The Surfers Rite Of Passage
After 5 years working in the big (landlocked) city, cobbling together the odd surf trip and dreaming of waves the rest of the time, I’m taking a leap of faith.
I’ve written a lot about the difficulties you can face trying to break into the world of surfing. Now that I have the privilege of time and enough money saved, I’m going to give myself the best chance to supercharge my surfing with a round-world surf trip.
I’ll be heading to a fistful of countries, including some of the best surf locations around the world: Sri Lanka, Bali, Australia and Fiji, stopping indefinitely in New Zealand.
There’s also the small matter of finally seeing the WCT at Cloudbreak, Fiji!
Strangely, a lot of people have called it “brave”. I’ve had friends and colleagues saying things like “I’d never do that” or, more incredibly; “I’d love to have the guts to do that”. As far as I see it, bravery hasn’t entered into it. It feels too natural to be anywhere near daring. That said, I’m sure I’ll have a change of opinion when I’m getting panned by a set wave or two somewhere off the Australian coast. As ever I’ll be keeping track of everything I learn, as I learn it, to bring it back to Over The Dune in my surf lessons learned, so I’ll let you know if I’m right!
I leave England a mediocre weekend warrior, let’s see what happens next…
Although I reckon trying to categorise surfing ability under single word headings is a bit of a pointless exercise, for ease of understanding, I put myself firmly as “Intermediate” heading out on this adventure. To be more specific, I am:
- Catching waves (if my wave choice is lucky enough) and putting in half-baked bottom turns
- Not yet making any kind of decent turn in the wave
- Happier with my duck diving, but still struggling in turbulent (bigger) waves and on bigger boards
- In mediocre shape
- Still unnerved by anything head-height or bigger
- Shaky on surfboard definitions and a lot of other technical terms
- Riding voluminous boards somewhere between 6’6” and 7’2”
So if, after reading these points you count yourself near my “level”, I hope my insights prove useful for you. Keep checking in for more lessons learned as I go.
A few answers to questions I’ve been asked:
- Am I taking a surfboard?
The short answer is no. Aside from surfing I’ll be passing through some other destinations for the first month or two that will make it near-impossible to take one along. I’ll be renting to begin with, looking to buy somewhere after Sri Lanka.
- When will I be making updates?
- What’s the plan?!
I have no particular plan. Aside from improving my surfing, hunting for consistent waves, professionals, locals, surf coaches and any hints and tips I can on the way, there are no specifics. So please do get in touch if you have any advice – especially when it comes to Australia and New Zealand.
- How long am I gone for?
Indefinitely! Armed with a work visa for New Zealand and vague targets (Gisborne and Raglan), the future is an open book.
So that’s it. By the time you read this I’ll already be on my way. My next post will be coming from Sri Lanka, so see you then!