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Balls of steel or just plain crazy, introducing Chris Deller.

Cronulla is like a breeding ground for crazy ass bodyboarders from the skid kids of old like Nathan "Nugget " Purcell, Adam " Wingnut" Smith, Matt Percy, Dave Ballard, Mark Fordham and Christian " Rissole" Riguccini, to the boys that are coming through now like Jack baker and Chris is one of those guys.

I know we have featured Des but Bro seriously your contribution in keeping that freak train going is instrumental to our sport x

In Chris's own words......

"Hi my name is Chris Deller (also known as Deller or Ranga). I’m 30 years old from Cronulla. I grew up in a suburb called Yarrawarrah, which is approximately 15 minutes drive from Cronulla.

I have been bodyboarding since I was 12 years old. My first ever surf was with my brother and his mates who took me surfing down at South Cronulla beach.

One of his mates handed me a Manta wingnut to ride and on my first ever wave I did 3 little cutbacks and parked it all the way to the shore.. I’ve been hooked on bodyboarding ever since!

I had a great crew to surf with growing up, there were a lot of underground guys I’d bodyboard with living near Cronulla - Luke Nigro, Sam Collins, James Woodberry, Daniel Gilbert, Blake Cashman and Adrian Mcguigan to name a few.

We all would catch the train in or beg our parents to drive us out to Shark Island, Suckrock or a break called headlands.

My brother Ben was a big influence in the early days because he kept pushing me and mostly calling me a ‘dogga’ if I didn’t take off on the biggest waves of every surf. At the time I absolutely hated him for it, but later in life I appreciated it because I think over time it helped push an inner charging spirit. Plus I can give it back to him now for doggin waves haha. One thing that stood out to me when I was a grom was witnessing ‘the 2001 Shark Island Challenge’. I got to see all of the pros like Lester, Hardy, Nugget, Player and my favourite Bodyboarder Sean Virtue absolutely killing it out there.

I still remember Kingy after winning the comp, handing me a signed VIP pass. I actually messaged Kingy the other day and showed him a photo of it, and with true Joker style he said to me ‘can I have it back’.

I think with that shark island event that year and seeing so many bodyboarders charging big heavy waves certainly did spark the froth for me and a lot of young guys. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing in front of my eyes and at that time as a young grom, I set a goal for myself that one day I would compete in the shark island challenge.

The Tension movies was a big influence on me as well. I think I’ve watched each one of those about 100 times over through the years and learned a lot from each of the riders. Sean virtue would always be a stand out for me especially when it comes to airs. Even though he didn’t have the best style as say Ben Player or Ryan Hardy, he would always be the one maximising the boosts he was getting from sections and I really looked up to that.

My favourite wave would definitely be Suckrock . It’s such a fun wedging right and heavy left hander wave to ride and there is always a really good crew of guys to surf with out there. You also get the occasional seal, dolphin, whale and shark cruising by which adds a bit of excitement to the place.

2017 was a big year for me. I put a lot of effort into getting out in the ocean more than I ever have in the past.

I travelled to the Cook islands, Indo, WA, Vicco, and started towing into waves for the first time ever around home which was an amazing experience for me.

I’m also so stoked to enter a few more competitions and to be a part of the Cronulla bodyboard club again. For competitive bodyboarding in the past I have been in a few ABA and Jeff Wilcox comps which I did ok at but never have I been able to reach any podium finishes. So when I heard this would be the first year running the Cronulla comps out at reefs, I couldn’t wait to be a part of it! We had some amazing 4-6ft days out at shark island which is a massive step up for club level comps and a big shout out to Dessie, Mickey and Leah for running them this year.

We were also lucky enough to hold the last comp of the year out at Suckrock for the first time ever. It was a very close battle between a lot of the riders and I basically needed to win that comp to take out the title for the whole year. This was definitely the most rewarding feeling of competitive bodyboard for me. I felt honoured to hold up the winning trophy and stand next to one of my childhood heroes Andrew Lester who took out second place.

2 months later, I get a call from Dessie from Emerald and he said ‘I’ve got good news for you Deller… I’ve spoken to Alex Leon and you’ve got a spot in the Shark Island challenge!!!’ I was lost for words. Finally I get the chance to live out my childhood dream! I thought to myself that no matter what the result I was just stoked to be a part of it. Then making it to the finals and coming 3rd place was more than what I ever dreamed of.

I have a lot of people to thank who have really influenced me over the years:

  • NMD who noticed me a couple of years back and have been supporting me with the boards I ride. This has really given me the motivation and confidence to progress with my riding so I can’t thank Mez enough for that.

  • Emerald bodyboarding for supporting me. Dessie is doing a lot for the sport in Cronulla and pushing everyone whether that’s the young or old.

  • I would also like to thank my newest sponsor Reeflex wetsuits, new for the 2018 season without all this support I could not follow my dream.

  • And a big thanks to all of the Cronulla Boogers who keep on pushing me and everyone out in the water. There are a lot of guys ripping now that I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few of them on the APB tour in years to come.

For 2018, I’m looking forward to travelling, work on preparing myself physically and mentally for competitions and bigger waves. But most of all to be that influence on the next generation of groms the same way that guys like Lester, BP, Kingy, Virtue and Hardy were to me. I can see this sport thriving again in the near future and I’m looking forward to being apart of that.

Cheers Lidlife bodyboarding! "

Photo credits:

@lloydmeudell

@samvennphotography

@warrenkeelan

@william_patino

I would just like to congratulate LidLife team riders Gary Thatcher and Stevie Maher who took out 1st and 2nd respectively in this weekends Queensland state tittles DK comp and Lloyd Llewellyn for smashing the prone division ( thanks for sporting a LidLife hat during the presentation bro ;)

Hats available online and clothing going to be available in a couple of weeks.

Also theres still a couple of spots available to come join an all bodyboard crew in the Mentawais this July please hit Stevie Maher up for details either on VBC, Facebook or insta @steviemaher.

I would also like to introduce our newest association with The Puerto Experience.

Have you ever wanted to experience Mexico and Zicatela beach (Mexican Pipe) but don't know where to begin, well now you do, start by heading over to insta and following

@thepuertoexperience

Or check out the website....

www.thepuertoexperience.com

They offer tailor made holidays with food, accommodation and your own guide to help you get the most of your experience.

Two guided tours a day with local knowledge you can't go wrong, best waves, best vibes.......

Go check them out.....

Next week we head over to the Canary Islands where we catch up with Teresa Padilla Miranda.

 

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