Gabriele Steindl: Professional Kitesurfer & Freelance Writer - Action, Lifestyle & Travels

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Wallpaper January 2010

Here’s the first wallpaper of my FREE WALLPAPER CALENDAR – easy for you to download and available in all mayor screen resolutions and even for iphone !

The photo was take by Russell Ord, one of THE greatest surf-photographers on the Planet !

You might be curious about the background to this photo, the ‘behind the scenes-story’ is as follows:

Last winter my North International Team mates Sky Solbach, Dreu Beavis and me, were assigned a mission by our team-manager: to get some sick wave shots in the mind-blowing waves of Western Australia…

I took the long journey from Austria to Western Australia in the beginning of December 2008, by the end of February, several decent swells had already hit the coast of W.A., though, Sky, Dreu and me still didn’t have ‘the shots’ in the camera… It’s not that easy to get it all together on those days, sometimes the sun doesn’t shine, sometimes one of us, was busy doing with other pro-duties or the photographer was busy etc.

I was about to leave for another media-project to New Zealand fairly soon and got a bit nervous about not being able to fulfil our mission.

That morning of the 3rd of March I woke up at the farm that I rented a room at – which is a really cool place: kangaroos in the garden, a funky BBQ outside behind the kitchen, a Bali-chill hut, lovely people, an art gallery… yeah, it’s a unique little retreat not far from the Ocean – and could feel it: new swell had hit. Armed with a coffee-mug, a banana, and some nuts, I jumped into my car and drove straight to Margaret River’s main break, an infamous, hardcore break that’s the best indicator for the prevailing conditions. YEAH, swell had hit… and the sky look clear as well, pretty perfect shooting conditions, joy !!

I phoned Sky and the photographer. Both were also pretty happy to give it another shot that day. They told me they would check the conditions themselves and get back to me as to where we’re gonna hit the water… A little later I received a txt: “We head to Redgate 4 the shoot”.

I was surprised as that very spot is a beachbreak, which would be closing out considering the size for sure… But if that was the plan, I was sure they had some good reason for it, jumped into my car and drove there. YEP, Redgate looked scary as, big, heavy close outs, strong, gusty wind… arrrg…

Sky and Dreu were already rippin’ it up, the photographer stood on the beach with a huge lens…

I set up both: my 6m2 as well as my 7m2 Rebel 2009 and both waveboards: Kontact 5’10 and 6’1 and joined them. SICK! The waves dumped like bombs on the beach and it was super challenging, especially as I usually don’t ride much in beach breaks, I prefer clean, peeling waves 🙂 Yeah, I got some severe beatings during the course of the 2 hour session, though, also succeeded in carving insane turns into the monster-shorebreak.

The shot of the month of January, is one of my favourite photos of that shoot, I hope you like it too !

A few days after that shoot at Redgate, I packed up my stuff and could contentedly start my new adventure & mission: explore & discover the best spots of New Zealand!