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Afends surf team riders @tajrichmond, @jhamillaz and @joelpaxton took a trip down the coast for the first episode of Activated Aquatics, a film by @grigs_.


Activated Aquatics captures the memorable moments of a surf trip down the coast with mates. From kettling around in the desert to one of the greatest surfs of their lives, we caught up with team rider Taj, and filmmaker Grigs to hear the highlights of the trip and what we can expect from the Activated Aquatics series.

First things first, what made you decide on the name Activated Aquatics? 

Taj: Just a couple of activated humans approaching some aqua related, high intensity sport.

Griggs: We pondered around with a few titles, I think Activated AFENDtures was one and SUSStainable living was another one. Could be wrong. I'm sure the team manager will have a better idea on how the name came about


What was the most memorable part of the trip? 

Taj: Surf trips with your mates are always memorable, this one especially probably due to mental cones with no one out. What I think really made this trip was definitely kettling around in the dessert. We didn’t want to leave.

Griggs: Just being so isolated, not having a worry in the world apart from where we are going to film. Smoking heaps of grill and enjoying each other's company. There was probably only 3 good days of surfing out of the 3 weeks we were there but even just hanging around living the camp lifestyle was fun. So many good memories.

What was the worst part of the trip? 

Taj: Definitely feeling bad for Jhamil as he completely missed out on all of the toobs.

Hahaha human skunk.

Griggs: Shiit i cant actually recall many bad experiences. I was pretty bummed out when Jhamil had to fly to Mexico the day before the good swell was arriving. Was looking forward to filming him in some nice waves.


Tell us more about this epic swell? 

Taj: Yeah as the trip was coming to an end and we had just bunkered down in a caravan park due to skits cold wind and rain we decided to go have a look at the waves. It looked about 3 foot and maybe some ramps (nothing promising), we got out there, Joel and I, and it was double the size and rogue as fuck. We were tripping. We were thinking it was wasn’t surfable until one came through and we were like ‘huh, maybe it’s a go?’, the wind swung offies and it was on. Definitely one of the greatest surfs of my life, crystal voyager spec.

Griggs: I gather you're referring to the final section of the edit? That was a pretty cool session. It was on one of our final days and it was kind of 3 foot and onshore, not looking very inviting but the lads decided to paddle out. As the tide got higher and the wind started to swing around a bit it just flicked a switch and they were trading off some pretty nice visions. I thoroughly enjoyed filming that session. Not a single person out.


Talk us through the tracks. What was your playlist for the trip? 

Taj: Not much recepo hey, just one of those playlists you listen to a million times until you go completely mad.

Griggs: Went through stages on the trip. Without reception we were definitely repeating some songs. Fair bit of Pink Floyd. Heaps of old chill stuff haha. Different to what we used in the clip, techno and a bit of thrash. Was good to get local music involved.

Can you share the secret location with us?

Taj: A few sneaky slabs out front of Byron bay lighthouse...

Griggs: Wategos, Byron Bay 2481 AUS

How did the premiere go at the Byron Community Centre?

Taj: Yeah the premiere was sick! Just a lot of fun to get everyone together and have a laugh, I reckon we will have a premiere for all of the coming activated aquatics eps for sure. There were heaps of young crew there which I thought was really cool. I remember being young watching a surf movie on the big screen was such a good memory, always made me frothing to go surf and make surf movies with friends.

Griggs: I thought it went really well there was a good turnout of people and got some good feedback. I was pretty nervous but had a sick night.


Sounds like big things are coming. Any projects in the pipeline?

Taj: Yeah we wanna pretty much just keep it rolling with the surf edits, get some more trips under the belt and pretty much just capture the mad moments along the way. I’ve got good confidence in our little crew that we can produce some more films that people will look forward to checking out, surf trips where it’s all about having a good time!

Griggs: Think the lads are keen to fire up a few more episodes of Activated Aquatics. Not too sure yet.



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Film: grigs_

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