Of Tears & Of Joy
Last week during the Byron Bay Surf Festival, seven years after I first documented Tom Wegener ride his first olo in my film Seaworthy, I finally had a chance to take that same board into the sea beside Tom. It was pure joy feeling its weight & length rolling beneath me as I paddled it alongside my old mate, out around the point towards the same cape where Tom tackled the board in the film. These are some photos of the moments captured by my mate Mac.
Later that day, after my friends Dave Rastovich & Ryan Burch put on a masterful exhibition of riding this Seaworthy olo as well as Dave's olo that he rode in The Heart & The Sea, I had the chance to ride a few waves with the board with another good mate Brett Caller.
It was a moment of awakening, a peak experience in a surfing life that I'll remember for as long as I live: using everything I have ever learnt about riding all kinds of surf craft to trim as if along a razor's edge, as sixteen feet of curved timber silently cleaved the water beneath my feet as it did for surfers centuries ago.
I trembled with joy to feel that same glide experienced by the ancients that rode before us. I marvelled at the skill of Tom & Dave who each rode the olo in much heavier surf than I did. I quivered with thankfulness for a lifetime of surfing, filmmaking & friendship that had brought me to this singular moment. I wept with longing for Willow, my beloved lost daughter for whom Seaworthy was made.
It was an altogether unexpected cascade of pure emotion, a strange sacred space in time where I was given gifts of tears & of joy. Days later, I still do not have a grasp of what happened, let alone the words to describe it. I dare not even try.
Posted by Nathan Oldfield