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Tai Graham is all over Indonesia. Pro surfer, surf-shop owner, gym proprietor, bar owner, and surf commentator, Tai "Buddha" Graham’s business card must be the size of an A4 sheet. It's a wonder that the star of the above short film, called "Chasing Unicorns," finds enough time to ride so many perfect tubes all over the Indonesian archipelago.
"I was raised on the Gold Coast in Australia," Graham tells GrindTV.com, "but my mother moved to Bali when I was 8, so I spent half the time between Bali and Coolangatta. However, I've pretty much been based in Bali full time for the better part of the last decade." The 32-year-old former professional lifeguard is a supremely talented surfer and the O’Neill ambassador for Indonesia. More recently he has branched out into a range of commercial interests. In fact, if there is anything cool happening on the island, Graham is usually at the center of it.
"I'm a partner with Made Kasim in the Single Fin Surfshop and Bar at Uluwatu," he says. "That's grown from a tiny 60-square-meter surfer's bar to 1,000 square meters, with a new deck and three surf shops. So it's just grown so quickly."
Graham has also partnered up with Taj Burrow's fitness coach, John Gannon, and pro surfer Mark Mathews to open up a new gym for surfers called Modern Movement. "I just found that the world's best surfers were coming to Bali here every year and they had nowhere to train. It just seemed like a little gap in the market that needed filling."
Graham also rents out his villa apartments and moonlights as a surf commentator. You may have heard him on last year's webcasts for the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast and the Oakley Pro Bali. "That just started when I broke my back surfing and was out of the water for six months. I started doing the local Indonesian competitions and it kinda snowballed from there," says Graham.
Between all these ventures, it’s hard to see where he gets the time to go surfing. "Surfing always comes first," he says. "That's the whole reason we all live here, for the perfect waves. As soon as I see a swell, I'm on it; all the rest of the other stuff, that can always wait when the waves are good."
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