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Images from EP.1 of Matt Bromley's Risky Ripples series - EP.1 Slab Hunting in Australia


Aug 282017

Following the South African native to the riskiest waves on the planet is no easy feat, but filmmaker Andrew Kaineder has made it his mission to document Matt Bromley’s quest to find and surf the biggest and heaviest waves possible.

Check out the first of three episodes leading up to the release of the main film! Also scroll down for some words written by Matt himself about the highs and lows whilst living on the road.

Australia is where Risky Ripples was born. I flew over from an Indo mission last year to hang with Andrew (AK) and Russ Bierke, chasing a swell to an isolated, mysto slab down south with some of the local boys and Guy Mac. We arrived and it was the gnarliest thing I've ever seen. The wave comes out of deep water and bottoms out on a near dry piece of rock. The good ones looked like close outs, but the reef would bend them back on themselves, creating a mental, teahupoo-like west bowl.


If you wiped-out, you would ping pong ball through the rocks on the inside, eventually ending up dry-docked on the inside rock-pile.

In amongst all these elements, Ak was filming from the ski, floating pretty much on the lip of the end bowl and dodging the 15 foot wash throughs, capturing the action of the boys whipping into the most psycho pits. We were just doing our thing in the middle of nowhere, just a few swags tents on the cliff, no crowds, no spectators. It was epic, and I was so keen for more of these kind of missions.


Following this, AK and I teamed up earlier this year in hope of some similar action. I lined-up a month on the east coast, to film for Ep 1 of Risky Ripples. Aus is so central compared to South Africa. At the drop of a hat we could be in Indo, Tahiti, Fiji, Tasmania or simply chase a swell to the south or west coast. All of these locations have some of the best and riskiest waves on the planet, and we were ready; locked and loaded.


From SA, I pulled the trigger and caught a flight to Melbourne, on what looked like 5 days of cooking surf. When I landed in my Dubai transit, Russ had just drowned and been resuscitated, and four of the 5 days had turned onshore. BLOW OUT!

We then had a flat spell, so the local boys showed, photog, Ryan 'Chachi', and I, some swag camping with the kangaroos. I kept thinking that kangaroos are way better than our baboons back home which steal all our food.


I then got really sick for 5 days and all the boys were tuning me that I was only love sick. However, at the end of the trip, I found a tick in my neck, which proved I was suffering physically rather than emotionally.


“Aus is so central compared to South Africa. At the drop of a hat we could be in Indo, Tahiti, Fiji, Tasmania or simply just chase a swell to the South or West coast ”

The entire Aus campaign built up to our two days at the bombie. It's pretty scary when the success of your month-long stay culminates in only two sessions. You have to come out of your dry spell, and perform. From feeling pretty stale from no surfing with my tic bite fever, it was straight into mix; 12 foot plus, top-to-bottom drainers. Wow it was intimidating. Russ, off the bat was getting the craziest bombs, and Ryan Hipwood stroked into a 'below sea-level' screamer. I sat there, feeling pretty lost and intimidated by the waves. It took a good beating to knock some sense into me and rinse off the cobwebs. The waves continued to cook with light, pleasant, offshore winds, and I managed to snag a few good ones.


My highlight for the day, other than watching Russ going ham, was a solid one with a big wall. After sticking the drop, I pulled in behind a curtain, into full white out. I held on over the foam ball, as the barrel breathed, and opened up for me into this perfect, big barrel, which shot me into the channel. I was psyching on that one and Ak was in the spot!


The next day was really big and wild. I needed a bigger stick, feeling under-gunned on my 7'6 Kirk Bierke. The ocean looked angry, and a few of the sets were tow-size. I watched for a bit from the channel, trying to get my mind over how steep the take-off's were. As I got off the ski, about 15 strokes later, this mega chunk of water came my way. It grew out of the channel and looked so heavy. The wave moved under everyone and I spun, and chased it close in on the reef. I remember paddling down the wave, as the water started pulling me backwards, back up the face. I flattened my chest and leant forward to get some downward moment, hoping the thing wasn't going to buck me into the air. Then my rail engaged, as I dropped down, vertically, and bottom turned into one of the biggest barrels of my life. I stood up in this giant bowl and came flying out on froth level 10.


The last few days were spent venturing through Bondi and getting involved in some Aus tradition for Anzac day. I couldn't help but think how crazy Australia's coastline is. I saw so many world-class set-ups that just needed a little swell.


Although we got a little skunked for the most part, I flew back to the homeland, stoked on a few big memories and some good clips for Risky Ripples ep 1.