Surfing, dogs and good waves for Noosa Festival of Surfing

THE Laguna Real Estate Noosa Festival of Surfing kicked off at the weekend, attracting hundreds of spectators and competitors to Noosa Main Beach.

The traditional ho'okupu opening ceremony marked the official launch of the festival in the bright sunshine of the afternoon, with the traditional paddle-out dedicated to the late, great surfing pioneer and Noosa local, Bill Wallace, who sadly passed away earlier in the year.


While waves presented a perfect canvas for longboarders, the bodysurfers' fitness was tested, with the gentle waves providing little push. Little wonder that current world champion, Dave Ford blitzed the first heat, but perennial visitor, Jae Marr was hot on his heals.

With the legendary Mark Cunningham commentating on proceedings, onlookers were offered an expert insight into the art of bodysurfing. Russel Pollard, another festival regular, stood out in round three, though outshone by Adam Lees who took the win, one of the few competitors surfing without the added assistance of a handplane.

Those who caught the dog surfing action on Saturday afternoon might have seen the original dog surfer Chris de Aboitiz on a bizarre piece of watercraft.

With his pup Luca on board, Mr de Aboitiz rode the waves on a hydrofoil board, which elevates the surfboard out of the water on unbroken waves.

"We like to always up the level with surfing and stand up paddle boarding, so this is the hydrofoil dog surfing," Mr de Aboitiz said.

"You can ride on the shoulder, not on the pocket. So it works for small swells.

"It's opening up new places to surf because it doesn't depend on the swell."

Part of the celebrations was the unveiling of the NevHouse, a sustainable modular house made from recycled rubbish.

Inventor Nev Hyman, a surfer from the Gold Coast, said the project combines his love of the ocean and wanting to give back to others.

"I love the ocean, I've seen over the last 40 years the degradation of the ocean, especially in Indonesia and South Pacific," Mr Hyman said.

"We have the solution to take all of the plastic from the environment and turn it in to the components for NevHouse."

The NevHouse uses different kinds of plastics to create panelling to build the structure, and can be powered off the grid with renewable energy.

The Festival of Surfing continues all week.