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Frother of the Month – Byron Whelan

By Brad Malyon on May 8, 2012 in People

Photo: Brad Malyon (Byron in the middle)

One of Frothers’ newest mates, Maroubra surfer Byron Whelan, provides a window into his world of early morning
waves, ocean swims and his recent surfing trip to Micronesia’s perfect Caroline Islands…

Name: Byron Whelan
Age: 37
Place of birth: Sydney
Local break: Maroubra
Board shaper / dimensions: Greg Webber – 6’3″, 19 1/8″, 2 3/8″
Goofy or natural: Natural

Do you usually go for the early surf with your buddies, or was the ‘3 Amigos’ image above a once off?

We’ve always tried to hit the early as often as possible, at least once a week if we can, but that shot was a special moment in time these days because one of the boys, Justin, lives in New York now. The Three Amigos caption was perfect; Yuri, Justin and I have all surfed Maroubra together for years and we’re the core team who get away on a surf trip somewhere different each year.

You take part in the odd ocean swim; do you often get the chance to throw your arms over?

If I’m not surfing I like to get a swim in. It’s just great exercise and I love the ocean. The ocean swims started as something fun to do and personal challenges to see how I’d go. I liked the idea of seeing Wedding Cake Island from a different perspective and doing a swim from the Opera House isn’t something you get to do every day either.

You’ve recently been on a surf trip to the Caroline Islands; for those not in the know could you describe the destination?

The Caroline Islands are in Micronesia, part of the many islands north east of PNG in the Pacific. The island I went to was Pohnpei, which is home to a cranking right-hander called P-Pass. It was an amazing place to visit, pure paradise with great waves, diving and fishing, plus some local culture and history in the mix. We’re talking pristine barrels and boat rides out to surrounding atolls that are postcard perfect, full of palm trees surrounded by crystal blue water. Food and drinks are cheap too.

Where would you rate the Carolines on a scale of favourite surf spots?

I’d rate it as my favourite wave so far. We’ve hit up Fiji, Samoa, the Maldives, Sumatra and New Caledonia, all of which were great trips, but P-Pass just turned it on for us. It’s such a beautiful right-hander that wraps around the reef and throws beautiful wide barrels. Our surf camp managers, SteveO and Dooma from PPass Surf, are both from the Northern Beaches, surf like pros and really understand the froth factor. They get you out there in the water as soon as you land and the action doesn’t stop until you’re more than out of steam.

According to Linkedin you’re the Lead Developer at Philter Group; what are you developing at the moment?

Yep, I’m a computer geek by trade. Our main project at the moment is a super custom ecommerce type website for a big alcohol company, but we do everything web as well as design, brand and print.

Any last words?

A major shout out to my bro Yuri who is the absolute king at getting our surf trips planned and organised. We’ve been buds forever – thanks amigo! And the best advice I ever got in the surf came from Jay (Justin): “Just Charge”!