The Dalmeny Boardriders are going strong with a new group of members, but for club president Matt Hoar, it’s a return to his surfing roots.
Hoar grew up in Dalmeny, and was a member of the Montague Boardriders during his teenage years in the 1990s.
The Montague Boardriders wound up in the mid 2000s, and when Hoar came back to the area a decade ago, he saw a gulf that needed filling.
“I moved out of the area, but now that I’ve come back and started my own family, I thought it was such a great thing back when I was a teenager, that I wanted to start it up for my kids and the community here,” he said.
"I wanted to see what interest there is here instead of having to go out of the area to learn competitive surfing.”
I thought it was such a great thing back when I was a teenager, that I wanted to start it up for my kids and the community here.Matt Hoar
Hoar used his time away to get right into the world of surfing.
“I did a bit of competing in my younger days,” he said.
“I went from the Montague Boardriders, on to competing for state titles, then I competed in the University Titles.
“I joined the WQS (World Qualifying Series) for four years, traveling pretty much all around the globe.”
I guess there’s an element of creativity from surfing that flows on to cooking.Matt Hoar
Hoar is now 37 years old, and said there are strong family connections in the new breed of surfers at the club.
“The biggest age group would be the teenage kids,” he said.
“It’s all the parents who are my age and a little bit older, it’s all their kids that fill up the majority of the divisions.”
The Boardriders are now into their second season, and have grown quicker than Hoar expected.
“I never expected to have so many members, but we have 90+ competing members, and 30-40 social members,” he said.
“I never really realised that there were so many surfers in the area, but since starting it, they seem to come from everywhere.
“I’m blown away with the community support. It’s one thing to have all these kids that want to join up and be a part of it, but I’m more amazed that once you start something like this, how many of the local businesses want to get behind you to help out.”
Hoar now works as a chef in Narooma, and says his surfing effects the dishes he creates.
“In a small way, in the cooking that I do I’m always looking at the beach and bush area around Narooma and Dalmeny for ingredients and seafood,” he said.
I’m blown away with the community support.Matt Hoar
“I guess there’s an element of creativity from surfing that flows on to cooking.”
And while Hoar “can’t pass up his local break”, he has one spot he’d love to surf again.
“There’s this spot on the western side of the north shore of Hawaii,” he said.
“It’s a little bit out of the way, not too many people know about it, but it’s the same quality as the normal breaks on the north shore.”