Journey To The QS- Taina Izquierdo Coming Through
Posted: Dec 30 2018
As far as surfing goes, all original Bali girl Taina Izquierdo is a pedigree candidate- raised in the Uluwatu area with local legend Cacho Izquierdo as her old man, Taina has spent the last few years carving up the grom circuits, taking out the Rip Curl Grom search in 2017 and many other titles throughout her career so far.
This 17 year old ‘no longer grom’ is half Indonesian half Puerto Rican and is a diligent competitor. Humble and softly spoken, you’ll see her fighting spirit come to life when she scores a 10 foot wave. Rumour has it that both Puerto Rican and Indonesian Olympic teams have set their sites on her for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
World-class waves produce world class surfers and it’s a monumental time for Indonesian surfers like Taina and her alumni who are better represented for the international scene than ever before. We are also onboard with the recent hype around women’s surfing in light of Stephanie Gillmore’s whopping 7th World Title, and the women who have been blazing the big wave comps this year.
Currently Taina is fighting to eventuate her goals for 2019- to qualify for the QS top seeds via the Asia Tour. Not only does this take determination and commitment but cash for fees and expenses.
Taina writes to us from her recent tour of Indonesia and Japan, where she represented her country for the first time at the International Surfing Association contest.
I went on a trip and hoped to learn as much as I could about my passion, surfing. I went to three different places in Indonesia to compete in the world qualifying series and I also went to Japan to represent my country, Indonesia in the ISA's!
I'm so very grateful to have been given the opportunity to travel and to do what I love most, to surf and to compete. I've made so many new friends and memories that I will cherish forever. Not only did I learn a whole lot about competing but I've also learnt a lot about my country and Japan.
I have so much gratitude and I'm very blessed to live this life I live. I can't thank my sponsors enough for all the love and support they have given me. Five weeks away from home really made me realize how lucky I am to live in Bali. Now I'm hungrier than ever. Surfing is my passion and my love for the sport has grown even more. I can't wait to see where my surfing journey will take me.
Stop number one - NIAS
Believe me when I tell you that Sorakei is the most perfect wave that I have ever surfed in my life! It is a very long and powerful right hand wave. The wave has so much potential for big maneuvers such as carves, snaps and barrels. We were lucky to have had a lot of swell while we were there.
Going into the QS 1000 surf competition, I felt confident. I was extremely pumped and very excited to surf Sorakei with three other girls out. During the heat, I struggled. I made so many little mistakes and that cost me. I finally got a good score but needed a better back up score. It's always tough losing, especially in the first round but I never really loose because I always learn from it.
I gained so much experience and I just wanted to focus on the next comp and enjoy the rest of my time on the island. The sun was shining, the waves were firing and I had my friends with me so I was very happy and nothing could wipe away the big cheesy smile I had on my face.
The locals and the Kids were the sweetest! They were all so friendly and so welcoming. They didn't have much but they were always smiling and laughing and just so positive towards life. It really made me feel so grateful for everything I've been blessed with. What a wonderful trip, I will definitely be returning to Nias one day!
Stop number two – SIMELUE
The first thing that amazed me about Simelue was the Palm trees everywhere, white sand beaches, crystal clear water and no trash! The island was paradise. The waves at the comp site on the other hand were flat so my friends and I decided to rent motorbikes and adventure around the island. It was a good thing we did because we scored some fun, little waves and had the beach to ourselves.
Over the next couple of days, some swell finally arrived so we got to surf the comp site. The surf break was called Dylan’s and it was a fun, peeling right hander. It reminded me a lot of Keramas, a surf break I like to surf at home. Going into the competition, I felt positive and strong.
Before my heats started, I put my headphones on and I blasted songs that pumped me up and tried to block all the distractions away and I was just really focused on the waves. I tried not to look at the other competitors and just focused on me and my own strategy. I was very happy with my performance and I finished with third place. That was a huge improvement from the first competition. I learnt that the mind is very powerful!
Stop number three – YOYO’S
A another right hander located in Sumbawa, the waves were big with a strong onshore. It was very tricky to surf. Unfortunately I got very sick. I had a fever and cough. I decided to let my body rest instead of pushing it to go surf. On the day of the competition, I felt even worse but, I tried to not let that bother me. I drank plenty of water throughout the day while I waited for my heats.
Before my heats started, I stretched and I cleared out my head. I went out there and I did the best I possibly could and I was glad to make a few heats and to finish off with another third place. I spent the rest of the trip trying to recover and to be well rested just in time for the next event. I learnt that sometimes things just don't go as planned and that things happen but you just have to stay positive, do your best, never give up and to give it all you got because at the end, you'll feel a lot happier knowing that you fought your hardest and that you did your best.
Stop number 4 - JAPAN
My very first time to Japan! And my very first time competing in the ISA's representing my country! We stayed in a gorgeous area called Tahara and we were surrounded by nature. The view of the mountains and the ocean were delightful. I had so much excitement going through my mind. I was so ready to hit the water and to put the jersey back on.
My fever had gone away and I felt healthy. The waves looked just like home and that made me feel comfortable. Going into the competition, I felt stronger than ever.I've learnt so much from the previous comps. I took everything I have learnt and went out there and did my absolute best.
I finished off with a round 5 result which isn't the best result but I represented my country the best I could and that's all that mattered. Surfing in the ISA's was so different and so unique. It was so cool to see so many surfers from different countries with their different cultures all in one spot. I was so proud of my team and I felt so blessed to be part of such a supportive team.
We spent the rest of our time in Japan learning about their culture and eating the best food! Japan was unreal and I had a phenomenal time! I learnt a lot about team work and to always be happy for other people's successes.