Highway

Hit the highway…it’s perfectly offshore, sunny and 4-6 foot…what are you waiting for?
The above set of conditions just don’t suit Bondi (it closes out with waves this size).
I was kicking myself when shooting today, knowing it was pumping on the reefs far from Bondi. Shoulda got up for the dawnie and found some slabbie delights.
Last week we lost a good bloke, Bondi local and regular surfer… Karl Timms. Karl was always out at Bondi on his longboard surfing with incredible style and grace. You’ll be missed in the lineup Karl. R.I.P.
::uge

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To ‘doze, or not to ‘doze

Greetings from the beach. What a pleasant morning. The south swell seems to be coming in nicely. Huge morning crowd enjoying the fruits of 2-3 footers. Even with the 6:15am low tide the waves are breaking really fat. I guess the sand banks just don’t suit super high or mega low tides. As I write this it looks like the southerly has started to blow (12 knots)…it’s mushy now.
I’ve been asking surfers that have lived here all their lives if they think the bull dozer shifting sand on the beach is a good or bad thing for our waves. Will it make a good bank or will it make it close out? I would love to hear your thoughts. My vox pop revealed it could go either way. We definitely have some rather large holes in the banks that could be filled in…but it looks like the ‘dozer will make the beach straight, without any natural curves that create peeling waves. Your thoughts?
Thank you thank you to all the people that donated to the Aquabumps surf team who are raising money for this Friday’s SurfAid Cup. Donate now
Adios :: uge

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Unique

Bondi is a unique place.
Why?
It was 5:45am when I rolled down the beach. That’s pretty early for most humans. As I came over the hill I could see thousands of people doing something. Surfing, jogging, bootie campin’, sun baking and even a few leftovers from the pub rolling around in the sand trying to get on Bondi Rescue. “Ah yes…home…” I said to myself. There no place like it. It’s chaos and it’s not even 6am.
The surf forecast was dismal but in reality there are head high sets from a new south swell – BINGO! It’s really wonky and a short period windswell – yet surfable. There were surfers coating every bit of moving water from north to south Bondi.
Today is the last day for you to part with your hard earned dough. I would love it if you could sponsor our Surfaid Cup surf team. We are raising money for our main charity, Surfaid that do all the good work in the impoverished Mentawai Islands. Donate now and we will love you long time. I put it on our Facebook (100,000 followers) and our Insty (60,000) followers and we didn’t even get $1. Tight!
::uge

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We’re frying

It was a bit of a jolt getting off a plane from the isolated, quiet Cook Islands and straight – BANG – into a full swing Bondi crowd. Looked like 25,000 to 30,000 on the beach yesterday (in my uneducated opinion).
All this good weather and the annual Sculpture by the Sea event can really draw a crowd. Some amazing works this year…love Andrew Hankin’s “We’re frying!”
Waves are small, only 1-2 footers at Bondi and Tamarama. Good bank at Bondi but that will come to an end as the evil bull dozer was there today flattening the beach.
:: Oggie
P.S. Just so you guys know, we don’t organise Sculpture by the Sea. Every year all the locals email me rants about their parking problems. It’s not us.

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Beached Az

Well our little Pacific paradise fling has come to an end…times for us to leave the Cook Islands.
If you want a low key beach holiday and not hooked to shopping malls, the Cooks are for you. Water is incredible, weather is amazing and the people are super friendly.
Today is the last day that Air New Zealand (the only airline with direct flights) are offering a special deal for our readers. $289 one way is pretty amazing.
See you back in Bondi : : u g e

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Island Time

Kia Orana. We’re back on the main island of the Cooks, Rarotonga. It’s very different to Aitutaki – it’s where all the government and commerce is done. It’s busier yet still very relaxed and quiet. The centre of the island rises up into huge volcanic mountains that resemble Jurassic Park. Incredible back drop to the massive Muri Lagoon.
Rarotonga is the island you can surf but unfortunately today the swell is tiny and the wind is up. This is a kite boarders heaven!
A few people have been asking me questions about The Cooks Islands. Here’s a few tips:

Direct flights from Sydney are every Saturday on Air New Zealand. They are running a special deal for Aquabumps readers that ends on Friday night.
If you come all the way out here you must go to Aitutaki – it’s off the hook. (45 min flight from Raro on Rarotonga Air)
Eat dinner at the Tamarind on Raro – on the beach, amazing food
Have coffee and breakfast at LBV Muri Beach (old Colonial House, good coffee)
Try and stay near Muri beach. It is the best part of the island by a long shot.
Have to try a fish burger at The Mooring off Main Road Avana – a work of art.
Eat only fish whilst you are here – it’s caught out the front, daily.
Hire a car, drive around Rarotonga – only takes 30 mins. I guarantee everyone you pass will wave.

Later :: uge

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One Foot

That idyllic beach view never gets old. One Foot Island lives up to it’s big reputation as being one of the best beaches in the world. You can’t take a bad picture of the place. I keep thinking Brooke Shields is going to jump out of the bushes!
The TV show Survivor was filmed around here. They employed 400 local people during the filming – big operation.
I will let all the photos do the talking today. I went to the lagoon edge to check for surf (thanks for the boat charter Bishops). It’s 4-5 foot and breaking in 6 inches of water. Oh and closing out. I reckon it would be very rare to surf here without being annihilated on the razor sharp reef.
Have a good day :: uge

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Aitutaki

Today I think I found the bluest water in the world. I can now stop searching. Write this one down…AITUTAKI LAGOON in the Cook Islands. Take a 45 minute flight from Rarotonga and you will come across one of the most idyllic places on earth. Its paradise. The water temp is around 23-24…the air is around 28…and the wind around 4 knots (not much). I can see why everyone that lives here is so damn happy.
Aitutaki is very relaxed. The people have their priorities right here – sitting behind a desk at work doesn’t rank very highly…we could all take a leaf out of their books.
This afternoon we paddled half of the lagoon on SUP (it’s a big lagoon).  An amazing thing to do in life and Charlotte Piho can organise it for you. Just check out her website for more info
I know…I know…what about the surf? Well it’s pretty undiscovered and I can see so many reef passages that would have a wave. Getting around ain’t that easy, there’s no boats ready to take you searching for setups (not many boats at all on the island). Where’s Ketut and his $10 a day boat when you need him?
Later :: uge
P.S. I wrote this whole thing without my glasses, guaranteed typos.

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The Cooks

Kia Orana. Welcome to The Cook Islands people! Crew warned me that the water here is unrealistically blue…take a look at that first shot above…touch the screen…yeah it’s real baby…that’s blue az…and the locals reckon with this shocking weather it looks much better than this normally.
The Cook Islands are super laid back taking island time to the next level. Bondi has 3 times the population of Rarotonga so it’s very thinly populated. Finding a beach to yourself is a piece of cake. There’s man eating surf breaks wrapping the island…they look very sectiony and on dry reef but I hear it gets real good. I’ll find it. To drive around the main island, Rarotonga, only takes 30 minutes and there’s another 14 islands to explore nearby. The people of Cook Islands are citizens of New Zealand yet it is run independently as a standalone country. The people are incredibly friendly and it’s safe to leave your keys in the ignition. Rugby is a religion and they are perfectly built for the sport.
So you’re probably thinking it may be time for a holiday. The Cook Islands are a short, direct 6 hours flight from Sydney. Air New Zealand are running a special offer for Aquabumps readers for this week only…go here for more information.
Aere ra, :: uge

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Shippies

Can someone tell me why a number of huge freighter ships were coming in so close to Bondi this morning…like I’ve never seen before?
Was it because?

They were all drug smugglers dumping their loads to be later picked up by speed boats?
They were dodging a large school of fish out to sea?
The work experience kids got hold of the helm?
Pirates?
Fishing/trawling?
None or all of the above

It’s onshore and messy, just how we like it. Some small 2-3 footers on offer, wind affected and ripe for the picking.
If you find yourself up at the Bondi Junction Westfield we currently have a pop-up exhibition running near the Vans Store (right at Bronte Street entrance)…please take a look at my recent work.
The next week Aquabumps will be broadcasted from the exotic Cook Islands. I’ve never been and it looks like a mystical paradise. Only 6 hours flight and I’ll land in some of the bluest water…well, it’s blue in the brochures…let’s see.
If you are living in Singapore and need a surfing fix…well the closet wave your going to get is on the big screen at Tanjong Beach Club tonight. Mark Mathews and the lads from Garage Entertainment and Samsung are showing on a 30 foot screen …. World Champion surfer Mick Fanning’s amazing travel/surf film “Missing”. More deets
::uge

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Cray Cray

Today is a new day…completely different to yesterday.
It’s perfectly sunny now…storm, what storm? OK she’s a little cold but it’s warming up quickly.
The rogue swell remains the same, it has just tweaked a little to the East opening up surfing options. Oh boy, she’s got some grunt. I saw some big sets in the 8+ foot range.
Bondi and the surrounds typically can’t handle big swells so I rolled down to my favorite chunk of reef. Decent waves on offer. If you are not shopping for slabs, I’d head northside to Manly…
With all this swell, where’s Mark Mathews? Good question. Well you will find him at my Brothers bar in Singapore of course, the Tanjong Beach Club on Sentosa. Tomorrow night, 17th October, at 7:30pm they are kicking off The Fearless on the Sand Film Festival. It’s outdoor cinema on the beach presented by Samsung with 3 action packed films. Again, this is in Singapore kids. Check it
::uge

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Into the Wild

Well that was a wild night in Sydney. I hope you found your Sulo bin this morning, probably hanging down the end of the street with all the others. Trees have fallen over and sand dunes have been created in the Bucketlist. Crazy times.
It’s been raining, solidly for about 12-15 hours now. The garden is loving it. South swell has arrived and I saw thick chunks rolling into Bondi (8 foot plus). No one around, no one surfing, no good – yet. Be patient. I opted not to shoot today for obviously reasons…hopefully it will all calm down soon.
These images are from the weekends shooting spree above our beaches. Enjoy and think of summer.
My bro is renting out a free standing house really close to Bondi Beach. Keen?
:: uge (yooj)

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Droplets

That big, black storm arrived last night. Unfortunately I didn’t get any images of it’s dramatic arrival as I was stuck in a car, in traffic (I do leave Bondi, sometimes – to go to Bondi Junga of course). It’s raining on Aquabumps HQ at the moment and it looks like there is plenty of precipitation to go. I’d settle indoors and flick into work mode.
Waves? I saw some this morning. I came to the conclusion that they were rather uninteresting at 2-3 foot…wobbly…and from the South. Not many takers. This afternoon the swell will kick up and tomorrow will be 6 foot with SW winds.
I still have Gig’s and Gigs of aerial images shot above the Eastern suburbs beaches on Saturday. Had to run a few more today…
If you’re keen to go to the Mentawais our buddies on Tengirri are taking bookings for 2015. I’ve already locked my 2015 trip in. Contact the boys and see what slots they have free. You will not regret it.
Adios ::uge

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Over & Above

As I write this daily post the clouds have arrived and our fantastic run of beach weather has come to an end. It’s gone all stormy…rain will hit very soon. Bunker in as the storm will be in town until Thursday.
To celebrate the weekend of glorious weather I went up in the sky to take some images of our local beaches. It’s my favourite angle (as you all know very well). Even after all these years of flying and shooting the same beaches…I see new things every time I go up. There are plenty more aerial images from the weekend which will be sporadically posted throughout the week – so stay tuned.
After that strong Nor-Easter all weekend there’s a wind-swell available for surfing. Maroubra had a few.
::uge

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Chain Gang

If you like deserted beaches and empty line ups – today is not for you.
Today is World Mental Health Day so the Fluro Friday guys got down there in mass and made a shoreline chain…wow, huge turn out. Great effort.
There were small waves on offer, waist to chest high on sets…some really fun waves best suited to surf vehicles of the fatter variety. What a magic day to be in Sydney (again). The weather looks amazing for the weekend also so see you down the beach (pop into the Aquabumps Gallery if you’re coming to Bondi).
Seeya ::uge

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Baywatch

The wintery conditions of yesterday have blown over revealing the luscious summer current. Today IS a beach day. The winds are light, the waves are around chest high and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. We will hopefully hit 23 degrees today…just perfect for that swim, walk to Bronte, boating on the harbour…all that. Do it.
It is World Mental Health Day tomorrow and our Fluro (One Wave is all it takes) buddies are inviting everyone down to Bondi tomorrow at 6:30am. Why? They’re going to create the largest fluro wave on the shoreline of Bondi. Come down. More
Hey, I need something…takes 2 mins. I know your inbox is full of people going “Hey can you donate/sponsor me cause…”…but think of it this way….you surf…one day you will want to go to the celebrated Mentawai Islands…well there is only one charity, Surfaid, working in that area and they need your help. Do this by donating to support the Aquabumps Surf team in the Surfaid cup in a few weeks. Think of it as a subscription fee to your free daily Aquabumps emails…50 cents a time. Or think of it as your good deed for the day. Donate here and we thank you very much.
Ok, ’nuff begging.
Bye ::uge

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Bondeye

Not all days are created for the beach. Today is not a beach day – at all.
It’s a rainy day with onshore, sloppy 2 footers. Looked so, so, so bad out there for surfers.
The beach was empty and Bondi village was like a ghost town. 2 days ago 30,000 people would have been lurking around Bondi. Today, 200.
Some ideas to fill your day whilst pretending to do work at your desk:

Watch Nathan Oldfield’s latest film from the Mentawais. He was filming this when we were there this year and I can say the surf really was this good.
Blake Thornton is someone I shoot with a lot – the man can ride a back hand tube. Check Blake out at Chopes this year.

Have a great day indoors, sunshine should return tomorrow and Friday looks like a beach day f’sure.
Later :: uge
 

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Full boots

So you’re back at your desk…you’ve had a few days off and you’re a lil’ sun kissed. How good was your long weekend? The weather was impressive…plenty of swell as well. The schoolies are back at class so the beach was a little quiet this morning. It was cloudy and rained when I was down the beach. There are waves but the full high tide was hiding anything significant. It was full as…
The shorey at Bondi was kinda heavy…well…for Bondi. Didn’t see Clarkie baby down there. The mega high tide allows swell to cross the banks unscaved and slap on the shoreline with a bit of grunt. Fun!
Small waves all week. 28 degrees today so hit the beach.
Mr Porter is one of the most incredible websites in the world. It’s just so damn impressive. They just released an article…8 instagammers you should follow. @aquabumps is one of them. Stoked. Read
::uge

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Beach News

Hey Honks. Sorry about the late update. I would like to say I’ve been surfing…as it looks pretty good out there. But nah, no such luck yet. Chained to the desk.
The left has fired up in the corner and there are some 3 maybe 4 footers available for your riding pleasure. It’s 23 degrees, sunny and offshore – what a perfect combo.
Sadly a male dead body washed up at Bondi this morning at 5am. Police have said the incident was not suspicious.
::uge

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Cross / Shore

Howdy. Great day yesterday wasn’t it? Felt just like summer. The schoolies took over the beach.
Today is a lot cooler, but still a stunner (20). Spend some time outside.
Down the beach the swell looks confused. To back my observations up the charts are showing signs of a East swell, a South swell and a NE swell – all under waist high, all at the same time. All I know is that Bondi had nuttin’ and Maroubra was rippable. Weak, but fun. The hooooooowling cross shore winds was wreaking havoc though.
Hey, how about throwing some support our way and donating to sponsor the Aquabumps surf team in the next SurfAid cup, which is in a few week aye? Only takes 2 mins and is all online. Donate
Ends :: uge

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