第10回 マット・チョナスキー Art of Trim〜サーフカルチャーの昇華

No. 10 Matt Chonasky Art of Trim ~ Sublimation of surf culture

He is not only familiar with classic longboard riding, but also the history and culture behind it. Matt Chonasky has gone beyond being a logger, and in recent years has been boldly charging big waves, as well as working as a WSL commentator on shortboards and junior contests.

The memorable 10th edition features MR. WAXHEAD, who owns classic cars and lowriders and is originally from Australia but loves SO CAL~California style.

(Narrabeen Photo: Ian Bird)

It seems like he has been away from his hometown of Sydney, Australia for a long time since last year and has been traveling around the world.

I came to Central California at the end of November to work as a commentator for a WSL (World Surf League) QS event, and I hit a really good wave at a secret spot. I then headed to El Salvador to be with my fiancée and her relatives for Christmas, where we encountered some great swell waves from the south and west, which are unusual for this time of year. After that, I went back to California to chase the same west swell and surfed Rincon, which is said to be a once-in-a-decade gig. It was probably 20ft . At the beginning of the year, I went to Hawaii's North Shore and surfed the reasonably sized waves at Sunset Beach.

( Sunset , Jan '24 Photo: Dani Toro

Your epic sessions at Rincon and Sunset were also posted on your Instagram. Is there a reason why you've gone beyond being a longboarder and have been hitting big waves lately?

I think the world has changed a lot due to the coronavirus, including the way it works, but my own lifestyle has also changed a lot after going through the coronavirus pandemic, and it has given me an opportunity to reevaluate my life.

He competed in three races on the WLT (World Longboard Tour) in 2019, and finished 7th at Noosa in the first race of 2020 . After Noosa was a wave pool in California and then Malibu. I was pretty confident with my performance in Malibu, so I was focused on the competition with an eye on the world title. But then the world went into lockdown due to the coronavirus. In Australia, people are prohibited from traveling more than 5km from their home, making it impossible for them to even leave the country. So naturally I had to spend more time at home, but as a result Sydney was hit with historic big waves day after day and I had two years of the best conditions I've ever had in my life. Every two weeks we get swells over 10 feet and never less than 2 feet.

I've always been into longboards and liked big wave surfing, but I never had a lot of experience. During the lockdown period, I took a break from competition mode and rode big waves at home on various styles of boards such as single and quad guns, and got into big barrels on longboards. He was exploring possibilities. At that moment, I reached a state that I had never been able to reach before! I had been pursuing surfing for so long, and that was the moment I realized I was really lucky.

The world has stopped moving due to the coronavirus, and people may have lost a lot. But in the end, it made me realize the importance of the things I love...classic cars and surfing, and it also gave me the opportunity to step into the big wave world. Just as pioneers like Bob McTabush pioneered the world's big waves in the 60 's and 70 's.

Are you currently in California again? You visit California often outside of contests.

He is currently in Oceanside commentating for the WSL World Junior Championship. California is my birth of cool , and I get a lot of inspiration from it. The classic cars, surf style, and surf history of the town make you feel like you've traveled back in time every time you visit. Of course times change, but there are things that connect me. Of course I love Australia, where I was born and raised, and it has a great surf culture. But I truly believe that I am uniquely Australian. (lol).

Do you continue to run your family's car business while traveling around the world? What car do you own?

Ah, it's called Taylor & Botham Bodyworks , and they do things like restore old cars. I currently drive a total of three cars: a 1971 VW pickup trap, a 1961 Chevy panel van lowrider, and a 1971 Ford Econoline surf car.

How did you come to be a commentator for WSL and how long have you been doing it? You're not only involved in longboards, but also shortboards.

It's probably been 5 years now. From 2022 , I will be serious and participate in more WSL events. I've always loved the history and culture of surfing, and of course I love surfing myself. Personally, I think of surfing as a performance art, not necessarily a sport. It's fun to ask people about the surfboards they use in post-heat interviews and tell everyone about their backgrounds. I think he's able to show a different side of professional surfing than others. Since I am involved in the tournament, I want to make it more enjoyable by participating. Don't just complain and watch from the outside. As long as WSL and everyone else finds my point of view interesting, I'm willing to work with them.

You also coach longboarders in competitions, right? Why is it specialized in women?

The reason is that I'm still competing in contests, even if I teach strategies to my male opponents (lol). In the past five or six years, I've coached not only young Aussies, but also champions like Chloe Calomon from Brazil and Honolua Bloomfield from Hawaii. They are knowledgeable about surfing and culturally savvy. That's what it means to me, and I can't coach someone who doesn't want to feel that connection. Riding a wave means different things to different people, but it is definitely a spiritual dance. Whether it's competitions or free surfing to improve your own skills, if you can feel that connection, surfing becomes even more valuable. Ultimately, I want to create a better surfing environment.

(w/Chloe Calmon)

How did you get into longboarding?

My parents were originally immigrants from Poland, and I grew up in a family that didn't surf. I lived right next to the beach in Sydney, so I joined the junior lifeguard class and started surfing with my dad. My first board was a chunky 5'6" 80's Hot Buttered Thruster and it was the perfect board to start surfing.

At first, I was desperately riding the waves on a shortboard, but before I knew it, I was fascinated by the sight of the longboarders who always came to the beach and were riding the small waves gracefully. I didn't really understand it at the time, but it was 1964 World Champion Midget Farrelly. He would play a round every morning and go to work. Later, I borrowed my father's longboard and started copying his style. I was lucky enough to surf at home surrounded by legends such as Tom Carroll, Damien Hardman, Terry Fitzgerald and Simon Anderson, as well as stars such as Nathan Hedge, Nathan Webster and Luke Steadman. Was. But nothing could compare to Midgett Farrelly's impact that morning. Australia was lagging behind California and Japan, and longboarding wasn't popular or cool in the 90s or even in the early 2000s . But I fell in love with the timeless, creative style of classic longboards.

When I started longboarding seriously, I first met John Gill from Keyo Surfboards , then Robin Kegal, and they were riding Gato Hero 's. Although he's a California guy, he's also well versed in Australian surf culture and makes unique spaceship style surfboards. In other words, surfboard designs after 1967 , when longboards stopped evolving. Although it is new age, it is different from the later 2+1 high performance longboards ( HP ). I don't like HP style longboarding at all. Because I'm single fin. The whole reason for riding a longboard is the trim and glide, something you'll never get when riding an HP . True longboarding is about flow, speed, trim and glide.

How did you meet Bob McTavish, a pioneer surfer and legendary shaper who has been active since the 1960s?

I met Bob when I went to Noosa with Robbie. At that time, I was like, ``Oh, Bob!'' ``Oh, WAXHEAD (Matt's nickname)! It's just like my MINI ME '' (lol). About six months after that encounter, Bob's McTavish Surfboards decided to rebrand from its previous mass-produced style for overseas markets. Robbie was also handing over the brand to a fellow distributor in Australia, so I no longer needed to be on his board. Bob decided to make the board and reprint the template from the 1960s .

A total of three single fins: a 9'3" involvement style, a 9'10 " D fin gun that Bob actually rode in Hawaii, a 7'6" tracker model, and a mat tracker. It was the best board I've ever owned, and I still cherish it to this day.It's a unique piece of equipment that matches his quality and purpose, and I've been part of the team for the last 13 years riding his designs. I am extremely lucky to be able to do this.I have been involved in six board designs so far, and among them, the involvement style was completed through my relationship with Bob, and it was one of the first designs I started riding in Japan and overseas. : The so-called PIG style log that is currently trending).

I have designed boards with some of the world's best such as Keyo , Bennet , Robbie Kegal, and Bob McTavish, and I have improved my surfboard IQ and fin IQ in everything from rails to rocker to fin position, and I have improved my surfing history. I am very grateful that I was able to experience it myself.

(w/Bob McTavish)

What is the Art of Trim that you do?

Over the last couple of years I've been riding classic single fin longboards, shortboards, and guns in a variety of conditions. Fortunately, during the coronavirus pandemic, I had plenty of time to focus on surfing, and was able to push myself to the limit and put together the Art of Trim project.

Many people around the world have started surfing and now many people are contacting me for information. But I don't do what you would call general coaching. Regular surf schools teach you how to stand on a surfboard, but they don't teach you about culture, history, or theory. That's why I started The Art of Trim .

Rather than giving a technical lecture on how to hang ten, I help students understand why they hang ten in this part of the wave and where it comes from. As for Finn, we will talk about his origin from dolphins and George Greenough. By providing a variety of materials, telling backstories, and giving it a cultural dimension, people's surfing can become a wonderful art form.

The Art of Trim is about being a fan of good surfing. When mind, board, and waves come together, a beautiful scene unfolds. Although we are still a small business, we want to share the wonders of surfing with as many people as possible, whether online or in person.

What are your plans for 2024?

There are probably four races on the WLT Tour, so I'll be participating in that. I will also continue to work as a commentator for WSL contests held around the world. After Oceanside, I will go to the Philippines. In recent years, shortboarding, longboarding, and surfing have become popular in Asian countries, and I really feel that they are developing in their own way. In the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and Taiwan, there are many stylish longboarders who understand surf culture. I'm planning to complete a movie that is a compilation of footage from several years ago, so I'd like to go to Japan to screen it soon.

What does surfing and the beach mean to you?

Freedom! For me, surfing is a means of expression and something that enriches my life. You only live once. So be honest with yourself and continue pursuing your passion without any regrets.

Matt Chonaski ●Born in 1988, currently living in Sydney, Australia. Since his early teens, he has distinguished himself with classic longboarding. He has deep connections with legends and is well versed in surf culture and history. He owns not only vintage boards but also several classic cars, and although he is Australian, he lives the SO CAL style on the ground. In recent years, he has been charging big waves with the classic style of yesteryear. In addition to participating in WLT contests in various countries, he also works as a WSL commentator for both shortboards and longboards, conveying the fun and beauty of surfing.

Instagram: @thewaxhead @theartoftrim

Interview/Mio Kawazoe Born and residing in Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture. Graduated from California State University, San Diego, surfing club. The son of a 1st generation Japanese surfer, he encountered foreign culture from an early age. For 10 years starting in the early 1990s , he lived between San Diego and Malibu, California, experiencing the longboard revival. After returning to Japan, he became the editor-in-chief of ON THE BOARD and worked on GLIDE and other magazine media. Until now, we have introduced real California logs and alternative surf scenes to Japan through our own network.

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