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“Whenever I go to a brand-new spot, it’s always really special.”

Knowing how to read the ocean does not come over night

24-year-old Mike surfs Stone Steps, Leucadia.
24-year-old Mike surfs Stone Steps, Leucadia.

Are you a local?

Yes

How long have you been surfing?

Probably close to ten or twelve years. I have been in the water my whole life. My dad was a big-time surfer back in the day. He always tried to get me out on a board, but I just wanted to play in the waves. That changed when I didn’t have much else to do in my free time and most of my friends surfed.

Favorite surfing moment?

Any time I surf a novel spot. Surfing out here some days can be pretty incredible; when the conditions are good, and its all lined up, and no one is really out there. Whenever I go to a brand-new spot, it’s always really special.

Have you had any cool wildlife experiences?

Yeah, I see dolphins, sharks, seals, the whole bit. I’ve seen a couple of great white sharks out there. It’s kind of weird. Ten years ago, it wasn’t a thing, but now whenever I’m out there, I’m aware. One of the times I saw [a great white] it was right in front of me, but it was really small. I figured it would just swim away, so I stayed out surfing. Another time, it was a bit bigger so I paddled in. A different time, a great white breached. This one was probably 12 to 14 feet. I was down here in Leucadia at Stone Steps. I paddled in.

Have you had any crazy injuries?

Yeah, [surf injuries] kind of got me into my career. I’m going into physical therapy. At the moment, I’m a personal trainer. I have gotten a couple of whiplash injuries from getting sucked over a wave. I hit my head on the reef and another time on the sand. I’ve taken a couple of boards to the face. I think overall, for as risky as surfing can be, there are situations where things seem riskier than they really are. It’s all luck. It’s always been on the smallest waves that I got the most injured. Whenever it’s really big and crazy, I’m fine.

Advice to new surfers?

Take your time, know what you’re doing. Be aware of your surroundings. If you really, really want to get into it, spend as much time as you can out there. Knowing how to read the ocean does not come overnight.

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24-year-old Mike surfs Stone Steps, Leucadia.
24-year-old Mike surfs Stone Steps, Leucadia.

Are you a local?

Yes

How long have you been surfing?

Probably close to ten or twelve years. I have been in the water my whole life. My dad was a big-time surfer back in the day. He always tried to get me out on a board, but I just wanted to play in the waves. That changed when I didn’t have much else to do in my free time and most of my friends surfed.

Favorite surfing moment?

Any time I surf a novel spot. Surfing out here some days can be pretty incredible; when the conditions are good, and its all lined up, and no one is really out there. Whenever I go to a brand-new spot, it’s always really special.

Have you had any cool wildlife experiences?

Yeah, I see dolphins, sharks, seals, the whole bit. I’ve seen a couple of great white sharks out there. It’s kind of weird. Ten years ago, it wasn’t a thing, but now whenever I’m out there, I’m aware. One of the times I saw [a great white] it was right in front of me, but it was really small. I figured it would just swim away, so I stayed out surfing. Another time, it was a bit bigger so I paddled in. A different time, a great white breached. This one was probably 12 to 14 feet. I was down here in Leucadia at Stone Steps. I paddled in.

Have you had any crazy injuries?

Yeah, [surf injuries] kind of got me into my career. I’m going into physical therapy. At the moment, I’m a personal trainer. I have gotten a couple of whiplash injuries from getting sucked over a wave. I hit my head on the reef and another time on the sand. I’ve taken a couple of boards to the face. I think overall, for as risky as surfing can be, there are situations where things seem riskier than they really are. It’s all luck. It’s always been on the smallest waves that I got the most injured. Whenever it’s really big and crazy, I’m fine.

Advice to new surfers?

Take your time, know what you’re doing. Be aware of your surroundings. If you really, really want to get into it, spend as much time as you can out there. Knowing how to read the ocean does not come overnight.

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