FULL MOON FEVER

Sorry about my recent radio silence. I’m in Bali and wanted to take a few days off shooting and catch a few waves for myself. There’s always waves here, it’s small at the moment but the swell magnets have a lil’ sumpin. Even when you’re not surfing there is so much to do, buy, drink or eat.
We have been to Bali many times together; I’d have a stab at 10. Every year I come back to Bali I am blown away with how fast the changes take place. A row of shops grow out of a rice paddy, huge hotels shadow Mount Agung before you can say Tear-Out-My-Car-Seat (that’s ‘thank you’ in Indonesian). Remote surf breaks now have car parks, bars and you can step out of your 30 degree swimming pool into a tube. Things move fast here…but it’s still a beautiful place to visit and surf for all.
Happy Easter. Our Aquabumps Gallery is CLOSED Good Friday and Monday, but open over the weekend (Saturday + Sunday)
:: Uge
PS – I’m staying in a very fancy villa in Seminyak (across road from Ku De Ta). Villa Lulito is offering our readers 10% off if you mention AQUABUMPS and you will not be disappointed.

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S I Z Z L E

As far as weekends go that was the biz. The past two days have just been exquisite beach days. Barely any wind, perfect temperatures and clean, warm water.
This morning was no exception…but we could do with a few good waves aye? You would’ve missed last Friday’s swell if you blinked. There is a bit of swell toward the end of the week, but sadly this Easter will not crank. In fact all week will be tiny, like today. I saw some waves lap on the shore, but mainly knee high stuff.
Hawaiians Dusty Payne and Carissa Moore dominated the Margaret River QS on the weekend. How good is it that Margaret River DrugAware Pro is going to be a WCT stop in 2014. Good for the businesses down there.
With all this lack of swell I am going to take a few days off and head to Bali today.
Seeya, uge

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B R I E F

I’ll keep it short for you today…
The swell has come up a little…it’s now breaking around your waist line (but is very weak and suitable for Malibu equipment).
The swell is from the ENE so Maroubra, Tama, Bronte should have more swell, but let’s face it, it’s not pumping.
The water temperature has dropped a degree or two, this is typical when that North wind blows. Still nice though.
The weekend looks wave less…and better suited to just hanging down the beach. Gonna be a nice one.
Seeing 32,000 of you have already watched our latest video I am thinking you like it. If you haven’t, watch here
Enuf :: u g e

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Let’s Get High

There’s no better day to get high together. Classic Bondi today – 28 degrees, little wind and the magic water temperature of 22 degrees. Shame the surf is barely breaking above your knee caps.
An early flight and here’s what Bondi looks like when its waking up, from above.
My mate Rupert Murdoch reckons the best smoothies in Bondi are from Billy’s WET BAR CAFÉ situated up the North End on Ramsgate Avenue – right near the beach. They’re now open for dinner too! Not bad for a joint that boasts 20 buck mains.
Ok, I don’t have much to write about today. An ENE swell might bump up tonight and waves may break near your shoulders. That’ll be fine, right?
Seeya : : u g e

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R A N D O M D I P S

Hola. Taking photos whilst swimming with my camera is pretty random. You’re never quite sure what you’ll come back with. Basically it’s pot luck and you just float around waiting for something interesting to happen – then pray that you actually focussed the camera properly when ‘it’ happens! We’ve been lucky lately with stunning mornings and golden light. Ok not to mention the small, semi-rideable knee to waist high waves like today. We’re still spoilt with a ridiculously warm 23 degree water…get in there.
The Aquabumps team is a fertile mob. 3 out the 4 females that work in the gallery are currently pregnant, pretty much all at the same time. The newborns won’t be able to work in this sweatshop for at least 4 to 5 years so I need to recruit some staff…currently seeking a full time Gallery/Sales Manager. This is probably the most senior position in Aquabumps outside my professional sun tanning role….if you think you fit this job description please apply to Gloria Tong today. If you know someone that the job would suit, tell ‘em about it and if we recruit them and they stay happily working here for a year I’ll give you a $1250 piece from my gallery. Also, if you’re currently wanting to get pregnant, just hang out at our Aquabumps Gallery (the House of Fertility), I’m sure something will happen.
Have a good day : :  u g e

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T W E N T Y – F E E

Can you believe that the water was a salubrious 23.5 degrees this morning? At sunrise it was only 14ish degrees out of the water…so, slipping into the drink was really the only option for me.
Waves? Kinda. Water was moving but mostly burgers…or closeouts. Wrong tide this morning. I didn’t see many waves above chest high. This week looks bleak…1-2 footers for most of it so today’s you’re only good option until another swell shows its face.
B y e : : u g e

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W E T E D G E S

There’s the pumping waves of Saturday morning and then there’s today.
Saturday morning proved to be one of the best surf days this year so far. Strong, solid East swell with gentle offshores. Such a good combination.
Then Sunday was shambles…windy. 30 knots ripped it apart.
Today we have a confused swell, some East swell fighting with a new South swell. It really didn’t look good at all down there. Still solid, say 6 foot, but all over the place.
Best wait until it calms down a little. I reckon by tomorrow it should be more manageable.
I saw three people enter the ocean this morning at Sunrise. The unstoppable, fearless Miss Antarctica who was washed back to the beach 3 times. A swimmer who got stuck in a rip at South and I had to call the lifeguards as he looked like he was struggling and a lone surfer in the middle…who caught one wave and came to shore.
Seeya : : u g e

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I N C O M I N G

With the forecast looking healthy for some ENE swell today and a rumour of some decent banks down at the Bra I rolled down there to take a look. It was OOOkkkk(ish)…waist to chest high, clean and out of the SW wind…but not really worth chasing. 3 out of 10. This grey old day will hopefully improve later with a swell increase…in fact the swell is due to come right up to double head high tomorrow. Find a beach that likes south winds and ENE swell e.g. Manly or down south coast. The winds look quite light tomorrow also, which is a bonus.
Today’s photos are a mixed bag…some from this morning others B-sides from this week’s shooting.
Two weeks ago we left Sydney…3 camera dudes, 3 pro surfers….and drove 844 clicks from to the Quiky Pro (Snapper Rocks QLD). It was an amazing drive and we scored really good, uncrowded waves. Have a look at this small film we made along the way…thanks Land Rover for making the trip possible. Thanks Rob Norman and Juz Barnwell for working on the film…thanks Chris Friend, Blake Thornton, Pama Davies for putting on a show…view video

Have a great weekend and hope you score plenty of waves : : u g e

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D O Z E R

This little dozer above COULD be our dream maker…he has the power to position sand in places nature can’t. He COULD make a bank, a super bank…from ‘The Boot’ to ‘The Tower’…piping rights…wally sections…he COULD do it all. Hell, he COULD even make a A-Frame peak in the middle so the wolf pack would have double the supply. He COULD, but I betcha he’s going to straighten the beach out so we have close outs for months and months. Anyone know how to drive a dozer? Take control.
You’ve probably figured by my morning obsession with this beautiful bulldozer that there isn’t much else to talk about in the surf. It’s small, onshore, mushy, dribbly and far from good. That will change as a swell is heading out way…a fun one. Stand by.
: : uge

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1 4 Y E A R S

This week marks 14 years of Aquabumps. Not gunna make a big deal of it (i.e. no party)…just kinda cool that messin’ around with an email and photos between mates can grow to such proportions. Over the years I’ve witnessed so many amazing changes…so fast. I feel excited to be a photographer right now. Back in 1999 when I started Aquabumps the web landscape was a sparse desert…no Facebook, no Flickr, no Youtube or even Google (I think), no blogs (especially daily ones – I mean what kinda of nut would get up at sunrise every day)…and especially no addictive Instagram. Not sure how we survived. It is just so easy to share you images now – and for free!
So today I’d like to say T H A N K Y O U for stopping by at Aquabumps and reading my daily ramble. Every day I get emails from readers saying they are in the far corners of the world and have been reading Aquabumps for over a decade. Love your loyalty. To reward you all, I am offering 20% off the first 14 online artwork orders (for today only). BUY ONLINE and use today’s discount code of 14YEARS upon check out to retrieve your special, once in a lifetime, freaky price. I repeat, that is today only…and limited to 14 online customers. Get busy.
Back to today, there was a distinct aroma of freshly washed hair in the line-up this morning. Yep, it was Ladies Day down at Bondi – long boards out, bikinis on and 10 girls per wave. Such a good vibe when the ladies are out…come down more often girls.
T h a n k y o u : : u g e

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G E T W E T

I remember when I first starting taking pictures in the water (circa 1998), I just couldn’t get enough of it. I would shoot on all the crappy days, at all the wrong times and come home with a CF card filled with ocean junk. I’d still be stoked and get out there the next day in hope of one remotely decent image. I confess, 15 years on I’m a little fussier when I shoot in the water and wait for the optimal conditions. I’ve nearly shot the past 10 days in the water – so that’s testament to how nice the conditions have been. The waves have been good, the light has been amazing, but the water temperature is immaculate drawing me in every morning as I fossick around in the dark. No matter how long you stay in the water, you just don’t seem to get cold. No wetties required.
So enjoy these great water conditions (and the odd shoulder high wave). There’s plenty of swell coming this weekend…oh, and for your next studio shoot, check out these guys.
Ciao : : u g i o

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G O O D T I M E S

Howdy. Some really fun waves down at Bondi this morning. It’s killing me being inside now…
Yesterday we were blessed with some of the best waves I’ve seen in ages. Nice surprise swell wasn’t it?
So today you’ve all filled your wave quotas and keen to watch some Quiky pro action which is about to start.
Have a great week…some fun waves throughout the week.
Cheers, uge

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F I Z Z A

In comparison to the rest of the week today’s the poor cousin. It all began with rain at 6:30am…then the swell dropped to the knee high range…and only broke every 10-15 mins. The light was diffused by grey clouds and the beach was relatively quiet. The water remains a toasty 24 degrees (perfect) and the surfaces were glassy without a hint of wind.
Another lay day at the Quiky Pro. Swell is on its way so it’s going to be a good finish.
S U R F H O U R
A new community based surfing fundraiser – the SurfHour Challenge – is happening in March. To be involved, you simply need to be willing to dedicate an hour of your time in the water to raise money for two great charities – the Gidget Foundation and SurfAid. You can participate in the SurfHour Challenge in your own time at your own local beach, you can be any age and any form of wave riding is encouraged. Register soon as there are some great prizes on offer including Go Pro cameras, a surfboard, surf lessons, movie tickets etc. Make a donation or set up a fundraising here. Make your surf count!
Have a great weekend. Surf will be small (2ft) both days BUT it’s always offshore and pumping at the Aquabumps Gallery 151 Curlewis Street Bondi Beach 2026 Telephone 9130 7788
Seeya, : : uge (just to clarify, my name is Eugene and have been labelled uge (pronounced yooj) since an early age. The “: :” dots have no significance other than I have written my name like that since I was a child purely out of lack of intelligence. While we’re at it, I use Canon EOS digital cameras (get asked a lot).

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G R I D L O C K

Ok, now that’s 3 really nice mornings in a row and everyone is onto it. It was PACKED this morning…not just surfers/swimmers…more water photographers than Pipe! The waves were waist high but around 7:30am I witnessed a small pulse, which threw in a few nice waves at South Bondi. I just rode the pushy pass the beach about 20 minutes ago and it looks like that pulse has ran out of juice. Tidal perhaps?
The forecast looks bleak, not much over 2 foot for days…good opportunity to watch the Quiky Pro at Kirra as they are running the girls now, men’s maybe later today. Look like the move down the beach to Kirra is paying off as Steph Gilmore just got a long drainer.
Katie from Flow Athletic is one of the fittest people I know. You’ve seen her around Bondi…she’s always in sports gear. Well she’s just opened up a new fitness business in Paddington that combines Yoga, Spin and TRX. Check it out as Aquabumps readers score a good membership deal.
C i a o : : u g e

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L U M I N O U S

I could live off a healthy diet of good light any day. Love tubes, clear water, rare moments…but in good, warm, rich morning light you can make the mundane come alive. This morning hosted the best light I’ve ever seen. Ok, at least the best light I’ve seen in weeks. The sky light up around 6:40am making my job easy today – just point the camera anywhere and hold the trigger. Luckily I opted for a very early morning swim before the colours arrived.
There a fun little right bank in the corner. It’s guarded by a tight hungry pack. No significant swells this week…not much over waist to chest high. Saturday could be fun at exposed east breaks.
We receive around 40-50 new subscribers to this daily email every day…yes, still. So I’d thought I’d mention we to all those newbies we have a physical gallery in Bondi if you’re in the hood. 151 Curlewis Street Bondi Beach NSW 2026 Telephone 9130 7788 and we’re open daily 10am to 6pm.
Next week marks our 14th Birthday for Aquabumps. 14 years of sunrises…and I’m still not sick of getting up at dawn!
: : u g e

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R U N O F F

When I arrived down the beach this morning it was really dark. Clouds smothered the light and the water was a creepy fluoro green, a colour you’ll see after recent rain and manky run off from the drain. Might change the colour of your hair overnight. People pay good money for that.
The waves were a little disappointing and waist high today. A short right in the corner seemed to be the only option. The winds were 10 knots from the East – the devil wind. That wind will swing NE and clean up the conditions later today. This week looks waveless for surfers – not much happening so do other things.
By the time you get this email the Men’s Quiky Pro 2013 will be kicking off (10am QLD time – 11am our time). View it live here. Our buddies at Land Rover are giving away a whole pile of surfboards signed by Kelly Slater…just upload your photos from the Comp (if you’re up there) to this Facey page and choose one of the three categories.
Onya, : : U G E

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M I X

I’m back in Bondi after a week on the road and was greeted with a good old colourful sunrise. It’s great to see it’s not raining here. Boy…the Gold Coast rained for days making it hard for the Quiky Pro which is currently running the girls. Looks like some swell later in the week should get the comp fired up.
Bondi’s waves this morning looked really bad with an East onshore wind. It is now 11:30am and the winds are more NE making it cleaner and there is the odd 2-3 footer out there. This morning I sat and waited for someone to get a wave for 30 minutes – nup, nuttin…so I wondered back home.
Today’s shots are a mix of Bondi this morning and some water captures of the boiz punting at a pretty remote beach.
Seeya : : u g e

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T A L L O W

Today’s the last day of the road trip as we approach the Queensland border. A brief interlude with Byron Bay’s Tallow Beach (which was super fun and out of the wind) and the car is packed up and back on the road to Snapper’s Quiky Pro. It’s been a good week with decent waves wherever we pulled up. Byron’s pretty packed but interesting, whilst some of the remote beaches put on the goods. With the aussie dollar so high it’s tempting to go overseas for holidays and neglect what’s in our backyard…the East coast is pretty amazing, even if you don’t surf. You don’t have to go far from Sydney to find empty beaches…just need some time up your sleeve and some good tunes (preferably not Justin Beiber – the groms in my car can’t get enough of him – yep, they even do the little dance – weird I know – I’ll need counseling after this trip).
Take some time off and hit the road. Special thanks to Land Rover for the fancy wheels and making this trip possible…The video of our trip will be out next week.
Later : : u g e

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