Dave Rastovich is not your average professional surfer. Living in a lush, secluded paradise in the Byron coastal hinterland, he avidly avoids the spotlight, embraces the simple life and speaks out passionately on behalf of the environment. His loyal supporters have followed him throughout every step of his unique career, in constant admiration of his mellow attitude and deep love for the ocean. What really strikes a chord with surf fans all over the world is his refreshing approach to brand partnerships, with Rasta only choosing to align himself with those rare companies that genuinely reflect his core values and beliefs.

This is what makes his latest creative project with Stone & Wood Brewery so endearing. 'The Way It Should Be' is a short film that tells the incredible story of the Northern Rivers Region and the conscientious local community who work so hard to create a sustainable world for future generations. It also gives an amazing insight into the process behind brewing this years' official Byron Bay Surf Festival x Stone & Wood brew - which we're more than excited to taste..

The full clip will be premiered at the Byron Bay Surf Festival Sunset Cinema on Friday the 24th of February at 7pm, so grab your picnic blanket and come and join us for an epic sunset and a night of creative magic.

We asked Dave a few questions this week to find out what else was on his creative mind leading into this weeks Byron Bay Surf Festival.

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Favourite travel destination?

DR- the places I like I never speak of, and the places I love leave me speechless.  Anywhere peaceful is pretty.

Where and when was your last surf?

DR- I surfed today with not a human soul in sight. I am pretty anti social when it comes to riding waves in the ocean. So generally I keep my surfing times as private times… loose lips sink ships..

What are the key design attributes to the board you were riding?

DR- An edge bottom George Greenough templated 7’4, three inches thick double concave in the tail curvy rail outline straight lined central planning hull low rocker all based from George’s edge bottom layout from 1978.

Can you share any wacky new board concepts you’ve been trying lately?

DR- Thrusters are the weirdest shit I have ever ridden, so much drag I felt like I was going backwards. I honestly cannot fathom the popularity of them as I have never had much luck with them… to me.. at least.. they’re weird.

How did you personally contribute to the Stone & Wood brew of "Tallows Gold" beer for the Byron Bay Surf Festival?

DR- I gave the brewers two kilos of our home grown native finger limes to blend in. One finger lime bush about three feet high produced all the fruit for the beer!!

What does your workshop Activists Toolkit discuss at the Byron Bay Surf Festival?

DR- How to successfully disrupt the systems that are destroying the ecology of our mother planet, through activism, both personal and political. There are five speakers who will share their stories of success and challenge when it comes to achieving this. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to creating change, there are a lot of wins happening that we can emulate and learn from.

(Activists Toolkit is on this Saturday Feb 25th at 2pm at Byron Theatre at the community centre as part of  Byron Bay Surf Festival

What do you think is the single most significant issue in the north coast environmental landscape at the moment?

DR- Development  and diminishment of native ecology can happen through new suburbs, mono-culture farming practices, over fishing through commercial netting and bottom trawling, shark nets, and chemical farming practices.

What action can the surf and beach community take to help provide a solution to this issue?

DR- Grown our own food, only buy organic and local, catch our own fish, know that surfing is risky and the reason it’s fun is cause there’s no ‘safety’ nets. Oppose development, join blockades to stop extractive industries. VOTE.

What could local Byron Bay surf businesses learn from the brand Patagonia as a business model?

DR- Have a mission statement that includes community and ecology health.

When you travel do you carry any specific message about the Byron Bay region to people that you meet?

DR- The Bentley Blockade.

What knowledge or insight have you learned from travelling recently that you have been forwarding to people in the Byron region?

DR- Ocean health the world over is in trouble…. Commercial fishing…domestic/industrial runoff are destroying the places where surfers live. We could side step those dramas by speaking to those communities and watching out for the signs of such drama in our own home zone.

Who is your current style icon or spirit animal?

DR- wombats are rad.

If you could live on any planet in this solar system apart from Earth which planet would it be and why?

DR well apparently, according to the Dogon tribe from Africa dolphins came to Earth via a starship of some kind from their home planet of Sirius. They told the tribe all about their home star system , even down to how the stars orbit each other and how long those orbits take, which is 52.4 years by the way. So I reckon it would be nice to go to Sirius A or B and hang with them…. Learn how to fart bubble rings and surf like no ones business!

Favourite time of the year?

.DR- Now

Tell us a joke from the Rasta comedy club?

DR – That guy’s a donkey.

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Check out Dave in person at the Activist Toolkit presented by Patagonia on Saturday Feb 25 2-3pm at the Byron Theatre at the Community Centre. Tickets at Byroncenture.com.au

Get the Stone and Wood "Tallows Gold" beer made from Dave's home grown finger limes exclusively during the Byron Bay Surf Festival.

The crew wanted to explore the idea of creating a surf-inspired beer using ingredients sourced from the local area & their mate's backyards.

And after putting our heads together we've managed to rustle up some local, hand-picked finger limes, a few pinches of premium Pacific Ocean sea salt, a couple of bunches of kombu seaweed and brewed it into a thirst-quenching Belgian Blonde.

Tallows Gold will be released at BBSF's Saturday Slide event, 25 February at the Beach Hotel Byron Bay. It will also be on tap at our Stone & Wood tasting room over the festival weekend Feb 24-26. 

Dave Rastovich adding his finger limes to to the Tallow brew of Stone and Wood Beer for BBSF