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Being bound by the current travel restrictions, we recently found ourselves thinking about the beautiful Sunshine Coast and, more specifically, the Sunshine Coast’s favourite son, professional surfer, Reef Heazlewood. Reef is competing on the WSL Qualifying Series and is ranked 13th on the 2020 board. He’s known for going big and for being one of the most likable characters in surf, but right now he’s taking it easy like the rest of us. We hit Reef up with some questions, and he shared with us the many ways he’s staying connected, staying healthy and staying sane during this time.
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Tell us about 5 times you felt mentally of your depth in the water and what you did to stay calm?
Just last year I was in Tahiti for the CT trials. It was massive; guys were towing. Ariihoe Tefaafana got one of the better ones of the day. I went out for a surf in the morning before they gave the call that it was off for the day. I was so conscious of my breathing while I was out there, making sure I was breathing slowly and deeply into my diaphragm to help keep myself calm. Three or four years ago, in the Volcom Pipe, I remember having a heat in solid Pipe and seeing these massive walls rolling towards me. I remember thinking of a section of Wade Goodall in a surf movie at Chopes and he got pounded and said it just made him want to make one so much more; that helped make me just think of the barrel and wanting that. I’ve also had a few sessions out 15-18ft Pipe and I probably spent half the time praying, because I felt I wasn’t ready for the poundings that were out there.
What are 5 boards you’d take on any surf trip to stay innovative?
If I was going on a surf trip, I think the 5 boards I’d take to be as innovative as possible would be Channel Islands Rook15, Rocket Wide, Fever, DFR, and Taco Grinder. The Rook15 is sick for when the waves are really good. Rocket Wide is the fun board that goes like lightening and I love boosting on it. The Fever is perfect for keeping it innovative when the waves aren’t quite as good when you’d ride the Rook. I’ve had a couple DFR’s and it goes insane when the waves are hollow and steep. Lastly, the Taco is what you want when the waves get bigger and you want to lay it on the rail and get as deep as possible in the barrel.
5 things you eat to stay healthy?
I’ve been enjoying eating a sick breaky wrap or sandwich with eggs, spinach, coriander and halloumi in the mornings, and an apple, banana, and mandarin every day. Been having Caesar salads too; they’ve been the bomb. Ha-ha.
What are 5 things you’ve done to stay sane while in lockdown?
5 things I’ve been getting up to during lockdown would be getting into the ocean as much as possible; beaches have been open here at home. I’ve been riding quite a wide range of boards to keep things spicy and different. Mum has had me cleaning out our garden-rainforest in our backyard. I’ve cut a couple of trees down, cleaned the gutters on the roof. If I wasn’t a surfer, I might consider becoming a gardener, because I’ve enjoyed it a lot. I’ve been reading as much as I can. I think not watching the news has kept my sanity too.
Thanks for your time, Reef!