Under the Sun Down Under Blog Update 3

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.

Under the Sun Down Under Blog Update 2

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.


Under the Sun Down Under Blog Update 1

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.