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Peru

Peru

After finalizing everything with ISA and all payments done, I got their confirmation that the UAE was officially signed up for the ISA 50th Year anniversary world games of surfing. The comp was only 1 month away, which meant I had only 1 month to train with Sean.  After the approval Sean told me that last year he had competed in the ISA masters comp or something like that, to be honest don’t remember the name of the comp as I was frothing to go surfing that day. He told me that at the comp it was massive and it is the same location where the ISA comp was in Punta Rocas Peru. He said I would need a bigger board to be able to paddle in the waves. To this point, I had only been surfing small waves and only had small boards, I mean the biggest board I rode was 5’9. I remember when I first met Sean I gave one of his boards a go, it is called the flying manta. That board after only 2 sessions became one of my favorite boards to surf with in Cali. Sean and I discussed the likelihood that we may have waves 10ft + during the comp and so we would need to change my quiver.

 

After discussing the comp in detail we decided to get a few von sols, ranging from 5’9 to 6’10.  These board were only ready like 1 week before my travel date to Peru so I didn’t exactly have much time testing them out. Sean fed me some last minute advice and tips on what and how to do and what and what not to do. Before Flying Sean introduce me to one of his Peruvian friend Lucho Saldivar, what an amazing person, very helpful and humble so glad I have met such person and happy to have stayed in touch with him, we still in contact till date. He hooked me up with a place to stay in Punta Rocas, he organized a videographer for me in order to document the whole trip and he gave me few tips on what to eat, drink and where to surf. I was so grateful for all the help. So off to Peru I go! When I landed,  my videographer Sebastian Vereau Alvarez-Calderon, I call him Sebas was waiting for me at arrivals. We went to Lucho’s house, met his beautiful, welcoming and amazing wife Micaela. I’m sooo thankful for this amazing family for welcoming me to their home, helping me and support me. Then off to Punto Rucas we go, just Sebas and myself together for the next 10 days. We arrive at my hotel, the hotel is owned by a great dude Carlos Zevallo, Carlos’s place is on the Punta Rocas point, so he would be the most knowledgeable of that wave, I was the first competitor to arrive, so team UAE were the first. We arrived late at night, so we sat outside with Carlos and had few Orange Juices and talked about the wave and other stuff.

Next day morning it was a 6ft pumping point break, so I grab my 5’9 Von Sol and paddle out to the line up, Woke up super early and there was only 4 people in the water, all local guys 3 of them guns “That absolutely scared the shit out of me!!”. While surfing I was trying to learn and improve my Spanish from the locals on the line up. Seba’s was shooting the whole time, and I remember the waves were great fun. In particular I remember my 3rd wave, because my first 2 waves I ate it on them properly!. In my head I absolutely killed it on that third wave!! And I was sooo pumped to see the footage as I thought I got a new profile pic for my facebook!. On my first session I sat out there for 2hours and only caught 4 waves, 2 of which I wiped out!. Then I paddled in and went to watch the footage of my 3rd wave, Lets say it wasn’t even close to what I thought I did. In my head I thought I did an off the lips, tail release. In the actual footage It was a crappy check turn!!. So that was a great boost to my self steam…. ”Not!”. We went for lunch at Carlos’s restaurant, I’m not big fan of raw fish, so stayed away from ceviche. Then in the afternoon Lucho and his wife, brought their son Lucca Saldivar, a shredder and gnarly surfer. So we went surfing in a spot called San Bartollo, it was small that day, around 2-3ft. It was a bit crowded and the point was full of sea urchin”my best friend”. We surfed for 2 hours, well Lucca surfed while I was watching up close and managed to catch 4 waves.

 

To this day I struggle in wave count. It is hard to read waves and catching them at crowded places. For the next 4 days leading up to the comp, I would surf with Lucca and try to learn from him how to read, surf and where to sit at Punta Rocas. I haven’t used my big board’s yet as the waves would vary from 4 to 6 ft. I was tracking the swell for the comp, the report showed the day 1 of the comp that it would be around 8ft and day 2 would go from 8 to 10ft. For me the biggest wave I had surfed was 6ft and that was only 2 days before, on my first day at Punto Rocas So yes, I was nervous and every time I thought about it I would end up rushing to the bathroom from the nerves. I knew I had to try out the bigger boards so I made the decision that even if the waves were small on my next surf I would take out my 6’6.  Oooooh my my, I tell you it is not easy duck diving with that thing, especially if you are a surfer like me. The duckdiving wasn’t the only issue, turning the board was more than different and harder than what I was used to. Anyway I did manage to have 2 surfs with the big board. 2 more sleeps till the ISA world games of surfing 2014 kicks off.

Living the Dream

Mo

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Sean Mad Dog Mattison

Sean Mad Dog Mattison

The idea of me competing and representing the UAE had deeply rooted in my mind.  From that sprouted the plan of finding someone experienced and talented to coach me. I really need the help of a coach as I didn’t want to go there and make a complete fool of myself. I started asking around, seeking recommendations for a good Coach and all paths were leading to Sean Mattison, I dropped Sean an E-mail giving a little background about myself and the bigger plan in why I needed his help. I was told that Sean only trains pro surfers so I knew my chances were very slim in him agreeing to take me on board. Luck was on my side, as only a few hours later I get a reply back from Sean saying that he liked my story and he would love to meet up and just see how it goes from there. He said straight out that he’d have one session with me and then decide if I was worth his time. No Pressure right :-/

 

A few days later I pack my boards and wetsuit and drive to Ocean side where Sean was based. Straight away I knew Sean had a great personality, always happy and stoked 24 hours. I loved his great vibes, so we had great time chatting and surfing together, BTW” he flipping rips for his age!!. Sean is not only a happy surfer dude that seriously rips but he is someone who knows how to transfer his skills and gnarly surfing into teaching others.

 

Before I keep going on my story of wanting Sean to coach me, I would like to stop and just give you a little background on Sean as I think it is important for the story. So, Sean has a great background, it’s no wonder that everyone spoke of him on my search for finding a good coach. Sean, has over 90 years’ experience in surfing …  “just joking” I think around 40 or so, and here I am with my 2 years of “surfing”. Sean has worked closely with many of world class surfers and currently is working with Courtney conlogue, I was starting to feel well out of my depth. Specially after I met and had a session with one of the youngster that been working with sean for quite a while, that kid rips and he is the future of surfing.  This dude even brought the US team to win the ISA World Gold Medal and achieve many other accomplishments throughout his days when he was on the World Tours.  Sean was even the brains and the inventor of the fifth fin that Kelly won his 11th World title riding!. Sean is the surfboard designer and owner of Von Sol surfboards. I could write a lot more about Sean but this is about my story :p so  I will move on.

So after our first session I knew I liked his style of coaching and I saw him as the perfect coach, someone who would get me to where I wanted to be. He also thought I was cute :p and he agreed to take me on, but he gave me that speech of he doesn’t have time and I better deliver and learn what he says and stuff!!. I would go once a week to Ocean side surf, train hard and then go for pizza at pizza port, it was our ritual. After 2 weeks he asked me what my plans were and what im thinking of achieving, so I told him I wanted to do WQS and represent the UAE, and put the UAE on the Surfing map. He came back and told me that he had a better suggestion. He said  “how about for your first comp you compete for the UAE at the ISA 50th Year anniversary world games of surfing in Peru?”  He said it would be better PR and exposure for me and gave me all the fact of why I should go for it, though I honestly didn’t need much convincing.  I totally agreed with him! We both thought it was the best option at that time, so he went and made his calls to Fernando Aguirre the CEO of the ISA and got me contact details and all the info I needed. A week later I called the ISA and I officially registered to enter the comp. After another week, they asked me to take permission from the ISA representative in Dubai which is Surf Dubai. I already knew the guys that run Surf Dubai, so I gave Scott and Dan a ring and they were very helpful and sent the permission to the ISA. A  Few weeks later I went to meet with the consul general UAE in Los Angeles Abdulla Alsaboosi, Abdulla is an amazing person and very very supportive to all UAE nationals and anyone in Cali. He has an open door and open mind policy which is something very important in any diplomat. Abdulla joined for few of my surf sessions in LA, at Venice beach. He also bought himself a surfboard and wetsuit. I’m sure he still shreds in cali!! After meeting Abdulla and telling him about what I was trying to achieve in representing the UAE at the ISA world games of surfing, he actually took the initiative to speak to the UAE Ambassador in Washington, his excellency Yousef Al Otaiba. Soon after,  I get a call from the Consulate office, stating  that the UAE Embassy would like to help fund half of the trip, So I went to pick up my cheque, which I was incredibly grateful of. I really appreciate all the help that the UAE embassy has given me and all the support that they have done. Without their help I would’ve never been able to compete and make my way there.

 

Living the Dream

Mo

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Los Angeles Baby!!

Los Angeles Baby!!

Finally! After a long wait of 11 months I get my US visa. I was super stoked that I got my visa and so happy that I was going to LA. Great sandy beaches, epic waves, beautiful girls …..I was stoked!  I knew it would be the perfect place for me to up my surfing, promote myself from kook to an “ok” surfer. Moving to Cali I didn’t have any plans set to compete, well not at first. I didn’t have a coach, training plan or anything in mind. On my first day, I simply set out to hunt for good waves. At that time I was sponsored by Body Glove Middle East. The owner of Body Glove Middle East is Hisham and we became really good friends. Going out for tacos at Mexican restaurants in Dubai was our thing!!  I got introduced to Hisham by my best and closest friend Badr, Badr is more than a friend to me, he is part of my family, but I’ll talk about Badr in another Blog. We had so many great and crazy nights together, so I need to dedicate an entire blog to him. Anyway, Body Glove was my first sponsor, a few days after Badr introduced me to Hisham, Boom!  I get a call from Hisham himself, saying “Yea would love to sponsor you”.  A few months after my confirmed sponsorship by Body Glove, the bosses of Body Glove came to Dubai, and we all went for a nice meal in Dubai mall and wakeboarding the next day.

 

So when I moved to LA Hisham puts me in touch with the big guns at Body Glove, the owner Billy. Let me tell you about Billy, he is an amazing guy and great personality, always happy, stoked, great heart and always smiling. I got to meet met his daughter Jenna and his son Daley and the rest of the team. They really did take very good care of me and supported me in everything I wanted. I got introduced to Chaeyne Magnusson who is one of the managers and shredder for Body Glove he is an epic surfer and always a happy Cali dude. He let me in on all the local surf secrets and best spots to surf. In particular a spot called El Porto, so the same day we both go for a surf there and I loved that place. Loved it so much that I decided to live somewhere around El Porto and then luckily I found my new happy place, only 5 minutes away from El Porto. Soon enough I became an El Porto local, that’s because I would go surf every day and eat at this whole in the wall Mexican shop that I got introduced to by Dustin.

 

Dustin lives 2 minutes away from me, we met on the plane going to Vegas a month after I moved to Cali, since that trip we became really close friends and he was the first friend I made in Cali. We would have epic nights together and crazy fun!! Oooooh I miss the good old days!!

Soon enough I made more friends, either from surfing, social life or just me talking a lot. 2 months later while still surfing but not actually improving, the thought of me surfing and representing the UAE was growing more and more in mind, day by day. I remember I was watching the Oi Rio comp and when Gaberial Medina pulled this insane air 360. I went “Yea I wanna be able to do this and I knew I wanted to compete even more. I wanted to put the UAE on the surfing map, I knew that I would never win, beat these guys or qualify to the world tour but what I can do was pave the way to the younger generation of UAE. To give them the chance to be able to beat these guys, win or qualify to WSL.

 

Growing up I never knew what surfing is and had never even seen a surfboard in my life. I know there are a lot of Emirati kids out there that haven’t either. So this is why the insane, crazy, stupid idea dug deeper than ever inside my guts. I had to go for it, risk everything, spend money and just do it.  I knew I needed help to achieve this, and to be honest I was a little scared of competing with the big boys, not being able to paddle out or to endure sitting a  whole heat without catching a wave. I didn’t want to be like the Equatorial Guinea swimmer at the Olympics that couldn’t even swim.

 

Living the Dream

Mo

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Back From Australia

Back From Australia

After Australia, I think I was killing it at work, so they decided to move me to LA!!. That was defiantly the best news I have ever heard! . I was Like whaaaaat!! LA?? .. Wohooooooo. So I applied for my visa, it took around 10 months to get my visa!! I know right? At that time I was in Dubai, waiting anxiously for my visa and the move to LA. I was aching for a surf, especially seeing as I was surfing at least once a day in Australia and now it was Summer in Dubai, so no waves.

So off I pack my stuff and I go to Sri Lanka, if u remember the first time I went there it didn’t end very well. But now I’m a better surfer and have a better awareness of the ocean. So Carl , who’s a very close friend of mine, and will have an entire blog dedicated to him later, is the owner of Surf shop Arabia and Surf School UAE goes “yea lets go”. So we did, we stayed in Weligama in front of the hotel there is an A frame beach break, perfect for beginners. On that coast there are a few spots that I absolutely loved, my favourite spot is Cabalana, it is a left hand point break. I have gone back to Cabalana 5 time since this trip. From Weligama to Cabalana there are some rad spots that myself and Carl surfed. When we went on that surf trip Carl was taking a group with him, there was 5 groms that were crazy and fun!!. I still remember them and  Carl would argue a lot, as they wanted to have fun and go wild but then Carl had to mind them as he was the adult there. But the groms would piss him off, by renting motorbikes,  playing with fireworks, which I think was brilliant and I loved, and loads of other mad shit…Those groms surf very well though, I give them credit!!. Linda was on that trip, Linda is one of my best friends in Dubai, she is a crazy Slovakian chick that just got married to Joao, a nuts Portuguese dude, who’s one of my best friends in Dubai.  I’ll tell more about those 2 crazy ppl in another post, they just had a new baby girl named zoey, God bless her and them.

Anyway, back to the antics of the groms, one day all the groms waited for Carl to go to sleep and we all went out to party, groms, Linda, surfing sam “sri Lankan with Aussie accent” and 2 other Sri Lankan boys!! We went to a place called Happy Banana, let me tell you, if you wanna party in Sri Lanka Happy Banana is the place to be…. Ooooooh I have soo many epic memories over there, let’s not get into details there!!. Our driver/tour guide/ the guy that was making sure we don’t do anything stupid is Pradeep, “he Is my man in Sri lanka” till date. Next day we all went exploring Sri Lanka for new spots, to stay away from the crowd, the usual spots in Sri Lanka, well around Weligama area. So we set out for an exploring journey with Pradeep and we found an epic right and left hander reef break that we had  to ourselves and 2 locals. Soon enough that new spot was my favorite, it was around 40 – 50 min drive on a TukTuk away from Weligama but we had to go through grave yard to get to the spot.

What a great trip! Since this trip I have been back to Sri Lanka 5 times, and I’m planning another trip in November this year.  This time with the American shredder Sean aka Mad Dog Mattison!!. Sean has made a huge impact in my life, Another blog will be specially dedicated to him. It will defenatly be the blog to read!! He is an amazing person, great surfer, great father but not sure about his hair cut though!!

 

Living the Dream

Mo

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Matt Griggs

Matt Griggs

Let’s go back in time a little. You remember when I was training with Ian at Wadi Adventure “the wave pool”?  And remember when I moved to Australia I was chatting to Ian to see if he could help me out with my determination to keep on learning and improving in all things surf. Ian had told me that he will speak to his contacts and try to hook me up with someone in Australia. Well, those few months after I moved to Sydney Ian soon introduced me to a high performance surf coach, by the name of Matt griggs.

He is a great coach, bursting with knowledge, experience and enthusiasm. He is an incredible surfer and knows exactly how to transfer all he knows into coaching others. I had 4 sessions with him and it made a massive improvement to my surfing,  like big time. For 3 of those sessions I was training with an Australian kid, Kalani Ball, what a great surfer and great personality. You could see the determination and hunger to win in his eyes, I’m not shocked to see this kid today making a big buzz in the WQS tour. So when we use to be training together, it was this kid that rips and then Mo, struggling to catch a wave !!!

I’m so grateful for Matt Griggs time and for what he has done for me. I still remember when I called Matt the first time, and explained my story and why I needed his help. He goes “I don’t take beginners but I like your story, so here is how it is going to go. Come over and we’ll do a small session and If I see that I can’t work with you then will let you know from the start so we don’t waste each other’s time”. So Next day I go to Cronulla for my first session with Matt, we had a good chat and then he goes just go for a surf and then we’ll review the video and then go for another session. The first session I caught 2 or 3 waves. Then we went back to his house looked at the video and he goes ok the good news is that I can help you out and we can work together and get you to where you want. The not so good news, we need to change everything,  the way you get up, the way you paddle, and the way you surf. Yep apparently I wasn’t paddling right!! You can only imagine how I felt, someone telling me that for a whole year I have been doing everything wrong. I won’t lie, I was baffled after hearing this, I had thought that I was ripping??

Matt started working on my techniques so that after our session he would have a plan in place, pin pointing what to do when I’m out surfing, what to focus on as well as giving me a workout schedule and meditation “called Kelee meditation”. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough time to train with Matt as I would have learnt so much more. Those 4 sessions with matt had actually got me thinking a lot and  defo improved my surfing. When I started surfing I was never taught the proper way. I was just pushed on a wave and then boom all by myself, trial and error.  So I would like to say Massive thanks to Matt, you have defiantly made a huge impact in my surfing J

Living the Dream

Mo

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Aussie Aussie Aussie

Aussie Aussie Aussie

I got a new job and my new job sent me to Australia for work for 8months. Wooooop wooooop happy days!!. So I pack my boards and move to Sydney. In Sydney I had no excuse but to surf and I started to improve little by little. I met new ppl and made new friends. A surfer from Dubai who I previously went on a surf trip to Sri Lanka “Cade Bowmar” introduced me to his brother, living in Oz and wow can this brother shred! Adam Bowmar is his name, so I started to hangout with him and learn a few tricks. We became surf buddies and I had a few surfs with him and of course the compulsory few barbie’s. We would usually surf in and around a place called Manly. Erick Fuentes is another guy that I met and also became a surfing buddy of mine. Not only a great shredder, but Erick was a Doctor, so going from past mishaps, he was defo worth making friends with. Hahah J  Erick and I would often explore surf spots further outside Manly.

Over Christmas I got 10 days off so I got a notion to rent a car and go on an epic road trip from Sydney to Coolangatta “snapper rocks” so I did it!. I got a list of places to surf along the coastline, all the rad spots from Matt Griggs ( I’ll explain all about Matt in my next blog as my next Blog will be all about Matt). So all was going great the days leading up to Christmas,  I had epic surf sessions but then Christmas day comes! I arrive at Crescent Head and not realising that everything, yes EVERYTHING would have shut for Christmas Day. This meant leaving poor Mo with no food and no water ALL DAY LONG. So what does one do, but go for a surf 😊 I later met a guy and asked “oi mate is there any place that’s open where I can grab something to eat or drink?” he goes” nah sorry brah everything is shut down for xmas” but he invited me over to his house and with his family to join them for xmas dinner, I had an epic night. Fed and watered I continued on my journey and the next stop was Port Macquarie. I stayed at Port Macquarie for 1 day as the waves was pumping and only 10 surfers were in the water.  I really loved it and had a great time. Before leaving for Bayron Bay, the next day I snuck in a further 3 hour morning surf. 

I remember that I posted on Facebook that I was going to Bayron bay and I got a message from a good friend who was south African but was living in the UAE for a few years. He and his wife had decided to be carefree teenagers and were traveling the world for few years. In his message he says “hey bru, we live in Bayron bay now and we run a  pilate studio here and we should meet up”. So I was like hell yea we should! On my way from port Macquarie to Bayron bay I put the radio on and I hear that there was a shark attack on the same beach in port Macquarie that I just surfed in the morning!! Phew, Luck was on my side for a change. So I arrive at Bayron bay and I meet my friend Stephen Coetzee. Unfortunately on  that day it was raining and the water was flat so we didn’t surf.

For my road trip I didn’t have strict plans so I never booked any hotel. I would simply go to towns where the waves were pumping and then look for a place to stay. Stephen Coetzee and his beautiful and lovely wife Caroline Coetzee ivited me to stay with them and made a dilicous homemade pizza that night. Mmmmm Pizza J Next day we go for a surf and we had an epic surf session I loved the waves and I loved this hippie town or “Boogans” as the Australian say it. So I decided to stay for 3 days J. While in Bayron Bay I had to go to the museum in Nimbin on the way back (not saying for what). Eventually I arrive at Coolengatta and surf the very very over crowded Snapper rocks. This was the best surf road trip ever!!  Honestly it is really the only surf road trip I have done so far anyway.

 

Back to Marubra, I was introduced to a new sea creature called blue bottle!! I tell you it doesn’t look as cute when it touches you and it defiantly doesn’t feel good. I was with Erick and he points and says “ hey Mo look at this blue bottle, make sure it doesn’t touch you” I kid you not there was around 15 guys and 1 blue bottle and guess who gets stung??, Of course it was me, it wrapped around my leg I felt a really hot sensation on my leg so I pull my leg out of the water and the blue bottle just clenches even more on my leg so I tried to rip it off with my hands and so it got my arm as well! I got rid of it eventually though. But oooh my my it burns like hell, I tried to fight the burning sensation and kept surfing but didn’t last longer than 40 min. AS I mentioned, Erick is a doctor so I din’t have to reort to some stranger peeing on my leg. He told me just to man up and stop being a wimp and it will go away in a week. So next day it was painful and so so itchy and seriously swollen. 3 days later Manly was pumping and I of course couldn’t resist and just sucked it up and paddled out to have some fun. But guess what, 3 waves later I got stung again by this vicious blue bottle. You would think the second time would be less painful naaaaah you are wrong it hurts even more!!

Living the dream.

Mo

 

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Wadi Adventure “AlAin”

Wadi Adventure “AlAin”

So back from my Bali trip full of energy and stoked more than ever!!

Back in Dubai I had made a lot of friends and new connections within the Dubai surfing community. I met some awesome people that I’m happy to call my friends, brothers and family😊. It was mid summer the heat scorching hot to 50 Degrees and yet again no waves in Dubai!!

In Al Ain which is a city outside of Dubai. It’s the second largest city in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the fourth largest city in UAE. Abu Dhabi the capital city of my beautiful country United Arab Emirates “UAE”. But that’s enough geography lesson for now moving on to more important matters ….Well, in Alain they opened a wave pool called wadi Adventure. This is a state of the art wave pool and one of the largest surf pools in the world at that time it opened so it was only natural that it became my new playground.

It was at Wadi that I really learned how to surf, as the waves where consistent and frequent.I didn’t have to hassle for waves, didnt have to think of the reef and other dangerous stuff in the water aka evil sea urchins. The waves were breaking same spot, same shape, same speed and same form, so It was the perfect playground to train.

One day I was helping a surf school in the UAE called Surf School UAE “I think as they have changed their name few times”. They were running a kids programme where the kids do 1 hour fitness with a couple that were fitness fanatics and they were one of the first people to start cross fit in the UAE. I was sitting with the trainer’s husband Benjamin Ford and we were chatting normal boys stuff and he goes “have u thought of one day competing?”. So I laughed and as any guy would say “ooh yea that would be great, I would love to”. But that was just talk as deep inside i didnt want to. 4 days later he lent me a book called “Tunnel Vision”. I read the book and this was the first book that I read after I graduated from Uni. Loved the book and that book got me more pumped and planted the idea of competing deep inside my brain. Now that I’m talking about the book I have just remembered that I haven’t  returned the book to him, think I gave it to some one or I lost it not sure. Sorry bro!!

So When Wadi opened I thought this is my chance to actually train and become the first UAE National to compete internationally and wadi adventure would be perfect to train hard and go for it. I spoke to Ian Kingon, one of my friends in Dubai, about my idea to fill in the spot of UAE international surfer and put UAE on the surfing map. He loved the idea and so helped me big time at Wadi Adventure, helping me with my stance and overall surfing. We trained really hard and with sheer dedication and determination, my surfing improved A Lot. He would surf with me for few minutes, then go back and film me, then we would review the footage and then go back out and work on certain aspects. So much help,thanks Ian.

Living the dream.

Mo

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Uluwatu, natural acupuncture

Uluwatu, natural acupuncture 

If you’ve been to Uluwatu then you know that you’re standing at the top of a cliff looking down at the waves and so they look  lot smaller than they actually are. I was having my breakfast on top off this cliff and watching all the people shredding and killing it. It looked awesome and so the rebellious braincell convinced the slightly more precautious braincells  to grab my board and head on in. and you can guess who won!!

At Uluwatu, you may know that you’ve to paddle through a small cave to get to the line up. walking to the cave you walk on a flat reef so it isnt bad, but what i didnt know that the current after you pass the cave is insane and will sweep you to the right away from the main line up. As a beginner I wasnt fully aware how strong a current can be and what to. So after I passed the cave I jump on my board to paddle and ooooh dear lord!! I got a proper beating up by the waves (cause I completly messed up my timing) I finally make it to the line-up I would say after 45 -50 min of paddling, duck diving, getting thrown all over and shit load of swearing!!

I sat there, feeling relieved after the pain of getting my ass handed to me on the paddle out but relief soon turned to puzzlement as an hour passed and still didn’t catch any wave even though I could see others shredding them and I can see plenty of waves goes by and I had alot of them on my head on the paddle out. “why don’t the waves like me? ”  “I had actually thought to myself. 2 hours passed and I finally catch a wave, going sideways along the wave I was overcome with delight and just smiled the whole way through.  In my 4 hours of surfing that time , I caught  3 waves and decided to call it a day.

I thought I became smarter “I was Wrong again”, so on my paddle in I decided to watch how others paddle in, I saw 4 so I thought that I got it. In my head the calculation and based on what I saw seemed easy so I decided to sit little bit outside the line up, then paddle and the current will drag me to the right in a perfect angle back in the cave. But alas, bad timing or not enough paddle power or I didnt know what I was doing 😉 was again my default as my paddle in resulted in being washed up on the reef and rocks. So when I paddled in and the current dragged me away from the cave, as I was paddling and getting drifted away in my head I was like “oooooh fuck I missed it again”, so then again ended up in the washing machine zone, and got battered by the waves again, I was so exhausted, you know that feeling when you paddle but still dont move from your place. So I decided to just paddle in from where I was so I had to endure a painful 300m walk along jagged rocks and sharp reef. But hey, who doesn’t like some natural acupuncture every once and a while?  Am…. ME 😊

Living the dream,

Mo

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Bali time!

Bali time!

What Happened in Durban made me love surfing even more, the thrill and adrenaline that I got from that experience or shall i say from that epic wipe out was soo addictive, I was left craving more. So here goes Mo again on another adventure!

I had started to hear a lot about Bali, Bali and Bali so I thought it was time to give Bali a go. Alright, to bring you up to speed I still can’t  surf.  You’ve to remember that in Dubai we don’t have much waves and that this is only my third surf trip ever. and the first 2 trips got cut very short due to unfortunate events. Even though surfing in Dubai is not always the most convenient thing to do, I can now drop in 2-3 ft waves and actually ride the wave, not just go straight. So with this ability, I thought I knew it all. You know how certain people think in their head that they are 100% better than what they actually are. Well, I was one of those except for the fact I thought I was 200% better.

So….. off to Bali I go, along with all the other Bali tourists and first timers.  I booked into a place in Kuta. Big Mistake! First day “surf” in Kuta was, I wish I could say epic but the term ‘surf’  needs to be used loosely because by surf I mean sitting on my board for 2 hours and only catching 2 shitty, close out waves, as it was busy as F***!  Not fun at all!. In Kuta not only the surf is busy but also the night life, the streets and the restaurants. So you can imagine. If you staying in Kuta lets just leave it to this, it will be almost impossible to wake up for an early morning surf.

Few days with this crazy routine, of not able to wake up early morning, very crowded surf, only catching 2 or 3 waves in 2-3 hours surf or just sitting in the water ” you call it whatever you like” and waaay too many Australians in the city. later I thought I should go check Uluwatu as everyone talks about it.

Living the Dream

Mo

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Epic Wipe out – South Africa

Epic Wipe out – South Africa

What happened in Sri Lanka definitely didn’t stop me from surfing, in fact it only increased my love of the sport. Dubai waves are few and we rarely get any, and I had an urge to surf, the itch to catch waves was killing me and so I decided to go for another surf trip.

My surf ability to date, is being able to surf straight, not knowing how to turn and the biggest wave I caught was only a 2 ft beach break. I made a few friends in the surfing community in Dubai, becoming great friends with a South African Carl, who was living in Dubai for a while. He told me of a friend of his that shapes boards and is recognised as one of South Africa’s top big wave riders.

Carl easily convinced me to go to Durban and stay with this mate of his, Jason Ribbink. I got so excited at this opportunity. I stayed with Jason, who showed me the surf spots and also took me to his surfboard factory, this was my first time ever seeing how surf boards got made and it was super cool. Jason and his family were great hosts and defiantly made my trip special and enjoyable.  I spent three days surfing one of the spots Jason showed me, called the new pier. I not only loved the waves at new pier, because they were peeling so nicely and long rides but I also fell in love with a burger joint there called Steers burger. oooooh my my that burger and fries was sooo good, i would eat before and after surfs.

Few days later Jason then asked me to join him and his team in a new spot they were trying out, and also doing a photo shoot for his new boat and jet skis. We got to the spot, and I can only see the waves from the back, which again was a new experience for me. They looked like 6ft behind and sounded a good deal heavier and stronger. The team riders jumped into the water and paddled to the line up, I grabbed my board and followed. Once at the line up, I was staring at the heaviest and biggest wave I had ever seen in my life. I decided to just sit and watch the guys rip and shred.

45 minutes later, a wave comes my way and the whole line up started cheering for me to go, “Go Mo!! Wooohhhooooo, Go Mo, It’s yours!” I got a rush of adrenaline and excitement and started paddeling into that wave. You know how you usually have that small part of your brain that keeps whispering to you saying “dude not good idea stop, ok stop now, dont do it” well that part of my brain was screaming not just whispering. But the stupid part of the brain was going “wohooooo go for it dude you will make it all the others did it, you will be fine”.

As I tried to get up, I looked down, and knew I wouldn’t make the drop as the wave was ridiculously vertical. So closed my eyes and just jumped on my board but I got stuck in the lip and was thrown to the flat section. Ooooh the power of that wave, I kid you not It felt as though I was cliff jumping, my board snapped and I got pinned under for what felt like hours. I thought I was going to die I was literally seeing stars and and at some point unicorns. A while later I popped out and Jason pulled me up onto his jet ski and brought me back to his boat. Everyone was laughing and talking about how I earned the wipe-out of the day. I was there utterly speechless and shivering in fear and pain. That was the scariest thing I have ever faced and i played rugby against new Zealand those guys are 6 times bigger than what they look on tv.

 

Living the dream,

Mo

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