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24 Sep

VOL 1

Zac Haynes

18 YRS • Perth

"I really wanted to surf it so I flew over with mum”

  • Travel

zac

This interview was conducted roughly a year and a half ago and since then Zac has spent a healthy amount of time chasing some of the biggest swells going around. With a strong itch to travel it has taken Zac to many big wave locations. Mexico, Hawaii, California and numerous spots around Australia. Through his part time gig scaffolding it has allowed Zac the funds to chase some of the biggest waves he can get his hands on.

Without much big wave experience and at only 16 you decided to surf one of the gnarliest waves in the world, half a world away from where you live, why?

Yeah, kinda because that’s the sort of wave that gets me frothing to surf big waves.It’s the sickest wave and I really wanted to surf it, so I flew over with mum. I couldn’t go over by myself because I was to young so mum said she’d come along. Mum spent a lot of time in the car park waiting. The first day no one was there and I was just waiting around for someone to rock up. Then eventually a French dude that had never surfed it before rocked up and it was evil out there.Big, 20 foot and so gnarly. We went out anyway, we shouldn’t have gone out.

What did your mum think?

I can’t remember, I was frothing too much, getting my stuff ready. Mum probably spent 40 hrs all up that trip sitting in the car park waiting for me to come in. That was an epic trip.

Yeah man, that sounds epic. Flying to Cali as a 16 year old with your mum, to surf one of the gnarliest waves around. How did you guys find it?

Yeah, I knew it was in Half Moon Bay, near San Francisco. It’s kind of a big town I guess. All I knew was that it was south of San Francisco. So we just looked for signs on the highway and I knew there was a big hill with satellite dishes or something on it. We just drove around Half Moon Bay until we saw these big satellites dishes.Then when we found them we drove up and asked someone where Mavericks was and they pointed saying  “You got to park up there and walk around. So we somehow flaked it and got there.

 

How did that feel flying over to a place you really had no idea about? 

It was pretty unreal I couldn’t actually believe I was there: I climbed up the hill and was just amazed when I saw it. It felt like a dream or something, I couldn’t believe it.

Did you try to time it for a swell?

Nah! I just lucked out and got a couple of swells.

What were your first experiences out at Mavericks like?

I paddled out with the french guy and he got a wave then I got a wave then there was this huge set and he coped it on the head and I just scrapped over it. He got held down for two waves and almost died. I was just left out the back by myself and had no idea where he was so I paddled in line to where the rocks are and he’s on the inside just in shock. We went back into the car park and some of the locals had come down and reckon they saw us on the webcam and wanted to make sure there were no bodies floating around. So that was my introduction to Mavericks. I got one wave that day. That first session, it was about 15 foot; it was just an inbetween one for that day. It was a sick feeling for my first surf out there.

How where the locals?

The local guys were super cool, really friendly and helped me out with all the line up points and there was one Aussie guy who lived over there and helped me out a bit.

… an updated interview will be featured Article 1 : young Australian men’s stories 

If Zac’s getting excited about about a swell coming and you try to steer the conversation in another direction don’t be surprised if he gives you a blank look like you’re the stupidest guy in the room. 

zac hayes 12/13 from zac haynes on Vimeo.

Images : Jayke Sampson

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