Posted: Jul 07 2020
Annie Burke, or Jungle Annie to the hard core G-Landers, has been as much part of the furniture at Joyos over the last few seasons as our very own, Johnny G-land. Over the recent couple of seasons however, Annie and her husband Mick have had their attentions focused elsewhere since welcoming their very own grom. Here Annie shares with us about discovering surfing in her 20’s, being coached by Mick at Speedies, and returning to the water after a baby, with plenty of G-land nostalgia thrown in.
Share with us some memorable times & characters you've come across
I’m very grateful to have spent 3 wonderful seasons in G-Land and have been truly blessed to have met so many amazing people there. The staff are literally like family to me, they treat me as if I was their daughter/sister and nothing makes me more happy than seeing their smiley faces everyday!
Most of the people we have met at G-Land are also regulars who keep coming back to the humble place. Each of the individuals are so special to us and we are lucky enough to still keep in contact even if they are half way across the world. It’s funny seeing the different characters who come and go, for me I enjoyed the boat arrival days as you got to meet friends and new crew, which kept the place exciting with good vibes.
There are literally too many great memories of G-Land. One of my favourites would probably be getting married in Bali, then bringing our amazing friends from the wedding to G-Land to celebrate our honeymoon and we were lucky enough to have shared some perfect Speedies waves together.
You learnt to surf in your 20s, then within no time you were charging solid Speedies pits. Tell us about your progress & lack of fear in waves of consequence.
My husband was the one who taught me to surf. I started out surfing at 20/20s, and immediately fell in love with riding a wave. When the swell was small he would take me down to surf one of the waves. I never felt confident on my forehand so we would always go over to the left which I liked as hardly any crew surfed it. It was a short ride but sometimes you get get a quick cover up on the right swell and tide. I remember getting my first ever barrel out there, It was an incredible feeling and I wanted more of it.
Surfing everyday with my husband I grew more confident, as I started to progress, he decided that I should step it up and try little Speedies. I was immediately hooked! It’s such a fast and super hollow wave (hence the name).
We would often surf together unless it was 6ft + and he would give me a little push into a perfect barrel. He was always giving me pointers in paddling (as I was never a great paddler) and taught me which waves to catch. We had a really good thing going on where it got to a point where we didn’t even have to say anything to each other about which wave to go for, we just gave each other that look that said ‘this is the one’ which would work well especially on those crowded days.
I wouldn’t say I lack fear! If I wasn’t surfing with Mick and if it hadn’t gone right in the first couple of waves, I would’ve had immense doubts and fear. But whenever I am surfing with him, the fear seems to dissipate. I think it’s because I have so much trust in him selecting waves. And as scary as it seems when falling off a wave it builds up that confidence. I would think to myself ‘hey that wasn’t so bad, and I survived’, which meant I would strive for more.
You and Mick had a boat over in G-Land, G-Hab. How’d you come up with the name and tell us about some adventures we’ve had on it.
While it was flat with no swell, sometimes we all get stuck in the Bali vortex of partying a little too much and there was a saying that we needed ‘G-Hab’ (rehab in G-Land).
G-Hab was also another alternative for guests who enjoyed fishing, diving and surfing the rights. The days where the wind blew onshore all day (which wasn’t very often), we would make a trip to G-Land rights. There are a few fun breaks with no one around so definitely a lot of fun with just the crew you go with. I found it quite intimidating as I was on my forehand (which I was never confident with) and it had some power with long walls.
Fishing has always been one of our passion as we love to cook and eat fish. Surprisingly there are still plenty of fish in G-Land. On the flat days, we would often take the boat out and drifted around fishing, often bringing in fish for the guests. My proudest moment was when I hurled in a dog tooth tuna. They’re a prize winning fish and quite uncommon to catch. It put on a great fight, and we had the best sashimi that night, drinking Bintangs with awesome mates.
You're a new mum to a beautiful boy. Any tips for surfer girls thinking about having a grom or a few?
Being a new mum has changed our lives, we were like free nomads and the only agenda in our life was travelling and surfing. I absolutely love being a mum and adore our beautiful boy but there were challenges along the way. The first year of being a mum was the hardest as I was sleep deprived, and just had no idea what I was doing. I literally thought while I was pregnant I would still be doing the things I was doing before. I was wrong! I didn’t get any time for myself as I was breastfeeding, changing nappies, prepping snacks, washing, cleaning, cooking… The list never ends. It’s definitely easier now that he’s a toddler and I’m slowly getting more time for myself.
Never take your free time for granted.
At this point do you see yourself riding waves as you did before you were a mum?
In my head, I do, and constantly dream of riding waves as I did before but when I actually do get into the water, it’s a real disappointment as my body and fitness level is not the same as they were before. However I’m still keen to get back to G-Land and hopefully get tubed one day.