JOSIE PRENDERGAST

Josie was born on the island of Siargao in the Philippines and moved to Byron Bay aged four, where her dad, Mike, was a long-term local. She began surfing soon after. Despite having learnt her chops in Australia, however, both surf with an effortless, graceful style that seems to have come from somewhere exotic.

Josie is more interested in free surfing than competing and she plans to travel extensively looking for waves. Josie’s elegant style on a longboard is the influence and envy of many a surfer at home and abroad. 

MATT CHOJNACKI

Years surfing: 20+

Also known as “Chono” and “the wax head”, Matt grew up on Sydney’s northern beaches where he started his surfing journey catching the whitewater that came into Curl Curl rock pool on his bodyboard, before learning to ride proper waves on the beachies and reef breaks around Long Reef. 

His northern beaches upbringing also gave him an early appreciation of the area’s rich surfing history, and he soon became one of the most knowledgeable surfers of the retro era, with an incredible depth of surf and hot rod car trivia at his fingertips. Not surprising, since his father, Mark, worked in classic car restoration, a passion that is now the family business.

When he’s not under the bonnet, Matt can invariably be found riding one of his many collector logs or the latest McTavish design, channeling surfing’s roots with every deft cross-step or drop-knee. He says: “Bob McTavish is one of my greatest influences, from the boards he shapes to his approach to riding a wave. Every time I surf, I feel a bit of Bob out there with me.” Other influences include Joel Tudor, John Gill, Shane Herring and Ozzie Wright.

After years of making finals whenever he competes, 2016 was Matt’s breakout year, winning the Logger Pro at the Noosa Festival, the Byron Bay Logger, and the old mal division at the Snowy Classic in Manly.