tane bowden

New Zealand Surfing - - Out there Doin it -

Born in Taupo the youngest of two boys, Tane never re­ally knew NZ un­til he re­turned to his home­land at seven years old af­ter leav­ing when he was only three months. His par­ents were never surfers and they had never ex­pe­ri­enced surf­ing, they were in­volved in the mu­sic in­dus­try with his fa­ther Drew a singer/song­writer and Aus­tralia of­fered more op­por­tu­nity to earn a liv­ing than NZ. A de­ci­sion to go chase the bright lights and star­dom in the USA saw the Bowden fam­ily pack their bags with a NZ stop-over on the way. Some great friends had a hol­i­day house in Whanga­mata and they of­fered it to the fam­ily to use while they re­turned home to NZ to catch up with fam­ily and friends, for what was only a short visit. It was here that upon laying eyes on the beach and feel­ing right at home in the Coro­man­del life­style, that the bright lights ca­reer was sac­ri­ficed to give their kids a chance to grow up in such a nour­ish­ing area. While older brother Macken­zie jumped straight into the surf, Tane re­ally didn’t like it at the start and would sit on the beach throw­ing tantrums. “Af­ter a while I started to like it, but I never liked be­ing pushed into a wave, I pre­ferred to do things by my­self, so when I started pad­dling and catch­ing waves on my own and get­ting to my feet, I fell in love with the sport.” Tane an ob­vi­ous nat­u­ral wasted no time in pro­gress­ing through the stages and in only a cou­ple of years he was picking up ac­co­lades on the Surf­ing NZ Grom Se­ries events, and spon­sor­ship soon fol­lowed. The fam­ily had a bus which they would travel in to events and post up for days on end some­times weeks; the kids surfed their brains out, were home schooled in the evenings and mum and dad worked on their mu­sic. “That was the most awe­some time, just trav­el­ling around the North Is­land to these out of it places, surf­ing our brains out, while dad did gigs on the road.” Af­ter five years the fam­ily re­alised it was time to get se­ri­ous about earn­ing some money and NZ wasn’t of­fer­ing up any fruit­ful leads in Drew’s pro­fes­sion, so it was de­cided to head on back to Aus­tralia and set­tle in on the Morn­ing­ton Penin­sula in Vic­to­ria. This was a dif­fi­cult time for the fam­ily with the kids forced to sac­ri­fice their surf­ing ex­pe­ri­ences for over a year, but they knew that for the fam­ily to get back on their feet, ev­ery­one would have to dig in. So, surf­ing went from be­ing on tap back in NZ to just the odd week­end here and there, which hurt deep! Af­ter a year and once fi­nan­cially sta­ble the fam­ily moved down to Torquay to of­fer the boys a chance to rel­ish their surf time once again. “I used to get so frus­trated be­ing in Morn­ing­ton see­ing all these epic photos each day of Bells, but once we moved down there, I was so hun­gry to surf my brains out that I did so ev­ery day, all day and my surf­ing

re­ally took off and I im­proved heaps” Im­proved he did! Tane went on to win and place highly in some of the biggest from comps in Aus­tralia, and is cur­rently fo­cussing on the Pro-Ju­nior se­ries and the 1-Star WQS events for the next cou­ple of years. Drew even­tu­ally de­cided for the sake of the kids, to make the move to the Gold Coast where Tane got to rub shoul­ders with the best surfers in the world on a daily ba­sis, surf­ing many of the worlds iconic waves ev­ery day, which has noth­ing but a pos­i­tive spin-off ef­fect for his own surf­ing. Tane still and al­ways will see him­self as be­ing a loyal kiwi blooded bro through and through, and hope­fully this year if fi­nances al­low he plans to rep­re­sent his moth­er­land at the ISA World Champs, for­ever hav­ing that NZL fol­low­ing his name on the heat sheets!

Ki­wis have al­ways been renowned as great ad­ven­tur­ers, go get 'em types, those who sac­ri­fice some of the finer things in life in an ef­fort to score their favourite buzz. Travel across the world and any­where there's surf you will usu­ally find a kiwi in the line up and con­sid­er­ing we have one of the small­est pop­u­la­tions of all surf­ing na­tions that speaks vol­umes of the type of char­ac­ters our coun­try pro­duces. We catch up with a few ki­wis who have been "out there doin it" across the line­ups of the world.

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