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2020 Tropicsurf Annual



Intro written by Founder & Director of Tropicsurf, Ross Phillips

I started surfing because my grandfather lived near the beach. I rode a white coolite foamie and the tummy rashes were brutal - the ultimate test of my resolve. 

My first fiberglass board, a 6'8" single fin from Scotland, cost me $20. (How that made its way to the Sunshine Coast of Australia could make for an interesting story.) My first day riding it resulted in a head full of stitches (from nobody else's board) and a trip to the hospital with my dad. 

Not to be deterred, I persisted and angled across my first green face shortly after. It came easily, thanks to the practice on my foamie with its lounge-cushion rails and one-inch skeg. But I was instantly infatuated with this giddy rush, and there was never any question I'd henceforth dedicate much of my life to replicating that feeling. 

So I've often asked myself why? Why this obsession? Why do we surf with such vigour? Why are we so fanatical? In this, our 'Why We Surf' issue we sought expert opinions to help understand or justify what drives us all: Kai Lenny, Nick Carroll, Jock Serong, Sam Bleakley, Matt Warshaw, Josie Prendergast, Harrison Roach, CJ Hobgood, and some of our enthusiastic clients. 

Woody Gooch is our featured photographer because he perfectly captures the mood. We also have a piece on friendships (another nice derivative of the surfing lifestyle) by surfer/novelist Serong and our editor Phil Jarratt, an Aquatech photo feature from the Maldives, Hotdogging in Sri Lanka and frontier reconnaissance from Papua. 

Our list of the nine best surf spots to seek solace in nature sums up this issue nicely for me. The reasons why we surf are multifarious for all of us. But it's a fascinating discussion, and it makes this my favourite issue so far. 

120 pages.

PUBLISHER: Ross Phillips 

EDITOR: Phil Jarratt


CONTRIBUTIONS: Ross Phillips, Scott Gillies, Kai Lenny, CJ Hobgood,Louise Banning, Woody Gooch, Nick Carroll, Andrew Shields, Matt Warshaw, Josie Prendergast, Harrison Roach, Nathan Oldfield, Derek Morrison, Jock Serong, Bill Rhee, Luke McKenzie, Kathy Thomas, Sam Bleakley, Erwann Lameignere,, Sean Scott, Dick Hoole, Steve Cooney, Zak Noyle, Tom Servais, Izaac Bromley, Cait Miers, Ryan Pernofski, Nolan Omura, Eli Jacobs, Firewire, Mohamed Naveez