Stab Magazine | A Name You (Probably) Haven't Heard Of In A Clip You Won't Forget

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A Name You (Probably) Haven’t Heard Of In A Clip You Won’t Forget

Introducing Ollie Henry, 19-years young from Dunsborough, WA. 

cinema // Apr 12, 2020
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

There’s many good, maybe even great, surfers you and I have never heard of. Ollie Henry however is one I’m surprised hasn’t appeared on our radar before. The 19-year old from Dunsborough in West Oz just dropped his first proper clip and we were pleasantly surprised.

After watching an early link, I decided to give Ollie a call. At 19 years old, his mix of big wave prowess and nonchalant approach to heavy ramps still evades some of the world’s best competitive surfers. Overall his surfing mightn’t be as crisp and consistent as a WQS starling, but it is exciting, and when it comes to web clips, that’s what we (and presumably you) are after.

Above, is Ollie Henry’s clip called Shelf Isolation.

Below is the aforementioned Easter Sunday phone call with Ollie.

ollie 22

Ollie and a wide West Oz tub.

Stab: Ollie, it’s Jake from Stab, what are you up to?

Ollie Henry: Not much man, just cruising.

You’re in WA right?

Yeah just in Dunsborough.

And you’re 18 years old?

Nah, I actually just turned 19. 

So, how’s things over there in West Oz?

It’s not too bad, there isn’t many people getting around though, well, except for people surfing, there’s heaps of them. 

Beaches obviously aren’t closed…

Well, they’re not closed but they’re still enforcing the 1.5 metres and social distancing rules. Up in Perth it gets so crowded you couldn’t keep that distance and surf, but down here it’s not too bad. The cops are still at the beach though… I got pulled over the other day. 

Oh really, what happened?

It was kinda weird, but he let me go to the beach still. Although he said I wasn’t allowed to check the surf, if I was going to surf I had to go straight out without standing at the lookout. 

I’m thinking, ‘It’s onshore as shit right now, I have to know if it’s surfable before I go out’ [laughs]. 

Anyway, how long has the clip being in the works. 

Well we started filming it maybe around this time last year, and most of the clips in the film are probably from last year. 

Is it mostly in WA?

There’s a couple of clips from the South Coast over in New South Wales, then a few random clips from the South Oz desert, other than that the majority of it is in WA.

Have you been on many overseas trips?

[laughs], nah not really. Last year I went on a Rusty trip to Sumbawa, but aside from that not really. 

Do you surf in many comps at all?

I did a few when I was younger, but I never got into it and honestly started to phase it out from when I was 14. 

You didn’t like it, or, did you just suck?

A little bit of everything, I didn’t have any structure in my surfing and comps just weren’t for me… it was a strange, negative scene in my eyes. It brought out the worst in people. 

I just wanted to surf, have fun and go big. I didn’t want to have to worry about getting three complete turns to the beach on every wave. 

Well judging from the clip your approach doesn’t seem too conducive to competition, you know, towing The Right and all. Speaking of, how long have you been surfing there?

My first session was in March last year, and I’ve had maybe nine or ten sessions since then.

And how did that come about?

I had a couple of older mates who I mentioned that I would be keen to go down. Then a swell popped up, and well, yeah. 

Probably a stupid question, but were you scared?

It’s odd, every swell down there is different, and a slight direction change mixes up everything. But yeah it’s how you might imagine, you’re nervous and pretty much shitting yourself. In saying that it’s all worth it when you get a decent one.

I still haven’t gotten a really good one out there, but I know if I persist that will come. 

All in all though I just enjoy getting a few waves with my mates and having a beer after.

I don’t know if I’d describe a session at The Right as ‘getting a few waves’, but yeah [laughs]

Anyway Ollie, I’ll let you get back to your Easter Sunday stuck inside. 


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