Soli from Morgan Maassen on Vimeo.

Life as a rookie on the WCT can be rollercoaster of head-in-the-clouds highs and below-sea-level lows for the lucky few who get the chance to surf on the world’s biggest stage. And while Byron Bay’s Soli Bailey has seen his share of competitive ups and downs over the past decade, 2019 didn’t exactly pan out in his favor. (He lost at Pipe to John John and, thus, found himself back on the WQS…whenever that resumes.) Nonetheless, Bailey dusted himself off from the biggest learning year of his young life and took advantage of the recent abundance of downtime coupled with a stellar run of surf Down Under. This edit from the talented Morgan Maassen shines light on the yin and yang of the “job” most of us dreamed of as grommets. It pulls back the veil on the mindset of this uber-talented indigenous Australian, while artistically weaving together footage from the Dream Tour, Bailey’s uncrowded backyard breaks and drops in an ultra-dreamy Mentawai session as an end cap. After watching Bailey kick massive lien airs — we’re especially high on the one at 4:39 — and thread through deep, dazzling tubes, we sense that he’ll be back rubbing shoulders with the WSL elite sooner than later. Plus, sharing waves with dolphins is always an auspicious sign.