Scum Valley’s Finest
EVERY BEACH HAS ITS CORE LORD. I HAD TO GO UP-RIVER TO FIND MINE.
“They called us drug-fucked-loserdegenerates. And you know what? We fucken beat ‘em. And you know what? We fucken were, ‘cos that’s what surfing was,” fumes Matt Ellks, the eccentric, worldweary godfather of inner-city Sydney surfing.
We’re in his Balinese lair on the island’s forgotten north coast as he tells the story. He’s on his feet, shirtless in a pair of green cargo shots, with his trusty vaporiser (full of a mysterious local serum) in one hand and the other extended threateningly at his would-be antagonist, former Channel Nine CEO and Bondi surfer, David Gyngell.
“He had all the names - fucken (Richard) Crammy, Bill Powers, all the money and the sponsors. And we were the mongrels, the punks, the fucken roots of the suburb,” he continues.
The story regards the rivalry that tore our hometown, Bondi, in two. On one side was Gyngell, the son of Bruce - better known as the first man to appear on television in Australia - and god son of Australia’s original media tycoon, Kerry Packer. Gyngell’s Bondibased boardriders club, ITN (In The Nude), included one of the great lineups of 1980s Australian surfing talent, among them World Tour surfers Richard Cram, Cheyne Horan, Rod Kerr (Bronte) and Simon Law (Newcastle) along with formidable local pros Bill Powers, Dave Davidson, and the Weber brothers (Will and Ben). They would go on to win the 1986 National Surf League Championships, held at Bondi, establishing the suburb briefly as a genuine powerhouse in competitive surfing. And that’s where the beef begins.
Ellksy contends he should have been in that team. He was in the form of his career at the time having broken through for his first win on the highly competitive APSA circuit (a feeder for the World Tour, which was the Top 16 at the time) at Portsea where he defeated a field that included Ross Clarke Jones, Bill Power, Tony Ray and Matt Branson. Ellksy says he was also winning ITN’s Opens division when the team was chosen. “I won it (the Open’s division) and I was left out and I wasn’t given an explanation,” he says.
The son of a professional gambler, streethustler and wife-beater who “necked himself” at 56, Ellksy experienced limited success as a pro surfer during the eighties and nineties. His main claim to fame was being the first and only Australian to ever ride for underground Hawaiian surf company, Da Hui. For a period he was also their licensee in Australasia, until the deal soured amidst a blizzard of cocaine and heroin. “I was never a junky. I’d use it occasionally,” he says.
When Ellksy was overlooked for the ITN team he formed a breakaway club, Bondi Boardriders, which still exists today. To the
many lost boys, houso rats, sons of single mothers, punks, skaters, surfers, street artists, rockers, ravers, rappers, dealers, breakdancers, groovers and aspiring gangsters, Ellksy was god. He was dad. He was a mentor and an invaluable source of self belief.
“He gave the working class crew a bit of belief in themselves and that was proven when Bondi Boardriders beat ITN,” says Will Weber, a longtime friend of Ellksy’s who surfed for both he and Gyngell’s club.
“He gave them belief and goals to aim at, which there wasn’t before. We (ITN) were definitely the elite surfers and they weren’t included in a sense, even though that’s how we got good - by surfing against those guys everyday,” he says.
As the son of a battered and broke single mother - as I was - he was all of those things to me. We were living in Francis Street, South Bondi, at the time, with our flatmate, Sandy, and sometimes her boyfriend, Japumah from Cape York, in Arnhem Land. I must have been about eight.
I remember the day he came home from Hawaii with a chipped tooth from surfing Backdoor and the rights to sell Da Hui. I remember playing cricket in the street and watching him chase a thief down the road, shirtless in a pair of Blundstones, after he knocked off a board from the rack outside his store. I remember watching him leap onto the roof of the getaway car as it took off, Van Damme-style, forcing the crook to drop the board (it was being held out the window) before commando rolling across the asphalt, picking up the board, and walking back down the street past us.
His humble, anti-establishment, shoe-box of a surf store on the corner of Francis St and Campbell Parade was my introduction to surfing. The smell of Sex Wax, the neon stickers and skate wheels beneath the glass cabinet, the Fresh Prince of Bel Air parachute pants and bomber jackets, the bloodshoteye-bulging-speed-freak iconography on the walls, are as vivid in my memory today as they ever were. It was a utopia of underground eighties and nineties surf culture. A place where you could find yourself buying a bar of wax off Buttons Kahukiloiani, Cheyne Horan, Jake Brown (the skater) or Rob Trujillo (from Suicidal Tendencies and later Metallica) while Elksy rolled a joint out the back.
For all that’s been written and said about Bondi in the last ten to 15 years, it’s remarkable how little of it has come from the people who for generations worked, built, and ran the joint. Of all the folk lore paved over during the great gentrification, nothing says Scum Valley more than the beef between Ellksy and Gynge.
With a smug glint in his eye, he recalls the
time it turned physical on the promenade. The exact details remain contested (Gyngell refused to comment) though according to Ellksy he’d just returned from a stint in Thailand at a Muay Thai kickboxing camp when a heated argument with Gyngell culminated in Gyngell “pushing his finger into my breastbone.” Ellksy let rip a couple of jabs in response.
“The second one opened him up and spilt a bit of his blood on promenade down there with the thousands of other stains and shit. And I thought that was perfect. It showed him what he was in Bondi - just another fucken stain on the pavement,” he laughs, relishing in the poetry of it all.
Their feud would serve as the foundation for Ellksy’s debut novel, Scum Valley, a barely fictionalised account of the skullduggery and degeneracy that preceded the gentrification. His beef with Gyngell was complicated. Everyone had friends on both sides and many surfers competed for both clubs at different times. Bondi pro and 1986 ITN team member, Dave Davidson, says Ellksy’s non-selection in the Surf League team was justified.
“There was no conspiracy against him. There was just basically the bottom line that he wasn’t consistently good enough to get in that team…he might be good one day and was just horrible the next,” says Davo.
As Ellksy’s relationship with Gyngell deteriorated, Gyngell came to represent everything that was wrong about Bondi and the world.
“He was the corporate teflon kid, coming down from (nearby rich suburb) Vaucluse looking for a bit of ‘street cred,’” says Ellksy.
Will Webber, along with several others from the suburb I spoke to, watered down the beef between the pair as well as the characterisation of Gyngell as a shallow, squeaky clean, rich kid (Gyngell refused to comment). “It was pretty silly,” says Webber. “Ellksy being from the beach could find a division between he and Gynge and made him his most popular enemy. I think Ellksy found an easy guy to have a gripe against in Gynge but he did as much as should have done with the club (ITN). There were no free handouts,” he says.
Others told me of a Gyngell that did as much for the suburb as anyone, including footing rehab bills for local surfers who fell into drug and alcohol addiction; sourcing sponsorship and putting his own money into both ITN and later the Bondi Boardriders Club; and generally being there for members of the community anytime they needed it. As one of Gyngell’s friends told me, “If Gynge was the enemy of the working-class surfer at Bondi he did a pretty crap job of showing it. He’s still helping Bondi Boardriders today. And where’s Ellksy?”
Ellksy was from money too, though a different kind of money to Gyngell. His father was from blue-collar Merrylands, in Western Sydney, but ran away from a troubled and at times abusive home aged 14. He moved into a boarding house around the corner from Randwick Racetrack where he served an apprenticeship of sorts in the art of gambling and petty criminality. By the time Ellksy was born his dad was one of the most recognised racing and gambling identities in the state.
“They loved him down there. He was respectful, he was smart, he paid attention, and he knew his horses,” he says, adding, “He wasn’t a criminal my father but we’d always be getting rid of hot stuff from the house. The cops would be on the take. That was just Australia back then.”
Ellksy remembers his dad winning and losing fortunes in a single day at the track sums of up to a hundred thousand dollars.
“And that was in the 1970s!” he says. “And he’d lose it! The stress of it was pretty full on,” he says.
Some years the family would be living in the “mansion up on the hill” and others “the poor house.” The big windfalls meant Ellksy was sent to the same prestigious private school as Gyngell - Cranbrook, in Rose Bay - where he was introduced to the great Australian surfing dynasty, the Webber family - Greg,
Dan, Monty, Will, Ben and John. When things got heated at home, as they often did, Ellksy would hide out at the Webbers, to the point their father would often have to send him home.
“They’d call me the seventh Webber,” he laughs. “They are, as (famous Australian journalist) George Negus says, Australian surfing royalty.”
The one constant in Ellksy’s childhood and adolescence was stress, which often manifested itself in anger and vicious beatings dished out in the home.
“My father struggled with his anger management. He use to bash my mum and that. But he loved us and he’d try and make up for it in other ways,” he says.
Anger and atonement are traits Ellksy has inherited. Whether it’s buying the local village kids ice blocks after cracking the shits with them, helping battlers in Bondi with anger and self-esteem issues, or introducing the current editor of Tracks to Metallica to say sorry for almost drowning him in the surf one day, he’s long seen himself a defender of the vulnerable and an antagonist of the rich.
“These rich cunts carry on as if they fucken earned it, as if because you’re poor or you’re fucked up you’re an idiot, you’re dumb! They fucken belittle us and the turn us into their slaves. That’s the way it was and that’s the way it’s always been,” he says.
As global capital and investment poured into Bondi throughout the nineties and naughties, Scum Valley became something else. The “stink pipe” on the beach (which spewed effluent straight into the lineup, creating a consistent left and right rip bowl that sometimes resembled a river mouth) was removed. The water turned blue and the jewel in Sydney’s crown began to shimmer. Investors bought up the cheap housing, raised the rents, and pushed the low-income folk out.
“When they fixed up the pavement in Bondi, it raised the rents and the Maoris were the first to disappear,” recalls Will, adding of Bondi, “Sadly, it’s gone the Gynge way rather than the Ellks way.”
A combination of social and economic forces meant Will, like many other Bondi originals, became part of a mass exodus from the area. Meanwhile Ma and I didn’t go far, just over the hill to Bronte, where we moved into a mouldy one-bedder with a sunroom, until we could find another beaten-up shit hole in Bondi to move back into. It was the year 2000 by the then and Ellksy was long gone.
“There was no option to stay and live my days out in my home suburb, otherwise we all would of stayed,” he says, today, adding, “How fucked up has this country become when it puts the real estate industry above the well being of a community?”
Now, aged 30, I was desperate to track him down. I had a few questions that needed answering and some character flaws that either needed validating or recalibrating. I’d received word he was holed up on Bali’s forgotten north coast where he was attempting to create a utopia. So I went up river to find him.
Heading north from Kuta, Bali goes back ten years in time for every ten kilometres travelled. Soon enough you’re in suffocating poverty - homes and warungs fashioned from bamboo, women squatting by the roadside slapping freshly caught fish, and not even a whiff of the tourist dollar. Lime green, jagged volcanic mountains rise out of the earth. A village girl reminiscent of Tyra Banks walks the edge of the road. The ferry at Padang Bai releases a cavalcade of trucks, forcing you to the furthest extremity of your lane as they overtake each other.
Baking, pregnant heat gives way to a monsoon and flash flooding forces you into a roadside shelter where the Balinese carpenter building it offers you the rest of his tahu goreng (fried tofu). He warns of dangers up ahead. The Mount Agung volcano has erupted sending cold lava across the road and the road might be closed. I press on, winding slowly around the mountains, where I look out over a vast patchwork of rice paddies running from the base of the cliff to the coast. A young woman sits in a thatched hut guarding rice crops from crows and scrolling a knockoff iPhone.
It’s dusk when I arrive at Ellksy’s and the local Mangku (village priest) who runs his homestay takes me to see him. I find him sitting on top of an artfully manicured concrete lookout (he’s a tiler by trade) shirtless, in a sarong, staring pensively
out to sea. “Ellksy brah!” I yell. “Smivvy! Still choofin’?’” he asks, handing me his trusty vaporiser. “The good oil,” he confirms. “Fuck yeah,” I reply. We sit there as a stormy dusk rolls in. Smoke rises into the sky from fires along the shore. Outrigger fishing boats bob in the distance. Stillness descends. Clarity reigns. All this time in isolation has given Ellksy a rare kind of lucidity. In a couple of sentences he can take you from the grass roots to the top of the biosphere, which I learn ends ten kilometres above us.
“Globalisation is about the corrupting and robbing of indigenous cultures and replacing them with a new one for the sole purpose of selling them products,” he begins, in what is the first of two days worth of epic sermons on the manifest and multitude failures of latestage capitalism.
He can’t stand Australia anymore. Can’t fathom how, in a land as abundant and resource-rich as ours, the living can be so difficult and leave us so little time to do the things we love.
“For a place where the living was so easy and so good, I just don’t know how it managed to tie itself up in such a knot. It’s a fucken mess. GREEEEED,” he says.
Ellksy is convinced the system is about to crash and when it does he knows where he wants to be
“Where would you rather be when the lights start going out on major cities? You don’t wanna be in one. People will start killing each other within a month,” he says.
“I’ll be out here with plenty of fresh fish, my own vegetables, plenty of rice, and a few waves out the front,” he laughs, looking out over a patch of reef and sand which entertains fairly consistent short period wind swells up to four feet.
His resentment of capitalism and its cruel inefficiency has manifested in a series of schemes and scams over the years. The ecovillage utopia he’s in the process of creating is the latest one but professional surfing was arguably the first. It was the legendary shaper, Rodney Dahlberg, who first convinced him to have a tilt at the tour. Ellksy was doing a stint in Angourie at the time and Dahlberg, who was hooking him up with cheap boards, suggested he take his game on the road to New Zealand. He did well in a couple of contests, earning the attention of Hot Buttered honcho and surfing immortal Terry Fitzgerald, who would become a defining influence on his surfing life.
“I owe a lot to Fitzy. He was so good to me,” he says.
Another of Ellksy’s big surfing influences was Derek Hynd, who he met on that same trip to New Zealand.
“Derek with his eye and all that, I thought he was a pretty amazing guy with all his set backs and how positive he was. Basically, he instilled in me just to believe in myself and he told me you’re a great surfer Ellks - just go hard, you can beat anyone,” he says.
Ellksy spent months in Hawaii each winter teaming up with Scum Valley legend, Cheyne Horan and Pipe Master Robbie Page, who’d both won hard earned respect and earned countless important relationships along the seven mile miracle. Among Ellksy’s many friends was Jonny Boy Gomes, who he shared a shaping sponsor with.
“He’d be like, brah, I need to borrow your car and he’d pretty much just grab the keys. I couldn’t say no. We were that good friends,” smirks Ellksy.
He would drift between several houses in Hawaii each winter, including one at Velzyland, full of Scum Valley proteges. They’d compete in a test match-style surf series against the local V-Land crew, so beginning a long friendship between the two beaches. Ellksy got on well with the Hawaiians, especially groovers like the great Buttons Kaluhiokalani, who would become a lifelong friend. With his surf store up and running back home, Ellksy had the idea of selling Da Hui products in Australia and asked a Hawaiian mate if he could tee up a meeting with an infamous local character by the name of ‘Fast’ Eddie Rothman.
“Eddie, even in those days, was a pretty fearsome figure with a lot of rumours and that kind of stuff around him,” he recalls.
“I asked my mate if he could tee us up and he goes, ‘Ellksy brah, you know where Eddie lives, he lives over there at Backyards. You go round there and ask him yourself.’ And I went, ‘Yeah, of course! And I went round and asked him,’” he recalls.
After entering the yard and squeezing between two giant attack dogs on chains, he knocked on the door. Eddie answered, shirtless. “He’s like, what do you want?” “I said, ‘Hi Eddie, my name’s Matt Ellks, I’m from Bondi. I’ve been surfing here for years and I’m pretty tight with a few local crew around here. I wanna buy some of your stuff to sell in my store back in Bondi.’ And he said, come in,” recalls Ellksy.
Soon Ellksy was part of the inner-sanctum. He was taken to Da Hui’s headquarters in Honolulu and introduced to the rest of the family, including Clyde Aikau and Bryan Amona. There the idea was floated that Ellksy would take over the company’s reigns in Australasia. The gig had initially been slated for Bruce Raymond, another Scum Valley boy, who’d helped start Quiksilver. When Eddie told the family of the change of plans, Clyde piped up.
“He goes, ‘Eddie, weren’t we gonna give it to Bruce?’ And Eddie goes, ‘Look around. I don’t see Bruce Raymond here. Ellksy is here. Let’s give it to him.’ And that was that,” he recalls.
Back in Australia Ellksy had begun dabbling in heroin, a time-honoured thorn in Bondi’s side. Such is the suburb’s proximity to Kings Cross - the harbour-side red light district where heroin first washed up on our shores the surf community never stood a chance.
“I was never a junkie. I’d use it occasionally and get high for a few days then I’d surf for a couple of weeks and it’d be fine,” he says.
“But you’d be out at the pub or whatever and you’d have your mates who’d be into that kind of stuff and you’d bump into em they’d be like, ‘Ay,’” he says, winking at me, “How about it? We go back to mine and have a little hit.”
Ellksy’s face breaks into a sneaky boyhood grin, “And we’d go and I’d be high for a couple of days.”
He managed to keep a handle on his habit for a period but admits “it was kind of torture.”
“Because I’d be off it and I’d be fine and then I’d see these guys, have a hit, and then I’d have to go cold turkey again. It ruined a lot of lives, it killed a couple of mates,” he says.
The timing couldn’t have been worse with his newfound Da Hui responsibilities. So he enlisted the help of couple more Bondi guys. They were pretty deep in the drug running game at the time, as many surfers of the period were, meaning they had money to burn. By his own admission Ellksy had started dating a girl who was a heroin addict and ‘lady of the night’, which in turn lead one of his partners to go to Rothman behind his back and seed the story that he was fucked up and not fit to run his business in Australia.
“I was good mates with Eddie but he didn’t grow up with me. Eddie calls me and he goes, ‘Look, why don’t you give these guys control for a year and see how they go? After that you can have it back. You’ll still be involved.’ And I go, yep, sweet, and that was that,” he says.
Except the other two were hard into drugs as well. The operation moved to Maclean, near Yamba, where Ellksy, the two partners and a female accountant lived together as they tried to find a way out of the mess. But the house became a full-blown drug den and after Ellksy convinced himself the three of them were going to off him and steal the business, he got out, moved to Byron, got on the dole, and teamed up with his old mate and former 1991 ASP rookie of the year Jeremy Byles for a bit of tube therapy. “We spent the year getting barrelled back when, you know, it was still ‘Byron.’ It was groovy an that,” he says, pulling a face, “but it was still a farming town, it was still chill compared to what it is now.”
When Buttons flew over Ellksy picked up him up at the airport and they spent weeks zipping up and down the east coast. Eventually, he caught wind that the Da Hui license was in even worse shape than when he’d left it. The two characters had scampered leaving only the accountant and her mother, who loaned the business 50k.
He doesn’t want to elaborate on what happened next, changing topic to a story about Rob Trujillo, the bassist from Metallica, who he’s known for 20 plus years and toured Australia with. It’s a wild story with cameos from a young Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson side of stage at the Big Day Out in 2003. He sums up the whole chapter with a lyric from one of his favourite bands, Sublime.
“It’s just the way we live and that’s the way we get by,” he says, adding, with a finger pointed at me to make his point, “As long as you don’t hurt anyone. You can hurt yourself.”
After the initial interview Matt makes a point of getting in contact to further explain his memory of the Da Hui experience and the guilt he still harbours about the way it ended.
“I was always loyal to Eddie and the company and had been diligent in trying to establish it in Oz. I had it in over 70 shops in Vic, NSW and QLD. Eddie knew I had no money behind me and not much business acumen but he still supported me 100%. I’ve always been grateful to Eddie for giving me
such a great opportunity, I think he liked the hardcore battler in me. I had credit running everywhere and owed for running and manufacturing and I was slowly feeling completely snowed under. I was doing it all on my own, as well as the shop and it all just got too much. Eddie backed me and I let him down. I was devastated when things didn’t work out but I have no one else to blame but myself.”
Today, aged 56, Ellksy is the same age as his father when he drove a car off a cliff and killed himself. After giving up professional gambling his father transitioned to running a car yard but it went bankrupt after his partner embezzled all the profits. He didn’t even have enough money to hit the track and that was too much.
“Don’t get me wrong, what my father did wasn’t good and I’d never do that - I’d never beat my wife. But he had a tough time as a kid and he suffered terrible bouts of depression and it came back to smack him in the head in the end. He necked himself because when the chips were down he wanted love but he couldn’t reconcile with what he’d done and he just said, ‘you know what, fuck it,’” he says, adding, “It’s very hard to give love if you have never received it.”
Ellksy chooses his time carefully to tell me he’s got cancer. It’s nearing the end of my time at his lair and we’re sitting on the concrete lookout, passing the vape, as another misty dusk rolls in. It isn’t terminal and he’s getting treatment for it, but it’s caused a major re-evaluation.
“That was a surprise. It really strips away all the bullshit and you’re left with what’s important. And that’s what I’ve got going on
with the Bali Sustainability HUB,” he says.
His parting gift, if he can’t beat the illness, will be to create the inertia within this obscure slice of paradise for a better, more logical future. He aims to turn the area into an ecovillage, which basically means harking back to traditional Balinese ways, with a few western conveniences, and one very significant one removed.
“They produce 3.4 million tonnes of plastic a year in this country. Petrochemical corporations make billions and they dump it in Asia where they know they’re not educated enough to deal with it properly. It’s fucked,” he says, segueing into a story about an oil tanker that recently emptied its ballast a few clicks out to sea causing an oil slick along his beach for more than a week.
“These fucken petrochemical industries are a law unto ‘emselves! They fucken run governments, they own the politicians!” he begins.
“Whose responsible for the shit they create? Shouldn’t they be? You don’t just get to go around making stuff and then washing your hands of it and going, ‘Here you go world! Fucken deal with it,” he fumes, before cracking himself up at the absurdity of it all.
The next morning he takes me on a tour of the local village. We chase narrow paths beneath a dense canopy of trees before emerging at an intersection overseen by the local copper. Ellksy says g’day before taking us down the road to a bridge looking up at a mountain range. Ellksy plans to set up an educational trekking path through the mountains along with another homestay.
“On the other side of that range is a village where no one’s lived for a thousand years!” he says.
“It will all be part of this eco-village. They blew it at the southern end (Kuta etc). It’s all Jakarta people running it and what would they know about the environment and sustainable tourism? They’re from Jakarta!” he says.
Ellksy has his fingers in half a dozen environmental initiatives in the local regency and greater Bali - everything from running workshops at local schools educating kids on handling wildlife, to waste management, water management and environmentally sustainable tourism. He collects injured birds and nurses them back to health in his aviary. He still hasn’t kicked the drug habit completely, relying on xanex occasionally to get him to sleep, but he’s highly functioning.
“I need a new head. If you know anyone, lemme know. They have to be younger
though,” he laughs.
“Nooo, but you’ll lose everything that’s in there,” his wife, Putu, retorts.
She’s from the local village and they’ve been together 12 years now, producing two children, Raymond, 6, and Selina, 11, who Ellksy’s homestay is named after. Over a breakfast of bacon and eggs she fills me in on their relationship.
“It hasn’t been easy. It’s a challenge but we make it really important to be best friends. That is our focus,” she says, adding, “I’ve learned so much from Matt.”
I’m desperate to know more about the cancer diagnosis but I’ve been afraid to ask. Ellksy picks his time to tell me. We’re sitting on his concrete look-out once again, scanning the bay, having just finished a meal of freshly caught mahi mahi, tempe, rice, vegetables and corn frittatas, all washed down with ice cold beer. Putu is with us and she eyes an ant carrying a green leaf along the breakwall. Ellksy and I pass the serum vape.
“My feet start to swell up if I sit here too long. It’s in my blood. I’ve got cancer in my blood,” he begins.
“I can’t get depressed about the world. It’s good to talk about, but when you’re in my situation you cherish every day you’ve got. All the bullshit fades away. You just enjoy what’s important, enjoy the little things,” he says.
A couple of plastic bottles bob in the distance. A traditional outrigger with an outboard motor powers toward shore. A couple of kids swim out to sea with a spear and goggles.
“When you’re a young guy, you have a fit and healthy lifestyle and you think you’re immortal. You think you can live forever. But you get to 56 and you get told you’ve got cancer and that and what do you think that does to ya?” “Yeah, it’s fucking mindblowing,” he says. “And then it hits you. I’m 56! And you realise, I might not be here in 20 years. I might not be here in 10. Or five! And you start thinking about scenarios. I have cancer, I have to get treatment, I live in a country where there is none really, am I going to be a few thousand kilometers from my kids, getting help?”
“So yeah, you just enjoy the simple things, what’s important. We’re all gonna die. Just enjoy being here,” he says.
in 1991. Photo : Nolan Phallic word and image play with a safe sex message, on the Bondi Graffiti Wall back in 1991. Photo : Tony Nolan
Bondi Graffiti Wall back
Top: Team ITN at the Corona Teams Challenge in 1990. Clearly Visible Left to Right: Richard Cram, Bradley Stubbs (aka ‘the coach whisperer’, not a team member) Will Webber, Ben Webber, Dave Davidson and David Gyngell. Bill Power in the background obscured from view. Photo: Tony Nolan Inset: Matt Ellks melting through a carve like a lick of a yellow-blue butter.
Main: Matt Ellks aka ‘Ellksy’ climbing the foam with trademark hand-jive. Photo: Brett AllattInset Left: ITN team member Dave Davidson loading up on a frontside carve. Photo: Glen DuffusInset Right: Rob Trujillo, when he was playing with Suicidal Tendencies, bending the biceps Elksy’s surf shop in the 90s.
Main: Matt rocking the Da Hui logo (which he held the Australasian license for) as he swings off the bottom with limp-wristed nonchalance at Rocky Point. Photo: Gordinho Inset: Matt and Metallica bass player, Rob Trujillo, enjoying a moment together when Metallica played in Jakarta back in 2013.
Main: Matt with his wife, Putu, and two children, Selina and Raymond. Inset: Matt in educator mode with son, Putu.
Above: Matt catching up with old friends on a recent trip to Bondi. Phil Leadley left of shot and Monty Webber on the right.