When you look back at the generations of South African surfers, not many groups can compete with the style and class of this generation. Royden Bryson was one of the stand out surfers on tour, until a horrible injury at Jefferys Bay ended his career. He is now living on the South Coast and coaching and by all accounts shredding again.
Davey Weare was the coolest and calmest competitor we have ever produced. I call him the ice man. Now a financial advisor, he still gets in the water and puts on a. power surfing display every time.
Undeniably one of the most stylish surfers to ever come out of South Africa, Simon Nicholson still shreds. He came perilously close to qualifying for the Championship Tour and won some of the biggest events on the planet. He still rips and now works in real estate.
What we talked about
Amongst many subjects was just the pure stoke for these guys catching up. After years spent traveling the globe, Simon and Royden had not seen each other in a decade. We also chatted about that hunger retired to compete with the world’s best and what its like when the tour is over and you have to adjust to “Normal” life.
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This week on #TheLockdown I am joined by three of SA’s hardest working shapers and brand owners. Graham Smith is one of the longest working surfboard manufacturers in the country and, of course, father to Jordy Smith.
Josias “Dutchie” Louw is one of hardest working guys in the industry, from making boards, managing brands and of course on the Mic at contest with myself.
Gary van Wieringen is known for his all out power surfing, but was also the hard worker at Clayton surfboards for years and now runs his own brand, Africa Surfboards, from his home on the South Coast.
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What better way to start off Season 2 of #theLockdown that with three of South Africa’s most influential surf coaches. These guys pretty much have their hands on the wheel of where SA surfing is going.
Llewellyn Whitaker is the current German Head Coach and has also coached many of our top young surfers. Chris Bond is the current SA Junior Team coach and works with many of our top QS competitions. Quinton Jones, AKA QJ, is one of the longest working coaches in South Africa and amongst others works with our new CT surfer, Matt McGillivray.
Watch the Podcast
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If you enjoy the podcast and my other work, you can help me through these very tough times. I have had no event work this year, all being cancelled due to Covid Lockdown. I have designed some high end, great quality Hoodies and a Cap and you can pre-order on my Thundafund Page here:
In this episode you will be subjected to some serious wisdom from the surf photographers! These two are clever, articulate and definitely know what they are talking about. We discuss this current crisis, why you should obey the law, rather funnel your energy into a good cause than get angry, where contest surfing should go now locally, what it takes to be a good surf photographer and even how to stay fit until we can surf again.
Meet the surf photographers
Alan van Gysen is a name synonymous with surf photography and has worked with the biggest surfers, publications and content creators on the planet. Based with his family in Kommetjie, Cape Town, he is a very spiritual man, loves surfing, writing and traveling to exotic locations with the world’s best surfers. We call him, the world’s nicest man.
Ian Thurtell, is one of the top, young photographers in South Africa. A solid contributor to the local and international scene and covers most of the major contests in South Africa. He builds custom housings for cameras, puts together media trips and works very closely with some of the best junior surfers in the country.
Support these surf initiatives
Once again we highlight the great work happening around the SA coastline by some great people. Please support these incredible programs:
Rosy Hodge is a household name in surfing, world wide, as she presents on the WSL webcasts and of course surfed on the world tour. Calling San Clemente in California home, Rosy is one of the most influential ladies in world surfing.
Heather Clarke was the longest representative on the World Tour for SA, along with Greg Emslie in the men. She still regularly wins open and masters SA titles and now coaches surfing, based in her home town on the South Coast of SA.
Coming from the North Coast, growing up surfing heavy waves, Sophie Bell has had an illustrious junior career and has recently moved into the Open division. She is not scared to charge heavy waves and is one of the few ladies to have a crack at Donkey Bay, Namibia.
We talk lockdown and Girls Surfing
We chat about how communities are handling the lockdown, how tough it is to be a surfer in SA currently, unable to surf and about the current state of ladies surfing internationally and locally. (We may be putting together a girls surf camp and schools road show in the future.)
One of the first things we chat about on the podcast, is just how much experience Jack has already on the CT, before he even starts his career there. With numerous wildcards since his teens and surfing against most of the top guys in QS heats, he feels he has all the experience he needs to spend 20 plus years on the tour.
Staying Positive during Lockdown
With the delayed start to 2020 due to the Corona Lockdown, he stays positive at home in West Oz, where he can surf. In fact most of the waves on his doorstep make up the venues for the 3rd CT stop. He also tells me that the break, his first since he was 14, allows for some training, rest and quality time with his lady and family.
Some quality Humor
Jack has a great sense of humor and we have a couple of really good laughs over the interview. At one point, girlfriend, Julia Muniz walks from a shower, thinking its a telephone call… needless to say huge laughs around.
Jack Robinson is the most anticipated Rookie in CT history.
One thing is for sure, no surfer’s debut on the the Championship Tour has ever been this anticipated. Jack rips in all conditions. He charges the big heavy waves that would normally intimated the new comers. Hell, he has one the VolcomPipeline Pro and is always a stand out at Teahupoo. I for one cannot wait to see him on tour.
Follow Jack and get live video from the Box and other West Oz heavy waves on his Instagram and his amazing gal Julia Muniz on her Instagram.
I chat to WSL Championship Tour, rookie, Matthew McGillivray from the Gold Coast. What has it been like starting your CT career only to have it stalled by the lockdown? What has lockdown been like in Australia? What are his thoughts on the new WSL formats for the tours, announced this week? Why does he love BASE jumping? These are just some of the subjects we cover in the 30 minute interview.
We also chat surfboards and Matt’s relationship with Graham and Jordy Smith with the new brand, SMTH Shapes.
Lets Feed Jbay
We also chat about his home town and the incredible movement right now to feed the poor community of Jbay!
I was not sure what to expect when I chatted with Travis Logie about getting the three best buds on the same podcast during lockdown, but needless to say it was an epic chat. These 3 grew up together in Durban and now live in California and Hawaii. Jordy Smith has become one of the best surfers on the planet, Travis has ended his Pro surf career and become the WSL Commissioner and Warwick Wok Wright was never really a pro, though he beat a few, but now a successful interior designer and married in Hawaii.
A Special Chat
Wok’s Mom called me up after the premier and told me how special it was to get the three together and talking. A sentiment shared by the boys at the end of our talk – it went on for just over an hour – and the stories, flashbacks and laughs were real. It was incredible to get some real insight to their relationships, how they met and of course their time together on the tour.
Groms Listen up!
On a more serious note, the gents serve up some real, hard advice for aspiring SA surfers with big dreams of qualifying. These three, yes even Wok, made some serious damage on the QS and their stories and and advise should be heeded.
Hawaii the best place to be in lockdown!
This was the common consensus during the chat and checking out Jordy’s Instagram account will leave you in no doubt. Wok has adopted a flock of ducks and is practicing for being a daddy.
I hope you enjoyed the show and please remember to subscribe to the Youtube Channel – HERE
Big call you may say, but if you have watched top Bmx competition for the last few years, you will agree with me. Known as much for his huge, tweaked out tricks, as for that infectious smile always plastered on his dial. For the podcast we took a look at why he has such a happy outlook on life and why Bmx makes him so happy. A big reason he is on the Monster Energy, Mongoose and Vans A teams.
Lockdown Mind Games
Going from riding Bmx every day, which he still does, albeit in the parking garage, whether park or street – the lockdown has seriously impacted on Kevin‘s life. While surfers can still go ride the waves in California, all skate and bmx parks are closed. Good time to be Pat Casey with the most epic backyard setup, but KP in lockdown at his apartment.
Kevin Peraza loves South Africa
Well he does, he was about to board a plane to SA for Ultimate X, then the lockdown was initiated and he still has the tickets. His first few trips were to Cape Town and the last 2 have been to Sun City. (KP makes a very good Game Drive guide btw) Check out the seal diving trip we chat about below. He reckons as soon as travel allowed, he is coming back to SA!
One of South Africa’s top surf exports and freesurfer extraordinaire, now residing in California and on the Gold Coast, Brendon Gibbens rips! He is one of the few surfers who have cracked that seemingly unattainable code to become a well paid, traveling surfer, who does not have to compete in order to earn as an athlete.
Life has been affected for the Freesurfer
The Lockdown for the Corona Virus has affected his life, but they are allowed to surf in California – something that has been denied us in SA. No travel until further notice though, which is effectively a pause on his career.
We are blessed in Africa
With all the magical places Brendon Gibbens has travelled for surf, he still reckons home is the best. South Africa has a huge coastline, with hundreds if not thousands of good waves. We also don’t get the crowds like his two new home areas – believe me nowhere near the crowds. So we are blessed, even with all the big sharks! haha