Direction l'australie à la découverte d'un grand passionné de kneeboard et aussi un grand artiste!Mister Rob Slater à vous la parole!
Could you describe you in few line?
I was a late starter at 35, I had never surfed before a mate dragged me on to a kneeboard at a picnic on the beach..Up until than Id spent 25 years diving the coast. Id always watched surfing and thought how good it was with everyone jumping up on the same waves sharing, well I soon found out sharing wasn't accepted the first time I tried to share a wave.
When did you started kneeboard and why?
But I soon learnt and became hooked about 2 years later when by sheer luck I caught my first full running long beach barrel...couldn't get the smile off my face for days!!
Where do you live?! is it a good place?
I live on the South East Coast of Oz near Huskisson, It's a fantastic place, amazing scenery, and a great variety of waves.
What do you like in kneeboard?
I like all forms of surfing. Kneeboarding just happened to be what I tried first and couldn't see why I shouldn't keep doing it. No one hassled me because of it, quite the opposite, most people were pretty stoked to see someone still riding one. I didn't know much about surfing history, I could have drove over the legends and I wouldn't have known who they were and I knew absolutely nothing about kneeboarding, I didn't see another kneeboarder for about three years after Id started...I thought for a while it was just me and my mate Bob riding them.
Then I ran into Stapo and for better and worse my time in kneeboarding changed from that point on.
Island Slalom Tour is a series of skateboarding contests on tiny french islands where nobody has ever skated! We are as Captain cook at Hawaii in 1600! Except we have now motor boats and concrete roads... What do you think about this?
If concrete and motor boats and skate contests make you happy and keeps a smile on your face and your friends, go for it. guess you need concrete to skate so i guess that's ok !!
Describe your biggest Wipe Out!
My Biggest wipe out, well I'm not a big wave rider by any means, but I had a pretty hard time at this place called Lobster Island, A barreling, shallow amazing but fickle wave when it's on.
But this day I miss judged the size from the shore, it has a couple of rocks at the end of the ride called the Tombstones "for good reason' I got caught inside by a couple of monster sets breaking on the shallow reef, I was smashed, dragged underwater tumbling around and pin balled through the rocks, I broke two fins out, one snapped in half, ripped the back off the board, compressed the rails and then when i thought it was all over another wider set decided to finish the job and pin balled me through the rocks again, depositing me completely over the other side of the surrounding rocks and finally out of harms way.
My mate Stapo caught it all on film. his commentary is hilarious.
What are friends for!!!
One morning, you wake up ,You arrive in your kitchen and suddenly,you see a genius in wetsuit! He say:” Hey Darren, I can offer you 2 magic gifts! What do you want?
2 gifts, what would I want!!
One gift would do,.... to do it all again, of course with a few small changes here and there, but not much.
How would you define a good session ?
I have had plenty of good sessions but the ones I wish i could repeat are with Chayne, Troy and my son Mark, we had so many great experiences together, I will fade away a happy old man.
If you were stranded on a desert island in iroise sea that already has a plentiful resource of skateboarding what three things would you bring?
A helmet, a padded suit and a doctor, skating scares the crap out of me!!
What you don't like in kneeboard?
Watching kneeboarders in contests surfing weak small waves, looks really ugly and should be banned!! I think there's about two people in the world I have seen that can surf small weak waves on a kneeboard and make them look ok..!!
What is the best kneeboarder for you?
That's a hard one, Id enjoy anywhere that has a long walling reasonably sucky right hander that's not to big, not to crowded and warm...any suggestions!!
Lots of kneeborders are great in different situations, Kneeboarders are so diverse. I love watching Simon surf, power and speed, Kyle's flow, Baden can find and ride a barrel big and small anywhere, Parksy, balls of brass, Macca jams it sweet, Gallagher is one of those that can make a small wave look good, Chayne, for his air antics and smooth flow, Tom backer from the USA, humble great surfer, should be more like him, so many others have blown me away over the years, I guess my all time favorites would have to be Troy, doesn't kneeboard anymore but was one of the only kneeborders you just couldn't predict what the hell he was going to do next, as a photographer of the sport you just couldn't wait for him to catch a wave, he will really hate me for mentioning him, but he's a part of my history and lastly but not least by any means my son Mark, surfs about three times a year, doesn't get caught up in the hype, and bullshit and still rips.
You make stand up now!!What is differeny with kneeboard?
Don't know where that bit of info came from but I don't make standup boards, never have, never will, I don't know where a standup board starts or finishes and don't want to know either.
I have dropped out of the loop a lot these days, I still make the odd board if someone can find me, I have stressed over every board I have ever made, wondering if they work, feels great when someone says they love the board though.
I keep it simple, I don't really go in for a lot of the over thought out designs, reverse v's, twisted tails, etc etc, I don't even know what they are and I'm not interested either, I just keep it simple, I have my own Ideas what makes a decent board, It has always worked pretty well for me.
I guess I started late and had other passions before kneeboarding and i have other passions now that have taken me away from it somewhat...but the draw of the ocean runs in your veins so I recently made myself a new board, and I'm ready to hook up with my surfing obsessed mates again.
Do you have sponsors?
I have a board sponsor, I don't think he's made me a decent board yet, but I live in hope and get them for cost price, I reckon it's good deal.
A last Word ?
Keep up the good work,,I like what your doing..
Woollamia Signs and Artwork.
Custom made Drift Kneeboards.
Photographic surfing site: http://crystalcylinders.blogspot.com.au/
Work blog site: drift2540.blogspot.com
Rock and Roll Blog site:shoalhavenrockandroll.net