2017 would have to be my best year yet. I started the year off pretty mellow, not knowing how busy I would be with surf trips and work. I had just come back from a month in Hawaii shooting the Oakley Battleclips with MySurf.TV, so I was pretty psyched to be spending a bit of time at home with my family and my mates. Then, in early February, my buddy Shelly (Sheldon Simkus) called to see if I wanted to do a little road trip down to Forster to shoot free surfs in between QS heats. I was pretty keen to get away again and start banking clips, so we packed our stuff and left for Forster. We ended up getting absolutely skunked with shit waves, really hot weather, and blue bottles but had a sick time camping at a little caravan park.
Straight after the Boomerang trip, Brenno (Brent “Midget Magic” Dorrington) hit me up to go on a road trip back down south to Newcastle and Sydney for the 6-star events. We moved on to Central Coast where we didn’t really get a whole ton of surfing in but got to catch up with a photographer, Spencer Hornby. We had a heap of fun staying with Spencer and decided it was time to get some waves, so we made our way to Sydney finally, where we shot a lot on the Northern Beaches and Manly. A friend of ours hooked us up at the Star Casino, which was crazy. Everyone was turning up to the valet in Bentley’s, Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s, you name it, all wearing suits and expensive dresses. Meanwhile, we are just rocking up to the valet in the Triton ute, wearing board shorts and no shirt. So yeah, that whole trip was a real experience.
An epic swell hit the Gold Coast right when I got home, so I went down to shoot with Peanut and Seabass (Lachlan McKinnon and Sebastian Zietz) for their first episode of Happily Stoked. I had never seen Currumbin Alley so cooking in my life.
My next trip was a really fun one. I flew over to Bali to shoot The Mad Hueys comp at Keramas. I was shooting every day and partying every night. Brenno went on to win the comp, which ended the way things usually do when Brenno wins something. Next up was 10 days in the Mentawais with 14 guys and 54 cartons of beer to drink. After all that, I decided to spend a few days in Bali just to chill out and reminisce about the good times. That was probably my favorite trip of the year. I learned a lot from the guys on that trip and had a helluva time.
To finish the year off, I got a call from my mate at home and QS surfer, Connor Lyons asking if I wanted to go to West Oz with him and three other local guys. I had never been to WA, so I was super keen. Connor was the only person who knew anybody else on the trip but it only took about 20 minutes on the plane chatting with these boys for me to realize we had a really good crew. We arrived in Perth at midnight but couldn’t pick up our RV until 9 am the next morning, so we spent the night sleeping on the airport floor. The lights were on the whole time, it smelled like nappies, and every 20 minutes an announcement would play on the loudspeaker reminding us of the Perth Airport rules. Once we got our RV in the morning, we headed north to Kalbarri where we spent a few days surfing Jakes Point. We basically just stayed there because the pub was epic. We had the option to go even further north to Gnaraloo or go south 10 hours to Margaret River. We decided to head south to Margaret River and score some good waves there. We had three days of 40-knot winds and no surf when I received a message from Ry Craike saying “Why the f##k didn’t you go to Gnaraloo?!” Apparently, we’d missed an epic swell.
So, that’s more or less how my 2017 went and I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings. Here is a collection of some of my favorite clips from all those adventures.