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Munga Barry

Five-foot-seven Michael ‘Munga’ Barry made his name in pro surfing by being ferocious, and taking big swings at solid Hawaiian surf, with an absolute god-given talent for tuberiding in any sort of barrel, anywhere in the world. Munga’s tube riding was best shown by Jack McCoy in his iconic movies Bunyip Dreaming and Green Iguana. Munga was to the 90s what Dingo Morrison is to this era: The most barreled man on earth. His smooth surfing wasn’t only showcased in barrels though, as he was very effective at perfect venues, winning the Billabong Pro, J-Bay in ’93. In the same year he charged Sunset, dropping down one particular gnarly looking 12-foot west peak, famously captured by Joli and run all over the world, and surfed his way to 14th spot on the world tour rankings. He currently own Godfathers Of The Ocean Surf School on the Gold Coast.


Surfing for health

Surfing has many benefits both physically and mentally, surfing is empowering and a great workout and you have to have patients!

Surfing develops the upper and lower body strength, balance and flexibility and it is a great cardio workout. Surfing also is great for your emotional and mental health, it requires focusing in the present moment, timing and catching the wave.

Here are some great tips from Former Professional Surfer Michael ‘Munga’ Barry

The 8 keys to advancing and becoming a better surfer

  1. Patience: Taking your time and waiting for that correct wave will make your surf much more enjoyable as you will achieve your goal of making more waves, fitting in with the rhythm of the ocean & lowering your dumping rate.
  2. Position: Having the correct position on your board and in the water will also help in achieving your goal in making more waves, it is also so you do not endanger yourself or others from nose diving and even breaking your board. Sitting 10-15 feet outside where the waves break will give you enough time to paddle 5-10 feet (3 to five strokes) and catch the wave before it starts to break or dump on your head.
  3. Breath: Proper breathing from when you paddle out to paddling & catching a wave is so important. I recommend, In through the nose & out through the mouth technique, you will get oxygen throughout the whole body and your power will come from your lower abdominals needed for that extra paddle.
  4. Vision: Where you look you will go. How many times have you looked down only to fall either exactly where you were looking, or your concience tells you to push away from where you are looking at and fall backwards. When you are paddling for a wave, keep an eye on the wave, on your left and right side as waves are always moving they will always change.
  5. Equipment: Choosing the correct surfboard, boardshorts, wetshirt, wetsuit, legrope, wax, tail pad & fins can all help make your surfing easier or make things harder. Ask someone who works with you in the water, your coach or mentor, do not just rely on what the surf store assistant recommends, they have not seen you surf!
  6. Goals: Setting yourself goals in life should be taught at an early stage of life. Keep setting goals in all areas of life & especially in your dreams, by writing them, reading them, sticking with them & believing in them & yourself, they will come to fruition. As the best slogan in the world states, “JUST DO IT” from Nike the shoe company which has come from professional athletes setting their goals, practicing and on game day doing exactly that, “JUST DOING IT” If you don’t know how to do it, ask, find out, then practice. Keep to your goals and learn from your mistakes and from what you have conquered. I teach students as they paddle back out to catch another wave to visually go through what you instinctually did correct, so you give yourself a pat on the back, then visually go through what your mistakes where and on your next wave concentrate on bettering your mistakes. Every wave & every surf you should be trying to get better.
  7. Technique: Everybody knows how to stand up from the ground so why change the procedure when you are standing on the board, everybody knows how to walk, so why try a new way to walk. With my procedure form learning through to elite surfing it is the same, it all comes down to timing. If you catch a faster wave then you will have to stand up quicker.
  8. Style: Every body will have their own style, that is why surfing is like art. Each individual will draw a different line on the wave. Standing up correctly, paddling properly, breathing easily, knowing where you are going, having the right equipment & believing in yourself will make you a better surfer, better person, healthier & happier in life. Let me help you in your journey of becoming a better surfer and enjoying the energy of surfing where ever you may be in the four corners of this beautiful planet.

Best morning at Burleigh Heads Beach with Godfathers of the Ocean teaching my 3 country kids how to surf for the first time. Thanks heaps!

Linda Wayne Sonter


Is it on your bucket list?
Is it because it’s ‘cool’ and your friends are doing it?
Is it your way of getting fit rather than going to the gym?
Are you an adrenaline junky?
Is it your way of getting out there with nature and being one with all of creation?
Or, do you just want to know what the big deal is when they say ‘only a surfer
knows the feeling’.

Let us know why you want to learn!