Youth – Marli Dunn

The latest from the fountain of youth.
Above: There’s nothing quite like scoring good waves close to home. Photo: Ben Bettridge.

Oh, to be young again! It’s been a while between drinks for our Youth interviews – where we profile the four riders who got their mug in the mag’s new gen section – but we’re back with the four from Riptide #197 up our sleeve. First in line is Bateman Bay’s Marli Dunn, who it seems has already solved the equation for maximising his time in the water, despite being just a young tacker. Read our previous Youth interview – Tahiti’s Hiro Bernede, from Riptide #196 here.

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Salty grom stoke. Photo: Ben Bettridge.

 Firstly, how does it feel to get your first shot in the mag, and in the same section where guys like George Humphreys, Jordan Putland and Tanner McDaniel have first been introduced in Riptide?
MD: I’m super stoked to get a shot in the mag. It feels that good to finally get some exposure and to get my boof head inside the pages!

What are your plans with bodyboarding? Keen to give it a solid crack like the guys mentioned above have, or are you just kinda cruising and happy to surf good waves without “chasing it”?
Yeah, I’m definitely gonna give it a crack. It’s pretty hard to get noticed by sponsors down here, so I guess it makes it a little harder to become pro.

What was it like growing up down there?

I grew up around Batemans Bay and when I was seven I moved to a little place called South Durras. I love where it. It’s really close to all the spots, there’s shortage of waves and there’s always something to surf. It’s also uncrowded and all the other local dudes are chilled and hardly ever come out anyways.

So you’re from the same area as one of last issue’s Youth riders – Nathan “The Spruce Moose” Spruce?
Yeah, Nathan and I are good mates. We go on a lot of trips together and really push each other a lot. He’s pretty much the only person I surf with and my other mates Ben Bettridge and Mitchell Lightfoot come and shoot every now and then. Apart from that there are no other photographers around.

South Coast tube. Photo: Mitchell Lightfoot.

Who are the main crew ripping near you that you look up to? What about in general, who are your all-time favourite bodyboarders?

Locally I look up to Glen Thurston and another bloke named Sven. He froths as hard as the grommies and he’s always out no matter what the waves are like. The pros I look up to are Ryan Hardy and Kingy. They both surf insane!

So you’re still only a young fella – 16 is it? Does that mean you’re still at school? You gonna stick it out and give uni a crack or anything? What are your plans after school?
Yeah I’m 16 and still at school. I’m gonna go to uni so I can become a primary school teacher, then I can still get the holidays, the weekends and also before work to surf because school doesn’t start ’til nine or something.

Got a part-time job or anything to pay the bills, or still mooching off the folks?

I’ve got a part-time job at a restaurant in town. I only work at night and it’s pretty chilled so I don’t miss out on any waves.

Do you have a taste for the big stuff or still yet to really push yourself?

Supers is probably the most hectic wave I’ve surfed. I hurt myself just about every time I surf it. I really enjoy surfing big waves. Nathan really pushes me into it. I’m hoping 2014 brings on some big sessions and actually get it caught on camera.

Little fella, big-ish wave. South Coast. Photo: Mitchell Lightfoot.

What about tech stuff, how would you rate your surfing in that department? What do you need to work on?
I wouldn’t say I’m very tech. I’m just getting my legs crossed in my flips now, but still overall I’ve got a lot to work on.

Got a missus? Or still playing the young bachelor game?
Nah, not at the moment. Would rather hold off for a bit so I don’t have a girl slowing me down from surfing.

Have you strayed far from home yet? Any plans to travel soon? Where’s the one wave you’re really keen to surf?
I haven’t really been able to travel much. I do a lot of trips around New South Wales, but still haven’t gone over the border for surfing. This year I’m planning to go to South Oz, it looks so insane. I’m overly keen on surfing Monuments. Overseas I wanna check out Teahupoo and Pipeline.
Any last words?
I’d like to thank Riptide for giving me this opportunity and would also like to thank the Board Lounge for helping me out. Yewwwwww!

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