Tracks No. 568

Tracks is Australia's leading surfing magazine. For over 40 years Tracks has tapped into the minds of cheeky grommets and grizzled gurus alike, and remains the voice of hardcore surfing in Australia today. Every month it takes you to the most exotic surfing locations, fills you in on what's happening on the pro-circuit as well as at your local beaches. Tracks is the surfer's bible.

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7 Issues

In this issue

3 min.
don’t ask the impossible

I know what you want to say. Another mag trip to the Mentawais. Another bunch of pro surfers in a boat re-visiting waves that have graced the pages of Tracks many times before. Maybe it’s all just an excuse for the editor to score an annual junket and get barrelled? While it’s undeniable that the Mentawai* have been a frequently visited surf media hunting ground for over two decades, it is with good reason. The cluster of islands off the coast of West Sumatra is surfing’s Garden of Eden; a place of wonder and mystique, a dream factory where surfing fantasies are made real every day. Every season surfers eschew other expenditures so that they can scrape together the funds to ride a few glorious waves in the Mentawais. Before I embarked…

3 min.
marked file

The Nias Show It was during July this year when Indo put on a show for the ages. The Southern Ocean had just finished throwing a mid-winter temper tantrum in which it screamed itself black and purple; the result was two mammoth back-to-back swells fired directly at the Indonesian archipelago. Those with a kink for the heavy stuff scurried to wrangle boards and make travel arrangements in order to rendezvous with the waves. The destination of choice for those who were game was Lagundri Bay, and it didn’t disappoint. A swell of epic proportions, many say unprecedented, slammed the area. Big wave surfers from all over the planet, both professional and underground, took to the fray. Meanwhile regular surfers who were already in town and wanted no part of it, sat back with…

3 min.
temptation in taiwan

Christened the Formosa which means “beautiful island” by Portuguese sailors, Taiwan lives up to the name today. Outside the big cities it’s green and mountainous and untouched by urban sprawl. Coastal highways hug the ocean and wind past mist-shrouded mountains, lush tropical forests and sleepy fishing villages. On a good day you’ll see waves peeling off and very few crowds. Taiwan is blessed with quality surf in season and a vibrant culture. When you’re not shredding long point breaks and hollow beach breaks, there’s an exotic land to be discovered. The Waves The best spots are scattered along the east coast. You’ll find river-mouths, boulder-lined beaches and long winding points. Most breaks are good for all surfers and a variety of craft. Pack a log, a fish or a finless variant and…

7 min.

From The Vault. Joe Engel, Nias – 1981. Photo: Dick Hoole This issue features Nias in a brutal and frightening mood. However back in 1981, when this shot was taken, the almond eye barrels of Nias represented the ultimate in surfing fantasy. The recent seismic renovations have made the wave shallower and slabbier. This image shows Joe Engel bottom-turning into palm-fringed, shimmering bliss on the famed Lagundri Bay right. Dick Hoole was there to shoot footage for Storm Riders. A year later the Hoole/McCoy production was released at the Sydney Opera House and Nias instantly became surfing’s new Shangri-La. Follow. @greenroomtimes Surf satire done right Watch –The Vietnam War By Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Sifting through Netflix in search of something worth watching can be tedious. This ten part doco’ on The Vietnam War is riveting…

3 min.
cheat notes: jeffreys bay

Winter Wonderland The Southern Hemisphere Winter Season (May – September) sees a seemingly never-ending barrage of powerful, long period swell smashing the South African coastline. The accompanying west – southwest winds that blow through these surf-generating cold fronts groom the swell lines into the ruler edge, J Bay perfection we all dream about. Look Beyond Supertubes Everyone knows about Supertubes, but what most people don’t realise is that a trip to the famed right point does not only consist of sessions screaming down the line at Supers. The point alone has several, distinct sections (you will have a favourite by the time you leave!). Starting at Boneyards, long period swells marching up from the roaring 40s thunder through Supertubes (the holy grail – watch where the locals paddle out at the Keyhole!) running…

6 min.
let’s talk about it

The image of a heavily pregnant Lyndie sprinkling the ashes of Andy Irons out into the water at Hanalei Bay is not one I’ll forget in a hurry and one can only imagine the burden she must have carried since. But, prompted along by the creators of Andy’s documentary, Kissed By God, I persisted and so did she. “I’m so sorry I’ve been hard to get to, it’s not usually like that,” Lyndie began before settling in for a wonderful 30-minute chat. I can’t but imagine how many offers you’d had over the years to tell Andy’s story, so why now? The idea came a few years ago. My son is now seven years old and honestly I knew I had to make a movie because there was talk in the industry and talk…