This week we catch up with one of Australias most photographed non-competitive bodyboarders, Mitchell Blewitt, who likes nothing more than chasing barrels and saving to score his next surf trip, in Mitchell's own words.....
I am 26 and from the Central Coast of NSW, Australia and, still call it home.
I started bodyboarding when I was about 16, I have pretty much been surfing ever since I can remember with dad pushing me onto waves from about the age of 4, but in high school I started hanging with a new group of friends who all booged and before I knew it I was doing the same.
I got into bodyboarding because of the type of waves I enjoyed watching and imagining myself on. These waves were better suited for bodyboarding than for surfing, let’s just say the heavier the wave the better. Mitch Rawlins and Ryan Hardy really influenced me, the waves those two guys were surfing over in WA and SA were unbelievable. When I first started getting into bodyboarding I couldn’t even imagine myself in some of the situations those guys were putting themselves into, but I wanted to try.
Mitch Rawlins, Ryan Hardy and Ben Player were my biggest influence for sure. Rawlins was pulling into the biggest barrels, doing the biggest airs and no one had a tweak as big as him when doing an invert.
Ryan Hardy was nothing but style, every time you watched him on a wave there wasn’t one part of the wave that was wasted, and he would milk everything it had. Ben Player was so enjoyable to watch out at Black Rock, he had the wave down pat and had the most textbook air forward.
Crack Neck is my local break which has three waves off it; Cracky Rights, Indies and Perfects.
Supers would have to be my favourite wave that I have surfed. Growing up watching bodyboarding videos like ‘BLAH’ I always thought the guys surfing this wave had a screw loose and were nuts. No other wave in the world made me picture myself inside one of those kegs as much as that wave did. No matter how many times I’ve surfed that place I still shit myself out there, it would have to be the best feeling in the world when you get spat out of that wave into the channel and you’re still in one piece. As for its location... no comment lol.
Without a doubt the best wave in the world is Teahupoo, this wave is just pure perfection in my eyes. I am hoping to get over there this season and have a crack if a good swell hits.
The first bodyboard I ever had was a Rheopaipo pro when I was 7. When I was little I was obsessed with body surfing shoreys, and would spend hours on end jumping into closeouts on the shore so my parents bought me a bodyboard for my birthday which, I would use to ride shore breaks. When I first started getting into bodyboarding at 16, I was borrowing friends spare boards until I saved up enough money to buy a VS Mitch Rawlins model.
It was always myself, Jason Chadwick, Sam Robilliard and Tom Paavola I was chasing waves with. It was a good crew to have around and we always pushed each other.
I have never competed before. I have always just free surfed for the love of it. I kinda didn’t like the fact of being judged on how you surf, as long as you’re having fun and enjoying yourself that’s all that matters. I also didn’t like the sound of being told where to surf, how to surf and when to surf, I felt like that took the fun out of it. I always just liked doing my own thing and chasing the waves I wanted to surf with close friends.
In summer I am a ocean lifeguard and, during the winter I labour for a brick layer and chase swells. I ride for Stealth Boadyboards, Stealth Swimfins, Reeflexwetsuits, Emerald Surf City bodyboard specialist and Board to Death clothing. Depends on the wave I’m surfing but if I’m surfing something a bit bigger and hollow I ride my Stealth S-flex and for more chilled out waves I’ve been riding the George Humphreys El gringo.
The legends Bored to Death Clothing throw me clothes and keep me pretty stocked up, which is awesome.
To be honest I don’t listen to music to amp myself up before a surf, if it’s big I’m normally too nervous to pay attention to any music going on around me. I just sit there watching the wave trying to figure out which ones to go and the ones not to go before heading out.
Before my mates and I got our licences, we would always get dropped off at Spoon Bay or Crack Neck by our parents. No matter the conditions we would just surf for hours on end, then trek it to green dolphin by foot to buy the best, most chicken salt covered fries you can imagine.There were always more fries than we could eat together and it only cost $4! We would often light a fire on the beach to keep ourselves warm between sessions in winter, then we would jump back in the water and keep surfing until our parents would come pick us up in the afternoon. We pretty much lived in our wetsuits, those are definitely the best memories I have as a grom bodyboarding.
My life pretty much revolves around chasing waves. There is no better feeling than coming out of a big round barrel, I can never get enough. When I’m not away chasing waves somewhere, I’m working and saving money for when the next swells hits and, then I’m off again to get my barrel fix. I’m really hoping to get over to Tahiti this season, then get back over to South Australia and the Cook Islands. I would be sooo amped to get over to Ireland as well, some of the waves that are coming out of Ireland are incredible.
I would love to give a big shout out to my sponsors Stealth, Reeflex, Emerald and board to death for all the support they have given me on my bodyboarding journey. Cheers to LidLife for keeping the froth alive in bodyboarding.
Photo credits include:
Mitchell, thanks for taking time out to catch up with us, what an inspiration and some of those waves man, super sick.... have loved sharing your story, good luck for the future.
Next week we catch up with Amaury Lavernhe and couldn't be more excited, until then come head over to Facebook or Insta and give us a follow.....