TARP-O-RAMA, how it came to be.
Break ups are an interesting thing. They often can go one of two ways: you shut down and retreat from life and the things that bring you joy, or you use it as motivation to try something you’ve never thought of doing before. My break up last year on the 15th of September happened to resulted in both. I was broken. If you’ve been there you’ll know. There’s no greater pain than heartbreak and nothing you or anyone else can do to fill the hole they’ve left in you. For a while I refused to believe it, pure denial ‘I’ll give him time, he’ll come back right?”
He didn’t… as I slowly started to accept my sad reality the pain grew and one morning I just couldn’t bare to be in my own house. I remember waking up and going for a 5km run (I’m not a runner). When I returned breathless, I laid on the deck and cried. I remember thinking to myself “how the hell did I end up back here? why and how does this hurt so much? No one should ever have to feel like this”. I remember thinking to myself this is ridiculous and that I needed to pull myself out of this dark hole.. and that is where the backstory of tarp-surfing began.
I had this burning desire to feel happy and well on my own. To surf, to laugh, to enjoy everyday and also to create something that was bigger than myself. Cue; Tarp-O-Rama.
I’ll admit I originally thought Tarp-O-Rama would just be a fun filled extravagant day with good music and good times. It wasn’t until I chatted with the legend himself ; Cooper Chapman who made me realise that this event had the capacity to be more than a piss up and actually do some good. It went something along the lines of Coop simply saying to me “Faz you have been so bad mentally yourself, why don’t you use this platform to educate and promote mental health?” … and it clicked instantly.
The idea of tarp surfing is not a new one. As a teen I remember doing tarp surfing with friends as they ran whilst pulling a big sheet of blue plastic over my head as I cruised on through. Honestly it is way more fun than it sounds. So why not bring this joy to others but just on a much larger scale?
Piece by piece I started to put myself back together and continue growing this idea of Tarp-O-Rama with a new outlook. I didn’t necessarily return to my old self, that person was gone, however my new self, possessed a much better appreciation for life and a desire to do something big that would somewhat help others who felt as sh** as I did.
So todate, I have successfully put on the biggest event I have in my life with the help of so many amazing generous people. However, organising the event was not always smooth sailing. I faced many obstacles ranging from struggling to secure enough people to help, to get enough funding (purely my own bank account), permits & red tape and of course prizes & entertainment. I’ll put it all down to a steep learning curve.
After crying from the stress, taking time off work, answering the continual emails on top of the event being postponed twice to due inclement weather and making a new solid date, Tarp-O-Rama went ahead on the Feb 9th, 2019.
Above all, the day was all about unlocking your inner child and remembering how important it is in life to play as hard as you work. At Tarp-O-Rama we opened up the chat about mental health and talked about signs if someone is not doing ok. Tarp-O-Rama as an event is a metaphor about getting ‘caught in the barrel’. Whether it’s depression, anxiety, whatever it is that you might be you’re going through, it’s important to reach out to the people you trust and use their support to help see you through that barrel.
I won’t bore you with more paragraphs and I will let the video’s speak for themselves, but WOW. I was so overwhelmed and proud of the crew of people that rose to the occasion and helped out. I could not believe my eyes. Grommets smiling, families happy, people relaxing, faces being painted it really was just a unique day of pure simple joy. I can’t begin to describe how satisfying it was for me watching people I didn’t even know participate in something so close to me.
A young boy around 9 years old even came up to me and asked “what’s mental health” and it was a powerful moment I will never forget.. I had done my job.
To my family & the crew that had my back and supported me and did an amazing job, thank you.
To the companies, brands and anyone that donated me any prizes, thank you.
To the lovely humans I met in the food trucks and came along, thank you.
To the generous people and community who came, got involved and donated, thank you.
It is you special people who take time out of their busy lives that make a change. That shows the light in the dark.
I would like to announce here and now, that Tarp-O-Rama will be held annually, it will be bigger, better and more uniting that ever with proper government funding.
Special mention to the prize sponsors;
ISKATE AUSTRALIA/ Monster Skate Park , Homestyle Flooring, HYUNDAI, Captial Brewing, Stone & Wood, The Steyne, Z-Flex, Barney Cools, Roxy/ Quiksilver, Code 5, Budgy Smugglers, Kennards Hire, KEEL, Bertie, Manly Surf School, Mexicano, Party Pants, Fellas Socks, FCS, Wet n Wild, Taronga Zoo, Dee Why RSL, Manly Wine, Rusti Fig, Maxum Watches, Modern Movement, Home on Darley, Muchacha, BLAEK, Rusti Fig, Global Surf Industries, Grant Morris Photography, Beaches Bell Tents, TODAYFM, Ronnie Media Wall, James Griffin MP.
VIDEO : Charlie Brookes-Allen
STILLS: Nat Koval, Grant Morris, Pat Suraseang, Walk Wild Studio