After spending the majority of 2019 traversing the Globe chasing waves, local surfing sensation Pacha Light is home for a well earned fourteen-day break from the rigours of touring life, still letting the invitation for her new role as speaker for next year’s 6th Biennial Global Wave Conference sink in.
“This year I have been full time on the QS and travelling and competing in those events, as well as training for the next one,” Pacha told us, “then making sure I’ve got enough time to build that strength and recover. I’ve been working a lot on personal projects as well. I stopped school and tried to find wisdom in other forms by visiting grandmothers who dive to provide for their families in Japan and Korea. It has been amazing to have this whole other source of inspiration other than in the surfing industry.”
As one of the main speakers at the conference, Pacha says she is honoured and excited to be able to share her thoughts with others, but also allowing herself to soak up the atmosphere and better herself as a person.
“I’d love to promote and give my perspective on the way that youth is given this whole responsibility of taking care of the places they love,” she enthused, “and to provide that inspiration that everybody can make a difference.
“I want people to know that no matter how old you are you can make a difference, but also that we’re so lucky to be able to go into the ocean every day. To have that element right there is something that nobody should ever take for granted.
“It’s amazing to see that it’s coming full circle and people are becoming so proactive. It is one of the best things to look forward to and to know that we all have that hope and faith that the future can be turned around. People are so passionate and it’s about sharing that connection and appreciation for the beautiful Mother Earth that we have.”
While those outside of her inner circle may see the life of a professional surfer as somewhat glamorous and carefree, Pacha insists that the reality – while still rewarding and exciting – is far from just sun, surf and beaches.
“It can be hard work,” she laughed. “You are on such a high before and during the event but then there’s that low crash at the end. Dealing with that mentally, emotionally and physically can play a big role. I’ve just come back from a huge leg with all those emotions that I pushed off because I knew I had my next contest coming up.
“Surfing is one of those rollercoasters. It’s such a young sport that the long term effect is yet to be understood. Physically the last couple of months has been draining with layovers at the airports and missed flights and timezones. It has been intense but at the same time, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’m so grateful to have this life and you take it all with a grain of salt – preferably saltwater (laughs).”
After a brief – but welcome – opportunity to recharge, Pacha will return to the sport she has made her life in preparation for next year’s conference.
“I’ve got the rest of the season of the QS underway and then through the summer will be training,” she said. “The conference will be held just down the road from me so it will help to be in my local environment and being at home. There’s a lot of travelling in the lead-up but for amazing opportunities and learning.”
Global Wave Conference 2020, hosted by Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve, is being held from 10 to 14 February 2020, at the Southern Cross University Campus. For more information and registration, visit globalwaveconference2020.com.au.