We’re in Brazil for the Saquarema Pro. Waves for the first day too small, swell predictions for later in the week looks good. (Scored the photos from the contest site and internet)
I caught up with Seth Hulley during the Oakley Pro Junior at North Stradbroke island. Seth is the Oakley team manager in Australia and son of sixties guitarist Tony Hulley (“The Diamonds” and later “The Rhodesians”) who rubbed shoulders with the Beatles and other great bands of that era.
Shaun: So, your dad was a sixties rock star….what made you choose surfing ahead of music?
Seth: Well, my parents definitely didn’t come from a water background, I was born in Zimbabwe and I moved down to the coast when I was about 5 years old, and I just like what I saw. We lived right on the beach in Umhglanga and I decided to start on a boggey-board and I got my first surfboard a couple months after that and it all started from there.
Recently, Derek Hynd (Davo article) and Dion Agius (on Dion.TV) complained that surfing is losing it’s “Rock Star” status – back in your day you guys had a lot of crazy characters, like the Martin Potters, Matt Archbolds ect. Are the modern surfers more focused, or do the media/industry shun characters, or what do you think …?
Ja, I agree with what you’re saying, there were a lot less guys doing the tour back then, even before my time there were only 90 – 100 guys doing the tour and when I came along it probably increased to about 300, and there were definitely more characters, more guys going wild, but with surfing as professional as what it is today guys have toned it down, got more focused. Gone are the days where you can go out and have a big night and win your heat the next day, its just not going to happen. Back in my day , the guys weren’t as into their training schedules as much as they are today, and there wasn’t as much money involved so the guys were a lot more relaxed and if they wanted to have a big party and surf their heat the next day, it was no big deal.
Do you think we will still see some characters in surfing or do you think your generation was the last of the crazy characters?
No I definitely think we will see some characters in surfing, because its an extension of someone’s personality and I think seeing those characters adds a lot of colour to the sport, otherwise its just the same old boring thing. And if you look at the guys like John McEnroe, people always want to check out what they’re going to do next and see how they will react to winning or loosing. People want to see that sort of behaviour, it makes sport interesting.
Lastly, you won the J’Bay pro twice, how much do you miss that wave ?
I miss J’Bay a hell of a lot. We have the Superbank, but its just so crowded. J’Bay, to me, is still by far the best wave in the world, the wave is top to bottom, from beginning to end. I’m still South African through-and-through so, you know, I miss my family, friends and home.
Thanks Seth, appreciate your time.
No problem, bru. Have a good one.
Myself and Duckster’s “Rock Star Effort” on the Suffer’s Paradise jol meekly fizzled out last night when we were both bankrupt after just two beers each (R42.00/beer !!!)…….it’s just not easy to act crazy without Fuel !!!!