The Dylan Post
For the 3 years in which The Sea Life existed as a daily email, from 2008-2010, barely a week or even day went by that this blonde mopped kid wasn’t infront of my lens & subsequently seen in the aforementioned email sent to a few thousand often office bound subscribers, with either a rail emersed or his fins drying in the Cronullafornian air. When the daily emails became undaily & the photos relocated to an occasionally updated website we decided to lay low on the constant Dylan content at the risk of the general public / Sea Life subscribers getting sick of the guy. We continued to shoot when out rent paying work allowed us but decided to save the shots for one big post when we thought it worthy of putting out there.
2 years since the collecting & storing began here it is, the first ‘Dylan’ post. A greatest hits of sorts of the last two years of shooting and missing. Occasionally we hit, we hope you think the same, if not, that’s a-ok, we’ll still be shooting for while to come yet. There’ll probably be another ‘Dylan’ post in another 2 years, hopefully we’ll have improved & taken a step closer to being worthy of the list of amazingly talented creative partnerships of history...well, we can at least dream.
(Our interview takes place walking between HAM, the regular cup of Joe distributor & south Cronulla to get into the sun & out of the wind on a mid-march morning. I am pushing my almost 1 year old son in a stroller hugging his toy rabbit, enjoying the sights of the ocean & the park activities. Dylan is holding a take away long black & has no children)
Dylan how’s it going?
It’s going pretty good, the weather is sunny but surprisingly chilly. Typical autumn’s day.
Are you surprise at the chilliness?
No because yesterday was quite chilly too but it’ll warm up later in the day.
How do you feel about chilli on burgers or meat or food in general?
I don’t deal with it too well, little bit of chilli is ok, I like pepper.
Is pepper a chilli?
No, well in America they call chillis peppers, or is that capsicum?
Have you ever been to America?
Which part of the Americas?
I went to a lot part of the Americas, I went to New York, umm, Califor..Huntington, surf capital of the freaking world! and…Mexico.
So, Northern and Central?
Northern and Central, yes.
How was it?
(After several interruptions to the interview which in real life shouldn’t really be called interruptions as they are part of any community, that of the seeing someone you know & stopping to have a chat & catch up on the recent happenings. We heard brief accounts of surfs they had the day before or about what they’re doing that day and just general small talk you’d expect from someone when the conversation will not likely exceed 1 or 2 minutes. We find a spot in the sun and out of the wind and continue…)
Growing up in the most South Eastern suburb of Sydney, having the Royal National Park as your backyard how was growing up across the river in Bundeena?
It was good, it was really good, well I didn’t know any better, you don’t think it’s secluded you just think that’s how it is. We were very lucky, we had all the time in the world to do anything. You got to take your time with everything I guess.
It’s not really known as a surfing spot, how did you start & get into surfing?
No, we used to bodyboard heaps at a little spot called ‘Devils Hole’. It was just a shorey, me and Dyl Hannah used to surf it a lot. Then we started to surf ‘Reef’, it was just called ‘Reef’, out the back of Bundeena point, which was the best, it broke straight on rock and you had to learn super quick.
Gday mate how’s it going…
So, how old are you now?
23, 24 in may.
What does a typical week look like these days for Mr Hayllar, from getting up on a Monday morning til Sunday night, is there a typical week?
There’s definitely not a typical week, not with my job I don’t think. Some mornings I’ll be in Manly in the office at 8 o’clock, others I’ll be down the coast or Wagga, Torquay, could be anywhere. There’s definitely not a regular week. Usually I get a lot of home time with friends which is good.
Do you think you’ll always be surfing?
I’ll always be surfing otherwise I’ll be no good at anything else in my life! It’s the go to thing. it’s the staple. It’s the thing that you think about when you’re doing things that you don’t like. It gets you through the bad things. It’s when you go “this sucks! wait a minute, it’s going to be alright, I can surf later.”
Is it still a dream of yours to surf full time and basically to be a pro surfer, what ever that looks like these days?
Yea, I don’t think there’s a typical pro surfer. You’re either a guy that’s on the CT or wants to be on the CT or a guy that stays as far away from it as they can. There’s 2 types, the corporate guys that wear the branded logos and turn up to competition and talk about heat strategies and then there’s the guys that have rips in their jeans and shirts and stay away from all the crowded line-ups and want to pitch a tent in Mexico and be as far away as that as possible. I think secretly everyone would be pretty stoked to win comps but say they don’t because now there’s an opportunity to actually not even worry about losing or winning a heat because they’ve got an image about them or are photogenic or they look good on film.
Which one are you?
I like comps, I don’t do well in them, but I’d like to! I just don’t think I’ve committed hard enough to do well in them or committed hard enough to go the other way. I respect both parties. I think I’m just happy to be able to surf everyday and not be worried about going up to people and saying “yea, I’m a pro surfer”. I’m just happy to say that I’m a surfer, you know. I’m in the water just as much as them though I have different commitments, other priorities. I’m not guna be the guy that at 30 looks back and goes “now I’ve goto start my apprentiship or find a job” I’ve already done 2 years working for a surf company and 5 years working in a surf store so I’ve got plenty of experience behind me already. At the end of the day it just comes back to being in the water . I think those people that burn out and don’t actually enjoy surfing anymore because they’re trying to do loads of comps and not even enjoying the travel to get there or even the places they’re in because they’re too focused on getting a result they probably won’t get. You’ve goto be that good! You’ve goto be a young Mick Fanning. These days even the top 30 aren’t safe, whereas 10 years ago you would have been sweet! You’d be secure for ages, now you could be off in 1 year. I drive an hour and I’m stoked to be there and I’m taking it all in I’m not worried about losing or winning or anything. I’m just surfing because it’s time to surf.
What’s the future? Where are you in 5, 10, 20 years?
Shit! Hopefully I’ll have a job where I’m getting paid more than I am now, but still doing everything that I just said; seeing all of my friends, still surfing as much as I am, maybe even getting the opportunity to travel a bit more. Umm, I wouldn’t mind being in France.
I love France, Quiksilver’s European head office is there, it’s a nice place. I duno, I’ve never been good at this plan thing, see where it takes me. I’m sure my friends will be around. I don’t think I could be anywhere my friends aren’t, so maybe not France.
Tell us about the photos in this post that we’ve shot over the last year or so, how do they compare with when we first started shooting?
Well when we first started we were both just super excited. We’d meet up everyday and you’d want to shoot and I’d want to surf and even if I did a head-butt-the-knee snap you’d be ‘sick I got a shot of someone surfing let’s put it on the internet!’ and I’d be ‘sick I’ve got a shot on the internet!’ Then we started getting pickier over 2 years and started choosing better places and better shots and now on this post I think it took so long to put it out because we were so critical! We’d both see shots on the net & in magazines that you know are 10 times better than the ones we had and we wouldn’t be happy until we got that standard. We shot a lot of different spots you know. It wasn’t just the alley everyday, I mean a few of them are the alley, I love the alley, or shoes. Nobody can say anything bad about shoes.
We were just trying to get a variety of things I guess.
Where should we go for the next ‘Dylan’ post in 2 years?
Well the thing is if we say somewhere awesome we’re never going to be able to do a post again unless we go to that awesome place. We’re guna have to do it somewhere close. Maybe like Wollongong. It’s all going on in Wollongong. I think there’ll still be heaps from around here because it’s so good. Why would you waste your home? You look at shots of Julian (Wilson) and shots of Chippa (Wilson) and they’re always at home and you don’t really get too sick of them I don’t think. But I’m not Julian or Chippa, haha! There’s your problem…Found the problem.
(Husky starts losing it, we’ve been stationery for too long, he wants to get moving)
Alright mate, let’s hit it. Thanks Dylan.
Thanks mate, (leans down to Husk) see you little man!