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how to dominate in the surf, just naturally

Avalon, Australia, NSW. 2107.

Not an easy place to love, Avalon. There are some dark undercurrents here. Deep social misgivings. Much is left unsaid and nothing is ever forgotten.

Territorial grants are rarely conferred and never won. Men who have been Surfing World Champions walk the streets orphaned by their reputation; they can be trailed through Woolworths, their trolleys covertly eyed. Appraised.

Or followed into coffee bars, cafes – where they gruff and mumble to each other about fabulous and secret things, all head to bowed head. About waves of immense height, women of ageless youth and perfect beauty. Gaffa taped bundles of large-denomination US currency. Large and overdue cheques in the mail. Taxation strategies. Soy affogato decafe or chai latte. What is a Subway Foot-Long in metres.


This means nothing to The Prince.


Getting out at North Avalon in conditions such as pictured {by bruce usher} can be a little technical. Some skill is needed to time the entry properly – Bruce’s Boomer would not only sweep off anyone on the run across the last platform, it would also clean up the optimists cowering on the rock ledge a little higher up. The safe spot. Roy’s Cave.

Everybody waits for a lull between waves before going to the edge at Avalon North, then it’s a hard dash and leap into the sea – this is basic. Nobody wants to die on the way out.

Not so for The Prince. He times his run when  all others cry too late, and he slips away over the treacherous stones toward the jagged edge – into to the heaving sea and toward the approaching catastrophe.

Toward the walls of vertical water. The towering seas whose crests challenge the brooding forehead of Bangalley itself. Silent and fast they suck up the air and darken the sky.

Further inside all is bedlam and panic as, too late, the forty or fifty local untouchables realise their terrible predicament. Nobody is going to make it,

– and nobody is going to take it.

Then the further realisation of their suddenly shrunk dominion as they slowly succumb to the powerful and overcoming seas.

‘ Only kooks get closed out by the wave of the day, and on the best day of the year. ‘

This is where that silent thought blares loud. This uncompromising and personal trumpet blast of Truth. You can even hear it underwater.


The Prince pauses half-way up to the crest of the third wave, the highest, and swings himself around, then with one powerful stroke he has matched the wave’s speed and incline.

He is hundreds of yards distant from the bobbing heads just visible in the surging white water of the bay – and this day is his day, and his day alone.

image by bruce usher photography, or did I mention that already

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. *tips hat*

    September 14, 2012
  2. mark inch #

    just back for a second read. thanks.

    September 18, 2012
  3. Pellinore #

    Avalon in Mandurah is somewhat different, much wilder, but at the same time tamer. Homes( see developere arseholes that really havent got a clue) a plenty abound at Avalon in Mandurah. I think you could say Mandurah Avalon is a bit fat, but strong, but there is the drop.

    August 9, 2014

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