Words by Christian 'Wispy' Barker
Photos by Rocket K Weijers
A road trip has got to be one of my favourite pastimes; fun surf, new places, new people (and of course a couple of cold ones) is a fine recipe for a good time! When the opportunity came up to take “SEEK” on the road I couldn’t say “yes” fast enough. In case you haven’t heard us screaming about it already; “SEEK” is a short film by Stefan Jose filmed in North Sumatra following my journey through the Indonesian Islands seeking waves, culture and good times.
The first stop was Terrigal on the central coast of New South Wales and for this stop we were lucky enough to have the eternal grommet Bob McTavish along for the ride. Myself and Ben Monroe, the all-important tour manager, picked up Stefan and Bob from Newcastle airport after a long morning drive down the pacific HWY into a stiff southerly. We were greeted in Terrigal by a solid 6-8ft ground swell but unfortunately, much to Bobs disappointment, we didn’t leave enough time to get salty before the show. We practically had to hide Bobs wetsuit to stop him from paddling out! The Screening at Ocean Haus surf shop was awesome, Beau and Crusty put on a great show in their new store. We had a real mixed bunch at the show, from frothing groms through to the legendary Billy Sillia, all coming away with huge smiles and plenty of praise for the new flick.
The next morning, we woke up to a slightly smaller (but more groomed) swell so we hit Avoca early with a bunch of boards for the McTavish Surf Social. We laid out the boards atop a patch of freshly manicured grass overlooking the point and everyone took turns taking them for a spin. The waves were super fun and everyone was stoked to sample the McTavish craft in some quality waves. The stand out local surfer that morning was Ocean Haus talent Harry Carpenterr who took to my Benny Mac Slip twinny with gusto. Lucky he gave it back.
Next stop, Brookvale! After a short drive South, we dropped Bob off at the airport and headed to Taylor and Botham Body Works, the venue for the evenings screening. Our host was none other than McTavish ambassador Matt Chojnacki who, along with his father Mark, own and manage the workshop, restoring classic cars to mint condition. Mark, Matt and the TB bodyworks crew did an amazing job turning their functioning workshop into a super sleek movie theatre / gallery for the evening. We rocked up as they were rolling around and organising the last few cars they had worked on that day to create a spectacular backdrop for the event. Keel Surf & Supply were also there helping co-host the evening attracting a great local audience. Once again, the crowd was stoked with “SEEK”, a range of ages from groms to old legends all buzzing around well after the short film came to a close. Another successful show!
Saturday was a slow start, the good times at Brookvale and Terrigal left the team in need of a little R&R in preparation for that nights event in Bondi. The first day of summer arrived in true Aussie fashion with a high 20s on the mercury. That sticky feeling of driving through the city streets on a steamy December day is all too familiar for some. We rocked up to Sunburnt Mess in Bondi greeted by Pat, owner of the epic little shop – the venue for the night - tucked away in side street of North Bondi. The store is a shining light in the world of core surf shops which unfortunately are on the endangered species list lately. While most of the crowd sipped cold ones and told stories as the searing summer sun set, the groms bombed the hill out the front on skaties. Finally, it was time to roll the film. The crowd packed into the modest space as a buzz filled the air. “SEEK” played and the crowd cheered, it was a 3 out of 3 success rate for the tour. The Bondi crowd hung about and engaged in a killer Q & A with Myself and Stefan at the end, a real bonus to the more intimate screening.
In a flash the tour was over, we packed the Troopy once again Sunday morning and started the long haul back to Byron Bay. Stories from the last 3 nights kept us occupied on the drive, re living some of the moments spent with friend old and new. Driving into a stiff nor-easter, the Troopy swaying in the breeze, roof full of surfboards, we made our way home along the pacific HWY absolutely stoked by a cracking road trip!