From Tahiti and Hawaii to South Africa and France, Griffith University communications graduate Lyle Fielmich has seen some of the best surfing beaches in the world.
Starting out in 2006 as an intern with the Quiksilver Pro World Surfing competition in Coolangatta, Lyle has honed his skills to become a broadcast director and freelance editor.
“When I started with Quiksilver as a production assistant I offered to edit outdoors and it went from there,’’ he said.
“My first competition was a fantastic experience.”
Shortly after he completed the internship he received a call.
“Someone from Billabong had seen my work at Quiksilver and asked me to cover the comp in Tahiti! I was thrilled.”
Over the past decade Lyle has travelled the globe covering surfing competitions with the World Surfing League, as well as freelancing for the AFL, NRL V8 Super Cars, cricket and the Australian Open.
Lyle says rapid technological changes have improved the live outdoor broadcast quality exponentially.
“We’ve gone from really simple webcasts and small cameras to a world-class standard. We use the same broadcast equipment used in mainstream sports such as cricket, AFL, NRL and tennis.
“Surfing as a whole is becoming more of a marketable sport to networks, so the cameras have to be of a really high standard. When I started in Tahiti, it was all webcast.
“The Griffith University internship I completed with Quiksilver really opened the door to my career.”
Griffith University this year celebrates 11 years of its partnership with Quiksilver. More than 60 students have completed internships and gone on to diverse careers.
Production manager Kate Bain has been involved with the World Surfing League’s tour for the past 10 years and manages the Griffith University interns.
She says the long standing relationship with the university and Quiksilver & Roxy Pro’s on the Gold Coast has seen some fantastic people get hands-on industry experience.
“In an increasingly competitive job market, our aim is to provide students with knowledge and contacts that may help them achieve their chosen career paths.
“Many students have gone onto employment throughout the surf industry over the years. This internship opens doors. Lyle is a great example of what this opportunity can lead to,’’ she said.
Lyle has just finished his 10th Quiksilver Pro competition where this year he was broadcast director.
“Basically, I sit in a room full of monitors and direct the cameras. We have 13 cameras, seven with operators and the other six are fixed. It’s an amazing experience.”
After a couple of weeks rest, he’ll be off again — this year, the WSL’s tours include Tahiti, Fiji, South Africa, California, Hawaii, France and Portugal.
And just for the record, Lyle reckons Jeffrey’s Bay in South Africa has one of the best and most beautiful surfing beaches in the world.