During a 4 month stint travelling and surfing Indonesia, Rusty Ratpack Rider Sophie (@sophiefletcher_) caught up with videographer Jemma Scott (@thesalty.dreamers) in Canggu to talk surf, Indo and Beng Bengs.
We caught up with Soph back in Oz to find out a little more. Read below.
A lot of people won't know this but you’ve been with Rusty for a while now, how did you get on the team and when?
I signed with rusty early 2017 just after I won two state level events at home and Bells Beach. Apparently the state rusty rep was spying on me in the comps hahaha. Stokeddd
It’s a cold, rainy day, can you describe the urge that makes you get off the couch and out of your ugg boots to put on a cold wet suit and get out into the water?
As hard as it is at the beginning, once you are out there, you are so pleased you did go, it’s always worth it. Every surf, even when it’s rather average, is great. It only takes one wave or a good turn to get that blood pumping and put a smile on your face. The buzz can last for days! Plus, you can always run down to the cafe and get a hot choccy or snuggle back into bed after!
Surf is a very individualistic pursuit but with a lot of camaraderie. How would you describe the difference between being out there on your own vs. being out there with your mates? Do you have a preference?
Being out there on your own is quite special, finding uncrowned waves and adventuring out to them is cool, it’s quite meditative. Those are the surfs when you come up with crazy ideas and catch a hundred waves! Although I think I’d prefer to surf with at least one friend, bit spooky on your own.
The stoke in the water when you surf with your friends is unreal, hooting and messing around when we get good rides.
Either way, if I’m in the ocean I’m happy.
You travelled a lot in 2018, any crazy travelling stories that happened along the way? Where to in 2019?
A local Indonesian friend took me on a search for waves and wow was it an adventure! To find these beach breaks we had to give an old man 20 cents to ride over the sketchiest handmade bridge over a canyon, it was made from woven plants, wire and bamboo. It rattled and swayed as we rode over it. Then we had to trespass a local airport riding the bikes along the run way and over sand dunes to get the the beach. Even better... we scored super fun peaks with just the two of us!
I also spent 12 days completely removed from the world with no internet and the closet reception was about 2 hours away. We ate the most organic diet where the rice was grown out the back of the hut, fish caught out the front and the fruit and veggies where from the market in the village. We surfed empty lineups, saw the most incredible stars in the night sky and met some fun and inspiring surfers and travellers along the way. It was so amazing to disconnect from everything and live in the moment with who and what was there. No phones was sick. I actually forgot to tell mum where I was going before I left, and when I was out there I had no contact with anyone for 2 weeks, and this was when there were heaps of really big earthquakes and tsunami warnings in Lombok and Bali. I didn’t even know about any of them... oops, sorry mum.
If you couldn’t surf, could you imagine yourself doing anything else?
Tennis, for some reason I love playing it and used to compete when I was little or maybe I would be studying sports psychology.
For me, living a surf lifestyle by the sea is something I will cherish forever. The ocean is a powerful yet beautiful force that brings joy, teaches and humbles us. Surfing has given me the opportunity to travel the world, meet incredible people and see beautiful places and I am so grateful for it
You can only surf one place for the rest of your life - Phillip Island or Indonesia?
Tough question!! The local has some of the best beach breaks I’ve ever surfed, and I love Phillip Island but surfing one place for the rest of my life .... probably Indo, because it’s consistent all year and there are thousands of insane breaks through the many beautiful islands. And of course I’d never need to wear a 4/3, hood and booties in winter.
What does 2019 have in store for you? Travel plans? Personal goals?
Well I was planning on only having one gap year after school then go to uni, butttt 2018 has been the best year and I want to do it all over again. So I’m going to follow the QS events and try travel to new places as now I can enter the bigger qualifying events. South Africa is definitely on the list, Indonesia again and hopefully Japan. I’ll go home to work and train after this QS 6000 in Port Stephens, save some $$ and plan my year ahead.
This year my goal was to make the top 100 in the world and I’m so stoked to say I did, so now I just really want to keep climbing the ladder in the world rankings and see how far I can go, and obviously keep enjoying it. It’s too much fun :)