If you log onto Instagram you might see a hashtag going around. It’s attached to pictures of a girl surfing wearing a blow up ring around her waist. She’s getting ‘tubed’ and she’s frothing. It’s attached to a hand drawn sketch of a piece of toast covered in a multicoloured spread. Beside the toast sits a jar labelled ‘froth’.
Drawing by Loz Williams @spreadthefroth
“Froth basically means excitement, it’s like you’re literally frothing from the mouth you’re that stoked”, laughs Loz Williams, the instigator of the movement she’s calling Spread The Froth. And you’ll be hard pressed to meet someone else who froths on life as much as Loz does.
Loz grew up surfing around Mullaloo in Perth and was the WA state bodyboard champion, a couple of times, before she got on a stick. She’s since moved down south and you’ll bump into her in every line-up between Dunsborough and Margaret River. She’s an international surf coach and has worked everywhere from Fistral Beach to Anchor Point. If you surf and travel, the chances are high that you’ll know someone who knows her.
Getting TUBED – photo by @surfsistas
“The ocean and surfing gets me excited. But I really love when other people are frothing!” Loz relays from her current home at Togat Nusa Retreat in the Mentawais. “But some people take surfing so seriously, line-ups can get so competitive”, she sighs.
The concept of Spread The Froth developed from one of these aggressive sessions. “It all started way back when we were surfing Lefties. Gabs and I were sitting out there and everyone was so quiet and serious. No one was talking and no one was making any eye contact, I felt quite uncomfortable. So we started shouting to each other from opposite ends of the line-up. Hey Gabs! Are you having a good time? Yeeeeeeeeew! Hang 10 in the green room! We were just being silly! Whenever either of us caught a wave we’d hoot the other one”, Loz cracks up and from the background I can hear Gabs laughing too.
“When the waves came everyone got so aggressive, paddling for the peak, everyone thinking it was their wave. It just wrecked the whole vibe. After we came back from that surf we drew a picture of a line up with all the surfers looking zombie-eyed and we were a rainbow coloured goofy unicorn”, Loz tells me about the first #spreadthefroth drawing. The drawings are simple. Single black lines, rainbow colours. Drawings as easy to understand as the message behind them.
“Being out in the line up we become very sensitive to energies, and it’s up to you what energy you put out. Your energy will affect your surf session and everyone else around you. So to have a fun and memorable surf, paddle out with good vibes! You’ll feel it when someone is agro, it will change the whole line up!” Loz divulges.
Line-ups and crowds are as diverse as the locations hosting them. It was on a recent trip to the famed Indonesian break Lakey Peak that Loz was so disappointed by the lack of etiquette she took to physical action. She wrote a sign. Paddle out feeling grateful. A simple hello or smile can set the vibe instantly. Give people waves, it’s like giving a gift. Compliment each other, everyone wants their waves seen. Spread the froth and follow the simple rules of surf etiquette.
The sign at Lakey Peak – Photo by Zaneta Van Zyl Photography
“I gave it [the sign] to Lakey Peak surf club because Becky is so passionate about surfing, the environment and having good people around that I thought he could use it for something. He said he wants to make a large sign in front of Lakeys with all the froth information so it could be a guideline to have more fun and less aggressive surfs”, Loz explains.
But spreading good vibes doesn’t just stop at the sign. As a coach and surf guide Loz is the first to admit there is a responsibility when teaching. “We have to make it a priority to send the next generation out with good surf manners as well as wave knowledge. Whenever I run a class I make sure I talk about it before we get in the water, and I always tell them remember to just have fun!” she said. “I’m so stoked when I see the clients doing it, having a chat or hooting each others waves”, Loz smiles.
To join the froth movement you can follow their adventures on Instagram @spreadthefroth or her personal tag @saltyeyebrows. “Shoot it, draw it, sing it or just do it, and hashtag #spreadthefroth”, Loz blurts out before we wrap up the interview. If you see her out in the line-up, make sure you give her a yeeeew!
Words by Thea McDonald-Lee