The other night I was having a conversation with someone about how the surfers here in West Oz are real surfers. They don’t sit around in parking lots in Southern California drinking Starbuck’s and talking about a good swell two years ago, they talk about where the biggest, best waves are and they’re on it—even if they have to do it alone. It’s a hardcore breed out here and the average surfer has no problem elevator dropping into a shallow pit.
Salomon team rider Tom Innes is a good example. He’s 6’4, but rips like like a small guy and charges like a linebacker. In fact, there’s a lot of great surfers around here you’ve never heard of and probably never will.
Driving around on Friday and Saturday looking for waves, you see these guys and they always greet you with a “G’day. Ask them how it is and you’d get “It’s small, but if we were in 95 percent of any other spots in the world we’d be stoked with these conditions.
The funny thing is, the contest site on Friday and Saturday was pretty amazing with clean, four- to eight-foot sets reeling both ways well up into the late afternoon. Because Western Australia is fairly remote and an event like the Masters is a huge deal. Add in a huge concert Saturday night, a school holiday, and a small town and you have the makings of a giant party. “I see drunk people. Besides surfing, alcohol consumption is the number one sport here.
Speaking of beer drinking, the boys of Beer Fridge just released their sixth title called The Man From Margaret River. Beer Fridge is a group of Margaret River locals who’ve been making videos about West Oz surfing, chicks, drunks, and debauchery and got the name from the local Prevelly Park store that’s a hangout spot and home to one of the best beer selections in West Oz. Beer Fridge videos are a definite must for any video library.
Anyway, Sunday’s the final of the contest and after that the Salomon tour takes us to Yamba on the East Coast in New South Wales. Oh yeah, we asked if anyone had any questions for Kieren Perrow and here they are with his answers. Until next time.—Checkwhat?
What is your favorite book? And how the fuck did you make that one drop at Shipstern’s where you dropped off a ledge near the bottom and were about two and a half feet in the air off balance, but just landed it and pulled in?—Tim Dowell, Berkeley, CA
Favourite book is “Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates by Tom Robbins…this guy is a genius, all his books are unbelievably funny and profound.
Don’t know how I made that drop! I guess I expected the ledge to pop out as I had already gone down on a few, so I tried to just keep my weight centered and not have my board angled too much against the face…then I had a bit of luck too! But I was definitely stoked I didn’t go down on that one…
Have the Salomon boards helped your surfing? Carl Berg, San Luis Obispo, CA
I think they definitely have, I feel faster and more alive in my surfing and more excited to get out there and work on my turns…that always helps. I love to get barreled and they are amazing in the tube, really sensitive and you can accelerate on them really quickly, in Hawaii last year they worked way better than my normal boards.
What’s the longest you’ve ever been held down? J.J.—Melbourne, FL
Good question! I wish I knew, although its probably better that I don’t know exactly…maybe about 30 seconds, which is pretty long when your being smashed around under water! It was at Haleiwa in a heat and it was about fifteen feet, way too big for it. I caught one right at the end and hit a big white water patch at the bottom and got rolled, the lip drove me to the bottom broke my board and ground me along the reef…I was under for two waves my mates told me later. So it wasn’t much fun really! I was almost dead when I finally came up…it was heavy.
Who’s the hardest person to surf against on the WCT?—Tammy, Huntington Beach, CA
Kelly is always difficult, he’s a freak and you know he can pull anything out at any time so you can never count him out…and Andy right now is also just as hard, he’s really confident with his surfing and you can feel it in the heat, both are hard guys to beat…but then again anyone on the WCT rips these days!