GLEN CASEY (FOUNDER PATAGONIA AUSTRALIA)
I first met Brad Gerlach on a photo shoot in Mexico for Ripcurl in 1980, he was a 16 year old super Grom destined for great things. l noticed immediately how well he surfed and could see he was strong physically, but what really jumped out at me was this worldly intelligence and certainty about the way he wanted his career to go. We became great mates after this trip and when he did his first year on tour he stayed with me at Bells, after many heats he always had this wonderful gift of dissecting the way he surfed, he would recall a turn or maneuver of himself like he was still in the middle of it, a mind body connection like l'd never seen before and his memory of what could of been better or done differently was incredible. l was doing a lot of yoga at the time and was fascinated with his devotion and his depth of study of the body, its posturing and techniques to improve your surfing performance.
Back in the early 80’s he was already talking about surfing as an artistic practice like ballet or ancient dance and l knew he would help the surfing culture understand that it was an art form and not just a sport. Year after year he would come stay with me when he competed at bells and each time his surf wisdom and the technical aspect of riding waves went to a new high. The teacher was really coming to the surface.
l met him in Hawaii in 1992 just after he finished up with Pro surfing and we surfed and before we paddled out he would teach me 3 new things on the sand, my hip positioning and weight distribution on my feet while placing my hands and arms in a whole new way, which made my cutbacks so much better and me so much happier.
As time passed l would see Brad periodically and around 2009 we went to Nicaragua together and he finally sat me down and showed me Wave Ki. He had drawn and written the guidelines to teach his surfing mastery, we spent a week training together, doing the movement religiously every day and l can honestly say my surfing had completely turned stagnant and lifeless and by doing this work everyday it magically turned every thing in my surfing around. lt gave me something really practical to work with, l had information for the first time in my surfing life that made me surf better and at the ripe old age of 50 l was able to keep developing my craft. l had tools to enhance my performance in the greatest pleasure in my life, which surfing represents for me. l could see how Brad had this calling way back when we were young, but l didn’t realize how important his work would be, not only for your surfing but on a wholistic level for your mind body and soul. Wave Ki is health in a bottle on so many levels.