FORMER Prime Minister Tony Abbott took time out from the controversy in Canberra to take on the waves at Aloha Surfhouse in Joondalup this afternoon.
But he wasn’t the only familiar face on the water with Jonathan Notley, better known as MC Bliss from Aussie hip hop trio Bliss n Eso, also along for a ride.
Mr Abbott, who was in Perth for a two-day visit, said he wanted to visit Australia’s first surfable indoor wave pool since Moore MHR Ian Goodenough showed him a video earlier in the year.
“When I saw it was indoor I thought ‘I’ve got to try that’,” Mr Abbott told Community News.
“I normally surf a couple of times a week but as an elderly longboarder, there are no acrobatics, you just want to get on and stay on.
“If I get a 3ft or 4ft wave I’m a very happy man.”
Throwing him in the deep end, Mr Abbott was put straight onto the 4.5ft barrel with the shortest surfboard he had ever ridden.
“It was a bit of a challenge as I’ve never been on a surfboard as short as that,” he said.
“The shortest surfboard I would have been on before now would be 8.5ft and at the moment I have a 10.5ft board.
“It was also quite a challenging wave but as the experienced ones showed us, once you have mastered it, it’s a lot of fun.”
He congratulated director Adam Blackwood and his team for “having a go”.
“Perth is a city that loves surfing and if the waves are no good out there, they’re always good in here,” he said.
Fellow Sydneysider Notley said he discovered Aloha Surfhouse through his friend from Monster Energy Jeremy Plint, who joined him for the surf.
He said Bliss n Eso was in Perth for a festival in Port Hedland and a private show for miners with fellow rapper Illy in Wheatstone so he contacted Aloha Surfhouse to check it out.
“I had been looking at Kelly Slater’s one, which is completely different, so when I saw this one I had to try it,” he said.
He said it just worked out that he and Mr Abbott would be surfing together.
“It was pretty random to have a surf with Tony Abbott,” he said.
“It was like the opposite ends of the universe combining.”
He said the surfing experience was “awesome”.
“I really enjoyed it,” he said.
“It was quite tough to get the hang of but I was stoked with how I went for my first go.”
Mr Blackwood said it was great to have Mr Abbott and Notley in Joondalup.
“We really appreciate them coming down at the same time and having a surf together,” he said.
He said it was also “very nice” to have the barrels installed after months of delays, allowing the waves to run at 4.5ft and 6ft.
“It’s much more like traditional surfing which is more appealing for people to find their feet on a surfboard,” he said.
Aloha Surfhouse usually runs the barrels every Thursday, alternating between left and right and between 4.5ft and 6ft.