BOURNEMOUTH LOCAL JAMES TAYLOR SPENT HIS YOUNGER DAYS FROTHING ON SOUTH COAST SWELLS, NOW HIS JOB ALLOWS HIM TO SURF PLACES LIKE THIS….
How a Bournemouth lad swapped south coast shorebreaks for the enviable job of surf guiding in the Maldives.
does a lad from Bournemouth get to surf perfect waves everyday? Persistence and a fair dose of luck! I’m a surf guide/coach and I’ve been working my way around the world the past few years. For the past 6 months I’ve been based in the Maldives at an atoll further south than the classic waves that it is known for. There are a few gems around here and crowds are few and far between.
Where are you from and what were your local breaks ?
I’m from Bournemouth, central South coast UK. Highcliffe beach is my home break but I spent most of my time growing up around Bournemouth Pier and the local reefs.
Who did you hang around with at home ?
My brother and I had a little wrecking crew, and surf wise it was anyone and everyone who was game ! All us grommies would set up base in Sorted Surf Shop down by the pier and jump in with whoever was keen whenever there was swell.
What was your average day like ? Well I’ve been coming and going pretty sporadically the past few years, but an average day if there wasn’t any work on would be a mix of surfing, eating (lots), hanging out with mates and some gym time. There aren’t many waves back home so a lot of the guys cross over into other sports. I had myself as a boxer for a while until I came to the stark realisation that I’m a big softie!
When did you decide the south shore wasn’t for you and how did you go about getting qualified for your job now ?
Oh since forever Steve! I was just like any other kid that frothed out in the surf and it totally possessed me and drove me out of town to places with
quality waves. I think I was 16 or so when I got qualified as a lifeguard and did my surf coaching certificate and then I was good to go. I started working summers down in Cornwall, which lead to summers in France and then it just went on from there.
So where is home for you these days, where are you based ?
My parents and my mates are still in Bournemouth so that’s my base. There aren’t any waves at home but I love it there. My contract is nearly up here in the Maldives so I’m looking forward to a bit of time at home before the next stint away.
Out of all the islands waves where is your favourite ?
Ying Yang down in the Laamu atoll. Jesus that place is insane. I’ve seen the best waves of my life down there; it’s a big swell magnet of a reef that has this brutal inside section, and there are just no crowds. It’s quite a mission from Male to reach it so I doubt mentioning it here will impact the number of guys out in the water there. Besides when it gets heavy the company is welcome !
Obviously the Maldives is the perfect destination for many traveller. Do you have any tips on when to come if you are on a tighter budget – air fares dropping/late season etc
I would look at what kind of deals different resorts are offering during the surf season. July/august coincide with low occupancy with most of the resorts because of the rainy season. In reality the weather isn’t that bad and the surf pumps, so it’s worth looking to see if there are any deals going if resorts are looking to fill rooms. For example I know the resort I’m working at offered a 40% discount for August, and my god the surf was out of this world!
What do you do out of season ? Do you still stay in the Maldives or travel a bit?
I’m on the roster with a company called Tropicsurf. They have numerous locations worldwide so I’ll bounce from place to place with them. I’ve just started with them and the next few years are set to be cracking, I’m excited !
a There few are around here gems
No wonder he’s so happy
Surf guiding is a filthy job, but someone has to show the guests the way around the lineup!
that is insane place
Maldives has some grunt too