As an innovative Australian company that champions and works directly with indigenous artists and communities, Headsox - for the second year in a row - is delighted to again have the opportunity to support and co-sponsor the upcoming Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles to be held at Bells Beach, Victoria, May 20-22, 2016.
Our continued involvement with the Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles (IST) goes hand-in-hand with our ongoing commitment to showcasing and supporting individual indigenous artists and communities via our flagship product range, and as signatories to the Indigenous Art Code.
At Headsox we see this unique annual surfing event as a magnificent opportunity to support indigenous surfing and culture, as well as a meaningful and practical way of ‘giving back’ to the broader indigenous community.
In the lead up to this year’s event, we recently caught up with indigenous surfer, IST competitor and co-sponsor Surfing Victoria’s Indigenous Aquatics Officer Anthony Hume as well as 2014 IST Open Champion Otis Carey. It didn’t take us long to start feeling as enthusiastic and stoked about the event and indigenous surfing as they are!
Over the last few years - and particularly after the rebirth of the IST in 2012 - Anthony has been stoked to watch indigenous surfing go from strength to strength across the country as well as around his base on the Victorian Surf Coast.
For Anthony (Humey), the Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles are as much about community and getting together to share waves, talk story, make new friends and catch up with old ones as it is about the trophies and the competition, maybe even more so.
Perhaps Humey nailed it when he spoke of the IST as being a “modern day gathering” a community-focused event where it’s about fun and not about the dollars - a once a year opportunity for indigenous men and women surfers to come together to “share the spirit of the ocean.”
Similarly for Otis Carey, heat wins and high scores run a distant second to the sheer joy of being in the ocean and on the land with his freshwater and saltwater brothers, sisters and their families, “I leave those comps feeling so revitalised, full of warmth, happiness and pride. For me they aren't comps, it’s a place where we can all come together and feel like we belong together as one big beating heart.”
True there are divisional champs and prizes and at the end of the finals – this year a Longboard Division has even been added - but everything we’ve seen, read and heard about the Australian Indigenous Surfing Titles clearly shows us that it really is more about the spirit of indigenous community and the true spirit of surfing: of coming together, sharing waves, sharing experiences and talking story.
Otis again! “It's like one big corroboree of different country men and women coming together to share the way we dance on a wave. Competing against each other is the last thing we care about, it’s about family, pride and happiness being together in the ocean as a community and of course on land having a laugh and sharing stories. I guess you'll just have to come down to Bells and see for yourself!!”
©2016 Felix Ratcliff for Headsox Flexible Headwear.
Hey, the weather this weekend is looking awesome with off shore winds and perfect 4' to 5' waves, Yeeeeew! We hope to see you there!