The Iconic Edition
News
|13 Sep|5 mins

Our Kind Of Saltwater Therapy

Introducing OneWave: the non-profit making a big difference with saltwater, surfing, good mates and a whole lot of fluoro.
Elle Glass
13 Sep
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Every Friday morning, just before the sun crawls above the ocean, you’ll find a gathering at the south end of Sydney’s Bondi Beach – there, it’s a mess of surfboards, inflatable giant swans, yoga mats and people – lots of them – each and every one of them dressed in fluoro. There are far too many of them to be an in-joke but still they, in their budgie smugglers and hot pink onesies, along with the early risers walking the promenade, are laughing. For them, and anyone close enough to witness, it’s a good time. A real good time.

But this phenomenon isn’t just a Bondi affair. You’ll see the same thing if you set your alarm early enough at beaches up and down the coast and even some in the U S of A. This group of people – no, this movement – are OneWave: a non-profit surf community tackling mental health issues – funks like depression, anxiety and bipolar – with a simple recipe: surfing, good mates and a whole lot of fluoro. Since launching in Bondi in 2013, OneWave has reached over 60 beaches worldwide, sharing the their very special brand of saltwater therapy, raising awareness and reducing social stigmas around mental health issues. Get wet and have a good time, they tell you. It’s a simple enough creed, but the message runs deeper than that: it’s OK not to be OK, and that you don’t have to – ever – go it alone.

News
|13 Sep|5 mins

Our Kind Of Saltwater Therapy

Introducing OneWave: the non-profit making a big difference with saltwater, surfing, good mates and a whole lot of fluoro.
Elle Glass
13 Sep
Share:

Every Friday morning, just before the sun crawls above the ocean, you’ll find a gathering at the south end of Sydney’s Bondi Beach – there, it’s a mess of surfboards, inflatable giant swans, yoga mats and people – lots of them – each and every one of them dressed in fluoro. There are far too many of them to be an in-joke but still they, in their budgie smugglers and hot pink onesies, along with the early risers walking the promenade, are laughing. For them, and anyone close enough to witness, it’s a good time. A real good time.

But this phenomenon isn’t just a Bondi affair. You’ll see the same thing if you set your alarm early enough at beaches up and down the coast and even some in the U S of A. This group of people – no, this movement – are OneWave: a non-profit surf community tackling mental health issues – funks like depression, anxiety and bipolar – with a simple recipe: surfing, good mates and a whole lot of fluoro. Since launching in Bondi in 2013, OneWave has reached over 60 beaches worldwide, sharing the their very special brand of saltwater therapy, raising awareness and reducing social stigmas around mental health issues. Get wet and have a good time, they tell you. It’s a simple enough creed, but the message runs deeper than that: it’s OK not to be OK, and that you don’t have to – ever – go it alone.

@granttrebilco on @onewaveisallittakes

@arlenebax for @onewaveisallittakes

“When I was diagnosed with Bipolar, it was surfing with family and my mates that helped me the most,” shares OneWave Founder Grant Trebilco. “Sometimes, one wave really is all it takes.”

Their theory is simple: it doesn’t matter if you’re riding a wave for the first time or the hundredth, if you’ve got it nailed or if you fall off the second you stand, or even if you don’t stand up at all: you never forget that feeling of being on a wave, letting it all go and enjoying that moment. Sometimes, like Trebilco says, one wave is all it takes to free that funk that’s been following you for so long.

According to research by the Black Dog Institute – a world-leading clinic in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders such as depression and bipolar – one in five people experience mental health issues each year and, of those, 65 per cent never seek treatment. This is why it’s so important to ask yourself, and those around you: “R U OK?”

“I want anyone experiencing mental health issues to have this opportunity,” says Trebilco of surfing.

When you’re feeling low, it’s hard to set any kind of schedule, to do anything but fall into the funk. OneWave, though, is so much more than a simple reason to get out of bed in the morning. It’s the chance to meet new people, to have a laugh, to learn to surf,  to be part of something bigger. And, of course, to learn to surf. Set your alarm and get salty next Friday.

@ruokday on @onewaveisallittakes

@thedrowned_rat on @onewaveisallittakes

Today is National R U OK? Day. Reach out to those around you and ask them the question. If you, or someone you know, is struggling, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. 

Elle Glass
Writer
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