Wyndham’s muddy, crocodile infested waters might lack the appeal of the South-West’s famous surf beaches but what its surf hungry residents lack in opportunity they make up for with imagination.
The far north Kimberley port town last Wednesday celebrated International Surfing Day with a round of “tarp-surfing”, using skate-boards and scooters to ride a tarpaulin wave.
The novelty sport involves lifting the plastic sheet to create an artificial tube while a terrestrial board rider rolls along the curve.
The Kimberley event was organised by former Margaret River resident Max Alcock, who left the blue waters behind to accept a teaching position at Wyndham District High School.
Ignoring the glassy estuary waters, Alcock saw potential to instil the environmental values of the sport by creating a Kimberley branch of the Surf Rider Foundation.
“Despite the fact there are no waves here and you would probably get eaten by a crocodile, we thought we would set up the branch to look after the waterways around here,” Alcock said.
“The Surf Rider Foundation is primarily about caring for and looking after beaches and anybody that uses the beach. We have all the river systems around here so we set up the branch to try to stop the litter from happening around those places.”
Last year the Kimberley branch took a group of Wyndham children to Margaret River to experience the beach.
Labelled the “Boab to Breaks” tour, it was the first time many of them had left the region.
Those who didn’t make it to the beach last year still had a chance to test their surfing prowess in Wyndham yesterday. “Tarp surfing is a relatively new novelty (sport) basically set up for surfers who are stuck somewhere where there aren’t waves,” Alcock said.