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When the wave breaks there, don't be here: The story of Laurie Towner

When the wave breaks there, don't be here: The story of Laurie Towner

Affectionately known as the ‘big three’ the surf industry’s biggest players Rip Curl (Torquay, Vic), Billabong (Gold Coast, Qld) Quiksilver (Torquay, Vic) all have their roots in Australia. The companies grew from the back of cars and garages, servicing a small but growing surf population during the 1960s and early 1970s with clothes and surf hardware. By the late 1970s surf culture had become a global phenomenon and the fascination surrounding surf culture led to unprecedented growth. By the late 1990s the industry’s value was estimated at $10 billion. Fast forward to the late naughties, the industry bubble was ready to burst. The global financial crisis of 2008, an over-saturation of surf culture in the marketplace and the rise of online retailers all contributed to the downfall. For core surfers the industry had lost its way. It was brought to its knees and is yet to recover. As in most cases when industries fail, those who lose their jobs adapt their skill set and apply their tools to a new industry. But for the surfers whose job it was to surf to market the multi-billion dollar industry, the job openings were slim. There isn’t a big market for surfing critical, high-risk mountains of moving water outside the surf industry. One surfer who was riding the wave and was plunged into the depths as the industry fell apart is Laurie Towner, regarded by many as the greatest big wave surfer on the planet. Laurie, like many former pro surfers works a trade and surfs between shifts. Cover Image by Timothy Bonython For more from ABC News, click here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/ Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/abcnews Like us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/abcnews.au Subscribe to us on YouTube: http://ab.co/1svxLVE Follow us on Instagram: http://instagram.com/abcnews_au
A DREAM TO SHARE

A DREAM TO SHARE

From A DREAM COME TRUE ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAs10W9KuwA ) to A DREAM TO SHARE Natxo Gonzalez is back to surf last year’s crazy right with some of his closest friends. It might sound corny, but it is true: sharing is caring. When Natxo first found this wave he was by himself and even though he charges the biggest waves on the planet (now also on the WSL Big Wave World Tour), it’s altogether different when you have to surf hollow 8 foot sand spitting barrels exploding in ankle deep water a couple feet from shore hundreds of kilometres away from the nearest hospital. Says Natxo: “When I was here for the first time with my good friend and filmer Jon Aspuru, I was really scared at times. The wave breaks in really shallow water, we were all alone. After catching a couple of waves, I stopped surfing. Not because I was tired or the waves stopped, it was simply too dangerous. There was no one around, it is a long drive to the nearest town and an even longer one to the nearest hospital. So I decided to take some of my best friends on the next big swell and it was completely different. Not only was the angle of the swell a little easier, to have your best friends around makes you feel more safe and charge harder. And as they say: sharing is caring. It’s just the best thing in the world if you can share perfect waves with your best friends.” Follow Natxo on his next discoveries and on the WSL Big Wave World Tour: @natxogonzalez1 www.natxogonzalez.com Surfers: Aritz Aranburu / @aritz_aranburu Adrian Fernandez / @adrofernandez Aletxu Gironi / @aletxugironi Filmed and edited by Jon Aspuru / @jonbakio Music: GYOM - Bring it on