18 June, 2013 18 June, 2013

Frank Solomon – 8 Months on the Road

Big Wave World Tour surfer Frank Solomon had barely touched back down on home soil in Cape Town after 8 months on the road, before we chatted to him to hear the details of his marathon surf trip that saw him visit South America, North America and Hawaii.

So, with his feet up (for the moment) at home, we fired a few questions his way about the BWWT, Mavericks and that special swell at Ocean Beach.


ZIGZAG: Shew, so it’s been a while since you’ve spent more than two days on home soil. Give us a quick rundown of where you’ve been?
Frank Solomon: It’s been a very long eight months away from home, and I am so happy to be back. My trip started last year in October with a month in Puerto Escondido. It was late season for there, but I was really lucky and we got some fun waves. It was my first time down there and I immediately fell in love with the place.

After that I went to Northern California to spend the winter at Mavericks, which I’ve done for the past few years. Josh and I were working and surfing there, and after two months we relocated to the North Shore for the late season. Following a solid stint on The Rock, Josh went home and I headed to Southern California. I spent about a month in Huntington Beach before heading back to Mexico for the summer down there. I definitely got the best waves of my trip that second time in Puerto.

Frank, looking for something to ride in Mexico.

Frank, searching for surf and finding lots more in Mexico.

Did you have any goals heading into this trip away from home? And how’d you go towards achieving them?
My main goal has always been to get into the Mavericks event – that’s definitely my focus for going to the States. Also trying to get some international coverage, on Surfline or Surfer. As for achieving them, I guess you just got to make sure you’re at the right place at the right time (laughs).

Did you charge any huge waves in Hawaii?
(Laughs again) Yeah, I charged so hard bru! Nah, Hawaii was disappointing for me this year. It was a pretty bad year on the North Shore and while I was there we didn’t get any big swells.

You were in San Francisco when the swell hit for the Mavericks Big Wave Invitational. Did you watch much of the action there, or were you busy getting barrelled down the beach?
I actually arrived in Hawaii the day they called the Mavericks event ON, so I pretty much turned around in the airport and went back to San Fran. The contest was pretty small, but yeah, down the coast Ocean Beach was next level. Without a doubt the best I have ever seen it in my seven years going there.

Ocean Beach was the best beachbreak in the whole world while the Mavericks Big Wave Invitational was going on, and Frank made sure to get a couple.

Ocean Beach was the best beachbreak in the whole world while the Mavericks Big Wave Invitational was going on, and Frank made sure to get a couple.

We saw a couple of Facebook posts where you were claiming the waves of your life down in Mexico. So, spill the rice and beans…
Yeah, I’m not gonna lie, Mexico is pretty insane. There is such a variety of waves. I was based in Puerto Escondido and just searched the coast from there. The place is amazing, and the surfers who are tired of Bali and are looking for something different should most definitely go and check it out.

You were due to come home after Mexico, but then got a call that Chile was going to be cranking for the Quiksilver Ceremonial Punta de Lobos big wave event. How did that go?
Eish, that was the biggest mission of my life. I was pretty much boarding the plane in San Francisco to come home and they called the contest. So I flew from San Fran to Dubai, Dubai to Cape Town, Cape Town to Soa Paolo, Sao Paolo to Santiago – almost 60 hours of travel. When I arrived in Chile the waves where like eight foot, but there were thousands of people gathered to watch the event, so we decided to have an expression session and split the prize money. Chile is an awesome place and I am stoked to have gone, but as I said, it was the biggest mission ever for eight foot surf. (laughs)

Frank travelled for more than 60 hours to catch this wave in Chile.

Frank travelled for close to 60 hours to catch this peak in Chile.

Tell us your thoughts on the recent announcement of the BWWT merging with the ASP?
I think it’s a good thing. The guys running the BWWT definitely needed some help, and hopefully the ASP can help them make the tour even better. There are some worries, of course, like are the guys on the WCT going to be put straight into all the big wave events now that they are sanctioned, forgetting about all of the guys like me who have been in it from the beginning? It’s going to be interesting that’s for sure. There’s so much politics and drama in big wave surfing that I think the ASP are in for a shock.

And now that you’re back on home soil and winter is upon the Cape of Storms, what are your plans for the next couple of months?
Just to focus on the big waves here in the Cape and a couple spots up the west coast. I’m also going to do a road trip up to Durban with the Hurley team to go and check out the SA Champs and support all the boys. As I mentioned, I’m just so happy to be back in this beautiful country, and I can’t wait to see what kind of winter we are in for.

Thanks for your words, Frank. Keep charging, and we’ll keep watching!
Shot guys, I’ll keep charging.

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