a few words with Jordy Smith [South Africa] in Maresias Brazil, May 2006|
- Photos & interview by Stephen Mayor
The morning following the ISA World Jr Surfing Championships in Maresias Brazil I sat down with Jordy Smith and asked him a few questions. The day before he had finished second in the 18 and under division, it was a real battle. Both Jordy and the winner, Julian Wilson from Australia, were forced to work their way back into the main round through the repechage rounds. It made for a fabulous contest to watch and photograph because they had to surf about twice as many heats and the word on the beach was that Jordy and Julian were the ones to beat.
Jordy turned 18 this year on the 11th of Feb, coincidently sharing birthdays with Kelly Slater. This was his last chance to win the gold for South Africa as a junior. Last fall in Huntington Beach he placed forth in the U18 division and in 2003 at his home break in Durban South Africa he'd won gold in the 16 and under division.
Jordy stands about 6' tall, he's solidly built and uses his size and weight in the water to his advantage. He's a power surfer with great form and style. He's also a nice guy, pretty much the complete package, the real deal.
Photos by Stephen Mayor Photographic
SM: Thanks for agreeing to do this. So where are you off to next?
JS: I'm flying to Johannesburg today, going to Jeffreys Bay for the Billabong Junior Pro next weekend.
SM: How many contests do you do a year?
JS: About 22, 23... I travel quite a bit.
SM: Seeing as this is your last year in the WJSC is the QS in your future?
JS: Yah, I did a couple of QS events in Brazil earlier this year, a 5 and 6 star, placed 25th. I'll do a couple of boat trips this year and go full out QS next year.
SM: What's the water temperature in South Africa, at your home break?
JS: In Durban it's about 23C, I surf in a short-john or board shorts, but if you go down to Cape Town it's about 7, 8 degrees.
SM: The water at Cape Town's about the same as back in Canada, what do you think about surfing in cold water?
JS: It's alright but I think it restricts your surfing a bit, wearing a wetsuit, cold feet.
SM: Have you been to Canada?
JS: No not yet, I heard it's cool, hopefully one day.
SM: If a surfer wanted to pick up a DVD with your surfing which one should it be?
JS: Probably Passion Pop the Billabong one, not too bad, I've got a little section in it.
SM: Are you working on anything new?
JS: Yah, I'm working on my movie at the moment, a life story sort of thing. It'll be released when I'm 21. I'm working with a guy at home and in Australia and America with Jack McCoy.
SM: What about training other than surfing?
JS: I do a little fitness, swimming and I play waterpolo.
SM: If you had to choose a second sport what would it be?
JS: Probably soccer. At the age of 11 I had to make a choice between soccer and surfing because I made the South African team for soccer. I was supposed to go to live in England for 3 years but I decided to stay with surfing because my dad's a shaper.
SM: Who shapes boards for you now?
JS: My dad shapes boards for me but I do get Billabong boards from JS. I've been working with them for about the last 3 months... it's good.
SM: What are your regular shortboard dimensions?
JS: 6'1.5 x 18.25 x 2.25 inches.
SM: Some coaches frown on their riders having girlfriends, do you think having a romantic interest impacts on your surfing?
JS: I don't know, haven't really had a girlfriend yet, well a steady girlfriend. I suppose it could, it'd probably effects people differently.
SM: What do you think about the value of World Junior Surfing Championships, for the juniors that participate?
JS: Yah it's worthwhile, I think it's one of the biggest in the world right now and it seems to be getting bigger and better each year. I've been in them for the last five years. It's great for your Country to be involved.
SM: Has there been one person who stands out in you life as a mentor or supporter?
JS: My dad's always been there for me always helped me, everything, he was a surfer before.
SM: Is there someone on the tour that your friends with, someone you look up to and you consider a supporter?
JS: Yah, Parko, he's a good friend, helped me along the way, he's super cool.
SM: If there was one piece of advice you could share with other juniors what would it be?
JS: Stay focused, if you've got a goal go do it, set it and do it. No drugs, alcohol, you know.
SM: Thanks, it's been great.
JS: Cool, thank you