"Life Before The Laps" is a deeper look at the lives of LAPS cast Dustin Hollick and Rhian Slapp, two ordinary Aussie surfers preparing to leave their families on a global quest to consume less.
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Joel Fitzgerald, Derek Hynd, Glen Casey, Rhian Slapp, and Matt Draper give their two cents on the shark debate.
Shark attack survivor Dave Pearson shares his story.
Understanding the Apex
Part 3 - Brooke's story.
By Brooke Mason - Surfer
Tasmanian surfer Brooke Mason had been living in Byron and was in the water next to Tadashi Nakahara on the morning of his attack.
Tadashi had just got barrelled right in front of me about five minutes before the attack, and I claimed it for him “yewwww!”. He was a super smiley guy and a good surfer I remember thinking he really kicks out his back foot on his turns and that's what I was trying to do. It was sunny and super fun, consistent surf with enough waves for everyone and there was hardly anyone out. I was just pinching myself thinking this place is heaven.
I watched Tadashi get dragged under about 20 meters from me, in a lull between the sets…He didn't make a sound just looked shocked and went under. I thought he initially went under for a swim, but his board had gone too and then there was all this blood. I got on my board with my arms and legs up in the air and was frozen to the spot. I told myself “if he comes up I'll go over there” but everything in my body was paralysed and I was just looking at the blood and the bubbles.
He didn't come up and I looked around me and everyone was paddling in super quietly and with as little splashing possible and I followed them until I was in waist deep water and looked around and one really brave guy was dragging Tadashi in. I took the guy next to me's board and he went to help them. I could see that Tadashi had lost his legs so I got the leg ropes off both boards to tourniquet his legs. Paddling in I was just waiting for it (the shark) to chomp my legs; it felt like a war zone and like everyone was going to die. I couldn't believe it when everyone was there at the beach and the bad luck for Tadashi that the shark happened to go for him. I've imagined the whole thing a million times and how many different ways it could have ended and it just came down to chance.
I haven't surfed Ballina since, it seems like the odds are way too dangerous there at the moment in my head, like a piece of bait, but hopefully that will settle down. I love crowds for the first time in my life! I think I'd prefer snapper with 1,000 people for a while. Something definitely has to be up. I honestly think that yes there are more people in the water but also the sharks are coming in because we have over-fished their ocean and so we give them no choice to come in closer to find a meal. Also with advances in technology you hear about every shark attack in a matter of hours and so it feels like there are more of them but maybe the information is just more accessible.
*Brooke has since returned to her homeland Tasmania where she is studying medicine and continues to surf.
To be continued - Part 4 - The Science.
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Markets are generally the domains of hippies and trinket merchants that want nothing better than to lighten your wallet. Or so I thought. As what could be classified as a fairly modest consumer, I never really had an urge to go to the local market. Under the guise of supporting partner has been the only exception, with the only purchase I ever indulged in being that of the instant gastronomical type.
As a somewhat concerned earth/human race survivalist, I try and make conscious decisions that will have a less detrimental effect on future generations. But, as with most of us, my brain wasn’t connecting the dots on several tiers regarding the excessive packaging and ridiculous amounts of transportation that your every day trip to the grocery store encourages.
Introducing my next-door neighbor Rhian Slapp, and his weekly ritual of grocery shopping at the local Farmers' Market, followed by a cuppa at the local cafe, where he sits and drinks his brew in an actual cup - farewell the throwaway!
Now on a simple level local market shopping (and a non-throwaway coffee!) is fantastic in that it reduces packaging. Simply take a basket or grab a cardboard box and pop the fresh produce straight in there; no need for styrofoam or plastic wrapping. Transportation is as simple as the diesel it took to drive the trusty old rattler down the hill; no extravagant freight liners or massive semis involved here.
But at a deeper level there is something else that seems to be increasingly lost from modern society: face-to-face interaction with other human beings. Not your boss, your family or your direct peers, but strangers from all walks of life. And here is the really shocking part, to acquire your goods you will have to talk to them! You may even find you exchange knowledge, and this is not only the case at the Farmers' Market, but across all local transactions, whether it be getting a book from the library, or picking up a new hand-crafted surfboard.
Increasingly our transactions are being carried out online. Shopping, health-checks even friendships are now primarily achieved in Cyber Space. Believe this isn’t so? According to The Public Relations Institute Of Australia, “Australians spend one in five minutes (3.6 hours) a day on social media”.
But we do have the ability to decide otherwise. Choose with your feet and make the connection between the excessive greed that drives the increasingly destructive and influential multi nationals of the world, and instead support you local community. Head to your local market, go and see the surfboard shaper down the street, pop into you local timber yard, or say "hi" to the local seamstress.
In return for keeping the cash in your local community you will be rewarded with intimate knowledge of a product the vendor is passionate about, and you'll be contributing toward rebuilding the trust and accountability that cannot be garnered online.
The much anticipated wait is almost over...Double Barrel, a film almost two years in the making, is finished and the Official Trailer dropped today! It's been an incredible tough yet rewarding journey, and we are proud of the end product, premiering in Peru, USA and Australia in the New Year.
Go to www.doublebarrelfilm.com to view the trailer, film synopsis, meet the crew, and check in on tour dates.
*Global Premiere announced: January 23rd, El Dragon Del Sur, Punta Hermosa, Lima Peru, more details coming soon, keep an eye on the Double Barrel website for updates.