First up, what is the Merlyn Moon back story?
I’m just some guy who grew up on the south coast of WA in the nineties/noughties. I picked up a bodyboard when I was thirteen and instantly fell in love with the sport. Like anyone who grew up then I was heavily influenced by the abundance of boog films out there – particularly No Friends and the Tension series. These films inspired me to make my own boog films, the ultra low-budget / lo-fi Showtime and King of Kings. Then I went on to study film and photography at Uni. I’ve kinda followed that path since, traversing the country, living in a few different cities and scarcely getting in the water over that time. Eventually I ended up back in my home town and indulged what’s made me happiest in life.
Best or gnarliest trip you’ve done?
The best for pure fun was back in 2015 when I went to Sumbawa for a bucks trip with a bunch of good mates. It was when that “swell of the decade” hit, which was totally coincidental. We got maxing Supersuck and Scar reef which was cool, but they’re more stand-up waves (and it was crowded as fuck). The best part was just being overseas with mates new and old – trying our best to re-create scenes out of The Hangover.
The best for waves was a trip to Watu in 2019 with Josh Garner and filmer Rex Nink-Mowday. Every morning the trade wind kicks in and it stays offshore all day. It’s a perfect bodyboard wave, pretty slabby with wedge bowls, barrels – the lot. We spent three weeks over there and scored a big swell each week. I even managed to string together a section from the trip that you can check out in Kale Milkshake. I’m really happy we made that trip, cos it was on my bucket list, and who knows when you’ll be able to travel overseas again?
The gnarliest thing that ever happened to me on a trip was when I was a grom. I went around the world solo and was in L.A. checking out Venice beach. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to put a Wet Dreams sticker on a LAPD patrol car (it wasn’t). They obviously didn’t see the funny side of it cos a cop pulled a gun on me screaming “freeze motherfucker, hands in the air!”.
I got marched back to the station double time, then they interrogated me in handcuffs for an hour saying all types of messed up shit. In hindsight they were probably just bored and fucking with me like those cops in Super Troopers, but at the time I was shitting myself. They don’t fuck around over there.
You’ve developed a little underground fan club with your little edits on social media, do you have any goals in bodyboarding or just ripping for the fun of it?
I just love the sport. I make little edits cos it’s a way for me to combine film and boogie – giving myself a little creative outlet that soaks up a bit of time.
As far as goals, I just want to punt the biggest air I can before the wheels fall off really. I can feel a few bones starting to creak so I’m definitely in my twilight years! I’d like to push myself harder in the bigger stuff too.
I’ve only really teetered on the sidelines of big wave surfing. It’s a whole other realm and a real test of mental aptitude which I’m not really sure I possess yet. Rex has got a ski now though, so I’ll be able to drive while he shoots. So we’ll see, but I’m not holding my breath.
You only get to surf one wave for the rest of your life, what’s your pick?
The Watu wave palace. The left is slabby and can be pretty long with a variety of different faces. On the bigger swells you get a foamy roll in from out the back. If you take the first one you get the pit. Any wave after that gives you this big ramp, where it’s refracted off the headland from the swell before. It breaks up the wave midway down the line and gives you an incredible wedge bowl. A short paddle across the bay to the right is this hollow wedging barrel/ramp bowl combo. Both the left and the right break almost exactly the same from one foot to six foot. It’s as close to a perfect bodyboarding wave as you’ll ever get, and it would take a fair while to get bored of it.
Your feelings on the WA booging scene?
I don’t know if there is much of a scene really. You’ll find pockets of guys who shred around the state wherever there’s waves, but booging is a lot smaller these days – especially compared to when I was a kid. A couple young guys down here surf well though. Noza Symmans is easily the best technical rider to come from here, another kid Clay Haymann surfs pretty good too, and this grom Elijah Medling whose shown some potential. So it’s cool that there’s some younger crew who are about the craft. Other than that there’s probably only a dozen or so guys down here who can really surf. The rest just do it for fun.
Talk us through your equipment choices, what are you rocking for ultimate performance levels?
I got a hookup through Hardy a couple years ago, but was already riding his boards and wearing his wetties. The board I’m riding now is a Hardy Shapes Modern Anarchy 41”. Clipped tail, channels and 60/40 rails. This kinda spec is tried and tested and most of the pro’s go for something similar. It’s a sick board! Good in the pocket and good to hit the lip with. I use a Reeflex 2mm long arm springy pretty much all year round. I’d rather be cold than hot in the water and I need as much flex in the knee joints as possible, haha. I’ve been using the Stealth S2’s lately, good combination of softish foot pocket but hard fin rubber so you still get propulsion. I like the straight dolphin cut shape too – it’s a little bit different from your standard Churchill.
Outside of the waves, how do you fill in your time?
I freelance in Film and Photography for a crust – that keeps me pretty busy. I’ve been renovating my house for the last couple of years and I’ve got a kid on the way too. I’m just hoping that I can still get pitted this year…
Any shout outs or thanks you chuck them in here!
Big thanks to Ryan Hardy for chucking an old dog a bone! His gear is sick, and it’s a dream to be sponsored by my childhood hero and also get to rep the best coast! Cheers to Rexxy for being an all round lad and always filming when it’s cracking. He’s pretty much single handedly responsible for getting my surfing to where it is today (I’ve still got a long way to go!). My advice to anyone who wants to progress is to get someone to film their surfing – the only way to improve is to study yourself and pick apart your flaws. Lastly, shoutout to everyone from the 6330! Postcode of some good cunts! And some shit ones too though. Yewww.
Check out Merl ripping here: