How Jack Robbo Escapes Surfing’s Hairiest Situations
This tech saves lives.
Let me open my first honest review like this: if you live in Australia and your phone isn’t running Boost mobile, you’re pretty much blowing it.
As part of my old job a few years back, I made a weekly internet surf show called Weak Wrap. The show ran unsponsored until Boost Mobile came on as the presenting sponsor. I have no idea how effective sponsoring the show was for their business, but I do know that the Boost messaging I peddled each week host got through to at least one person, and that one person was me (I was no match for my awkward delivery of the Boost brand tag lines).
Honest to god, I ordered a Boost SIM card without even hitting them up for a discount, partly because asking people for free stuff is creepy, but mostly because it was so cheap that it didn’t bother me to throw down. (I’m no scum-sucking cheapskate though, the price was just a bonus.)
The biggest hook was that Boost Mobile runs on the Telstra network, aka Australia’s best, and all I wanted was a phone that got reception even in some of the most far-flung corners of this country.
Simultaneously glorious and horrifying, this is only Jack's second session at The Right.
Now if you will, allow me to ineloquently shoe horn a high profile Boost team rider into this story. You might have noticed that Jack Robbo started live-streaming himself in and out of barrels at The Box last week. Jack’s sudden confidence in his reception a click off the coast (not to mention while traveling through deep, dark caves) and his recent signing with Boost are no coincidence.
Despite being out to sea in what is already a patchy reception zone in West Oz, all Jack needed to beam his barrels live to the world was his iPhone, a Boost SIM, and a waterproof case.
I called Jack to quiz him about his experience with Boost in West Oz.
“I can’t believe no-one’s live-streamed their surf before. I get really good reception everywhere with Boost, it’s been good. It’s pretty remote in some areas here but compared to everyone else, I always get bars wherever I am, I’m stoked."
In 2015 Kim Kardashian published an entire book about taking selfies. Jack took a lot of notes on the chapter that teaches you how to selfie while navigating the lip at The Box.
Jack’s take (as well as my own experience of being the only one of my mates with a phone that can keep the tunes streaming on road trips) is sufficient evidence for me to confirm the Telstra network’s superiority.
But in the aim of celebrating the often-unappreciated things called "facts", I figured I’d better look into how Boost officially measures up against other networks.
In just a couple of clicks, I found this. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has conducted an inquiry into mobile phone coverage in Australia, and the results make the offerings of Boost/Telstra’s competitors look a little embarrassing.
In the study, the ACCC used a couple of different ways to measure the effectiveness of mobile networks. The first is population coverage, which measures phone reception and its coverage of our population’s housing. Most phone companies are comparable in this measurement but Boost/Telstra still came put on top—however, population coverage is only a valuable measurement if you’re a hermit (read: a person whose body and thus phone never leaves their house).
The second measurement (and the one that matters) is the measurement of square kilometres of the country covered by each network, and this is where Boost/Telstra comes so far in front it’s laughable.
The ACCC report found that Boost/Telstra will keep notifications beaming to your phone across 2,400,000 km of our ridiculously good-looking countryside. (The next best, Optus, came in second in just 1,000,000 km.)
I don’t how great your maths are but that’s wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy less then what Boost/Telstra offers. Under half. 41.66666666666667% to be exact.
2 doors. Jack takes the back door and leaves the doggy door to Clifford The Big Red Dog or Falkor (which ever reference of a gigantic fictional dog suits your childhood best).
What this means for me is uninterrupted and admittedly most often unimportant internet entertainment. But in talking to Jack, I realised the service takes on an entirely different meaning for a man that spends his days taking risks at isolated slabs around the country—it can be a matter of life and death.
“At Gnarloo I hit my head on the bottom and had to call for help. Another time we were stuck out at sea on the jet ski when we ran out of fuel and we had to call our friends to come and tow us back to Margaret River. A working phone is all you’ve got really to get out of trouble sometimes, so it’s crucial.”
Even after potentially saving your life, Boost won't put you in a contractual chokehold. Their system allows you to swap between prepaid deals whenever you like with an easy click of the button on their app. You can do 7-day or 28-day deals, but the options that will save you the most dollarydoos are the 6- and 12-monthers. And if you're quick there's also this crazy $40 PREPAID SIM – HALF PRICE NOW $20 deal.
Why are contracts bad? I’ve never understood people that don’t fear commitment. Fearing commitment should be celebrated—it means you’re smart enough to stop and properly consider the scary shit people are asking you to sign up for.
You want me to marry into an expensive 24-month phone contract? Peeeeee-yeeuuuuuuuw! Go away and no thank you. How do I know I won’t be living in Mozambique in 6 months' time, dancing to coconut bongo songs and surfing perfect rights?
I don’t want to tell you how to live your life. But a second-hand phone and a Boost SIM that gives you super affordable access to the Telstra network will make you feel like you’re getting away with murder. No need to thank me for this free advice, instead speak my name quietly and with fondness the next time you’re off camping somewhere remote in an effort to seem like some modern-hellman adventurer while secretly hiding in your tent streaming HD Netflix on your phone.