Stab Magazine | Watch: Reef Heazlewood in "Reef"
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Watch: Reef Heazlewood in “Reef”

An eighteen year-old you’ve gotta meet!

cinema // Dec 28, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Just how do the young get noticed in the vast expanses of surf these days? Contest results? Edits? …Both! Star of the show today, Reef Heazlewood, just hit adulthood. Eighteen is a decisive age for anyone, but for Reef it’s business as usual. He’s already the owner of a healthy balance of jersey skills and silk-like freesurfing nature, he’s just gotta keep doing what he’s doing an the rest will fall into place. The goofy footer from Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, looks just as cosy in the air as he does laid out on rail and we’re happy to share with you his latest feature, “Reef”, created with the help of videographer, Dan Scott.

For acquaintance deepening purposes, we fired young Heazlewood a handful of questions… 

So Reef, tell us about the edit, where was it shot? Over how long?
This edit was a big goal of mine at the start of 2017. I wanted to get some clips together to showcase my surfing outside of a jersey. I got in contact with Dan Scott at the start of the year just as a once off kind of thing, but we really hit it off and from then on we just kept shooting.

I saw a good looking swell heading towards NZ and I’ve been dreaming of surfing Raglan for a couple of years now – after surfing it for half an hour before having to fly home. So I hooked up with Dan and we went and shot some stuff. I was luckily home when that swell hit the Goldy in August and Dan and I shot and scored some barrels. We then organised a little road trip down south past Sydney with Coby Perkovich and Benny Howard, the locals might not like me naming the spots… Then I shot with Parker Schimdtt in Hawaii late Oct and early Nov and got a couple of days at North Straddie to put some extras in.

It’s been a long year mostly away travelling learning the ropes of the QS, while shooting in the downtime. We started around April or May and then our last trip was in November. 

reef NZ

That Kiwi countryside. Appealing, yes? (Frame: Dan Scott)

Any favourite moments during shooting?
It was pretty incredible in NZ seeing the beauty in and out of the water. We were in awe everywhere we went. Knowing that part of Lord of the Rings was filmed there made it feel like Orcs could come running out of the woods at any moment (laughs).

There was this pretty insane moment when there was an amazing rainbow and a couple of orca’s swam through the lineup. It was just like, ‘wow! is this all really happening right now?’ It was surreal!

Were there any challenges in making the clip?
Trying to find a good swell and where it would be best was hard to do in between contests, but we did our best. Our roadie down to the South Coast was a bit of a disaster. The main break we thought was going to be good ended up having a huge bushfire and the police turned us away. Over the next couple of days and there wasn’t any other way for us to get in. Then on our way home we surfed at Port Macquarie and I got a huge gash on my foot that needed stitches from jumping off the back of the wave and having my board fling and hit me. But, in the end it was all a really fun adventure with the boys.

Who do you look up to most in surfing?
I really look up to John John and how explosive he is in and out of competition. I want to be like that.  

How about outside of surfing and why?
My dad is amazing and dedicated to the things that are most important to him and I really hope I can be like him when I’m older.

Is style important in surfing?
I think style should be a part of the criteria in competition and in freesurfing. Surfing is all about style and wowness. If you have a good style then that surfing will be more appealing to everyone. Ugly surfing is cringe-worthy!

Reef H Andrew Shield

Mr Heazlewood taking flight on NSW’s northern coast. (Image: Andrew Shield)

Got any fav Instagram accounts?
@theforceawakensdaily @worldsurflols 

What do you do when you’re not surfing, to keep entertained?
Mostly hanging with my family, but I love to read books and listen to rock music; Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Nirvana and the like.

Tubes or airs?
Nothing beats tubes! If I could I’d get barrelled forever. A tube is the most perfect thing a wave can give you.

What did you think of the tour this year?
I think they had a bit of a bad run with waves with a lot of the events this year. Was very stoked with Connor O’Leary and his run. 

How did your relationship with Billabong come about?
I was on a trip with Scardy (David Scard) to G-Land when I was eight and there was a filmer there with him and they put a little video together with me in it. Scardy showed Sasha Stocker who was the Billabong manager at the time and I guess he liked what he saw.

qqqwwww 1.8.6

Style and ‘wowness’, Reef has them covered. (Frame: Dan Scott)

What do you think of the wild west that is the Stab comments section?
I love Stab’s controversy and brutal honesty! It’s good to hear someone that isn’t scared of losing their job because of speaking the truth. I almost always agree haha.

What are you plans for the next year?
First of all I’d like to go and win the WSL World Junior titles that start on the 4th of January. Two of my goals for next year are to get myself up into the top 80 on the QS and to get another clip out.

How about for the next five years?
Can an 18 year old think that far ahead? (laughs). I want to have qualified and have won a World Title.

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