Down Under Diaries

Feb 25 @ 4:10pm

Hello Gold Coast!

After a 14-hour flight across the Pacific we have arrived! We couldn’t have come on a better day, too. It is simply glorious here! Crystal clear blue water, air temps in the mid 80s, overhead waves, and a gentle breeze greeted us upon touchdown in Coolangatta.

One of Australia's premier pointbreaks, Lennox Head, from row 14 seat D on today's Virgin Australia flight from Sydney to Coolangatta.

One of Australia's premier pointbreaks, Lennox Head, from row 14 seat D on today's Virgin Australia flight from Sydney to Coolangatta.

After landing, we quickly loaded the boards and bags and beelined it for Komune—our home for the next two weeks. Frothing in a manner that would have the Gudauskas brothers proud, we made the quick walk to Duranbah only to find…hardly anyone out and waves up and down the beach. You usually come around the bend just to see a swarm of humans that makes you not want to paddle out. My initial thought was that a shark had mauled someone and the crowd had scurried. But alas, there were no (visible) sharks and we were out there. The first person I saw catch a wave was fabulous Freddy P—his trademark backside power gouge pairs well with D-Bah’s punchy walls. After initial greetings I asked Fred what was up with his site, www.insurfnews.com. According to Fred it got to be too expensive to fly a video guy/web guy around the world and he pulled the plug on the entertaining site.

The easternmost point in Australia, Byron Bay. Check out the rights down there...it was going off!

The easternmost point in Australia, Byron Bay. Check out the rights down there...it was going off!

The next pro spotted at D-Bah was Monyca Byrne-Wickey from Maui—holy shit is she hot! I clumsily introduced myself to her moments before we got cleaned up by a set wave. Twisting and turning underwater I secretly hoped to collide (albeit gently) with her but no luck. I ran into her gain at lunch where she was joined by Alana Blanchard. Those two together are just too much…

After the initial session, I made it to Snapper in time to see Mitch Crews win the Quiksilver Pro trials. Mitch is one of Now/Next kids and he made us look smart today after beating Dean Morrison, Marc Lacomare, and Tom Whitaker to earn himself a slot in the main event. With his aerial based repertoire and innate knowledge of Snapper (he’s from just up the road in Tugun) Crews could do some damage when the event ramps up, which could be as early as tomorrow.

Just off to the right of the wing tip is Snapper Rocks where all the action is about to go down... That's Duranbah to the left of Snapper, too.

Just off to the right of the wing tip is Snapper Rocks where all the action is about to go down... That's Duranbah to the left of Snapper, too.

We ran into Dane Reynolds’ team guy from Channel Islands, Travis Lee, and he verified that Dane hasn’t recovered from knee surgery and is not surfing in the Quik Pro. God knows we can’t live without our Dane update…

Our social calendar is set; there’s a Quiksilver girls party downstairs tonight, and many more to follow. Stay tuned…

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