Spotlight Sydney

AFTER a distinctly average Australian summer, the autumn is proving rich indeed for surfers from Sydney to Brisbane. Cyclone swells have been pouring out of the Coral Sea, smashing directly into Eastern Australia and propagating up and down the coast - lighting up most of New South Wales and Queensland. Sydney photographer Alex Marks has been tucking into this rich rich vein of surf and serves us up two months in pictures.

Unknown backdoors section ... South Narrabeen

Unknown backdoors section ... South Narrabeen

© 2016 - Alex/bluesnapper.com.au

South Narrabeen, NSW

For a few weeks it has pumped, says Alex, as a surf photographer/videographer, I am as stoked to get a great shot for the surfer as I would be to surf it. Pictured above is South Narrabeen during February when in an epic couple of hours - after an average morning - the wind swung round to the west and it went off.

Eastern Australia's swell fetch

These particular cyclone swells have been swinging down from the Coral Sea after forming off Tonga. But Eastern Australia's swell fetch reaches pretty much as far as it goes - all the way across the Pacific.

South Narrabeen, NSW

Wish you were there ... South Narrabeen

Wish you were there ... South Narrabeen

© 2016 - Alex/bluesnapper.com.au

Here's a South Narrabeen unknown attempting to backdoor a section: these waves were fast, some a make-able, others are not, this guy went close but no joy, he would have got a nice view...

South Narrabeen, NSW

Spotted - he's only going one way ... South Narrabeen

Spotted - he's only going one way ... South Narrabeen

© 2016 - Alex/bluesnapper.com.au

South Narra doing its best Pipeline impersonation. This swell was perfect for this break, only here and Manly had good waves on this day, with a handful of guys paddling out after the tow-in crews had been forced to stop because of injury.

South Narrabeen, NSW

Potential super hero ... Vitor Valentim

Potential super hero ... Vitor Valentim

© 2016 - Alex/bluesnapper.com.au

Unknown lining up an amazing barrel at South Narra. The perfect conditions for this beach on a big day.

Whale Beach, NSW

Chris 'Davo' Davidson shaking his tail  ... North Narrabeen

Chris 'Davo' Davidson shaking his tail ... North Narrabeen

© 2016 - Alex/bluesnapper.com.au

Here's Vitor Valentim at Whale Beach. This kid is a freak, such a great surfer. He took off on this wave and boosted one of the biggest superman grabs (off a 2-3 foot wave) I have seen. He rode away so cleanly it looked fake.
I was not ready so only got a five photo sequence of this air, but I did get the landing (just) I spoke to Vitor afterwards and he was a really nice kid, over in Australia for the 'King of the Groms' surf competitions held at Bells Beach. Which he won last year.

North Narrabeen, NSW

Unknown enjoying his early bird status ...  Avalon

Unknown enjoying his early bird status ... Avalon

© 2016 - Alex/bluesnapper.com.au

Here's Chris 'Davo' Davidson at North Narrabeen during the Jim Beam Surf Tag Finals. This is a competition held in Australia between all the individual surf clubs. A very competitive field fought out the finals with surfers such as: Taj, Parko, Kerr, Toby Martin, Noodles and Nathan Hedge there to surf for their respective clubs. Fairly average though, staying about 3ft for most of the day.

Avalon, NSW

Empty perfection ... South Narrabeen

Empty perfection ... South Narrabeen

© 2016 - Alex/bluesnapper.com.au

Unknown scoring some 7am Avalon perfection. This day it was clean and 3ft all morning with only 5 guys out.

South Narrabeen, NSW

Stage one, get slotted ... Hayden Cox

Stage one, get slotted ... Hayden Cox

© 2016 - Alex/bluesnapper.com.au

[A solid recent east swell with nice south westerly winds which for a few hours got the waves all nice and round.

South Narrabeen, NSW

Stage two, chill out and enjoy it ... Hayden Cox

Stage two, chill out and enjoy it ... Hayden Cox

© 2016 - Alex/bluesnapper.com.au

Hayden Cox from Haydenshapes, the inventor of Fibreflex technology and one of Sydney's most successful shapers today. He works hard, but on his days off knows how to have fun while getting deep inside the green room. This day was perfect, South Narrabeen loves any swell from the north east through to the east and winds from the south west through to the west, which is what we got all morning.

South Narrabeen, NSW

Whack ... Hayden Cox

Whack ... Hayden Cox

© 2016 - Alex/bluesnapper.com.au

Looking this casual isn't easy, it takes years of practise and lots of swells like these.

Boosting or boasting, it's all showing off ... Jay Davies

Boosting or boasting, it's all showing off ... Jay Davies

© 2016 - Alex/bluesnapper.com.au

Palm Beach, NSW

I was a long way away on this shot of Hayden Cox, at Palm Beach but still really like the way it worked out. This is actually the beach where Home and Away is filmed. Nothing better than a sunny day with virtually no-one around.

Narrabeen, NSW

This was  the start, February ... South Narrabeen

This was the start, February ... South Narrabeen

© 2016 - Alex/bluesnapper.com.au

Jay Davies punting high on what was only a 2ft wave. These high-level surfers blow my mind, physics doesn't seem to matter for them.

South Narrabeen, NSW

Spotted, landing ramp ... Mona Vale Beach

Spotted, landing ramp ... Mona Vale Beach

© 2016 - Alex/bluesnapper.com.au

Unknown slotted at South Narra in February, at the start of two months of swell, the barrels were very makeable here. He looks set-up and just about perfect.

Mona Vale Beach, NSW

Committed drop ... South Narrabeen

Committed drop ... South Narrabeen

© 2016 - Alex/bluesnapper.com.au

Stuart Kennedy at Mona Vale Beach during very late afternoon session led by a few of our young rippers, Stuart Kennedy and Adam Melling. I had to really crank up the ISO as the sun set behind me. This image was taken at 7:10pm and the sun had set at 7:00pm. A great session as a few of the local guys paddled out and experienced what these guys could do from the water.

South Narrabeen, NSW

Thick and well lit ... South Narrabeen

Thick and well lit ... South Narrabeen

© 2016 - Alex/bluesnapper.com.au

An unknown bodyboarder takes on a late drop into a fast pit at South Narra at the start of April.

South Narrabeen, NSW

Unknown lining up a fast barrel which he just made it out of - straight through the lip. I like this one as it does not look like South Narra, it's rare perspective to see this wave from.


Ed Temperley

MSW editor. Instagram @edtemperley