Tasmanian surfing - inspired by Stuart Gibson. Written by Emily Davey
Tasmania, it seems, is the next best thing in the surfing world, and rightly so. After years of being kept a very good secret, our waves, our environment, our island and, most importantly, our surfer's are being exposed for what they really are; classic ocean carvers. One thing that is consistently evident throughout our island state is the humility and extreme down to earth nature of the surfing community.
This is expressed through the wide appreciation of Tassie's natural beauty. Local photographer Stuart Gibson has captured this beauty time after time and is now sharing our state's best breaks with the world. His countless efforts often involve hours of travelling via car, boat and foot to these spectacular destinations. Yet it is his unique individual style, often involving the use of a fish eye lens, that sets Stuarts photos apart from the rest.
The passionate 22 year old has raised the profile of our top surfers - along with our state - immensely in the surfing realm and deserves all credit for his efforts. His work has been published nationally and is regularly found in one of Australia's top surfing magazines, Australia's Surfing Life. His photos have also appeared in an Aloha ad, in The Herald Sun, The Mercury and on various internet websites. Having surfed on and off his whole life, Stuart is comfortable in his ocean work environment and has accumulated knowledge of Tassie's surfers, top spots, and differing wave shapes. It is no wonder the freelance photographer is rapidly climbing to the top of his profession - despite only starting out with a camera 18 months ago.
Tasmania's most notorious break, Shipsterns Bluff, has been named in the top ten list of the world's most heaviest waves - it certainly isn't for the faint hearted. While Tassie's coastline is ruled with beach breaks, reefs, river mouths and points, bearing classic unique waves, Shipsterns is tucked away down south, allowing in only the true adventurer. A two hour drive (from Hobart) followed by a one and a half hour trek, and a big southern ocean groundswell is required in order to experience our island's greatest pearl.
Stuart captures the monstrous, short, thick, big, right reef break off Southern Tasmania quite accurately by regularly putting himself in the impact zone.