Two Takes: Noosa Festival 2015 One: Four decades after his first visit to Noosa, Albe returns, with camera, to check out a comp! Now comps have for some long time been at the top of Albe's "not to do" list but the style and grace he saw this year in classic Noosa waves has him waxing extremely lyrical about the event, its spirit and in particular its expression of all that's still wonderful about surfing today. And he's still pretty handy with the camera!
Two: Everyone was raving about the quality of the surfing this year but the dominant conversation topic was "how good were the young crew?" Their approach to the art had our other chronicler Matt Chojnacki contemplating the ethos of the group dubbed "The Hot Generation" in 1966 and who, like the current new breed, were pushing performance and design to new levels on Noosa's perfect waves well away from the perceived centre of the surfing universe in Sydney.
Dreaming of Convents The weekend road trip is an institution, something we've all done and not necessarily something to get too excited about - usually. But in his debut for PLB, Aaron Chapman writes about his trip from the Goldie to a favourite break near Yamba in such a fresh and original way you'll find yourself checking the tyre pressure on the van and gassing up the bottle. Great shots by Andrew Hobbs including a real classic of the Pacific Hotel at night.
The Fjord We might have copped the Antarctic Vortex here but it was balmy compared to the Faroe Islands where the ever-adventurous photographer Chris Burkhard took a talented crew of US heroes led by Pickle and Justin Quintal. Must be something about the chemistry between Chris and the cold because the photos are extraordinary and words by Ben Weiland step up. The food and beer sounded suitably weird and particularly unpalatable.
Taking Pictures for Pleasure Surf sleuth Andrew Crockett of Switchfoot fame has turned up some real gems over the years and this cache of largely unseen photos from the '60s taken by Californian photographer Leo Hetzel would have to be up there with his best discoveries. There weren't that many photographers around back then and we've seen at some point most of the quality work that wasn't lost, but this stuff, accompanied by understated comment from Leo, will be of great interest to those of us who love the history of those early years of surf popularity.
Lens Flair In these days of digital access to endless content we still reckon nothing beats a fabulous double page photo spread in a magazine you can hold in your hand, so we've been putting the best of the best up front in this section. This issue's spreads will have you reaching for the credit card to start or renew your subscription. Yes you will!
Page Three Girl Current Australian Junior champion Lilly Ellis.
The Buzz In this age of instant communication and an over-analysis of unimportant issues by the usual media suspects, we've moved towards more reflective pieces and quirky tit-bits to exercise and then calm the mind before your first surf of the day, e.g. Bob Green's riff on the fate of the "malibu chip" boards the lifeguards from California bought here in 1956.
Grey Guru He may be old, he may be grey, but he's always colourful the GG. And where better to show off than with those naughty boys and girls at the Deus Temple of Debauchery.
Cutting Edge Camo does an extended review of Jamie Brisick's novel Becoming Westerly charting the transformation of Peter Drouyn into Westerly Windina. With photos, this is a great read in itself, but buy the book - it's a ripper.