10

Today is a lay day at the Quiky Pro so the Snapper Rocks bar will be packed. They’ve been busy up there running 4 days in a row so they’re going to sit and wait for better surf conditions. They’ve got time up their sleeve now. Yesterday afternoon was heating up at The Pro…Joel Parkinson scored a perfect 10 and looking 100% in form. My money is on a Slater Vs Parko final.
I’m back in Bondi now, rolled past the beach this morning to see the 1 foot rainy wind chop…boo. This afternoon some swell should come back up. Ugly day outside, a good one to get some work done.
Cheers, :: uge

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Snapper

For the fourth day in a row the Quiksilver Pro is on at Snapper Rocks. A small but rippable east swell has been feeding the best surfers in the world. Today they ran round 4 of the men’s and the girls are in the water right now. You can watch it live. So far Adriano De Souza, Kelly Slater, Jordy Smith and Taj all winning their heats this morning. They’ve just decided to continue the men’s later today as a nemesis northerly wind threatens to blow tomorrow.
So you’re probably all fired up for a surf after looking at these 7 images of high performance surfing. Good news, a new south swell will kick into Sydney tomorrow afternoon and hang around for a few days. Bondi loves the south swell – I’d better come home.
Later :: uge

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Quiky Pro

Welcome to the Kelly Slater Pro…sorry I mean Quiky Pro presented by Land Rover. It’s the 1st stop of the world tour.
Round 3 of the men’s and women’s are on today at 2-3 foot Snapper Rocks (QLD). You can watch it live here. All the big names in surfing are have had a crack today, but Slater brought the whole crowd to the sand bar edge. And boy did he put on a show.
It looks like they run today and maybe tomorrow before a few lay days. The sand bank at Snapper doesn’t seem to be the best at present, it could do with some sand pumping. If you’re up here, have a look in the Land Rover tent – got some decent artwork hanging on those walls from our gallery.
Adios :: uge

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Solar deity

It’s official, today is one of the best days of the year so far…
It’s a combination of warm water (24), 28 degrees on land and it’s Friday before a whole weekend of sunshine.
Definitely time to hit the beach. Come see us in the Aquabumps gallery all weekend long if you’re down our way.
Surfwise, Sunday is hosting a small NE swell which will provide some fun waves in boardies. Today had only swell scraps in the waist high vicinity…take a log or bodysurf.
Social
We have 45,000 people following our Aquabumps Facebook page. A nice surprise. I’ve started getting busy with the iphone and posting pics on Instagram, follow “Aquabumps” to see stuff as soon as they’re shot…sorry about all the personal snaps. C’mon, he IS a cute baby.
Good bye :: uge

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: : a b o v e

Today we take a fresh angle on our beaches, from the bird – sky high. Beautiful morning, small ‘n’ surfable 2 footers, clean crispy morning light – this is how it’s meant to be. With a maximum of 27 degrees, tools down and hit the beach, you can work another day.
It’s been a pretty rough summer in Sydney with rare glimpses of sunshine and tiny swells. If you want to get away and catch the end of the Hawaiian surfing winter (which is warmer than our summer), our buddies at Turtle Bay Resort are offering Aquabumps readers a special room rate until the end of March. Book in now online. It’s a great deal, the waves at this time of year on the North Shore of Hawaii are uncrowded and with 26 degrees in the water and out…how could ya not!
Laters :: uge

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Break

Goedemorgen. (That’s good morning in Dutch).
Finally the sun won the fight for some air time today, yep we have rayz…for now. Dark clouds lurk on the sidelines and threaten a rinse later today. A very mild summers day is forecasted with a maximum of 24.
Waves, yep we have some of those as well, the small wind choppy variety. I don’t think I saw one break above shoulders but it’s surfable and the best it’s been in a coupla weeks.
If you are feeling energetic participate in the Tamarama to Clovelly swim next Sunday February 26 2012. It’s a 2.5 km swim and starts at 9am. There’s even kids races at Clovelly on the day. More
Tonight at the Bondi Open Air cinema 2 surf films are on the big screen .Fighting Fear (Marky Matthews) and the world premiere of Tracks short film IF IT’S LOUD IT’S COOL! More
Have fun, uge

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Waikiki

As far as ugly mornings go, today’s a cracker. The surf is knee high onshore mush and it seems to be raining quite consistently. Taking photos of that pretty picture wasn’t high on my to do list.
Instead I’d like to talk about Waikiki beach on the South Shore of Oahu. Waikiki is the main beach of the Hawaiian capital, Honolulu. It’s kinda a blend between the Gold Coast and Bondi. It’s packed. Big time. Hi-rise hotels and shopping malls line the beach leading you to the Diamond Head volcano. Most importantly it’s where surfing began. There’s fun little waves out front, perfect for beginners…you can ride a wave for 200-300 metres. In the winter it doesn’t get big as all the action is around the opposite side of the island – the North Shore. Waikiki and the crowds are not for everyone…but if you’re heading to Hawaii I’d suggest 1 or 2 nights to check it out before heading to the quiet parts e.g. North Shore, Maui or Kauai. The shopping is epic and since our dollar is on parity you can go nuts! Stay at the Royal Hawaiian, The Surfrider or The Modern.
Have a productive day indoors :: uge

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Bump

A cheeky little bump arrived overnight into Bondi, a south one. It’s still micro but not flat. (knee to chest high)
The sun was out early and blazin’ – not for long, as yet another south switch will hit tonight.
Banting won the Manly Australian Open of Surfing. Sally wons the ladies. Some real good surfing went down in very small, small, tiny conditions.
Quiky Pro kicks off this weekend…all go around here.
Adios :; uge

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Manly

Manly is the place to be today. Not only does it have the only surfable wave in NSW (1-2ft), the Australian Open of Surfing is on and heating up. Some big names paddling out today, you can watch it live here. The setup is amazing with a huge skate bowl imported from the U.S., a enormous stadium on the sand and stage for tonight’s free concert (Sneaky are playing tonight). Bondi’s Perth Standlick will be surfing against Taj Burrow in heat 12 today (of round 48).
If you’re heading over to Manly this weekend watching pro surfing, visit our little mate Julian at Surfection Mosman on Military Road. He’s having a wetsuit sale, big one.
Also, congratulations Justin Bevan of Sydney, you won our 7 day Turtle Bay Resort package…yes buddy, you’re going to the North Shore of Hawaii for 7 days!
Seeyouselater:: uge

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the nifty 50

Today’s images are all shot with 1 lens, my 50mm. I love the 50. If my house was burning down I’d probably grab the 50. It was my 1st (and only) lens when I was a teenager. It’s the lens that I have with me all the time. A 50mm has a similar focal length to what my eyes see. It’s awesome for portraits, architecture and landscape images. Not so good for shooting surf, as you can’t get close enough from the beach, but if you’re swimming with your camera it works great (little bit hard to focus in a housing sometimes). It’s also quite small and light, so walking around is a breeze. Sometimes lugging 14 kilos of glass on your shoulder with a big lens drives you mad, especially if you’re climbing wet rocks or hiking a few km’s. That is why I walk funny. Yeah I know I know…the 50mm can cost a fair bit of dough (in the thousands for a fast one)…but you’ll have it for life.
If you’re not a camera buff the above may seem like another language. The swell is tiny and from the SE. Bondi had knee high waves and the sun is baking as we cook to 27 degrees – yes, hit the beach!
Manly Australia Open of Surfing is on today. It’s such a shame it’s so small with all that talent in town. One day we’ll have a big comp in Sydney and actually get waves. Jag it, like NYC did last year at the tour stop.
Later :: uge

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Rays

The sun is out – how good is that. Soak it up.
The waves are tiny, somewhere between knee to waist high.
The wind is blowing onshore and making a mess…
…and the Manly Australian Open of Surfing is on live now. Watch it now
As you were…:: uge

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El Presidente

Good morning Chicas + Chicos.
Nice sunrise today before the stinkin’ rain hit. It’s going to be 25 degrees today, possible thunderstorm later and SE winds.
Swell is tiny (waist high waves) and kinda weak – I’d pass. I didn’t get to shoot any surfing pics before the rain.
See that portrait below, well that is Alex. He’s ‘The Spaniard’ that patrols the promenade most mornings dressed in the regal El Presidente outfit. He doesn’t live in Bondi, he wouldn’t tell me where, but gets up at 5:30am, buffs the paton leathers and dons the crisp white suit, picks a fresh red rose for the pocket and rolls down to Bondi for his walk. Half way through his walk he’ll roll a cigarette, assess the surf conditions and bow his hat at all the ladies. I asked him if he ever wore trackies – nope – he dresses like this every day. I also asked him why he likes Bondi “the activity…(in a strong Spanish accent)…I love all the people up early doing sumpin’”…me too my friend, me too.
Happy Valentine’s Day to all the Aquabumps ladies.
Adios :: Ugios
PS – if you can’t find yesterday’s photo update from me, there wasn’t one. I had to do something else.

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filth

I’m not gonna talk about this filthy weather. Not one bit.
I will mention that there is a little wave on today. Small, like 2-3 and infrequent, but rideable. Semi-fun.
The rip right in the corner threw out the odd wave with some fruit on it. Patience was key.
Valentine’s Day is early next week, and fellas, a carton of VB and pizza ain’t gonna cut it anymore.
Our Aquabumps Gallery has plenty of books and small artworks that your lady friend will love. Oh yeah, fellas like em too. Buy a book online today and we will next day post it to you in Australia (see postcodes that are next day)
So turn it up a bit this year. We’re open 10-6 all weekend. Come see why the Lonely Planet ranked us the 3rd best sight to see in Sydney (the Opera House + Harbour Bridge beats us…not kiddin’)
Seeya :: uge

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on shaw

This damn East wind just doesn’t want to let up. Makes for bad surf conditions that’s for sure…and I don’t have may Hawaiian coloured glasses on.
It’s 1-2 foot…surfable…but I think you’d have something better to do with your time, like go for a swim.
Pro surfing returns to Manly as the Australian Open kicks off this weekend. Skate ramp is lookin’ impressive. See more Pray they get some swell for a change at a Sydney comp.
Sam the Fruitman swears that eating his fresh produce will make you surf like Dane Reynolds. I’ll try anything, even eat more fruit. Get it delivered to your door.
Later :: uge (yooj)

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Slop

Hola. There is still a little bit of swell left over and it seems to be getting into Bondi (2-3ft), but is pretty junkie. Thankfully the sun partially came out.
Today will be 24 degrees, cloudy with rain later. Winds are E/SE 10-20 knots. The East wind is our nemesis – corrupting most beaches in Sydney.
Things happening around Bondi…

The Bondi Open Air Cinema has now kicked off and is situated on the lawn next to Bondi pavilion.
The old Sam’s Hardware store on Hall Street is now a cool bar/restaurant called, yep, you guessed it ‘Hardware’ (good pizza).
Bucketlist – Mr. Sejuiced (Andy Ruwald) has opened a summer pop up bar and eatery at the Bondi Pav (the Old Nick’s Seafood). But you already know that cause it’s been choccas. Nice to have a drink and see the beach for a change (open 11 to midnight every day). Like it.
The Anchor…(the Old Hungry Czech on Campbell Pde) opened last last year…good tequila.

Seeya, :: uge

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Flashback

I went down the beach this morning and it wasn’t pretty. A strong southerly is here and it’s making a mess of things. The skies threaten rain and there’s barely anyone around (including surfers). Yesterday was your best option for this week. I shot some real bad images of mushy water, but I thought you’d prefer to see some Hawaiian images that I took underwater just before getting on a plane back home.
SurfAid Ball
Surfaid is a non-profit organisation who help out the needy Mentawaian People (and other areas of Indonesia). They do great work, I’ve seen first hand. They are holding a Gala Evening to help raise much needed funds. Join famous surfers such as Occy, MR, Tommy Carroll, Taj and Simon Anderson in a great night in Sydney (Doltone House). It’s on Friday March 9th 2012 at 7pm. Tickets’ are $250 each or $2,500 for a standard table. Do it. Buy Tickets
Seeya tomorrow, :: uge

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Ochre

After spending a month in Hawaii it was nice to come back and see summer in full swing down at Bondi. What’s all the complaining about? Weather looks fine to me. Na, just kiddin’. I know I know, it’s been raining plenty and this is the only rare moment of sunshine in weeks. Got it. Gosh, looked at the forecast and plenty of rain to come as well.
This morning was quite sumpin’ with a 6am thick fog smothering the beach. Could barely see the surfers. Rare fogs like these are great to shoot in…especially as the sun cracks above the horizon.
Surf looks good too! 3-4 footers…East swell and plenty of it. Somewhere would be really good right now. I’d go north if I didn’t have 4,000 unread in my inbox.
Adios :: uge

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sayonara

Today’s first pic above sums up Hawaii for me. A nice crispy clean wide open barrel, warm water, tropical palm trees, huge mountains in the back ground, beautiful light…ah yes, there is nothing better than Hawaii. The only thing missing is the huge wolf pack at Pipe fighting for a set. This is a freak moment at Pipe. I was floating with 70 others at the time of shooting this pic – I have no idea why it looks so deserted as this is the main peak. And no, I didn’t spend hours photoshopping them all out!
Sadly today is the last post from ‘The Rock’. We’re coming home to Bondi so summer had better welcome us back – none of this torrential rain. It’s been a fantastic month here – waves every single day of this trip. In between the cracks of A-Class breaks there’s plenty to surf with relatively small crowds. You need lots of patience to surf breaks like Waimea, Pipeline, Off the wall – budget 1 wave every 1-2 hours. Go searching and you will find a neat little peak on the golden 7 mile. Also…the Hawaiians are super friendly…I get asked about them all the time. They’re big on etiquette, paddle the inside or get in the way trying to scramble for the shoulder and someone will probably have words. Show respect and patience and all will be fine. The standard of surfing here is incredible.
Remember Turtle Bay Resort are giving away a 1 week stay package to our readership. Enter here and good luck – you’ll love it.
Jon Jon Florence won the Volcom Pipe Pro. Watch
Mahalo :: uge

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Swim

Swimming at Pipe is one of my favourite things to do here. Even if you don’t surf or shoot, I recommend buying a pair of fins (Vipers or Da Fins) and swimming out into the lineup. It’s an amazing experience. You will see waves and surfing that will blow your mind. Banzai Pipeline from the water is so much more dramatic than just standing on the beach. The swells roll in from the west north west, hitting a ledge then throwing incredibly wide – hopefully over your head.
Last night Pipe was smoking. The people that know were calling it the best in 5 years. It was 8 foot with 10 foot sets. 2nd reef had a few wash thru’s that kept you on your toes. It was glassy and the competition finally finished at 4pm– allowing 70 crew to paddle out with 8 photogs sitting in the channel (no one opted to shoot fisheye – bit dodgey).
Oh, by the way…only swim out if you are a decent swimmer. The water movements are intense and you may get swept away. Enjoy the photos…those barrels looked so much bigger when I was out there!
Adios :: uge
P.S. The Volcom Pipe Pro continues today…check it live.

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Waimea

Hey there. The trade winds are blowing down the throat of Pipeline barrels…the sun is out and the Volcom Pipe Pro is on LIVE right now. It was 12 foot plus at daybreak, but now it’s settling into the 8-12 foot range. That kinda swell only works in a few spots here in Hawaii… the most famed of those big wave spots is beautiful Waimea Bay. Waimea was packed on dark last night, 70 out with multicolored 10 foot Rhino chasers. Infrequent sets broke with 8 crew per wave (and you thought you got burnt bad at Bondi). The shoredump was a killer – getting in and out quite tricky. Big swells here are a celebration and everyone skips work to get a set out the back…or they’re on the beach watching in awe. It’s got a great vibe.
Let’s talk about something else, See this pic below of a lady with a big grin? That’s Stephanie. She’s Japanese and lives in a beach tent just up from the shack. I don’t think she has a permanent home. Stephanie sells drinks at Pipe to the thirsty onlookers, as there is only 1 real supermarket on the North Shore – the almighty Foodland. She does all right, real pushy saleswoman (I offered her a job in the gallery) – every time she looks at you she’s pushing her product, hard. I see her surf most days, well, kinda…she gets hammered most of the time and doesn’t make it out the back – but she wears a huge smile day in and day out. (That’s until the kids steal the drinks from under her nose as she’s watching Slater tune Pipe.) Nice simple life – and she’s super happy with no possessions, just plenty of Aloha and ocean time.
Have a good day, don’t forget to enter the Aquabumps comp to win 7 nights stay at Turtle Bay Resort (North Shore where I am now) ENTER
Adios:: uge
PS – the swell got so big last night it went under the house!

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