Witch Wednesday – Meet Mai

Today we are talking to the beautiful Mai! There is no way you can meet our girl Mai and not immediately girl crush! (we challenge you, seriously, meet this girl and try not to love her!) This mermaid  is made of sunshine, warm salty breezes, and positive vibes🌈☀️🌼! We always look forward to her coming all the way from Brissy to join us for a surf sesh!!

Read to learn more about this surf witch!👇👇👇

Where are you from originally?

I was born in a small beachside town in Vietnam (Nha-Trang) but I grew up in the south west suburbs of Sydney (nowhere near a beach), where my parents migrated to Australia, but I’ve been living in Brisbane, QLD for all my adult life.

How long have you been surfing and how did you get started?

I have always been drawn to the beach and I remember my husband, when he first introduced me to QLD, 19 years ago took me 4WDing up Bribie Island and I thought it was the most magical place ever, looking at untouched endless beaches, sand dunes, and the ocean! Both my brother-in-laws are old salty sea dog surfers and that’s where my love for surfing started, watching them living, talking and breathing surfing.

I started lessons 10 years ago at Noosa and LOVED it, but I really only got to surf when I went to Noosa or when there was a chance to go to the beach. At the time there weren’t many girls in the surf and it was just too intimidating to go out into the line up by myself. I had a break (whilst I was busy having my kids who are now 8 &6) and got back into surfing in Jan 2019 when we camped at Adder Rock at Straddie. It was my new year’s resolution to learn how to surf again and I finally found the Surf Witches later in the year!

What level surfer are you – whitewash warrior or chasing green waves? 

I still consider myself a beginner but I have found that consistently surfing consecutive days or every weekend when I can, and with the surf witches, I am improving a LOT and can chase those green waves.

What board are you rocking?

My first board is a 7ft mal which I bought off a shaper in the mid-coast of NSW. It’s a great board, I also got an 8ft Spooked Kooks foamie when I got back into surfing and recently I bought a 2nd hand 9ft McTavish fireball longboard which I still haven’t had a chance to take out because the last 3 times I was down the coast it was FLAT like a LAKE!

What beaches do you normally surf?

I actually like to travel to different beaches up and down the coast and Northern NSW but I love surfing down the Gold Coast where the surf witches mainly surf. I love Greenmount and Kirra as they are great for beginners. I also love surfing down at Cabarita as it’s one of my favourite beach towns.

What do you do for work? Any cool hobbies or interests outside of surfing you want to share with us?

I work as a financial accountant for an engineering company in Brisbane, it sounds like a boring job but it’s really given me the lifestyle and ability to travel down the gold coast and enjoy the beach on the weekends. I love keeping active and improving my surfing strength so I do reformer pilates and weight training. My kids also keep me busy but they love coming on our beach adventures too.

What has been your best surf or ocean experience so far? 

I think every surfer has a “best surf” moment every time they go out, and in my case, the lack of frequency means I have so many “best surf” experiences! Pre-COVID, a group of us surf witches met up at Rainbow in the afternoon – a first for me that wasn’t at the ass-crack of dawn hahaa and it was so encouraging to have the girls there and help me paddle out further than I normally go. We had an absolute blast that afternoon catching waves and cheering each other on. Nothing is more encouraging than hearing a surf witch yell out “that’s your wave Mai, PADDLE PADDLE PADDLE” 

I have also surfed at Rainbow Bay which is up at Double Island Point (4WD access only) many moons ago, that was also one of my favourite surfing moments. No crowds, coloured sand dunes, and perfect glassy green waves.

Any surfing goals you want to smash this year? 

My surfing goal for this year was to really try to get down to the beach every weekend and surf. It hasn’t really happened like I have hoped (COVID threw a spanner in the works!) but for now, I hope I can take my new longboard into the ocean and not just inside my car up and down the M1 highway!

What do you love about the Surf Witches?

I LOVE the vibe, the fun and the friendships that have been made through the surf witches for all women of all ages, backgrounds, and surfing abilities. There is so much fun to have in the water and feeling safe knowing that the girls have your back!

What advice would you share with other women starting out? 

As a beginner, I would definitely say that going out as much as you can to keep learning and practising. The beauty of the ocean is that no day, no surf is ever the same and just keeps you in check. When you think you might be getting better at surfing, and catch an awesome wave in, then getting dumped on a shore break (like I have) is a good way to keep you humble. HA!  

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