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OZ OBSERVATIONS

| posted on July 22, 2010

A few observations courtesy of Online Editor Scott Bass while on assignment on the Sunshine coast of Australia

Driving on the left hand side of road, um, difficult at first; but not as big an anxiety as I thought it would be. What has been difficult for me is WALKING on the left hand side of the footpath. I’ve disrupted scores of elderly couples on their morning walk due to my stubborn habit of walking on the right hand side.

“A surfer takes off on the wave and rides it in whatever manner he prefers. Then the judges inwardly ask themselves the question, “Would I want my kid to surf like that?”

Don’t trust everyone with a lifesaving club hat. During a surf mission up the coast from Noosa, as we were checking the surf, we ran into four blokes with surf lifesaving uniforms on. One of them had a gut so big it looked as if he had swallowed a bowling ball. All of them had Fosters cans glued to their hands. They were on a bender. We spotted them later getting out of their car at the Pub–the beers still in hands. Note to self: There are bad apples in every bushel.

New judging format. Classically trained San Diego shaper Chris Christenson and I observe a heat during the Noosa Surf Festival. For the most part we are unimpressed. It looks as if the competition surfers are nervous, fidgety, basically kooking out. After one particularly unimpressive ride, Chris looked at me and in a disgusted tone asked, “Would you want your kid to surf like that?”

An epiphany. Chris and I created a new contest judging format called, you guessed it, Would you want your kid to surf like that?

Here’s how it works. A surfer takes off on the wave and rides it in whatever manner he prefers. Then the judges inwardly ask themselves the question, “Would I want my kid to surf like that?” If the answer is no, the surfer’s ride receives a zero. If the answer is yes the surfer’s ride receives a one. All waves are scored. Surfers with a score of four or better advance.

We watched more than one heat in which no one in the field advanced. And thank God. I wouldn’t want my kid to surf like that. And I definitely didn’t want to watch any more of it either.