Loner in the tropics

Mixed Bag

Today’s a hybrid, a mixed bag between Bondi, Curly and Mentawais. There’s no correlation between these locations, they’re just some JPGs lying around on my desktop from recent shoots. A rainy, cold, junkie day is a great opportunity to show a mixed bag. I’d expect to see waves above 4 foot today at Bondi, but it’s going […]

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A short film made on my Google Pixel 2 Phone


Hurro. It’s cool, calm and waveless. AKA Lake Bondi. Good for a (brief) swim, a walk, a few photos…then something productive. (AKA work) Pretty quiet in the swell department for this time of year. Tiny all week long. There’s a big south storm brewing for Monday. Looks very windy. Maybe that will bring a few waves […]

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Early morning carves with Weeties


Cracker of a day outside. Cool morning, the sand was frosty, but the water warm and inviting. Swam for 1 hour with my camera. Very invigorating! Minimal crew out, high tide fat 2 footers, clean offshore…sunshine blaring and a top of 18. Not bad for winter. Pretty much tiny surf conditions until Monday when a […]

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These colourful skies seem to be following me around the globe

Colour Binge

Whilst the wave department has failed this morning the sunrise department has stepped up a gear. Amazing skies. I’m having a good run of these colourful skies following me around the globe at the moment. A cool day ahead on land with a maximum of 18 degrees. The water is still pretty warm, I am […]

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Bondi beach has tubes?

I’m back…

I’ve returned from my little fling with the Indonesian islands. I can still feel the motion of the boat whilst standing firmly on dry land. Had a blast over there, not too shabby around here either. 2-3 footers, perfect sunshine, offshores and barely anyone down the beach this morning. Bingo. Good times. Get out there. My […]

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The colours of Indonesia, seeya!

Heading Home…

After surfing 26 surf breaks in 12 days we’re now heading home. We’re done. Cooked. Spaghetti arms. I haven’t worn shoes or touched dry land since May. And barely any mobile reception – it feels good to get off the grid. Today I’ve switched on my computer and have dozens of messages saying they wanna holiday […]

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Lay days aren’t such a bad thing up here!Lay days aren’t such a bad thing up here!


May, June, July are usually the best months to come to the Mentawais for surfing. It’s when all the winter storms down near the roaring 40s, 50s and 60s kick in, dispersing swell in this direction. I won’t lie, this trip we’ve had a consistent run of 3-5 foot days and beautiful weather – nothing […]

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Murray Jacob, biggest man grommet on the globe.

Goofy vs Natural

Fact: The best waves in Indonesia are usually lefts. It’s due to the physical orientation of Indonesia and how it relates to the South Westerly swell source. On a boat charter, there is a constant divide between the natural footers and goofys – we’ve got a 50-50 split this year and the wolf pack go […]

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Tumultuous weather in Mentawais, sunny one minute, overcast the next.

Holey Moley

6 things you may not know about the Mentawais (where I am right now): In 1983 the archipelago of Mentawai was discovered as a surfing destination by salvage diver, west Aussie, Martin Daly. The first wave he surfed was Debuts, at the most southern tip of the islands (coincidently where we just slept the night). […]

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Karl Page, under cover and under pressure, Mentawais

The Bush

I’ve been out to the Mentawais 17 times now on these boats. Why? The surf is amazing. Full stop. For consistency and diversity of waves, I can’t think of another destination that compares. Admittedly, it’s not for every surfer, most waves are breaking on sharp shallow reefs and offer dreamy tubes…but it can get dangerous […]

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Sammy with plenty of wall to work with


We’re up in the Mentawais, a group of islands off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. Plenty of swell and the islands have been lighting up. After surfing 7 different breaks in 48 hours we opted for a slow session at a beach break away from the crowds. It turned on nicely. No official name for […]

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This is how I feel about today, give me more! C'mon!


I’d like to talk about all the amazing things I witnessed down the beach this morning. That the waves were proper pumping, the light was incredible and how I couldn’t stop taking photographs. Unfortunately that’s not gonna happen… it was a vanilla onshore kinda morning with very little highlights for us to discuss. In fact […]

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Best fishing at dawn


On paper, we’ve got all the right ingredients for a great surf day. Offshore grooming winds, 4-5 foot south swells, sunshine…quieter Autumn crowds…so why aren’t I frothing? I just can’t seem to find anything pumping around ‘ere. The swell seems a little random, and junkie. The early morning high tides are fatting up any workable […]

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Grom steals a wave

16 seconds

We have a 16-second, chunky south swell in town today. It’s come up a lot overnight. Bondi wasn’t really handling it (no surprises there) but if you have a hunt around you’ll find something. Protected corners are the better options. Winds remain perfectly west – great for a lot of surf spots in Sydney. The […]

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Men on a cliff and some dude going left

Burning Orange

Crispy clean autumn morning. The horizon was clear of cloud so first light at Bronte was incredibly gold! A welcome sight. Maximum of 22 degrees today. There is a head high south swell in town coupled with favourable west winds. West winds are always cold but best for Sydney surfing. Swell is on the way […]

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Good start to the week, Bondi Beach


Real quiet morning down at Bondi Beach Australia. I think the cold mornings put many off. Even the hardcore regulars were absent. Small closeouts on offer – not really anything substantial to write about. It will double in size by tonight – now that is exciting. Thank you for donating to our SurfAid Cup team, we […]

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Blake Thornton belting this one


It’s a lot cleaner today than yesterday and looking fun. It’s not exactly pumping, but I would say you’d find a few gems. Swell is hanging in there and breaking around head high at most beaches of the east. The sunshine is out and it’s here to stay for nearly 1 week. SO GOOD. It […]

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Not much doing down the beach this morning

Early Onshore

There was a promise of good waves this morning but I think the early onshores ruined the show. By 1st light, the Southerly has junkified most 3-4 footers at Bondi. Only a few hellmen paddled out – it looked terrible! Today is the last day you’ll hear me asking for a donation to my Aquabumps Surfaid […]

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Green Light

It’s affirmative, green light. Swell is big and the winds are offshore.  The seas still need to settle as this morning was pretty random, rogue & raw. Somewhere would be pumping right now, I am not convinced the Eastern Suburbs is the pick of the spots…drive! The water is colder and I’ve just received my […]

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Stormie getting pounded


There’s a storm in town and it’s been running amuck. Plenty of rain yesterday and the south swell machine is on today. Waves are around 4-6 foot at Bondi. It would be a helluva lot bigger if the swell wasn’t so south, kinda sneaking past Sydney. Tomorrow and Wednesday have the swell direction tweaking a bit […]

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Day at Bondi Aquabumps Google Pixel Film Play


One word…cold! Temperatures plummet as we head into a cold weekend. This storm will bring in a big south swell on Sunday/Monday. Boom! Summer is officially over and fond memories of those baking hot beach days slip into the horizon. It sure was a hot one. Watch this short film made entirely on my phone. […]

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Aninna loving these early morning colours


Yes, another cracker sunrise for this week – our third. Makes my job a helluva lot easier when the skies are ablaze with colour – basically, I can point my camera in any direction and shoot – and the images come up trumps.  For those non-morning people, we only usually get one cracker sunrise per […]

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Frankie, fresh switch jive. Bondi Beach

Bondi Points

Bondi is doing it’s best impersonation of Noosa Points at the moment. It’s great if longboarding is your thing. On a shallow bank, there is a very slow peeling knee to chest high wave. It’s offshore so the surfaces are clean and the sunshine is being very kind to us. Sound good? Well, keep reading, […]

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Sometimes the magic is right behind me


Bondi Beach was looking like St. Tropez at sunrise with a 32-metre superyacht ‘Mohasuwei’ in the bay. Why were we graced with a superyacht this morning? Bill Gates was in town and heard sunrises at Bondi are best. The Royal Commission wanted to check out the bank situation at Bondi Beach, first hand. A Mentawai […]

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Rohan giving chase

The Finer Details

Cold out, warm in. Monday’s are the quietest mornings. Very few people snuck down there for the early. Waves? yeah-nah. More nah this morning but more yeah later today when a new swell starts to file in. I’ve been sending out this beach-picture-email-thingie for over 19 years now, if you love it, surely your mates do […]

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No booze, North Bondi


I was rustling around in the dark thinking the skies could light up into hot pinks at any moment this morning. Cloud formations were showing promise. I waited. I waited. Fiddled with my phone. Chatted to some morning swimmers. I waited. It never came! This morning was coated in darkness until 9 am. A tough morning […]

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Glass wave


Perfect morning for a swim, wasn’t it? Even though it was chilly when you woke, a submerge into the Pacific proved very fruitful, very invigorating! Last year around this time we had 76 days of sunshine in a row – will this happen again? The swell has dropped out, and only 1+ footers remain.  There […]

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Ah yes, now that's a good start to the day. Bondi

Swim Reaper

It’s only just gone 8am as I write this post, around my 6,000th update to Aquabumps. Even though this could be one of the earliest posts (ever), today, I already witnessed a random Grim Reaper on the beach (@iamtheswimreaper), an incredible sunrise, lots of nude people (dunno, just happened to be a few down there), […]

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Face painting, Bondi by Phil Gallagher

Autumn Flavours

What a day. A day to be treasured. Grooming offshore breezes lined up 2-4 footers down at Bondi. It was a cold one on land, first time I’ve worn a steamer in 2018 but the water was surprising bath-like. Go get some. Thanks to all the readers that came to the Aperture Photographic Conference on the […]

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Fruit in the trees


Sorry about disappearing on you like that. It’s schoolies, and we’re spending some time out of Bondi. Y’know, teach the groms to do reos and recharge. The weather has been volatile, sunny one minute, raining the next. The change of seasons is here. This weekend I will be talking at the Aperture Photography Conference in Sydney. […]

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My favourite kinda light, Bondi


This week’s south swell is actually hanging in there. Just. Waves are breaking in the 2-3 foot range and a grooming NW offshore is making for super clean conditions at Bondi. It’s still breaking very straight, shutting down, barely giving you an opportunity to get to your feet. Hell, it’s Friday with plenty of sunshine, […]

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Legs Eleven. Bondi doing a nice impersonation of the Bahamas

City Salt

I can remember when I started shooting Bondi daily (nearly 20 years ago), people would go “Why would you want to shoot Bondi every day…?” Take a look at the clarity of the water in the above shot, the colour of water…that’s why and it’s so close to an urban centre. How could I not? […]

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Nice colourful start to the day


Today was a pretty stock standard morning down at Bondi. We had some colour at sunrise, albeit brief. The onshore winds are persisting and are ruining your surfing options. Swell is from the south and showing 3-4 footers at Bondaka. Crowd levels low. It looks like the weather has finally reached Autumn levels; cooler mornings […]

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The neat fold over technique


Rain, what is that? Haven’t seen it around these parts for quite some time. After a dry windy weekend, your gardens are loving it. The great news is that the swell has jacked right up. A south swell with plenty of wonk and in the 3-4 range. Yesterday ended up being a cracker windless autumn […]

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Golden silk moments


A perfect Bondi morning with 1-2 footers and ultra-clean conditions. After a very windy weekend, we’ve now got a trickle of new south swell. It should get bigger as the day progresses. Head high by nightfall. Light winds all day. Get outside. :: uge

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Looking for a quiet wave? Nah not here.

Colour Run

We have had a fantastic run of golden light, every morning and evening this week. The weather just couldn’t get any better. It’s great to see huge crowds after work enjoying the fantastic Autumn conditions. The surf looks smaller and fat. I wasn’t that excited about it all… Go swim. In August I’m heading back […]

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I see the light, Bondi


On paper today had all the makings of a great surf day for Bondi. At first dawn inspection, it looked great. But the reality was something else. I blame the high tide of 5:33 am which put heaps of backwash and wonk into it. Most waves shut down, but there are still plenty of overhead […]

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Bubba has that look in his eyes, hunting sections


Game on. Before you drop everything and sprint away from your office desk, hear me out. Swell has cranked right up overnight and from the SE. Winds are perfectly offshore. It’s breaking in the 3-5 foot range, but it’s pretty hard work at Bondi, and very fickle with the tide. Lots of closeouts but some […]

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Minimalismo, Bondi


After a late cooling southerly we now have clouds and waves. A little bit of swell was kicked up overnight. I saw the odd shoulder high wave however it did appear a little weak, limping into the beach. Huge morning crowd out wishing we had yesterdays weather on repeat. Seeyouselater. :: uge

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Chris lining up a runner, Bondi


For kicks, today I swam out with my first ever lens – the Canon fisheye. I can’t believe I still have it after 20 years. It’s missing a few pieces but still, it works after 100,000s of frames shot and thousands of hours in the ocean. I can remember saving up for 12 months to buy […]

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