Archive for Interviews

Interview – Jarrod Gibson, Launching JG Boards

When we heard a few weeks ago that world renowned shaper Jarrod Gibson was launching his very own board company – JG Boards – we knew we had to learn more about Jarrod’s project, boards, team riders & new business and contacted Jarrod for an interview. Jarrod has been shaping some of the best boards in the business for years and years, working closely with the world best shapers, companies, factories & most of all pro riders to get them the best rides they could get. Jarrod has experience in shapes and boards that only a handful of shapers can have. Enjoy the JG interview and learn more about Jarrod’s new board company:

Hey Jarrod, how are you? So you’re launching your own board company hey?
I’m good thanks mate. Been a really busy year & now officially launched my own label.

It’s been one of your dreams since your started shaping kind of? Specially after seeing both Mez and Todd Q. starting their own brands years ago maybe?
Yeah for sure. We’ve all worked together for many years on various projects. While we’ve collaborated with the brands I was never that focussed on launching my own brand, I was focussed on the shaping and production so I didn’t have the time to build something that was 100% mine. We’re all good friends so it’s never been too much of a rivalry so to speak, we’re all excited to see our brands succeed and grow.

You started shaping many years ago with Mez at the Toobs Oz factory back in the days yeah?
Yeah I actually started with Mez when I was still in high school. He’d just opened the Mez Boards factory in our local region and back then there weren’t a lot of good boards that were under 40″ so I went to see him about getting a custom board made. I was a kid in a candy store! When we had the opportunity to do our work experience program I’d asked Mez if I could do it with him, from that point I knew I was never going to do anything else. He actually gave me straight A’s so I was pretty proud. I’ve still got the report card.
When I left school I started the very next day, February 2nd 1999 with Toobs Australia / Mez Boards where I worked closely with Todd until he launched his QCD Boards label in 2004

Jase Finlay

Jase Finlay

Are your stock boards made at the Broady / Mez factory?
Yes my boards will be produced from Broady Asia. I spent some time there with Mez in September working on the new line and I’m absolutely stoked on the new models. I think there will be a lot of happy customers when the new line launches.

Where do you work from and shape custom boards now? Coz you where working for Agit for a while?
Im still based in Australia however my custom program won’t start again until 2016. It’s not a focus of mine right now, I want to make sure the production is the best it can be which Im confident that we’ve achieved that with Mez and the team. The 2016 customs will be pretty exciting with some big plans for it on an international scale so Im looking forward to developing that program over the coming months.

So who’s on the team apart from Jase Finlay?
Yeah Jase is now on board which is amazing. I’ve got a lot of respect for Jase in every aspect of his career, he’s one of the most professional athletes I’ve ever worked with. We met earlier this year and talked about the new direction of the company and what we want to achieve. He was amped to be a part of it ASAP.
Along side Jase we have Tahurai Henry from Tahiti who needs no introduction. He is someone I’ve wanted to work with for a few years now. In Europe we have Miguel Adao from Portugal, the kid has a lot of potential and has a great attitude.
Winston McCall from Parkway Drive is also representing the label, he’s had a lot of input to the new models which is super cool. It’s amazing to see his passion for Bodyboarding and he absolutely rips.
We’ve also got Lee Bendall from the Gold Coast, the local legend that has a phenomenal style. He makes Bodyboarding a pleasure to watch.

What can we expect from JG Boards in the near future? Innovations and new shapes?
There’s some big plans for the future but it’s step by step at the moment. The line is focussed on the best templates that have worked over the years with my riders with compositions to suit high performance surfing.
In regards to new technology and innovations we will definitely be working on some new things. Especially for Tahurai with Teahupoo. We’ve been working on some specialty board designs for next years season. I think we will see him pushing the limits again to new levels.
We’re also in the process of creating new programs and clinics to assist in junior development. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for many years and now I have the opportunity to pursue the new direction of the company. We don’t want to be just another brand in the market and having a diverse community aspect to our brand is exciting.

The industry and sales in Oz (and actually in the US and Europe also) seem a little bit low and unstable at the moment but that doesn’t seem to discourage some new projects like your brand. Do you reckon there’s also a place for new brands and projects while some others disappear and it’s sort of a cycle as brands fade while others rise and the strongest ones stay on top?
For sure there are some hard times however, and unfortunately it is the sports cycle. It happens every 5 – 10 years where there is a few major changes to the industry, markets and sport in general. It’s always hard to watch people and brands disappear from the sport however that’s the nature of business. If you’re not evolving as a company it becomes unsustainable. We’re looking to do things a little differently and use our experience to grow the sport and industry.

Lee Bendall - Shot by: Kieran Tunbridge

Lee Bendall - Shot by: Kieran Tunbridge

The sponsoring and money given to the athletes in general seem to be a little low at the moment and the World Tour is not as attractive as it was, resulting in a weird era where top riders seem to struggle with sponsorships and turn their back on the tour, how do your riders or yourself see the business and the current situation?
It’s been a difficult time for a lot of the athletes since the demise of the IBA Tour. It’s taking some time to rebuild the structure and events however Alex and his team are doing a great job with the resources they have. It’s also great to see the Free Surf World Tour launch which I believe has some huge potential to attract some big sponsors in the future. Our sport thrives in heavy waves and conditions, 2016 could be a very big year for the sport again. While riders have struggled to secure significant contracts there are many reason for this but again, retail has seen some big changes over the past 5 years and we as an industry also need to evolve.

All boards, shapes and materials nowadays seem to be a little bit the same (mainly due to the fact that they all come from 2 factories mainly) apart from custom boards or smaller brands like Toobs who still produce locally, do you think there is still room to bring new things and innovations to the market that would be exclusive to your brand? A lot of time the new stuff is shared across all brand made by one factory or the other and there is very little difference between each brand’s products apart from the marketing put into it and the riders. What do you reckon?
That’s a yes & no answer. Boards can and do look very similar, but you look at any industry and the basis of the products are generally the same. The basic compositions give you a platform to create a product, any product. Brands and manufacturers then utilise different materials, foam densities to meet the demand of their customers. While the boards might look the same I can assure you they are not.
There’s a lot of exclusive innovation across the brands in our industry. NMD uses Parabolic cores, Pride uses Radial Flex, Found has their Torsion Stringer, Hubb Boards have Quad Core, Science uses Compression Cells. There’s variable stringer systems and interchangeable stringer systems. So there’s a great deal of innovation happening at the moment and there will continue to be major innovations over the coming years.
For sure it’s great to see a few small companies that are still producing, it’s awesome for the sport and the industry. Unfortunately it’s very difficult to remain viable though as generally the MOQ’s for the materials to build boards are significant.

Will we see a Jase Finlay pro model very soon and maybe other pro models too? Have you started shaping new boards for Jase and what does he currently ride?
Definitely. Jase has a signature line that coincides with the existing range. Again we’re doing things a little bit differently where Jase’s model is available in all compositions across the range. We have some new boards heading his way as we speak. It’s coming into Summer in Oz so we have some variable flex boards & ISS customs ready to go as we can have big changes in water temperatures. It’s a big country too so depending on the locations he’ll be surfing we need to be prepared for that.

Is the Oz distribution all set up now and boards will be in shops around Oz soon? and do you know when the rest of the world will be able to buy your brands from local shops?
Still in development. Im working on the program now and will be meeting with my retail accounts over the coming months. We have boards in production now with our sampling and prototypes all locked in. We want to ensure the new website launches in conjunction with the first shipment to Australia so it’s work in progress.
Internationally we will be launching mid 2016 however the range will be available online for international orders from day one. Im pleased to announce distribution has been confirmed for all major regions: Australia, Europe, South America & North America. We’ll also be selling into Japan and some Central American countries.

Many thanks for your time Jarrod and congrats again on your new business!
No problem. Thank you for the support.

Theo – Editor

Interview – Ryan Hardy

It’s been a while since we last interviewed someone. Lack of time mostly, explains why we havent put any new interviews on the site but we eventually took the time to prepare some questions for Ryan Hardy. Ryan’s been killing it in WA and in Bali with his Bodyboarding School and being the legend he his it’s always good to catch up with him and see what he’s been up to. Thanks heaps for your time Ryan! Yeww

What have you been up to today?
Today I was busy packing things up getting ready to rent our house out while we live in bali for 5months…just over 6weeks to go!

You’ve recently started your own bodyboard shcool / coaching / training and you’re based in Bali a part of the year from what we understood and then based in WA all year long yeah?
This year I’ll be in Bali with my family from April till September then home the rest of the year either side of that. We’re pretty excited, we love our time in Bali and it’s just non stop waves and good conditions up there!

How is it runninng your own school and how was the Bali part this year?
Running my school and living overseas with my family while coaching with Bali Bodyboarding has been one of the highlights of my career for sure. Spreading the love for my favourite sport and passing on my knowledge and experience is very enjoyable plus I get to leave my family to go to ‘work’ in the waves with other amped bodyboarders!

Are you planning on doing this every year (Bali) or was it just this year?
For the meantime it’s definitely just a matter of doing it now while we can because the opportunity is there and my kids aren’t in full time school yet. My boy Oli will be in full time school next year so most likely any future Bali stints will just be short ones.

You kinda put contests and the World Tour on hold this year, will you consider going back on tour later on maybe or will you just do a few contests which you really wanna do now that you’ve got your school going?
I know I definitely won’t be chasing contests in 2015, what happens beyond then I will just take as it comes, but I would definitely love to compete on the world stage again when the opportunity presents itself.

Also – maybe not an easy one to answer – but would you have followed the tour in 2014 if the sport had a solid tour with solid prize money allowing the top riders to make a good living from this pro tour?
Well you’re right, finances does change everything and moulds the opportunities that you can pursue. However, I do know that I was loving being close to home during a year when my kids were both really young so I’ve definitely got no regrets in not following the tour in 2014.

You’ve recently changed sponsors and went from VS / Stealth to Funkshen / Limited Edition, this coincided with those other changes in your life (less contests, starting your own school). Appart from contracts and / or the money side of things why did you change sponsors or how did this happen? How is the new relationship with your new sponsor?
This happened mainly by a changeover of circumstances, the end of one road with one sponsor and the beginning of a new road with another sponsor.
It’s great riding for Funkshen & Limited Edition…the boards and fins are as good as you can get on the market today and the Britten brothers who drive the company are an amped couple of Aussie bodyboarders like myself who just want to see all the riders shredding on their gear and show bodyboarding for the epic sport that it is!

Jarrod Gibson shapes your custom boards still? We’re sure readers would love to know what you’re riding, core, length, specificities. We know you’re picky on your customs and shapes you must have great input on your boards. Do you also changes width or length or thickness according to what kinda waves you surf?
Todd quigley and Jarrod Gibson are both doing some shaping work on my customs which I am STOKED on! I’ve been getting boards shaped from those two since the late 90’s and between the two of them they’ve both shaped me all my best boards.
I’ve definitely toned down my pickiness over the years haha but that’s probably because I’ve been through and tested so many boards to the point that I know what works for me now.
Working with today’s material options, I generally like to ride a stiffer polypro in warmer water, a flexier polypro like EFC in colder water and always with a stringer. I find those simple combos to be most effective and then you can add in things like mesh for extra stiffness or PRS stringers particularly in cooler water.
Then generally I go for bigger boards in smaller waves, say up to 42.75 for small, down to 42.25 for big waves.

Do you have much input on the stock boards your sponsor releases? Will the shape on stock boards be close to what you ride, even if probably suited and adapted to a wider range of riders / customers?
Yes I’m in close contact with Jarrod Gibson who is stock board quality controller over at the board factory hq in Taiwan. Jarrod is great because he is such an avid bodyboard enthusiast and particular to the very last detail so I have full trust in him overseeing the production of the stock boards over there.
The stock boards are tweaked a little from my customs to allow for the fact that I’m tall and lean and not all riders are going to have a body shape like me. They are definitely similar in their shape, but just slightly modified to suit a variety of body shapes and sizes.

Where do you usually surf in WA? You live in Margaret River yeah? What’s the typical Ryan day?
I usually surf close to margaret river where I live so places like gas bay, booji, box, rivermouth.
A typical day is of course based around the surf and my family schedule. If the surfs gunna be pumping I’ve gotta plan things so the family is sorted and taken care of so that my wife can be all good with the kids once I head out to hit the surf for a filming session or coaching session.

We’ve seen you surf with your son recently, taking him on the boogie and gliding with him on foamies, how is that? Does being a father changed your perpective on life or you pro-career in a way?
It was super fun going out with my son in the little waves of Bali and probably the purest surfing experience I’ve had since I was riding my first whitewashes. It’s all a game to him at the ripe old age of 3 and it makes him laugh so much and he’s so free and happy to be rolling around in the waves…it reminds me of the feeling the ocean gives us and why we’re so attracted to go back for more and more.
Being a father is like discovering life all over again as you discover the world through your kid’s perspective. It gives you great purpose and motivation in everything you do and any boredom or spare time you ever had in your life before kids certainly vanishes!

What can we expect from Hardballs for next year? More schooling and coaching? Any trips planned with the family or with your sponsors?
Definitely more trips, video clips and freesurfing escapades both at home and interstate and overseas. That’s my major focus in my riding right now is pushing my equipment and ability in freesurfing right now while I still feel physically in my peak and taking my riding to the limit in some epic waves! Also, plenty of coaching and time with the family in between.

Are you filming or preparing a short clip or podcast for the upcoming months?
Yes I’ve been filming in both the Canary Islands back in December and around home lately for a Funkshen clip that will be coming out in the near future.

We’ve asked our readers on Facebook and on your sponsor’s page on Facebook if they had any questions for you and we got these questions from fans for you:

- Any chance to see you in Europe any time soon?
I was in Canaries in December! But otherwise it’s a possibility to do a freesurfing trip with the Funkshen/Limited Edition team sometime in the second half of the year.

- You’ve got the same sponsor as Winston from PWD, Unite, do you listen to PWD? Before a good session to get amped maybe?
I love Winston’s energy he pours into PWD and it’s something he’s always had back when I knew him as an aspiring bodyboarder, he was always super amped. I think their music is great, but I actually don’t really listen to music to amp me up before surfs. I just like to stay present and feel the amp come on from the natural surrounds.
- Is Hardlyfe III in the making?
No it’s not in the making.

- Describe your personal board?
My favourite board I’ve been riding lately is a nicely worn in 42.5 PP stringer mesh. It’s brown deck/black rail/orange slick, it’s actually about 9months old and in the cool waters around home it feels really good especially in powerful waves. – Do you drink coffe in the morning? What kind?
I only ever drink coffee to keep me awake when I’m driving. I never drink it regularly in the morning or before surfs.

- Last but not least, from your buddy Matt Lackey, we had to ask: How many degrees in Celsius was the Meat Pie that was force feed into Jarrod Gibson as a birthday present?
Haha Lackey loves that one. I was only just praising Jarrod’s work before and yet it didn’t stop me from slamming a pie in his face after a night on the town to celebrate his birthday several years back. You’d have to ask Jarrod the exact temperature but I know it was up above 200degrees and he spent his actual birth day in hospital being treated for 3rd degree burns on his nose, lips, cheeks and eye lids. Shit that sounds bad! Sorry again Gibbo!! His mates and I thought it was the funniest thing ever at the time though until 5mins had passed of us rolling on the bakery floor laughing and we realised Gibbo was missing. We found him across the road at the terrigal beach shoreline dunking his face in the shorebreak in between yelling “CALL AN AMBULANCE!!” Ouch, I’ll never live that one down!

Thanks a lot for your time Ryan, do you have anything you’d like to add or any message to pass along?
Cheers Theo!! All the best with Spongercity yew

Cheers Ryan
Theo –

The Coffee Break Interview – Amaury Lavernhe Amaury Lavernhe Coffee Break Interview

The Coffee Break Interview – with Amaury Lavernhe

The Coffee Break Interview ? What’s that new format ? Not familiar with the new interview format ? It’s basically short interviews with pros that we’ll be doing regularly on the website with unusual questions that are not just related to bodyboarding. We’ll ask questions about books, life, girls, whatever, but not bodyboarding-related questions or only weird ones… Different approach, different questions, the time of a coffee break basically… The rules are simple: The questions are not your classic ones and the last rider being interviewed chooses who’s gonna be interviewed after him (or her) !

This month Amaury Lavernhe did us the favour to be our guest for this new Coffee Break Interview as Jeff Hubbard suggested Amaury as our new Coffee-Break-Interviewed rider. Thanks Amaury for taking the time to answer our questions.

Read the interview, enjoy and discover who we’ll interview next at the end of Amaury’s interview as Amaury has choosen his successor for the next Coffee Break interview.

I saw you this morning at Banzai La Graviere in SW France, how was it ? Any good ones ?
AL: Im doing really good thanks!! Good times in France in this warm summer. Waves been really good yesterday and today and im glad to be a part of it. It was the first time i was surfing La Graviere like this and this is a serious beachie…guys been ripping and im happy that 300 people, maybe more, on the beach saw what i saw..

What are you doing in Europe ? Here for the comps ?
AL: I was in Reunion in July training and enjoying home. After the first attack of Alexandre Rassiga, i left Home to visit my girl friend in Spain and then i ve been in my familly in France. I came down the coast to surf, visit some friends and sponsors and i ve been really lucky with this swell.
Im going monday in Portugal, i will stay one week with PLC then jump with the Hubb Brothers during the Sintra Pro.

Situation is out of control in Reunion Island with sharks and officials who didn’t pay attention until now and French government taking the situation lightly as usual. What’s your opinion on this ?
AL: We could write a book about what is happening in Reunion at the moment. In my point of view we are in a really serious situation and the worst is that some people already predict this situation more than one year ago.
The gouvernemnt did not listen anything and today they are trying to find a solution but in my point of view nothing they could do will change anything. Do you think people would put their children in the water even if 1000 sharks are dead…
I really hope that one day we will surf again in Reunion as the potentiel is pretty amazing.
For my side i will go back in Reunion to visit my friends, enjoying other activities at home and focus on spear fishing witch is the only way to enjoy the ocean over there right now.

Ok, back to lighter subjects, what are you doing tonight ? Party with everyone downtown Hossegor or sleep early to score tomorrow morning ?
AL: Yes sleep early pretty much every night and getting ready for the day after even if the surf if not good. So much thing to do on this planet and i need energy to enjoy it…

It looks like SW France is packed with boogieboarding world champs these days hey ! PLC is here in Hossegor, you’re here, Winny who’s having a good shot at the title this year is here. Must be very Frenchy to win stuff recently ?
AL: yes pretty funny how we were all togeither in the water the other day. August is not the best month for this part of the globe and this is a chance that we are here at the same time. Winny came in France to discovering our culture with his familly, Pierre came for visit his familly and for the swell and me i did not even watch forcast before going down.
About winning comps i think my story and Pierre’s one are really connected as we are really good friends but also really competitive and inspiring each other. Yes we are french but from differents cultures and our titles results from a healthy mix of factors.
About Winny this guy is a legend and he is inspiring me so much. To have two child, moving to an other country and killing the world tour like this…its amazing!!
Im sure his time in France would help him to achieve his dream!!

The IBA tour seems to struggle with finance and sponsors this year, hard times for bodyboarding and other sports as well, what do you reckon ?
AL: I reckon that its always been hard in bodyboarding but we still really lucky with what we have.
Last year we had an amazing tour, this year looks really good, even if Mexico almost did not happen.
I think the world tour is doing good and people who work into it are doing the best job to make things happening.
There is a crisis in the world for sure but honestly we are so lucky to have a passion, im so lucky to leave from my passion and the bodyboarding community is a really rich familly but forget money..we are talking about natural happiness and sharing vibrations.

Who’s gonna win this year ?
AL: i would put my money on Winny but everything is possible specialy with rider like Jeff, Rawlins, Plc… Amaury Lavernhe Coffee Break Interview

What have you been reading lately ? Any good books to share ?
AL: im reading a book that i had for my birthday called The Bible of a Natural Health..
i also like book of Jean Christophe Grange or Michel start and you cant stop, is the way i like to read..

Latest website you’ve checked ?
AL: i checked something about the 7th continent..
An area in the north Pacific where you can find a collection of waste as big as 6 time France…

Latest girl you fell in love with ?
AL: A red moon called Malennhy..

Latest addiction ?

Latest tatto ?
AL: Hawaii last February to celebrate a new start in my life…

What inspires you in life ? And who inspires you in the water ?
AL: My main inspiration is the Nature and people who take care of it. Also everyone who fight to realise a dream, to go further, to go faster, to go harder…
My mum and my grand father are big inspiration for me as all my best friends at home and on this planet.
In the water i get inspired by pretty much all guys..depends witch type of waves and witch type of ride.
Everyone who have passion fro bodyboarding could inspire me.

What pisses you off ?
AL: People who destroy the planet slowly buy surely!!

Is there a question we shouldn’t ask you ?
AL: If i like my life because you already know the answer..

If there’s a question you’d love us to ask, what would it be ?
AL: Do you want an other world title?

If there’s something you could change in your surfing what would you change ?
AL: I like the way i surf but i still have so much things to learn..i would love to be 100% polyvalent with a perfect balance.

If there’s a place you could surf but have never surfed before, where would you go ?
AL: Somewhere warm, blue, rampy, shallow, isolated….

If you could do a non surf-related trip and visit a cool place on planet earth, which place would you go ?
AL: i would go cruising in south America for months!! Amaury Lavernhe Coffee Break Interview

Do you have a girlfriend at the moment ? Is it better to have one as an athlete when you do the tour or better not to have one ?
AL: yes i have a girl friend and to answer to the second question i would say that all depends on the relation you have with her. My girl friend give me so much energy to realise my goals and to keep going as strong as i can.
The right girl would give you energy, balance, happiness and so much positive the way i see my relationship today, something new, something unique, something healthy…
With the life i have if the main base of the relation ship is not confidence its over…Gracias Male!!

What boards are you riding now ? What size ? Kids always want us to ask which core and specs ? PE is pretty much dead and everybody’s back to PP now it seems ? Have you tried that NRG core with lower density PP ? We wanna know it all !
AL: Im surfing PP most of the time. yesterday i tried for the first time the NRJ core and it seems confortable and with a good flex in fresh water.
i used to surf some 41,5 recently, pretty narrow for a rail to rail line and really thin for grip and confort.
On my last customs i ask a 41 a bit wider and the board look amazing. its hard to find the perfect shape with perfect options, there are some much possibility and i like to try different things.
yes the new PE is average but for really cold water could be good like winter in France for exemple.
My stock board is really close to the board i surf nopw and for 2013 it would be even closer with the exact options im riding now.
I really like DK too, im riding with the shape of my prone board but with double stringer and a board a bit longer (42)

You seem to be really into fitness and stretching and stuff, how important is it to perform well ? Any advice for bodyboarders ?
AL: its really important to have a perfect balance between flexibility and strength. Bodyboarding is a pretty young sport and no one have really study a specific training.
To be fit is really important for your performance but also to avoid injury.
Your body is a high tech machine and you should treat it as such.
The base is to warm up before surf and stretch after…

I think Jeff (Hubbard) who chose you for this interview says you dont drink coffee or dont like coffee too much, is that true ? How ironic for a “coffee break break” interview ? Do you drink tea or something else ?
AL: yes i actually hate the taste of coffee but i really love green tea and water in general..the body fuel..

Last but not least: Who should we interview next ? It’s the tradition in the Coffee Break Interviews to choose who’s gonna be interviewed next, we dont choose the riders, you choose!
AL: yes i would say Alex Uranga..

Thanks heaps for your time mate ! See you around here ! Yewww

Cheers, Merci Amaury !
Theo Amaury Lavernhe Coffee Break Interview

The Coffee Break Interview – Jeff Hubbard Jeff Hubbard Coffee Break Interview

The Coffee Break Interview – with Jeff Hubbard

The Coffee Break Interview ? What’s that new format ? Not familiar with the new interview format ? It’s basically short interviews with pros that we’ll be doing regularly on the website with unusual questions that are not just related to bodyboarding. We’ll ask questions about books, life, girls, whatever, but not bodyboarding-related questions or only weird ones… Different approach, different questions, the time of a coffee break basically… The rules are simple: The questions are not your classic ones and the last rider being interviewed chooses who’s gonna be interviewed after him (or her) !

This month Jeff Hubbard did us the favour to be our guest for this new Coffee Break Interview as Ben Player suggested Jeff as our new Coffee-Break-Interviewed rider. Thanks Jeff for taking the time to answer our questions.

Read the interview, enjoy and discover who we’ll interview next at the end of Jeff’s interview as Jeff has choosen his successor in the next Coffee Break interview.

Hi Jeff, how are you ?
Doing great just surfed fun pipe all day now relaxing watching the “hangover”

So this is our “Coffee Break” Interview format and as you know the last interviewed rider chooses who gets to be interviewed next. Benny Player was the first rider we interviewed with this new format and he chose you for this new coffee break interview as you also like coffee, oh and he added you get nuts when you drink a good one. So what’s up with coffee Jeff ? You’re also a coffee lover ?
Yeah i froth on a good cup of espresso or and ice mocha so amped on them.

What else gets you nuts appart from coffee ?
Good waves , pipeline especially

I guess you’re in Hawaii the moment ? Any good waves ?
Yes great waves almost every day

Getting ready for the pipe contest very soon ?
Yeah training hard and looking forward to the comp waves look epic

This year (2011) was really competitive on the tour and it was also the first time bodyboarding has had such a good great tour with good media coverage, webcasts, venues, riders, commentators etc. what do you reckon ?
I totally agree. it was a great step forward for the sport.

You surfed amazingly well all year and came short at the very last moment, with PLC being crowned 2011 world champ. Has this motivated you even more for the 2012 title or has is pissed you off ?
Yeah i am excited about 2012 and really looking forward to the year on tour ahead. So more motivated now.

You’re a great competitor, super smart in your heats and of course an amazing free surfer but do you adapt to contest formats sometimes or pretty much just charge and hit the biggest sections anyways ?
I pretty much try to go big all the time. It works well since the contests are so difficult you have to go all out all the time.

You’re one of the rare pro rider i now (if i remember well) who went to Uni and studied for a while and got a degree or diploma. What did you study and why ?
I studied business and got my masters in international business. it was awesome to learn super interesting and challenging and made me a better person for sure.

You’re really close to your little bro David, both on tour and out of the tour since both you guys follow the IBA world tour. How is it having a family member with you on the tour ? We’ve seen you two motivating each other before heats, we’ve even seen Dub giving you a massage before a heat in Puerto this year for example. Do you reckon it makes both of you stronger to have a brother on tour ?
Yeah its great to have that support when you really need it when you are getting ready for some heavy heats ect. Even if we don’t stay together all the time we still amp each other up and have a lot of fun every where we go.

Have you competed against each other already ?
Yes and we have a heat at pipe this week too !!

You and David have different personalities though, don’t you ?
Yes for sure.

And you have another brother as well yeah ? Is he bodyboarding too ?
Yes his name is mike and he surfs and bodyboards really well!!

How come you dont DK more when you see your bro David ripping on the knee as well as ripping prone ?
I think I will dk more this year it is super fun and I am doing dk at pipe this year and kinda scared ha ha.

What inspires you in general ? in life ? in the water ?
My family friends god and just enjoying life and all it has to offer us humans.

Do you follow or do other sports ?
Yes i enjoy soccer and football.

What books are you reading at the moment ? Anything you’d like to share ? Any good books ?
Reading healthy eating -healthy world. really good book

A lot of people first noticed you in the NO FRIENDS videos in the late 1990’s, how were those years ? The NF crew ? These vids were a serious influence on many many people i guess and to these days the NF vids have kinda set a standard in bodyboarding videos and what is cool with bodyboarding: travelling, filming, a crew or good friends etc. Do you still see or chill with the NF crew ? Stoker ? Roach ? Skipp ? Ronk ? Ross ? Do you miss these days ?
Yeah those were awesome fun days for sure and yeah miss them some times ha ha

You’re one of the rare pros (with the exception of a couple other guys) to be sponsored by a more mainstream or surf-oriented clothing company called Oceancurrent, how is it riding for a bigger company or a more mainstream company ?
Its awesome they support me so well and are supporting the sport amazingly i am really lucky and amped on them. great clothes and great people.

You’re from Kaui, Hawaii yeah ? You spend a lot of time on the North Shore of Oahu in the winter and surf Pipe everytime it breaks. How is it between islands ? Is there a rivality or a sort of priority for north shore guys when you surf at Pipe ? It’s hard to imagine for people who have not surfed in Hawaii before but there’s a serious pecking order at Pipe and it’s hard to get the good ones on crowded days yeah ? Where do you sit in the pecking order there ? People know you and you get more waves or is it still hard to get waves with the locals ?
I am from kauai and have lived on oahu off and on for the last 20 years. I know all the locals and respect them they respect me. I get my waves but there are so many guys tring to get waves at pipe I choose to sit in certain spots to get the most or best waves.
Can you still feel a rivality between bodyboarders and surfers in Hawaii or elsewhere in the world ? Yeah a little bit in hawaii but no that much mostly maybe in california most of those surfers over there are just such kooks.

You must have travelled quite a lot but is there a place you never surfed before and would love to surf ?
I have been to a lot of places but would really like to go to ireland and and try surf a few waves over there and check out the scene one day.

If it was not a surf trip but just a classic touristic trip, where would you like to go ?
Maybe Italy to check that zone out as well.

Would you rather return to Cloud9 with the crew who went with you in WELFARE (McGee/Booth/Skipp/Burk etc.) or go back to indo on a boat trip with the NF crew (Botha/Stoker/Skipp etc.) ? I know this is a hard one ! haha
Yeah thats a tough choice but probably cloud 9 with the welfare crew we would own that place no one else would get a wave off our crew thats for sure ha ha!!!

Bat tail ? You’re one or the rare pros who consistently ride a bat tail board, what’s the difference and what’s better for you ?
The bat tail offer better projection and faster better boosts which i really like to do most of time in most waves.

What kinda board do you ride ? PP or PE ? Thin board with 2 stringers ? Who shapes them ? Dan Sivess now ?
Dan Sivess shaped my new boards. Thin board one stringer mesh pp. They go insane.

Is there any question we should ask you ?
Not really too many questions already JK lol

Is there a question you’d like to ask us at Spongercity ?
Keep it up every one enjoys the website and interviews thanks

Alright, thanks heaps for your time Jeff, we hope you’ll score and get sick waves in the pipe comp, it’s now time for you to choose who will be interviewed next for the next Spongercity Coffee Break interview, who do you reckon we should interview next ?
I think you should interview Amaury Laverhne as he does not like coffee but likes doing interviews.
thank theo aloha

Cheers Jeff,
– SC Editor.

The Coffee Break Interview – Ben Player Ben Player Coffee Break Interview

Our first interview in our series of new Coffee Break Interviews with – What’s the new format ? It’s basically short interviews with pros that we’ll be doing regularly on the website with unusual questions that are not related to bodyboarding. We’ll ask questions about books, life, girls, whatever, but not bodyboarding-related questions or only weird ones… Different approach, different questions, the time of a coffee break basically… The rules are simple: The questions are not your classic ones and the last rider being interviewed chooses who’s gonna be interviewed after him (or her) !

Ben Player did us a favour and accepted to go first and try out our new Coffee Break Interview. So here you go: Read the rest of this entry »

Interview – Mitch Rawlins

It seems to always take longer than expected to interview a rider and then release it on the website. We saw Mitch on the Goldie a while ago and had a little chat and Mitch was keen on doing the interview so we were stoked, got home, started writing down the questions for the interview and this is where is got hard: This is bodyboarding legend Mitch Rawlins ! We can’t really come up with shit questions and we can’t bother Mitch with lame questions. So we did our best to keep the interview interesting and with the quite-recent launch of FOUND boards in both OZ and Europe we thought it was the right time to release the interview . Hope you enjoy it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Interview – Eunate Aguirre

Our first girl interview on – Currently #2 on the womens bodyboarding world tour, Spanish bodyboarder Eunate really impressed everyone with her riding and her approach of the media/communation side of things, releasing super cool video clips and imagery, taking care of her riding as well as the image she creates and really showing everyone what girls are capable of on a boogieboard. We thought it was high time to interview Eunate and learn more about her, her riding, her training, her projects and views about the bodyboard scene etc.

Read the rest of this entry »

Interview – Lilly Pollard on

There’s a great Lilly Pollard interview on our friends’ website – Great read for both girls & boys, go check it out and if you’re a girl you should definitely check coz the site rocks for girlies and they’re good friends of ours.

Interview – Thomas Robinson talks about

We interviewed Thom Robinson the other day about his new project with James Kates: – Thom was cool and answered really quickly. Here’s more about Highwaydaze

SC: Hey Thomas howdy ?
Thom Robinson: Yer good, just cruising waiting around for the shark island comp to hopefully pump.

SC: Can you introduce the Highwaydaze project ?
Thom Robinson: Highwaydaze is basically the product of having alot of spare time and wanting to make something.

SC: Who are you doing this with?
Thom Robinson: Well its basically just james kates and myself but dave fox has helped alot by actually making the site for us. we are lucky in the sense that we are surrounded by alot of really talented people so a heap of them will be contributing along the way.

SC: What can we expect from this new project ?
Thom Robinson: Wave riding in a few different styles, photos, videos, drawings… hopefully any art-form you can view through a computer screen.

SC: How different is this project from others ?
Thom Robinson: It seems to be more arty and personal, can you develop ? as far as professional bodyboarders and websites go i guess its taking a slightly different path. it feels good in the sense that anything on there is made by us or one of our friends and not some company trying to jam something down your throat.

SC: What’s coming next from mister Robinson ?
Thom Robinson: Are you filming or planning any trip for this Winter in Oz or somewhere else on the planet ? at the moment im just trying to film for the website and save some money for a round world trip i have planned for later in the year to work on a DVD project which should be out for christmas.

Thanks Thom!

Interview with Fintan Gillespie and Jack Johns – Boogtique discount included ! Oh Yeah !

You probably heard about BOOGTIQUE, the new online shop that Fintan Gillespie and pro bodyboarder Jack Johns launched not too long ago in the UK. Fintan and Jack were kind enough to answer some of our questions on skype regarding their new store and the interview turned out being pretty funny!

PS: keep reading toward the end of the interview for an exclusive Spongercity & Boogtique deal – 10% off !

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