Spelunking

Yo haoles. I’ve learnt a new word today, spelunking. In the states they use it to describe ‘cave hunting’. You wake up here in Hawaii, walk out onto your deck and someone, somewhere is deeply grinding in the back of a barrel (or cave), grinning away and occasionally flashin’ the shaka. I saw a 10 year old kid get tubed yesterday, followed by a mother of 3 who only paddled out to catch 4 waves (on a mal!)… then…140 kg big boy pulled into a pipe at Pipe and came out like nothing happened. It’s just a daily occurrence here. Hell, even I’ve got a few.
Needless to say it’s a fruitful sojourn on The Rock. This magical island lives and breathes surfing…well it should as it all started here.
A new swell hit today and kept me up all night with its rumbling. The whole shack vibrating with each set. Pipe was on but 80 guys out. Another amazing swell is due to hit Monday…hopefully a monster (but still not big enough for the Eddie).
Have a good day ::uge
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Aloha

I’m in Hawaii (HI), aloha. Oh and it’s 100% pumping. Got to the north shore and saw 10 guys get shacked off their nooonah in my first 15 minutes on the balcony. Wow. The waves are soo amazing here – a surf photographers dream. The swell charts for the next week look amazing. You’ll see numbers like 32 under the swell column and 15-16 seconds under the period column. To put it in perspective, that cyclone swell we had in Sydney on Sunday the 16th of Jan was 13 seconds with 8-12 foot ocean swell….and we had calls of “Best ever” and “all time”. It just doesn’t compare.
The WQS Volcom Pipe Pro was on today and they just ran the finals. Jon Jon Florence just won seconds ago…not bad for the local 18 year old. His backyard literally is pipe.
So for the next week we’ll be broadcasting from The Rock. Right now I’ve gotta go sit in a dark room without windows….overloaded – shot for hours. From nearly every room of my shack you can see someone getting ‘shacked’.
The Aquabumps Gallery is open all weekend 10am to 6pm and you’ll find it at 151 Curlewis Street Bondi Beach.
Mahalo :: uge (not related to Kalani Robb)

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flakey

Not much going down at the beaches this morning. I looked around in hope of a stealth bump but only found flakey wind chop. Bondi was 1-2 and not much use to you, unless, of course you’re new to the sport and got ya self a mini mal for chrissy, deck grip and all.
I was rather surprised to find a wave last night. In fact I’ll even say a good little wave at east facing beaches before the southerly tore it apart at 7:30pm.
What else can we talk about…I’m taking off for a little while. A junket of sorts on ‘The Rock’ (that’s Hawaii). They didn’t have a good December, so I am banking on a smoking Jan/Feb.
Speak soon :: uge
PS – It looks like we’re doing a chopper pass tomorrow. So if you’d like to be in one of our aerial shots, like so many always ask about…I’d say be on the beaches between 1:30pm and 2:30pm tomorrow, wearing ya aussie flag. Where? Well, that’s the hard part…I am going to try for Bondi (but it’s not up to me as a dude in a control tower calls the shots on a busy air traffic day)…otherwise you’ll see me dangling out of a chopper around the northern beaches. More Info

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My Gear

The question I get asked all the time is what gear I use. So I hope this page answers all your questions. We are living in an amazing time and have access to affordable and sophisticated camera gear. Basically we’re spoilt for choice at the moment.
I am lucky enough to use many cameras these days but nearly everything is shot using Canon equipment – which is the biggest name in photography gear right now. My main workhorse is the latest EOS Canon 1d X. I also use Canon 5DSRs a lot – they’re great.
So what’s in my bag(s) that I lug around:

2 x Canon EOS 1DXs
2 x Canon EOS 5DSRs
1 x Canon 1D Mark 4
2 x Canon 5D Mark 2’s
EF 14mm f/2.8
EF 35mm f/1.4L USM
EF 50mm f/1.2 USM
EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM (Mark 2 and 1)
EF Extender 1.4x (Mark ii)
EF Extender 2x (Mark ii)
TSE 24mm f/3.5L
EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
EF 400mm f/2.8L
EF 200mm -400mm F4.0 USM IS

All that stuff above is carried around in:

ThinkTank Aiport International V2.0
2 x Pelican Case 1624
2 x Pelican Case 1730

Also, I support my gear with :

MF 055CX Pro 4 Carbon Fibre Tripod
MIDI BALL HEAD

I also use many water housing to shoot the pics whilst swimming.

Aquatech
Dave Kelly (the master)

Here is a video that will give you a few pointers: (far out – should have combed my hair on that day!)

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Mundee

Monday morning. A time to be serious after the weekend’s nonsense. Scanned all the swell charts and have come to the assumption that this week is going to be predominantly a surfless one. A little wind bump may pop up here and there, but there’s not much until a decent swell arrives on Sunday from the NE.
The good weather and warm water is the highlight of this morning. So damn nice in. Hit it.
Community announcements: (things to do when you’re not chasing swells)

Steve from Bondi Massive (the hole in the wall under Noah’s Backpackers) is NOW OPEN NIGHTS. He’s got no idea who to market the joint and is a great operator, so stop by for a wine and some food. 2 Campbell Parade
Brody (Mr Flying Squirrel) has opened his new Stuffed Beaver bar on Bondi Road. It’s good, local and stuffed full of ice cold beer and hot diggdy dogs. 271 Bondi Road, Bondi
The Beach Road Hotel are holding a QLD Flood Disaster Fundraiser tomorrow night, Tue 25th Jan (7pm) – remember it’s a public holiday the next day so you can have a few. Donate: www.qld.gov.au/floods/donate
Bondi FM have expanded and now have street frontage (no more hiding in the bat cave out back). The new front bar looks hot and is just next to an amazing gallery. 143 Curlewis Street Bondi.
Castle’s in the Sky is on at the Bondi Open Air Cinema on Wed 26th Jan 5pm. (new surf flick from Taylor Steele)

Ok, if you made it to this point and didn’t switch off, pat yourself on the back. Very studious of you.
If ya wanna see more pics from this morning, check out our facebook page with our other 16,000 buddies.
Bye :: uge

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Nitro

Meet Beau Walker. This man is bustin’ at the seams with explosive energy – he’s on 12 when the dial only goes to 10. Picture a kid high as a kite on a double espresso followed by a litre of Red Bull and you’ll be on par with Beau’s hyperactiveness. He’s 25, grew up in Byron, rides a 5’2″ sweet potato, now livin’ in Manly but lurks around Bondi all the time. He rips, throwin’ heat out on every section. Did all the comp/pro junior stuff but is more interested in his TV presenting career where you may know him (or your kids will) as Nitro from “The Shack”. You’ll know when he paddles out… hat backwards, frothin’ over the 1 foot shorey. Mad.
Yeah, but any waves you say? Surprisingly yes – bigger than I thought. The forecasted ground swell has arrived from the south and pounding Bondi – but it’s dead straight, closing out 4-5 foot. Hit the reefs! And oh boy, what a nice day outside. Immaculate.
Dr. Rob Brander (aka Dr. Rip) is surveying people who’ve ever been caught in a rip (and made it out). He’s doing a study on who’s getting in rips, why, how they get out and what they’ve experienced. He wants your help, do survey here
I have nightmares about surfing 30-40ft…but surfing 30-40ft in the dark just ain’t on my radar. Well, world first, Mark Visser did it last night in Hawaii at Jaws (Maui). more
The Aquabumps Gallery is open all weekend 10am-6pm. Come on in. We got artworks, ipads, books and cheap thrills. 151 Curlewis Street Bondi beach.
Out :: uge

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Bede

Sitting on the shoreline with a big lens wasn’t gonna happen today. With perfect 24 degree water I had to get in the drink for a swim around with the camera. The waves weren’t perfect (1-2 footers) and the rip in the middle was on turbo – nonetheless an amazing morning to get wet. Do it.
We currently have a swell in town from the east and the winds are from the north east. Tomorrow is a new day as a SE groundswell arrives which should produce some decent opportunities for a surf. My guess – 3 ft.
A cleanly shaved Bede Durbidge, world ranked no. 5 came down to Bondi yesterday afternoon for a promo event – launching a new Schick shaver Hydro. He’s a good bloke, humble, normal, understated…and surfs unbelievably. I reckon 2011 he’ll do well on the tour…watch out for him.
This Sunday, 10:30am 23rd Jan the Bondi Icebergs is putting on a Queensland Flood Relief Charity Swim. $10 entry. www.icebergs.com.au
Have a good day, uge

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Envy

Well, it’s no Kirra out the front that’s for sure…. not even Kirra’s inferior brother. I’ve been drooling over all that footage from Queensland’s gem’s on Sunday, then glancing back out the window looking at Bondi’s 2 foot onshore dribbles thinking – where did I go wrong?
Surfing shouldn’t be high on your agenda for today around Sydney. In fact I’d say hold out until Friday where a brand spankin’ new SE swell arrives flanked with northerlies – tick! The big question – is there going to be a 200 metre barrel where Mick Eugene Fanning ejects out of in front of North Bondi Italian? – no, sorry. Maybe just a head dip and a close out reo.
As you all know Queensland has not only had some of the best surf this century, but suffered great losses in the giant floods. This Saturday, 22nd January at 7:00am to 8:00am local trainers will be holding a session where you can run/swim or do a circuit session for $20 bucks, all proceeds go to QLD relief…more
Good bye, :: uge

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Change

Yesterday morning was the best of it! The cooling south change arrived mid-afternoon on Monday bringing wind, rain and disrupting our surf. Right now Bondi is a super junkie 3 foot and onshore. The burning sun has been replaced with clouds and rain. Nothing really special happening until the weekend where we should see some South ground swell (and north winds – hooray!).
There is a macdaddy big boomer of a swell hitting Hawaii this week (Wed-Thursday). We’re heading there next week – pray there plenty left for us!
Adios :: uge

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FULL

Not a lot going wrong today. Sun, big waves and warm water.
The most talked about, most anticipated cyclone swell has arrived from the north and is bringing the beef to your local break. Only trouble this morning is the hell fat, early morning high tide. Manly was 6-8 foot at 7am, but full as a boot. 3-4 guys out.
So today is your 1st day back at work and it may be a tough one to bail – bad luck eh? I have to say, close to the 1:45pm low tide will show some goodness…that’s if the cooling south change, which is due at midday holds off.
We have a job vacancy going in our Aquabumps Gallery working weekends (part time). This is a gallery job and not lazing around taking fruity pics down the beach whilst working on your tan – that job has gone. If you read this job description and feel that you’ve met the criteria, follow the instructions and submit your CV to [email protected] – you must have experience and be a resident.
::uge
PS What does Aquabumps, Laura Enever, Camilla + Marc and Hoppo have in common – not much other than we’re on CNN’s GO program that visited Sydney before Xmas. It’s currently showing and can be seen here online

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Blow

The howling northerlies were in early today. We currently have swell –  just no quality. Exposed beaches were 2-3 foot, junkie and chaotic…dudes going left on rights, rights on lefts, 4 per wave, SUPs going head on…eeck, outta there. I’d say have a lay day and wait for the weekend’s goodness…We have so much swell headed our way from northern activity, I’m excited. Sunday should be 6 foot, Monday 8 foot +…yeha.
The blueys are invading our beaches at the moment. They’re here in force …and the lineup sounds like a scene out of the movie ‘300’. Pain everywhere. Learn from my mistake, wear long sleeves. To clarify what is the best remedy – HOT WATER. Sit in the bath or fill a bucket and it will go away within 2 hours. Vinegar doesn’t work on Blueys, does on Jellies, Ice feels nice but doesn’t do anything, sand – ya kiddin’…and those sting goes creams are a waste of coin. (when hot water is free).
The Glide
Jon Frank is considered one of the best surf photographers/videographers in the world. Years ago he helped me get into water shooting. Legend. He’d never ask me to promote his new performance where he’s teamed up with Richard Tognettie and the Australia Chamber Orchestra linking the ocean, surfing and music in a multimedia showing. Frankie’s awe-inspiring ocean photography and footage glides across the big screen, mingling with the ACO’s live performance. April 7, 2011.  More
The Aquabumps Gallery is open all weekend as usual, 10am to 6pm at 151 Curlewis Street Bondi beach. We still have the new Aquabumps Book on sale…order online or come on in and say hi.
Later, uge

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Eastern powers

Yesterday afternoon the good times rolled as the swell came up in the wind. It’s still around this morning but you’ll have to visit East exposed joints to reap the benefits. Bondi, which is best suited to the howling NE wind wasn’t toooo bad either…
Huge pack on T-Bay today, but around the corner was just K-Leb and the Kid…taking turns on junkie 3-4 foot with a few ramps. Nice.
Something cooking the weekend – stay tuned.

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The Future

Hi there. Another grey morning, but at least it wasn’t raining like the rest of the country. They ran round 4 of the Billabong Pro Junior at Northy so I headed over for another session. Have to admit, the waves are so much better over that neck of the woods on east or north swells. No wonder so much talent is born over there. There…I said it. We had very little quality on offer this morning east side…even with a swell increase and wind change to NE. I mean check out the first pic of today above…nice chunk huh? And what’s that, a bit of lip…what’s that? Where’s the fat slush?
They’ve finished up for the day at the Pro Junior Burgers, but you can watch the replays here. I mean you’re back at work now, still in a holiday mode fiddling with your pen, might as well look like you’re doing some work on that computer. Watch replays
If 7 pics isn’t enough…check out our Facebook Page for plenty more.
Adios, Ugios

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Junior burgers

The Billabong World Pro Juniors is on today (Men’s round 3 and Women’s finals). So I’d thought I’d head up to North Narrabeen to see what’s happening. It’s onshore over there like our side of the bridge, damn easterly – the worst wind, which has been hanging around Sydney all week. Northy had a small wind swell with the odd 3 footer ready for the kids to butcher. These young guns don’t need a great deal of swell to put on a royal show. Just give em an energy drink and they’ll pop 4 foot airs on the shorey.
Finals on tomorrow and the wind should kick around to the NE (which should improve the conditions slightly).
Wanna see more pics from today? Sure can…log onto our facebook page and you’ll be distracted from work for just a bit longer. What the hell – hit LIKE at the top of our Facebook page and you’ll be real popular with our other 16,000 mates.
Onya, uge

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Remember me?

Hey – happy new year kids, yep, we’re back on for another year. May 2011 bring you plenty of swell, buckets of green and the odd shady cave.
To start the year we have an east wind swell with east wind. Not the best combo. Conditions are a little junkie but surfable (2-3 foot at exposed beaches). I’m sure the Billabong Pro Juniors at Narrabeen will be flaring even in these small conditions. The boys round 2 is on now! Watch it live (its 3 foot – Narra loves the east swell).
Have a great week :: uge

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