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How to be a pro surfer with Reef McIntosh

Marina Miller

Posted on December 09 2017

How to be a pro surfer with Reef McIntosh

Growing up on Kaua'i is a blessing in itself, but getting to spend every winter on O'ahu's North Shore is the dream. Our long time friend and part of the Tamba 'Ohana, Reef McIntosh, has spent the last 18 winters managing the Quicksilver house located on the beach at Pipeline. This prime spot welcomes surfers from around the world and Reef makes sure they all respect their opportunity. From cleaning house to waiting their turn in the line up, surfers are taught the true meaning of living the Hawaii lifestyle.

rooster, oahu, pipeline, quicksilver, reef mcintosh, kauai, surfer, view, back yard  A rooster making Reef feel at home.

I got a chance to sit down with Reef before the circus came into town. Here are some conversation notes I jotted down between the ongoing wave commentary off the back porch. 

rico, oahu, pipeline, quicksilver, reef mcintosh, kauai, surfer, view, back yard Rico spots a set.

The first year Reef traveled to the mythical North Shore of O'ahu he pretty much got chewed up and spit out. The 18 year old spent all his money and came back home to Kaua'i with no surf sponsor.  Back then you could just rip and get picked up by anyone. Taking a cue from his favorite surfer, his dad, Reef just started working and surfing every day, sun up to sun down. Surrounded by guys like Bruce and Andy Irons, Reef set his own goals and worked hard every day.

rooster, oahu, pipeline, quicksilver, reef mcintosh, kauai, surfer, view, back yard, sean stanley Reef and photographer Sean Stanley checking game time.

At the age of 24, with a sharpened sword, Reef returned to the North Shore with one wave in mind, Pipeline. Now as a regular Eddie Invitee, Wave of the Winter Winner 2012, Best Barrel surfer poll 2012, DaHui Backdoor Shootout 2012 Winner, Pipemaster qualifier 3 different times,and many more accolades of the the rest is history! We're glad you didn't give up on the dream.

rooster, oahu, pipeline, quicksilver, reef mcintosh, kauai, surfer, view, back yard, tyler newton, rico, sean stanley Kaua'i boy Tyler Newton stops by the house.

Q&A

Predictions for this winter: Odds are 100% for JJF.  He is confident and it will be just another day in his back yard. 

Groms to watch out for: Stone and Tiger Abubo, Coral and Moku's pack.

Uncles to watch out for: Rico!

Favorite beach on Kaua'i: the whole North Shore, anywhere you can surf and cruise on the beach.

Favorite place to eat: Wake Up Cafe in Hanalei

Wave pools in the Olympics: Will be different but the same. The wave pool will open up surfing to inland surfers. People will rely on the consistency of the wave pool instead of reading the waves and getting lucky.

kauai, north shore, oahu, surfer, surf board, sponsors, Reef McIntosh, Audi, Rockstar, tamba,  Reef's board.

Surfing now days has become a mainstream sport for most kids growing up in Hawaii. Soccer moms are now surf moms. Lucky for the kids growing up on Kaua'i, there is huge family support, but if you don't have that, it's a struggle. With game changing, you can't just rip. You gotta want it BAD.
Tips for making it as a professional surfer today: 
Be an asset. 
Even if you're a good surfer, you need good influences.
Be more contest driven. 
Be good at social media. 
Be smart. 
Set goals in life. 
Build your brand.
tamba ohana, reef mcintosh, kauai, oahu, north shore, pipeline, quicksilver, ehukai, surfer

 Reef goes out for a quick surf session.

 Reef McIntosh, kauai, tamba, Hawaii, surfing, surfer, pipeline, quicksilver, ehukai Not the size waves Reef is usually riding...

Reef McIntosh, kauai, tamba, Hawaii, surfing, surfer, pipeline, quicksilver, ehukai, surf board  

Mahalo to Reef for the interview. Best of luck to you and all the young surfings hitting the North Shore for the first time this winter!

 

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