The 12th annual Morning of the Mo, part surf contest part dance-off, is on this weekend to raise money and awareness for men’s health.
Competitors start the day with a surf contest in the Ballina area on pre-1980s surfboards before heading to the Brewery in Byron Bay to continue the battle on the dancefloor.
There’s a single-fin surfboard up for grabs for the overall style master made by Lennox Head shaper Chis Brock.
All proceeds of the event are donated to the Movember Foundation and invested in programs focused on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men’s mental health.
Eleven years ago Travis Garone and Nat Johnsen came up with the idea.
‘Why don’t we do a Morning of the Mo themed contest? We wanted to be super respectful to all the Morning of the Earth guys, so we got in contact with Alby and ran past him what we wanted to do and he gave the event his blessing.
‘We wanted to pay homage to those guys and bring it into the modern world.’
Q: Have you noticed that the event has helped get the conversation going for men’s health?
A: ‘I think very much so; it’s been unbelievable. We have had help from Quiksilver and surfers such as Tom Carroll, MR, Matt Hoy, Steph Gilmore and Craig Anderson.
‘We thought if we could take a Movember event to the guys in Ballina and Lennox, be legitimate and help spread awareness about men’s health, then we’re going to have a good go at reaching these parts of Australia that traditionally the cities don’t get to.’
Q: What are the criteria to win the Morning of the Mo?
A:‘We break it into two categories: there’s the surfing event and then there’s the night event, which is the dance off. To win the overall event you have to come in character at 7am and hold that character right through by surfing in costume, and then head to the after party and dance off.’
Q. Talk me through the boards people will be riding.
A: ‘It’s either got to be a single fin or a twin fin. Pre-80s surf craft and no leg rope at all.
‘We’re shitting ourselves for the day Lennox Point is actually working and we’ve got to paddle out, that might be the day that we have to change the rules’.
Saturday November 18, 7am, Ballina lighthouse Carpark (for the surfing).
There will be a bus form Ballina/Lennox to Byron (for the dancing) in the evening.