The SurfStitch Shop Team Takes Surfers, Paradise?
Sin City: forgotten, but not gone!
There’s a tonne of places you could dub a genuine surfer’s paradise in Australia, and Surfers Paradise isn’t one of them.
The smattering of high-rises 40-odd minutes north of the Superbank, however, has played its role in shaping Australian and indeed International surfing culture, playing host to the late night aspirations (and next day regrets) of more than a few surfers looking for and generally not finding paradise.
The SurfStitch Shop Team (Wilson, Crews, Howard and Glindeman) made the brave venture north recently to piggyback a party their masters were throwing, and despite the lack of a good tour shirt (“Our surf team has a friendship problem” would’ve been a good one) the boys had a ball.
Squad member Crews has lived the majority of his 31 years on the southern end of the Gold Coast and isn’t afraid of a good time, so I figured he’d be rife with calamitous Surfers tales. However, on picking up the phone, he admitted that he hadn’t been since schoolies. The cute symmetry being that, since 17-year-old Jai Glindeman recently opted out of full time education, it was technically his “schoolies” on this trip.
“I mean, I’ve been up there every now and then, and you’ve got to go through there to surf Straddie, but I haven’t been into the heart of it since I was a young teenager,” Crewsy says, taking a break from putting the final touches on his Tugan bachelor pad COVID renovations.
“We used to catch the bus up and that took forever. I just remember sad times coming home on the bus. Out of money, on my own, coming home and my parents would be standing in the driveway the next morning waiting for me going, ‘What have you done?'”
Surfers Paradise is actually a pretty unusual place for a surf party, and especially a surf trip, but with COVID swirling, Chippa stuck in Tassie (able to get to QLD but not NSW) and a pretty lacklustre forecast on the charts it was decided that the best content generation ploy was to book a penthouse and channel professional surfing’s hedonistic 2000s heyday. And judging by the smiles, regrets were minimal.
“We just got plonked straight in the guts of it and got right into character,” Crewsy says. “It’s fun to go up there now as an adult and look at all the torched stuff that’s going on.”
For the surfing element of the venture, well, let’s just say the boys have made the most of the lacklustre conditions that’ve been gracing the east coast of late. And you can tell they’ve been surfing the hell out of whatever mush we’ve been getting, as all look sharp as you like in the seven second combo swells. As for surfing in the Surfers Paradise itself, Crewsy recalls one memorable session and one session only from his years of surfing from Straddie to Dbah.
“In 2016 we copped this anomaly swell,” Crewsy says. “It was a big cyclone, the winds were nor’ west, and we’d heard that there was gigantic Mexican-looking tubes up there, so Stace (Galbraith) and I took the ski up and did step offs in front of the buildings in Surfers. Just the two of us for hours, pulling into big Puerto tubes. That’s the only time I’ve got crazy waves up there.”
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