Hi, Josie. How are you? Where in the world are you right now? What have you been up to?
I’m good! Busy, busy… but happy. I’m home in the Philippines at the moment. Only surfing a little bit. Wish I was doing more!
Well, hello from one island to another! So your skills as a longboarder (and reputation as an amazing human) are well documented, but for people who may not know you, can you introduce yourself?
Thank you! My name is Josie May Tokong Prendergast. I’m half-Australian and half-Filipina.
I was born on Siargao island and moved to Byron Bay when I was 4. I’ve been raised between the two places ever since. I’ve been signed to Billabong since I was 15. Now I’m almost 25. I’ve also had McTavish surfboards as a long term sponsor. I love, love, love surfing and love, love, love my family and friends!
Going between Siargao and Byron Bay sounds like a dream. We heard you really liked Lombok too though. What stood out most about it?
I loved Lombok! In terms of what stood out most, definitely the lineup of friendly locals stood out… and the food, of course.
Can’t forget the food. And what about the retreats you hosted? How did they go?
Holding these retreats was so fun! I really wanted to put the same fun into surfing and acknowledge that it’s a process. We should be proud of ourselves no matter what level!
For me with retreats, I want to make people feel confident, comfortable and happy. I wanted people to leave feeling proud of themselves and noticing all the little improvements that we often forget.
Also, learning surf etiquette and surfing with a group of people you don’t know means you’re not only making friends but also learning from them.
At the end of the day, we’re all still learning… no matter how skilled you are! I think doing retreats brings a lot of excitement into surfing and just letting go.
Learning in a group is a huuuge advantage. Plus, you get to watch your friends/they get to watch you wipeout haha. It’s all fun. How were the waves while you were here?
I loved the waves on Lombok… they’re definitely good for all skill levels! And there are plenty to choose from too!
What about the Xanadu Retreat location… any thoughts?
This place holds a special place in my heart!
I spent a month there so I got to see the staff everyday. They were so friendly and I miss them a lot! Not to mention the incredible food and drinks. It’s so quiet and so beautiful at the Retreat.
And your fav part about your stay with us?
Everything! I definitely miss my morning coffee smoothie but…
They are awesome! By the way, everyone on our team loved having you, which begs the question… do you plan on coming back and running more retreats?
Yes and yes!!!
Amazing, that makes us so happy. Now for some fun questions. What’s your go-to meal or dish after a surf?
Mmmm, I’ll eat anything as long as it fills me! I do love a smoothie bowl or some hot chips though.
Which music artist or band is getting heavy rotations on your Spotify right now?
I haven’t been on Spotify lately but I always love reggae and Loyle Carner or Nina Simone too.
If you weren’t a professional surfer, what would you be doing?
Maybe a school teacher or running an NGO that supports kids and local communities.
Your favourite surfboard right now and why?
The Super Stock Mid from McTavish! It’s so fun and responsive. And I can ride it in both big and small waves.
Your favourite person to surf with?
My partner Taj or my best friend, Elise!
What’s the last book you loved so much you couldn’t put it down?
I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb.
Thanks for your time, Josie!