The Duke's Day
While reading my morning paper and sipping my coffee in the sun I discovered that at a beach, just across the hill, there was a surf festival going on in memory of the Duke. Let's go to Freshwater beach then.
During the celebration they honour & revere the father of surfing in Australia, Duke Kahanamoku. Exactly 100 years ago In the summer 1914/1915 the Hawaiian surf legend came to Australia and stayed with locals at Freshwater beach.
Not being able to find a proper board the Duke crafts his own board from a local sugar pine. The board, at the time without fins weight more than 40 kilos, I would guess that's 10 times as much as a modern board. After heading out into the surf with this 2.6m board the rest is history, Australia got the surfing bug.
The festival includes many activities like surfing competitions, a large display of historic boards, movie screening in the evening and local builders and a little market with food, books and other surfing related items
But what I really wanted to point out is the atmosphere of this kind of festivals. I have been to different ones in Australia and they all are so relaxed with interesting people just chatting, kids running around and playing on the grass, a couple of BBQ going and some Eskys filled with cold beer. The people are friendly, the owners of the little tents take their time to talk while selling their products, nothing feels rushed or over organized.
You may wonder how come I appreciate those moments, well I compare them to similar events in Europe and I can tell you I hate them there, they are over organized, loud and cramped with stressed people. Everyone somehow has lost the fun it's just a organized machinery with no soul.
I am fascinated by the old school board builders, as I love beautiful wood work. Hence my love for old sailbboats or in this case just some surfboards. But still such a great craftmanship.
The building of an outrigger boat was very interesting and I was surprised how light the particular wood was. Amazing and for sure time consuming work. Next to the boat you can also see an old style board. There is a bit of a comeback for this shapes at the moment and sometimes you can see people on the beach riding one.
Also wooden handboards are back handmade out of incredible light Paulownia wood and perfect for some fun while gliding down a wave and bodysurfing.
StingGlide in action, a video from their website.
Surf culture is a big part of Australia and brings a wonderful healthy lifestyle with it, people love to be outside, be fit and exercise. A great way to enjoy the warm climate and the sea.
Surf is everywhere.
Not all kind of cars can be that posh, bit of hippie culture is needed to, it goes along well with the surfing theme and when it comes to food It can never be to healthy, to green or to veggie. A fancy food truck for delivery is a must.
Thanks for organizing and well done Freshwater Surf Life Saving Club.