The Surfers

Tracks - - Tracks Ride Guide 2018 -

1. Shel­don Simkus Age: 21 Re­sides: Snap­per Rocks

Shel­don’s ap­proach to surf­ing (and life) is best likened to his sec­ond favourite pas­time: golf. He takes his time in tee­ing up sec­tions, he’s con­sid­ered in his ma­noeu­vre se­lec­tion, and he draws clean, fast, and ex­cit­ing lines. Shel­don’s been tak­ing off be­hind the rock at Snap­per for years; ev­i­denced through his com­fort in sit­ting far be­hind the peak at the fa­mous Telo’s right bar­rel, Ranga’s. More re­cently, he’s emerged as a mod­ern half-WQS upand-comer, half-surf trip gypsy, who is more than com­fort­able with lengthy stints in Indo. At the con­clu­sion of our trip, as Jack­son and Chris were ready to retreat to the comforts of Aus­tralia, Shel­don made a last-minute de­ci­sion to head north-west to Nias, to con­tinue a pur­suit of the late-sea­son Indo swells.

2. Jack­son Baker Age: 21 Re­sides: Merewether

Jack­son Baker burst onto the QS scene in blis­ter­ing form last year. Af­ter a text­book as­cen­sion through the ju­nior ranks, Jack­son’s emerged as a lar­rikin equipped with one of the most wellassem­bled surf­ing reper­toires on the planet. He’s a stocky young bloke, with an ap­proach to the wave that is a blend of his two Merewether in­spi­ra­tions: Matt Hoy, through his mean on-rail at­tack, and Craig An­der­son, via his con­sid­ered ap­proach to the tube and his abil­ity to pi­lot lofty airs.

3. Chris Friend Age: 27 Re­sides: Bondi Beach

For­mer pro surfer and ju­nior prodigy, Chris Friend, squeaked onto the trip as a board-tester come Tracks cor­re­spon­dent. The tall, nat­u­ral footer is less ac­cli­ma­tised to the per­fec­tion of In­done­sia: he grew up on the grov­el­ling beach breaks of the Sunshine Coast, tack­led the life of a young pro-surfer for four or five years on the WQS, be­fore de­cid­ing to make the move to Bondi Beach, in search of a ca­reer in busi­ness and tech­nol­ogy. Nowa­days, Chris’s pow­er­ful turns are only un­leashed in his pre-work morn­ing ses­sion or per­haps the spo­radic week­end surf mis­sion up or down the coast. It took a few days to warm up his of­fice-chair stiff­ened hips, but once warm, his for­mer glory of hard rail turns and ex­cit­ing com­bos were brought to the bear.

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