TheGeoffSwan
Ive known Marti for many years now, back in the mid to late nineties when we would often be a couple of the only groms out in the water at Rebounds playing in the wedges. Our folks would shoot us down there, often wetsuits put on at home all 45 mimuntes away in pure anticipation and excitement. I remember Marti on this old lime green Rehopaipo board and pair of manta blades, curly hair in his eyes and grinning from ear to ear with grom froth. 
15 years or so later times have certainly changed for Marti, now a household name in the surfing world for riding some of the heaviest, biggest and scariest waves to have ever been ridden, his career is surely flourishing. I caught up with him freshly back in the water from a painful injury which left him sitting in the boat filming and not riding the oceans mountains for a change. 
(S) So for those who don’t know, you grew up on the outskirts of Hobart and started riding a bodyboard from what i can remember?
(M) Yeah, i grew up an hour so away from the beach, in the burbs (suburbs) of Hobart hanging with the rednecks and petrols heads, i bodyboarded till i was 14 then took to the surfboard.
I have some funny memories of your old man back in the day down at the beach, i know that Jim has always been a really big influence on you and your surfing, how has he helped you along the way?
He and mum moved the family to the beach specifically for me and my sister when i was 15. They knew how passionate we were about the beach and as the years went on i started getting really down about being so far away, something didnt feel right. So it was an amazing feeling once we made the move. Dad had a really hard life and worked his arse off since he was 6 years old and his body is riddled with arthritis and other problems. So for me to be living my dream and having a career based on my passion i couldn’t be more grateful for the things he did for his kids, he is super supportive and stoked for me
That is really great hey, your old man must be your biggest inspiration. Is it true he has a black belt in karate?
Yeah he definitely is and my sister is as well. She is currently battling addiction and has come so far in the last year. For the past decade theres been some really tough years. He is a kung fu master.
So where are you living currently? Tassie? Vico? Bali? seems you have been all over the place!
Yeah i been living the last 3 years in Victoria on the Mornington Peninsula but i now living in a pad in Bali. Ive been in Tassie the last 2 months due to a knee injury but luckily im all better now and have had some fun days at Shippies lately.
How did you injure yourself? was it your knee?
Yeah was in a bike accident in bali… couldnt walk for a month, then a month of rehab
That must have been hard for someone like you who is always travelling and chasing the waves. I know stern pumped a few days and you had to hang back and watch from the boat. Now your back on your feet and word on the street is you just got your best stern paddler yet?
That was one of the hardest things i ever done haha. It was either hang at home on the couch eating painkillers and wonder how the boys went or eat more pain killers, jump on a boat and go film them. Ended up shooting some cool clips of my mates, but watching it pumping and not being able to surf hurt me mentally so much haha. Yeah with my time spent out of the water all i had been thinking bout was getting a really good paddle barrell out there. So i was just trying to be patient and wait for the right one…. It wasn’t the biggest wave off take off, but it grew into the best paddle pit ive had out there! I was stoked!
Yeah that thing was legit. The let in looked perfect and set you up nicely. When your jumping on a plane somewhere who do you like to travel with? do you have ‘a crew’?
ive done a lot of trips with gibbo (Stuart Gibson) and mooney (Andrew Mooney), there good lads to travel with… But i also enjoy meeting new people..
Your one of the only established riders to have done some trips with bodyboarders. 
I like surfing with boogs (as long as its only a couple ha), they surf waves which i like and i guess having that booger background i can relate to them.
Are you looking at chasing waves like Cloudbreak and Chopes? or isnt there enough steps and is the water to warm for ya?
Man id love to hit those joints. I’m sure i will one day soon. They are both amazing and unique waves in there own way…. i hate crowds so it really puts me off going to places when i hear theres a heap of crew chasing it. I like to do things a bit differently and do more searching and exploring.
Basically your just hanging in tassie waiting for big red blob to appear on the weather maps somewhere and go from there? How about ireland? not to many crowds there and plenty of the waves you like to surf.
Yeah im planning on Europe this season and I think im back to Bali next week,  looks like things have slowed down a bit here so time to see what is happening up north.
Ahhh epic times ahead for you. Hope you keep doing what your doing down the track and stay on those motor bikes.
Yew
Interview and words by Geoff Swan
Portrait of Marti taken by Ash Bradley from http://www.sundrenchedphotography.com
Check out Marti’s big paddler wave from Stern here. Filmed by Danny O’Donnell 
https://vimeo.com/45955273

Ive known Marti for many years now, back in the mid to late nineties when we would often be a couple of the only groms out in the water at Rebounds playing in the wedges. Our folks would shoot us down there, often wetsuits put on at home all 45 mimuntes away in pure anticipation and excitement. I remember Marti on this old lime green Rehopaipo board and pair of manta blades, curly hair in his eyes and grinning from ear to ear with grom froth. 

15 years or so later times have certainly changed for Marti, now a household name in the surfing world for riding some of the heaviest, biggest and scariest waves to have ever been ridden, his career is surely flourishing. I caught up with him freshly back in the water from a painful injury which left him sitting in the boat filming and not riding the oceans mountains for a change. 

(S) So for those who don’t know, you grew up on the outskirts of Hobart and started riding a bodyboard from what i can remember?

(M) Yeah, i grew up an hour so away from the beach, in the burbs (suburbs) of Hobart hanging with the rednecks and petrols heads, i bodyboarded till i was 14 then took to the surfboard.

I have some funny memories of your old man back in the day down at the beach, i know that Jim has always been a really big influence on you and your surfing, how has he helped you along the way?

He and mum moved the family to the beach specifically for me and my sister when i was 15. They knew how passionate we were about the beach and as the years went on i started getting really down about being so far away, something didnt feel right. So it was an amazing feeling once we made the move. Dad had a really hard life and worked his arse off since he was 6 years old and his body is riddled with arthritis and other problems. So for me to be living my dream and having a career based on my passion i couldn’t be more grateful for the things he did for his kids, he is super supportive and stoked for me

That is really great hey, your old man must be your biggest inspiration. Is it true he has a black belt in karate?

Yeah he definitely is and my sister is as well. She is currently battling addiction and has come so far in the last year. For the past decade theres been some really tough years. He is a kung fu master.

So where are you living currently? Tassie? Vico? Bali? seems you have been all over the place!

Yeah i been living the last 3 years in Victoria on the Mornington Peninsula but i now living in a pad in Bali. Ive been in Tassie the last 2 months due to a knee injury but luckily im all better now and have had some fun days at Shippies lately.

How did you injure yourself? was it your knee?

Yeah was in a bike accident in bali… couldnt walk for a month, then a month of rehab

That must have been hard for someone like you who is always travelling and chasing the waves. I know stern pumped a few days and you had to hang back and watch from the boat. Now your back on your feet and word on the street is you just got your best stern paddler yet?

That was one of the hardest things i ever done haha. It was either hang at home on the couch eating painkillers and wonder how the boys went or eat more pain killers, jump on a boat and go film them. Ended up shooting some cool clips of my mates, but watching it pumping and not being able to surf hurt me mentally so much haha. Yeah with my time spent out of the water all i had been thinking bout was getting a really good paddle barrell out there. So i was just trying to be patient and wait for the right one…. It wasn’t the biggest wave off take off, but it grew into the best paddle pit ive had out there! I was stoked!

Yeah that thing was legit. The let in looked perfect and set you up nicely. When your jumping on a plane somewhere who do you like to travel with? do you have ‘a crew’?

ive done a lot of trips with gibbo (Stuart Gibson) and mooney (Andrew Mooney), there good lads to travel with… But i also enjoy meeting new people..

Your one of the only established riders to have done some trips with bodyboarders. 

I like surfing with boogs (as long as its only a couple ha), they surf waves which i like and i guess having that booger background i can relate to them.

Are you looking at chasing waves like Cloudbreak and Chopes? or isnt there enough steps and is the water to warm for ya?

Man id love to hit those joints. I’m sure i will one day soon. They are both amazing and unique waves in there own way…. i hate crowds so it really puts me off going to places when i hear theres a heap of crew chasing it. I like to do things a bit differently and do more searching and exploring.

Basically your just hanging in tassie waiting for big red blob to appear on the weather maps somewhere and go from there? How about ireland? not to many crowds there and plenty of the waves you like to surf.

Yeah im planning on Europe this season and I think im back to Bali next week,  looks like things have slowed down a bit here so time to see what is happening up north.

Ahhh epic times ahead for you. Hope you keep doing what your doing down the track and stay on those motor bikes.

Yew

Interview and words by Geoff Swan

Portrait of Marti taken by Ash Bradley from http://www.sundrenchedphotography.com

Check out Marti’s big paddler wave from Stern here. Filmed by Danny O’Donnell 

https://vimeo.com/45955273

                                                   L U K E   B A R K E R

You know when you meet someone that you click with but the time is not right to get to know them better? Waiting for another day or another year to hangout and bro down some more.

I first met this strange but likeable character back in 2004. In a foreign suburb of Adelaide. Having just spent a week living in tents in the dusty heat and cold waters it was time for us to end our journey and head home to Tasmania. Luke on the other hand was just starting his. Driving solo from Victoria in a old beat up gun metal grey commodore, he pulled into the same foreign suburb as us. He had with him the bare essentials; Tent, cooker, wetsuit, guitar and a couple of old VHS tapes featuring him and some other Victorian’s getting gnarly in some funny looking waves. Wide eyed i watched some guy dropping into some huge right pits and what looked like his certain death. I thought to myself who was that? Pretty much the heaviest thing i had ever seen and even heavier when he said it was him. Who was this random tall, skinny, charging, han solo victorian i thought to myself? I wasn’t sure really. We hung out for a night and said our farewells and wished him luck as he headed into the vast unknowns of Southern Australia. 

Time went by with the odd text message over the next few years, often talking of catching up and chasing waves in each others state but thats as far as it got.

Bromance resurged at the beginning of 2010 just after i moved to Victoria. We planned to catch up and get some waves when the charts looked good. Luke gave me vague directions and i was told to drive to a suburb of Geelong called Belmont at 4am where i was to find his street/house. Long story short it was sometime after 5am i found it. Smiles, hugs and bacon and egg mcmuffins later we were on the road heading to Luke’s favourites and my unknowns.

Tripping down the coast chasing swells with Luke is always a good time, travelling in his commodore (he has upgraded i might add) with the heater cranking out some warmth, the music is %90 of the time loud, heavy and something i never heard. We pass by coastline being bombarded with swell and with constant curiosity from myself and constant ” Don’t even look over there.” Or “Don’t be stupid thats not a wave!” I have to laugh, he seriously has every meter of coastline mapped out is his head and knows every nook and cranny. We pass by fringes of white water on the horizon and other funny spots and tells me ” Yeah i paddled out there once” and another one that he always says is “Yeah that wave is called Trons, I named it, no one else has surfed it before.” His nick name you see is Tron. I think it originates from Mega Tron from The Transformers and therefore any wave that he rides that hasn’t been riding before gets the name “Trons” i think he pointed out around 5 on my first trip down the coast with him. 

Luke is someone i feel very similar too but also very distant from. Similar passions have brought us closer over time and our friendship has bloomed but i will never truly understand how his mind works. From seeing him screaming with escalation and pure joy through to worrying times of his safety and mindset. 

Luke is someone who works alone. He is someone who is genuinely happy to be by themselves all day everyday. He once said to me “there is no one on earth you have to spend more time with than yourself, may as well enjoy that time…”  

Luke doesn’t go much on trends or what new music is being played right now. He already knows what he likes and what he is wearing. Sometimes i feel angst and get annoyed at him because he doesn’t or won’t do what i want to do or suggest, but then i remember that this is Luke, and Luke is a one man band, I’m just the passenger in his car. 

I feel that without Luke my time in Victoria would have been totally different. I envisage roads not leading to the coast. Slow, fat and weak waves and a less greater understanding of him and his countryside. 

A honest human to himself and his friends. A lover not a fighter and a man who wears his heart on his sleeve regardless of where he is and who is listening. 

A musician, a poet, fillmer, photographer, die hard Geelong supporter and a very talented waterman. 

One of the better humans to walk Belmont and the rest of the world. One day when he works out who he is, he will be even greater. 

Next year i return to Victoria from a year of warmer climates and laid back times. I plan on spending time with Luke and I’m looking forward to what it may bring. New locations, experiences and progressions in life. 

Ive included some photos and times Ive shared with Luke and also some of Luke’s photography. 

All words by Geoff Swan. Photos by Geoff Swan and Luke Barker.                                                   

                                                 L U K E   B A R K E R

twisting with myself

twisting with myself

sully capturing a north facing lip

sully capturing a north facing lip

the move to ‘the bubble’

Common Ground Byron Bay just ran a short piece i wrote and shot on why my girl (http://the-caravan-collection.tumblr.com) moved to Byron Bay from Tasmania. 

Head on over and have a look here http://commongroundaustralia.com/byronbay/community/the-move-to-the-bubble/

Thanks! 

Geoff

Every year, every summer and even the odd winter myself and best friend Stuey will head to a special place in Tasmania. Usually leaving late in the evening and arriving near the destinations early in the morning. Its an escape. Its a familiar journey that leads you unfamiliar soundings. It’s somewhere where you could get lost and not want to find your way home. 

We always pull into a small town and pick up another best friend called Duncan, or Munky depending on who your talking too. Munky showed me his special part of the world quite a few years ago now and I’ve been hooked ever since. He often refers to it as ‘God’s country’, in a tone taking the piss, but there is certainly a lot of truth to his sarcasm i feel. 

Far away from clutter, sealed roads and humans. A place where we can be free with the car windows down and feet hanging out. Its a place that strangely not many people visit and a reason why we do. The waves are far from world class but everything else is. Tiger snakes weave across roads and wedge tailed eagles soar for their next meal. 

Often we bathe in tropical blue and green coloured waters which are reflective to the white sands and granite boulders which litter the unique coastline, with roads only accessing a small part of what can be explored the rest can be done looking at maps and your imagination. What is around that next headland is up to you. Its a place i don’t know much about and one that holds many secrets. Your eyes are always looking out to sea as chain of islands off in the distance seemingly stretch there way to another world. I need to see what those islands hold, i want to walk on them, smell them and explore them. Maybe next summer.

Also a short clip i filmed and edited of us playing in the salt from this trip.

https://vimeo.com/37211235

 Words by Geoff Swan. Photos by Geoff Swan, Shaun Kumpalinen and Duncan ‘Munky’ Joyce

Its been quite a busy couple of weeks in regards to the Tasman Sea and I’ve enjoyed  every second of it. From wet and windy times last week and some of the smallest waves I’ve seen up here through to some of the largest and better waves I’ve had and seen in some time. Waves were mostly in and around The Bay and a random trip a little further afield that left us smiling. Here in no particular order are some of my favourite photos i was able to capture over the last 10 or so days.

All photos by Geoff Swan

Decided to take the family on a hungover sunday drive so we all packed into Stu’s big hilux and pointed the old girl south. After a quick pitstop at Hungry Jacks to try and wipe some of the seed off we made the plan to jump on a barge and find some waves. Seconds before boarding Shurms received a phone call claiming out the front of home was pumping, but hey, we weren’t about to turn around now!  After the whole 3 minutes on the barge which Stuey claimed was making him sea sick, we waved goodbye to Captain Pugwash and made our way to our destination. Arrival had us smiling as we had a completely empty lineup with 2-3ft wedges that were pushing up to 100m down the beach. The huge amount of rain the north coast has been receiving has turned the water to a murky brown, throw a heap of dolphins in the mix and we were left saying WTF was that fin? We all had a few scares on the paddle out when all you could see was a dark shape flying towards you on a wave only to launch out of the water a few meters away from you scaring you with relief. After our return to terra firma we decided to have a peak at a few waves on the way home as the sun was setting but the need for a sunday siesta was more inviting. A fun day spent with fun people.

Stu Debnam, Alasdair Shurman ( http://extractcontent.tumblr.com/) and Cherrie Eisemann (http://the-caravan-collection.tumblr.com/)

All words and photos by Geoff Swan