Baker explores art v regulation for surf management on the GC

It’s hard to find something that encapsulates both the spirit of Bleach* and the GC itself than (m)ocean. It was the brainchild of surf writer Tim Baker and it attracted somewhere between one and two thousand people to Burleigh Headland on the last Saturday of Bleach*.

Tim describes how he felt viagra canada prescription about the event in one word. Stoked. Several times.

“The rain let up, the sun came out, a park full of people, live music, this incredible quiver of surboards and the surf community has come out in droves,” he told Blank’s Tappa buying levitra online usa as the event kicked off. “I’m stoked.”

“It’s just what I wanted: a celebration and just good vibes for everyone,” Tim said.

In case you missed the event and what it was all about, (m)ocean was a world-first attempt at cialis tablets foreign bringing surfing to the people as a performance. It combined live music performances by both Band of Frequencies and Kim Churchill with accomplished surfers in the water doing their thing. But Tim feels the event will have far broader impacts than being included in the Bleach* program.

Unfortunately Huey didn’t really smile on (m)ocean this year, with rain in the morning and then hardly any surf, but Tim told us after the event, that he’d planned ahead and had a deliberate strategy in mind.

“Those old boards were a saving grace,” he said of the collection Carl Tanner allowed the event access to. He’s one of Australia’s biggest surf board collectors and has some really significant boards from surfing history. “They helped us celebrate surfing history, but they were also an insurance policy. Someone riding a 16ft hollow toothpick is going to be compelling even in no surf.”

The boards became a talking point at the event and a quick look at social media will see many people sharing images of the quiver in question. “He was really happy to see them being ridden,” Tim said of Carl. “And he has a great attitude. He says they’re not supposed to be hanging on walls.”

After rain in the morning, crowds built up steadily through the afternoon. Tim said the whole of Burleigh Hill was packed – his estimate is between one and two thousand people.

What of the surfing? How did it go? According to Tim, people loved the surfing.

“That was the most satisfying thing for me,” Tim said. “Older surfers like Rabbit, Peter Harris, Wayne Dean – I saw them afterwards and they were like a gang of grommets, thanking me. They said ‘when you asked me to do this we had no idea it was going to be like this.’”

When Rusty Miller came in from his surf, he joined the Band of Frequencies on stage. Rusty is 71 and surfed a balsa Malibu “a 1950’s vintage,” Tim explained.

“It’s something like what he would have learned to surf on as a kid,” Tim said. “So then he came in and played harmonica with the band.” And Rusty wasn’t alone in doing so. Quite a few of the surfers joined the bands on stage once they were out of the water.

We were reflecting that we had a 65 year age range in surfers,” Tim boasted. “And a 12” range in surf craft – from 16 feet to 4 feet.”

“Quincy Simons was surfing – another highlight – everyone was just tripping on her. She rides a 4” 0’ board – to see someone like her and someone like Rusty buzzing on the whole thing was equally amazing.”

Tim says that everyone there got something different out of it. The surf was so small and the rides were so short and it was most certainly not your classic Burleigh point break.

“It was really hard to get a sense of the music and surfing synchronising – there were short random peaks and each ride went just for a few seconds. In that sense it’s a bit of an unknown – how it could work with more surf.

“But people were watching the surf and responding – like when Quincy got a wave – then followed by someone on a 16” – it’s this enormous thing- it’s quite dramatic – especially in small surf.

“Then we had been looking at something to provide an exclamation point to the end – and we had some guys paddle around the headland on these giant inflatable stand up paddleboards.

“So these four or five guys came around the corner from the cove – four or five blokes on an enormous board standing up with paddles. It provided this really great climax to the event,” Tim said.

Tim is proud of the fact that his event has no competitive aspect and no corporate agenda. He says there wasn’t one person at the end walking away feeling good because they won. Everyone left feeling good.

“If it can be that well received with little surf; if we had half way decent surf, it’d be mind blowing,” he said.

Tim believes the effect of being out on the water surfing to music is something really powerful and something he’d really like to explore more, particularly in terms of how music might help navigate issues like the Surfing Management Plan currently being proposed for the Gold Coast.

“A deliberate part of the whole project is to try to address that – that whole mood in the water,” Tim said.

“One of the things that struck me was, when we’ve had paddle outs when people pass away – AB at Tugun, MP at Kirra, Dennis Callaghan at Burleigh – you’ll never get a better vibe in the water than on those days; when surfers come together to honour a fallen comrade. Everyone sits out there in the water, then comes back in and paddles a wave – you’ll never get a more crowded wave than that and there are never any issues,” Tim said.

“I’m thinking we can kind of come together and have that sense of community without a death,” Tim said. “And I think music provides just a kind of excuse to be celebratory out in the surf.”

Tim reflected on Council’s potential plans for a Surf Management Plan and is passionate about the possibility of using art rather than regulation as a tool for surf management.

“I was thinking in the busy holiday periods, just have a band play by the beach,” he said. But he’s also keen to explore the concept for artistic purposes in their own right. He says there are two ideas he has working parallel – that of bands simply playing on crowded beaches is the first.

“Or otherwise have a tightknit group of surfers who work on this over time and get to experience surfing to music in all types of conditions. And like a group of any artists working together they learn from eachother and feed off eachother, and that’s something I’d really like to explore,” he said.











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