Local Frother – Ian WallaceThis month, Bondi real estate agent, board rider and backpacker educator Ian Wallace answers a few quick ones for The Beast…
Board shaper/dimensions: Lee Stacey 5’11” x 2 1/8” x 18 1/8”
Goofy or natural: Very goofy and most unnatural
Local break: Bondi
Where are your favourite breaks?
That’s such a tough question. A couple of point breaks in the south of Chile normally with a crowd of five, Rocky Point Lefts and Bondi left rip bowl (every five years).
It’s increasingly rare for Eastern Beaches residents to have lived in the area for more than three minutes. How about yourself?
I grew up in Watsons Bay and my dad taught me to surf at North Bondi when I was eight. From that day on I was hooked and completely obsessed. I would be punishing them everyday to take me surfing. After leaving home I moved into Ormond Street in Bondi and from there have been lucky enough to call a little shack above Mackenzie’s Bay home.
You have managed to take out the Bondi Boardriders’ title almost half a dozen times now; what draws you to the monthly comp?
I think I love it for many different reasons. The best and most satisfying is watching the grommets evolve from these little micro shorey-hugging ankle-biters to full blown rippers. Seeing them grow up with their mates leading a healthy lifestyle and getting better and better each year is all-time. Seeing some of these kids now competing on the world stage is proof of this. On another level, it’s great just to catch up with your mates and have a full day of talking trash and surfing. From waste disposable experts to professors and everything in between, everyone is just there to have fun, make a couple of heats and have a few beers afterwards. It’s also guys like Beau Sevastos and Tony Spanos that make it such a great club. They spend so much of their time and money with very little reward to make our club one of, if not the best, in the country.
Local kids like Pama Davies have started ripping down at Bondi; are they getting in your way?
Far from it. I am 38 now and spend more time at the physio than in the line-up trying to keep up with these young rippers. Pama is a great kid and does things on waves that would put me in traction. Surfing with any local kid, or for that matter any local, is always fun and I know they are not going to run anyone over or get in people’s way. There seems to be a whole smorgasbord of young kids coming up, like Bailey Richards and Pete Kavanagh, who not only surf really well but are also really respectful, which in this day an age seems very rare.
It’s one thing contending with the groms but what about the backpackers in the surf?
I used to get so over all of them I would tell them where to go on a daily basis. I guess as you grow older you become a little wiser and realise for every backpacker that does something stupid or nearly kills you there are another 20 that will be out there replacing them the following day. Now I try to give them advice calmly about what bank they might be better off learning on. Half of these backpackers can’t even swim let alone surf and can hire a potentially lethal weapon with absolutely no idea. Perhaps only hiring soft boards could help to not only prevent potential injuries but also spread the learners more evenly over the beach as these boards can be used in the flagged areas.
Any last words?
No train station at Bondi Beach please.