Two trips go haywire, in a good way

In an effort not to smash your inbox too hard too often, we’re compressing two trips into one recap here – so we’ll kick off with Trip Four, Early May.

It ain’t always sun-kissed sand and cloudless skies 24/7 here. Sometimes the wind and the weather turn ornery. And that’s when our guides’ experience really comes into play – picking the eyes out of the conditions, elevating the experience for our guests.

Trip four got the ball rolling with waist-high peelers at The E.R, then a stormy few days mid-trip saw us ride Kindies, Schoolyards, Max’s Right and Left. And at the end of the trip, solid GTs was tackled, as was Pinnacles.

Our guest group showed us just how much fun can be had on even the rainiest day, with the right spirit! Let’s meet ‘em!

Stephen “Slim” Schlemmer // It’s early surfing days for the rookie of the group, but that didn’t stop Slim from bagging his share of waves, particularly at the E.R.

Mark Hancock // Mark’s schedule saw him depart early, but not before he gave The E.R a good seeing to, with his lovely longboard style.

Darius “D” Yektai // A creative fella, a great painter who draw masterful lines in critical sections. With inexhaustible reserves of energy, D ruled GTs!

John Vanika // Another gent with an enviable surf style. John vamoosed with wingman Mark, but took to The E.R on his longboard like a champion.

Luke Babcock // Some surfers just seem to ‘fit’ into waves with natural ease. Luke charged The Right out front (and GTs when it came to life). The king of the pure speed run!

Chris Husband // The energiser Bunny! Roamed the inside and racked up the highest wave count. Swapped easily from mid length to stand up paddleboard.

Brad Penuel // Brad’s stories were the highlight of most nights. Often accompanied by his guitar he told stories of his childhood in Alabama or rowdy nights in Rio and bring us to fits of laughter and sometimes to tears. Brad’s stand out session was at GT’s where he had a breakthrough moment in his barrel riding.

Angier Biddle Duke // Last but not least – the glorious Biddle, by far one of the nicest humans you could encounter, always stoked, old school, total twin and single fin Lord.

And now to trip five: GO THE MIGHTY RABBITS! What can you say about our next group other than GO THE MIGHTY RABBITOHS. For our American friends, The South Sydney Rabbitohs is the oldest club in Australia’s NRL (National Rugby League), in existence since the 1908 foundation of the League.)

Sports history lesson aside, our squad scored waves absolutely everywhere: GTs, Max’s Left & Right, Kindies, The E.R, Schoolyards, Pinnacles and the exquisitely named Fuck Yeahs.

Let’s meet our footy-loving frothers!

John Tatam //  A man who loves his backhand carves, naps, Bintang, and most of all watching his beloved South Sydney Rabbitohs play footy.

Matt Tatam // John’s lad, a chip off the old block. A signwriter who worked a cruisy cursive script over any watery canvas that came his way. A man of music who’s most memorable session might have been the Right out front with just himself, cousin Max and Superguide™ Skye.

Sam Oxford // Sam was carrying a couple of niggling injuries from his construction/fencing work, but that didn’t stop him from shredding his best sessions at Max’s Left and GTs.

Tracy and Steve Duffield // For someone who doesn’t surf, Tracy sure put a lot of time in, on and under the water – and when on dry land, was totally immersed in her holiday reading.  Husband Steve is a classic down-to-earth fella – which is a great attribute for a man of horticulture. Always positive and had a big smile in and out the water.

Chris Letoof // Another creative fella. A painter with a rock solid old-school backhand attack. Not scared of a durrie and a Binnie.

Max Tatam // The grom of the trip, an electrician who brought his sparky energy to the surf. Best on ground at most breaks without a doubt. Ripper!

And finally, TIL’s prestigious “Desperate in defence” award goes to Chris for bringing down Sam, who’d darted out of dummy half and was headed for a certain try in the corner. The kind of never-say-die tackle that can turn the fortunes of a match. Leading from the front, Chris!