Hooked on a euphoric feeling
TRACEY Nobbs is a relative newcomer to surfing but it seems she is well and truly hooked.
The Ballina contestant was among about 150 surfers, including some from New Zealand, enjoying this year's Byron Bay Bowling Club Malibu Classic.
Married mother-of-two Nobbs started surfing about 10 years ago after encouragement from family members.
She was making her debut at this year's event, which has run for more than 30 years, and said it had been a great experience.
"I don't catch great waves all that often, but when I do it's a great adrenaline rush," she said.
"We are outdoor people and like spending time on the water. It gives you a chance to get away.
"I've been improving slowly and an event like this gives you more confidence.
"It's beautiful to be out there (on the water)."
Byron Bay's Wategos Beach staged the three-day Classic, which wrapped up last Sunday and featured competitions in different age divisions.
'Contestable' waves made for some enjoyable action at the event, which was organised by the Byron Bay Malibu Club.
Secretary Ron Hughes said the competition helped unite the surfing community.
"We've had one guy coming up from Newcastle for 30 years to take part," he said.
"It's like a gathering of extended family or kindred spirits.
"You see the younger surfers alongside the older guys. It's lovely seeing that common bond between them."
The 62-year-old said he enjoyed the social and emotional benefits of the sport.
"Surfing gives you that almost 'meditative' state where it's just you out there and the waves," he said.
"It's also a great social experience. You can be out there suddenly chatting to someone from South America.
"When that wave hits and you are in the right place, it's almost a euphoric feeling.
"Hopefully I will be doing this for a while yet."