Through the bond of wave
So with a bathroom in need of serious attention, in July we were once again in Nias. We’ve been staying with the same family up there for years. Elliot is known at the break as KIWI and when we arrive the kids come running for miles because KIWI is back. We first took Elliot there when he was 12. (Because the Indo’s couldn’t say “Elliot” and pronounced his name “Alien”, he was promptly nick named “KIWI”.) It is pretty funny when the locals ask other NZ surfers who have visited Nias, if they know their friend KIWI, a competitive surfer sponsored by Rip curl. We’ve had to explain to our Indo mates on more than one occasion that there is more than just one KIWI. We had great waves up there, not super sizey but it was easily head high and over, and super fun. Elliot was treated like royalty, surrounded by a crew of locals who called him into some of the best pits each day. As I watched him get insane barrels time and time again I wondered if he realized just how lucky he was, but then again there are many times too I think to myself how lucky I am to have Elliot. Would I have been to all these breaks if I had a kid obsessed with horse riding or hockey? Unlikely. In the early days did I push my own passion of surfing onto him? I undoubtedly did. He was pretty wild as a little fella and the water always chilled him out. Needless to say we all spent a heck of a lot of time at the beach. I was never like “you are going to surf”, it was more like, “if you don’t surf then I don’t surf and that aint happening”. I wouldn’t be able to tell you about his first steps or first teeth or the first words he spoke, but I remember vividly the first day he stood up on a surfboard. It was magic! Once he started getting into comps I started doing a few coaching courses to help him out. We had a lot of help from the Hawker family, especially Rob. We always been a bit of a team and we’ve certainly had our moments. There have been times I’ve wondered if coaching my own kid is a good idea, but somehow we’ve found our rhythm… which usually involves him surfing and me filming from the rocks! They talk about grommets frothing and Elliot has always been at the top end of the frothers. The only time I ever thought he might lose his buzz was when he was 10 years old and was attacked by a shark in Raglan. But true to Elliot form, always up for a laugh, as we floored it in to the Dr’s with blood pouring from his foot, instead of screaming, (that came later), he began singing the theme music to the Jaws movie. That was six years ago now. My how time flies. One moment they are grommets begging you to take them on a road trip, then before you know it they are talking about Bali or the World Juniors in South America, or wanting to do the Australasian pro junior circuit. Where did it all start? Was it that surfing poster on my wall? Maybe but where too from here? He has his sights set high but who knows. I just keep telling Elliot what has always been told to me. Kia Kaha, Kia Toa, Kia Manawanui. Be strong. Don’t give up. Be big hearted.
ELLIOT THREADING THROUGH ONE OF THE MOST MAGICAL VIEWS IN ALL THE WORLD, A SAROKE POINT GEM AT LAGUNDRI BAY.