New Zealand Surfing - - Inside Out -

Big. Ev­ery­thing is big in Amer­ica. The big LAX sign when you leave the air­port, the su­per-size op­tions at ev­ery Amer­i­can diner even though the reg­u­lar size is al­ready big enough to feed at least two peo­ple. The big high­ways for the big cars (their small cars are like the big­gest cars in New Zealand). Even their pa­tri­o­tism comes in a big pres­ence with Amer­i­can flag flap­ping away on nearly ev­ery­one's prop­erty. With all this be­ing said, I matched the size of 'big' with my ex­pec­ta­tions to go well at the Su­per­girl Pro in Ocean­side. Af­ter a surf trip to Lakey Peak of solid non-stop surf­ing, I was feel­ing fight­ing fit and ready to go for a com­pe­ti­tion. Still de­cid­ing to get there two weeks early, let's be hon­est here; be­cause 30de­grees in Cal­i­for­nia is a lot eas­ier to surf more than 3 de­grees in NZ. I also have a great lit­tle, or should I say big set up, in San Cle­mente; a friend’s house to stay at that's su­per close to all surf spots in­clud­ing the fa­mous Tres­tles break, a fun gym up the road (yes I said fun and gym in the same sen­tence) and my coach just down the road. The per­fect com­bi­na­tion for a pro surfer try­ing to get bet­ter and get back on the World Cham­pi­onship Tour. With many surf breaks along the coast it can be harder choos­ing a spot or sit­ting in the crazy high­way traf­fic that al­ways seems to be 'peak' time than it is to find a wave ev­ery sin­gle day! Wave and weather wise this place amazes me ev­ery year with its con­sis­tency and you can def­i­nitely see why a fair few Pro and life­style surfers have moved their whole fam­i­lies and lives to live in or near San Cle­mente. Com­pe­ti­tion time I felt I had done ev­ery­thing right, I was feel­ing great and ready to go. Even af­ter all these years of com­pet­ing and ex­pe­ri­ence I still find the first heat the most nerve wrack­ing. Maybe be­cause no one likes to fly half way around the world to lose in 25min­utes al­though I just never like los­ing ever! My first heat the surf was fir­ing for Ocean­side. Clean 3ft lefts and rights. I started right on the buzzer with a big right han­der, two big turns get­ting an 8.5 ride. Straight back out to get a backup score on a left with a lit­tle 'head-dip' bar­rel scor­ing a 7.5. I could have come in from the heat right then and there and won the heat and only four min­utes had passed. With no pres­sure at all now and in a heats per­spec­tive, a ton of time to go, I was smart for once and played the pa­tience game wait­ing for an­other big right to score an­other eight point some­thing ride, of­fi­cially com­bo­ing the rest of the girls in my heat. As I sat back out the back and lis­tened to the com­men­ta­tor ram­ble on about me and my scores I thought to my­self that in the 10-15years I've been com­pet­ing, this was one of the best heats of my surf­ing ca­reer! When you're quickly be­com­ing one of the older girls on tour and won­der­ing when you should stop com­pet­ing starts to creep into your mind ev­ery now and then, this was quite the mo­ment where I thought to my­self that maybe I'm only just com­ing into my prime haha! That big heat fit­ted my big ex­pec­ta­tions per­fectly. With highs, there are lows. I went straight from one of the best heats of my life to a close heat los­ing by 0.5 be­cause of my own mis­takes. No one to blame but my­self. Kicked my­self for days about it but I have to move on be­cause this year is not a sprint, it's a marathon. Mov­ing down the rat­ings from 5th to 8th stings but at this point I'm still qual­i­fy­ing for the World Cham­pi­onship Tour with two 6000s to go. I need one more top five fin­ish to so­lid­ify my spot so let's bring on Pantin, Spain!

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