Image by @lockiemarley

After a weekend of art shows, films, markets, live music, parties, inspirational talks and educational forums, we think everyone’s going to be craving a surf at one of Australia’s most beautiful beaches. Our Sunday event held at Wategos beach will feature acclaimed shapers, some of surfings best and most eccentric waveriders, stoke-filled wave-riding sessions and the incredible McTavish Trim. So whether you want to watch leisurely on the sand or get wet and play in the water, there’s a spot for everyone on Sunday Feb 26… come check it out!

FREESTYLE & STOKE SURF SESSIONS brought to you by Clif Bar

Kicking off at Australia’s most easterly point at 8am, we’ve arranged a day of surf entertainment to suit the whole family. Make sure to bring your brollie, your sunscreen and supplies to last a while at Wategos Beach, ’cause we are confident you won’t want to leave.

 On this stoke-filled day you’ll enjoy different categories such as torpedoes (bodysurfing), finless (timber, surfmat or softboards), fish, logs, mermaids (gals only), tandem and the partywave!

These sessions are non-competitive and are more or less based on artistic interpretation with a decided peer vote for which waverider showed the most pure stoke and freestyling fun on any particular wave during each of the sessions.


We’ve also got some mates coming along to share the day with us. Keep an eye out for: 

Robin Kegel (US)
Matt Chojnacki
Belinda Baggs
Harrison Roach
Joel Fitzgerald
Lauren Hill
Thomas Bexon
Jack Lynch
Matt Yeates
Eden Saul
David Rastovich
Crystal Thornburg-Homcy (HAW)
Jarred Mel (US)
 Josie Prendergast

Top image; Robin Kegel by Murray Fraser, lower left; @thewaxhead (Matt Chojnacki), lower right; @josieprendergast


As part of the Freestyle & Stoke in 2017, we are pumped to announce the second addition of the McTavish trim!

The trim is a unique surfing event whereby the longest distance surfed is the goal for each of the 12 invited trimmers. Surfboards must be over 10 feet in length, requiring a significant amount of skill and panache to surf.

8:30-9:45am             McTavish Trim 2 HEATS 10ft+ boards on longest ride
11:30-12:30pm        McTavish Trim FINAL 10ft+ boards on longest ride

“Truly! There’s no other surfing style that is so intrinsic to Byron Bay than Trimming!! For 60 years, length of ride has been the cornerstone of getting the best from your surf session in The Bay. Hence it’s only natural that we are bringing our fun and hugely entertaining TRIM event to the Byron Bay Surf Festival. 12 classy international trimmers, 10 foot plus boards, and furthest up the beach wins! Be there or be square!”

Bob McTavish – Surfer Shaper

“We’re both honored and stoked to be hosting the McTavish Trim in 2017. This event fits right in with the nature of our freestyle & stoke surf sessions event on the Sunday of the festival where we hold various board riding sessions including, bodysurfing, finless, fish, log, mermaids, tandem surfing, the all-in party wave, and now this…the longest wave on a 10ft plus board! Bob’s such an inspiration, and not just for his important contributions to surfing, both in and out of the water, but also for his enthusiasm towards life and he’s always been a generous supporter of what we aim to achieve with the festival.”

James McMillan – Festival Founder

Images by @lockiemarley


Also included on this epic day is the ‘Hunters & Collectors’ Show and Demowhich features a mix of modern, collectable, handmade, art-driven and sustainably produced surfcraft on show for demo or swapping, from Australian, Japanese and Californian shapers.   

The awesome shapers coming include: 

Tom Wegener

Tom Wegener is shaper from Noosa who makes paipos and experiments with wooden boards with cork. In the past, he has experimented with many different kinds of styles and materials in the past, and was named the 2006 shaper of the year by surfing magazine.Tom’s factory has no toxic materials and creates almost no waste with the wood chips and sawdust used to mulch his garden and orchard.

 Josh Hall

His boards are truly, 100% hand-shaped, custom built  surfboards. The only machines he uses are the Skil 100 and Accurate power planes along with his own two hands. A San Diego native surfer/shaper who is steeped in the tradition and culture of big boards and their resurgence via Skip Frye—a legend whose big board design philosophy and templates were passed down to Josh when he first began shaping in 1999.  Frye, who first made his own big boards in 1990, was Josh’s surfboard sponsor then later his shaping mentor. Today, Josh has developed his own version of the big boards and, while he has a strong following of his own now, always pays homage and respect to the man that started it all. 

 Joel Fitzgerald

Joel has a deep appreciation for the organic slowed down life and takes care in all he does. He is a soul surfer fused with big wave charger, known amongst his respected peers and fellow shapers as an innovator and talented surfboard craftsman. Each board is hand crafted by Joel for your enjoyment.

 Andy from Wooden Anchor

A small, family-owned environmentally conscious sawmill and timber business, that has been made in Byron Bay since 1976. All their products are made from locally-grown, Northern Rivers timber before being sustainably harvested and milled at their Shire workshop. Their team then handcrafts these timbers into unique furniture, homewares, and surf products such as wooden anchor paddles, body-surfing hand planes, engraved food boards and surfboards!

 Chris Garrett

Chris Garrett, self-taught custom board builder thrives on being the interface between you and the waves. He can and does make all sorts of unique, eclectic and high-peformance boards to help you surf beyond your ability, be it at the elite level or just starting out. Both Nick Wallace and Dave ‘Rasta’ Rastovich  won junior world titles while riding his boards, while Neridah Falconer won the Hawaiian Triple Crown riding onr of his boards.


Jye Byrnes

Jye has been shaping boards for 20 years and can shape any kind of board you can think of. He makes his boards from theories about the waves and how they are shaped – making boards for a vast range of ages and abilities.

Dead Kooks

Dead Kooks Surfboards has evolved over the past 9-10 years from a backyard hobby making boards to a full-time job working with world champions and a string of worlds top surfers. Drawing inspiration from shapes of old, the boards that Eden Saul makes are anything but retro. Everything is designed, shaped and further refined with performance in mind, tackling everything from 12ft gliders, paddle guns for Jaws to refined modern logs, fish, singles and shorties.

Morning of the Earth

Simon Jones of Morning of the Earth Surfboards handcrafts and shapes the finest seventies inspired retro surfboards in his backyard right here in the hills of Byron. Combining retro plan shapes, fin templates, & rocker with contemporary bottom shapes & rail configurations Simon produces beautiful classic shapes that you will love to surf.

Thomas Surfboards

Thomas Bexon’s  one-of-a-kind boards aren’t just your typical white 6’1 thrusters, but uniquely recognisable boards that ride like a dream. He makes his boards out of a factory with a rich history of Australian surfing, as he learns from the amazing people in the shaping bay and in the water.

Matt Yeates

UK native, Matt Yeates took his first trip to Australia when he was 18 and he never went home. For the last 16 years, Matty has taken up residence with the braided and the bearded of Byron Bay. Over this time, his approach to building boards has developed into an art form. Under the moniker MYC (MATT YEATES CUSTOMS), the shapes he’s become known for are abstract; either wide, squat single-fins with rails sharp enough to shave with or long heavy monoliths.


 Nobby Wooden Surfcraft

As much as we would like to, it’s not possible for everyone to try out these shapers’ boards. To ensure safety and peace of mind we are limiting the demo to invited guests only… but if we see you ripping it out there in the surf, we might ask you to have a go as well!

Bottom left; @tomwegenersurfboards, bottom right; @joshhallsurfboards

Combi will be down at Watego’s selling coffee, smoothies and other goodies to keep you going throughout the day. Delicious coffee, a classic Combi Van and a beach view… what more could you want?!

Photo from @wearecombi


C’wise from left; @clifbar, @fallenbrokenstreet, @wildthingsgallery, @atmosea_ by @celiacalpinphotography