Import/ Export: Manu Ouedroago.
Quick introduction on who you are and where you began boogin’?
My name is Manu. But my mates called me the angry Tahitian. I guess it’s because I always go on a rant on how average the surf is here on the gold coast. I began boogin in Tahiti at around 13 years old.
What prompted you to move countries?
I wanted to get out of Tahiti. It’s very chill there but it’s kind of small and for a young stud I just wanted to get out there and experienced life.
Before arriving in your new country what did you think it would be like?
I always saw videos from the boys in Oz. The tensions serie and a couple of Oz made movies made me want to come visit Australia. Also the “oz” style in boogin always fascinated me. I looked up to the no friends guys too but the Ozzie had that extra bit of style and smoothness they add to the ride.
Have these expectations been confirmed or altered?
Well where I’m calling my new home, the Gold Coast, it kind of sucks. Most of the South Coast and South Oz gets heaps of swell and we usually get the crumbs. Also the last 5 years, the crowd has become insane. Sort of put me off surfing most of the time.
What do you love about your new home?
To be honest, not a lot! I met my wife here and she loves the coast. It’s all about the lifestyle right? She can ride to the beach with the kids, warm weather all year long and heaps of cafe and fun place to hang. For me, I would love to move to Bawley point or Ulladulla.
What do you miss about your old home country?
The consistency and the non existent crowd especially during the week. Tahiti is getting crowded too as surfing and boogin’ are taking more and more place in the social aspect, but no way near the Goldy. You’ll never find 100 people surfing 2 foot slop!
Any funny cross cultural misunderstandings you’d like to share?
Well when I first move here, I guess everything was a bit of misunderstanding for me. All the Ozzie slang had most of my mates having a good laugh at me for not understanding much of what they were saying. On top of my head, the funniest thing was a party back when I just arrived fresh of the boat at 18 year old and some fella asked me for the “billy”. I thought he was looking for a mate named Billy. Oh boy was I wrong!
Key advice you would give for anyone visiting your old home?
Respect is everything back home. Most of the locals are super friendly and chilled. They just don’t like to be pushed around. You got to earn the respect by showing how much of mad C**t you are. Also you must show respect to mother nature as people get pretty upset when tourists come around and start littering. It’s a big thing.Most people still live close to the nature.
How are the Boogin’ Community similar and different in the two countries?
I guess you get to know people on the Gold coast after a while, there are plenty of riders here. It’s hard to put your head around who is who. In Tahiti, you get to know straight away who is who and where they are from. Each break got it’s locals. Speaking of community, there’s a solid boogin’ community in both countries.
What do you hope the future holds for you?
Hopefully back home surfing some sweet waves with the boys.