Rocky Poole, who many of you will remember for her column in Longboarder Magazine, catches up with us from down under.
“Lonely, lost… travelling, temping tarmac… sweat, blood and longboarding.
As I write this article from overseas I cannot help but feel somewhat lost indeed! I’ve found myself in Australia, across the globe, wondering lonely and yes, a little lost … but I guess this is all part of the whole travelling experience. Exploring, embarking on adventures, pushing further, skating harder, longer and sweating more and more each day, and for a fellow Brit on the sunny side of the world, skating in Australia’s conditions are savage! Utterly Savage!
First and foremost, a warm hello to you fellow longboarders! It’s been a while since I’ve put pen to paper or fingers to keys to ‘bang one out!’ An article that is … I’ve taken some time out and have had a whale of a time, to say the least. Memories made dancing and prancing around the flat ground of Melbourne City, the Yarra River to my left and, to my right, the blinding lights and blur of city life and sky-scrapers.
City skating, pigeon rampaging, skate sessions after a few Vodka & Tonics, kissing the concrete, ripping up Royal Park (before the Police turn up,) late night car park cruises, the list goes on, the memories roll on.
However, I’m back, with some knowledge to spread and tales to tell; some grueling, gnarly stories to (hopefully) make you giggle, cringe, think and maybe even get inspired by!
I somehow managed to successfully (ish) quit my mundane job in the UK and make the bold and really rather brash decision to jet off across the world to the land of Kangaroo’s on steroids, the big Guinee-Pig things you can take selfies with, Sharks, Spiders, snakes and pretty much every animal on the planet that wants to kill you! However, this country has proven to be one of the smoothest, barren and HOTTEST countries yet to shred. As I’m sure you all know, s’traaaya is one huge country, fitting the UK alone in one state.
It’s big. It’s barren, and it’s hot. If I haven’t already said… The open space is infinite! There are miles and miles and miles of open roads and coastline cradling paths to cruise along at whichever speed you choose.
The longboarding scene here however is vast and appears somewhat closed? I’ve found myself pondering across endless roads upon roads, thinking ‘where o where where o where are the long boarders!’
This is one of the hardest parts of solo travelling. It is sometimes exceptionally difficult to meet new people and find like-minded lunatics to shred with! For me personally, staying in hostels across the country has also not provided me with any luck! I’ve been trying to find my knight in shining side gloves, but failing miserably!
So once again I’m back onboard the lonely, wondering, wood-pushing machine! Pals or not, the tarmac awaits and the concrete cream fields of smooth cement lie placid and untouched just waiting for urethane wheels to paint racing stripes upon tempting terrain. It’s lucid, liquid, dreamy surface here in Australia, with dry conditions cooking rubber under your feet. Pure bliss.
Located on the East coast of Australia, hidden away from the claws of society, lies a little town called Yamba.
Yamba is, and will always be, one of the most special places to me. I hold a super duper, huge space in my heart for this town. With no more than 5,637 people and surf breaks surrounding from all directions, Yamba is the perfect destination for skaters and surfers combined. I made some beautiful memories there and get lost in my mind when I think back. What makes this town so special though; has to be the purity, simplicity and yes, the concrete. A dear friend of mine Dan Theman once pointed out, ‘The Yamba lap’ as he called it… A perfect loop sweeping down immediately from the pub (our second home), past the main beach, alongside towering Pine trees, the Ocean rolling out perfectly clean, green waves, swooping down and curving around dreamily onto the next leg of the lap. With gentle declines and run-offs, Yamba is THE most perfect spot, if I say so myself, to not only slide, shred and carve to your hearts content but to learn to skate also! However, no session is complete without the downside to downhill…literally.
The bails, the bruises and the burns! The burn of blistering tarmac under the Australian sun quite literally rips through your skin in a way I have never felt! Not only are you contending with road rash but the Chinese burn of the hot concrete. Not nice. Not nice… Though of course, it all helps to grow the skating seed within.
Though the concrete cream fields run further than just little Yamba. They spread far and wide into the hills of Australia’s south, through the Kangaroo Valley Hairpins, the sessions spent in Sydney and abandon secret spots near Noosa. One greatly exciting aspect to downhill longboarding is of course, the exploring and adventures that follow suit. It’s the endless treks to new hills and finding secret spots. That feeling of pure euphoria upon the discovery of perfectly curved corners, the wicked views running parallel to your push… it’s orgasmic stuff.
Asking the locals has presented me with more opportunities to skate than you can imagine! The locals always know best no matter what the internet says. It’s not always the A listed hills and cycle paths that Google suggests to skaters, but the suburbial streets and vicious viaducts leading to thrill seeking throughways, that go undiscovered under the radar. That’s, when the locals come in. Sometimes they even bring you a cold beer out of the esky when you wiz past their house. They love it.
Upon writing this article, no, that sounds far too fancy… let’s keep it real.
While trying to scramble the words together in my head and excitedly get them onto paper, I’ve struggled to include all ‘the best bits’, I’ve struggled to find the words to describe such moments and where to start! It’s been a crazy, crazy year, but I’ve realized I don’t actually need to include all those best bits, here’s a rather quick burst of energy, from my travels, for you to read. As I said before, it’s been a crazy year and a whale of a time and with a little kick of motivation, I’ve conquered my fears, diving in at the deep end!
I’ll trail off here, leaving the rest to the imagination. It’s time to make your own memories, go skate, go travel, go explore!”
Look forward to hearing more from Rocky when she returns to the UK soon.