Youth – Blake Mckenzie

From Port Macquarie to the Gold Coast and beyond.
Above: Blakey and a nice rev slice off the top on the Gold Coast. Or is it North Coast, NSW? Photo: Jye McDonald

Here’s our first Riptide Youth inductee for 2015 – Mr Blake McKenzie, 21, who scored a nice big afternoon air reverse in our latest issue and now gets to spill the beans on his life and so forth. We’ve been impressed with Blake’s riding for a while now – with his style having been shaped by the twin meccas of Port Mac and the GC – so it has been good fo finally see him recognised with some ink on paper. We’ll bring you the other three Youth inductees from Riptide issue 202 in the coming weeks, but in the meantime make sure you grab your copy of the new mag while stocks last! Cick here to see what else is in the new ish, find your nearest print copy or buy one online. Take it away, Blakey.

blakey port

Above: Carpark chic. Photo: Jye McDonald

LEAVING HOME: I moved to the GC at the start of 2012 to do a Diploma of Sport Management at University. The waves are definitely more consistent in the Port Macquarie area and far less crowded. The good thing about the Gold Coast though is having reefs to surf. I’m from a small town called Lake Cathie, just south of Port Macquarie. Everyone’s nice and everyone knows one another. The Gold Coast is full of people trying to fit in, having to be part of the scene. You either have to get drunk constantly, go to the gym and take selfies, or get tattoos. I’m not into that crap.

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Above: Blake and the big Goldy punt that landed him in Riptide #202. Photo: Jye McDonald

SHRED-HEADS: The biggest influences on me in Port would have to be Kingy and Charlie Holt. Charlie got me into the sport when I was younger and surfs ridiculously good, and Kingy being a [three-time] World Champ of course. I have to give special mention to Alex Lincoln and Kurt Gillan as I surf with them the most around there and I’m constantly trying to outdo them. Not to forget Chase O’Leary, Jonesy [Jones Russell], [Jake] Chelman and Sam Bennett. There are so many good riders in one small area that it’s hard to not want to better yourself. The three main people on the Goldy that have impressed me most are Mitch Rawlins, Joe Clarke and Jacob Hein. Shredders Dane Bamberry, Jimmy Williamson, Curtis Prior, Elliot Williams, Dan Robson, Robert Laurie, Elliot Butler, Eric Roy and Tarik Dallinger all get me psyched though too!

Above: We do love us a good el rollo shot. Photo: Jye McDonald

BETTER WAVES/RIDERS: That’s actually a hard one. I’d say the Gold Coast has better waves, but back home it’s more consistent with less crowds. So I’d rather be surfing/staying down in Port. Port definitely has the better bodyboarders, without doubt!

STRADDIE VS BREAKWALL: I’d still rather Bwall. I just think it’s a better wave. When it’s good there there isn’t a bunch of people constantly blowing waves, you don’t have to drive through crazy traffic and you can also check it without having to paddle a river. Not only that, my local (not Bwall) is pretty similar to Strad with usually just myself out!

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Above: Flipping the script at one of those reefs Blake’s so fond of. Photo: Jye McDonald

SCIENCE AND THE KING: Yes, I think it’s been close to three years that I’ve been riding for Science and the other companies that come under their umbrella – Gyroll and Viper. Unfortunately I haven’t had a lot to do with Mike personally. I’d love to though! Maybe the Godfather and I can do a trip one time (wink, wink). My only few experiences with him have been via email. When I first emailed him regarding a sponsorship (yes, I was nervous!) I was so shocked to even get a response. He gave me several more questions than I was ever expecting and answering each one I was constantly thinking “Is this good enough?”.

Photo: Zak Waters 

HITTING THE BOOKS: Yeah, the studying is full on. I have to have my head in a book for much longer than I’d like. Starting this year I’ll be in my second year of Exercise Science. I’ll have one more year after this one and then I will be doing a Masters of Physiotherapy so I can be a physiotherapist! It will all be worth it in the end.

PLANS: The next few years with bodyboarding I just plan to have fun with it, get as much footage and photos as I can and make as many clips as possible. Hopefully I’ll travel overseas and around Australia… so pretty much the same as it’s always been! Oh, and hopefully make the cut for Riptide again ๐Ÿ˜‰

Above: some recent ripping from the man – late 2014 mixtape.

SHOUT-OUTS: Shout-outs to Jarryd and the Watson family for their massive support through the GC Flux Bodyboard store. Science, Gyroll leashes, accessories and wetsuits and Viper surfing fins for all the best gear and support you can get (thanks Johnny). My Mum for all her hard work, my Dad and the rest of my supportive family and friends. All the filmers, photogs and editors (Jellan, Jye Mac, Samuel, Dan, and Kurt notable mentions) for all their help! Also my girlfriend for putting up with me bailing on her to go surfing for almost six years haha! I’ve probably forgotten some people so, sorry to you. Most of all, the crew at Rippy! The glue that holds this sport together!

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