On a recent boat trip to a secluded corner of the Maldives world renowned watermen Brian Keaulana and Todd Bradley teamed up with Tropicsurf ’s Ross Phillips to experiment with the latest developments in ocean technology. Their goal was to brainstorm future plans for a series of waterman courses in Australia in 2008.
The Waterman Experience Weeks will be the very first of their kind open to the public and will commence early next year in Noosa, with the Maldives and Hawaii on the itinerary for late 2008. Designed for the regular surfer, the courses will focus on developing waterman skills and increasing overall ocean confidence so participants will not just be able to ride a wave, but really understand it. The program will be action packed with stand up paddle, tow-in, jet ski rescue, hydrofoil, underwater relaxation techniques, ocean swimming in challenging conditions and more.
With a Diploma of Teaching in Physical Education, a Graduate Diploma in Outdoor Education and twenty years experience as a surf educator Ross Phillips has earned himself a solid reputation in the industry. Coupled with Brian Keaulana who was once described by surf journalist Dave Parmenter as ”without a doubt the greatest all-around waterman alive”, they make a formidable team.
On their recent Maldives trip they road tested a variety of equipment from the latest hydrofoil fins to stand up paddleboards ranging from 9′6 to 11′0. Body surfing, breath holding, jet ski driving training, towing and rescue techniques were also a major focus.
“Professional water safety is an important service that Tropicsurf offers to our guests,” said Ross Phillips, chief executive officer of TropicSurf. “So it’s been awesome to have Brian here with us fine-tuning our risk management processes.”
“He’s undoubtedly the best in the business and his wealth of real life experience has proven invaluable in polishing our systems and training our guides,” Phillips added.
Brian Keaulana and Todd Bradley from C4 Waterman were in the Maldives to film a stand up paddle instructional video but they got a lot more than they bargained for with solid six to eight foot surf and not another single surfer for the entire trip.
Brain Keaulana said, “This was probably the best surfing trip I have ever taken in my whole life. And I’ve been everywhere. It was not just the surf; it was the whole ambience, the culture the customer service. We’ve been treated way beyond what I’d expected like we were part of the family.”
This is what Tropicsurf does best and this service will be a major focus of the Waterman Experience Weeks. And for those with outstanding talent and enthusiasm the courses will also be part of a Tropicsurf recruiting drive – with Ross and his team keen to add coaches who will become part of this exciting new venture with the opportunity to travel the world.
Established in 2002 Tropicsurf provides guided luxury surfing holidays for all abilities. Tropicsurf pioneered surf travel in the outer atolls of the Maldives, with Ross the first to surf many of its breaks and constantly discovering new and remote locations.
Photos from Tropicsurf.net.