E F Y *

Today is the end of the Fiscal Year. Doesn’t mean much to many other than hoping for some tax return money.
The waves have gone all quiet. Bondi was struggling at 1-2 foot. Water was warm at 20 degrees whilst it was very cold out (especially before the sun).
If you need some artwork for the office, today’s a good day (Buy today/claim tomorrow). Fill those blank walls with beach scenes. Makes you work harder and reminds you of life outside the office. Browse our online catalogue for ideas. We have art consultants on chat ready to rock. Telephone 02 9130 7788
:: uge

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Slots

It’s rare, but it does happen….Bondi has tiny tubes today. OK, they’re more like the occasion open close out, but it looked fun this morning. The grooming offshores were making it a little more organised than yesterday. It is still very cold.
Smaller tomorrow but surfable for the next 7 days around here.
:: uge

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Brass Monkeys

Yesterday was the coldest day in 21 years. It only reached 11.7 degrees. Today is warmer, can still feel it biting deep into the bones.
Some people don’t feel the cold. Just take a look at Lee in the photo above. Stickers…morning stroll before sunrise at the North end where it was really windy. Wind chill at sunrise would have been next to nought. Tough guy!
Again, Bondi was dead quiet. 3-4 guys surfing in 3-4 foot peaks. Good times for those that dare brave the cold.
Blacklist X Aquabumps
We’ve teamed up with a Nate, the talented artist behind Blacklist Store to produce a limited edition run (300 only) ‘Sea Love’ artworks. The image is of Bondi from above, one of my signature angles combined with silver foil hand writing from Nate. We’re stoked how it came up, signed, numbered and ready to go. Only $300 framed in oak or $180 unframed. Shipping free for Aussies (unframed free for overseas peeps). Order online
Onya.
:: uge

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Loaded

Bondi’s a ghost town in and out of the water. The cold has driven everyone away. It’s frosty down there…you can feel that it’s snowing in the mountains.
The waves looked really good and empty. Not many interested at all. 3-4 foot, SE swell and WNW winds which will pick up today. A lot of beaches will have great waves this morning with those generous conditions. Get in before the arvo wind.
How good are the new North Bondi toilets? Who’d thought a public space could look this decent. Good job Sam Crawford Architects. Let’s have more considered, sustainable design around Bondi. See what I mean. Wondering around Bondi today I couldn’t believe how much construction is taking place. Every street has building sites, cranes. The once ghetto AKA Scum Valley is getting a much needed face lift.
Cheers, :: uge

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Mild

Where did it all go? Overnight the swell ran off leaving barely any scraps. From 4 foot to 0 foot! Breathe…breathe…it’s coming back. In fact it will be too big tomorrow to surf around here. I would go for a long drive and chase locations that suit 6 foot dead south swell with offshore hooooowwwwliung 30 knot  WSW winds. Oh, and that wind will not only make it hard for you to get into ’em, it will be really cold over the weekend, one of the coldest weekends of the year coming up!
Cold = snow. Plenty dumping this weekend.
If you’re looking for a little handy mirrorless camera (good for those who don’t want to dive into big DSLRs)…check out the Canon EOS M3 Mirrorless. There is a $200 cash back using promo code ‘mirror’. All you need to know is right here.
:: uge

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Chilled Dip

It was a cold morning in Sydney. 9 degrees to be specific. If you wanna feel alive, go for a swim. You’ll feel great for the rest of the day.
Swell was lingering this morning (2-3ft) from the dead south gravitating towards Bondi. We have a unusual sand bank setup at the moment from the recent storms. Most waves were shutting down. I’m betting that it will come good with loads of sand in close. Our Bondi rips will sculpt something for us. Who knows, this weekends pounding may just do it! (it’s gonna get really big)
Do you know Aquabumps employs 8 people now? Well, we need another. This one is a casual sales retail position in the Bondi Aquabumps Gallery. All the deets are here.
:: uge
P.S. Tonight (23 June) Barney Quinlan is raising money for his Real Swim Indonesia Project at the Bucketlist. Basically go to Bucketlist tonight, watch some old skool surf movies and help local legend Barney – you all know him. See flyer for all info

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Settled

It’s really calmed down a lot around here. The ocean has defaulted to it’s chilled state. Biggest wave I saw all morning was knee to waist high. It’s super clean and decent for a swim.
This weekend a huge South swell is going to hit Sydney. I am talking 10 foot at magnets. Wind will be interesting at 30 knots of WSW offshore. That’s hooooowwling. You will need a very big board to get into ’em.
An old Bondi mate, Tim, has some Surry Hills office space he’s trying to rent out. It’s a fancy joint next to Longrain. More info
:: uge

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Yeah, Naah

Last nights’ storms weren’t that bad. Bit of wind and rain. That’s all gone now. Think we were all on high alert after the big one.
There is swell, it’s fresh (NE), it’s wonky and still working itself out. Hopefully the underlying South swell will kick a little for Bondi surfers.
Is it pumping ? Naaah. Surfable – yeah.
Random fact: Tomorrow is the shortest day of the year…the winter solstice.
Our series of prints from Italy have been popular with our gallery customers. Here is some of the best ones from the trip. We ship these prints globally framed or unframed – we’ve been in the business of selling artwork for 13 years now!
:: uge

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Bright

Things you need to know today:
a) Gabs Medina just took out the Fiji Pro over Wilko in 10 foot surf. Wilko is having an awesome year.
b) Bondi has waves, big ones, big ones that close out all the time (3-4 foot)
c) We had quite a decent sunrise today. Not epic. 6/10 is my rating.
d) Another strong east coast low will hit Sunday afternoon bringing 30 knots of wind and big NE swell on Monday.
As you were…
:: yooj/uge

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Winter

It was only 9 degrees as I roamed around South Bondi. With the stiff offshore chill it felt colder. Bondi is best known for it’s packed peak summer days, but the reality is most of the time it’s like this in winter – empty. I like it. So quiet down there. Barely anyone swimming or exercising. Surfing – yes, 3 footers and only a hand full out. Enjoy.
We’ve got a pop up exhibition at the Moore Park Supa Centre. Have a look. The entire retail Centre is having a 1 day sale this weekend (sat 18th June). See deals
:: uge

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Carnage

What is going on? What is going on? I go overseas for 12 days and Sydney blows up, literally? The photos I’ve seen just don’t look real. A 13 metre swell in town…whaaaaaat? Cape Fear runs with a psycho north swell (so dangerous on that direction), a huge water tank is lifted from the Icebergs and plonked at South Bondi, pathways to Bronte are destroyed, steel is bent all over Icebergs. I’m guessing there is carnage all over Sydney. Oh…mother nature, you’ve flexed some muscle this time.
…and there is talk of another East Coast Low ravaging Sydney again next Sunday/Monday?
The beach seems to have an enormous amount of sand now, which is a great thing. You’ll notice it’s a deep beach now…widest I’ve seen. Waves are still here at 3 foot, howling offshore winds.
Everyone knows Pip Edwards around here. I see Pip pumping out the soft sand laps early in the morning. Well, not every day. Sometimes. She was recently famed on the cover of the salubrious local mag The Beast! Well she’s started her own label…P.E. Nation. It’s modern active wear ’cause that’s all women wear around Bondi. Free shipping for Aquabumps readers using the “Aqua” promo code. Go
:: uge
P.S. Say a little pray for the people of Orlando. It’s just too sad for words.

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Bon Voyage

I write to you from the middle of the treacherous Mentawai strait…yes, we’re heading home. The Ratu Motu chugs along at 13 knots heading for the mainland port of Padang. It’s silky smooth and our 3 storey/39 metre chunk of steel is barely rocking. Blessed.
You’ve all read stories of Mentawais, it’s a well trodden path for surfers and journos…so here is a random collection of useless/useful information:

On this trip we achieved a world first, a beer delivery to the line up via a drone. Yes, we are now trying to deliver all manner of items to surfers waiting for a set. We even tried to deliver a beer whilst someone was surfing on a wave – unsuccessfully (footage coming when we get to a fast internet link)
We had an earthquake (6.5) in the Mentawai Strait last week. In fact, we had 2 undersea earth quakes whilst we were at sea but no tsunamis thankfully…don’t worry Mum, we anchor in Tsunami resistant areas at night (deep water).
There are 40 registered charter boats working the Mentawai chain yet we only saw half a dozen the entire time (not all at once). It’s a big place, we had days and days on our own with 5 surf breaks to choose from.
Mentawais is bit of a dude ranch – very few females venture out here (we saw 2 chicas in 12 days). It’s not really suitable for your next family vay-cay, especially not with small children. Look up West Papua (On Ratu Motu of course which goes to Papua in the Indo off season). I’m so keen to take my family there for a well balanced trip (bit of small surf…mostly scenic).

Huge thanks to our charter vessel Ratu Motu for the most insane trip. 3 swells over 12 days. Nothing under head high and mostly 4-6 foot, daily.
See you around Bondi.
:: uge

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Isolation

We’ve been hiding out in a small pocket of the Mentawais for days and days, on our own. It’s been awesome. No humans for miles. So many waves to choose from and only 12 surfers on our boat to ride them. With a inbound monster swell, I would say that’ll change. My surf guide and Mentawai oracle, Erik, says the swell coming today will be the biggest he’s seen in 12 years of being out here. It’s a 20 second 20 foot monster…so the boys are waxing up and all watching the horizon, patiently.
Keep in mind, it’s not as big as the 13 metre swell that just hit Sydney. I’ve been seeing snippets of the damage done – I just can’t believe my eyes. I hear it was the worst storm since 1974! Is my gallery still there?
If you’d like to do a trip like this one, it’s really easy. Get a group together. I choose to bring 12 surfers out with me on the majestic Ratu Motu (AKA Death Star) – but the boat can take 20 people. It’s by far the largest and most luxurious floating palace out here. It was called the Indies Trader 4 and featured in surf movies like Young Guns 2 (google it). The boat has hosted all the big names in surfing – you name it, they’ve sat at the dinner table. The 12 onboard staff will treat you like a king whilst you catch the most perfect waves on this planet. Not all waves up here are bone crushers, in fact I would say the majority are really quite easy. So there you have it. Start planning 2017. Go to this website for all booking info.
The Bondi show continues next week on Aquabumps…
:: uge
 

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A Good Day…

I am having a good day. Currently I’m on the 39 metre Ratu Motu parked up against one of the most beautiful islands on this planet. I’ve been here many times…it’s a favourite. A right hander wraps the island producing 300-400 metre rides. It’s really quite ridiculous. The stuff you dream of. Then the water is always a deep shade of blue. Crystal clear. All the boys are getting shacked on a nearby left as well…
I can’t sit inside the cabin and write any more…it’s just too good outside. The winds finally dropped. I’m out there. It’s proper pumping. I heard about the storms in Sydney – can’t believe it!
:: uge

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Ujan angin

Selmat Pagi.
Even though the Mentawai Islands are only 150 kms off the coast of Indonesian Sumatra, it’s a different world out here. The volatile conditions of the Mentawai Strait have kept these people isolated from the modern world and they remain one of the most purest indigenous societies on the globe.
The last few days we’ve been experiencing the bad weather which keeps this area untouched. The amazing thing is, it will blow 35-40 knots and then completely glass off, just hours later. Plenty of swell around and getting bigger.
Following my Mentawai junket, in July, I will be heading to the South Island of New Zealand, my annual snow pilgrimage. This time I’ll be around Mt Hutt. One of the main reasons why I love shooting in New Zealand is all the interesting Kiwis you meet along the way. Check out this character, George, and his 17 year old ice cream business that’s going up to the snow this year. View video
:: uge

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: : Bad Eye

We’re having a stormy time here in the Mentawais, despite the glassy conditions depicted in today’s imagery. Last night a bad eye hit. 60 knots dragged two anchors and looted the boat. Probably the worst storm I’ve ever seen up here in 17 trips. Reminded me of the Wolf of Wall Street leaving Portofino…except we didn’t go down and have no Italian Navy to assist us.
When it’s not stormy, the sun comes out and the typical glassy Indo conditions prevail. There’s plenty of swell and tomorrow is going to be really big. My surf guide, Eric, in his words “As big as it gets”.
Exciting.
Hope all is well back in Sydney.
:: uge

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:: Ments

Most surfers have the Mentawais on their hit list. It’s just one of those magical places on earth. There’s 70 islands in the Mentawais hanging 150kms off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia.  Why is it so good? The waves are incredible here (consistently). There is just so many different reefs to surf and being on the equator the winds are usually calm and variable – thus, clean barrelling waves are plentiful.
To get here you need a boat. Yep, land camps have popped up in a lot of locations, but the real gems are hidden in the remote parts of the islands – best accessed by a charter boat. This year we’re on the well known Ratu Motu (Old Indies Trader 4) – a luxury charter vessel with all the fruit. We’ve got 12 surfers on board, 15 staff and plenty of room on a beamy 39 metres of west aussie steel.
We’ve been here many, many times together. I can remember updating Aquabumps 15 years ago with a hand held satellite gizmos standing on the roof of the boat all night. Things have progressed thankfully!
:: uge

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