Spirit of Akasha - Kye Fitzgerald
We chat with surf lord Kye Fitzgerald about being involved in the Spirit of Akasha.
For those that don’t know, Kye Fitzgerald hails from surfing royalty. His father Terry has been responsible for some of the most iconic boards of the 70’s and a great surfer. While his brother Joel has also made a name for himself shaping boards and slaying waves, be sure to check out his latest colab with Deus.
But we are here to talk about Kye. Arguably one of, if not the most talented and stylish chaps to ever step foot on a single fin. His flair and energy for surfing is evident when you simply see footage of him or when you ask him a question about his boards and it's all done with a sincere and humble sense of himself. He is being featured in Albe Falzon and Andrew Kidman’s latest film Spirit of Akasha that celebrates Morning of the Earth and it’s lasting legacy. We caught up with Kye to talk about the film, his experience, the music and his boards.
You're obviously a professional surfer who is most well known for riding a collection of vintage boards.
I don’t regard myself as a professional surfer. A surfer yes, very much so. I focus on surfing not just vintage surfboards or retro surfboards, but focus more specially on riding my old man’s (Terry Fitzgerald) surfboard designs from the 1970’s period.
I can see why you would choose that era you come from surf royalty.
Haha, when you're in the castle you don’t see it like that.
I could only imagine what boards you have and would get to ride. So with Spirit of Akasha how did you become involved in the project?
It’s a 20 year story. I grew up surfing with Andrew Kidman and John Frank but hadn’t really worked with them since. Andrew did his thing creatively and I did my thing, which is surfing, and it just so happened that we came together on Spirit, which is unreal.
For your feature in the film where did you surf?
We went to Tahiti with John Frank and my brother Joel. The surf wasn’t what you would normally expect in Tahiti and so I think creatively it gave Andrew and John the opportunity to do something really different. A few things fell into place, which was unreal.
You’ve grown up watching Albe Falzon films, who was the mastermind behind Morning of the Earth. How did you feel when you got the chance to work on Spirit of Akasha a film that celebrates Morning of the Earth?
I felt like it was the pinnacle of my surfing career. I felt like I had reached the top of the mountain. There were a few things that had happened before I got the opportunity to go to Tahiti with John to work on Spirit of Akasha and I was sort of thinking to myself what next? I had sort of done everything I had wanted to do. Then when this came up I was like this is the icing on the cake, the top of Mt Everest for me and I felt like getting the opportunity to be apart of this film had made me realize I had achieved everything I wanted to in my surfing log book.
It's pretty insane to reach a point like that, a lot of people may not reach that in life or their surfing career. Now I’m fortunate I can just surf and enjoy it and see what the universe provides with both arms open ready to go.
You mentioned your memorable Tahiti session that is featured in Spirit of Akasha where you riding your dad's boards and had he shaped them for the trip or were they original boards from the 70’s?
He had shaped them for the trip. One of the boards was a 7’0 single wing pin tail that was based on a board dad had shaped in 1979 the board had been nick named ‘Speed Thrills’, as it went so fast. Terry had surfed it in the 1981 Bells event. Derek Hynd also surfed that board in the event and said, “that board was the best single ever shaped”. I snapped the original a few years ago so I got Terry to try and reproduce it as best he could for the trip. I then got Martin Worthington to airbrush what looked like a blue sky with clouds onto the board so it looked like I was floating on clouds when I was going across the water. It was pretty sick.
Sounds rad. Are you making your way down to Sydney for the premier?
Yeah I will I’m excited, as I haven’t yet seen the film or anything. The musicians are all awesome, the photographers are all insane so I’m really looking forward to seeing what Andrew, Albe and co have put together.
Touching on the music, they have put together a really interesting and diverse soundtrack have you had the chance to listen to it? Thoughts?
I mean it's got Angus Stone, Dirty Three, Bonnie Prince Billy... Bonnie Prince is amazing and the Dirty Three was my favorite album form last year. Angus Stone is a good surfer and a great guy. The music is good, eclectic and right up my ally. Oh The Windy Hills there cool too.
What’s the plan for the rest of the year are we going to see more Kye footage? You mentioned you had met your pinnacle earlier so I’m interested to see what comes next?
Let's see what happens when the film comes out. There will be renewed interest in what I’m doing and the boards I’m surfing. I don’t want to pass up any opportunities that for sure.
For more information about Spirit of Akasha click HERE.
SPIRIT OF AKASHA SOUNDTRACK, MORNING OF THE EARTH REIMAGINED & MORNING OF THE EARTH COMPLETE ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK REISSUE AVAILABLE FRIDAY 24 JANUARY.