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Osmo Thrombo - The Lo-fi B-movie of Hi-fi Shredding

The Real Journey of an Unreal Surf Flick, Osmo Thrombo.

Words by Tom Carey

Sometimes plans are meant to be changed. We set out to document a surf trip in Australia and ended up in Indonesia. Nate Leal (videographer) and I (still photographer) flew from California to Sydney ready to jump on another flight to Brisbane to meet up with surfers Ozzie Wright, Noa Deane, and Mitch Coleborn, along with Mikey Mallalieu (Aussie videographer). However, during the long trans Pacific flight, the forecast and weather turned grim to say the least. So, in the Sydney airport, we lined up last minute flights, accommodations, and transfers for all of us to one of Indo’s mysto, less frequented islands.

The swell forecast was better than what Australia had in mind for us, and sometimes you just need to get surfers out of their comfort zone and on the road.

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Noa and beauties from another world.

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Mitch, Ozzie and Noa travel zonked at the ferry boarding station.

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You never know who you’re gonna meet while waiting for your boat to come in…

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..And you never know who you’ll be invited to hang with once out to sea.

Locals enjoying us tourists aboard.

The locals enjoyed our company and had some good laughs.

Indo is a far trek for anyone coming from Cali, but once you tack on another flight, and a three-hour van ride, followed by a two-hour ferry ride, and a final thirty minutes by car, you’re talking about a hefty journey. So, you pray the waves are worth it.

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No shortage of post card views along the way.

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Village life.

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Finding beach shade was key to survival on our destination island. (Noa is seen here in the Mag Vibes Stoneys Boardshorts.)

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The big goon himself, Ozzie Wright, marks trails and takes his own shade with him everywhere he goes.

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Ozzie and the best way to shower off days of travel grime.

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Ozzie out of the shower and right back into being a slob.

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Noa indy… going big and tech in the natural world.

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Apparently, all the plane flights to get there wasn’t enough air time for Mitch.

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Post-surf refueling. All I can say is that these were no ordinary coconuts...

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...Just ask Ozzie.

The next few days were a back-and-forth mission between the left, and a right-hander situated in a massive bay with the most picturesque views framing the photos. The boys assaulted the right’s chunky sections.

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The maxed out conditions at the right made for some tricky situations, but when you found a good one, the ramps were massive!

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Mitch’s backhand is second to none, as seen here.

After blowing out a fin box, Noa still managed to nail a few more airs there. But, the right just didn’t produce enough to make it into the film we were there to shoot. As fickle as it was, the left became our bread and butter. We were chipping away at our trip. We were working hard when struck by challenges such as our van bottoming out in a mean little ditch on a rutted, dirt road, and playing hard to compile an epic batch of clips.

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Ozzie and his favorite travel companion.

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The little ditch that stopped us in our tracks.

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Gathering rocks to wedge under the tires and try to lift the van high enough to drive out of the ditch.

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Noa spotting something unexpected at the left that would completely alter the rest of the trip. (Watch the flick, Osmo Thrombo, about this adventure to found out what.)

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Ozzie, Mitch and Noa at the Tropical Beach Alien Communication Centre. Ozzie tuned in.

We were happy, but we still hadn’t scored that one all-time perfect day that you travel deep into the outer reaches for. It left us hungry for more.

We woke up the last full day of the trip to a much bigger swell. The tide was in our favor and the winds were light enough for us to check out a fabled heavy tube that sits a boat ride away from the shore of a deep, cliff-lined bay. At low tide it’s ultra shallow. You need to knife your take-off directly into the barrel or you can plan on scrapping yourself off the reef. Sure enough, we rolled up to the shore and saw low-tide kegs freight training out in the distance of the bay.

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We rented an indo canoe powered by a five-horse-power-converted weed whacker outboard.

We excitedly jumped in the boat for the ride to the line-up. At first, from this closer vantage point, it looked as if the tide was actually too low. Suddenly, a few crazy waves pulsed in that got the boys out there immediately. But, once in the water, we found ourselves settling for less. Although fun, nothing rolled in for a while as sick as what we previously saw. To make matters worse, a crazy rain squall moved in and unleashed on us. It was raining so hard that the boat was filling up with water. Then, after about 20 minutes of nonstop, torrential downpour, it was as if some higher power came down and said, “Hey, let me help you out here,” and the rain stopped like the flip of a switch. A light offshore wind kicked in, and the waves started pumping. As if a spell was cast, the conditions went from average to absolutely going off. It was unworldly.

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Ozzie’s wave-count doubled everyone else's on the trip. He’s all smiles here after getting barreled for 50 yards across the shallow reef.

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After the rain squall, the wave became a full-fledge photo studio.

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Mitch just inches away from my camera. The power of a fisheye lens.

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We substituted the sun for offshore winds. Ozzie approved.

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A few gems came in before the squall. Noa found the best one.

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Mitch mid-pump on a little screamer.

We traded off long waves of multi-section pits for six hours straight that day. It was the all-time session we were hoping for. We watched the footage that night, pinching ourselves and sharing the stoke of each other’s waves. Celebratory madness ensued, joking “rite of passage” haircuts went down:

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Mitch got the first cut and rocked it the rest of the trip.

The next morning we woke up to onshore slop. The ocean was done and so were we. It was time to go home. Journey complete.

Hours of footage and tons of stories. What was next to do? Ryan Thomas to tweak all the footage into what would become OSMO THROMBO… The lo-fi, cult, surf action, adventure, dramatic, sci-fi, fantasy, bro-mantic, comedy, feel good, B-movie of outer limits, hi-fi shredding and interstellar tube time, that quickly unravels into the most bizarre experience of our lives… and ultimately a mission to rescue Mitch.

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Three of them was a handful. I couldn’t imagine keeping track of nine. Until next time!

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