Rookie surfers overtaking Gold Coast beaches

10 Mar

Mia wk8

By Mia Tarantini, Bond University Journalism Student

Surf spots around the Gold Coast are becoming increasingly overcrowded and local pros are trying to find the silver lining.

Famous surf breaks such as Snapper Rocks, Currumbin Alley, Burleigh Heads and Duranbah are all experiencing an increase in surfers in the line-up, making it harder for professional surfers to catch a wave.

Professional Free Surfer Asher Wales said that although the overcrowding is frustrating, the increase in interest in the surf industry is what allows him to be what he is: a free surfer.

“People purchasing products and getting into the sport is what supports my sponsors who then support me,” he said.

“I believe that everyone should be allowed to surf at their own leisure.”

However, when asked about how the overcrowded line-ups affect his training he said that it can be frustrating having to battle for waves and dodge the less experienced surfers who often get in the way when he’s trying new things.

Mr Wales said the number of people in the water makes it difficult to learn and improve skills as there’s not a lot of room for error.

Team and Marketing Manager for Lost Australia and ex Junior World Surfing Champion Sasha Stocker has been surfing for 30 years and says he gets in the water up to five days a week.

“Since popular spots like Snapper have become more and more packed I’ve been forced to sacrifice wave quality in order to find less crowded breaks,” he said.

Mr Stocker said that even though it can be frustrating having to hustle for waves, having more pro photographers in the water promotes free surfers and allows them to do what they do.

“It gives [free surfers] more opportunities to gain new sponsors and promote existing ones,” he said.

Owner and founder of Lost Surf Boards, Matthew Biolos, has praised the crowded line-ups.

He said that despite the general frustration about overcrowding, pro free surfers and surf industry professionals are finding ways to use the increase in popularity to their benefit.

“By having so many people in the water, our brand is given increased visibility and awareness, which promotes sales; however, we’re stuck in a conundrum because we’re also providing boards to feed the problem,” he said.

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