ADAM MELLING is about to realise a lifelong dream.
He isn’t sure if it will be his first wave, his first win, or his first wipe-out which will signify his arrival, but he knows he is on the path to being where he has always wanted to be.
After four years surfing the World Qualifying Series, Melling will debut on the Association of Surfing Professionals world tour when he hits the surf at Snapper Rocks for the Quiksilver Pro today.
Following the Australian leg Melling will embark on his first world tour, rounding the globe to master the best waves the world has to offer.
A late arrival to the big-time at 24, the smooth surfing natural-footer could have been forgiven for taking the easy road in his laid-back home of Lennox Head after tragedy struck in the ’90s.
Adam’s father Robbie, a respected community member and quality surfer, died suddenly of a heart attack when Adam was just 11.
Rod Steeles, president of Le-Ba boardriders and long-time friend of the Mellings, is as proud as anyone of the kid who could have so easily given up on his dream.
“It is amazing to see what Adam has achieved considering what he has been through,” Mr Steeles said.
“He deserves every bit of it. The whole community is buzzing for him, he is that kind of guy.”
Steeles believes that while coming from such a close-knit community has greatbenefits, it can also stymie prolonged efforts to achieve.
“Getting knocked out of a competition isn’t so bad when you live in Lennox,” he said.
“You know you are always going to come home to a town that loves you and you can just slide back into a nice lifestyle.”
Melling’s story has captured the attention of the whole town of Lennox.
Dozens of locals will head north to continue their support over the weekend and local surf shop proprietor Noel Graham has gone all out, filling the front of his shop with Melling paraphernalia.
A true flag-bearer for his community, Melling is just as happy for his support crew as he is for himself.
“I am so stoked for every one in town, this is for them as much as it is for me,” Melling said.
With all the trimmings that come with a spot on the world tour, Melling, true to his style, is looking forward most to one of the simplest benefits afforded him.
“I can’t wait to get out at Snapper with just two other people,” he said.
“It’s amazing to think that I am going to surf the best breaks in the world without having to scrap for a wave.”
But the sandy-haired shredder won’t be resting on his laurels on having made the tour – 2010 is his time.
“I’ve been jealous watching the pros my whole life,” he said.
“Now I am here and it is time to step it up a notch.”
With that ominous warning Melling signed off – his quest for glory begins in heat 16 this afternoon.
- Age: 24 (29/3/1985)
- Height: 185cm
- Weight: 75kg
- Hometown: Lennox Head
- Stance: Natural
- Shaper: Emery Surfboards
- Favourite wave: Lennox Point
- Biggest win: 2004 Bells Beach Pro Junior