Daniel McGlynn, 17, with family from Kinlough, will star in the new young adults show ‘Big Wave Bootcamp’ which is already airing on RTE. Daniel and seven other Irish teenage hopefuls will get a once in a lifetime chance to travel to Hawaii for three weeks to perfect their surfing skills; under the tutelage of legendary surfer, Ken Bradshaw.
Daniel has been surfing for almost a decade. He first started surfing with his Uncle who lived in Kinlough, who would occasionally travel up to Bundoran beach to surf on the 2ft swells. Since then Daniel has kept an interest in the sport, going surfing at least three or four times a month - but it was merely a recreational sport, and not on a competitive basis.
However during the summer, one of Daniel’s friends came across an advertisement online which was seeking young novice surfers for a new TV show. His friend told Daniel about the show and he was immediately intrigued by the prospects. He quickly completed the application form and awaited their response. “I eventually got the call back and had to go up to Dublin for an interview. We had to showcase our swimming ability and they were impressed by my personality”. Daniel was accepted onto the show and then awaited the opportunity to travel to Hawaii.
Soon Daniel departed his cold and wet seas to travel over 10,000 kilometres to the exotic and glamorous island of Hawaii. Although a idyllic and beautiful location, Oahu has developed a notorious reputation as a dangerous place to surf. With 6ft wharfs, people are systematically injured. Here the training was a stark contrast from what he had become accustomed to in Ireland. “We were in bed at 9 o’clock and up at 6am. We would then train for at least four hours in the day. Everything was so much tougher, the waves could be up to 6ft or 7ft tall, even to paddle out on the surf board was a challenge as the current was so much stronger! Trying to catch the wave and keeping balance was just hard, waves would come crashing down and I ended up hurting myself a few times, my feet were destroyed!”.
Daniel was in great hands though as he, and the others were under the very capable guidance of surf superstar, Ken Bradshaw. “He was our coach and with us everyday of the adventure, he literally taught us everything he knows about the sport, everything. He also rode the biggest wave ever recorded, a massive 86ft in Oahu, Hawaii”. Ken put Daniel and the others through severe fitness work which included walking on the sea bed carry rocks, swimming 400 metres and then going back and getting the surf board. A type of training Daniel affectionately called ‘Marathons’.
But it wasn’t all a surfing challenge, the group of teens were also exploring the culture and local Hawaiian lifestyle, “Once the cameras went down we were out in the towns, talking to the locals and taking in some fun activities. We climbed Diamond Head which is one of the biggest volcanic peaks in Hawaii”.
Following the experience Daniel has learned a lot from his trip, obviously he has learned many new skills about surfing; but the trip has also changed his outlook on his future. Although at one stage he hoped to be a nurse, Daniel now says he wants to pursue a career in surfing. “This summer I am going to return to Hawaii, I am going to go over and teach autistic kids how to surf. Its a type of ocean healing”.
Big Wave Bootcamp airs weekly on Fridays at 5pm on RTE 2.