The first in our three-part Australiana series is about the Gold Coast, the most important place in Australian surfing. That’s right, we said it. Where produces the most professional surfers? Where do all aspiring professional surfers move to when they want their careers to go to the next level? From whence springs the most Insty-famous surfers/models?
You know all about the Gold Coast. You see lineup shots of the Superbank when it’s firing; sequences of Mick and Joel and everybody laying turns at D’bah; South Straddy looking as good as anything that you drew in your schoolbooks. Unless you live there, you’ve based your opinion of the Goldy based on these images, maybe a holiday here or there, and some tales told to you by chums.
Then there’s the glitz! The high rises of Surfers Paradise, the glamour models, the fake boobs and Meter Maids. There’s the Indy and the Quik Pro, people driving Ferraris, celebrity spottings. Between the waves and the lifestyle you think that the Gold Coast is the Promised Land. You think that you’ve got the Gold Coast sussed.
But there is so much to this Coast. Just behind the perfect lineups and skyscrapers is a grimy city, a city of battlers and crooks. Just behind the dazzling veneer is a tough town full of battlers and hardship. The Gold Coast is a city of glitz and grime.
To get to the bottom of this town we decided to interview an eclectic bunch of Goldy movers and shakers. The Hazza Twins tell us how to be the kings of both Gold Coasts, Trudy Todd has some sage advice for young female surfers trying to make it big, Wayne Deane talks about what the Gold Coast means to him after all these years, Jason Buttenshaw tells us about how he went from the Goldy’s most promising junior to hardly surfing, and Chris Bennetts gives us a perspective from the north of the Coast.
We also have an expose on the youth gangs of the Tweed, the groups of young men who take their style cues from urban American culture and seem intent on destroying each other, despite living on one of the most wave drenched coastlines in Australia. There’s a lot of violence on the Gold Coast, and a lot of it is due to this kind of gang culture.
In the weeks leading up to the Quiksilver Pro we entertained the world’s best surfers on our sundrenched strip, and our favourite photographers were on hand to document it. We pulled together a photo feature of the best shots snapped during this time, and got the photogs to tell us their Gold Coast love/hate stories.
As if this wasn’t enough, we took a crack team of surfers down to Torquay to test this winter’s rubber. This is the best wetsuit guide in the business, for its informative, no nonsense approach to getting you in the best suit when the going gets cold. Make sure you consult this guide sooner rather than later.
Part one of the Australiana series is all about the good, the bad and the ugly in Australian surfing’s epicentre, the Gold Coast. It’s all you’ll need to read about this very important part of Australian surfing, so come on in and take a peak behind the golden curtains. – Wade Davis