Big Thursday – on the beaches


Nathan Odonell is an old friend of Le Sunshine’s from the heady days and long nights of living in Byron Bay. These days we’re both lurking in Sydney, trying to find a taste of salt wherever we can. Nath shares a penchant for looking at waves through a lens so when I saw the gems he’d captured from a stella Thursday some weeks ago, I thought it best to convince him to share them with us all… enjoy.

It was the 10th July 2014 and we knew it was on, we could smell it. We were up at dawn and got to South Narrabeen at 6.30am . The tide was high, the smell of coffee mingled with the heavy odor of awe and anticipation as we watched  two guys and a jet ski dodging heaving sets.

Narrabeen Narrabeen

Most of the bombs were closing-out the whole beach; pounding shoreys. The jet ski gives the photos some scale, they were 5-6 foot and exploding onto the sand.

Narrabeen Narrabeen

Around 7.30 we headed up to North Narrabeen. With low tide coming in at 11:30 it was a little fat, but it was still pumping.
While we waited for the tide we headed to find some calories. We pushed further North, to Avalon.
We didn’t know what to expect. There were reports coming in from all over but nobody had the vocab to do it justice. Screams came down the line… ALL-TIME, BEST-EVER, OFF ITS TITS!
We got to Avalon and our eyes nearly popped out of our heads. We shot from the south headland, looking straight into screaming barrels.
Avalon Avalon
As the tide dropped it just got better. Some of the guys were getting pit after pit. I’d never seen it so good. The forecast said it’d be off-shore all day and that’s how it stayed, prob 20 knots. I was frothing to get some tube-time myself but the bomb-sets kept me cautious, I stayed behind the lens.

I had to bail at 12:30 to get to work, it was still pumping.


Words and photos by Nathan Odonell

Check his style on the insta… @nathodonell

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