Youth – Luke Bonello

Another of the Central Coast’s ripping youngsters speaks up.
Above: Luke, 21, at home in the shot that nabbed him some printed ink in Riptide issue 202, on sale now. Photo: Stuart McAndrew

I was born in Sydney, right into the slums over in the western suburbs and I think it was when I was about three years old that my parents elected for a sea change. The Central Coast has been home over since. To call the place home as a bodyboarder is pretty good. I’m within walking distance of Cracky and Indies, which is really good, but there are also tonnes of little remedies scattered around within 10-to-15 minutes from my house so that’s super handy.

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Lukey B. Photo: Brentyn PlowsHaving waves like Cracky and Indies right at my doorstep has definitely influenced my riding. As for building up the courage to get out there as a grom, it was hard. I used to hate getting dragged out there by my mates! I was terrified of the joint, but I guess as the years went by and I saw some of the other guys out there getting the waves they were getting it made me real competitive and made me want those sorts of waves too.

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Beachie love. Photo: Gavin Poole

Probably my heaviest experience out there was at Indies when I was about 17. It was only three-to-four foot, but the tide was super low and I remember taking off on this wave that looked like a cracker. It doubled up and had the perfect amount of east in the direction, which made it wrap so hard on the end section. From what I can remember I just got pinched and got slammed into the bottom and lost my board and one of my fins ha! It wasn’t a fun swim in. I’ve seen some solid beatdowns over the years too – one I witnessed of Nugget (James Moore) was probably the gnarliest. He tried to paddle into a monster at Indies and I watched him go from top to bottom.

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Looks pretty comfortable in a throaty pit, no? Photo: Daniel Browne

The biggest influences on my riding around home probably have been [Michael] Novy and Byron Namenyi. Watching the way those dudes surf is sick. They’re always drawing super clean lines, pocket surfing real well and boosting out of big sections. It’s definitely how I’ve always wanted to surf.

I’ve got a younger brother, Jye, who’s 18 now and, yes, it’s always been super competitive, especially over the past year or two now that he’s started surfing Cracky a lot. The little prick gets more waves than I do! Nah, but he’s starting to surf well and it’s cool watching him progress in the water. The other grommie standouts on the Central Coast now would have to be little Jake Martin and Tom Garnett. I’m not exactly sure how old they are, but they’re always in the water when there’s waves and it’s definitely helping them grow as bodyboarders.

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Stylish flip. Photo: Brentyn Plows

For bread and butter I just do factory work for Masterfoods, but I’m looking to get into the fireys [Fire Department] or study to become a veterinary nurse. As for bodyboarding, I’m not really sure… the past two-to-three months I haven’t been doing a lot of it. I’ve been enjoying riding my little biscuit surfboard that one of my mates shaped for me, but I think that has also been influenced by the lack of waves. I’m sure as soon winter kicks back in that I’ll get back out there on my boog. My plans for 2015? Travelling is a must! I’m hoping to do a bit of international travel – Cook Islands and/or the Canaries – as well as around Oz. I’ve been over West already so I’d love to get down to South Oz for a few weeks.

I need to throw a big shout-out to my parents for all the early morning lifts to and from the beach. I don’t know were I’d be without them. And to Mark from Funkshen Bodyboards for all the hook-ups over the years.

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Photo: Jake Nelson

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