The tour rookie regrets so many things: Hurting a gal (physically!), splitting school and posting under the influence…
Mitch Crews is the 24-year-old surfer from the Gold Coast for whom the World Tour is likely to be a singular orbit. Mitch is rated 30th on the World Tour ratings (only the top 22 remain on tour) and is nowhere to be seen on the qualifying series ratings. Wouldn’t that just rope you in the guts. All that training, all those contests, y’make it into the league, then it all disappears within a year.
Yet there is so much to like about Mitch. He dresses in wigs and wears lipsticks and prefers leopard prints over pastels. He also has minty breath and his face looks like a stone carving. Precious.
BeachGrit asked Mitch to list his 10 biggest mistakes.
1. BEING UNEDUCATED: I regret that I never gave my schooling years 110%. I squeaked through as a 55% to 60% kinda guy and would take any chance I could get to get a day off to surf. I have no ranking to get into a university or a grade to get me into a good school. If I stopped surfing right now, I would love to be able to go straight into three years at a top school, get a degree and educate myself on a subject that I’m interested outside of surfing. Unfortunately I can’t. It would be cool to challenge myself intellectually instead of physical sporting achievements one day. I feel naked only knowing how to get by in the surf world and not whats’ going outside this bubble and realising all the other opportunities in life.
2. MY FIRST TATTOO: I was in California with my Lifewithoutandy friends Mitch, Mitchell and Brandon. I was 19. They were like older brothers to me. I was injured with a busted ankle at the time and they took me around and showed me a true USA experience. We all had such a great trip together that we all decided we should get a tattoo to represent how good a time we had on that trip. We decided to get a Taco tattoo (like the edible mexican food) on the inside of our leg. My taco is there for life now.
3. FALLING IN LOVE TOO EARLY: I know what love is. I worked it out and… it’s fucked. I met this girl once, she was gorgeous and she showed a slight interest in me. I fell for her right away, thought she was a full-on keeper. I chased her round for a year-and-a-half thinking I was killing it having her as my girlfriend because she was pretty. It took me a while but I realised she was an absolute idiot. My friends thought I was retarded being with her especially when I was 21 and in my prime. After that relationship I can’t manage to be open to meeting women without criticising every little annoying thing they do and I come off as an asshole. I have a vendetta or something. It’s so bad.
4. DRUNK INSTAGRAMMING: I grew up in the Social Network generation (Myspace and shit) so this is a bigger issue for me than drunk-dialling. Anytime I am intoxicated I start trawling through my Instagram feed and writing absolute nonsense on people’s photos. Liking a shitload of random hot girls pics and commenting on how beautiful they are. I usually put up a photo that I’ve ran through three filter applications and I think it looks creative because I’m really pissed. Then I notice the next morning that it’s actually a horrible photo. It’s a blurry, over-sharpened pic of me arm-in-arm with some random blokes at a bar or something.
5. MOVING OUT OF HOME: Thought it was a really good idea to move out of home a couple years ago and rent my own apartment. I wanted freedom, to be independent and more responsible for myself. That year I was probably home a third of the year because I was travelling around the world doing WQS events so it just sat there empty. It definitely wasn’t the smartest financial decision. The only good it was for was having friends around for dinners and parties but that would then just lead to a week’s worth of cleaning. Living at home is incredible, my parents are the best roommates ever.
6. EMBARRASSING MY FORMAL DATE: Had a shocker at my year 10 formal. Somehow managed to get this girl to go with me. She was very pretty, way out of my league. I’m sure she just agreed to go with me because she felt sorry for me. She arrived looking stunning, absolutely glowing. My suit I picked up from the Salvation Army the day before. It smelt like a dead person and was two sizes too big. I was wearing a trucker cap to hide my salty hair and had a wetsuit neck tan. She didn’t even want to sit next to me on the bus. I’ve learnt to at least run a comb through my hair before formal occasions now days.
7. LOVING AUSTRALIAN HIP HOP: I heard the song by Hilltop Hoods, Nosebleed Section, when I was 14. Used to think it was the best song ever made. When I hear that shit on the radio now days, I can’t fathom how that garbage is even put live on air. What a mistake.
8. SLIDE TACKLING A GIRL: This didn’t really impact my life too much but I definitely made a mistake this day. I used to play soccer in my early teens. My position was centre mid-fielder, which basically meant do whatever the fuck you want. I was pretty competitive and I loved hogging the ball. This day the opposing team had a girl playing on their side, she got possession of the ball and I just ran in and put a huge slide tackle to steal the ball off her. I tripped her pretty bad, she fell over and hurt herself and started crying. I got a red card and got sent off. All the adults were very disappointed in me.
9. NOT TAKING PICTURES: I’ve been to some amazing places in the world. Seen some incredible things and experienced different cultures and I’m really lucky I get to do that as a job. People my age save years to go on an overseas trip and I complain about jetting off to Brazil for a week for an event. I wish I had taken more pictures to remind me of my life travelling around the world. I never wanted to think of myself as ungrateful. So I should start now I guess. But it’s so groovy and hip taking pictures nowadays so I’m kinda doomed.
10. TAKING A CHARTER FLIGHT WITH A FULL BLADDER: My first time to the Telo islands this year and I was with Noa Deane and Jay Davis. We were flying from Medan to Telo and it’s usually a 40-minute flight. We rushed to catch the flight and I didn’t have time to dash off to the bathroom. We ran into quite a severe storm and we were all absolutely terrified. We thought our plane was going down for sure. Amongst all of this I was busting for a piss and our flight route was delayed for an extra hour due to the weather. So the thought of dying mixed with the feeling of my bladder about to burst was one of the worst moments I’ve had.