Beastie Boys, Wave Aid and…. surfing

The swell in the pacific ocean had been increasing since Wednesday and had reached 5ft by Friday and is currently staying around this level. Meauring a wave is a science, just have a look at this page that tries to explain how to do it. My method of measuring a wave is simple, if I stand of the beach and go ‘whoa’ when it breaks, it is normally too big for me to surf on. This is approximately the size of a 5ft wave

About 5ft? Not Me Surfing 🙁

It is hard to imagine, when you are sitting infront of a computer reading and are no where near a beach, that a 5ft wave is that big, especially if you are taller than that. 5ft does not normally account for the backwash that is infront of the wave that is being pushed into the wave to make it bigger. So really the point of the break of a wave is normally >5ft, Matt (the pilot) says that you can ‘pretty much double it’. So a 5ft wave may look almost 10ft from the beach, that is why in the above picture the little man looks half the size of the wave. So, anyway, to cut a long story short, there I am practicing in the break of these 5ft (read occasional 10ft) waves. Riding white wash is really a ‘newbie’ thing so it was not as cool as proper wave riding but this really wasn’t an option today. So after about 1.5 hours of solid surfing I got out the water to have a little breather. I got back in and paddled out to where I thought was a good place to wait for the break. I was also trying to reach my friend Teresa who was surfing the break waves as well. When I looked over my shoulder the beach look further away than normal, at around this same time this ‘monster’ wave appeared before me, it migt not have been 5ft but when it was right infront of me it looked pretty big!! The best thing to do on my surf board (which is not a short board, so duck-diving is out of the question) with waves that are about to break on you is to abandon the board and just attempt to dive under the wave, in the hopes that the rolling motion of the wave doesn’t catch you and leave you under the surface for longer than you would like. So I managed to get under the first wave, I got to the surface with about 0.5 seconds to spare to attempt to get some new oxygen when the second wave hit. This time I had no time to dive under the wave and my lung capacity was low. It is important not to panic when you cannot breath as that leads to disaster. Although there is a real need to get back to the surface in case another wave was coming and I really didn’t think I could hold my breath another time for another huge wave to throw me around like a rag doll. I got to the surface and tried to get to the board before the wave hit me, so I could try and ride it in, but I was so tired from just paddling out and the lack of breathing that I could not reach it in time, so I was hit for the third time by a wave, under the water again for much longer than I would have liked. After that I managed to grab the board and ride a wave practically the whole way back to shore. It was no Eddie Aikau wipeout, but didn’t go back in again that day.

Anyway, so that night, as a celebration of not drowning, I went out with the guys to see Beastie Boys at the Hordern Pavillion in Sydney. It really ruled!! It was the best gig so far this year (ok so I have only been to 2). I have only really listened to their latest album and Ill Communication, which seems like a mistake as they have some really cool stuff out there. Here they are at Sydney (picture stolen from, we were middle right (you can’t see us) –

Beastie Boys

The ended the evening with Sabotage, which is one of my favourite tracks on the Ill Communication album. I also learnt a new dance manoeuvre which I tried out at Candy’s Apartment (a bar in Kings Cross) later that night (was not successful and have a sprained wrist now).

So Saturday we went to ‘WaveAid‘ a concert of which proceeds went to Tsnumai victims. Here is the stage and some of the other 50,000 people that were there –

It was all going very well until they held a minute silence and a fight broke out right infront of us during it, which was terrible and the worse thing I have seen in a long time. Every cloud has a silver lining though, here is a picture of me with the COPS!!! –

It was a really hot day (as you can probably see from the pictures) so I was glad when the sun had gone down, here are Powderfinger playing out to us in the evening –

It was a really cool gig, apart from the fight during the silence and one of the organisers calling our entire section ‘a**eholes’ for trying to bring in alcohol to the non-alcohol section. When we all booed him (because of his huge generalisation of aprox. 25,000 people – it was probably about 10 people that tried to do it) he got really angry and started using even more vicious swear words at us, the guy was an absolute idiot and should not be allowed to talk to huge audiences, he might have started a riot!! Andrew is going to write a letter to the organisers, but I doubt it will ever happen, he is too busy working and running his housing empire.

The highlights of the evening were Powderfinger (who we went to see at the Hordern Pavillion last Monday), John Butler Trio and Nick Cave. Silverchair, who had not played a gig for a couple of years were a bit of a let down; they didn’t seem to be able to get the crowd going in any capacity. I am going to make a video of the night but have to work out how to host it without it getting downloaded by thousands of people, which has been happening recently. I can’t afford the bandwidth costs!! Maybe I should make subscription only, are you interested in paying $40 a week to read this? Well an excellent weekend so far………..