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Gympie surfer takes GoPro to Rainbow Beach

Fabulous beach conditions and the latest digital technology helped Morgan Laycock capture the surfing action at Rainbow Beach on Sunday.
Fabulous beach conditions and the latest digital technology helped Morgan Laycock capture the surfing action at Rainbow Beach on Sunday. Morgan Laycock

IT'S been a top time lately at Rainbow Beach - and that's official.

As lifeguards sang the praises of perfect sunny beach conditions, Gympie's Morgan Laycock used the latest digital technology to capture what everyone was talking about.

He combined his Gopro digital camera with some more classic technology, his McTavish surfboard, personally shaped by surfing industry legend Bob McTavish at Byron Bay.

Just back from his honeymoon at Kingscliffe, with bride, Jessica, Morgan took a dip with his GoPro-equipped board on Sunday morning.

"Mum and Dad have a house at Rainbow Beach," he said from work in Hervey Bay, where he helps people keep cool in his capacity with Gympie-based firm, Tony Stephens Refrigeration.

In addition to its Gympie headquarters, the company now has bases from Noosa and Cooroy to Maryborough, Hervey Bay and Kingaroy.

And in one of our hotter Septembers, Morgan could be quite sure there was plenty of work waiting for him in Hervey Bay.

Bodysurfing, the GoPro view at Rainbow Beach on Sunday.
Bodysurfing, the GoPro view at Rainbow Beach on Sunday. Morgan Laycock

But there was no need for air-con where he spent his Sunday morning, in the cool Pacific Ocean, making the most of a gorgeous day and using his technology to show us all why Australians love the beach.

"It's an action sports camera," he said enthusiastically of the device attached to his board.

"I've had it for about five or six months now. By the time it was fitted to the board it probably cost around $500."

The pictures seen here are stills captured from the GoPro's digital video recordings.

In a way all that technology may be the ocean's gift to itself, via the inspiration experienced by humans.

The GoPro came out of Woodman Labs in California, invented by Nick Woodman in response to a lack of suitable and affordable camera equipment to record a surfing trip he made to Australia in 2002.

Woodman initially raised money for his company by selling bead-and-shell belts out of his surfie-style VW van, the idea eventually evolving into fashion camera straps.

GoPro started with 35mm film technology but quickly moved to digital.

The cameras come in a polycarbonate housing with a glass lens and are rated shockproof and waterproof to 60m.

A corporate takeover or two gave the company access to the latest digital editing technology as well, including some used in the film Slumdog Millionaire.

Mr Laycock combined that with a nine foot three inch McTavish longboard (surf board shaping being one of those industries which has stubbornly resisted metrification).

Bob McTavish has been shaping boards professionally since 1962.

The boards are now made under licence and are sold in more than 30 countries, enabling what was once a cottage industry to now service a much wider world market.

All that technology, camera and boards, started at the beach and Mr Laycock was happy to take it back there.

Topics:  digital camera gopro rainbow beach surfing technology

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