Homecoming

Lots of waves have evocative names, but not this spot. It's a wave at the south end of a working class beach, simply called The Point. I grew up on the hill overlooking this short slab of a wave & I've been surfing out there for nearly twenty five years. I have a lifetime of surfing memories invested in this abrupt stretch of sandstone reef.

When I was a grom, it was a fairly heavily localised part of the coast. It was the kind of place where older crew would send you in even before you rocked off the sketchy jump off spot. Sometimes it wasn't pretty. There'd be bleeding noses. Thrown rocks. Vandalism in the carpark. But I put in the time & over the years I managed to earn a place in the lineup.

Some of my best moments in a surfing life are embedded here.

Now I live half an hour's drive north, but when the conditions are right, every once in a while, I still like to revisit my old childhood stomping grounds: to feel the draw of swell as it rears in steps & ladders on the shelf, to throw myself in hopeful abandon over the edge like I have so many times before, to watch the wild grand swing of the lip as it wheels overhead like some mad wonderful light catcher, to travel once again through the spinning watery caves of childhood, to emerge joyous & laughing & grateful in the clean air.

My tongue is too inadequate to tell of the happiness & connection & nostalgia I have experienced in this small piece of seascape. I lived & breathed this wave for years, dreamt about it, designed boards for it, monitored its moods daily like an old lover, thought about it endlessly, never missed a swell.

So last week I bumped into an old fellow Point rider. I haven't laid eyes on him for many years. But he told me he had some photos of me surfing out there from last winter, even though I had no idea he'd even been shooting. He emailed them through to me a few days ago. It wouldn't seem like a big deal to anyone else, but I'm stoked. After over nearly a quarter of a century of surfing this wave, I have less than a handful of photos. So here's a few. I'm much older, much less proficient, much more slow & wobbly, much less certain of myself, but still having a dig at The Point on my own handmade surfboard, like I was so many years before.

Joy.



Photos: Nathan Shanks

DP

My mate & favourite logger Dane Peterson has just launched his new photography website and blog. Yew!



Harrison Roach, Mentawai Islands, 2009. Photo: Dane Peterson.

Welcome Annika

Yesterday Annika Cedar Evenstar drew her first breaths, born to our beloved friends all the way over on the east coast of Canada. We are so happy for you, Mike & Lisa, so so happy, & we send joy & gratitude & love to you across the wild wide sea. How we wish we were there.

Seeking Tunes

Hello friends. I'm making another surf film & I'm seeking out new music for the soundtrack. As I'm an independent filmmaker on a self-funded budget, one my biggest challenges is sourcing music for film projects.

I have some friends in bands who have generously given me their music in the past. They have been happy to give me their work for free in return for having their music reach a wider audience through surf films. Lots of them have told me it’s been beneficial to have been involved, in terms of helping them to get their names out there. Obviously, it's good for all of us.

So I'm writing in the hope that there may be people out there reading this who are making music, or friends of people making music, who'd like to submit some of their work.

It'd sure be nice to hear from you. You could email me mp3s, or if you prefer snail mail me a disc of songs. Please contact me at nathanoldfield@yahoo.com if you're keen.

Gracias.

Caller



Brett Caller, portrait in front of part of the quiver he & Sage Joske dragged across the pond to NZ earlier this year. Brett is a beautiful human being & a beautiful surfer, a true aficianado of the ride anything creed, & a master of any surf craft. It's always a pleasure to work with Bretto & I'm stoked to have him involved in my next film project.

Old Red



7'0" homemade singlefin from a few years back, with clouds floating across the opaque tint.

Orchids



Though I nurture & feed this plant along with the rest of an eclectic collection, these fragile flowers only blossom for a few days a year. Like so many things in life, all the more beautiful for their transience.

DIY Bunnies



Our lovely friend Marina was just visiting us with her lovely family, & she whipped up these bunnies overnight for Noa & Blossom. Marina can make anything at all with a bit of fabric & thread. She's our hero.

Gratefulness



So happy to hear Shannon Carroll play a seminal, sincere, special solo instrumental piece to accompany George Greenough's epic 'Dolphin Glide' footage at Avoca Beach Theatre last week. It was one of those moments that you wish could last forever: sipping a glass of red wine, watching the highlights of a genius filmmaker's life work, listening to an artist's beautifully unfolding songcraft. I was breathless & smiling & absorbed. Just a simply gorgeous, rich passage of time that I was very grateful to be involved in.

Shannon's in a band called Affro Dizzi Act & their new album 'Peace Love & Unity' is pure epicness. Our kids have been dancing to it all week. If you're interested please hear more at: myspace.com/afrodizziact