Research by osmosis

I’m Australian and I live on the coast, surrounded by surfers. Surf and sand are in my blood. But I needed more than this vague mumbo jumbo sense of the ocean to write about professional surfers on the World Circuit Tour. I had to speak surfer, I had to know what they called the waves and the winds and the wax. I had to learn about how the WCT heats run, how they determine who gets to go first, who gets the points, who wins.

So, I looked stuff up. I watched interviews and read blogs. But I also listened in on a hundred conversations between my surf-obsessed colleagues. “I have one word for the surf this morning. Chunk,” they’d say. Or “It was pumping at Curl Curl”. I’d stand with them and nod sagely (and hope they never think I put them in my novel – I didn’t!).

Then I’d go home and sit and write with World Circuit events on the tv in the background. I ran a fantasy surfing team. It was less successful than I’d hoped. Maybe this year I’ll do better.





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