Pivotal Moments In The Life Of Bede Durbidge
Hey Bede, tell us about the moment you…
…got your first surf shot in a mag. I can’t remember the first photo I got in a major mag but I remember the first photos that I saw of myself were ones Marty Tullemans took at North Straddie when I was about 12. He printed them out and blew them up. One was a lay-back blow tail that I would never make and the other was a backhand floater. I grew up on Straddie and you’re a little bit sheltered over there and it was the first time I had shot with a professional photographer, I’d just come back from the Gold Coast titles and I won that and I was thinking to myself, “Now I can match it with these Goldy boys.” I was so stoked. Mum and Dad probably still have them somewhere.
…got your first World Tour victory. That was at Trestles in 2006, I had the toughest draw that day too. My first heat on the final day was against Andy which was a task in itself and then I think I had Chris Ward and then Taj and then Kelly. It was a pretty amazing feat for me just to go on and make the final, the highest I had finished before that was a 5th maybe, so to go on and beat Kelly when everyone thought Kelly was going to win… I dunno it all went in my favour, I just couldn’t lose that day. We had a huge night that night. Andy and Parko kidnapped me, it was my second year on tour and I was only a grom back then.
…caught the best wave of your life. That was at North Straddie when I was about 18. I still remember that wave so clearly. It was at Cylinders, which is the right hand pointbreak out there. The banks were perfect, it was six foot and I remember getting this wave where I got five, six second barrels on it, every one of them on the foam ball. I came in and completely freaked out. The wave went for a few hundred metres, it was at home, and it was the best wave of my life. I was hoping everyone else saw it too but the only person who did was my mate’s mum.
…mortgaged your house to stay on tour. When I got dropped by Billabong, I only had Mt Woodgee as my sponsor so I put an extra $50,000 on my mortgage to pay for my travels for a year. That was in 2007. It was a no-brainer really, I was just so pissed off and fired up and pyched to go on there and smash it. I had this crazy determination that I was going to do well and make my money back. I came out and got second at the Quik Pro first event, Mick beat me in the final but to come out like that set my whole year up. I could have got all down and bummed out but I turned it around and used that adversary as an advantage. I surf better when I am under pressure.
…were changed by the birth of your child. It was amazing. It made me less selfish and I lost that mongrel for a little bit. I have got it back now but it was definitely hard adjusting to being a dad and a pro surfer. It was really difficult juggling everything and that reflected on my results. But now I have got a good balance on it, I can be a dad and be present and then I can switch off and be that mongrel competitor. If I am away from my family, I am there for a purpose. I channel that energy into my competing and I feel it is an advantage now.