The Maldives QS contest is coming up this weekend. What have you been doing to get ready for that? Anything in particular?
I’ve been doing pretty much everything that I can do. I’ve got a guy whose coaching me out in the water as far as strategy and heats, so you go out there with a plan basically, so you’re not just floating around. Look at the lineup, study it before, figure out where the best waves are, and he’s got a formula that’s top-secret, can’t really go into it that much. I’ve also got this guy in San Clemente that I’ve been training with a little more too. I’ve been trying to get my little chicken legs to thicken up a little bit. So I’ve been doing three days a week at both, so six days a week of training essentially.
Pretty intense workout you’ve got yourself. Have you been paying attention to any forecasts for the contest?
I don’t know, I just do Surfline and they don’t have a Maldives report. There’s usually waves though. You never know with the ‘QS, you pretty much just go with every board you’ve got for one foot waves to overhead. Maldives doesn’t usually get that big, but there’s usually something. And it’s a left, and I’m goofy-foot, and it’s a really good left, so I’m looking forward to it.
You recently got back from West Oz too, right? How did that go?
It was pretty rad. Being in the contest it went from each day not knowing what to expect. It would go from choppy, small, onshore conditions and then to ten foot and heavy, to windy, offshore. So it was cool, we got to surf everything that coast has to offer because there’s small wave spots, big wave spots, onshore spots.
Did you guys do some 4×4 exploring at all?
Unfortunately we didn’t have a 4×4. We just went for the cheap little Rabbit rent-a-car so we couldn’t make it to most of the 4×4 spots. But we still got a lot of good waves. I’ve been there a couple times, so I’m a little familiar with the area.
I also heard you had a few discrepancies with Australian driving rules?
Yeah, I think I ended up racking like $600 within four hours. It was heavy. I think they were after me, I’ve never been pulled over, ever, out of all the years. And they got within a couple hours. The last guy actually followed me back to my house because I didn’t have my license on me.
So I guess he just wanted to make sure you got back alright?
Yeah, and he ended up coming in the house and giving me a lecture, saying how I’m a menace to Australia and I shouldn’t even be driving. And that I should go read the book and figure out how to drive.
Yeah, those people without their licenses causing so much chaos.
I guess it was because a lot of cops come from Perth for that event. The local cops are usually cool, but they bring outside cops in to crack down. And there’s no lenience. I was like, “Dude come on,” to the second guy because I got a ticket from him for being on my cell phone, “in California they’re changing the law, but you can still drive with the hands-free.” And he wasn’t buying it, he was all, “Mate it’s been two years we’ve had this law in place. This is bullshit, you need to learn the laws of the road.” He just went off. He almost took me to jail.
Well you’re sitting at 24th now I believe, on the ‘QS. Definite improvement from last year’s 64th. How are you feeling about that so far?
I’m stoked with where I’m at. The pressure isn’t on me, but I’m right there in striking distance. It’s kind of cool. The top guys like Austin, who I travel with, whose in 2nd, and Pat whose from the same town, and I travel with those guys, I think there’s a lot of pressure on them and expectations already. Which is good, but at the same time, it can kind of make you nervous. You start tthinking of the big picture more, rather than just one event at a time. So right where I’m at I’m stoked, right there. One good result and I’ll be right where they’re at. Kind of darkhorse I guess you could call it. I like it.
I also heard you love karaoke.
Yes. It was actually my fiancée’s birthday Friday night and we all went to karaoke. I did a couple songs.
Any particular trademark songs you do?
No, I really like to mix it up. I’m not very good with songs, so I always have to ask people what the songs are called. Because you have to know the names, so I’ll think of a song, and then can’t figure out what the name of it is, and just sing the little part I know. I’ve gone up a couple times with a song I don’t know at all and just wing it, have fun with it. I don’t have much talent as far as my singing, but I’ve got the heart and a lethal dance repertoire.
Haha, hardcore dance moves. We may have to get some video of that for the site.
By Ryan Brower