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Artikel: Interview- Black Dog Surfing,Byron Bay


Interview- Black Dog Surfing,Byron Bay

Jeg har været så heldig at få mig en lang snak med min "old buddy" Tamara fra min gamle surfskole i Byron Bay,Australien.

Jeg rejste "Down Under" for 4 år siden. På min rejse gjorde jeg bl.a. holdt i den lille by Byron Bay på østkysten. Jeg meldte mig til min første surf-lesson såsnart jeg kom dertil, da det var noget jeg altid havde drømt om at prøve. Byron Bay var kærlighed ved første blik og jeg endte med at blive der meget længere end den uge jeg egentlig havde planlagt. Jeg forelskede mig pladask i stedet, menneskene og ikke mindst i strandene og bølgerne. Drømmer mig til tider stadig derned.

Nok om mig! Nu skal vi høre lidt om livet på en Australsk surfskole!

Tam, tell us about the school. What is the story behind the school and its name?:

BlackDog Surf School was started about 10 years ago. The original owners had a BlackDog called Jesse.

George is the BlackDog now-he is our family’s dog and he loves surfing,Deano (my brother) taught him to surf when he was a puppy-he’s been surfing for nearly 3 years now!

Surfing has been a part of my brothers life since he 1st stood on a board at age 3,he has been hooked ever since and his life has always revolved around the ocean. After his studies he knew he wanted to be involved in the surfing industry,he competed when he was young but found it wasn’t for him-it took the fun out of surfing!

He decided he wanted to pass on his skills and knowledge so everyone could experience the joys of surfing

What has happened since I took my first surfing-classes with you in 2004? Any developments/changes?

Surfing is becoming more and more popular since you left Byron,the fact that the boys and girls juniour world champions are from Byron is inspiring more and more people young and old to take up the sport-so it’s getting more and more crowded in the waves but it’s great to see so many people out there having a go!

I know that you and your brother are from Manly right? What made you move to the Gold Coast?

We grew up on Sydney’s northern beaches but Dean and his mates loved going on surf safaris and the north coast was always a favourite.(they would let me tag along sometimes!) Dean moved to Byron Bay and started working for BlackDog Surf School as a surf instructor.The business became for sale and Deano ended up buying the business-that was nearly 6 years ago. My parents and I visited Deano regularly and we all fell in love with the area,my parents decided to move up here to Lennox Head(which is about 15mins from Byron) so I came to(that was 4.5 years ago now!) and started working for my brother-he’s a great boss!!(most of the time!!)

Tell us about Byron Bay. What makes it so special?

Byron Bay is the most easterly point of Australia,located on the north coast of NSW.Byron Bay is 800kms north of Sydney and it’s only 1 hour to the Queensland’s Gold Coast,a latitude that gives it a “perfect” average temperature range of 28 degrees in summer and 22 degrees in winter.With it’s numerous beaches,unspoilt hinterland and relaxed lifestyle,Byron Bay is a popular tourist destination

Byron’s beaches are among the best in Australia. Cape Byron is one of the best vantage points for whalewatching. Byron bay is special because of it’s great diversity from the beautiful beaches to the lush hinterland and people from all walks of life

How is the surf conditions in Byron Bay?

The surf conditions in Byron are perfect for all levels of surfing and no matter what the conditions there is always somewhere to surf

I guess most of your clients are backpackers from around the globe, right? How does that do to the atmosphere?

Our major clients are backpackers from around the globe which makes a fantastic environment to work in,most lessons we will have 6 or 7 different nationalities so it’s always a great laugh and so interesting to learn about people from other countries and hear the mix of all the different languages

We are so lucky we have a secret weapon his name is Dominique(Dom) he is our star photographer and 1 of our best instructors. He can speak 7 different languages-he can effortlessly change from English to French to German to Italian to Swedish a bit of Danish!etc(he has to go and learn Chinese-that’s about all he can’t speak!!) He left the high flying world of investment banking in Switzerland and moved to Australia-to Byron Bay. We all say you don’t live here for the money but the lifestyle!! Life is never boring here in the surf school!

Have you had many Scandinavians? What is your impression of us? 😉

We get a lot of Scandinavian customers-in summer we call it the Scandinavian invasion!! They are awesome so keen to learn and have a go and boy do they know how to party and I’ve never seen such a good looking race-there must be something in your water! As you can imagine our staff + other customers love having them in our lessons

Where do you guys get surf instructors from? Are they all local?

We are so lucky most of our staff have been with Dean since he took over the business-none are true Byron locals-you have to live here 20+ years to be considered a local!

What can you offer that other schools cant?

There are 6 surf schools in Byron Bay so competition can be tough-however we are all friends. We are (we think!!) the most personalised surf school in Byron Bay as we have a ratio of 1 instructor to 5 students which is the best offered for a group lesson in Byron and ensures a lot of individual attention.All of our equipment is of high quality and standard.

When is the best time of the year to come to Byron Bay if you wanna surf?

Byron Bay is good for surfing all year round.Generally there is bigger swell on the east coast from May- July however in summer we get a lot of cyclone swells and of course the water is warmer no need for wetsuits just boardies or bikinis-even now in May the water is still 23 degrees-it will get cooler and will soon be time to bring out the steamers,but we are lucky here you only need a 3mm wetsuit!!

Do you have a good advice for people who wanna go to Australia to surf and experience the country? Any good places to go? Do you have a favourite spot?

There are so many good surf spots along the east coast-the west coast too-I haven’t been to the west coast yet! From way down south in Victoria to the Sunshine coast. Besides Byron a favourite surf spot of ours is Yamba which is only 1.5hrs south of Byron-uncrowded waves!! It’s a beautiful place,another is Crescent Head which is about 5hrs south of Byron-there’s a great camping ground right on the point! I always recommend people who are looking to surf and find waves when traveling in Oz to buy a little book called-Wave finder(a lot of surfers weren’t happy when this book was published as they wanted places to remain “secret”)but it tells you all about the waves whether it’s a point break,reef break,right or left hander and how to find these spots which you wouldn’t otherwise know about!-or find!!

Do you have a website where people can check out the school, prizes etc. if they are planning a trip to Australia and wanna learn to surf in Byron Bay?

Sure! “Life is better when you surf!”

BLACKDOG SURFING Shop 8,The Plaza Jonson St
Byron Bay NSW Australia ph(+61 02)6680 9828

Well, I know for sure, that I loved your school, you guys and Byron Bay. Thank you so much for everything, hopefully Ill be able to pop by again.

Deano and all of us here think the best part of our job is seeing the smile on people’s faces when they catch their 1st wave and then hearing about people like you who go on and make surfing a part of their life. We hope to see you back in Oz soon. We wish you all the success in your businesses.

The Galapagos looks beautiful and what awesome waves!!-hopefully we’ll get there some day!!

George Surfing

Byron Bay swell

A random group-lots of happy people at one of the surf-lessons

Mettes first surf-lesson september 2004

Mette with one of the groups- 3rd or 4th lesson

Byron Bay at night

Byron Bay

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