Caroline Marks and Mainei Kinimaka talk first surfs and sunburns at Snapper Rocks #ROXYpro

With the sun out and conditions cleaning up at Snapper Rocks on the second day of the competition waiting period, we headed to the beach to wait patiently for the contest call. We didn’t mind the delayed announcement or the call that the Men’s round 1 would only run today either, there were plenty of fun waves to be had in the meantime...

The downtime also gave us a chance to catch up with Mainei Kinimaka and Caroline Marks about their first surfs at the iconic break and how their Aussie adventures have been so far.


This is the first trip down under for both of you, how long had you been in Australia before the #ROXYpro started?

Mainei: I arrived in Australia two weeks ago and went straight to Newcastle for a QS event, and then to Manly beach for another comp. Once that kind of wrapped up I came up to the Gold Coast.

Caroline: I’ve been here since the Newcastle event too, but I skipped Sydney and came straight to the Goldy and was so stoked to, as the cyclone swell was still here. It was so cool, because I had heard you can come back here ten more times and still not get a swell that great. It was the perfect welcome!




Did anyone warn you about the harsh Australian sun?

Mainei: It was really hot in Newcastle and I made the mistake of not wearing any sunscreen, I got all burnt. I had been told, but I should’ve been wiser.

Once you made it down to Snapper Rocks, had anyone given you any heads up on where to paddle out, where to sit?

Mainei: Not really, I had spoken to someone in Manly who told me how crowded it would be and that it might not be that fun. Plus they said the vibe out in the water might be kind of heavy, just because there’s so many people and everyone wants a wave. I had seen videos on instagram of how crowded it was and it just looked like human soup. I get nervous in crowds on Oahu, so I was worried I’d paddle out and not even get a wave, but it was a lot better than I had expected.

Caroline: Yeah, both my coach and my manager had given me some background. It’s not too tough to figure out but if I had arrived arrived only a day or two before the event, I definitely would want someone to give me the rundown on where to go.




So what was your first surf at Snapper like?

Mainei: I arrived the night before and couldn’t see the beach or really hear any waves so I wasn’t sure what to expect. In the morning I woke up and looked out the window, and couldn’t believe how great it looked. It wasn’t big but it just looked super rippable and no one was out there, which was so surprising, so I was really eager to get out there as quickly as possible.

I was surprised how warm the water was, because the water in Manly was so much colder.

Once I was out the back I saw Bronte and Caroline and a heap of pro surfers, so I was kind of worried that I wasn’t going to get any waves. I finally figured out where I needed to sit and caught a wave but got burned by some guy, and it was right in front of some of the pros, so I was kind of embarrassed. I paddled back out and caught another and it was so much fun! It wasn’t long but it was rippable and perfect. I was so stoked.

I ended up staying out for about 2 hours, and came in because I don’t think anyone knew where I was because I arrived so late and I was up so early.

Caroline: It was a bit small and offshore, but they were perfect little waves for me to get used to. We paddled out just before dark and it was really fun, and the next day it was bit bigger and then the cyclone swell hit and it was just insane. It was pretty crowded but I managed to get a lot of waves, so I was pretty stoked. The warm water is just so inviting at the moment, plus I love going on my backhand so it’s really cool to have a right.


How many times have you been back out since?

Mainei: I think i’ve been out almost two or three times a day since, ha ha ha, I’ve only been here four days. Worst thing was the other day I had to do some homework, I was in my room looking at the waves and I wanted to get out there so badly! I didn’t get much study done that day.

Caroline: I have definitely lost count, but I’ve been out at least twice a day. When the waves were really good i’d stay out for maybe four or five hours. How can you not want to surf when the water is so clear and warm. Plus if it’s crowded you definitely want to make sure you get plenty of waves out there.


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