I have been in Bali for the past month and a bit with my beautiful little family. It has been awesome to share with them a bit of who I am away from home. It’s funny. I’ve kinda had two different lives for the past few years. Feels cool to combine the two together. It actually feels vigorating, like I’m growing up or something. Its been soo good for them to be immersed in a completely different culture for the first time and I’m sure their minds and souls have been opened to the realities of a “third world” country which still exists underneath the flashing lights of the Kuta nightclubs. I have been trying my best to live similar to the locals. After being there so many times, It gets a little tiring eating out and doing all the usuals. I haven’t been drunk once which is surprising but nice. We got a rice cooker and have been shopping at the markets for vege’s and fruit. The fruit is beautiful aaahhh i’m addicted to mango!!! The boys have been surfing heaps and it has been one of the best experiences i’ve ever had, Watching the little groms faces after riding a whitewash!!!! YEWWW!!! Little Milo stood up for the first time and i took a photo of it. As soon as we got home he’s hounding me to have a look!!!! hahaha It took me back to the Opoutama Beach days when my older brothers did the same to me. God, surfing is amazing isn’t it. For me, there is simply nothing better.
We were staying in Canggu. For those of you who don’t know Canggu, its a little beach which hosts 3 high quality waves in a stones throw of each other. It, at times can be similar to surfing France in the summer. There aren’t too many locals running about the streets. The local inhabitants are mainly fat pocketed europeans who either own a villa at the Canggu Club or are there visiting their friends who own a villa at the Canggu Club. They love calling you off waves the day after completing their two week learn to surf camp they did down at Padma. The beachfront Warungs are still intact, prices are slightly bloated these days but the beach hang vibe lives on through amazing local people like Wayan at the Mandira Cafe. Scarily they are all in the shadow of a giant apartment complex which when finished, may threaten their existence. I hope not. There is also a bunch of digging going on a little close to the waves. There is talk of a nightclub going in there….. HHHmmmmm…. There is not too much room to breathe in Canggu anymore as the last few rice paddies sell to overseas investors at the drop of a hat. More villa, more villa. There is reason for that. Canggu is a little slice of heaven. It has an international vibe and all your modern day conveniences including some of the finest organic restaurants in bali. The waves are still the same, AMAZING!!!!! Its got to be the perfect place to train ever. There is a perfect right hander at High tide and at low, the sandbar left is so much fun. The amount of amazing surfers that come through every day is inspiring too. Thats the one thing about my little gem in Mahia. I surf on my own every day (ssshhhh don’t tell anyone!!!!). It is amazing and I love surfing on my own more than anything, but right now I wanna get better. I wanna improve and you do that by being around people who are better than you!!! It’s been good hanging with guys who froth on surfing just as much as I do!!! I have been training at my friend Tai “Buddha” Graham’s gym in Seminyak called Modern Movement. It is a legit little venture he has just started with his partners, professional big wave madman Mark Mathews and Taj Burrows coach and trainer Johnny Gannon. I’ve been in there four times a week for the past month, training alongside other surfers Tai, Adam Bennets, Reef Doig and whoever was dropping into Bali in need of a train. Its surfing specific, cross-fit esque strength training. What is special about it is the surf specific wave simulations we have been doing. It’s all about visualisation and acquiring the correct strengthening to areas at the same times as you would use them during the course of a targeted wave. If you’re heading to Bali anytime and keen to suss it, hit up Tai Graham on Facebook or follow @modernmovement on instagram. He is also joining forces with our kiwi brother Matty Scorringe who as of late has high-jumped his way to being New Zealands most advanced and respected surf coach. Along with his own professional surfing experience, filming for and caddying World Tour surfer Josh Kerr and his ongoing work alongside leading Surfing Australia coach Samba Mann, he has got the whole package. Follow @theartofsurfing on instagram to keep up to date with his movements. Once again if you’re in Bali, HIT THE BROTHERS UP!!!! They will take care of you and have ya shredding harder than ever!
The second half of this year is big for me. The beginning of the year saw me in an uncomfortable position working for dimes, with no major sponsor, no seed to enter PRIMES and a dream that was so big it sickened me every day I was not living it. After an inspiring little Aussie leg in March, it all shifted and I refocused, reconnected and made sure it was my dream I would be living from now on. Thanks to amazing people like you, I managed to raise enough money to join the tour again!!!!! For that, I say THANKYOU and i always will. Without your support Aotearoa and the world, I wouldn’t be here!!! My sponsors who are behind me now, THANKYOU for your continuous backing and for this, I am so ever humbled and grateful! When I got 5th in Mexico, my first contest after the sportfunder, my World ranking jumped from 130 to 79th and enabled me to do the back half of the this year, the PRIME tour. This starts now. The AZORES ISLANDS PRO, a prime WQS event begins tomorrow, the 3rd of September and is my first opportunity to begin my climb up the rankings to qualify for the 2014 World Tour like Paige HAreb has just done in the womens. YEWWW!!!!! PSYCHING!!!!!! Then there is Portugal in October, before the final three in Hawaii in November.
My plane wheels hit the ground skidding to a stop in Ponta Delgada, Azores three nights ago. It was a solid little airport run. After not sleeping for a night, I managed to leave my clothes bag behind at the boarding gate. I chose to be sneaky and walk it on as carry on luggage to avoid extra fees. Unfortunately I wasn’t used to wheeling an extra bag so when i put my backpack on my back as the Final Call bells blared, I subconsciously gave a koha to Gate 41A, Aeroporto Lisboa. Its not too bad though. It only had clothes in it and my jandals. It’s not as if I ever change my clothes anyway and I prefer to walk around barefoot, just like my paua feet days playing rugby on the shingle backroad in Mahia.
Please note: I have eaten far too much bread this morning. I was trying to overcompensate. I felt ripped off with only cheese inside my roll after my five year addiction to ham and cheese rolls during my visits to this country. The ham looked so habitual and fitting but is unfortunately off my personal menu these days. May have to continue lying here for a while.
CHUR TO THE MAX WHANAU!!!!!!! PEACE!!!!!!
Enjoy some Balinese moments below frozen in time!!!