I travelled around the sun and turned 14! Actually, it still feels rather the same!
We had a great Eco birthday party at our favourite hut at the beach. My best surfer girl friends came along and we had fun surfing and swimming and dancing. The Quicksilver pro surfing comp had just started – but it was a lay day – so we made Leis with Lei! A ‘Lei’ is a flower crown famous in Hawaii and our good friend Lei showed us how to weave them out of flowers and grasses that we just found growing around the place in the wild.
Mum tried to organise everything with no plastic or other waste – so the cake and sushi was served on banana leaves and we reused our cups, with fruit instead of lollies!
It was so lovely to see Laura Enever again who came along with a great present of a new waterproof watch!
I’m so lucky to have my birthday around the same time as the Roxy/quicksilver pro – it’s like the surf party just keeps going! In the early mornings we share our local waves with the best surfers in the world! It was tough for the organisers with the swell disappearing and having to extend it for two extra days. It was worth the wait to see the finals, with the winners Carissa Moore and Filipe Toledo showing us some amazing surfing!
A week after my birthday I got to join in the Surfing Australia High Performance Centre (HPC) camp, for all the winners of the under 14 girls in the Wahu comps around the country. And what perfect timing – the new boards from Duranbah surfboards were ready to bring along!
What an awesome experience! The girls were lovely, the food delicious and the coaches full of great advice. It definitely gave me hints and motivation to keep striving for the next level in my surfing.
The year seems to be speeding by, with so much going on – but bring able to get into the ocean every day keeps it all real. Yesterday we had our first experience riding ‘alaia’ boards – wooden, finless planks inspired by the first surfers of Hawaii. They are so hard to ride (they sink when you try to paddle them and they hurt when they bonk you on the head!), but so much fun! My brother Yani, my friend Shaye and I teamed up to compete in the ‘Eco-challenge’ tag team ‘Roots of Surfing’ contest and we were so surprised to win! I think maybe it helped that we were the youngest and lightest competitors! And we were the only ones with girls in our team too! It was a great event with original music, organic, healthy foods and the festival was all solar powered. I’d love to have a wooden board – think I’ll have to learn how to make one!
That afternoon I had a completely different, but hugely enjoyable experience. I joined the Billabong team riders at dreamworld to try out the ‘flow rider’ – a kind of wave machine where you ride a teeny mini board. Again – it was so hard trying something new! It was so much fun – until I face planted and almost (well it defiantly felt like it) broke my nose! Joel Parkinson was there and was able to do it perfectly the first time he tried! (not fair!). We had a fantastic time trying out all the rides and screaming our lungs out! Big thanks to Bow and the Billabong crew for bringing us along!
What a huge month it’s been so far – and it’s not over yet! We’re heading to Yamba for the weekend to compete in the subway summer surf series competition. I’m going in the under 18s division for a chance to win another HPC camp, but it will be extremely challenging since some of the best young surfers in the country are joining in – I’ll be stoked if I make the final! I’m excited to be going back to the area I first started surfing – wild and free, uncrowded and full of beautiful nature!