Go Slow

Aloha kako!
Today’s Aquabumps update has been inspired by the SLOOOOW pace of the North Shore of Hawaii (where I currently reside).
Everybody’s got plenty of time here…especially when the swell is pumping. It’s very relaxed and in the spirit of Aloha. At 4pm every day the distinct aroma of weed wafts down the golden mile. (Mum, a friend had to point out what it smells like). Some crew came here in the 60’s for LSD parties (and never left). Far out man. Solid. Near Foodland I see some crew cracking open the first tinnie around 11am. I generally don’t see the same dudes in the line-up at Pipeline – but boy, have they got some surf stories for you as you line up for your morning Starbucks “I surfed Waimea 60 foot once – 20 years ago…I got barrelled for 2 minutes @ Pipe once…blah blah”. Needless to say, it’s a funny place and barely changed in 30 years.
Don’t be alarmed by the blurry images presented to you today – just trying to show movement. The slow shutter is intentional and my camera is not broken, but thanks for the concern.
Oh and the surf hasn’t been perfect here lately, bit wonky. Always big.
As you were people : : u g e
P.S. I have 2 spare desks in the Aquabumps Head Quarters Office ($150 per week each), interested?, and don’t forget we’re looking for people to work in our gallery (full time), see job details.

See full post & more photographs

O’ahu

I never thought I’d say it but the swell has finally subsided here in Hawaii, well, now in the more manageable 4 foot range.
The Kona onshores have been threatening, puffing here and there, making good conditions for airs. I’ve never seen so many aerials.
The North Shore is based on the island of O’ahu, which translates to ‘The Gathering Place’. It sure lives up to that name at this time of year…every pro/spono/upcoming/veteran is here surfing at the moment. It’s just dripping with talent no matter what conditions Hawaii spits out.
The Volcom Pipe Pro waiting period has kicked off and the QS surfers will battle it out on one of the best waves in the world. Should be an interesting week.
Mahalo : : u g e

See full post & more photographs

Confessions

“There’s chicks out there. And they’re in bikini’s”. This is Uge’s attempt to build my confidence to take the SUP out in front of our place nestled between Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach. If you’ve seen his pics from the last few days on Oahu’s North Shore you’ll understand my trepidation. What Uge neglects to add is that these are Hawaiian sun goddesses who were delivered straight from the womb onto a mini-mal. My confession as a flat water SUPper is that despite living in Sydney for 14 years, I never learnt to surf and back in home-town Adelaide the biggest wave at metro Glenelg barely dwarfs a speed bump.
Despite Uge’s reassurances I load an 11′ SUP into a 10’6″ SUV and head for the relative safety of Haleiwa Harbour 8 miles west. I gingerly paddle out to the reef break and stand off to the side knowing the local disdain for outsiders stealing waves. I pick at a few meagre morsels like a fly buzzing a toddler’s nappy as I build my confidence. After 20 minutes of doing this a rogue wave blasts out of nowhere and – with little choice – I’m away. Halfway through another wave comes from my right as I try and read this crazy reef break. In front, something breaks the water’s surface – is it a rock? A shark fin? It’s a turtle and it joins me for the rest of the wave. My own personal turtle retracts his head away from the seat of my boardshorts.
I look up at the mountain range in the distance and feel elation – my first Hawaiian wave. So this is what the legendary North Shore is about. I reckon I’m just about ready for Pipe. Maybe.
I took some shots on my iPhone but think you’d better appreciate these pics Uge took today.
Mahalo.
Dan
(Dan is a guest blogger and one of Uge’s few non-surfing mates. He’s been buggin’ Uge to write a daily report for 6 years…well, today is Dan’s day)

See full post & more photographs

Cavernous

It’s been 10 days on nonstop rogue swell here in Hawaii. Pipe has been working most days but last night was a standout session. Waves were 8-10 (These pics probably don’t do the size of the day justice)…and some freaky 2nd reef and 3rd reef wash throughs…which I don’t know how to quantify…but they felt like they could have drowned me. Heaps of talent paddled out…Tom Curren, Dan Malloy, Wiggolly Dantas, Mark Healey, Randal Paulson, Jamie Obrien…but still no Slater (even though his house is 100 metres from the main peak).
Someone wrote on my site the other day that I’m obsessed with the Banzai Pipeline on Oahu’s North Shore. Well, I am. It’s one of the best waves in the world to shoot. Swells creep in from the deep pacific up onto a shallow platform of reef throwing huge cavernous barrels. On a good day, like last night, 90% of waves tube. The take-off is a extremely vertical drop eliminating the average surfer (that’s if you get one off JOB). I reckon a healthy statistic of 1 wave per hour out there for the patient man. Sure you can get plenty of scraps on the shoulder or take closeouts…but when it’s big that’ll get dangerous and you’ll end up in Kahuku hospital.
Swimming out there with a camera is always fun. Keeps the adrenalin pumping. It’s the sneaky west swells that catch you by surprise, push you into the impact zone, and pin you to the shallow reef. Most photogs hide in the cracks of the reef under a super-sized set…I do…you can see a mad scramble for a crack when we’re all stuck inside and the water has drained off the reef (Mum, I hope you’re not reading this). Shooting with a fisheye when it’s 10-12 foot plus is not really an option – haven’t seen anyone do it but know it’s been done. The peaks shifts and slabs in different spots, making it hard to read for such a wide angle lens. When’s its 6-8 and a dropping swell I’m sure Fishy will do the biz, but you’ve seen that shot a million times.
Now that’s the longest daily email I’ve written in some time!
Seeya:: uge

See full post & more photographs

North Shore

Alooooha!
Sorry about the radio silence. Just been taking it easy here in Hawaii. Y’know…bit of holidays, bit of shooting.
The swell has been ridiculously big the past week. Haven’t seen a day less than 6 foot. Today it came up again and there are faces at Pipeline that are over 30 foot! The swell is a wonky one though, quite unpredictable and plenty of crew getting’ axed on the reef.
I’ve seen Tom Curren around a bit, quietly doing his thing. He charges the biggest days here at age 50. How good is that? I like how unassuming he is…not much of a chatter, hangs out on his own…he was the only guy out at huge Pipe a couple of days ago. Slater is here too…but haven’t seen him surf. Then there’s JJ Florence and JOB who dominate Pipe. That’s about it from the Rock.
Back in Bondi we’re looking for a new full time team member in our Aquabumps Gallery, a production manager with some sales skills. If you think you fit this criteria listed here be in contact with Gloria Tong.
M a h a l o : : u g e

See full post & more photographs

Pipe

It’s going to be a hot one back home in Sydney…not so hot here in Hawaii but definitely better waves!
Pipeline was working this morning with clear skies and little wind. The usual masses were out, more sponsored surfers than a WCT event. It’s gotta be the most photographed wave in the world.
Was 6-8 foot this morning, but with this looming giant swell it could get pretty rad later. Tomorrow will blow your mind.
Have a great weekend : : u g e

See full post & more photographs

Flux

I woke up this morning and could hear the ocean rumbling out front. First thing I saw was a dude rolling into a large set at Pipe…clean as a whistle…immaculate…he made it out after being wrapped in water (and lots of it). Today is gonna be a good day I was thinking.
After shooting a few frames with the long lens I swam out there…looking for the good angles. Before the first set arrived a storm blew over the mountain bringing onshores and rain. Within 5 minutes Pipe went from a hungry pack of 80 to 10. I missed my window.
It’s now around midday and the sun is breaching and winds subsiding. It could come back on again.
Back home in Sydney it looks like you have no waves but plenty of heat. 30 today and 38 tomorrow. Wowser.
You know what to do.
As you were : : uge

See full post & more photographs

Back on the Rock

Welcome back to Hawaii…it’s been a year since I was on The Rock and we’ve missed the joint.
Upon arrival its been 4-6 foot and the locals dismissed it as a day for the kiddies. I must be a kiddie.
There is a MONSTER swell arriving this Friday. Surfline has numbers like 23 seconds/42 feet (faces). I hope my shack doesn’t get washed away. But is it big enough for the Eddie? Hope so… we’ve got front row seats.
M a h a l o : : u g e
PS – Some nice hot weather today and tomorrow for Sydney. Hit the beach!

See full post & more photographs

East Tweak

Hi there. How are you?
There is a lot of good things to talk about today. After a cloudy start the sunshine is now dominating as we head to a perfect beach day of 30 degrees. How good is it outside now?
The swell has swung more east so places like Maroubra are starting to light up. That morning high tide was killing it, mid to low will be better.
I haven’t been on a plane for over 6 months now. That’s a personal record for me. This is my last report from around here for a while as I head to Hawaii for some swell. Love it there.
Speak soon :: uge

See full post & more photographs

Bondi Bumps

We haven’t had good waves in ages. Not much has broken over my head during the festive season in Sydney. My shrink told me to look at other sports over summer, you know, be less 1 dimensional and spread my energy into sports less dependent on fickle weather’n’waves (or move to Hawaii).
Today we have waves. Fun ones. Head high ones. So today’s Aquabumps is all Surf-surf-surf. No fancy sunrises, no seagull shots, no old cars or retro buildings, no swimmercams….just surfing.
The weather will clear and the winds will go North later today. Tomorrow looks like a great day for everything.
Later : : u g e

See full post & more photographs

Sauna

So…I bet you didn’t sleep last night in 40 degrees.
Not unless you had air cond.
You tossed and turned all night and feeling a little cranky at work today.
I know the feeling. Have a double espresso. Knock yourself out.
Today is a new day. The cooling southerly has taken over and the waves are a mess. Fuggedaboutit.
Let’s hope all this wind stirs up something for us.
Things to note: Friday and Saturday look like beautiful beach days. Thursday and Friday look like good surf days.
Enjoy :: u g e

See full post & more photographs

Cooking with Gas

Today is quite unique. That’s the bewdy of living in Sydney. Just a mixed bag of weather.
8:00 it was around 30 degrees and after a sleepless night everyone hit the beach before work. Biggest sunrise crowd I’ve seen.
The water was warm and the waves were tiny. Around 2pm it will hit a sweltering 43 degrees. Wow. How about that.
Later tonight that nemesis south storm will hit, bringing rain, cooler temps and hopefully some swell. Any swell will do (I am gettin’ twitchy). We’ve got great banks, just not much happening on them.
Take off early from work, you deserve it and enjoy the beach before the storm. See you down there.
:: uge

See full post & more photographs

Present

Why all the long (tanned) faces? Oh, back to work for most.
Don’t worry, it’s the best day to go back into the office cubicle and hide as the beach has no waves or sunshine. Party is over. For today only.
Tomorrow on the other hand is going to be a scorcher and the only thing to do will be hit the beach. They are forecasting 43 degrees tomorrow. Too early to have a sickie? Do it and see you down there.
Good bye double colon (::) uge

See full post & more photographs

Beneath

We’re in for a feast of good weather…
Here are the vital stats for this fine day. 27 degrees, 21 degree water, Northerly winds 10 knots now, 20 knots later. Surf : knee to waist high (not great), High tide 1:30pm.
Half of Europe has moved into Bondi and the beach is packed, every day. Insanely huge crowds – Lifeguards reckon New Years Day was one of the biggest – ever. If you’re coming down for a swim pop into the Aquabumps gallery. We’re open.
So what you really want to know is when can you surf again…answer : no significant swells on the radar – just little beach bumps over the weekend. (waist to chest high)
Have a great weekend :: uge

See full post & more photographs

Over-Froth

The surf was a little disappointing this morning. I thought it was going to be a lot better with some new swell. It wasn’t. Isn’t. Dribbly knee to waist high waves flopped on a South bank…looking kinda of messy with a little wind around.
The weather on the other hand is top notch – 10 out of 10. If you’re still on holidays – HIT THE BEACH NOW! Today and tomorrow are crackers.
The water is warm and approximately 20 degrees, sometimes 21. 26 out of the water. The odd Blue Bottle out there so swim with your mouth closed and eyes open.
Jethro Lyons and Tim Macdonald. Now there’s two guys you see paddling out at Bondi often getting some of the best waves. I see them pretty much every day working on their tans. I often wondered if they had jobs. As it turns out they’re clever little online merchants selling professional cooking and dining gear through their website GRAND CUCINA. They supply all the fancy eaterys, The Hill, Chiswick, Icebergs etc…and are currently having a massive 30% off sale online which ends in 7 days (Jan10). Have a look and keep the boiz busy so I can surf the South Bondi peak hassle-free.
Bye for now :: uge

See full post & more photographs

Colours of Bondi

Hello 2013.
This will be the 14th year that Aquabumps has been operating. How about them apples?
To kick this year off we were blessed with a magic beach day. Hot, crowded, sharky and waveless @ Bondi. Just how I like it for my chopper shoots. I was up there in the sky looking for ‘The Shark’ but couldn’t see anything. Word on the street is that a 4 metre pointer was lurking off Ben Buckler Point causing the massive evacuation around lunchtime.
Be nice to get some waves, soon. Plenty of swell hitting Hawaii…Eddie? Na, not big ‘nuf.
The Aquabumps Gallery reopens TODAY and now back on the 7 day a week program (10am to 6pm) 151 Curlewis Street BONDI BEACH NSW 2026 Telephone 02 9130 7788. We also have a POP UP STORE at the Westfield Bondi Junction if you’re up there. It’s located near ZARA, out front of Nespresso and Camper.
‘AppyNuEar. Hope 2013 is filled with many swells…
:: uge

See full post & more photographs