Jack Botts’ top spots to pull up the van and surf along the Bellarine and Surf Coast

Jack Botts’ top spots to pull up the van and surf along the Bellarine and Surf Coast

A regular visitor to our coast, Jack Botts’ third EP Slow Mornings is out Friday June 4.

Van life is all the rage right now, especially in a time where the sole focus is on hitting the road and exploring all our beautiful state (and country) has to offer.

Recent times have seen innovative campervan owners and keen travellers have been busy converting, modifying and purpose-building vans that are far from what you’d expect from a two-berth on the road vehicle, giving travellers a unique way to holiday around the state.

Unsurprisingly, van life is something that’s long appealed to surfers. With their itinerant desire to chase swells and see the world, surfing and travelling go hand in hand and the van life gives them the freedom to not only follow the swell but also bring more boards along and save money for surfing.

A musician that would know about this is Jack Botts: a Brisbane-born, Byron Bay-based musician who over the last few years has refined his singer-songwriter craft after years of cutting his teeth as a busker.

Now selling out headline shows and making festival appearances across the country, Jack Botts is becoming one of Australia’s fastest-rising songwriters under the radar thanks to his super chill guitar riffs, great melodies and honey-smooth vocals.

Built on an authentic and no-frills approach to life and music, the twenty-three-year-old is a breath of fresh air, creating a brand of surf folk drenched in depth and substance. With two EPs already to his name, Botts has now revealed the details of his third EP Slow Mornings, to be released on Friday, June 4.

The EP courses more thoroughly through a formative period in Jack’s life. Marking a memory bank of the highs and lows of the last 18 months, Slow Mornings dives into new love – let alone a long-distance love in a COVID-world – and all its highs, lows, joys, frustrations and anticipations.

“This EP is a collection of tracks that represent a pretty crazy point in my life, and career. All the ups and downs of balancing a long-distance relationship with work. It talks about all the moments when you want to throw the towel in and give up, to the realisation that giving up just isn’t an option, despite the heartache. The pandemic gave me a lot of time to think (sometimes too much) and dive into different genres and styles of writing. I feel I ventured out a little bit more than I ever have, which I really enjoyed! This EP will always remind me of a really tough year, but appreciate everything that came from those lessons.”

With the release of the EP’s title track dedicated to road tripping with a loved one or mate, and taking it easy where you may be, we sat down with the nomadic traveller to get him to share his top spots to pull up the van and surf along our beautiful Surf Coast and Bellarine Peninsula.

13th Beach, Ocean Grove

I remember spending a whole day there with my mate Felipe in 2019. We took the longboards out for nearly the whole day, just the two of us and it was absolutely epic, even with the serious sunburn haha. 13th Beach Road is pretty cool. There are heaps of little car parks all the way along, so most of the time you can have a whole break to yourself (what dreams are made of really!) The waves are super fun and cruisy as well.

Steps, Jan Juc

I spent the morning surfing at ‘Steps’ with a few mates the day of my Torquay show just gone. When we woke up, it was super foggy until about 9:30, and I wasn’t really feeling it. By 10am, the sun was out, water was glassy, and it was about 27 degrees and turned out to be a great morning in the water. Some of the sets were a touch overhead, nice and punchy, and super clean. I don’t really get to surf too many reef breaks at home so I was pretty chuffed with these rights. I’ve been obsessed with this new board I bought at the start of the year, (mid-length twinny), and I was stoked it was perfect for the morning.

Cosy Corner, Torquay

A lot of people have told me that Cosy Corner only works occasionally when there are enough swell and the right conditions. It’s not a wave that you can just surf every day or when you feel like it. Somehow, I managed to be there on a day when it was just perfect and it was an awesome way to spend a summer day in the region. Nice and cruisy right-hander on the log. Definitely not the same as ‘Cosy Corner’ up in Byron.

Special mention: Hire-A-Kombi

So much love for this family! George restores old 70s VW Kombi’s, ready for people to road trip from the Great Ocean Road to as far as Byron. My first ever road trip down this was with Dusty Boots in early 2019. We ended up playing heaps of music on their property in Ocean Grove as part of a Vanlife gathering. Just one of many awesome things happening in the Bellarine.

Check out the track ‘Slow Mornings’ below. Slow Mornings EP is out in full Friday June 4.