Each year, the Padang Padang Cup rounds up some of the world's best tube hounds and sets them loose on the Bukit. This year's lineup of invitees includes Mason Ho, of course, Jack Freestone, Jacob Wilcox and Ireland's very own Gearoid McDaid – one of the emerald Isle's top rippers.
It's the first time a surfer from Ireland has repped in the event. And those long, thigh burning lefts are sort of what Gman's used to. And it isn't too remiss to say that Gearoid's one of, if not, the, top surfing talent in Ireland. A statement not to be taken lightly because the range and breadth of wave wizardry out of that country is outstanding. Be it big waves, small waves, bodyboarding – Ireland has aficionados in it all.
Anyway we checked in with the humble Mr McDaid, this'll be his first trip to Padang, and spoke about competing with some of the world's best and the quiver he's packing.
You’re probably the first Irishman to be invited to the Padang Padang Cup, how does it feel?
Yeah, I think I might be [laughs]. So excited to be in the comp. It's always something I've wanted to do. Always watched it, and it looks so epic. Yeah, pretty excited that I got the call up.
Have you surfed Padang before?
No! I've never actually been to Bali before but from watching videos, it looks like the funnest wave ever and kinda similar to a couple of waves at home. So hopefully I'll feel at home out there.
What types of waves do you prefer surfing?
Left slabs pretty much [laughs]. At home, we've got a lot of left slabs and points so it's what I am most used to. And what's better than getting barrelled on your frontside ay? [laughs].
How’re you feeling going up against the likes of Mason Ho?
The whole list of surfers in it... it's crazy. I look at the list read the names and it kinda feels like mine doesn't fit in there [laughs]. Just to meet all these guys is gonna be sick. But hopefully I'll be able to take one or two of them out in the contest and show all of them what I can do in left barrels.
Great exposure from a high profile event – any nerves or just frothing to get amongst it?
Ahhh kinda nervous yeah, just that it's such a big event and everyone is gonna be watching it. But I am crazy excited to get over there and surf all day, everyday. Hopefully we get a big swell and it pumps.
What’s in your quiver for this event?
I got a pretty sick quiver for going over there. The boys at Fourth Surfboards always have me well prepared for going to any contest. I'll bring a little small wave machine, incase there's any small days over there [laughs]. Then two normal shortboards for the good days - and of course two step ups in the hope I'll be using these mostly [laughs].
Full list of Padang Padang invitees:
Jay Davies (AUS)
Jack Freestone (AUS)
Mason Ho (HAW)
Damien Hobgood (USA)
Gearoid McDaid (IRL)
Bruno Santos (BRA)
Jack Robinson (AUS)
Jacob Willcox (AUS)
Bol Adi Putra (IND)
Mega Artana (IND)
Mustofa Jeksen (IND)
Alik Rudiarta (IND)
Mega Semadhi (IND)
Agus “Blacky” Setiawan (IND)
Garut Widiarta (IND)
Lee Wilson (IND)
Cover shot of Gman by Clem McInerney