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Andy CampbellBillabong Odyssey surfer Andy Campbell had to improvise his equipment to get in some serious big wave surfing time over the weekend in his home state of Tasmania. With winter looming the Billabong Odyssey is beginning to focus on the southern hemisphere so Campbell made the most of the weekend 20ft swell that hit the west coast of Tassie.
Campbell has now charged into contention for the Billabong XXL heaviest barrel award with one of the knarliest waves ever ridden in Australia.
The modern day “adventure man” didn’t have his proper tow-board in Tasmania used for big wave conditions. So the 29-year-old placed his own straps on a 6’8 short board and purchased some adhesive lead weights from a car wheel balancing auto shop and adhered them to the deck of his board.
“I got caught out by this swell because I didn't have a proper tow board in Tassie. The lead weights gave me nearly two kilos of extra weight for momentum. The board did the job but, it wasn't made to ride 20 foot monsters,” said Cambpell.
“I decided to ride the ski from other side of the bay because there was no wind. This takes another 45 minutes riding the ski. All up I bashed the ski an hour and a half just to get there. The swell was inconsistent, but the sets were big. My long time mate from Tassie, James "Polly" Polanowski towed me in on a borrowed ski.”
“There was one wave I rode was like nothing else I have experienced in Tassie before. The whole reef just mutated and there were lips and steps coming out of the face everywhere. I was just going straight down the whole entirety of the wave, just trying not to get sucked up the face. The water was draining over the contours of the reef like a giant whitewater rapid.”
“The reef is not perfectly flat so, the bottom of the wave was just really curvy and warped. The super low tide didn't help at all. I got smashed on probably 60 per cent of waves that day... mainly due to the board and because of the strength of the swell coupled with an extremely low tide.”
Billabong Odyssey movie is opening in cinemas Australia wide from March 25th but is screening in Victoria only from March 18th (tomorrow).
Mandy McKinnon