Achieving on & off the sporting field

Ty Arnold

Ty Arnold’s World Tour

Twenty-year-old Ty Arnold is a rising star in the world of Indigenous surfing. A native of Berkeley Vale in NSW, Ty decided to compete on a professional level after finishing Year 12 two years ago.

Currently, Ty is taking part in the World Junior Series and the World Qualifying Series, both of which he describes as very tough competitions, physically and mentally.

“You have to be focused and determined to make your dreams come true,” says Ty. “Professional surfing is a really hard road to follow.”

The first leg of the series was in Huntington Beach, California, where Ty participated in two weeks of tough competition. According to the young surfer it was “a real eye opener. It really hit me just how much surfing talent there is out there in the world.”

From there Ty was off to compete in Newquay, England and Anglet in France, as well as Virginia Beach and Sea Isle, New Jersey.

After all that hectic globetrotting, Ty returned home to relax for three weeks before packing his surfboards and heading to Brazil and, finally, Hawaii for some more intense competition.

As if that’s not enough, it all begins again in January 2001 with the first contest of the series to be held in Argentina. No rest for the surfing wicked! We can only imagine how many stamps Ty has in his passport.

Ty started the year with a world professional ranking of 565, but managed to jump up the ladder rapidly, finishing the year with 212. Not bad for a boy from Berkeley Vale!

“I have one more contest to go, so I’m hoping I can drop another couple of places,” he says. “This means I will be seeded next year instead of starting from round one.”

Although Ty loves to compete in both Indigenous Surf Classics, he was unable to compete this year because the dates clashed with competition events overseas.

However, Ty did represent Indigenous Australia back in 1998 in Tavarua, Fuji where he was placed second in the All Indigenous Championships. And he also won the Australian Indigenous Titles at Surfest, Newcastle back to back in 1997 and 1998.

For Ty, professional surfing is the best career anyone could possibly hope to have.

“I love doing what I do. I travel the world meeting people, visiting new places and seeing my dreams come true.”

What more could you possibly want out of life?

Deadly Vibe Issue 58

Ty Arnold has done a lot more than simply carve up the waves this year. Chosen to attend the Quiksilver Training Camp in January, Ty and other top surfers from around Australia were put through what he describes as “seven very hard days of physical agony”. While it sounds like the surfing version of Survivor, Ty rose to the challenge and was duly awarded the Andrew Murphy Highest Achievement Award.

Following that boon, Ty again packed his bags and board and headed off to compete in the World Qualifying Series Tour. Starting out in the Maldives, the tour took in South Africa, England, France, Spain, Portugal and the US. Throughout the tour Ty had mixed results but says the experience was well worth it.

Back home on New South Wales’ central coast, Ty rode the waves at the Newcastle Indigenous Surf Challenge where he gained an impressive second place. From Newcastle it was back on the plane to the 6th Siargoa International Surfing Cup at Cloud Nine in the Philippines.

“I was meant to be competing at the Port Kembla competition, but the day before I got a call inviting me to the Philippines,” chuckles the busy 21 year old. “While it’s primarily a surfing competition, we were all invited over there by the Filipino Government to promote tourism between the two countries.”

After two days of travelling that included three inter-island flights and a rocky ferry trip, Ty arrived to find some wicked swell.

“The conditions were awesome, with the competition being held in a reef break with some of the most perfect waves I’ve ever seen. It made all the travelling worth it!”

The surf must have agreed with him, as Ty managed to place an impressive equal fifth.

Upon his return home, he was approached by New South Wales’ Attorney General’s and Sport and Recreation Departments to be a role model for their Women Against Violence Strategy – “It’s Against the Rules”.

“The campaign involves many sporting greats, so I am extremely proud to have been asked to take part in it,” says Ty.

As if that isn’t enough Ty has just come back from doing promotional work in Hawaii, where he took to the surf at world-famous Sunset Beach.

“I had a real ball in Hawaii. I managed to take in some awesome sets that were over eight feet high, but the beaches were so crowded. It makes you realise how spoilt we are in Australia. Then again, it is the time of year when the pipelines are going off, especially on the North Shore.”

Hanging out in the quintessential tropical paradise with friends, Ty was also luck enough to land himself a stay at the Quiksilver House, smack bang on Sunset Beach.

“Yeah, it’s a tough life!” he jokes. “People get pretty jealous when I talk about it, but I’ve worked really hard to get here. Sure I get to surf all day long, but that’s my job.”

As an ambassador for the Australian surfing fraternity Ty learned the ropes pretty quickly.

“The locals were really nice and it’s pretty much the same the world over. So long as you don’t drop in on anyone and don’t cause a scene in the water, then you’re sweet. At the end of the day it’s all about having a good attitude – and having fun!”


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