Business at the Front, Party out the Back
The Mullet Pro, a local surf competition that raises funds for, and awareness of, mental health, will return to Tamarama for the fifth time on March 7. The Mullet Pro isn’t any ordinary surf competition, with entrants paddling out in colourful costumes on foam boards to compete for prizes donated by the community and local surf brands including Mullet Boards and Softlite.
The unique event is the brainchild of Bondi’s Earl Weir and his good mates Josh Ku and Perth Standlick, all handy surfers, who shaped the event to be a fun day for the whole community.
“It’s great because you don’t have to be a great surfer to do well,” Mr Ku explained. “You can barely stand up in a colourful jacket and win your heat.”
The scoring system runs differently to a normal surf competition too.
“You get points for nudity, best dressed, party waves, and we have a dance competition and a catwalk too,” Mr Standlick told The Beast.
The aim to get as many people involved as possible was born from a dream to use the competition as more than just a competitive event.
“It began as a comp for friends, just getting mates together to have a fun time, but then we wanted to make it more meaningful too and use it to do something good,” Mr Ku said.
The charitable aspect of the competition was particularly personal for Earl Weir, who had just lost a friend to depression when the competition started.
“It’s super important for the surfing community, to get your mates talking about their mental health and do it in the sun when there’s good vibes around,” he told The Beast.
The Mullet Pro aims to raise money and increase awareness surrounding mental health, with all the proceeds from entry donations going to One Wave mental health charity. One Wave was founded in 2013 at Bondi Beach and aims to battle mental health stigma with surfing through their Fluro Fridays, which now run at more than 200 beaches globally.
After five years, the three friends from Bondi show no signs of slowing down.
“The more people who get involved, the further the message can go,” Mr Weir said.
The friends all agree on the reason the competition has lasted so long – because it’s fun. The community atmosphere is one of the most important elements of the day.
“A lot of people are scared to get out there and have a go, and we’re just about making it as fun as possible,” Mr Ku said.
“It’s just a day to come down, meet people and make friends, because that’s what everyone in Bondi is about – good community and making friends.”
The Mullet Pro will be held at Tamarama Beach from 8am on March 7. For more information, please follow @mulletpro on Instagram.