Senior Editor

The Inertia

Byron Bay is legendary in surf history. It’s a weird and wonderful place, one that attracts artists and hippies and earth lovers. It’s been that way for a long time–and from the beginning of surfing-as-we-know it, it’s called to surfers.

The waves are fantastic and plentiful: from the Wreck and the Pass to Main Beach and Tallows, there is a wave for all seasons, so to speak. According to Matt Warshaw and the Encyclopedia of Surfing–who are to thank for the video you see above–waves were first ridden in Byron Bay in the late ’20s, when lifeguards from the area paddled out. It wasn’t until three decades later, though, that it truly started to be explored. Then, when Bruce Brown (he of Endless Summer fame) showed it to the still-small surf world in 1962’s Surfing Hollow Days, the engine that would take it to where it is today was fired up.

The place was ground zero for the so-called shortboard revolution, and it’s kept that open minded mentality throughout the years. All sorts of everything can be found in the waves of Byron, from shortboards to finless and longboards to asyms–it’s a place where inventiveness and ingenuity is welcomed. It is, like I said, a weird and wonderful place… and it’s been that way for a long time.


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