The horizontal (and vertical) act of wave-planing on a soft structure, performed with a degree of irony between 35-65%”
Drag aren’t merely the @browncardigan of horizontal wave-sliding, they’re a subversive collection of NSW South Coast derelicts who've emerged from relative obscurity; rising somewhere between the Bellambi housing commission, the Dapto Dogs and the hub of prone sliding absurdity that is the Stoke Factory.
Today, this unorthodox cluster of once-upon-a-time bodyboarders have torn down the syntactic structures separating the different forms of oceanic activities: bodyboarding, stand-up surfing, kneeboarding and the essentially non-existent hobby, ‘goatboating’.
Rewind to 2010, an activity once known as “bodyboarding” was presumed deceased by all, after the Bodyboarding Financial Crisis (BFC) saw the borderline sport implode from the pressure of a thousand relentless 360’s.
Plenty will argue the past-time should remain dead and buried, but what arose from the smouldering polypropylene heap was something far more sinister. And no we’re not referring to the shell of the sport’s competitive existence known as the APB.
See, a handful of lonesome draggers survived bodyboarding’s “polyprocalypse”. Some, such as Dave Winchester, Ben Player and perhaps even Pierre Louis Costes have continued to make a living from it, but for the majority, the dream was dead.
Confined to the hostile, boog-laden South Coast, the barely breathing Drag crew sank deeper into the pit of horizontal depravity.
Left to their own devices, they set out to reignite the flame; to pump blood where there was once flaccidity and reignite the people’s passion for the semi-extinct sub culture - reviving the likes of kneeboarding and goatboating along with it. Like nearly every experimental drug throughout history, they created something totally different, totally by accident.
What started as a straight-up prone joke, is now officially a joke gone too far.
Drag have penetrated the inner sanctum of mainstream surf culture: Instagram behaviour that deftly blurs the lines between cyberbullying and product promotion, an extensive array of clothing for the discerning 2018 dero and have potentially brainwashed a would-be generation of neo-progressive hardtop heroes with their soft, horizontal propaganda.
Drag is larger than ever intended; it’s not enormous, but at just under 50k Instagram followers the ‘brand’ – if it can be called that – is more widespread than the earlier incarnation of Drag’s Instagram page ever was or would’ve been*.
Chippa Wilson, Creed McTaggart, Wade Goodall, Dion Agius and Craig Anderson all fly the Drag flag proudly. Hell, we’ve even seen Mikey Wright match his mullet with a Drag. It may seem to have materialised from the virtual unknown, but trust us, some of the brains behind it have been frolicking amongst ‘surfing's’ lower-cast echelons for some time.
There are three major minds and financial partners behind it all; one of these owners is Chippa Wilson, who was dazzled by the prospering ‘boog’ niche, in fact, he was so impressed he purchased a third of the company.
Drag’s other softcore puppetmasters – who prefer to remain nameless – exist under the aliases of ‘Maddog’, ‘Dorf,’ and, occasionally, ‘Big Dav.’
They’ve been around the block, previously producing high end products, like the single-issue zine, ‘Stoke Machine,’ or the cult classic quasi-boog, half spaghetti Western film, ‘Gracias El Gato’.
The team can take credit for many successful, as well as flailing endeavours, but the most surprising and impactful of them is inarguably Drag. Anything that can bridge the historical hatred between bodyboarding and surfing, whilst making a buck and re-injecting fun into surfing deserves a celebratory platform.
We managed to wrangle one of Drag’s minions for an interrogation into their underlying motives, who they are and what's coming next in the non-sensical world of Drag.
When did you decide that bodyboarding, of all things, needed a new brand on the block?
Firstly, “the Brown Cardigan of surf,”— I resent that.
We're probably a lot more the Betoota Advocate of surf, only Bellambi is currently inhabited, and we don't make beer… yet [Note: A Drag beer, believe it or not, is potentially on it’s way]
I'm sorry, what's bodyboarding again?
I’m unsure myself, well, what’s the difference between bodyboarding and dragging?
Ok, I've just been handed this down from the top - Dragging: The horizontal (and vertical) act of wave planing on soft shred apparatus performed with degree of ironic intent between 35-65%.*
Bodyboarding is anything which exists outside of this horizontal plane.
What sparked the transition from prone to vertical sliding for Drag?
Natural progression. But to be honest, we spend more time on our knees than anything—a veritable soft purgatory. Nothing compares to the feeling of planing the open wave with both knees cushioned by soft deckskin enveloped foam core. It's liberating.
[Note: Financial opportunity certainly wasn’t an unintended bi-product either]
How did you get Schapelle addicted to the Drag?
It's actually a little known fact that Schapelle was quite the talented bodyboarder, with a budding career prior to her incarceration. She did well on the female circuit back in the early 2000's and actually won several events. Schap definitely had a full cult following prior to the BFC, circa 2010.
She hasn't disclosed this yet, but she actually broke her leg bodyboarding a few weeks after her release. It was during that last east coast low down at Greenpoint, she wiped out on a solid nug.
We caught wind of this and were deeply touched by her dedication to the Drag. I mean the very thing that locked her away in a dingy Indo prison for 12 years, she loved too much to give up, and that's so damn admirable.
After hearing of her accident we reached out to her, and as it turns out the flame was still burning hot. We were thrilled to be able to offer her support.
So will there be Schapelle Pro model?
Schap could really take Drag all the way to the top as brand ambassador, we'll definitely back her all the way. There's just a few minor legal hurdles we gotta jump through first but it's inevitable. I gotta say, her el rollos are packin' some serious heat, she still has ounces of natural talent.
[Drag may not have released a Corby pro-boog just yet, but they have released a 7’0” foam log with an uncanny resemblance to Schapelle. Drag however remain certain that it is, in fact, Queen Elizabeth]
Without question, Zoltan Torkos. Zoltan had his best mate around watching surf vids years back, and (almost certainly jokingly) his mate told him he should start rockin mad kickies on his stick.
Later that night his best mate was gunned down and killed, so Zolts dedicated his entire life to his mate's dying wish. That is so fucking admirable and that's why Zolts is and always will be number one. [Note: According to the Drag boss, a true story. You can't go knocking the Zolt after this]
A close second is Wade Goodall. ironically enough they both now ride for Drag.
Favourite Gram account?
What inspired your satirical masterpiece, R.I.P?
R.I.P. was actually a work of non-fiction. A non-biased portrayal of the death, funeral, and eulogy of the polypropylene sword.
What’s wrong with the high performance stand up mentality and the WSL?
The WSL marketing department's ability to create motivational messages on the subjects of self-improvement and progression, with the use of big fuck off dramatic text and dark basement industrial dub, with seemingly no ironic intent – it’s pure genius.
That said, if I hear Pottz over-explain a basic manoeuvre, or describe in detail why a breaking wave behaves in the manner it does, or verbally explicate the inner workings of a competitor's mind again, I'm gonna snap.
Should everyone accept that it's Ok to be soft?
Yes. Only a Dragger knows the feeling...