Boardbag – Oz Story

Board Bag: Filth On The Goldie or The Gold Coast

There’s a place on this Earth where warm, blue water swirls and wraps around hundreds of soft-sand point breaks. A place where perfect cylinders pull you in and hold onto you, only to squeeze you out onto the inviting shoulder. A place where the sun always shines and the ladies always smile. This point on the globe is not a dense rain forest, it’s not a brutal campsite, or a boat trip from hell. It’s a place where after you get the barrel of your life, you can walk up the beach, get a meat pie and a Slurpee. This magical world is called the Gold Coast of Australia. Sweeping point breaks as far as the eye can see. Endless wedging beachbreaks that scream, “Launch off me!”

The Gold Coast of Australia should be any kid’s dream destination. Waves that bowl, but don’t risk life and limb. No reef, soft sand, mellow paddle outs, bathtub-warm water, manageable crowds, and access to all the necessities young travelers need¿7Elevens, fast food, and a massive amount of young people of the opposite sex.¿C.C.

A Different Trip

Just like people forgot about Dre, a lot of them forgot about Oz, more specifically, the Gold Coast. When everybody’s packing bug spray and global positioning cell phones, you can stroll out of your high-rise apartment and surf a perfect point break. You’re not gonna be alone and the Aussies aren’t gonna take any shit. But if and when you hook into a good wave at one of the many point breaks, you’ll see why you came in the first place.

What’s The Plan, Stan?

Getting to Australia is not cheap, but once you’re there it’s very reasonable. The best airline to fly to Oz on is Qantas. The people who work there are super cool and they actually like and respect surfers. Look on the Internet and in the newspapers for cheap rates, but definitely try to go Qantas. Fly into Sydney, then straight over to Coolangatta. Once you get there, it’s just like Southern California¿tropical and humid. There’re plenty of hostels and cheap hotel rooms right by the airport, which is an easy taxi ride to the points. Or you can just stroll across the street to the endless stretch of beachbreaks that wedge like Victoria’s Secret panties.

When Should I Go, Bro?

The peak season for the Gold Coast is around January to March. It’s summer going into fall, so the weather is perfect. The cyclones that create waves are unpredictable and some seasons are better than others, but if you go for a couple weeks, you’ll score at least a few days of joy and barrels. Another good thing about this time of year is that all the girls are on summer break, so they’re just chilling on the beach.

Should I Bring My Nine-Six?

As far as boards go, you’ll only need a couple of shortboards and one mid-range gun. Small boards break easily at the points, so I’d advise bringing a few extras. If you’re having a board specially shaped for your trip to the Gold Coast, go an inch or so bigger¿strictly for paddling and barrel-racing. When the points get bigger, a semi-gun will get you over the ledge, and the extra length will keep you from getting swept down the coast.

Pack Like A Pro

Always remember to pack light. Bring a few pairs of trunks because you never know which ones will cause the ball rash. T-shirts and shorts are all you’ll need. Unless you’re planning some nights out, and in that case, you may want to bring your ultra-cool button-up and some pants you can dance in. Don’t forget the sunblock. The sun on the Goldie is harsh. Sunblock’s a must, and if you have fair skin¿a longsleeve rash guard would be smart. Your skin will melt off if you don’t have any sun protection, so bring a hat, too.

Can I Crash On Your Floor?

Hotels on the G.C. are very reasonable, ranging from about 30 to 50 U.S. dollars a night. There’re a group of towers in Burliegh Heads that offer plush accommodations in the ideal location. The Burliegh Beach Apartments and the Gemini Towers are a favore of visiting pros. Simply look in the yellow pages, or check with a travel agent. You could show up in Australia with no idea of where you’re staying and you wouldn’t even have to worry because there’re so many options.

Meat Pies And Chips

A staple of the Australian diet is the wonderful meat pie filled with beef and gravy¿they sell for about a dollar and they’re just like those chicken pot pies mom used to microwave for you, only they actually taste good. The other Aussie favorite is fish and chips. Chips are French fries, and the fish part is a huge piece of butter-fried fish that melts in your mouth and makes the rest of you greasy. There’s also any other type of food you would want from pizza, sushi, or Victoria Bitter.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Find Out What It Means To Me

Aussie surfers rip. It’s not like Lowers where there’re only two guys out of 30 who know how to surf. It seems like everyone from the littlest ten-year-old grom to the 50-year-old style master can go out and rip. When you paddle out, don’t try to battle them ’cause you’ll lose. Wait your turn, be respectful, and you’ll get waves. When it gets big, watch the locals and you’ll see where to paddle out, where to sit, and where to grab rail and pull into a shack. The more famous breaks obviously are more crowded, so do some exploring. The names of the beaches are something for you to find out when you get there¿it’s all part of the adventure.

What Else?

After a few sessions at the world-famous point breaks, make it a point to explore. Either way, you’ll drive and meet up with some beautiful coastlines with wave-rich points and wedge-ridden beachbreaks. A rental car is ideal, but the bus system is very easy to figure out. Try to make some friends and have them take you to their secret spot. The most important thing on a trip is to experience the whole effect of the place you’re visiting. Also, if you make friends you’ll have a place to stay next time you come back.

Entertainment

A short trip by taxi will take you from the Gold Coast to Surfer’s Paradise. Surfer’s Paradise is a mix between Las Vegas, Disneyland, and Huntington Beach, California. You’ll have no problem finding something to do in this town. Casinos are open all night, and the dance clubs are generally packed every night during the summer months. Bring a skateboard as well because there’re some free public skateparks that’ll blow your mind.

Who You’ll See

Occy, Taj, Mick Fanning, Parko, and Rastovich; these are just a few of the pros you’ll see ruling the points around town. Watching Occy at a Gold Coast point is like watching the running of the bulls¿straight-up domination. You’ll realize how all these kids got so good surfing these waves all the time. Keep your eyes peeled for some legends like Rabbit and Munga, they’ll kick some ass on the waves of the Gold Coast.

The bottom line is Australia’s Gold Coast is a great place to visit. It’s an easy surf trip with no major travel hassles, no boats, no sketchy diseases, no language barrier, and there’s a chance of getting some all-time waves at classic breaks most people only dream about. If you are planning a trip somewhere in the world, do some homework and be sure you’re ready and willing to take the trip as it comes. A surf trip where everything goes perfectly is great, but it never happens, so have a good attitude about any mess ups or dramas that’ll usually happen along the way. Get out there and mow some lawns, sell blood, shovel snow¿do whatever you can to save your money. Someday you too could be doing your own personal soul arches into the emerald caverns on The Gold Coast.

Sidebars:

Recommended Australian Reading:

Breaking Down The Door by Rabbit Bartholomew, Waves magazine, Tracks magazine, and Austrailian Surfing Life magazine.

Aussie Surf Slang:

Filth: Something good or rad.
Example: “Aw, mate. The waves at Kirra are filth, I reckon.”

Arse: Australian for ass.
Example: “Oh mate, I just got me board up me arse.”

Seppo Yank: What they’ll call you when you get there.
Example: “Piss off, you seppo yank!”

Arvo: Australian for afternoon.
Example: “The waves are shit now, but maybe this arvo the wind will stop.”

Pissed: Over the limit of alcohol consumtion.
Example: “Me and me mates were pissed at the Tracks magazine party.”

Bullshit: A rad move or great news.
Example: “Hey, mate! Did you see that turn Parko just did, it was pure bullshit!.”

Mals (short for Malibu): Australian for longboarders.
Example: “The waves were bullshit, but way too many mals, mate.”

Flogged: Australian for worked.
Example: “Whoa, mate¿I just got flogged at Burliegh.”

How To Give Yourself An Aussie Nickname

If you want to fit in Down Under, you’ll need an Aussie-style nickname. Simply shorten your last name and add an “sy” to the end of your last name. For example, “Cote” would be “Cotsy,” according to Nick Carroll. Or just think up weird ones like Noodles or Munga. mate, I just got me board up me arse.”

Seppo Yank: What they’ll call you when you get there.
Example: “Piss off, you seppo yank!”

Arvo: Australian for afternoon.
Example: “The waves are shit now, but maybe this arvo the wind will stop.”

Pissed: Over the limit of alcohol consumtion.
Example: “Me and me mates were pissed at the Tracks magazine party.”

Bullshit: A rad move or great news.
Example: “Hey, mate! Did you see that turn Parko just did, it was pure bullshit!.”

Mals (short for Malibu): Australian for longboarders.
Example: “The waves were bullshit, but way too many mals, mate.”

Flogged: Australian for worked.
Example: “Whoa, mate¿I just got flogged at Burliegh.”

How To Give Yourself An Aussie Nickname

If you want to fit in Down Under, you’ll need an Aussie-style nickname. Simply shorten your last name and add an “sy” to the end of your last name. For example, “Cote” would be “Cotsy,” according to Nick Carroll. Or just think up weird ones like Noodles or Munga.