We caught up with Dr Mark Wilson, Tasmanian-born Gastroenterologist, who hit the URBNSURF, before the world changed.
Where are you currently based?
What wave pool is this and where?
This is the URBNSURF pool, which is an hour flight away at Melbourne airport.
What were your initial thoughts when arriving at the wave?
It was early, dark and under lights, with crew lining up. It was utterly surreal. There was no wind, and they started firing up a few in the morning glass. The froth was on!
What level was it set on?
I surfed the advanced setting, which starts off pretty mellow, then ramps up after halfway through the hour session to what they call modified Beast mode.
What did you think of it after riding it a bit?
Everything just feels a little close at first: the walls, the people, etc. But after a bit, you get used to it. The first section feels a little flat. It seems like the speed is in the curve at the base of the wave as it grinds along the bottom, and it’s easy to get caught too high.
Tell me about your best wave of the day.
It was more than halfway through the session on the advanced right. They’d flicked the pool switch, and the bottom started dropping out. There’s so much water moving. If you don’t keep the nose of your board pointed towards the beach you’re going over the falls. But if you get it right, there’s a barrel on every single wave.
What were your thoughts after the day’s surfing?
I had a great time on the right. I managed to crack my rail falling off in the barrel, so rode a longer board when heading over to the advanced left. I kept getting caught a little high when the bottom dropped out, and my board came off worse for wear!
What did it cost?
$79 per hour, with multiple (10+) waves every hour session. I surfed 3 times as this was the recommended maximum. It seemed that you really wanted to surf at least twice.
At the end of my advanced left surf, I basically knocked all my fins out on the bottom…
Would you go back?
Yes! The best part was knowing you were going to score great waves. For its size, it really does pack a punch. But maybe just don’t take your favourite boards…