Looking North

At the end of the year, looking north, perhaps a little wistfully.

Thanks to all those this year who have swung by this small part of blogland to have a look & sea. I'm grateful for the feedback & encouragement.

Prospero año nuevo!

Point Never

Jimmy Newitt has put a new zine together. Limited run of 100. Available over at Point Never.

Little Black Wheels Premiere

Had a special time up north, catching up with friends & checking out the premiere of my mate Mick Waters' wonderfully crafted surf film, 'Little Black Wheels.'

We also got to have a bit of family time together. Mick & Sue & their girls got to meet River & we all got to meet Sunny for the first time. Here are the boys with their Dads.

Sunny, Mick, River & I. Photo: Eliza Oldfield.

Dane Tucquet contributed several of his tracks to 'Little Black Wheels'. His songcraft is original & engaging & his small gig in the cosy ampitheatre of the Byron Bay Community Centre was breathtakingly good.

'Little Black Wheels' played to a packed house of stoked & appreciative viewers. The film is epic: homegrown, truehearted, intimate, compelling. Everybody I spoke to afterwards were as stoked as I was.

A limited edition of 1000 signed & numbered DVDs is available for purchase here if you're interested.

Liquid Salt

Photo: Ryan Heywood.

The good people at Liquid Salt Magazine were kind enough to do a little interview with me here. Always honoured & humbled to be involved in such things.

Team Valla

Jack Lynch, Brett Caller & Sage Joske, with fresh evidence of Sage's recent handiwork.

The Vector

The Valla Vector from Tom Woods on Vimeo.

This is a short piece put together by Tom Woods featuring Jack Lynch & Brett Caller riding an alaia/fish/hybrid/prototype, dubbed The Vector, shaped by Sage Joske. I was lucky enough to get a few waves on this last weekend & it's a whole lot of fun. A different, refreshing, challenging surfcraft. I can't wait to see where Sage goes with this one. I reckon he's onto a good, good thing.

Sun Struck Sky

Finished school for the year today & heading north with the family early tomorrow for a little bit of space to breathe. Big sigh. Happiness.

Blood Sport

Puducherry Cockfighter from Jørgen Klüver on Vimeo.

Found this on vimeo. A pretty tidy piece of filmmaking. Not a pretty topic but very well put together.

The Second Day Of Summer

The hardest day of the year. Oh how we long for you, our dear daughter, Willow Blue Lotus Ariel Oldfield.

Little Black Wheels

My good mate Mick Waters has just finished his latest film & it's out now. I can't wait to see it.

Anyone familiar with Mick's seminal film 'Believe' will be looking forward to this latest contribution. It's sure to be special. More updates can be found here.


Lots of waves have evocative names, but not this spot. It's a wave at the south end of a working class beach, simply called The Point. I grew up on the hill overlooking this short slab of a wave & I've been surfing out there for nearly twenty five years. I have a lifetime of surfing memories invested in this abrupt stretch of sandstone reef.

When I was a grom, it was a fairly heavily localised part of the coast. It was the kind of place where older crew would send you in even before you rocked off the sketchy jump off spot. Sometimes it wasn't pretty. There'd be bleeding noses. Thrown rocks. Vandalism in the carpark. But I put in the time & over the years I managed to earn a place in the lineup.

Some of my best moments in a surfing life are embedded here.

Now I live half an hour's drive north, but when the conditions are right, every once in a while, I still like to revisit my old childhood stomping grounds: to feel the draw of swell as it rears in steps & ladders on the shelf, to throw myself in hopeful abandon over the edge like I have so many times before, to watch the wild grand swing of the lip as it wheels overhead like some mad wonderful light catcher, to travel once again through the spinning watery caves of childhood, to emerge joyous & laughing & grateful in the clean air.

My tongue is too inadequate to tell of the happiness & connection & nostalgia I have experienced in this small piece of seascape. I lived & breathed this wave for years, dreamt about it, designed boards for it, monitored its moods daily like an old lover, thought about it endlessly, never missed a swell.

So last week I bumped into an old fellow Point rider. I haven't laid eyes on him for many years. But he told me he had some photos of me surfing out there from last winter, even though I had no idea he'd even been shooting. He emailed them through to me a few days ago. It wouldn't seem like a big deal to anyone else, but I'm stoked. After over nearly a quarter of a century of surfing this wave, I have less than a handful of photos. So here's a few. I'm much older, much less proficient, much more slow & wobbly, much less certain of myself, but still having a dig at The Point on my own handmade surfboard, like I was so many years before.


Photos: Nathan Shanks


My mate & favourite logger Dane Peterson has just launched his new photography website and blog. Yew!

Harrison Roach, Mentawai Islands, 2009. Photo: Dane Peterson.

Welcome Annika

Yesterday Annika Cedar Evenstar drew her first breaths, born to our beloved friends all the way over on the east coast of Canada. We are so happy for you, Mike & Lisa, so so happy, & we send joy & gratitude & love to you across the wild wide sea. How we wish we were there.

Seeking Tunes

Hello friends. I'm making another surf film & I'm seeking out new music for the soundtrack. As I'm an independent filmmaker on a self-funded budget, one my biggest challenges is sourcing music for film projects.

I have some friends in bands who have generously given me their music in the past. They have been happy to give me their work for free in return for having their music reach a wider audience through surf films. Lots of them have told me it’s been beneficial to have been involved, in terms of helping them to get their names out there. Obviously, it's good for all of us.

So I'm writing in the hope that there may be people out there reading this who are making music, or friends of people making music, who'd like to submit some of their work.

It'd sure be nice to hear from you. You could email me mp3s, or if you prefer snail mail me a disc of songs. Please contact me at nathanoldfield@yahoo.com if you're keen.



Brett Caller, portrait in front of part of the quiver he & Sage Joske dragged across the pond to NZ earlier this year. Brett is a beautiful human being & a beautiful surfer, a true aficianado of the ride anything creed, & a master of any surf craft. It's always a pleasure to work with Bretto & I'm stoked to have him involved in my next film project.

Old Red

7'0" homemade singlefin from a few years back, with clouds floating across the opaque tint.


Though I nurture & feed this plant along with the rest of an eclectic collection, these fragile flowers only blossom for a few days a year. Like so many things in life, all the more beautiful for their transience.

DIY Bunnies

Our lovely friend Marina was just visiting us with her lovely family, & she whipped up these bunnies overnight for Noa & Blossom. Marina can make anything at all with a bit of fabric & thread. She's our hero.


So happy to hear Shannon Carroll play a seminal, sincere, special solo instrumental piece to accompany George Greenough's epic 'Dolphin Glide' footage at Avoca Beach Theatre last week. It was one of those moments that you wish could last forever: sipping a glass of red wine, watching the highlights of a genius filmmaker's life work, listening to an artist's beautifully unfolding songcraft. I was breathless & smiling & absorbed. Just a simply gorgeous, rich passage of time that I was very grateful to be involved in.

Shannon's in a band called Affro Dizzi Act & their new album 'Peace Love & Unity' is pure epicness. Our kids have been dancing to it all week. If you're interested please hear more at: myspace.com/afrodizziact


Sage Joske, exploring the possibilities on his Verve model. How rad is that bottom turn? I was filming this day & Sage was running his bottom turns waaaay out into the flats. Wonderful to watch. Photos by Tom Woods at http://stimagessurf.blogspot.com/. See more of Sage & his boards at http://vallasaltwaterconstructs.blogspot.com/


My first DIY mentor, dear old Dad. He can turn his hand to anything: shaping, glassing, ceramics, sculpture, writing, illustrating, painting, designing, building. He just gets in there & has a go. Pure inspiration. Mum's been getting into paddling outrigger canoes, so Dad decided to make her a paddle from meranti & cedar. Here he is working on a couple, & they came out beautifully sleek & functional.

Switchfoot Two

AC's been working on this massive tome for a long, long while, with much passion. It will be epic. Stoked & honoured to play a small part.

Eyes Were Made For Seeing

Christiaan Bailey and the good folk at Drift published a piece about my work here at http://driftsurfing.com/blog/. I've really been appreciating Drift's contributions for some time now, so it was an honour to be involved.

No Fin Soup

My friend Luke Taaffe is having an art show next week. Luke's work is deservedly gaining increasing attention. I reckon it's rad. See more at luketaaffe.blogspot.com/

Sun Salute

My mate Sean Finnelley, reaping the rewards of an early morning as a nice little north swell binds into one of our favourite local spots.

Make & Do

My mate Trent Whitehead was recently commissioned to do a 3D installation for Art and About this year on Oxford Street, Sydney:



Local Gig

Some mates have a gig at our local theatre. Please spread the word if you don't mind:

Low Pressure Productions and the Avoca Beach Picture Theatre present: The ‘Transparentsea’ ocean awareness evening. Proceeds go to Surfers for Cetaceans. The Transparentsea Journey is Dave Rastovich and friends sailing kayaks from Byron Bay to Sydney to bring awareness to the humback whales in danger in the southern oceans, and also to shine light on our own oceans and coastlines. www.transparentseavoyage.com

Featuring 2 films and live music:

The Cove.
An incredible award winning film and documentary by the Oceanic Preservation Society about the plight of dolphins in the small coastal town of Taiji in Japan.

Life Like Liquid. www.lifelikeliquid.com
The surf and sound film created by Dave Rastovich and Low Pressure Productions. With a live jammed soundtrack featuring Ash Grunwald, Kingtide, Terepai Richmond and many more.

Live music by Shannon Sol Carroll and OJ Newcomb.
(Band of Frequencies, Afro Dizzi Act, Low Pressure Sound System)
Visuals featuring footage from Dolphin Glide and the Innermost Limits of Pure Fun contributed by George Greenough.
Special guest: Luke Aloyisus Gallen.

Monday 26th of October.
Avoca Beach Picture Theatre.


Hamburger Eyes from Nick Fogarty on Vimeo.

Wonderful to watch. I love seeing people make beautiful things, & I really appreciate how well this piece has been put together.


So grateful to have received this wonderful gift: a 5'8" quad fish handshaped by Sage Joske. I've ridden it a few times & already I'm excited. Faster than fast, wonderfully responsive, joyously versatile, super fun, just plain sparky. Yeeeeeeeewwwww!


My friend lost his father suddenly yesterday, so there's no photos to post today. All I feel is numb & sad. If you're reading this, mate, my deepest sympathies, & my longest thoughts.

Fifth Gear

Jack Lynch, toes over in fifth gear for an appreciative grom at his local, on a sweet log shaped & glassed by Sage Joske. I've had the good pleasure of riding this board at this same pointbreak & it was all joy.