Through the bond of wave

New Zealand Surfing - - Dragon Fly's Den -

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.

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