Interview by Sharpy
Who are you, and where are you from?
I am Adam Amin. I am a 23-year-old English lad from the beautiful countryside of South Devon. If you want to know me then personality-wise, I am a stubborn, persistent and an opportunist. I won’t back down if I have a dream to accomplish.
When did you start surfing, and how did you get into it?
I started surfing when I was around 12 and never looked back. As a grom, I caused so much trouble for my mum. I always had so much energy and never had an outlet. I was getting threatened to be kicked out of school constantly, getting into fights, causing trouble all over the town, vandalising for fun. My mum tried everything to focus my energy on something productive, so my mum’s boyfriend at the time had an idea to take me surfing. Ever since I caught my first wave, I was absolutely f*cking hooked.
What do you wish you could tell your beginner self now that you wished you’d known?
Well, I would tell that little grommet to keep up and push harder. Honestly, I wouldn’t do much differently. I live on a beautiful island in the middle of the ocean where I am surrounded by amazing people with experiences under my belt that some people may only dream of.
At what point did you decide that big waves were your thing?
That’s an interesting question. For me, whenever I get into a sport\hobby, I always try to push to higher or riskier levels. I honestly just get bored very quickly with things, that can be a good or bad thing sometimes. Whether, spearfishing, fighting, surfing or any of my other activities, I want to push my limits always, or I feel static.
It’s a tiny club the British and Irish big wave crew, for islands with minimal history in the big salt until comparatively recently, why do you think we produce such renowned big wave guys?
I have definitely noticed a massive correlation between English and Irish boys. We are all just calculatedly stupid. Who would paddle out/tow big waves? Us that’s who, people can say what they want, but it’s risky as hell a lot of the time. We have our friends looking out for us and awesome inflation vests, but we still do what we do.
You got famous paddling out at Jaws, and not many Brits have done that, how was your first session sitting out there in arguably the world’s most insane big wave spot.
Yeah, that was a fun bit of coverage surfing before the Pe’ ahi Challenge. It was not my first time surfing Jaws. It was my first season in Hawaii, but what many people don’t realise was before that day, we had so many big days surfing Jaws and had become in love with it. It’s so crazy, my crew and I have so many days as enjoyable and as big as ‘those days’, but because guys with ‘names’ didn’t paddle out, then nobody comes. I’m stoked, I get to surf with just my friends. We just switch turns doing safety on the ski and stay all day (if weather permits).
Did you expect the media whirlwind that followed?
Not at all. I didn’t like it, and people were portraying things like ‘Adam conquered Jaws’. I didn’t conquer sh*t. I surfed before the comp just like all the other free surfers did before the competition started, but because they already had ‘names’ in the surfing world, then it was okay for them … come on. Surfing has always been about freedom and always will!
We’ve got photos of you charging Puerto, where else have you surfed since Jaws?
I have surfed all over. Countries like Indonesia, Australia, Mexico, the US, France, Sri Lanka in many infamous spots from each country and state but still so many places to tick off the list.
What are your top tips for surfing solid Puerto?
Patience! It’s the absolute key. If you watch any of the guys getting the best barrels that’s because they notice the best peaks and sit and wait for the best one to come through. There are always local boys who take many waves and deservedly so. As a gringo be smart, you wait your turn and always look. I have seen many people rock up, don’t look and drop in on someone they shouldn’t. That is when they are never seen in Puerto again.
Where else would you like to surf that you haven’t yet?
I would absolutely love to get to Ireland, Tanzania and West Oz for some slab hunting. I want to push my tow game as well as my paddling. I have also really wanted to push the left at Mavericks, such a mean-looking barrel on the mutant ones.
How do you balance safety and success when it comes to big waves?
I try and outweigh safety with risk. You can never be too prepared for any risk out in big waves. I have friends I trust with my life looking out for me on the ski, and I work closely with BLUE SOUP CO, which are a British based company providing big wave surfers with inflation safety vests. When in big waves, you never know what can happen, which is why I train all year round, from physical training, breath training, yoga and meditation. These forms of training have helped me in so many ways.
Two of the newer kids on the big wave scene, Nazare and Mully, are two of the hardest to paddle, keen on hitting them?
Absolutely! I have been talking to a few guys on heading over to those places, will be hard to stick a thick wetsuit back on but so worth it. I am looking forward to it, and I don’t mind just doing safety on the ski for some guys out there first to figure out the wave.
What boards are you riding in the big stuff?
I experiment so much with boards from my sponsor and incredible overall shaper Jerry O’Keefe AKA SOULSTIX. He has made me boards from 6’1″ to 10’6″. I am trying to push smaller boards in the bigger stuff, so we generally go shorter but thicker and wider. Usually, on the biggest days, I will be riding boards from around eight to 10’6″.
Do you still enjoy winter sessions down Jacob’s Ladder in Sidmouth?
I have not been back to England since I moved to Hawaii because I am still sorting out my visa. Not many people know, but I got married when I moved over here, I was 19. It’s been a super wild situation and so many amazing moments. I owe so much to her!
What do you want to achieve with your surfing?
I want to be the best big wave surfer in the world. I want it bad. I am not going to stop pushing, ever.
Is towing in done or still acceptable when it’s going code red psycho?
Surfing is being pushed every day, and that is what’s crazy. So many days we use to look at as not surfable are now becoming pushed hard. I want to think paddling takes priority over towing but as everyone has seen, when it gets too hard for the paddlers, then I welcome towing. Towing is always going to be around, and I love watching the boys push hard.
How do you swing your vest gas canisters on planes, heard from a few guys it’s pretty tricky.
I ship my canisters via post office to the location I am heading to before my flight. Works every time!