Is This The Best Job In The World ?
“Yep,” says Laurie Towner, the big country kid nodding slowly, knowingly, “I guess you could say I’ve had a couple of good waves over the years.” He’s steely, Clint-Eastwood-Unforgiven steely, right up until the point where the smile slowly splits his face, escalating quickly into a riot of laughter. He’s cracking himself up, and I can’t tell whether it’s the understatement above or simply a general appreciation of his own good fortune that’s doing it. A few good waves, eh Lozza? Over the past five years he’s ridden a brace of waves that have become part of surfing folklore. He caught the wave of the winter in Hawaii. There was his Shipstern Bluff monster. And Teahupoo? He’s had dozens of ‘em out there, picks the eyes out of every swell. You see, Laurie Towner catches trophy waves for a living; waves that make magazine covers, waves that suspend belief, waves people will still be talking about in 50 years. No wonder he’s laughing.
Snowy-haired, lanky and laconic, Lozza is all country. He hails from the coastal hamlet of Angourie – “God’s Country” – a place where everyone surfs or fishes or both, and a place that sensibly avoids most of modern life’s complications. It’s a place of banksias and sea eagles and perfect right points, and between chasing swells around the world, Laurie chases swells here in God’s Country. Predisposed to simple living, he’ll simply throw his boards and fishing rods and mates in his boat and motor out to see what the day brings. It’s the good life, he knows it, and it fosters an appreciation of what the good life really is. “I’ve had so many surfs where I’ve run down the beach and the only guy out has been one of my mates. I’ve seen them out at Spooks by themselves hundreds of times. I’ll run down and I won’t even bother paddling out. I’ll just sit there and watch the birds and let them have it on their own for a while. Give him an hour before paddling out and joining him. That’s our life, that’s why we live here.”
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