Stab Magazine | Umina turns it on
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Umina turns it on

Australia’s east coast summer flat spell was broken with gusto yesterday. A 12-second 10-foot south swell peaked around lunchtime and big-wave spots like Voodoo were 15 feet and unrideable. One session getting plenty of talk is that of Maroubra surfers Lucas “Boo” Street and Jessie Pollock at Bare Island in Botany Bay. “Boo” pulled into a […]

news // Feb 22, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Australia’s east coast summer flat spell was broken with gusto yesterday. A 12-second 10-foot south swell peaked around lunchtime and big-wave spots like Voodoo were 15 feet and unrideable. One session getting plenty of talk is that of Maroubra surfers Lucas “Boo” Street and Jessie Pollock at Bare Island in Botany Bay. “Boo” pulled into a 12-footer that closed and he hit the bottom on his back. What makes this alarming is that this is at a wave sitting alongside the shipping lanes that steer in tankers of cargo. When Stab asked how deep it was, “It’s hard to tell how deep you go but it felt like a pretty long way down.”

One place that handled the swell in a prettier fashion was the Central Coast’s Box Head. At around 6pm last night, the main peak was three-to-four feet and rifling down a perfect sandbank. Along for the ride were 80-plus surfers. Among them was some talent. Most of the Narrabeen pack (Nathan Webster, Brett Bannister, Joel Fitz) were out there along with some of the best surfers from the Central Coast including Ace Buchan. When Stab showed, local surfer Glenn “Micro” Hall was getting the pick of them. We called him this morning during his break from work with the local surf school to report on the day when it was as good as he’s ever seen it…

Stab: Yesterday afternoon there were fantastic waves but there were crowds you normally associate with the Superbank.

Micro: Yeah I was relating it to the Superbank as well. It’s a bummer cause you surf Snapper and whatever and you expect it to be crowded but when you surf the Box you don’t expect anything near that, there were some bloody good waves out there though.

I didn’t count up or anything but there would have been at least 80 guys, I reckon. There’s only a short little take off area (out the back) but it was just silly ’cause there were a lot of guys out there who had no idea what they were doing and the Box is that long, it’s all spread out, you don’t even have to see each other. I surfed right through to surf home and there was this whole inside section that was so much fun and there wasn’t one person out. Half the guys out the back couldn’t make the take off and they’re trying to fuck around out there. If they had a known what they were doing they could have had the best surf of their lives.

Most people must have known that you have to deal with that lackluster beach everyday because you were getting the run of the waves (Umina sits on the bottom of the central coast and – unless the swell’s straight out of the south – receives a fraction of the swell of open beaches).

It’s pretty funny cause I’ve never been on the other end of the whole localism thing cause I normally surf everyone else’s spots. You never have to fight over the wave you want in Umina cause no-one surfs it. When I surf everyone else’s spots they get whatever waves they want so it was good to have the pick of the waves for a change.

Have you seen it better than that before?

Not really. My memories of it barreling out the back like that were only when I was a little pecker watching Tom Carroll and those guys getting barreled but I think I was too young, I was just sitting there and kind of watching. Since I’ve been surfing, since I’ve been older, it was the best I’ve seen it for sure.

How was the vibe? Any fights?

There was plenty of dropping in and words spoken but no fists were thrown. The biggest problem were the stand-up paddleboarders. They’re ruining the Box. They take off a mile out to sea, you take off way inside but still, they wreck the wave for everyone. Couple that with someone with no etiquette and it’s fucked.

And, how bout the friendly splash you saw?

I was sitting with Jason Salisbury and I don’t think anyone else saw it. It was a massive splash. Huge. If anyone else had seen it, it certainly would have thinned the crowd out a bit. There was no way I was going in, though. They’re always there (sharks), I reckon.

All photos: Lee Kelly

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