Warning – the following contains information about a place so beautiful that the prose that follows sometimes collapses into poetry. We’re not hippies or anything, but there will be mention of dolphins and flowers too. Sorry. Somewhere between Byron Bay and Sydney, there’s a flawless white sand beach. Southern Pacific Ocean swells wrap around a rocky headland before peeling off into perfect waves that crank left and right along the beach’s vast length. Two small, clear creeks ripple and wind through national parks and meet as new mates, right there on the beach, their babbling waters like voices coming together to speak to the sea with one mouth. If you were to stand exactly there on the sand where the creeks mingle, you’d taste salt air, stare into 27 shades of blue and be entirely satisfied that you’d found a little chunk of Aussie paradise. You’ll also have discovered a secret. You’d be standing at Spot X – possibly the best learn-to-surf secret on the planet.
Spot X is a surf school and camp owned and run by one of Rat & Dragon’s all-time favourite clients – MojoSurf. We’ve filmed their awesomeness in Bali, Lombok, Java and Byron Bay, and now we’re installed in a little surf cabin right on the water at Spot X. We call it the RaD Shack. We are, as always, working hard but true to the nature of Rat & Dragon, we’ve also found a little time to surf and smell the roses. There are no actual roses here but plenty of red or yellow hibiscus flowers. (They don’t smell at all, but you can eat them, which is even better) Metaphoric roses that can be figuratively smelled, however, include the pods of dolphins that leap and play within arms reach while you’re bobbing around on your surfboard. The creeks are full of fish, and feathered and fuzzy Australian bush characters weave themselves through the story – particularly at lunchtime when Kookaburras eye off your barbequed sausages, or at dinner when possums blink at you from among the gum trees to a backdrop of the clear, bright Milky Way.
It’s not just the creeks and creatures that come together here. Spot X is a meeting point for people from all over the world. In Europe and the Americas, whispered stories of a perfect beach are peddled by tanned youngsters that have just returned to their homes so much cooler than when they left. Conversations go like this:
Old School friend: “Sven, why are you so tanned and cool now?”
Sven: “I learned to surf and got laid on a beach.”
Old School friend: “ Damn! I’m going to Australia. ‘Spot X’ you say..?”
If you ever discover Spot X for yourself, you’d probably be joined in the surf by Sven’s old school mate. He’ll be somewhere partway between pale-to-sunburn-red awkward Euro backpacker and cool bronze surfer dude (like Sven). And that’s partly what MojoSurf does really, even though they don’t mean to. If they do actively set out to change people at all, it’s through their surf academy here at Spot X, where they train neophytes to become surfers or train surfers to become qualified surf instructors. But their main goal isn’t really to transform people. The transformation is more of a by-product. What MojoSurf does do with great purpose is to provide and facilitate the kind of travel experiences that are so enjoyable, so extreme, so far outside what many would call their regular routine, that they might just change your life.
And this is why we like working for them. The team genuinely care about surfing – they are all hardcore swell-chasers. They love the lifestyle and want to introduce it to everyone, whilst being able to run an office and health and safety and all that. As film-makers, we run around chasing people’s first moments standing up on a board, or career through crystal clear Indonesian waters chasing that shot straight down the barrel. On this stint, our Dragon is editing all this glorious footage to overhaul Mojo’s visual content, whilst our Rat is learning how important triangles are as she helps construct a nearby river camp. And what better place to be – we’re surrounded by frothers.
Back in Sweden, Sven was a geeky kid who didn’t really know what he wanted to do in life. He was thinking of studying economics. He took a year out to go travelling. All of the travel experiences enriched him, and his time at Spot X was a huge part of that. He gained a new ability. He became confident in the water and unearthed a raging, life-long passion for the sea that never even existed before. He even got laid. He might still study economics of course, but he’ll hold surfing, and this hidden, whispered, secret beach in his very soul until he dies. And where might that take him?
We can’t tell you exactly how to get to Spot X, but in the days of the internet, here’s a digital clue. See you there.