Surfing Doctors Profile: Tait Hearps
I’m just about to finish my internship at Coffs Harbour Hospital on the beautiful Mid-North Coast of NSW; I’ll stay here for residency next year.
Education and work experience?
I studied at Griffith University on the Gold Coast.
Previous Volunteer Work?
The Sumba Project – working on educational programs for children in Sumba (Indonesia) focussed on primary prevention of diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis.
La Esperanza Granada – Teaching English in Nicaragua during my first gap year straight out of high school.
I’m not sure yet; it’s likely something within critical care, but just enjoying getting broad experience at this point.
Local surf spot?
Sawtell Main Beach, a really fun peaky beach break with a friendly local crew, loves a Winter Westerly.
What is your favourite surf destination?
Very tricky to pick just one. Lombok is a place I’ve been back to many times, and I really love the waves there, but Mexican beach breaks like Pascuales and Moroccan right-hand points are pretty hard to beat as well.
Travel experience? Where have you been?
I’ve been lucky to travel a lot, often with surfing as the emphasis but also on other types of trips like cycle tours throughout Southern Africa, running focussed trips through East Africa (including a month in Kenya with Kipchoge’s group) and hitchhiking throughout Europe and South America.
Best surf trip ever?
Bought a car in Seattle with my brother and drove it down the Pacific coast of North/Central America until we sold it in Costa Rica four months later. We got some amazing waves and lots of epic days out of the water.
Worst surf trip ever?
I’ve been lucky not to have any go too pear-shaped. The worst thing I can think of was a nasty cut on my foot that kept me out of the water for a good 5 days in Sumbawa.
What is the best thing about surfing?
Time outside – ideally with friends – connecting in nature… Getting barrelled is also hard to beat.
Best advice you were ever given with regards to surfing?
“Be the G-Land bird” – Dr Phil Chapman
Who is your favourite surfer in the world, and why?
Kepa Acero has always been super inspiring to me. He is not the most technically gifted surfer by world standards. Still, he has done many massive adventures across the globe to chase remote waves, and he always does it with a beautiful attitude. A big smile and unbridled optimism go a long way.
Current go-to surfboards? (make and dims). I’ve transitioned away from shortboards a lot in the last few years. Most of my surfing is at home on a channel bottom 7’4 twin by Ed Sinnot, which I ride finless. My other main workhorse (which I snapped and had repaired on my last Indo trip) is a 6’10 “Big Vish” by Vouch – so much speed down the line!