A Morning With Noa Deane

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posted by James Willmott

Noa Deane is one of those surfers that blow minds every session. It’s the style and grace of his ‘who cares’ approach to surfing that we all love, followed closely by his unbelievable ability and kamikaze approach to boosting huge airs off any section handed to him on a silver platter.

After featuring in some of the best clips released 2015 including Real Axe and his standout final section in surf flick ‘Cluster’, Noa continues to travel the globe in search of waves and good times, living the free surfer life we all can only dream of.

The man himself recently spent a morning at SurfStitch HQ to grab a coffee, sign some boards and talk about what’s been happening lately and you guessed it, there certainly were some stories to tell the grandkids.

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Thanks for taking time to catch up Noa. What’s been happening?
Just got back from this trip to Japan for Real-Axe, then cruised to Tassie, ending up surfing Shippies for the first time! That place is intense.

How’d you go?
I got one good one, it was pretty solid and gnarly. The one I got only had a tiny little step compared to some of the ones you see on the footage, but you could definitely feel it. It’s just crazy because the ones that are like easily 6 foot don’t even break!

You have your own board model the Sista Brother. What inspired that and can you tell us about how different it is from anything you have ridden in the past and why you chose those certain dimensions?
Yeah, It’s pretty similar to what I normally ride, But I was just thinking I was something that goes really fast, I think that’s really important. If it’s steep, you just stomp on the back and it works its magic. It’s good for airs because it’s heaps flat and a heap of thickness through the nose so it just powers and goes really fast.

Do you think you’ll stick with it for a few years to come?
I think so, the only other board I really use is a 6’4 with heaps of rocker, but that’s kind of for different conditions, like when it’s super big and can just do turns. I think the Sista Brother will always be there though, I like doing airs and going fast too much! Kind of like having really good bearings on your skatey.

You travel quite often and you still live in Coolangatta. What is it that keeps you coming back to Coolie all the time?
I just think the waves here are too good. I’ve got a good set up at home too, but it’s the waves. Also a really good balance with partying or chilling. California and stuff is just too pyscho, there’s too much stuff going on all the time and the waves aren’t always that good. Like here, even Snapper on a small day is fun and around the corner at D’bah, I’ll just surf there every day and love it.

How do you deal with the crowds?
If it’s too crowded I’ll just go surf Froggies (the beach between Snapper and D’bah). Behind the rock there is this little reef shelf that you can go left on, or go right and get the huge backwash. I love surfing out there, it’s so fun.

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Tell us about both the best and worst things about being a free surfer?
The best thing is not having a schedule. I hate being organised and having a schedule. I was down in Melbourne the other day and coming home from a 6 week trip. And then got up to go to Tassie and I was like ‘Yep, sweet’ and literally just picked up my stuff and went.

The worst things are the planes. Too many planes. And airports. You can’t go through fast enough. You always need that extra 2 hours and it just adds up. I don’t care about people who say they don’t give a crap about it, it sucks! For example, getting to Brazil just takes way too long!

The last time we spoke we asked you about what training you do and how you stay on top of your game, has anything changed?
I kinda just cruise. I don’t really do training. It’s just mental. It’s too draining. Surfing and skating are just as good for you in my opinion and are way more fun. Skating is a good one because you are just on a different board, so you are just keeping a bit of form and having fun while you do it.

How do you spend onshore summer days?
Just hit the juice bar in Coolie, the one Mick Fanning’s mum used to own, or a little cafe for a coffee. If there are no waves whatsoever and it’s too hot to skate, I probably just sit at home listening to records or trying to record my own music.

What’s at the top of your record list?
I got a new one today. Nirvana, it’s a special bootleg one, someone did it without consent I think. It’s all live. Slayer’s first album, Show No Mercy and all that faster heavier stuff too. Yeah, Slayer are sick!

Do you listen to those tunes before a session?
Yeah for sure, I think I’ll always go Melvin’s or Slayer. Then again, I think that may be a bad idea sometimes. Before a big session I remember getting a text saying ‘looks massive and death don’t come, maybe go to the wedge, could be cooking there’ That’s when I realised it was gnarly and I’m all amped so I better give it a good go. Definitely got some floggings though.

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How do you feel when you rock up to these sessions and it’s solid and a little bit out of your comfort zone? Do you enjoy that feeling and the rush?
I think so. When there is no one out, it makes it so much easier. The hard thing is when you rock up to places like Hawaii and try get good ones and can’t and people think you are being a whimp, but in reality it’s just because the respect factor gets in the way. Where as there was one time Rasta and I surfed The Cave in South Africa really solid, and when one would come though you could just go it. I like the sessions when no one is out for sure. I think if you just go for it though, you are way better off than having a half arse shot at it.

Why ‘ilovetables’ as your Instagram name?
To be honest, the Rusty crew were like ‘you have to get Instagram.’ I was really against it, like I already had one and I didn’t like it at all. So I was like ‘ok fine I’ll take the piss out of it’, and I just watched Anchorman, so hence ‘Ilovetables’. Now when I’m done with surfing I’ve been telling everyone I’m going to make a table company, who knows if that will ever happen though!

Have you got any upcoming trips?
They are kind of spur of the moment, but Hawaii for sure.

Apart from your core crew of surfers, where do you draw inspiration for your surfing, fashion and day to day life?
I like heaps of different stuff. From art books and artists from around the world, to bands like Sonic Youth just typical stuff people like. Lately I’ve been frothing on watching Mick surf at Snapper. Been watching him and saying I just want to surf really fast like Mick. Andy Irons is another one I’ve been loving watch surf. And his badass attitude is legit.

Get your Noa inspiration:

TTM1543BLK-RUSTY-1Rusty Zig Zag Tee
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Contestant performs at the Bowl A Rama in Bondi Sydney AustraliaRusty Sista Brother Surfboard
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*Imagery by Bosko