How Big Was It Really?

With the recent amount of media coverage given to the swell of this past week here on the beaches of Sydney, especially the madness witnessed at Coogee Bay aka Wedding Cake Island, something really jumped out at me about what big wave surfers and perhaps surfers in general, actually fear the most.

And no when it comes to big waves – and no it’s the nightmarish wipeout of your life, its – the SIZE thing…

Apparently size or underestimating size really does matter.

Don’t really know where it started but the calling a wave for it’s actually height became a big swinging male appendage moment when perhaps as legend has it, the Hawaiians started calling a wave’s height based on the height of the back of the wave, and someone opened their big mouth and called a large wave a smaller wave.

Hmmm… me thinks this is a bit dumb and not to say confusing as depending on who you ask how big it is or was, you tend to get a range of answers. Most of them conflicting but one that stands out the most is this rule – “the bigger the charger, the smaller he claims it is/was” rule.

Not that this is applied at extreme levels, at least not anymore since the emergence of the XXL big wave competition. In this mega range when deciding how big the wave was, it is very much a “drop a tape measure over the ledge and let me know the height when it hits the bottom of the wave” approach.

So when I see comments from the likes of “it was 20 – perhaps 25 feet” when referring to the waves ridden at the aforementioned Wedding Cake Island by the young gun charger Max McGuigan, I say to myself – “something doesn’t sound right about that size calculation” Hmmm.

So lets take a look at the facts and see what we can make of it.

Max McGuigan, the lone paddle-in success story on the wave in question. Photo: Morris

Now that is a big wave, very much like something you would see at Nazaré but no this is Sydney, Coogee beach.

So I decided to get the real size scale into this supposed 25 footer.

See my image below with estimated 6 foot height scale to the left and see if this makes more sense to call it – dare I say it a 40 foot plus wave!

Shock horror how unmacho of me to suggest…

No that is not some guy dropping in on the bottom left ; ) just my estimated scale. Beg to differ if you will…

Now for all the calculations floating around the world wild webs about swell forecasting and using calculus to pinpoint with accuracy down to the nano level of where a swell is going to turn up and exactly when, you would have thought by now that someone just may have pointed out the elephant in the room.

That being the size and actual facts of big wave scales.

Ok so here’s my first grip with the “back of the wave” scale – no one actually surfs on the back of the wave, unless you count jet skis but ah no. So here we are surfing the front side of the wave face, makes sense to apply the scale there.

If not, then I guess Chopes never really gets over about 2 foot – right? Don’t think anyone reading this would agree with that.

So Why Are Surfers So Scared Of Calling It What It Actually Is?

My take on it is that it’s not very macho to call a wave it’s actual height because it makes you sound like a bigger charger than perhaps you really are, IF you underestimate it when retelling your big wave stories.

Granted some do add in the casual disclaimer at the end of their underestimating – “it was a solid 10 feet out there – and yeah they were 15 foot faces on ’em!” (still probably stretching/shrinking the truth – actually 18 – 20 foot faces if the above scale would be applied).

WIIS – What It IS Scale

What would the surfing world be like if we had just one realistic scale of wave height and everyone stuck by the code? Call it for what it is scale. WIIS for short.

Probably not going to happen, as there is just too much reputation at stake.

No one wants to sound like a pussy right? Well tell that to the judges with their XXL measuring sticks.

Surely a realistic wave height measurement can’t just be only applied to the life threatening stuff at Nazaré, Mavericks and Jaws etc?

With the surfing industry struggling to attract sponsorship money and a wider market appeal, wouldn’t it be advantageous to make it easier for the masses to understand our sport/lifestyle if there was a more realistic appraisal of medium big waves when it comes to sizing up the whole deal?

My point becomes a little clearer when someone who doesn’t surf gets shouted down for calling the waves bigger than they were.

ie; “Wow those waves look like 30 footers at least!” – non-surfing innocent bystander.

“Nah mate that was nothin’ over 15 feet, what are talkin’ about ya pussy!” – would-be/actual hellman charger et al.

Wave pools set to disrupt the surf charter industry, but in what way?

It’s no surprise to get the fact that when it comes to wave pools everybody seems to have an opinion on what this will mean for surfing’s future.

Will their advent spell the doomsday end to the magical mystery tour that traditionally a “surf trip” would aspire towards?

What about surf charter operators, losing their credibility once the perfect wave has been discovered on the corner of west and main streets in your major cities around the globe?

Who would want to risk the types of things you encounter when traveling to far off lands, when you could score the perfect barrel at your local, consistently and without the hassles of your homies droppin’ in on ya.

So let’s take a trip down future memory lane and see if we can come up with a likely scenario, that just might make the doomsayers sit up and think for a moment.

Firstly who goes on boat charter or land camp based surf trips?

Answer, surfers who are prepped and up for the challenge. Not necessarily excluding the older surfer, but the young fit chargers are who you mostly come across in your travels.

If you encounter older surfers, you will often hear of their lengthy prep times for getting ready for their trip of a lifetime.

Older surfers tend not go on surf safari adventures as the pressure to perform can often be out weighed by the prospect of actually being ready and able to charge when the opportunity comes up. So perhaps the wave pool can offer a suitable alternative.

Or perhaps something else entirely.

For starters, you need to surf all year round, in often horrible conditions, just to maintain a surfing fitness level that can best be described as a labour of love or at least a consistent grind, if you want to stay surfing fit and ready for when it begins to pump.

Being unfit and wave poor is a common problem especially as you get older. You just can’t turn up when it is pumping after not surfing for months during that flat spell or whatever is not to your liking and think you are going to be competitive in the line and actually get the waves you want.

Just not going to happen.

Wave pools on the other hand, offer you constant, predictable conditions that can help produce surf fitness. The perfect prep gym for the surf tourist, who wants to be in prime shape to take on what the ocean has to offer as soon as they jump into that warm water in the Mentawai islands, is something that the wave pool is going to be used for.

Gone are the first 5 days of your trip getting used to (read learning how to for the older surfer) surfing again, before you are ready to fully charge.

So you are older and don’t get that excited to surf onshore, closeouts at your local beachie anymore, and along comes the opportunity to change up the game with a Surflakes wave riding experience. This may be a surprise use for wave pools and not being the end result but just a component of the surfing experience that will add to their attractiveness and not diminish the surfing lifestyle at all.

Go ahead and book your charter, just make sure you have a week’s prep in the pool before heading off and you will be primed and ready to go full steam ahead when you get to your exotic locale.

Gone is the necessity of those continual grinding days in total crap, instead do other cool things all year round and stay fit at your local wave pool park.

What could be easier and more liberating for surfers the world over?

Will the surf safari industry experience disruption? Our original question and the answer just might be yes, but not the way you are thinking.

Surf charters may well become more popular as the number of people learning to surf explodes and at the same time your local beachie may well become less crowded.

Is this going to be a good thing or a bad thing?

Like the old proverb, “it’s too early to say”.

The future of surfing in the Olympics is going to be in wave pools if WSL have their way.

The decision to make this first appearance be one of the traditional open ocean sense, could be the very last depending on the actual surfing conditions in Japan at the time.

No doubt it is exciting times with the explosion of wave pool technologies from Kelly’s Wave Ranch, to American Wave Machines Waco Texas, to Wavegarden’s Cove and soon to be released the Surflakes Plunger pool how the future unravel’s is truly anybodies guess but one thing is for sure, the buzz of surfing a wave is not going anywhere regardless of how the wave is generated.

Surfcomp Major Sponsor – NOVA fm

For Immediate Release.
Surfcomp close first major sponsorship deal with Nova FM:

Surfcomp – Leading Surf Competition App.
New sponsorship deal with the Nova FM brand.
News release today – 15th June, 2017.
To find out how to get your boardriding club involved, contact us below.

Sydney, 15th June: Surfcomp is pleased to announce Nova FM as a major sponsor of the Surfcomp App, supporting grassroot and elite surfing Australia wide.

Sean Jenkins, Head of Marketing & Communications at Nova FM said: “We are pleased to announce this prized sponsorship deal. We are eagerly looking forward to working with Surfcomp and supporting their activities to not only promote the sport on the grass roots level, but also to ignite and be apart of supporting razor cutting edge technologies within the amatuer levels of Australian surfing.”

“Obviously, we’re also pleased to be associated with Surfcomp as not only is their surfing competition app the market leader in technology, but the future is incredibly bright for all of those involved with the company. We pride ourselves on partnering with leaders in the sport of surfing so this partnership is a perfect match,” Mr Jenkins said.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Nova FM to the Surfcomp family, and excited to team up with an Australian company who values the importance of community & grassroot sporting achievements as much as we do,” Surfcomp Founder Greg Gillespie said.

Background: The Nova Network is a group of five Australian radio stations, being one of the market leading radio stations which includes the premier radio show Fitzy and Wippa Nova 96.9. Nova is the #1 metro network in audience share 9.3{31f5d0b7b083e44f7d10b5f44fe6e40b7d234612ddf7a500ff2e6be1850ccca9} and a cumulative audience of 3,507,200 listeners. Nova targets the under 40 audience with the “freshest hits” music format and has the country’s #1 drive show, Kate, Tim & Marty and the #1 Nights show, Smallzy’s Surgery.

As one of the media industry’s most innovative companies and in view of the rapidly evolving media landscape, Nova has a mission to create content that is loved and shared by audiences, wherever they are.

Surfcomp welcomes Nova FM to the surfing family. Surfcomp is the leading surfing competition event organiser, mobile surfing app. Downloadable as a free app from the App Store for iPhones and iPads now.

Greg Gillespie – Founder
Surfcomp Australia
P: 0414 619 891

Surfcomp – Two Ways To Run

Whether your club has the budget for a new boardriders judging system or not, Surfcomp provides two ways to run a successful boardriders event.

The diagram below shows you how you can get started with virtually zero dollar outlay – simply by using 4 iPhones.

For clubs that are more substantial we have the premium setup – consisting of 4 iPad Mini’s, a 40″ Flat Screen TV, Apple TV – all for around the $3k mark.
So this is a minimal cost for a club with a mindset to be charging it into the future and ending the “pieces of paper” madness that most contests turn into.

Surfcomp Is Now Live In The App Store & It’s FREE!

With the launch of the competitive surfing calendar for 2017 in full swing, in keeping with the timely kick off for North Narrabeen Boardriders Club’s first monthly competition in February, Surfcomp has finally made it to the App Store.

All competitors can download and login to register, view heat draw, push notices, lives scores, leaderboard upates and much more – all with a secure access code. Guests can login to view contests at any time.

Surfcomp Our Mission

Our original plan was to produce the best mobile app that would transform the way competitive surfing events are run for all Australian boardriders clubs, and in keeping with our mission, we are making Surfcomp a free download for any registered boardriders club in Australia.

With such a wealth of natural talent on tap, the Australian breeding ground for surfing champions holds the key to maintaining our country as the top nation in the professional competitive surfing for generations to come. Coupled with a more streamlined local boardriders competitive arena, we see the future for our athletes is brighter than ever.

To get your club going with Surfcomp, we have taken away all objections.

Firstly it’s not expensive – it is FREE!

Secondly you don’t need to outlay any additional coin to get up and running – start with a basic 4 iPhones setup – and you are away.

We have removed the hassle of “onboarding” your club – a simple spreadsheet with competitors organised in divisions, ranked top to bottom, email and mobile – supplied to us and essentially your club is ready to go. We provide email support, video tutorials to get you going quick smart.

Not only does Surfcomp not cost you a cent, we have a generous sponsorship program for qualifying clubs, that will even help you make money for your club – so what are you waiting for?

Get Surfcomp and solidify the future of your club with the industry’s best surf-tech today!

December 2016 Final Testing North Narrabeen

This coming Sunday the 4th of December, Surfcomp will be doing a live beta test at the North Narrabeen Board Riders Club, on the beach at the NN home break.

Surfcomp has come a long way in this two year development incubator period, with seemingly endless use case testing and finally we have a system that will be unbeatable.

We are taking interested clubs through the system right now, as committees are getting ready to make a big change in the way they run their contests as the coming 2017 board riders season approaches.

If you are wondering about how much this is going to cost your club, then consider this. The app will be a free download from initially the iTunes app store (Google Play later in 2017), and when setup correctly the cost to your club will be zero.

The best part is this includes the following hardware: Whiteboard – 40″UHD TV, Judging & Admin Devices -4 Apple iPad Minis and full migration of your club contestant data, including life members, club champions and all previous contest data, making the decision to go Surfcomp – truly a no brainer.

The wait has been long but it will be worth it when you choose to come out of the dark ages of the past 50 years of board riding club kaos and mayhem, and get on with propelling your club forward with our ground breaking Surfcomp mobile app.

“Surfcomp – killing contest kaos”

Real Time Surf Contest Management – Now Final Stages Of Development

Surfcomp the world’s first – “real time, surf contest management” app is reaching the final stages of development and about to enter the beta testing stage.

seeResultsaFirst release of the app will be rolling out early 2016, with the initial platform release on iOS (iPhone – iPad).

Clubs that are interested in being part of the beta test program, should contact us to find out how to be included in changing the competitive surfing world that has long been waiting for the chaos of surf contest management to be finally a thing of the past.

Surfcomp – App In Development

Photo: Darren Geros – Maldives.

Exciting news for all interested in using the Surfcomp app. We are one step closer to tossing away those fiddly pieces of paper, for our monthly surfing competitions, once and for all.

Surfcomp is now in development following the acquisition of funding through our newly appointed co-founder Darren Geros. ipad_mini1Darren is a long standing member of North Narrabeen Board Riders Club and has strong background in application development. As one of the founding partners of eMite Australia, Darren brings in a wealth of knowledge and experience in the online and systems management space.

Darren also brings in funding to help Surfcomp become a reality, and helping Australian board riders clubs take the often chaotic task of organising and running a local surf comp and bringing it up to speed with current technologies we all have in the palm of our hands.

With development still in the early stages, it is expected that a beta test application will be ready for a select group of board riders clubs to be testing in Q3/4 of 2015. The launch of our version 1.0 Surfcomp app is expected to see the light of day for all board riders clubs around Australia, January 2016. The app is set to be a free download for members and friends of individual clubs.

For more information on how your club can get involved and apply for possible inclusion on the beta testing program, click here to get in touch today.