Friday

If you’re sitting indoors, chained to the desk…may I suggest a short trip down the beach? Why? Well…it’s quite simply a perfect day. Sunny, warm and little lefts. It’s one of those awesome Sydney days where people can’t stop saying “How good is the weather honky?”.
So… it’s Friday, what are you waiting for?
OK, so you can’t get away today…make plans for the weekend as it’s sunny for both days. Hell, come to Bondi. You could:

Have breakfast at the freshly renovated and expanded Porch and Palour
Hit the farmers markets on Saturday (9am to 1pm)
Surf the log (only small waves expected)…with 100 others
Coat yourself in baby oil and see if you can change colour
Can’t come to Bondi and not drop into the Aquabumps Gallery Bondi. You know it. 151 Curlewis Street Bondi T 9130 7788

Seeya, :: uge

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Limping

There’s some left over south swell, limping into the bay. Waves broke inconsistently at 1-2 foot. It’s super weak and you’ll need plenty of foam under foot.
I just had a squizz at the swell forecast – not looking that great. Really small conditions for dayz and dayz.
Nice day today. This weekend is going to be sunny and warm (22). Make plans to be outdoors!
:: uge

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Hotcakes

There’s waves today. Come get ’em before they fade away into this week. The sand banks around Bondi aren’t too flash but there is the odd 4 footer worth catching. The swell origin is dead south. Bondi loves that direction. Clean conditions with offshore winds – bonus.
I don’t really have much else to write about today. No major swells on the horizon.
Later :: uge

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Groundswell

Well well well…the swell really kicked, didn’t it?
Right now there are some bomb sets…like the 6-8 foot variety. It’ solid and long interval. When they arrive at Bondi they are closing out straight…and that’ll get worse on a lower tide. Drive baby, drive! You need a reef that can hold size. What a day, immaculate with clear skies and offshore winds.
My next trip is going to be the Amalfi Coast of Italy. Anyone know a good helicopter pilot that works that region for doors off shooting? Post your Italy tips here.
Adios :: ugios

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Back to salt

Hey, I am back in Bondi. Not much happening down there this morning. The waves were a dismal 1-2 foot underneath some grey skies. Best suited to beginners.
It looks like it’s going to be tiny until a solid south swell arrives next Tuesday. This weekend I don’t think your boards will touch water.
The weather over the weekend is going to be good! Plan your outdoor activities.
I have gigabytes of New Zealand photos yet to show you, here’s just a few.
:: uge

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Highlands

Sadly, I’m leaving New Zealand’s ski fields today and heading home. The sunrise today really turned on for me – perfect timing for a freezing heli ride above Queenstown. This place is one of the most photogenic destinations on the globe. If you want to take great photos, just come here and point your camera in any direction. I packed light and shot the entire week on 2 lenses, Canon 24-70mm and Canon 100-400mm. Both new Canon lenses that are super sharp.
If you want to book a trip over to the ski fields of NZ and can’t be bothered researching it all…here’s the skinny on my last 5 days which may make it easy for you. Kinda like my cheat sheet.
Fly Air New Zealand directly into Queenstown (3 hr flight ex Syd). Land right in the mountains. Get window seat.
Queenstown
You will need a car. In Queenstown I stayed at the Sherwood Hotel, cool bar and restaurant. Real quirky joint. It’s not in town – just out a bit. Reasonable prices (for a big room), approx. $180 NZD per night. If you wanna light up the town at night – stay central and learn a Euro language (it’s like Bondi in the summer). Ski The Remarkables or Coronet Peak, which ever has better conditions on the day. Snow is only 20-30 mins drive away. Take snow chains and don’t bake it (slippery windy suicidal roads). If you’re minted, go heliskiing – chopper pad is 5 mins from your hotel (Heli Tours QT). Epic. Eat Ferg Burgers – the entire town lives off ‘em. It’s pretty cold, so wear Mons Royale thermals. Huffer make good mountain wear too. Both local. You’ll look great at the chair lift station.
Wanaka
(Wanna-a-car) is only 1 hours drive from Queenstown. Amazing drive through mountains to get there – stop regularly and take pics. Bit like Byron. Smaller town than QT, more local. Less partying. Beautiful lake. I stayed at Edgewater apartments and they were great to crash at. Right near the famous lake tree. Ski Treble Cone (intermediate skiing and mega long runs) or Cardrona (Good for everyone, good pipe and terrain parks). Ice skate on Lake Diamond. Surf stationary wave at Hawea Lake. Drink beer at the Lake Bar. Gotta try wood fired pizzas from Francesca. Go for a joy ride in back country with Aspiring helicopters – your jaw will drop. If you’re cashed up stay a couple of nights at Whare Kea Chalet. I checked it. Just trust me, remote luxury villa only accessible by heli in the mountains. Mega. Propose to your lady friend there. If you want to surf…10 min heli ride from Treble Cone to Big Bay.
The entire trip is good for kids. Even real little ones. Instructors reckon start your kids skiing at 3 (mum you missed that memo). The flight is only 3 hrs from East Coast oz. Watch a movie and bingo you’re here. The Kiwis are bloody nice people and very helpful. They just talk funny!
Chur :: uge

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Cardrona

Today is one of those picture perfect ski days in New Zealand. There’s little wind, not a cloud in the sky and you can strip down to skiing in just a long sleeve tee. Yes, work on your base tan whilst shreddin’. Cardrona ski field, just outside Wanaka, is the real alpine playground today.
I spent the morning with Kiwi Olympic skier / free rider / big mountain expert Janina Kuzma…one of EN ZED’s finest. Janina is one of those freaks that does heli big mountain on vertical drops…off piste. Mental.
If you’re sitting in your office cubicle and needing an alpine break, click here to start planning your journey. You can ski here until early October and it’s so close to home. I have to say, the kiwis have it pretty good over ‘ere. It looks just like the brochures!
Heard you guys had a crazy sunrise in Sydney this morning. Hope you saw it.
:: uge

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Treble Cone

If you know your snow, you’ll know Treble Cone. I’m not sure what’s more spectacular…the snow or the scenery. It’s all off the charts. I shot 1,000 frames this morning. TC’s is a rare beauty hosting New Zealand’s largest and most vertical ski fields. Longest runs in the country. We scored a ‘bluebird’ today…perfectly clear skies, powder…post schoolie hols so there is no waits for a lift – just keep looping up and down the mountain until you pass out in the cafe. The thighs are burning!
The lucky kiwis have a long snow season here…good skiing to be had until the end of September, so there’s still time to book a trip. Wanaka is 30 mins drive from Treble Cone and an ideal town to crash. Kinda reminds me of Byron Bay village. Flights
Wanaka even has white sandy beaches lake side. Oh…and Wanaka has waves? True bru. True. Don’t believe me? They release water from a massive dam that creates a stationary wave. Watch Video
Chur Chur :: uge

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Queenstown

Call me one dimensional…but I don’t go inland much. In fact I barely go past Bondi Junction. But…at a whiff of snow dumping in Queenstown I’ll stray from my coastal haven to find some solitude in the mountains. I reckon this place is one of the best looking destinations on the globe – full stop. You just can’t take an ugly photo of it. It all starts from landing at an airport surrounded by snow capped mountains, only 3 hours from Sydney…that’s faster than getting to our own Aussie snow fields!
There’s plenty of snow here at the moment…they’ve had 3 major dumps all the way in town – so the mountain peaks are pumping. Today we skied powder – best snow I’ve ever had (but I’m no Dale Begg-Smith).
Ok now let’s now talk sharks. How about Mick Eugene Fanning getting hassled by a white pointer in his WSL heat last night. I mean seriously – what a freak incident. Thank god he’s OK. Comp is now off. I was trying to explain it to a kiwi on the ski lift…it’s like running a ski comp and a bear comes out of the woods and grabs a competitor! Read
Chur.
:: uge

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Empties

I wasn’t really into school as a kid. I spent most of my days drawing in sketchbooks, hiding in the school darkroom under the stairs, daydreaming out the windows…and generally being a naughty little punk. Most of the time I would sketch waves…empty ones…dreaming of sliding down ’em. My school books were coated in penned empty slabs from hell.
Grab a cuppa and ogle these lovely unridden waves. Dream of the lines you’d take and how shacked you’d get. All shot this week. All in remote NSW. Would you make it down ’em? Probably not…but one can dream.
Today’s a very wet and wild day in Sydney. Didn’t shoot this a.m. Have a fantastic wintery weekend.
:: uge

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Stormy

Storm coming..batten down the hatches! At 7am this morning a dark mutha cloud parked over Bondi…threatening rain. It’s gonna be a stormy few days . Tomorrow morning will wear the brunt of the new front. At 2:30pm tomorrow it will hit 40 knots – that’s howling!
Yes, all this wind will bring a monster swell. Hell men – red alert.
:: uge

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Frostbite

I am back in Bondi and went for a swim in our warm ocean. So much warmer in than out. 6 degrees when dashing across Bondi’s icy sand. Felt like zero.
It was a very good looking morning with small 2 footers and sunshine. If you can…go outside for a bit…as there is a late shower forecasted for today.
Don’t forget, buy our book, get our fancy new Havaianas thongs for free – great weather to be parading around in thongs! Order online
Later :: uge

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From the road…

Sorry about the really late update. Been on the road for 6 hours then sitting on the back of a jet-ski for another 6…so I have a fair excuse.
With this fresh new south swell I was keen to find some chunky stuff – found it! Some sets may have touched 8 foot, mainly 4-6 foot…clear skies, frosty winds.
Thanks to Russ Quinn for driving the ski all day and showing me some insane setups!
:: uge
#notbondi

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Bland

Change is happening believe it or not. Ah huh…right now…the rain and dark skies are parting whilst the south swell machine has finally clicked out of neutral. Come back to the beach in a few hours and you will see glorious sunshine and 2-3 footers feeding in from a nice ground swell. Booya!
Tomorrow looks like an amazing surf day…offshore all day…big…too big for around here. Take the day off and drive! Gonna be REAL cold though. Rubber up.
:: uge

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Front

It’s about to get all polar on us. This weekend our sunny days will be replaced with a windy cold front dropping the mercury to an annual low. They reckon the coldest day of the year will be in Sydney on Sunday. Get ya uggies on.
At 7am this morning Bondi didn’t have a cloud in the sky. Waves broke in the 3 foot range with a low tide, mostly closing out. I imagine it will improve with a higher tide.
Enjoy your frosty weekend – go skiing. Good south swell starting next Tuesday.
:: uge

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Golden Mist

Great time of year…good colours The air is crisp and clean. When the sun is low to the horizon the warm tones seem accentuated. Especially when shooting against a dark background, like a big cliff.
Bronte had a few wobbly things this morning…nothing special…Bondi had low tide waves…nothing special.
Enjoy today’s sunshine, as from here it gets a lil’ ugly and wet. Bunker in this weekend – ’tis gonna be a real wintery one.
Have you seen our latest Havaianas thong print? Buy a book and get the thongs for free!
:: uge

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Erratic

Quite unpredictable down the beach this morning. The show started with rain, rain and more rain. I sat in my car…fiddled with my phone…maybe even dosed off in the car park (a lot quieter than my home without little people screaming in my ear at 5am). It was so dark even my high ISO cameras couldn’t pick anything up.
45 mins later sun broke…waves cleaned up…and there were some empty lefts to be had. Wake up! Even the dolphins were having a little party out there. Love it when they freak out the surf school.
In a couple of weeks we are hitting the snowfields of Queenstown and Wanaka (NZ). True Bro. Y’know, just something different as everyone loved it last time we visited (see post). Well it looks like there is plenty of snow over there and antics – check this video.
:: uge

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Rain

Our fantastic run of winter sunshine has finally come to an end. She’s about to rain.
The south swell has been consistently breaking all week. Today you’d find 3-4 footers at Bondi (But they are mainly closing out). Maroubra had a few pockets…not enough to get most out of bed.
Fruitman Sam delivers fruit and vege to your door (stating the obvious, I know). Our little Bronte buddies get up earlier than me, head out to the markets out west and drop boxes to your door. Fresh! If you want a drop, call the hotline 0420 906 061 and get with the program. Don’t know what to do with a box? Blend it up into a wintery soup. Hit them up
Local male model, aerialist, plumber…Pama Davies can throw out some heat on his tiny lil’ boards. Watch this film of Pama shredding on the new Hayden Shapes craze…the Love Buzz.
:: uge

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Frigid

That pre-sunrise offshore wind has a bite to it – duzzzinit? Another cold morning dropping to 6 degrees. The air is super clean and super crisp. Colours seem to pop in this winter air. I like that.
We have a long period dead south swell in town. South facing beaches would be attracting 3-4 footers…inconsistently. Bondi was pretty straight on the incoming tide at 7:30am.
Waves will be small all week with something big brewing for Saturday.
As you know, I was just in the Mentawai Islands. The swell of the century hit the paradise island chain last week. What a boomer. Watch this footage of Kandui firing.
:: uge

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Siberia

I’m built for the tropics. Maybe it’s my part Asian heritage. Yeah I’ll say it…I’m such a pussy in the cold. Definitely no Chris Burkard here (yes, I’ve seen his Ted talk). This morning I was huddled up on a wet rock at 6 something…the frosty westerlies blowing. The sun was slow rising and not really providing any reprieve. My car said it was 4 degrees…on my shaded wet rock I reckon it was zero. I sat there waiting for some light to shine…and this beautiful creature hobbled out on the rocks in front of me, only wearing black Speedos! You mental black hornet? Why so tough? Sorry girls I didn’t catch the Hoff’s Tinder profile…but you’ll find the iceman creeping around Maroubra. Keep in mind this is what I was wearing.
There’s a fresh supply of thumping dead south swell in town. It’s 4 foot and maxed at Bondi. Maroubra had a few and there is barely anyone out.
:: uge

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Doozie

It was hard to get out of bed this morning…very cold (4 degrees in wind chill). If you ventured beyond your doona covers you were rewarded though. It all begun with a colour mash sunrise around 6:45 – 7am. Amazing, wasn’t it? Then as the light came on you could see clean, decent, 3 footers at Bondi. Dang! Looked so fun out there this morning.
Hey don’t forget about our special deal. Buy our book, get our latest Havaianas x Aquabumps thongs for free! We deliver. Order Online
Later :: uge

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Mediocre

Not a lot happening down the beach. Was raining a fair bit around sunrise…the skies clogged up with thick grey clouds and an abundance of dolphins and whales circling Bondi.
The waves were junky 2 footers.
Today we are launching our new Havaianas x Aquabumps thong for 2015. Our 2013 thong was a 2nd best seller to plain black. This year we’ve run an image I took in Hawaii, Waimea bay on a 20 foot day. To get one of the first pairs we’re doing a combo deal. Buy our Aquabumps book “The Beach Blog” ($150) and get a free pair of the latest thong (worth $30). We have a very limited supply…get ’em now! The thong will be for sale separately soon in your regular Havi stores.
:: uge

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