"I love music, I love nightlife, and I love board sports and motocross."
Ace Conlon is originally from Kaua`i, Hawaii. He's a pro Skimboarder and a cocktail bartender. He's also starred in a couple of Campbell & Hall's most recent campaigns, including our AW16 photoshoot with photographer Rob Read. High on life and sending out positive vibes, we caught up with Ace before his next trip to chat about his passions and upcoming adventures...
Describe your first impressions of Bondi…
Eclectic young outgoing people with fun waves nearby! A great city by the sea with urban pirate vibes. In winter, Bondi feels much less transient and the local community are amazing. The scum valley, turned modern suburb; the place where I can sit at a cafe in ripped shorts shirtless and barefoot and sip coffee with a mate in a tailored three piece and Berluti oxfords and nobody bats an eyelash. Bondi is not one thing, it is all things; from wanker to surf rat, from tourist to tradie there are people from all walks of life and for someone like me who prefers a less consistent lifestyle and loves being near the ocean, it's just a great fit. Sydney is the most beautiful city in the world and Bondi is really one of a kind...
In Bondi, where's your main fix for: Food, coffee, drinks?
Best coffee is Harry's or Porch if you don't hate Will & Co.
Best food is Delux, Raw Bar, The Shop, and Mamasan!
Drinks are awesome at Bondi hardware, Mamasan and Luis Tans!
We hear you’re a pretty good surfer also. Are you actually a secret stunt man?
I've been a surfer my whole life, but skimboarding is still my main sport. Definitely a closeted stunt man!
Do you have any comps or events coming up?
In a month I'll be traveling to Ubatuba in Brazil to compete in the first stop of the United Skim Tour and at the end of April there's a competition in Los Cabos, Mexico!
Would travelling be a way of life for you? Or do you just go with the flow…
Absolutely, the more I'm on the move the more I learn and grow, it's impossible not to. If done right you can contribute a lot of good to people and places where you live and visit. Moreover being on the move tends to lessen your personal needs. It's taught me I don't need very much to be happy and allows me to focus more on giving back to others.
What do you do when you’re not in the water?
When it's flat, music and skateboarding occupy my land locked existence. I actually work a lot, I've been in hospitality since I was 16 and I've developed a passionate love/hate relationship with bar work.
Although, recently I feel like I've found a new direction that I'd really love to go with my life. In May of 2015 (with the help of many amazing people) I crowdfunded, co-wrote and produced a short film in Indonesia 'Aloha For Indo' with the goal of showing the surfing community the best way to contribute to those in need while on holiday. Today is the online premier and that's tremendously exciting.
Wow, what made you kickstart this?
I have taken to this cause because I feel as if I can relate to the lives of these kids. Growing up in a small town that survives mainly on tourism my family lived in relative poverty by America's standards. We got by on the fact that our home is beautiful and has great waves. That being said I cannot even begin to fathom the childhood these keiki have endured. These families have limited access to clean water and any form of medicine. Simple things like soap, clean water and knowing how to protect themselves from common diseases are the difference between life and death.
What will 2016 bring for Aloha For Indo Initiative?
The student project that we joined forces with in our film called 'The Sumba Project' (with the support of Surfaid) will be distributing 300 Sumba specific educational books This June! With the continued support we hope this film will encourage, they should be able to increase these numbers and start to develop more books for different topics. With the help of the Indonesian government begin to boost the effectiveness of the whole of Indonesia's early childhood education program. Link to the movie will be through coastal watch.
How can people support Aloha For Indo?
Elliot Lucas our Cinematographer and editor, Guy Miller and Myself would love to continue to share stories like this one and the future will hopefully hold more opportunities like this! To see more of Elliot's work check out lucasvisuals.com or his Instagram @kauaimade
Elliot is currently working on a full length feature film that's doing amazing things for the arts in Hawai`i abovemoon.org
Those wanting to contribute to the Sumba Project or Surfaid can do so here
I guarantee there is no more thought out and well organised cause. It's amazing how much good they can do with our help.
You can follow the journey with Aloha For Indo: @aloha4indo
Sit back and Watch Aloha For Indo here!