DISSECTING WORM No, not what your six-year-old does on the kitchen table with your best knife, but a look into the life and times of Erin Ashley (Worm for some obscure reason) one of California's most intriguing longboarders. Chef, student of the Abrahamic religions, Gidget-fan and camera bait, Erin says, "I have a real post-apocalyptic personality. Part-time swamp wizard; full-time muckraker. Can teleport 2" in any direction'. Aaron Chapman investigates and it only gets better! Mucho Quirko!
RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE Mohammad Ali might be gone but we still have Tom Wegener who joined the WSL Longboard Tour (whacko - two events!) at Tupira Surf Club PNG for the first leg. A big call really to go to PNG but a resounding success all round. Great surf, colourful scenery, huge numbers of locals watching on and many good deeds being done in association with the Surfing Association of Papua New Guinea in raising awareness about issues of gender equality and women's empowerment using surfing as the catalyst. Tom himself stepped up again helping the local timber board builders perfect their shapes.
BIRDSALL CHAPTERS FROM A SURFING LIFE Surf history buffs know all about Gary Birdsall. They probably even know where he lives, but he's never sought the limelight and if you haven't been paying attention you might have missed him. Shaper, designer, artist and much more, Marcus James' story of this much-travelled goofyfoot is a ripper as are the classic photos from Bob Weeks, Albe Falzon and Jack Eden. By way of full disclosure there is a Jack Eden photo of Gary on my living room wall so I reckon if you don't enjoy this, in the immortal words of The Silver Bodgie "you're a bum!".
SHRED SISTA Andrea Coleman is a regular contributor to PLB and a very accomplished photographer. She credits watching Makala Smith and her friends slaying San Onofre with inspiring her to become a surf photographer. Surfing definitely throws up some interesting characters and Makala definitely fits the bill as this interview reveals. And of course some great shots from Andrea.
BRUCE & THE BOARD FACTORY And now for something completely different, sorta! Bruce Springsteen's recently released biography is a great read. Not the least because we find that The Boss was and is a keen longboarder. His management and publishers Simon and Schuster kindly gave us permission to run the part of the chapters covering Bruce's early surf career.
>> DEPARTMENTS PAGE 3 GIRL Bridie Cooksley can walk from her home to Tea Tree Bay in Noosa so it's no surprise she's a stylish longboarder.
THE BUZZ Quirky contents, classic old photos, Bill Clymer pioneer board builder profile, another board winner and Aaron Chapman checks out the Disabled Surfers Association.
GREY GURU The WSL is determined to make pro surfing a premier spectator sport so naturally they've enlisted the GG to give them a few tips.