Des Govender take a bow, One of the biggest single influencers currently in Australian Body Boardin
I first met Des last Christmas having ordered an NMD Quad Concave online, not being available in the UK I emailed Des for some details..... They had just been released in Oz and so he emailed Ben Player and Nick Mesritz and put them in touch with me to answer all my questions as no one was really riding them that much.
He didn't have to do that but I guess that's what sets Des and Emerald surf city apart, the passion, the commitment, the fact Des shreds on the belly and how much he has and continues to give back to the sport and for all this Des, we all thank you !!!
Just briefly thou he said he would give me a tinkle whilst I was in Sydney to take me out at the island when it was on, I waited day's for his call but it never came.
On the 4th day I checked Swellnet and It was 3- 4 ft and off shore so I rushed down to Cronulla and got out there, 2nd wave I took off too deep loved the pit but got chucked onto the reef on my shoulder, lost a flipper and had it not been for my POME grit would have never surfed Shark Island again.
I headed up to see Des at Emerald and was like "Hey Dessie thought you were going to give me a bell when it was on to take me out.... he laughed at me and was like " mate it's gotta be 8 to 10 ft for me these days"
Fuck That! Des I've seen your pics and your scars and for that I respect you and I really appreciate you taking the time out to tell us your story, look forward to catching up soon bro.....
In Des's own words........
My name is Des Govender and I’m 37 years young!
I grew up in Lugarno about a short car ride to Mortdale station then a 30 min train ride to Cronulla! So yeah I’m a blow in even 25 years later.
Bodyboarding has been my life since I was 5 years old! We used to surf the beachies from about 5 years old until about 8.
Then we progressed to Cronulla Point and Sandshoes when we were about 8 or 9.
Then at the age of 10 my older brother Tas who got me into bodyboarding told me a story about the Island saying you had to paddle out in a deep channel and there was dead bodies under you! I knew I had to go out there and check it out!
I’m pretty sure I was in year 5 in Primary School and me and my mate Jono Moody went out there. It was 2 ft and sideshore and I was shitting myself seeing things jack up on the reef so hard and thinking wow what the fuck am I doing out here!
I think we were in year 7 about 1993 which was 2 years later with Kirk Christie, Frosty and Jono Moody would try and surf out there as much as we could! Rain, hail or shine onshore or offshore.
The easiest way to make friends was on the train we met Glowie and Curly and a few other guys! A few years later I met a few more guys Gleeso (best photog) Johnny Bridges (crazy art guy) Peter Skinner,Chiefy and a few other frothers! The mid 90’s was great seeing guys like Wazza, Nugget, Rissole, Wingnut, Ballard, Percy and a few other locals shred the Island!
It was tough growing up as a blow in but all I wanted to do was surf like the guys in the movie " Holding On" with good style and control and flow with the waves I was riding! I’m still a kook but I’m trying my best! Haha
I did a few local Comps but wasn’t really into the whole spin to win thing. There were some of the younger local guys ripping guys like Andy Lester, Murray Bell, Benny Hall,Alex Leon, Benny Williams, Alex Mills and a few other guys killing it but every time the Island was good we couldn’t resist bailing the Comps to surf the Island!
A few years later I finished High School and moved to Cronulla in 1998! We were renting a 3 bedroom unit in the Mall for $250 a week! My room was the smallest and I was only paying $50 a week to live in Cronulla which was one of my childhood dreams.
Several years later I was living a street away from Shark Island and would wake up early almost every day to check it! To be able to surf the Island early then go to work was pretty much living the dream!
A few years later in 2007 I quit my job and asked Harry Bosworth if I could buy Emerald! He laughed at me and I went for a surf.
I went back in the next day and told him I was serious and he told me to come back with a bag of money! I didn’t rob a bank but I went to the bank and got a loan to buy Emerald!
Its now 2017 and 10 years on I still love coming to work and helping people buy the right board to suit there height, weight and ability/price range. Technology has changed and boards, wetsuits, fins and leashes have evolved and things are so much better. Wetsuits are way stretchier, lighter, warmer and more comfy. Leashes don’t stretch or brwak as easy.
The rubber in fins is alot softer and the ISS, Pro Rides and Quad Channel boards are getting more popular!
This year was a huge year for Cronulla Bodyboard Club we decided to move away from the beachies and move all our Club Comps to reefs! After 9 years of everyone telling me they would join if we run them at reefs we finally did it! I would like to thank Mickey and Leah Lewis for all there help with the CBC Club Comps. We run 2 absolutely pumping Shark Island Club Comps in 4-6ft SE swell with offshores with bigger sets, a Shoes/Thongs Comp in pumping waves and a Suckrock Comp in 3-4 ft offshore waves! We also run a Grom King for Jared Houston in 4ft fun Shark Island! Plus we won the Port Mac Teams Challenge and the SBC Teams Challenge!
Bodyboarding gets me stoked and it will be apart of my life until I die! "
Lid Life Would just like to say a massive well done to the the guys at this years Shark Island Challenge, so excited we could all watch this event live.
3rd Chris deller
4th Alex leon
5th Lachlan Cramsie
Guys would love to feature you all so if you are enjoying the blogs please give me an email on
to be interviewed.
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That includes you too "Wingo" was a pleasure hanging out with you on the boat on @steviemaher all bodyboard charter to the Mentawais last summer thanks for the shout out during the comp you legend and cannot wait for this years trip back to paradise, only a few spots left so give Stevie a message, yeeeeeeew.
Photo credits include......