Win a trip to Vanuatu!

SurfStitch has teamed up with Vanuatu Tourism, Air Vanuatu and Surfside Vanuatu to offer one lucky winner and mate a one week trip to paradise. Only a short flight from Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne – Vanuatu is so close but feels like a world away!

Don’t miss your chance to have the holiday of a lifetime and enter now:

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One For The Loggers

We all know that the whole of Australia has recently been on the pump with waves. From epic superbank sessions, to some stand-out and solid days at Cape Fear, Australia has had no lack of swell over the past few weeks and one thing is for sure, it has been fantastic! Two hours North of the Gold Coast saw no difference, with the points of Noosa firing with perfect mechanical waves, delivering the goods to local and travelling surfers for days on end.

Get ready to watch Noosa’s best longboarders have more fun than ever out in the line-up, as Keahi de Aboitiz brings us this new clip shot with, you guessed it, a drone.

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Well last I left off Lauren and I were still in Munich and it was the day before my birthday! Now we’re we’ve finished with Germany and Austria and have now entered Italy and are in Venice. I’ll fill you in!

Because I know you’re dying to know; my birthday was awesome. Lauren and I made the trek out on the train to a place called Erding (about 40 mins away on train) as we were told by a random Russian roomie that there was an indoor water park there. So naturally we googled it and found our way to this wonderland. And let me tell you – it was glorious. As I said previously, there was the worlds longest waterslide (which we went on multiple times) and the slide that can reach up to 72kmph. Unfortunately (I was secretly pleased) women aren’t allowed on this slide- we decided ‘fertility issues’ was the reason if someone’s legs were to become uncrossed… Anywhoo all the rest of the slides were fun too. The place was heated and most of the slides were free for all – ie minimal waiting time as everyone went at once. Dangerous? Probably. Fun? Definitely! We paid 21€ for four hours and it was worth it! Included is access to two areas of slides plus showers, changing facilities and hair dryers!

The evening of my birthday was spent having too much fun at the hostel bar with many free drinks, resulting in an unpleasant 8am departure the next morning. There were many people on the bus to Wildschonau Valley (small valley in Austria) feeling less than savoury. Unfortunately one even had a bit on an “outburst” on the bus, that the poor guide had to mop up. Smeller delightful at the front of the bus!

After being free from the bus, we found ourselves at our next destination! Aaaand it was pouring and cold, and we felt ill. Luckily we were staying at a small ski lodge, similar in feeling to Grunau, so a few of is just lazed around watching a few movies all afternoon and also playing monopoly (I lost dramatically). Unfortunately I kept on getting more and more sick and figured out that this was no longer self inflicted, but what would turn into the full blown flu! Boring! Long story short it was horrible (I definitely made a teary call home for some sympathy) and I am pretty sure I slept about 80 hours over the four days we were there. Fun for Lauren! Luckily we met some lovely new people; Dani, Brent, Claire and Jess – so Lauren wasn’t a complete hermit!

Between feeling ill and sleeping I actually managed to have a good afternoon and go paragliding! It was a pretty good deal – 95€ – by far the cheapest we’ve found so far, and definitely worth it! So beautiful over the Austrian Alps! Sadly, that pretty much sums up my time in Wildschonau – sorry I can’t help much more but I could barely stand! But I would still recommend costing it – it’s a stunning part of Austria!photoimageAnywhoo, after wallowing in self pity for four days, we hopped on a loooonnnggg bus ride into Venice!! Yaaaaay Italy! We spent our first full day here wandering around with Dani, Brent, Jess and Claire and we got absolutely lost. We managed to stumble across Rialto Bridge and Saint Marks Square, but I’m pretty sure we walked the entire island multiple times in a afford to find our bus stop! But not complaining – it’s incredible here! Exactly as I imagined it! More beautiful canals, delicious gelati and gondolas everywhere (we’re doing one tomorrow as a group of 6 so it’s cheap!). Depressingly my appetite hasn’t really come back yet so I can’t stuff myself full of carbs and gelati as much as I would want, but maybe it’s a good thing as we will be in bikinis all next week and it’s going to bad enough as it is!imageAnd so far that’s all we have achieved!  We will still be in Venice for a few more days so I can give better tips in the next post!

Until then! :)

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Featured Song


Danny Harley’s solo project, ‘The Kite String Tangle’ has produced a track and recently an E.P. that has seen his musical career take off significantly. His electronic meets earthly pop style has intrigued the ears of many all over the world, and there is still so much more to come from the Brisbane musician. ‘Given The Chance’ is one of Harley’s better known tracks and its amazing and unique sounds take this week’s Featured Song at SurfStitch!dff60_1299847Ranked at #19 on the 2013 Triple J Hottest 100 and now having over 1 million plays on Soundcloud, the track is infectious. Its electronic pop vibes are what’s keeping listeners hungry for more from Danny Harley, who has now proven himself with live performances at Falls Festival and the South By Southwest Festival in the United States. The deep, warm vocals give this song a strong meaning and set the mood to the likes of Chet Faker and Bonobo, which certainly is not the worst feedback a new artist can receive from critics.

Harley brings us a style totally different with ‘Given The Chance’, the popping samples combined with the low key electronics bring every aspect together perfectly. Whether at are having a barbeque with a group of friends, or snuggled up on the couch on a rainy day, ‘Given The Chance’ will help set any atmosphere!

‘Given The Chance’ is available for listening on the Vessel E.P. now on iTunes and on CD. Can’t wait? Enjoy the track below!

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Cape Fear: Done And Dusted

While it was not the swell or conditions we had been anticipating, Red Bull Cape Fear at the infamous ‘Ours’ break in Sydney went ahead in 4-6 foot conditions on Sunday. The invite-only competition saw 16 of the world’s best big wave surfers take on one of the heaviest waves in the world. Each battle was man-on-man, with the winner of every 40-minute event taking home a cool $10,000 (not too bad for getting barreled a few times and sharing the break with only one other fellow surfer!) Then again, some of us would be asking for a lot more to face off with those heavy right-handers that break onto a barnacle infested rock slab in only a few feet of water! After months of waiting, Contest Director and Cape Fear competitor, Mark Mathews made the call for the competition to be held on Sunday, which just happened to be the very last day of the already extended waiting period. With huge swells hitting the break on the Saturday, it was unfortunate they didn’t hang around. Despite the lack of the 10-12 foot swell the competitors were hoping for, there was no shortage of barrels and wipe-outs.Cape5Cape3It was an Australian clean sweep over the American competitors with Richie Vas, Kirk Flintoff, Koby Abberton and Jesse Polock claiming victories at their local break. Laurie Towner and Dean Morrison also proved unstoppable at the grinding right-hander slab.

One of the more memorable moments was Koby Abberton taking a fall on the rocks before entering the water. He was swept off the shelf and into the water in front of the audience, judges and other fellow surfers. The comic embarrassment was soon laughed off and he cruised to victory over good friend, Bruce Irons.

Abberton aside, there were plenty more positive highlights throughout the day. Ryan ‘Hippo’ Hipwood’s opening wave was without a doubt one of the best. Jamie O’Brien also pushed the boundaries by taking off switch foot – something he is known for at his home break at Pipeline.
Cape2cape0We are excited to see the Cape Fear competition return next year with the same group of big name surfers and hopefully some new faces too! We’re already praying for bigger swells, so the full potential of Cape Fear can be experienced by all!

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After many months of anticipation and excitement, the call has been made to hold the Red Bull Cape Fear competition this Sunday, the 31st August. As the waiting period comes to an end, local hero and big wave charger Mark Mathews officially made the call to hold the competition this weekend, as a big swell is forecast to hit the rock shelf at the break on Sydney’s southern wave, known as ‘Ours’.ShortyThe wave, which sits off the edge of Botany Bay in Sydney, will see a 8-10 foot swell unload on its rock shelf bottom over the weekend, perfect for the Cape Fear competition. The event hosted by Red Bull invites 14 of the worlds best big wave chargers to take on the wave of Cape Fear. The wave has a sharp rock and reef bottom and breaks only meters away from a cliff face adding to the danger and intensity, aspects that these guys are all well aware of.

“There’s no wave in the world from six to 10 feet that is heavier or more dangerous” Mathews says. “Deep water swell pitch on a super shallow ledge that’s covered with razorblade barnacles and then it breaks only 10-15 metres from the cliff face. If you fall off and don’t hit the bottom, chances are you’re going to get washed in to that cliff face. There are plenty of dangers and only few willing to navigate them.CapefearThe competing surfers will battle the reef break in two formats. Tow-in assistance from a jet-ski will be one element of competition, while paddle in is another. With only 1 day of competition, will it be the local lads who prove who’s boss? Or an international name? Only time will tell!

The wave itself only comes to life three or four time a year, making the event just a little more special for spectators and surfers alike. As the call has now been made, the invited surfers from around the globe will descend on Sydney’s southern beaches for a chance to ride some of the heaviest waves in the world. Some popular names include Jamie O’Brien, Ryan Hipwood, Bruce Irons and a collection of local surfers, including Bra Boy Koby Abberton.

After all that excitement at the Billabong Pro Tahiti over the past week, it’s time for Australia to once again prove how good our waves are! Stay up to date with the Red Bull Cape Fear competition here on the SurfStitch Blog to ensure you miss none of the action!

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The Hilltop Hoods trio are back and better than ever after recently releasing their new album ‘Walking Under The Stars’. This album delivers on all levels, though from a quite different and mature aspect of their careers. The Hoods members DJ Debris, MC Suffa and MC Pressure have all shown their maturity in this album, demonstrating that they have grown out of the party anthems and grown into a wiser, more collaborative Aussie hip hop outfit.HH1The album which was released on August 8th features many up and comings that give another dimension to this already awesome album. Under the labels Golden Era Records and Universal Music, ‘Walking Under The Stars’ has already seen a huge success, topping the ARIA album charts for over two weeks. The group’s recent performance at Splendour in the Grass also replicates the growth and development of the trio, showcasing who they are today. ‘Walking Under The Stars’ is an album that really tells a story and it is this engaging aspect that has listeners all over the globe so hooked.

The excitement and lyrics have been strong elements when keeping listeners engaged and helping understand the journey that the Hoods have embarked on. The trio know how to not only create tracks, but make those tracks great. These Australian musical geniuses have included so many different riffs, rhythms, sounds and samples to create the hooks so unique to the Hilltop Hoods, and it’s these that makes the album so appealing.HH‘Won’t Let you Down Ft. Maverick Sabre’ has created the most hype so far, the raw chorus has allowed for an already amazing to somehow become even better. The album features the likes of Maverick Sabre, Drapht, Dan Sultan and Aaradhna, all helping to add other unique dimensions to their chosen tracks. This album also continues the lyrical conversation that Hilltop Hoods are having with everyone of their fans. By far the darkest and deepest song within the album, ‘Through the Dark’, demonstrates how Pressure’s journey is continuing to get stronger with life on the road. This personal track, holds a deep and meaningful conversation with his son and it’s truly a beautiful song. To add to the excitement, the Hilltop crew have also locked in a nationwide tour starting in just over a week. Check their official page for tour details and see them live in your city!

The album is available for purchase via digital download, vinyl or on CD. Don’t miss your chance to get into some of the best new music from the group referred to as ‘Australian hip hop royalty’. Enjoy one of our favourite tracks off the Hilltop Hoods new album, ‘Walking Under The Stars’ entitled ‘Won’t Let you Down.’

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you’d know about the amazing waves the Gold Coast has seen since Monday. With the return of the ten second plus barrel rides off the Superbank and other nearby point breaks, adrenaline has been running high amongst visiting and local surfers. You know, the unique excitement that only comes when paddling into a perfect wave out in the line-up to battling the ups and downs of the crazy crowd.

Despite the GC’s reputation, It hasn’t been all about the point breaks. The beaches down the coast have also been producing the goods, with next to know one out to bump shoulders with. To score a perfect a-framing peak with a bunch of buddies is a pretty rare occasion at the Gold Coast. However, the past week has proved it’s not impossible!

Here are some of our favourite shots from the past week. It’s nothing but sunshine and perfect waves! Life on the coast doesn’t sound too bad, does it?!Corey1jye2Corey4Corey2Phil2jye1jye3SS1cody3cody1corey3cody2

Imagery:Jye McDonald, Corey Wyatt, Phil Gallagher, Cody Black, Sean Scott

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Feature: Vans x Star Wars Collaboration

Vans are back with a brand new collaboration, this time taking us back to a galaxy far, far away with their Star Wars Collection. The team at Vans are known for their creativity and unique collaborations, and the amazing Star Wars Collection is without a doubt our favourite yet. Starwars18-18-2014 5-19-10 PMThe artwork is drawn from the original Star Wars Trilogy and features original designs, with all your favourite characters. From the Yoda Sk8-Hi Reissue model featuring a Hawaiian print, to the Stormtrooper Bandana Authentic, Vans bring something special in each of design.8-18-2014 5-09-23 PMStarwars-LilyMelrose8-18-2014 5-28-01 PM8-18-2014 5-26-01 PMvansproduct

Vans Classic Slip On – A New Hope | Vans Sk8 Hi Reissue – Yoda Aloha | Vans Authentic Stormtrooper Bandana

The Vans X Star Wars collaboration also sees mens and womens clothing and accessories in the collection. Be sure to check out the whole Collection on SurfStitch!

*Imagery by Vans/Unknown

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I last left off when we were about to head up to the Eagles Nest for the day. We did our trip up to the Eagles Nest via a tour but I think we were ripped off – so my suggestion would be to do it by yourself. Might be a little more difficult but you’ll save some money (every euro counts!). Anyway, it was pretty spectacular getting up to the Eagles Nest. For those who don’t know (I didn’t!), the Eagles Nest was given to Hitler for his 50th birthday, and sits at an altitude of 1834 metres above sea level (awkward because Hitler was afraid of heights) with a breathtaking view of the surrounding Bavarian Alps. I say breathtaking because it was so cold when Lauren an I were up there, the wind quite literally took our breath away. I again recommend scarves, jumpers, beanies and gloves! A few friends of ours went up in shorts and thongs! Crazy.

To get up to the house, you need to catch a specially built bus to make the journey up the Kehlstein road, which takes you 700m up in altitude. You then board the original brass elevator that Hitler and co would have used, which takes you up another 124m in altitude in about 10 seconds. They jam pack about 50 people in this elevator, but apparently Hitler only allowed 6 people at a time in the elevator due to his claustrophobia, and the fact that if they got stuck, the service elevator that would get them out could only carry 6 people. Hitler: Claustrophobic, afraid of heights AND a vegetarian. Who knew? Anyway, once at the top, the views are amazing. You can see (cloud cover dependent) 360 degree views all the way to the Königssee – a lake nestled in between two mountains. Whilst it takes a little while to get to, you probably only need max an hour up the top, so this can be a half day trip if you’re pushed for time. Be sure when you’re at the top of the mountain waiting for the lift, to tell the tickets desk what time you want to come back down – they can only fit so many people on the shuttle buses so you need to register your intended return time. If you need to fill in some time, don’t worry as there is a restaurant in the house.image

Our last morning was spent making our way out to the Red Bull Hangar 7, which is a collection of planes, formula one cars, helicopters and other various things that Red Bull has sponsored. Between getting off at the wrong bus stop and Lauren realising that she had left her passport in the room we had just checked out of, it wasn’t the best journey out there. On top of that, our friend Ingrid had said she had an amazing breakfast at the restaurant there, so we followed their lead and got brekky out there. Bad call. Never have I paid so much money for the smallest amount of food ever. It was a breakfast for ants – it needed to be at least 3 times the size! While it was still good, it was over priced. Apparently the waffles are the way to go if you’re keen to head out there. The hangar itself was cool but nothing to write home about. If you’re pressed for time in Salzburg, I wouldn’t bother.

We hopped on the bus that afternoon and arrived in Munich at about 4pm.  A bunch of our friends were already in Munich so we were thinking of having dinner, but instead we signed up for the free beer garden pub crawl offered by our hostel. Visits 3 beer gardens, and we received a free beer and shot at the hostel. Excellent value for money (haha….). Anyway what was initially just going to be dinner and drinks turned into a huge night. At the Augustiner Keller beer garden Lauren and I experienced our first pork knuckle. It was huge, and it was delicious!!! I have no idea how I managed to finish it, especially considering the size of the beer glasses (1 L, I mean seriously!), but we will definitely go back for more! Fun night, involving beer, pork knuckle, and the ripped pants of a friend of ours (enjoy your mention Dexter).

After a slow morning the next day, Lauren and I walked around the central area of Munich for a while. We walked through the Englischer Gartens – which is larger than Central Park in New York. The gardens are beautiful, and after being warned multiple times that German people (mainly men) enjoying stripping their kit off in the parks, we finally saw some naked people just relaxing in the park. We’ll, I say people, but it was just one man. A very old man. But hey, good on him. In these gardens is also the man-made wave upon which locals take turns surfing on. It’s a bit strange at first, but you do get drawn into it and end up cheering along those who manage to pull off some tricks and not take themselves out on the brick walls on either side of them. Within the gardens is yet another beer garden worth checking out – the Chinesischer Turm.

Something we have noticed lately is that the people of Munich (and probably the rest of the Bavarian region) actually wear lederhosen and dirndl (female equivalent) on a day to day basis. Initially it was a bit funny, but it is quite nice seeing the locals in traditional dress. What is less nice is the fact that the people of Munich (well we’ve seen this all over Europe really) is the fashion faux pas of DOUBLE DENIM!!!!! And jeans and joggers is no longer just a party theme over here. Neither of which I am ok with, for the record.

Our Monday evening was spent with a group of friends: Kate, Cam and Will, at the Hofbräuhaus in the city centre. It’s a huge beer hall and if you’re going to only visit one beer hall whilst in Munich (you’re silly if you only visit one!), then this one should be on your short list. It has a great atmosphere, excellent food, fun live music, and of course – the beer is delicious! The Hofbräu original was especially yummy. It is a bit more touristy than some of the other places, making prices for beer are a bit more expensive, but only slightly. It’s a huge hall and finding a table is a bit of a challenge, especially if you have a bigger group, but just stalk people until you get one and you’ll be fine! Getting the attention of the waitresses can be a bit difficult too, but just don’t be afraid to go up to them and tell them you’re ready to order, or else you may never get the chance!

We spent Tuesday on a tour that took us out to the Bavarian country side to the Neuschwanstein Castle – which was built by (for) King Ludwig II. The history surrounding the castle and the family is very interesting – but would make for a very long post, so if you’re interested – good old Wikipedia will lend you a helping hand! We went through Mikes Bike Tours and it was a great day. We left at about 9am and didn’t get back until close to 9pm. The trip includes a very easy and leisurely bike ride to Swan Lake, lunch at a restaurant near the castle (not included), extras such as a slide on the tobbogan ride (aka Alpine Slide), or even paragliding off the nearby Bavarian Alps (at the cost of 145€ or else I would have definitely done it!), all before going up to the Castle and going inside. For those who don’t know, rumour has it that this is the castle that Walt Disney based the Disney castle off – you can definitely see similarities. Anyway, it was a bit of a childhood dream come true today as we (essentially) visited the Disney Castle, went to Swan Lake (the similarities are piling up), and one of the wall painting/artworks inside was very bambi-esque. In my mind, this more than solidifies that this is in fact THE Disney Castle. Case closed.

Just to make our day more awesome/magical – our tour guide, Brad, actually (no joke) attended the German Academy of Witchcraft and Wizardry for two years. This is also known as the German Academy of Magic, and yes it is a real place. He blew our minds with amazing card tricks (probably so good because he is a Wizard). So in short our day involved entering the magical world of Disney with a wizard for a tour guide. Excellent day.  In all seriousness it is a great tour – a little on the pricey side but much easier than trying to get out there by yourself. I also heard only good things about the city bike tour around Munich with the same company – for those interested.image

We only have one day left in Munich, and it’s yours truly’s birthday! Our plan of action involves a sleep in and then checking out one of Europes largest indoor water parks – there is a slide there that is over 350 metres long! AND one where you can reach speeds of up to 70kmph….exciting! We head off to Wildschonau Valley on Wednesday so next update will be from there.

Until then!

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