Brett Levingston - Surf Guide, Lifeguard, Mad Huey
Eternal waterman, big barrel chaser, Fiji surf guide, sponsored spearfisherman, "The Mad Huey's" Ambassador, Goldcoast lifeguard ... just a few of the ocean activities Brett Levingston has turned his hand too. Born & bred on the crowded shores of the Gold Coast, Brett started surfing at the age of 8, and soon began competing. After spending most of his schools years, and into his time at Uni, on the Pro Junior circuit, Brett took to beaches such as Burleigh Heads to Lifeguard, a career that has allowed him to chase his salt crusted lifestyle. Securing coveted roles as a surf guide at resorts like Namotu and Matanivusi Beach Eco Resort, he spends his time away from petroling beaches, surfing world class waves in beautiful Fiji. From White Pointer encounters to heaving barrels with mates, meet the man known as "Water Bubbla".
Where are you from?
Palm Beach, Gold Coast, Queensland.
What are you up to right now?
Currently working as a surf guide at Matanivusi Beach Eco-Resort, but when I’m home I am a Professional Ocean Lifeguard of 11-years, and counting.
What did you do before lifeguarding?
I used to compete in the pro juniors and a few QS’s whilst I was at school and Uni. I studied Marketing & Management, but chose lifestyle rather than a more corporate career. As a lifeguard I get to surf before & after work, and even on my lunchbreaks.
What’s the best & worst thing about being an ocean lifeguard?
Best thing is getting to spend every day at the beach, and not even having to wear shoes to work. The worst …. Having to sit there and watch the waves pump all morning, until the inevitable onshore wind comes up & ruins your lunchbreak surf.
Best & worst thing about being a surf guide?
Being able to stay in beautiful places for extended periods of time, getting to know everyone and the local ways of life. Ah … and yeah getting to surf pumping waves! The worst … as bad as it sounds, surfing when you don’t feel like it … so it’s not really that bad after all.
For people wanting to surf guide, what advice would you give them for getting the job, and then keeping it?
It’s one of those jobs that’s usually word of mouth, even when positions are advertised, and having experience in related fields is nothing but beneficial. Having all your related tickets, first aid, resuscitation will help too. Keeping the job … Try and accommodate everyone’s needs and wants and keep everyone busy and frothing even when the waves aren’t perfect.
Any words of warning?
Don’t talk yourself up above your surfing abilities, it will be uncovered very quickly, and it can put you & others in dangerous situations.
How did you end up as one of The Mad Huey’s Ambassadors?
I guess I suited the brand, surfing & spearfishing, and just having a laugh with it. It’s cool being part of a good team, that enjoy what we do & not taking things too seriously.
When did your passion for surfing start?
Probably when I moved to the beach, and I was old enough to realise how good it felt!
What does surfing mean to you?
For me, it’s passing up surfing the crazy crowded waves on the Goldy, and finding spot to surf with just your mates, with nothing but good vibes in the line-up.
I can’t tell you haha!
Most memorable session?
I’ve had many memorable sessions, but one day out at South Straddie we were out from sun-up to sun-down. We towed this bombie at home & got some of the heaviest waves of my life & then we drove to South Straddie to surf from 9am – 6pm, it was so perfect! My mate Shaun & I must have got over 100 barrels each that day!
My friend Brenden Leckie of “Clay Crafts” gave me a Nayata model … it was a trip-out, he gave it to me to surf cloud break! It’s was 5’9 and went incredible. I've wridden it in 15foot surf, it’s just perfect, and feels so good in the barrel.
What words would come to mind, if you had to describe yourself in only three words?
Let’s do it!
What are you known for?
Fish BBQs and drinking lots of water.
What are you most proud of?
My lifestyle and building my own boat.
Who or what is your greatest inspiration?
The youngest and oldest surfers in the line-up, and the people who will travel to the ends of the earth on the bones of their arse in the hope of scoring.
If you could spend a day with someone who inspires you, who would it be?
Dr Karl … I’d like to spend like a week with him. I feel like you would walk away so much smarter, full of random facts & info.
If you could be someone else for a day, who would it be?
Any billionaire in the world ... and use all their money to make real, positive changes in the world.
We were spear-fishing off Moerton Island, and after a 4m great white investigated my dive buddies, it proceeded to try to take a chunk outta me. I got a little trigger happy with my GoPro and only caught the start of the encounter. It was an experience I will never forget.
Cheese! I’m addicted to it!
Finish the sentence:
I love... cheese, beers, big barrels & big fish
I miss... school holidays
I wish... I hadn’t lost my 70kg dog-tooth tuna yesterday
I want... that dog-tooth tuna
Where can we find you online?
Posted by: Emma Gibbons, on November 29, 2017
Russell Ord - Surf Photographer
Richard Kotch - Surf Photographer
Mick McComas - Red Island Travel Owner
Brian McDonald - Matanivusi Beach Eco Resort Owner
Alena Ehrenbold - Surf Film Director & Freesurfer
Mitch Revs - Artist
Philippa Anderson - WQS Surfer
Brett Levingston - Surf Guide, Lifeguard, Mad Huey
Jonas Claesson - Surf Artist aka Jonas Draws
Will Conner - Musician, Activist, Entrepreneur
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