I was sitting looking at images being uploaded to Facebook of massive swells being ridden around the reefs and beaches of Sydney, it wasn't until Alex asked the question that I started to get excited, how long do you think that swell will take to travel up the east coast and arrive here? I wasn't sure of the answer to his question and we began discussing all of the variables of Mother Nature and the consequences that those variables would place on the swell during it's lonely northern march across the ocean.
The swell direction was extremely south, this direction is generally greeted with an air of disdain from surfers on the far north coast of New South Wales. A swell that originates from the east is the preferred dope for a surf addict around these parts.
With a cool night ahead and sunshine on the cards for the next day we decided to head to a stretch of coast that was a little more suited to an early morning offshore and a lined up south swell. With a little bit of excitement and suspense of what tomorrow may bring I rang Brittani Nicholl to see if she was keen for an adventure.
The next morning was stunning! As it rose above the horizon the sun drew the raw air from the land, as the freezing air groomed the surface of the the warm ocean it condensed creating what looked like wispy tendrils of cotton candy being pinched from the sea.
As Brittani and I sat looking out to sea waiting for the next set the only other surfers around were a pod of 30 to 40 Bottle Nose dolphins playing in the waves with skill and agility that would leave the likes of Kelly Slater in awe. The dolphins were intrigued by our presence and circled around us coming within feet.
Dolphins are amazing surfers they use the most powerful part of the refracting swell as it meets the shallow water near the beach to generate enough speed to boost themselves meters into the air 'ejecting' as the wave breaks, the dolphins were launching out of the back of waves and almost landing on Alex who was swimming in the impact zone with his camera.
For the next hour or so Brittani, the Dolphins, Alex and Myself enjoyed the isolation we had found just down the coast from the ever growing plague of sky scrapers and traffic congestion that is humanity.
Afterwards I was keen to find out what the current Aussie Champ has been up to:
Last time I saw you was at the Kirra Teams challenge held at D'Bah. You were in the corner near the wall with three other competitors surfing a fun right, I on the other hand was down the beach with around 300 other punters surfing a closeout. I am stoked summer is over, have you been getting good waves coming into winter?
Ah yes that was a fun contest surfing against the men, in good fun waves! I bet you aren't the only one glad that summer is over haha.
Apart from the ocean being like a lake right now, we had some amazing waves which lasted a month or two coming into this years winter. Although its the coldest time of the year...it's also the best time of the year for waves on the coast here!
I noticed you have a new sticker on your board, what's Obsidian and how long have you been wearing they're hoodies to keep you warm?
Obsidian is a company run and owned on the coast here by Nathan and Kristy, they are quite new to the industry and I have been wearing their products for the past few months. I have been very fortunate to have them support & believe in me. They've got a new range of hoodies about to be released which are so warm & comfy, I'm stoked to be wearing one!
Obsidian – a stone of purity, symbolizes self control and resilience. Protects from all types of negativity, bringing vitality to the soul’s purpose.
Congratulations on your second place at the Volcom Stone Surf Series 2012 National Champs! It must feel good to get a result and a cool bike?
Thanks, it was a good fun contest where fitness came into play. It felt good to get a result & perform consistently throughout the whole contest. And come home with a cool bike! I actually didn't realise I'd won the bike until I started to drive away, later receiving a phone call with the good news.
You're heading to France soon for the Swatch Girls Pro which will be held at Les Bourdains, Seignosse. How do the beach breaks of that region compare to the waves around home on the Northern NSW and the Gold Coast's?
I am heading to France in a few days which shall be pretty exciting!
Apart from the cooler weather and water...I find that the beach breaks in Seignosse do not differ too much from home, they are mostly sand bottom but conditions can be a bit heavier when it gets bigger in size, as well as the strong sweep that drags you down the beach.
Have you been doing any special preparation other than sneaking down the coast and surfing with large amounts of dolphins and no one else in the water?
Oh that trip down south was an amazing experience, it was such a beautiful morning!
I would love to say yes...although I had an injury which has kept me out of the water a bit over the last month.
A big thank you to the guys at Legends of Sport, Chris Prosser & Stephen Cunningham for getting me all sorted!
I've seen you on TV a little bit of late! Can you give us an insight into Crohn's and Colitis awareness month and what people can do to get involved?
The month of May is Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Month. Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, currently affects more than 70,000 Australians, and the number is growing.
We can’t wait for shorter gaps between first consultation and final, correct diagnosis of IBD; for better access to specialist treatment and care; for the government to highlight IBD as a priority in its health programs; for employers and schools to acknowledge IBD as a valid medical condition and to properly accommodate those who are living with it; and for the general public to be more aware of IBD.
The campaign I am involved in is called the 'Cant Wait' Campaign, it's aim is to raise awareness for Crohn's & Colitis.
People can visit www.crohnsandcolitis.com.au for more information.
All images shot by the Dolphin man Alex Frings, for more amazing images head over to www.alexfrings.com
For more information or if you want to see Britt's cool hoodie and other products, head to www.obsidianculture.com