By Paul Ven Dem Boom.
Mitch East. 2019 Australian Master’s champion. Coffs Coast stalwart. All round good guy. Infoamed’s Paul Ven Dem Boom sit’s down for a one on one, to get some insights into his life and times.
PV: So leading up to this year you had a break from bodyboarding?
ME: Yeah I had 3 years off after a break up and just focused on kids and work life. Went through bit of an ordeal with my ex and depression then this year decided to get through the depression and keep myself occupied and get back in the water, and yeah get off the beers and start surfing.
So Prior to that break you surfed quite a bit?
Yep prior to that probably 3 years straight of competition surfing, before then I hadn’t really competition surfed at all.
And last time you were in the local club did you travel away to comps a bit?
I did do state comps, made it to Nationals maybe 2015 and I think I managed fifth.
What made you want to get back in the water and compete again?
Busy lifestyle. The only time I get to surf is if I make time to surf so competitions it was and it was forced time off. Put it in the diary and you know you’re going to surf that day. Ended up probably surfing 6 club comps, 3 for the tri series, state and nationals that ended up adding up so you can say I surfed maybe 13 times last year.
You free surfed a bit in between though?
More jet ski tow in surfing.
Tow in big wave or tow out launching?
Tow out, yeah getting too lazy to paddle.
So getting back to the comps then. For CCBA you took out Masters, 2nd in AAA, then you won State, Nationals.
Yep and then the Tri Series overall.
Did you win any of the memorial events?
No the best I got was a 2nd. A 2nd and two 4ths.
Yeah still thats great consistency so thats what will put you up there in the end. So other than trying to make time to surf like you said like booking in to go to those comps, was there anything else that motivated you to get out there and surf those comps?
Not really. I had a trip overseas this year to Bali that got me motivated. Went to Nusa Lembongan and fell in love with Lacerations.
I know you said you’ve been doing some running and stuff but is regular training something that you do?
I already work actively, so its just the running 8 to 10 kms each morning. We run the length of the beach with weights or rocks. But its been a hard over the past few weeks with working long hours and not enough time in the day.
Something that I look a lot in myself in terms of training is mental training as well as physical training so I know you do your running but is there anything else that goes into preparing yourself for surfing?
Not really, I don’t take much of it too seriously, whether you win or lose it didn’t matter its just more the fact of having that time out in the water. Win or lose I try to hang around till the end of the weekend or end of the day and support everyone else.
What are you planning for this year?
I will do all the same. I’m looking forward to the extra comp with Boxfest in March and State Titles being held at Cronulla then Nationals in Port Mac. And surf somewhere different like central coast on the way down like this year we surfed Bawley Point then came back up to Kiama
I know the boys have hit you up a few times about it but maybe doing a Pro event like Kiama or Dbah Pro next year?
Definitely keen to have a crack.
Did you have any highlights for the year in surfing?
Definitely winning nationals. There was only 20 seconds to go and just jagged it from Nathan Davis.
Any advice for anyone in our local club wanting to step up and go to other events? For you this year was pretty big going straight back into bodyboarding and surfed club level all the way up to Nationals.
I didn’t competitively surf till I was pretty much 30 years old so you can get out there and have fun you don’t have to jump straight into comp level. I always hung around guys that were in comps but I never competed so you can still have fun without going to the next level but then its also good to be part of a club and have that extra push while you’re out there surfing that 15-20 minutes at a time.
Is there anyone you want to thank or any help you got from anyone throughout the year?
After Aussie Titles I picked up sponsorships with Arzen Wetsuits and Garage Boardstore at Mullaway. And thanks to the boys in the club that made the journeys up to QLD and all the way down to Kiama.