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Ziggy Alberts: Musician & Free Surfer

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Ziggy Alberts: Musician & Free Surfer

An Artist and a Gentleman

There is a magical place on the East Coast of Australia where scores of dreamers and doers congregate.  Soaked in creativity and teeming with life, the vibrant little town, known as Byron Bay, has transformed from the once small surf tribe of the 70s, 80s, and 90s, into an awe-inspiring network of talented and creative souls. Photographers, musicians, artists, writers; artisans, inventors, athletes and adventurers all seeking to shine a light on the beauty that is both around and within.

You don’t need to be in Byron for long before you realise that what truly sets this place apart is that every soul who dwells there seems propelled by a heartbeat of gratitude and anticipation. To quote what this ROAR community is about, the people in Byron that I’ve met and inhaled life with have found what it means to be “passionately living”.

In a place overflowing with charisma and talent, you’d think it would be near impossible to find your niche. But in this culture, and where collaboration is key, what makes an artist stand out is more than just their creativity or skill; what makes a soul really shine, is the light that’s coming from within.

Ziggy Alberts is one such soul.

Aside from a fascinating name, Ziggy is a gifted surfer and talented writer, hailing from the Sunshine Coast, and now settled in Byron Bay. Ziggy picked up a guitar in 2011, taught himself how to play, and in three short years has become a well-known, and well-loved artist both here in Australia, and overseas. Having toured with the likes of Ash Grunwald, Nick Saxon Benjalu, Daniel Champagne, and more; and wooing crowds into a dancing frenzy at some of Australia’s biggest music festivals (Bluesfest, Splendour in the Grass), Ziggy’s smooth voice, impressive musicianship, and captivating lyrics are fast making him an artist you can’t, and definitely don't want to miss.

This year, I was fortunate enough to get to know Ziggy, during a recent tour of the West Australia coast with Nick Saxon, for which he was the opening artist; and in our weeklong adventure, I experienced a musician, writer, and creative soul with talent that outshines many who have gone before him, but most inspiringly, a guy who seems to have the recipe for contentment entwined within his DNA.

At 19 years old (that’s right, he’s only 19), Ziggy will be the first to admit that he knows he has a long way to go in music. His hunger is evident in how fervently he embraces every platform he is afforded, and how hard he works to bring his heartfelt stories to life. But beyond being a humble and spirited musician, he is passionate about life as a whole, as a circle, as a miraculous and universal gift. It’s inspiring to be around, and one of the key ingredients to understanding where his impressive music comes from.

Spend half a day walking around with Ziggy and you will soon discover his secret. He is passionate about people, and the way humanity, at its core, pulsates with a heartbeat fuelled of hope, wonder, and love. 

To put it plainly, Ziggy Alberts is just an all-round rad dude! He is an avid environmentalist, passionate to see mankind take better care of our blue and green dot in the solar system. He’s a jokester, a wordsmith, and indeed a ladies man. Glance side-stage at any of his shows and the throngs of fan-crazy females pining for a pic with the blonde-locked wonder-boy is evidence enough that we’ll be seeing, hearing, and delighting in his tunes and stories for a long time yet.

2015 is set to reach new heights for Ziggy with the release of his third album in the New Year. Previous EP releases, “Feels Like Home” (2012), and “Made of Water” (2013), brought energy and soul to the Indie/Folk music genre, and if the lyrics below are anything to go by, this next album, a full-length debut, is destined to spend most of next year being played on repeat, the world over.

Land & Sea” releases January 1st, 2015, on iTunes or via his website, www.ziggyalberts.org

Until then, scroll down to read some of the lyrics and be on the countdown. I know I am.

Website: ziggyalberts.org   |   Instagram: @ziggyalberts   |   Facebook: facebook.com/ziggysound

The Ocean Song (Simple Things)

NOVEMBER 03, 2014

Shake the cold from your toes, and let the east coast walk you home, shake the cold from your heart, if at all, and let it fall, it takes a lot to make a heart a home to love and it takes a lot to love your own, but I didn’t even get your name when you walked on by, but I held your eyes so you held mine, hoping you would stop so I could ask you the simple things –

Do you love the ocean and could you love the ocean with me,

Used To

NOVEMBER 03, 2014

Been waking up here to blue skies, been waking up just a little too tired but I am,
still learning how to switch off, been relying on my coffee just a little too much,
nineteen but my eyes have grown old, people ask me why my bones don’t show,
I said this youth is something that I’ve earned,
I said this youth is something that I’ve learnt to love,
Two sides to a candle, two sides to a candle, being burnt,

Cold ground with no shoes on, my old van in your front yard,
Making love to you all night long, running my lips along your outlines,
Waking up to the morning light with you by my side, these are,
These are the things that I want to get used to,
And you are someone that I want to get used to,

Hands I Can Hold

NOVEMBER 03, 2014

So keep the things we can’t breathe without, and I’ll seek a woman like you,
& we’ll reach for hands with which I can learn, & we will keep these,
Hands I can hold I can hold,

Written by AMY HANNA
Story-teller | Noise-maker | Laugher | Adventurer
twitter: @amymhanna1 | instagram: @amymhanna

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Hayley: 'Her Who Dreams' website

Photo by Stella Crick

Photo by Marty the rad surf guide

ROAR: It is evident you are very creative soul. Was this passion instilled in you growing up? Who played a role in supporting your creativity?

Hayley: Well Thank you :) Growing up I was definitely not good at maths or numbers etc ( I still don't know my times tables haha) But I guess I always tried to see the beauty in everything and had a very active imagination. For example I thought I was a mermaid until I was about 12 and would snorkel in the bath and pretend I was under the sea. My parents always encouraged me to be who I was 100% and to believe in my dreams.

Photo By Richard Kotch

Photo by Richard Kotch

ROAR: Where did you grow up and how did your environment play a role in making you who you are today?

Hayley: I grew up in Sunny Coffs Hardbour until I was 16 and then we moved to Penrith..(yes I know...huge change) Coffs was all I knew..... it was where all my family and friends were but as strange as it sounds Penrith was a great move. It was in Penrith that I finished school and became serious about whitewater Kayaking and I grew into the women I am today. Changing schools and being put into such a foreign environment only makes you stronger. Doing sport at a high level taught me to push myself and to work hard to achieve goals.When I finished school I realized that I wanted to be back by the ocean and wanted to surf everyday. Living in the northern Beaches makes me a happy Vegemite, It is a beautiful community to be apart of with so many awesome people doing great things and living here makes me smile everyday! 

ROAR: What are some creations and designs that you have been involved in recently and currently that you are excited and passionate about?
Hayley: I guess the biggest thing is my website, www.herwhodreams.com I wrote a book a few years ago called A Girl Like U which was all about encouraging young girls and women to be inspired and encouraged to live the best life they can. My website is just a continuation of that. Life is hard sometimes and I wanted somewhere for girls to go to feel inspired if they are having a bad day. I wanted to share yummy food that I create and just have a space where they can go to get a big smile on their face. I just want this to grow and grow and grow!  You can also follow my Facbook and Instagram and YouTube.

ROAR: We have noticed that you collaborate with and support other creative inspirational people. What is the importance of this to you? 

Hayley: There are soooo many amazing girls and women out there doing such amazing things! I think its important to show off these people and for anyone to be able to see their stories and hopefully they can read something that resonates with them and encourages them to be the best they can be. 

ROAR: We see you as a great role model for young women. What is some advice you would give to girls growing up trying to figure out who they are and what they what to give and achieve in life?

HayleyOnce again thank you. I really do hope so :) I guess I just want to empart what i have learnt along the way with as many girls as possible. My life isnt all rainbows and sunflowers (even if it looks that way from my instagram,) I have days where I feel sad, I have struggled with weight, I have struggled with self worth, With mean girls, with heart ache and although none of us girls have the same life troubles, I do think we can learn from each other and unite. Being kind and smiling is important and believing in yourself are a few of the things that can help. 
 

ROAR: What is something you are really excited about for 2014?

Hayley: I guess I am always excited about life in general...every day you wake up and you really don't know what is going to happen in that day. Life is a gift and everyday is an opportunity to do your very best and create the type of life that you want! I really do hope that the year ahead holds some wonderful adventures, time with my loved ones and I hope Her Who Dreams grows into something really rad! 

Photo by Stella Crick

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Chrystal Fitzgerald: Creative Soul

Photo by Chris Prestige  www.atdusk.com.au

Photo by Chris Prestige www.atdusk.com.au

Last year we took a few weeks off to travel to one of our favourite places, Bali. While we were there we stopped in at Deus Temple of Enthusiasm, Canggu. As we were wandering around admiring all their amazing motorbikes, we found ourselves out the back where they shape surfboards. We noticed some amazing Joel Fitzgerald Surfboards and then we noticed Joel Fitzgerald. What a lucky day, to catch Joel and his beautiful wife Chrystal at work designing and shaping their boards. They were so lovely, they took time out of their day to chat with us. We talked about the process you go through, from design to finish, to shape a board. You could see they are passionate about what they do. We have kept in contact with Joel and Chrystal and the journey that they are on and are excited to share a bit of that with you. Chrystal has taken the time to chat with us about her life, passions, creativity, designs and ideas about community and collaboration. 

You can follow Chrystal on her personal blog, creative media websitefacebook, @dawnwolfdreamer for instagram and view Joel Fitzgerald surfboards on their website 

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ROAR: You are a woman of many creative talents such as filmmaking, photography, design, craft, surfing and more. Were these passions instilled in you growing up? Who played a role in supporting your creativity?

Chrystal: Thank you for your kind words and proposing such thoughtful questions. It is an honour for me to respond and although I have yet to see myself in some of these ways I am living into it :) In answer to your first question; Yes art and craft were instilled in me at a very young age. My mother Julia read to my sister Leilani and I every day, and when my grandmother Heather was visiting she too would tell us stories. Storytelling and playing outdoors were our primary sources of joy and entertainment. When we weren't horse back riding, building forts or adventuring my sister Leilani and I were at the public library. I also had the rich Hawaiian culture around me from an early age. 

Making flower leis, wreaths, ti leaf skirts, singing songs, dancing and just talking story were also big parts of my childhood. These traditions continue to be a source of creative strength and inspiration for me. 

My mother played an integral role in my creative development and still does. She always supported me in all that I wanted to do and enrolled me in sewing, piano, hula and theater classes to see what I enjoyed most. She always made time for me and asked me what I wanted to do. Sports and arts were and still are far more interesting to her then my socialistic achievements. 

During my early life there were a few caring teachers that encouraged me, however the people that fostered and helped me develop my love for film and visual story telling were from the Academy for Creative Media, at the University of Hawaii. Which is where I received my Bachelors of Arts in Creative Media and how I initially came to Australia in 2006. Presently, my mother, sister, friends, and husband Joel continue to support me in all of my creative pursuits.

ROAR: Where did you grow up and how did your environment play a role in making you who you are today?

Chrystal: I was raised by my mother Julia alongside my sister Leilani in the Ka'u desert on the island of Hawai'i' for most of my youth. It was there in the Wild landscape of Pele's lava trail that I was home schooled in a community of like minded individuals. In this fringe community, down dirt roads, we lived 'off the grid', no running water, or electricity, and at times without four walls.  Less distractions made this natural lifestyle integral in the preservation and nurturing of my creativity and imagination. Hence my childhood has and continues to shape my personal development. 

ROAR: What are some creations and designs that you have been involved in recently and currently that you are excited and passionate about?

Chrystal: Recently I have been involved in the creative design of surfboards, short films and my own personal art. Of these what is bringing me much joy are my dreamcatchers, which I hand-craft from primarily recycled, repurposed, vintage and found beach treasures. I am also involved in the creative processes within my husband and business partner Joel Fitzgerald's surfboards. Vintage fabrics, color, texture, anything old that has a life and story, enchant and excite me. 

On the film side I have been inspired by the collective up rising of women, by Clarissa Pinkola Estés and the company I keep. Lauren L Hill and I worked on a short video a few months ago and that has inspired me to tell more of my own stories, something that I have known for a long time was coming. This is exciting time in my life as I am stepping out in new ways. Here is a link to the project that I am currently developing 'Vignettes of the Slide'  it is like life ever evolving :)

ROAR: We have noticed that you collaborate with and support other creative inspirational people. Tell us your thoughts on collaboration and community and give us a couple of examples where you have seen this flourish in your local community.

Chrystal: We are designed for community. The people I surround myself with are all my mentors and profound sources of inspiration. Examples of successful collaborations are prevalent in the Byron Bay community. An example close to me is the collaboration between Joel Fitzgerald Surfboards and artist/laminator Matt Yates. Some beautiful one of a kind surfboards that are truly works of art have been the result. Another example is the  Byron Bay Surf Festival, which is what I believe to be a collaborative event. There are many other local examples in the fashion, and arts community here in the shire as well. The numbers of collaborations are growing all the time as people see the mutual benefit of sharing skills, trading, being of service.

ROAR: We see you as a great role model for young women. What is some advice you would give to girls growing up trying to figure out who they are and what they what to give and achieve in life?

Chrystal: The advice I have for growing girls is to truly follow your heart, be brave with this following and always always trust your intuition. I also encourage you to remember that God lives in each of us and we all have the power to reach the dreams of purpose, which we are given. Rely on God's vision for you and ask for help when every you are faced with doubt, prayer is a powerful gift. Along with prayer and persistence make time to play daily :)

PS
I have just started a group called the Women's Evolvement Party, my ultimate goal is to be of service to a larger community of Women for personal and global healing. At the moment we are gathering for book club and women's circles, in the future we plan to take more active roles in the community and overseas :) Click here to view the site.

ROAR: What is something you are really excited about for 2014?

Chrystal: Today! Yes each moment is a miracle. Other things I am excited about are going home to Hawai'i' Nei, day dreams, a feature film that I am working on with dear friends, traveling and collaborating with like minded people on creative projects.

Photo by Anthony Dodds

Photo by Anthony Dodds

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Photo by Anthony Dodds

Photo by Anthony Dodds

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Photo by Chris Prestige  www.atdusk.com.au

Photo by Chris Prestige www.atdusk.com.au

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Photos provided and copyrighted by Joel and Chrystal.

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Liz Clark: Ocean Adventurer

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Liz Clark: Ocean Adventurer

Sunset session. Photo by Bali Strickland.

Sunset session. Photo by Bali Strickland.

We get so inspired about sharing adventurous lifestyles and people's passionate stories and Liz Clark is definitely one of these people. She is truly living her dreams and is one of the most exciting and interesting people that we follow. She has given everything for her passion, to live an alternative lifestyle and spread her message. She "is a professional free surfer, writer, environmental activist, adventurer, photographer, Patagonia Ambassador, and Truth seeker, who has captained her 40ft sailboat, Swell, over 18,000 miles on a surfing expedition in the Pacific since 2005" (personal blog). Read on to hear how Liz was able to achieve her goals and live a truly passionate life. You can follow her stories on her Liz Clark and The Voyage of Swell website 

Your life seems to be revolved around the ocean through living and exploring on a boat and surfing all around the world. How did this lifestyle get instilled in you?
 
I grew up in and on the water, sailing with my family in Southern California. We spent all our family vacations and weekends sailing to the local Islands off the coast. When I was 9 years old we (my mom, dad, brother, and little sister) set off for most of a year aboard our 50-ft sailboat to cruise the coast of Mexico. It was on that voyage that I really fell in love with the lifestyle of traveling abroad by sea. Then in my teens we moved near the beach and I fell in love with surfing. Toward the end of my time at the University of Santa Barbara, California, my father let me live on his sailboat in the harbor there and I took friends out to some spots inaccessible by land and realized how my passion for surfing and my sailing background could come together to create something really amazing! 
 
Can you share how you started your amazing blog and came across swell?
 
Well, let’s start with Swell. In 2002, I was having a tough time in many aspects of my life, but mainly because I had been with a boyfriend who convinced me that I was incapable of living out my dream of sailing around the world. Not long after leaving him, I serendipitously crossed paths with a retired professor friend, Barry Schuyler, from my university in Santa Barbara, California. He was looking for someone to sail his boat around the world!? He was nearly eighty years old at the time and didn’t need the money to sell the boat and wanted to help someone realize his own unrealized life-long dream of an extended sailing adventure. So I was in the right place at the right time to say the least. We worked for two years together preparing Swell for the voyage, and became dear friends. 
 
So in fact, the blog was born out of a desire to share my experiences with, Barry, who happily awaited news from me at sea from his home in Santa Barbara. In fact, so many people helped me to get the voyage going, and so many people were crossing their fingers that I would succeed, that I felt the desire to keep them all informed of my adventures. Plus, after realizing how much went into the preparation for a voyage like mine, I realized how fortunate I was to be living what I’m living, so the blog was a way to give back and share the experiences with others. It gained readership little by little, and although Barry passed away in 2011, I continue to be passionate about my blog and sharing the insights and lifestyle that his generosity and vision originally helped manifest in my life. 
 
What are some highlights of living on the sea?
 
Waking up to the different faces of the sea every morning.  Living so close to nature in general. Freedom. There is nothing like the freedom of living on the sea. You get yourself where you want to go, on your own, and have the time to commune with yourself and the Source along the way. Bathing in the sea. Brushing my teeth under the stars. Meeting interesting people. And being close to the surf!
 
What have been some challenges along the way?
 
Innumerable challenges. Learning how to sail the boat safely, learning how to use all the equipment, and how to do the constant repairs of all sorts. Learning to deal with bad weather, and learning how to adapt, be flexible when obstacles arise. Learning how to slow down and not force things. Learning new languages, learning to be alone…the challenges never end, but when you are doing what you love, they are always possible to overcome.
 
Who has supported and inspired you in your amazing life?
 
I’ve had so much loving support from family and friends. My father has always been especially supportive of helping me reach my often lofty dreams and goals. From a very young age he saw my determination to do this voyage and he helped me learn what I needed to learn and instill confidence in me that I could do anything I wanted. He believed in me so much that it made me believe in myself. And Barry and Jean Schuyler, and the innumerable people in Santa Barbara who helped me get those dock lines untied eventually and on my way to the high seas with the safe and tricked out sea chariot that Swell is… And Patagonia, the eco-friendly clothing company, who has been my main support and sponsor since I set off from California in 2006. Their commitment to my project has been critical to keeping the dream afloat. Now I’m teamed up with other supportive brands that represent similar values and interests like Zeal Optics, who make eco-friendly sunglasses, and Mizu waterbottles, who make stainless waterbottles in an effort to reduce plastic waste, and Leatherman tools, a socially-responsible company who support independent, alternative lifestyles like mine…Plus a truly endless list of other friends, fans, and companies that enjoy the blog or appreciate what I do and support me with love, donations, products, encouragement, advice, emails, care packages, etc. I’m truly blessed!!
 
Inspiration. I take my greatest dose of daily inspiration directly from Nature. It is what makes me feel closest to Divinity/God/Jah/the Source, the Universe, the Great Spirit…whatever term you prefer. Also from others who have insisted or insist on living their dreams and passions, and ordinary people who do good for the good of good. For those who fight for their Truth. And from all the great saints and truth seekers now and throughout time—the Buddha, the Christ, Rumi, Babaji, Einstein, Amma, Guru Dev, Yogananda, Saint Mother Teresa, Ghandi, the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Bob Marley…to name a few…
 
What are some exciting things happening in the future for you?
 
Well, I am working on a book about my voyage, concentrated on the personal inner journey and transformation that I have experienced. The main theme is why living your dreams and passions helps people find personal peace. I’d love to keep sailing around the world when I finish the book!! Still so many places to visit and things to learn!
 

What lies ahead. Photo by Liz Clark.

What lies ahead. Photo by Liz Clark.

Atoll sunset. Photo by Liz Clark.

Atoll sunset. Photo by Liz Clark.

Atoll dreaming. Photo by Ryan Hargrave.

Atoll dreaming. Photo by Ryan Hargrave.

At Sea. Photo by Bali Strickland.

At Sea. Photo by Bali Strickland.

Universal language of smiles. Photo by Liz Clark

Universal language of smiles. Photo by Liz Clark

Kiribati Lagoon sailing. Photo by Liz Clark.

Kiribati Lagoon sailing. Photo by Liz Clark.

Starlight Yoga. Photo by Domenic Mosqueira.

Starlight Yoga. Photo by Domenic Mosqueira.

Rebel under a rainbow hehe. Photo by Liz Clark.

Rebel under a rainbow hehe. Photo by Liz Clark.

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Andrew Warhurst: Longboarder & Shaper

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We met Andy at The Snowy Longboard Classic at Manly earlier this year.  He is such a humble and talented individual.  Not only is he a stylish longboarder but Andy is also an amazing shaper, glasser and board designer.  Rebel on a Rainbow were super excited to get an opportunity to feature an insight into Andy's inspiring and passionate life.  

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

  ROAR: How did surfing become both your lifestyle and career?

Andy: Well of course I wanted to be a beach bum when I was in school and surfboard makers looked like they had the closest thing to that, besides pro surfers obviously. I wanted to drop out and get a trade but still be able to surf whenever I wanted, fortunately I was able to pick up a job in a board manufacturing factory but training under the trade “boat building apprenticeship” so I studied boat building at tafe and learned the art of board building at work. Fast forward nearly ten years and I’m lucky to say I stuck it out and have maintained the lifestyle and the career.

ROAR: Who has been an inspiration to you in your adventurous life?

Andy: First of all I’d have to say my dad, he got me into surfing when I was pretty young and would tell me stories of his surf adventures along the Victorian coastline in the late 60s and 70s.

Also friends I've made over the years, you meet so many interesting people in life and their outlook on adventure and stuff like that can really change the way you look at life.

Last but not least, my family. They are super cool and have always supported me and inspired me.

ROAR: What are some of the challenges you have been faced with in the surf industry?

Andy: Things are really coming around now, for years the sort of surfing and equipment I was into was very frowned upon by 99% of the surfing world, at least in Victoria where I'm from. It was frustrating to get heckled down the beach or out at parties for riding alternative equipment opposed to the 6’2” white thruster the pros shred on.

In the last 5 years that’s really turned around and its great to see. People are riding all sorts of things and its pretty rare to find crew these days who only ride your clear dhd or al merrick. 

Recent struggles in the industry are a lot different, because the alternative thing is so popular now. You have so many new brands popping up with guys who have no experience smashing out a few rough shapes and doing some arty, more often than not poor glass work and people eat that shit up man. They charge half the price as what premium board makers would and the average consumer complains about the price enough as it is, now you’ve got 10 other guys down the road charging less and cleaning up. Its kinda replaced the chinese problem we had a decade ago. I'm all about new guys getting into it and enjoying it but when guys make a board for themselves then start selling boards, getting stickers made and building websites without paying dues, it really rubs people the wrong way.

ROAR: Who are some of your favourite surfers to go on road trips with and why?

Andy: Usually guys I've spent lots of time with over the years. Guys like my good mate surfer/surf photographer Scott Wintle. Scotty’s always good for a laugh and he's spent a lot of time cruising up and down the coast. A few mates I grew up surfing with, Steve Thorne and Trent Burgers are always pretty good value. They're guys who I have been through a lot with and surfed all different kinds of waves and drank all different kinds of beers with.

In the last few years i've been doing a lot of surf trips with Matty Chojnacki from Sydney. We've known each other a long time and we get on really well and both have a great deal of respect for each other. Matty shreds on anything and its good to see someone of his ability surfing and sharing waves with everyone and not letting ego get the better of him.

ROAR: What has been your favourite surf adventure and why?

Andy: To be honest I think the earlier days for me were when I really frothed on the adventure of surfing. Actually what I mean is in the earlier days, I was stoked a lot easier, I didn’t have to go on a big long trip and get barreled all day. When I look back I reckon my favourite adventure was camping down at our local break when we were 14. My buddy Steve and I were full throttle grom frothers, our home break was a relatively uncrowded log wave on Viccos Mornington Peninsula called Pines, these days its packed and every hipster and his dog or pet pig or whatever is down there camping and having fires. Back then it was awesome, our folks would drop us off whenever there was gonna be a big swell and we’d just camp there for days and surf amazing waves with just a few old boys. I'd say the best time was the time the thunder storm and rain destroyed our tent, our sleeping bags were soaked through, so we ended up sleeping on the floor of the women's toilet they have in the carpark, obviously the womens was cleaner than the mans haha. In the morning we got up and it was still dark but u could make out perfect lines going across the reef, we suited up and surfed perfect 4-5 ft Pines with no one else for like half an hour, and back then when it did get crowded there was still only 10 maybe 15 guys in the water and we knew them all. That’d have to be one of my favourites for sure. Over ten years on and me and my buddy still talk about that one all the time.

ROAR: Tell us some things your excited about in your future?

Andy: Moving up to noosa this year has been a big change for me, meeting a whole new group of surfers, surfing totally different waves to what there is on offer in vicco, I'm excited for the times ahead. I'm still getting better and better when it comes to making boards so that excites me a lot, when I get a really neat board coming through with cool colours and stuff, it really gets me amping.

I think what I'm most excited about is getting to fine tune my shapes in the perfect waves here and seeing how far I can grow with my surfing, on all types of boards. Adrian Knott and I have recently setup our new factory where we do our label Rake Surfboards out of and just getting that back off the ground in a new state has been hard work but very exciting. Things have started off a bit slow here but theyre starting to pick up, people are seeing our boards floating round again and intrest is gaining. I'm just gonna keep on truckin and doing my thing and hopefully I can surf and pay the bills along the way.

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Pic by Mia Sara

Check out the clip below of Andy and his mate Matt by Nicholas Damen.

Thanks heaps Andy for giving us an insight into the alternative surf culture and the comeback of longboarding. If our readers want to follow more of Andy's adventures and check out the amazing boards he shapes, glasses and designs check out the links below. There is also another awesome clip featuring Andy surfing. He has epic style! 

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Lauren Hill: SeaKin Founder & Activist

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Lauren Hill is one of the most inspiring and stylish people we have been able to talk with. She is an incredible role model for young women and pursuing a passionate and meaningful life. Lauren is a sponsored surfer, who could have chosen the competitive pathway with commercialism, hype and fame. However she chose to align and collaborate with the alternative surf culture as the founder of 'SeaKin' which is focused on improving and maintaining our beautiful environment, promoting and being active with women's rights in and out of the ocean and allowing a platform for surf adventures and positive experiences which encourage positive life choices.

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ROAR: Where have you lived most of your life and where do you call home now?

Lauren: I lived most of my life on Anastasia Island, a barrier island on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. I now live in the Northern Rivers region of NSW, Australia. 

ROAR: Who inspired you to be a surfer and environmentalist and in what ways did this motivate you to become the person you are today?

Lauren: I’m not sure that there is a definable “who” that inspired me. The relationship between surfing and environmental activism was cyclical for me: I loved the beach so I started surfing. Surfing taught me to love the beach and my surroundings even more deeply, and I realized that I needed to do my best to take care of the places that gift me such joy. I can say with 100% certainty that I would not be who I am without the relationship that I’ve developed with the ocean. 

Surfing in particular, something that I was always told was superfluous and trivial, has turned out to be one of the great barometers of my life. It has guided me into the most incredible adventures and the deepest feeling experiences that I’ve had. 

With that said, lots of people have inspired me along the way: my mom and dad, Alice Walker, Dave Rastovich, Linda Murphree, Gloria Steinem, Tom Robbins, Rell Sunn…and many more. 

ROAR: Seakin is one of our favourite websites to explore all things associated with the ocean and the eclectic community who revolve their lifestyle around it. How did this idea come about and what would you say is the main purpose for Seakin?

Lauren: I started a blog fresh out of university called Mersea Beaucoup when I couldn’t get a job amidst the global financial crisis. Since I couldn’t fulfill the role that American culture expected of me post-university (get job, climb work ladder, get mortgage…etc)  I decided to just do what I really wanted to be doing anyway: surfing.  So I wrote about my passions for surfing and environmental science  and vowed to surf every single day during that experiment. I ended up getting a number of writing gigs and new surfing sponsors because I was putting what I loved and cared about into the world. 

Anyway, Sea Kin is the product of many experiments in doing what I love. It’s  a place to share stories about the ocean from different perspectives than what I tend to see in most surfing media. Sea Kin is about creating culture for ourselves. 

ROAR: How can everyday people contribute and get involved with Seakin?

Lauren: The ultimate dream for Sea Kin is to have lots of people contributing from all over the world about their own bubbles of surfing and ocean culture. I’d love to have more contributors. If you feel compelled, please send me an e-mail at MerSeaBeaucoup@gmail.com. 

ROAR: What are the latest projects you have been a part of and how have they changed your views on the world and humanity?

Lauren: The most recent project that I’ve been working on is a film called Beyond the Surface. We traveled through south India searching for surf with India’s first recognized female surfer and working with an NGO called Beyond the Surface, which was founded by a very inspiring young female surfer, Emi Koch. It really felt like a culmination of so many things that I am passionate about--- women’s surfing, sustainability, activism, yoga, adventure and connecting with other surfers. It was so incredible and certainly changed me in ways that I haven’t even really processed yet. You can read a bit more about the project through the link below: 'One in a Billion'

Just before I went to India I helped to organized a conference about The Economics of Happiness with an amazing woman, Helena Norberg-Hodge. While there I had the pleasure of getting to hear Charles Eisenstein speak (and take him for his first surf lesson!) and his message has been profoundly changing my worldview. 

He reminds us that our purpose on the planet is to find out what our gifts are. That is our purpose and what will nourish us. And then, our task is to give those gifts abundantly. 

That message really helped me to refocus which projects I’m putting energy into. And it always reminds me that everyone has incredible gifts to give, but that many of us have sideswiped ourselves off of the path toward finding our gifts with distractions. 

ROAR: So the readers can understand, can you explain what it means to be an ecofeminist?

Lauren: We live in a world where the scales are significantly tipped toward the masculine. There are embedded rules in our culture that make it easier for some people to get ahead--- and those people have tended to be white men. For example, men still make more money than women for doing the same work.

Our culture tends to value men more and we more readily reward the characteristics of masculinity. We end up with men who feel like they aren’t allowed to express emotion, much less cry. And we end up with women who feel like they need to become hardened “like men” in order to get ahead in their careers. 

So, we all lose because none of us are allowed to just be who we are. Feminism is about tipping the scales a little so that we can all reconnect with our feminine attributes, in order to create a more egalitarian world where everybody has a fair chance to thrive. 

The “eco” part of ecofeminism has to do with seeing how the attitudes that allow us to destroy our natural environment, our planet, are linked to the way we treat other people. 

When we collectively value domination, aggression, and disconnection and we choose not to listen or employ compassion for ourselves and the being around us, we are only then able to destroy the places and processes that literally allow us to live. The way we treat ourselves and our loved ones is intimately linked to the way we treat everything. 

So, for me, ecofeminism means working to have a lighter footprint on our planet and doing our best to protect wild spaces or to help clean them up. It also means helping to eradicate the mental, physical, and ideological “pollution” that a patriarchal system creates as it divides through oppression. 

ROAR: Without a doubt you are one of the most inspiring role models for young women. What is some advice you could offer them for the future? 

Lauren: Thanks so much, Jonny and Jess. That’s a really lovely thing to say. 

My advice is to find out what your gifts are and to give them abundantly. 

For me, the path to my gifts always revolves around connecting with wild nature, following my intuition, allowing time and space for being quiet, and ignoring the voices of self-sabotage that inevitably arise when I’m taking risks. 

Also, minding your own business is a full time job if you’re doing it well. 

ROAR: What are some exciting things happening in the future for you and Seakin?

Lauren: Personally, I’m really excited about planting a new veggie garden at my house. Growing food is one of the most magical and fulfilling experiences that I know---that the seemingly simple combination of sunlight, soil and water can create such diverse edibles is mind boggling. 

The SeaKin site is growing and I’ve been getting great feedback from people who’d like to contribute lately, which is a huge compliment--- so it seems like the concept is beginning to come into its own. I’d love to keep growing it, especially into print format. 

Life is incredibly sweet. 

Thanks Jonny and Jess for the opportunity to share a bit of my story.

 

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Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring story.  To find out more and follow Lauren's adventures check out the link below.

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Deus Ex Machina & Guest Shaper Joel Fitzgerald

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Since the beginning of The Deus Ex Machina Temple of Enthusiasm in Canggu, Bali, Indonesia we have been keen to check it out. After spending a week in Lombok surfing, snorkelling and exploring on motorbikes, we got the chance to head to the Deus Temple. When you arrive at Deus you are instantly awe struck by the coolness and quality of their motorbikes, clothing, art gallery and restaurant. The bikes are beautiful, they started one up while we were there and she sounded amazing, defiantly wish we could buy one. Deus clothing is made from 100% cotton, they are so soft and comfortable, we scored a sweet bounty of t-shirts and shorts. The art gallery is filled with alternate pieces that seemed to be inspired by surfing, skating, music, bikes and women. After looking around be sure to try the restaurant, the food is so tasty especially the chicken Quesada’s, which we could have eaten all day long. On Sunday night they have live music and Tuesday night free tattoos of a small size. We absolutely loved our time here, which was most of the day. 

 

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The section that I was most excited to enter was the board shaping and glassing area. I was instantly in my element walking through the different huts with fin design, glassing and sanding. We met the glasser Victor who gave me a short rundown of glassing, mixing colours and inlaying designs. We also met Riman, who is a local shredder supported by Deus. You will see many shots of him on their Instagram and Facebook. Deus get some of the best shapers around the world to come and stay at the Deus Temple and shape surfboards for their store. These include Bob Mctavish, Ellis Erricson, Thomas Bexson and Alex Knost. We couldn’t believe our luck when we spotted Joel Fitzgerald, famous Australian surfer and shaper and his wife Chrystal, who is also an absolute shredder and rad all round person. Chrystal helps with the business and design of Joel Fitzgerald. Jess has been keen for a new board and this was the perfect opportunity to talk dimensions and design. It is such a great experience to talk with a shaper about what you want, they are able to give you advice and guidance. Jess talked with Chrystal about colours, design and inlaying fabric in the board while I chatted with Joel about the right dimensions for what Jess wanted. It was so great to talk with this beautiful couple, they were so humble and welcoming. We can’t wait to catch up and surf with them next time we are travelling on the North Coast of NSW near Byron Bay. Thanks again guys.

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A fresh Joel Fitzgerald board about to be finished

A fresh Joel Fitzgerald board about to be finished

Victor the local glasser

Victor the local glasser

Joel showing us his Rasta inspired board

Joel showing us his Rasta inspired board

Chrystal talking design with Jess and Sam

Chrystal talking design with Jess and Sam

Riman local shredder supported by Deus

Riman local shredder supported by Deus

If you would like to check out more of Joel Fitzgerald's boards and Deus information click the links below.   

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