleep in calm coves around the islands. If you get claustrophobic and are not good at relaxing I’d probably do a land based trip.
What’s the food like? Our chef, Donny Don Don is the best in the business. His kitchen is 1 metre squared and what he churns out is amazing. Some boats you might eat rice and fish 3 times a day (not ideal but good if you want to shed some kaygees).
What’s the shopping like? Nightlife? Um, if you want malls, shops etc – go to Bali. They’re still working out the basics like electricity and medicine out here. Basically you have to bring in everything. Nightlife – if you can stay up past 9pm you’re doing well after surfing 8 hours that day. There is not much to do at night here – if you want nightlife go to Ibiza.
Goodbye, have a good week. Heard the waves have been good back there :: uge

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Jungle Feeva

Uge has taken the bold move of inviting me to write today’s update. I’m standing in the wheel house of the Tengirri after just surfing perfect 3 foot rights at “burger world” on day 4 of our boat charter.
Here’s how you really know you’re on a boat trip…
You’re taking more naps during the day than a new born baby and you’re still tired.
Your chocolate habit is back with a vengeance and even though you’re surfing 4 times a day you’re pretty sure you’re putting on weight.
You’ve learnt stuff about your boat mates that they’ve probably never revealed to anyone in their entire lives.
Your room mate keeps asking if “you need anything from your room” then disappears with your SPF30 for 20 minutes with the door closed.
You celebrate getting one bar of reception on your phone, as you balance on the roof of the boat holding your mobile in the air like the statue of liberty.
So far everything’s going to schedule…
Guest frother, John Blake

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Sempurna

Hi there. Hope the claws of winter haven’t dug deep in our absence…
Over here it’s 30 degrees, glassy with 3-4 foot waves. Our boat has anchored up for the day against a remote left hander. A playful wave with a easy going take off and forgiving reef….(not like yesterday). It was a nice change to ride waves that don’t put the fear of god into ya.
Swell is declining, so we’re heading to swell magnets for a few days.
Sempurna (sem-purrr-na)…or perfect in English.
Adios, uge
P.S. If you’ve ever wanted to learn to dive, Sydney based company Our Deal is giving you a great deal, $130 to Learn to Scuba Dive! Plus a mask, snorkel, flippers and boots, yours to keep. Value at $675.

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Black Magic

Another day of magic in the islands, similar to yesterday. At sunrise the right was 4 – 6 foot, ultra clean and tubing… (and dangerous).
Our young gun Caleb Reid punted for the heavens wave after wave. Like a child in a candy store.
One of the boys on the boat got tangled in the reef and split his head open. The evac was called off and he’s now fine after the surf aid docs gave him a green light. He’ll be back in the water by the end of the week. We’re on the move now, so typing on a rocking boat ain’t the best fun.
Hope you’re enjoying the good autumn weather in Sydney. Later, uge

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Mentawais

Selmat Pagi.
Welcome to the Mentawai islands. We’ve been here together quite a few times now…(our 12th trip can you believe it?) If you don’t already know, the Mentawais lie 200 kilometres from Padang, Sumatra (the port that got hit by a large earthquake last year).
The Mentawais is a series of wave blessed islands that capture raw Indian Ocean swells created in the southern roaring forties (the Lows off Africa). By the time swells reach here, they’ve been groomed for days – weeks…hence the super long swell periods (today is 16 seconds in between waves) and ultra clean lines. This is a very good thing and why surfers from all over the globe travel to this remote part of the world.
The best way to tour these islands is on a charter boat. Therefore you get a good taste of the 34 surf breaks. (Within a 100 mile radius). We’re currently a float on Tengirri. Been chartering this boat for 5 years now as it’s small, fast and only holds a small crew (less people in the water).
Our first day was unbelievable. Anchor dropped at a vicious, shallow, lethal right hander. Sets hit the 6 – 8 foot range…barrels from up the top of the reef all the way throw. Spectacular. After 1 broken board and a few lacerations – we now roll on to another break…
Junpa lagi :: uge
PS. These updates are via Telstra Satellite…how good is that! Thanks Telstra.

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S T E A L T H

I had expectations of 1 footer dribbles this morning…oh how very wrong I was. The charts weren’t forecasting any energy. Bondi was 3-4 foot and consistently breaking. What a neat little surprise.
The offshores are howling and chilling deep to the bone. The water, however, remains remarkably warm.
Low tide 8:30am, high tide 2:40pm…I say go for a wave if you can…it’s good.
It’s Mother’s day this Sunday…we’ve got plenty of frames in the gallery ready for her! Open every day except Mondays 10am to 6pm…151 Curlewis Street Bondi Beach t: 9130 7788. You can see our selection online here (updated regularly), even try our fancy “Preview in your home” feature so you can see what it looks like on your walls.
Sasha’s got a few spare spots on her ‘Yoga by the Sea‘ Bali retreat 21-27th June…good time of year up there for waves as well.
Bondi Sizzle’s/Aquabumps pop up surf movie night is on tonight in the rear yard of the gallery…starts at 6:30pm, go down side lane, drink a beer, watch surf movies projected on a big (freshly painted) wall. Rug up.
Bondi Underground surf shop is relocating and they’re throwing one of those big sales where everything must go. New boards from $300, top brand boards from $500, wetties 10-50% off…bit like Bing lee, you can even throw in a reasonable offer on stuff. 72-76 Campbell Parade Bondi  Phone 9365 4384.

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Crossover

Not sure what to make of the surf this morning. It’s a concoction of Southerly and Nor-Easterly swell (as Bondi to Bronte seem to be attracting something from different angles). Really nothing special on offer though… Clean conditions… just not enough swell. Cloudy periods, NW winds and the odd shower today (Max 22 degrees).
Bondi Sizzle is this weekend. Basically there is a whole pile of events going down in the area…for example, 92 garage sales in Bondi. A pirate foamie comp (download entry form here) or a Aquabumps pop up surf film cinema in my backyard (tomorrow night). Check out sizzlefestival.com.au for all the deets.
Have a good day – best crank out the work today. In fact this week doesn’t look great for surfing (that’s why we’re heading to the Mentawais!) Adios, ::uge

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Freedom Town

Welcome to freedom town where the waves are small (knee to waist high) and every wave is a team wave. Some bumps had 8 mini mal wielding wild childs rippin’ it up. Pure chaos as loose boards flung in each direction. Be careful out there – today is more dangerous than 8 foot Bondi.
My my…a nice day ahead with 26 degrees and northerly winds. If only there was some swell. (tomorrow it should arrive but not a good direction for Bondi). Hang in there…
Random stuff:

Bondi Rescue just won another Logie last night – their 3rd now (Most Popular Factual Program). Well done boiz!
We’re having a pop-up cinema in the gallery rear yard on Thursday night 6th May 2010 at 6:30pm (as part of the BONDI Sizzle). Um can’t fit you all in, maybe some but come! Will be showing surf movies projected on one of the walls whilst drinking Peroni and Jed’s Wines. (only goes for 2hrs)
Homesick : I am always amazed where this daily Aquabumps slab of Bondi ends up over the past 11 years. It seems you can take the boy out of Bondi, but not the Bondi out of the boy. Take RoadShow Pictures big cheese Joel Pearlman…apparently he can’t start his day without a daily Bondi fix. Hey Joel! Water is ONLY 23 degrees today here in Bondi dammit!…a tad colder than the 24 degrees on Saturday. Bit like Port Melbourne today?

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D E F A U L T

After a fruitful weekend of waves in Sydney (in fact most of Australia had something decent to offer), we’ve defaulted back to 1-2 foot, overcast Bondi this morning with a recent south change rolling in. The swell origin is still south (so Bondi will be drawing the most out of this micro swell) but the winds will kick in onshore SE 10-15 knots. Today amongst many good days of surfing looks like the poor cousin so give it a miss…
There will be a new NE swell on Wed – perhaps wait until then.
A lot of people ask me about the gear used to shoot these images – well, I’ve got some new goodies in the bag…a brand spankin’ new, top of the line, just released, Canon EOS Mark 4 is capturing most of the surfing/fast moving images whilst my trusty Canon EOS 5D Mk2 is used for most of the sunrise, cloudy, arty stuff. The mark 4 rocks and at shutter bursts of 10 frames per second I feel more like Tony Montana spraying an Uzi in the final scenes of Scarface than a photographer.
Enough Monday ramble…good bye: Yooj

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