Meet Jack Baker, he is 22 years old and is from Cronulla, Sydney Australia.
Read Jack's story in his own words below, all photos are credit of Sam Venn. (INSTA: @samvennphotography)
" I started bodyboarding when I was about 10 years old, living only seconds from the beach it was only a matter of time before it became a real addiction for me and my froth levels maxed.
It was a summer's afternoon, me and my 2 other brothers were waiting around for our local ferry back home when we stumbled into Emerald Surf City in Cronulla, I reckon I must have been about 12.
I met the owner Dessie this cool guy, he had a funny mohawk hairdo thing going on and I remember thinking to myself wtf?
Being a young 12 year old with an ego bigger than my own head I tried telling him I liked to surf 12-15ft waves all the time.... hahaha
Little did I know that after our first visit we would be spending every afternoon, weekend and all hours out of the surf in that shop.
Dessie has looked after me and my family for many years now and hopefully many more, if it wasn’t for him I can probably say I wouldnt be where I am today.
Back in 2008 bodyboarding wasn’t dead, things were frying up and the froth was still real.
The legends of bodyboarding would swing Past emerald regularly or whenever in town.
Being a shop grom Dessie introduced me to some of the craziest people you have ever met both in the water and out.
I got to meet guys like, Ryan hardy, Jeff Hubbard, Lester, Kingy, Finlay (just to name a few)
Everybody that was somebody in bodyboarding passed through Cronulla and into or through that shop, It was nuts!
My favourite place to surf is shark island with out a doubt, having that place on your doorstep is incredible, no two waves are the same but each as dangerous as the next, get it wrong and you got problems get it right and you are in for the ride of your life.
I’ve been surfing out their for almost 9 years now and the crew sheeszhh! Hahaha what a bunch of guys.
The banter, the froth, the devastation!
Everybody knows everybody and it’s a serious community.
I probably wouldn’t change that setting for the world, everybody pushes each other and wether it be you getting shacked, eating it or sending it, you can bet your shriveled up little wetty willy that someone is making some type of noise....OOOGHHHMMAWWWWGAWSSHHZSHHSHH!!!! Hahaha
I had a crazy amount of stoke towards guys like Jeff Hubbard, Andre Botha (Dave Hubbard too) people that stuck out with their surfing and statement styles.
I read in a riptide many moons ago an interview with Andre Botha, he was talking about how everyone questions and doesn't understand his style and he pretty much said “f*!k you guys I do what I want and how I feel”.
Andre has to be one of the most mental blokes on a lid to this day.
Everyone around me loves the crossed legs style, I love big barrels, big airs and heavy surfing. Don’t get me wrong I love a rip bowl out the alley with some spins and such but nothing does it more for me than a ridiculous pit out shark island where you literally have to “try” and man handle the island haha.
As of the 4/11/17 I will have completed my apprenticeship at BMW as a light vehicle mechanic.
I have also handed in my resignation gathering up a part time job so I can focus on my bodyboarding.
I HAVE to do atleast 6 months in the Cook Islands, it’s amazing there and the waves are literally perfect, it's a bodyboarders paradise.
I want to chase the 2018 world tour hopefully bringing to the table what the cronulla guys left behind.
With a 3x Cronulla bodyboard club champion & 7th in the 2016 shark island challenge under my belt I can’t wait to show the world what I’ve got.
A lot of people would have doubted I could even get a good photo from bodyboarding let alone a start in the challenge.
Thankyou to those who fed my fuel you guys motivate me and inspire me to be the best bodyboarder I can possibly be.
If anybody reading this is wondering what the bodyboard scene in aus is like atm.
Australian bodyboarding right about now has to be like a stagnant lake!
From above the water looks stale and dirty, but underneath that still surface bodyboarding is thriving.
We don’t need corporate sponsorship because f*!k those c@*ts who left, we have that much passion we can do it without you.
People who still bodyboard and didn’t leave with the bus are in it for the passion, that’s why what’s left here in Australia is pure and faithful.
It’s better to have less money and stoke because too many people only see with the value of whats in their hands and not what’s in their backyard.
We can only go up from here.
I want to thank my sponsors Hubboards, Air Hubb wetsuits, Air hubb swim fins and Emerald Surf City.
See you in 2018 bodyboarders 🤙🏻✌🏻"
If you would like to be featured or have a story to tell get in touch ......
Next week takes us back to Portugal...... 04/11/17 until then ........