Aussie Surfboard for the Big Kahuna
Tony Abbott is overseas right now and amongst his many adventures meeting Barak Obama in the White House appears to have been the most fun. Tony and the Pres were able to bury their apparent disagreement on almost every major issue to declare their personal friendship and the partnership of our two nations to be "strong", "history making" and "beyond minor policy disagreements". Tony bravely told Mr. Obama that he, too, was a "conservationist" with barely a confused facial expression to be seen between them.
The real focus of attention at the press conference where these two fast friends declared their mutual respect and admiration - and what appeared to be a clever point of connection between the Presidential life story and the intersection of the history of our two nations - was the gift of an Australian made custom surfboard bearing the presidential seal. It was an impressive stick, and what better way to make an impression with the assembled media and the Big Kahuna himself who some say was born in Hawaii. It was Hawaiian surfer Duke Kahanamoku who introduced board riding to Australia so it's somehow fitting that our gift to the first President of those Islands completes the circle.
The 9 foot malibu board was produced by Bennett Surfboards, an Australian company in business since 1956 and conveniently located around the corner from Mr. Abbott's electoral office. The quality of the branding on the board is first rate; a digital print of the artwork on rice paper which becomes transparent when fibreglass resin is applied. The Bennett family can be justifiably proud of the product they produced.
President Obama is known as an occasional body surfer yet if anything will lure him out to the first line of breakers it's this surfboard. Of course he will have to wait for a day when the secret service has the resources to clear every beach and headland within range of a telephoto lens as any photograph showing the Commander in Chief "wiping out" will likely appear in print in high rotation for the rest of his life. Such are the dangers and the delights of challenging the swell - political and oceanic.
Here at Fresh we have long been proponents of the political, recreational and marketing opportunities a longboard presents. Whether as a simple gift which cannot be ignored or a decorative piece which doubles as point of sale signage a malibu board is a symbol of fun times and freedom ahead. Let's hope that the good fellowship and understanding our leaders have expressed beneath the surfboard bearing the flags of both nations lingers like a hot Summer day with a long, rolling wave.