LIFE IN HDR
St Ives lad Harry de Roth has been on a tear overseas. We caught up with him via the medium of the internet for a catch up.
HARRY DE ROTH HAS BEEN ON A BIT OF AN ADVENTURE THIS WINTER. YOU COULD SAY HE IS LIVING LIFE IN A 'HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE’... SEE WHAT WE DID THERE? ANYWAY WITH PHOTOS FLOODING IN WE THOUGHT WE HAD BETTER CATCH UP WITH THE ST IVES RIPPER.
So looks like you have had a bit of a winter trip … where you been and what you been up to?
Yeah, it’s been super sick! I’ve been to Indo, Australia and Hawaii! This winter my girlfriend Melodie and I decided to base ourselves at my dad's house in Phillip Island, Australia. It’s great to see the family and the waves there are so consistent and warm therefore making the perfect training ground. Also it makes flights to Indo and Hawaii way cheaper! We came out to Oz at the start of December for Christmas and to get some fun waves before we headed over to Indo to start filming a clip for Rip Curl. We didn’t quite score the waves we had hoped for but there were still a few fun days in between which made it worthwhile.
It was my first time visiting Indo so I didn’t really know what to expect apart from lots of monkeys, long left handers and lots and lots of nasi goreng. All in all I loved it there and will definitely be heading back there soon. After that, we headed back to my dad's place for a few days to get some waves, see the old man and refresh ourselves before heading to Hawaii – the place I was most excited about - having been there before and knowing exactly what to expect. Hawaii will definitely be a place I continue to visit as it's one of a kind.
Where was your fave place?
Hawaii for sure, for these many reasons: good food (HUGE portions), sick waves, clean beaches, lots of sick surfers, big shoreys, incredible sea life, picture perfect views, crystal clear water and plenty of barrels. Last time I went it wasn’t for very long so I feel like this trip I could really appreciate Hawaii for what it really is: 100 percent paradise. Being there this time, and with such a good group of friends meant that we didn’t miss a beat and had the sickest time.
Where did you get the best waves?
Hawaii for sure, again! I felt like with the consistent bigger waves I was really able to push myself and get properly used to the bigger boards that are an essential on the North Shore. We surfed everywhere along the 12 mile strip from from Haleiwa to V-land
and every spot inbetween!
My favourite wave was Sunset, because of it’s big open face walls, it makes it so fun for drawing long lines you’d never get to draw at home, and then theres the west bowl section where you just try and hold on. Towards the end of the trip Surfline predicted us with a late season XL swell which opened up the opportunity for me to surf Waimea for the first time. I borrowed an 8'2" Bushman from Sandy Kerr, which was nowhere near big enough apparently, but I felt it was going to work better than a 6'8" – the biggest board left in my quiver by this point in the trip. It was definitely scary but a great experience, every wave I just held on until I was safe in the channel.
Who have you been travelling with how has that worked out?
My girlfriend Melodie, filmmaker and long time friend Greg, two of my best mates Dan and Jack. Also gave my mum a trip to Bali for her birthday and Greg's girlfriend who met us in Hawaii. Obviously with a group of friends travelling together for that amount of time meant it had its ups and downs but there were plenty more ups than downs haha! It was good travelling with other friends who froth on surfing as much as I do. I think it also helps being with friends when in waves of consequence because you just stay relaxed and laugh about it instead. It was sick to have Greg there with his camera to capture all the best moments. I’m stoked they all came and were part of team ‘Good Vibes’ haha!
Is this your first big trip away?
This was by far the longest trip I’ve done. There were homesick times but you’re always doing something fun when exploring the world which can take your mind off it!
Anything gnarly happen?
My Mum and Melodie driving mopeds, that was pretty gnarly! I might be the only one that thinks this is gnarly but Taj Burrow personally said I had a sick wave one day at Sunset, I was stoked. (Yeah that counts! - Ed) Oh yeah and in Hawaii about half way through our time there we had a massive storm and in one night they had the most rain they’ve had in 11 years so as you can imagine everywhere was flooded. The road was about waist to chest deep in the dips which meant Jamie O’brien got his Catch surf board out and did tow surfing down the Kamehameha Highway, that was definitely gnarly ha ha!
What was the best piece of surfing you saw while you were away - who, when, where and why ?
Probably Mikey Bruneau at Pipe. He just knows exactly where to sit every time and gets about 20 of the waves that everyone dreams of just getting one of! Every wave you kinda go “Nah he’s way too deep” or way too late but he makes the drop, gets completely pitted and fully spat out. Mind blowing!
What are your plans now for the rest of the year? As a young high profile surfer, what ranks highest: comps or video/ building a social media presence?
Well I’m back in Australia now with Melodie and my family, just hanging out having some good times, playing a lot of tennis and trying to improve my surfing for any contests this summer. I reckon nowadays you need to have a healthy mix of good results and a good following on social media so this year my I will be trying to get myself some of both of those things!
I know I’m definitely going to do some of the UK tour events just to keep in the competition mindset and I’ll definitely do the Boardmasters at Fistral and kind of just see how it goes. If I make a couple of rounds then I’ll probably try and find some budget to go and do a few more throughout Europe. However as it stands I mainly see this year as me just really trying to find some confidence in my surfing, consolidating everything I’ve learnt this winter and getting some really good boards under my feet in the hope of next year focusing 100 percent on the QS series and getting myself a ranking on the WSL. I’ve got a few trips in the making for September onwards as well so I’m just really playing it by ear ha ha. Oh and also a couple of business things I’m trying to set-up in St.ives! It’ll be a busy year no matter what that’s for sure! I just want to say a massive thanks to everyone that made this winter trip possible, especially my two main sponsors Rip Curl and Fistral Beach, my godfather Nog and to Greg for filming everything. Legends! Keep an eye out for the clip to drop very soon and for more shots @harryderoth on Insta.