Brazil, Bahamas, Singapore, Australia

  • Just three weeks before the Worlds and my "off-season" officially started - even though I wasn't yet "off." I traveled down to Brazil, which in the overall scheme of things isn't too bad a trip - just about 8.5 hours, which as it turns out is enough time to sleep through the night and arrive in the morning.
    Just after getting off the plane and clearing customs, I head out to one of the lakes in San Paulo and ride for MTV Sports Brazil. It's cool, except my whole trip to Brazil consisted pretty much of riding and teaching the whole time. All I learned about the country is that the people are really nice and speak better English than I expected. I stayed with my friend Bruno and his family for a few days, where all these kids ride together and push each other. I hope to see those kids at the Worlds in the next couple years.
    After the Worlds, I'd figure I'd take some time off and relax a little, possibly stay home a while. Not!!! I have photo shoots all that week, then hop in a private plane with C.C. Roberts, Sonja Scheffler and Artie from FLF and go to the Bahamas to do some shooting for the video Skurf's Up. (Check it out. It's rad.) Then a few days later I was off to Singapore - in just a short 36 hours, I arrive there. I only feel like lighting myself on fire twice in the last eight hours of the trip. That's not too bad.
    When I finally get there, I meet up with Paul Fon, who knows how to set up clinics: We start at 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and are done by 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. every day. I also get to do some sight-seeing while I'm here. Singapore is so clean and the people speak great English. I mean, I feel right at home, and it's even nice and warm.
    I stay with the Niegm family, and they take good care of me. One of the best things that result from the trip is that the sport of wakeboarding doubles after my visit. That's cool!
    A quick trip home for Thanksgiving with family and Sonja, home for one evening then another 36 hours back to Australia with Shaun Murray. Shaun and I compete in an event where Shaun initially beats my world record with around a 21,600-point run, and I beat him with a 22,599-point run, and Shaun wins the expression session and I get second. The tournament goes really well. I think everybody had a great time.
    Then Sonja shows up and we do more clinics and a little sightseeing - and I do mean a little. Shaun got to see a lot more while he rode and taught clinics as he traveled from Sydney to Melbourne by car - which is a pretty long trip.
    For me, the off-season is more hectic than the on-season.