Dustin Fiero is coming to the end of his first boatman stint on Tavarua, one of the most sought after gigs in the industry, so we decided to check in with him and see how it went...
Home Town: San Diego
Travels: Tavarua, Mexico, Hawaii
Sponsors: Rusty, DC, Watermans, DaKine, Dragon, Futures, Uni Butter
How do you spend a typical day as a Tavarua boatman?
I wake up at 5:30am, make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, take a surf boat out to Cloudbreak, eat again, hang out at the boat shed and make sure all is well, clean the boats, eat again, fillet fish, and do it again the next day...
How did you the land the coveted gig as "boatman"?
I cam out to Tavarua for the first time with Bird when I was 16. I expressed interest in becoming a boatman and found out what I had to do to make it happen. Over the course of the next five years I obtained my EMT certification, Ocean Life guarding certification, PWC certification and I was super persistent in following through with the management.
What was your scariest moment on Tavarua?
Just the other day a guest was surfing Restaurants and his board nailed him in the back. He couldn't walk when he got to the beach and he was screaming in pain. We had pulled him onto a stretcher and took him to the infirmary for evaluation. It turns out he broke a vertebrae.
What is your most fond memory on Tavarua?
Hanging out with the staff and the other boatmen is great. We laugh a lot and have a great camaraderie between us.
What are you future plans?
I am going to keep life guarding in San Diego and, hopefully, return as a boatman to Tavarua on a regular basis.
What boards did you bring on your first boatman's stint?
6'6" Traveler round tail
6'2" Redline round tail
5'11" GTR round tail quad
5'11" GTR round tail thruster
5'9" Hipster quad
What board do you find yourself riding the most?
The 5'11" GTR quad shaped by Hamon works so good! It's fast, responsive, and rides the barrel really good!
What other activities do you do on the island?
I spend most of my time fishing, free diving, and training.
Photos and Interview: Brody