Bring Them To The Beach


At the heart of experience is change. To stagnate is to bid farewell to a lifestyle of excitement and pleasure; revoke experience and the vibrancy of life slips away.

The second annual Byron Bay Surf Festival invites you to reawaken your experience of surfing with the Freestyle & Stoke Surf Sessions and Swap Meet.

An increasing abundance of swap meets around the world has seen surfers
bringing together their collective quivers to swap, trade and sell boards no
longer used or fallen out of favour – a cheap, if not free way to breathe new life
into paddling out. The Surf Swap Meet is without restriction or parameter –
simply bring a board, take a look, buy, sell, exchange or even walk away empty-
handed engorged on a plethora of eye-candy.

Taking place right on the ocean at Byron Bay’s Watego’s Beach, as with so much
about the Byron Bay Surf Festival, the Surf Swap Meet is rare, if not unique, in
that it provides an opportunity for potential new owners to try before they buy.
The sheltered bay at Watego’s provides the perfect testing ground for would-be
buyers or swappers, allowing as much a showcase of boards as a retail event.

There is always a board in the back of the garage or under the house gathering
more dust than the rest, not necessarily because of any lack of love but just that
others have taken preference. Whatever it may be, thruster, log, paipo, single,
fish – anything at all that floats – the Byron Bay Surf Festival offers a venue for
you to show off and share.

But the day isn’t confined to a barter-fest. Celebrated shapers from around the
country, including Rake Surfboards, Classic Malibu, Deadkooks, and Byron locals
Rhythmsticks and Morning Of The Earth/Michael Peterson Surfboards, along
with California’s Ryan Lovelace and Toru Handplanes of Japan will be offering
test-rides of many of their models, a rare chance enabling you to ride a swathe of
different craft to expand your awareness of board design.

To inspire you further, The Freestyle Surf & Stoke Surf Session draws together a
collection of professional, amateur and renowned surfers to display their talents
and, hopefully, encourage them to step out of their comfort zones. Former ASP
World Tour surfer, ‘Top-44’ contender and proud Byronian Danny Wills was last
year coaxed by Tom Wegener to ride a finless Alaia for the first time. Wegener
was absolutely overwhelmed with excitement, the beach’s onlooking crowd also
thrilled at the elite professional shortboarder showing his consummate abilities
on equipment so far removed from his usual craft of choice.

Expanding further the day’s experiences, Toru is offering a handplane workshop.
The Japanese master craftsman has travelled his country’s coastline on a bicycle
and bodysurfed and shared his handicraft with the masters of the alternative
Keith, Dan, and Chris Malloy. Bringing his tools and skills to the beach, he will
be whittling and educating in the art of handplanes, presenting his pintsized
surfcraft and helping anyone interested to create their very own.

A day rich in camaraderie and experience unfolds on the final day of the three-
day Byron Bay Surf Festival, Sunday 28th October. A nominal administration fee

of $5 per board will be charged for those wishing to sell or swap their boards,
and $10 for anyone keen to surf in one of the 4 categories of the Freestyle &
Stoke Session.

Join, share, enjoy. Byron Bay Surf Festival takes place on 26-28 October. Visit for further information, a program of events and the
latest festival news and announcements.

By Tommy Leitch /