Recently Bluebird Ambassador Chris McDonald returned from Indonesia where he was volunteering with the non-profit organization First Descents to teach surfing to cancer survivors. We had a chance to catch up with Chris and here’s what he had to say about the experience.
Tell us more about First Descents. How’d you get involved?
They organize trips for cancer survivors to different places for outdoor sports. They have climbing, kayaking and surfing programs. It's a rewarding way to teach what you love to do to appreciative people.
This was my 5th First Descents camp. I got involved by teaching surf lessons at home through Farmdog Surf School.
Tell us about the experience of teaching the campers how to surf? Fun to see them stand up for the first time?
Teaching people to surf is always fun when you push them into their first ride. That first feeling is what gets you hooked! It is just exceptionally rewarding to work with the First Descents camps because everyone is there because they overcame a huge battle. It's an awesome organization and I feel fortunate to be a part of taking such awesome people surfing.
How were the waves while you were there?
The waves in Indonesia are always above average. We got a few really big late season swells while we were there! We went for the campers but being able to surf pumping Uluwatu is something you day dream about. It was a really rad trip!
What’s your favorite wave in Indonesia?
My favorite wave in indo is Lakey Peak. It's a perfect roll into a barrel section. Had the best session of my life out there a few years ago. All of Indonesia is wave rich and fun though.
Heard you took a glass bottle to the foot?
Ya, unfortunately during our first session I stepped on a broken glass bottle. Had to sit the second session with campers out. I could have used some stitches but duct tape did the trick. The good news is there were cold beers and happy people all around me!