The San Luis Obispo Film Festival is featuring UTS on the evening of Thursday, March 12th. Should be a great time. From what I've heard the venue's awesome holding nearly 900 peeps and they are flying Nat and Beau out from Oz. There's gonna be an after party and the whole bit.
For more info and to reserve your ticket(s) >>> San Luis Obispo Film Festival
After hanging with Dick Van, we pushed North towards Noosa Heads. Hours later, we stepped out of the van in Noosa and were greeted by 95-degree humid air and hordes of cashed-up tourists. Sweaty and unashamed, we made sure every beach goer vaguely resembling a surfer got a flyer for the night's show. After whoring ourselves out for a few hours, we grabbed a cold schooner of coopers and I sent out "uts updates 2&3."
The evening began at surf journalist extraordinaire Phil Jarratt's surf shop "Back beach" for some more beer and snacks. Phil and his wife, Tom Wegener, The Band of Frequencies' lead singer Shannon Sol Carroll, shaper Peter White, and longboard champ Josh Constable were among the crew enjoying a lovely summer evening. Moving across the street, the show was packed to standing room only. The Band of Freq's and Oka rocked rounding out another beautiful night.
Noosa's got an interesting mix of cultures- sort of a Byron Bay rural and Gold Coast metro vibe in one spot. Streets chalked with fat wallets and glitzy shops coexist with eucalyptus lined beaches and simple surfers. Despite the increased traffic on land and in the lineup, everyone appeared to get along and stuck to the lives they'd grown accustomed to.
The man leading the lifestyle I've grown accustomed to is Mr. Tom Wegener. I was fortunate enough to hang out with he and his fam for a couple days and soak up knowledge from the lawyer, turned surf-bum, turned eco surfboard guru who's shunned the So Cal consumer life in search of a more holistic existence.
With magpies chirping in the background, I woke up to the sound of a planner echoing through the rafters of his adjacent shaping barn. Climbing the rickety stairs I found Tom mowing away on a new alaia for yours truly. Needless to say I was stoked.
The waves were bumpy that afternoon but we were frothing to get wet- Tom got a few epic rides from a cloudbreak boil all the way through to shore and I got a few nice left slides on my new stick. The new outline of Tom's high performance alaias resemble a modern snowboard and I found it really gripped the face of the wave well adding a whole new level of friction-free control.
The next day I hoped on a bus and met up with my old friend Andrew "Hodaddy" Crockett, the author of the definitive and inspirational surfing book "Switchfoot." After filming a video clip for his dad's laundry factory, we went on a thrift shore shopping spree uncovering priceless pieces from the heaps of discarded attire.
Meanwhile here's a couple of interviews I did. One is for a groovy England mag called Drift, and the other appeared in today's Sydney Morning Herald.
On three hours of sleep I got a ride from our publicist Melissa to meet up with Tim and get on the road. We stopped for breakfast and did a couple of phone interviews before we got up to the Goldy and paddled out at D'bah. I was promptly vibed by all the groms with my wooden handplane and short trunks, then got bounced around in the five foot lumpy surf while Tim ripped it up on his flouresent kneeboard. After our sesh we handed out a few flyers and got some lunch at a conveyor belt sushi restaurant right on the beach. The food over here is awesome. Quality cafes with fruit and veggie juices, fresh sandwiches, handmade gelato and insane coffee are abound.
That night we showed the film at the top level of Twin Towns, one of many Golf Coast highrise casinos. It was a chore hauling up our 25 foot screen, speakers, projector, stands and giveaways, but the venue was great and a beautiful evening ensued with my film, live music by Kim Campbell, and the new documentary Surfing 50 States. Its a story about two young Aussie guys who got an old milk truck and drove around the US trying to surf in every state. Its pretty classic.
We nearly packed the house again that night and it felt really great to be back in the places I shot the film and show it to its home crowds.
This morning we woke up to stiff onshore winds and one foot wind chop. While Time and our assistant Caroline ate some breakfast, I waded out with the other beachgoers and body-wamped in the shorebreak. After drying off, Tim called Dick Van Stralen who shaped a couple custom boards for the tour as raffle prizes. Dick shapes the majority of Rasta's boards and is an absolute legend. Everything from his board designs to his outlook on life is inspiring.
After an interview with Bay FM and a fun couple of surfs we rolled downtown and setup for the first show of the UTS tour. Byron was packed. Having always shot in autumn, winter and spring I'd never seen it in its full backpacker glory. Filling the Hotel Great Northern, we showed UTS to its home crowd and rocked out to The Band of Frequencies (who made half of the original score for UTS) and the boys' other band Oka. When the credits came up Tim introduced me to the packed house and asked the crowd if they had any questions. Unlike back in the States, I guess Aussies aren't too big on Q&A, so I just stood up there with a stupid smile on my face until someone in the audience yelled out something nice about my effort, and the crowd cheered. Relieved, I made a mental note not to field any questions for the rest of the tour.
It was really good hanging with the boys from the band and catching up. A few of the local pros showed up, including the legendary Jim Banks. A couple of notables were missing though- just missed Rasta by a few days from his trip to Hawaii and Beau was out of commission suffering from some broken ribs after an epic trip to Micronesia.
The music was insane. We spent all night rocking out fueled on pints of Coopers, an amazing pale ale that reminded me of Sierra Nevada but smoother. After the party we drove to a mermaid's house deep in the Byron hills and finally hit the sack in the wee hours of the morning.
I woke up yesterday at 5:30 and walked around the Sydney beach suburb where Tim Bonython (my buddy whose putting on the tour) lives. I ran past the ocean and a spot where I went bodysurfing on my handplane the day I arrived. It's a ledgy little reef wave that unloads in a couple feet of water. I walked through a little park and dog walk trail tucked away between the beach and busy streets. Along the way were amazing graffiti murals. They didn't look gang related, but inspired by urban graffiti in the US and Europe.
I got back, washed up and repacked my bags for the trip up north. We set off for Byron Bay in Tim's van pulling a small trailer loaded with projectors, lens,swag, and banners. Ten hours later we arrived in just south of Byron in Lennox Head. Lennox is just a few minutes south of Byron and home to some great waves.
After a surf I have an interview at the local Byron radio station at 8am, then a newpaper interview at 11:30 and the rest of the day is setting up tonight's show at Great Northern Hotel in downtown Byron. The Band of Frequencies are playing (they made the Byron half of the UTS original score) and Beau Young will be cruising in. I'm excited to kick things off in Byron and catch up with old friends.
Here's an interview
I did while showing Under the Sun in Nova Scotia.
Here's an interview I did with Coastalwatch for the launch of the UTS 13 stop tour in Oz...
Under the Sun is Coming to Australia via a 12 stop tour called the Sould Out Surf Film Festival.
for tickets and showtimes- Souled Out Film
here's some fotos i've taken over the last couple days from my little $99 olympus point and shoot. I've always had to lug around big professional cameras and its fun really fun to run around with such an unassuming rig...
I moved back down to N. County, San Diego a month back and have been trying out those wooden alaia boards...
Music By Shawn Lee and Clutchy Hopkins from their new album "Clutch of the Tiger" out now on ubiquity records.