DESERT POP

CRAIG AN­DER­SON, DANE REYNOLDS AND DION AGIUS ROAM­ING BE­YOND THE FRON­TIER.

Tracks - - BITSA - All photos Respondek. Com­piled by Luke Kennedy.

As three of the high­est pro­file free surfers in the world they all have ac­cess to the kind of good life that surf­ing fame can bring – pimped out boat trips and jet skis, New York so­journs and Hol­ly­wood hook ups; decked out pads and high-end ho­tels, de­signer la­bels and back­ing to start la­bels of their own. All three also have enough sway with the right peo­ple to make a call and mo­bilise a mis­sion to just about any wave in the world.

Yet de­spite hav­ing so many de­sirous des­ti­na­tions to choose from they elect to drive thou­sands of kilo­me­tres to an in­hos­pitable stretch of Aus­tralian coast where the desert sun can fry your eye­balls and fear is in­spired in equal mea­sures by the finned crea­tures swim­ming be­low the sur­face and the fiercely ter­ri­to­rial hu­mans who lurk above.

This is no easy place, but there are with­out doubt waves of con­se­quence. Waves that will test ev­ery fi­bre of a world-class surfer. Waves that might not al­ways make you want to pad­dle out, but will nig­gle at that proud part within that asks, ‘can it be done?’ It is in ev­ery way a set­ting for those who prize chal­lenge over com­fort, the sort of realm where some­times the dust, the driv­ing, the feral liv­ing and the re­lent­less heat can all get too much and ev­ery­thing just goes ‘pop’.

BE­LOW: EVAL­U­A­TION CLIFF-TOPOF THE SUR­FA­BIL­ITY SCALE. OP­PO­SITE: CRAIG AND DION DO­ING THEIR BEST NOT TO STUB TOES AS THEY TAKE A HEAVY DROP.

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