jim banks cutting back
Jim is a bit of a throwback and this manoeuvre is half way between a Kanga, a Rasta, and a plane crash.
I cannot see any part of the board in touch with the water, his trailing foot has pushed so hard it has lost all contact – his leading foot is completely ineffective with half a heel over mid air, his whole upper body is compensating for the sharp change of direction yet the lad is bloody flying out there – on an ironing board.
We don’t see too much rocker there, we see a fat little white cigar ridden to extremes. We see yet another Cronulla genius showing his shaper everything wrong with the board he has built. No wonder the best boardriders turn to shaping when their reflexes fade and the water geometry kicks in but even then it can be too late as the new generation tears diffferent pieces out of the waves.
Jim is here – with all his credentials. This fellow has done many miles.
Looking at the legs I’m reminded of Bill the Butcher from Gangs of New York.
Bloody long streak of misery isn’t he – lucky bastards those southerners, no wonder they have bred so many good surfers with all the spots down there, and the south coast just an hour away – beats me why they gave Solander away to that mob from Maroubra
back heel is releasing, weight back, end is near.
Hey c’mon Pete, this is a tad unfair, it’s the environment that shapes the surfer and anyone who entertained the idea of swingin’ it around at Shark Island or Voodoo wouldn’t have lasted beyond one wave. Granted it would’ve been an entertaining wave, but yeah, it’s the 100 yard stare that gets you there out those waves.
Reminds me of a recent shot I saw of Jim at G’land: pretty big day, coming toward the end of Moneytrees and he’s hooked up with a photog. Thing is, he’s doing nothing spectacular, not even a cutty Pete. But the eyes tell the story, fixed as they are 100 yards yonder, past the Pad and on toward Speedies. Rail set for the long haul home.
We are harsh Stu, but fair – and you never saw me out at Voodoo bloody ever. Only went there once with a Bondi crew, saw all the black rocks, and carried on down to Bellambie
1989, standing on the rocks at Voodoo post session:
One of my first times out there and I’d survived, ridden my last wave and come up on the rocks. While standing on the rock platform waiting for my mate to come in and open the car a rusted, white Bongo van pulls up. Window rolls down and Jim pops his head out. “How’s it grom?”
“Yeah, good” I replied, and we had a quick rave about the waves. Him excited, me starstruck. At the end of the conversation one last question. “How’d the board go?”
And I looked down at my yellow-railed Banksy.
“Yeah, good” I replied.
2007, sometime in June:
When it’s over 8 foot idle conversation is not welcome at Voodoo. Over 10 foot and you choose your words very carefully. Bigger than that and nothing but the immediate gets discussed. Anyone who’s been caught inside there knows it’s a gruesome experience.
Wasn’t too much chatter when Jim paddled out. 15 years up north meant he hadn’t been seen out there much but his legacy hadn’t faded. Nods all round. ‘This’ll be good’ was the thoughts from the pack. Among them the most stylish and balls-out barrel riders I’ve seen.
You don’t see clean-up sets at Vooey. You just sort of paddle over one and it’s there and you realise with horror that you’re deeper on the ledge than you thought. You’ve got a decision to make – forward or back. Either way you better start watching your breathe. As the energy from the swell train reaches forward to drain the water off the reef people are scratching hard, for the channel, for the shore, or for the edge of the ledge where you get sucked below sea level, and, if you’re lucky, can duckdive to safety.
Jim went for the edge of the ledge, he duckdived deep, he didn’t come out the other side. It was an apt return to his old stomping ground.
The best photos of voodoo I have ever seen all have Jim banks in the frame. Lot of water moves out there and all focuses on that bowl take-off spot. After that the wave moves toward the beach like a baseball bat just getting bigger, you keep having to turn off the top toward the shore cutting back on a rollercoaster ski run to the channel. One of the rawest ocean spots in one of the most denuded landscapes. The name Voodoo says it all.
So rumours about a backpackers learn to surf camp setting up there are manifestly exaggerated?
No, I think the local shack dwellers have still got a racket going ripping off the Nouveau Surfers from the northern hemi. Who knows what they think when they roll up to the pre-booked tin shed? The one with no running water and no shade save the drip fed dope plants out back.
And there’s a YHA 10 k’s down the road at Cronulla.
Sounds pretty New Sarco Shearer…..
Hey Stu, how bout a map to your spot now that I got the users guide.
Just look out the window as you fly into Sydney Mike. If the wind’s got any west in it you’ll be overhead when the landing gear drops.
– and they are the blokes down there pointing their spears at you