I hope everyone is enjoying the live coverage of the 2018 APB Sintra Pro, I'm super excited for 2 reasons......
Firstly to see who snaps up the World DK title super prize of a free spot on the Stevie Maher "All Bodyboard Charters" to the Mentawais 2019 season in association with Asia Surf Charters Sumatra, I mean who gives up a trip like that, good on you Stevie and Dave, please PM the boys for details on how to book your spot on any one of the trips Stevie is running next season.
Secondly I'm excited to see who will be battling it out to be crowned the 2018 world champion on the belly because Lidlife has sported me a ticket so I will be heading over and hoping to catch up with some of the legends of the sport like Manny V, Valentina Diaz, Ayaka Suzukii, Tahiri Tahei, Patrick Orr, all my Portuguese friends Like the Van Life Productions crew, Andre Hilario, Pedro Broeiro and The guys from Miramar Bodyboard shop and anyone else that fancies a catch up, if you see me floating around come say hello....
Also super excited to catch up and check out the workshop of the legend that now shapes the boards for both Milk Bodyboards who supply boards for the LidLife crew and the only shaper currently supplying most of Europe, Shaper Gato, who also owns Refresh boards, go check these guys out, they have also made all the trophies for the guys on the Portuguese leg of the APB.
Not detracting thou from this weeks feature please let me introduce you to another Australian homegrown super grom, that at such a young age, is already terrorising the contest scene.
Surfing waves and reefs that most adults wouldn't even tackle with the maturity and commitment of a rider twice his age.
Let us introduce to you Noah Gillroy.
Hi my name is Noah and I am 15 years old.
I am from Sydney Australia and have lived here all my life.
I grew up in Botany but moved closer to Maroubra beach more recently.
I have been competitively bodyboarding for 5 years, starting when I was 10 at Maroubra Body board Club (MBB)
I grew up living and holidaying on the beach with my family and ever since I was little I have been at the beach either surfing or bodyboarding so the main influences were my family.
From the start I always looked up to the Aussie riders like Dave Winchester, Mitch Rawlins, Jase Finlay, Ryan Hardy and Ewan Donnachie.
My local beach is Maroubra, but there are some other good waves around the area, like bommie and the Island.
There are two waves that I can’t choose from as my favourite, they are Shark Island and Nuggan. Both are reef breaks in NSW and are just perfect world class bodyboarding waves.
I have never surfed it, and it would be a dream to but I reckon Skeleton Bay would be something else on its day.
Haha, my first board was an NMD Element and I think it was something like a 35 or 36.
I have made so many friends through bodyboarding and I am so grateful for all the mates I have now from the sport, but from the start it was my two buddies Liam Flanagan and Liam Newman.
The three of us have all been chasing waves together for the past couple of years, pushing each other, sharing the stoke and helping one another to progress to where we all are now.
There have been loads of trips together to different surf spots around Australia, and one really epic one to Sumbawa, Indonesia with my older mates Dilan, Mabs and Michael.
I am still competing at a club (Maroubra and Cronulla), state and national level as well as competing in some ofthe ABA tour again this year. Last year I ranked 5th in Juniors and 6th in Opens of the ABA tour which I was pretty stoked about.
I will also be doing the APB Australian stop on the World tour this year.
I have a number of good comp results, but the one that stands out to me was coming 3rd in the Open Men’s Pro at the Northern beaches stop on the ABA last year, this was because ever since I started bodyboarding I have been looking up to all the Pros and I would never have thought that I would ever be competing against them.
Through the years I had been introduced to big names like Ben Player and Dave Winchester who were guiding me and teaching me the ins and outs of bodyboarding, then in the quarter final I came up against Player, I managed to knock him at his local and it just left me pretty shocked, that would definitely have to be my most memorable result.
I am still in school and just kicking back surfing when there are waves, I am sponsored and all my equipment is supplied by each individual company, I am using the Dave Winchester quad channel in a 41.5, my Jerry series steamer from Reeflex is keeping me toasty and warm, Stealth classic S1 flippers getting me into pits, a Dave Winchester VS leash and you can get all this from Dessie at Emerald Surf City at his new store.
Yeah I love buying from companies that back bodyboarding, my favourite clothes would definitely be from Grand Flavour, all their threads are sick.
Ummm, not too sure just some upbeat kinda music or something with good lyrics that gee you up.
My best memories? Far out, there are so many….
Watching my first Shark Island challenge was something else. Also when I got my first sponsor, because I felt it was a massive achievement, knowing that people in the industry are willing to help you get to the next level and to help you get to your best. More recently I was invited to go on the Ryan Hardy Bali Bodyboarding Super Grom camp for a week. This was amazing meeting new people, surfing with mates and most importantly surfing with Hardballs and Aidan for a week.
I definitely don’t see myself as a pro rider or any where near that, but I love what I do and wouldn’t change a thing.
I am in year 10 at school, so Monday to Friday I’ll be there from 8:45 till 3:15, then I try to fit in a surf depending on the waves and what I have on, oztag or footy.
I am unsure of what I want to do beyond school yet, I still have 2 and a half years to figure that out, but it would be pretty cool just to travel with mates and explore surf locations around the world, perhaps have a crack at the World tour.
When I travel I mostly chase waves down the south coast just because there is such a variety of different waves to choose from and they are all world class waves. It isn’t too far for me to get to the waves either, so I am very lucky with where I live.
All my travel and comps are arranged by my Mum; she knows what’s up.
I am so thankful for all she does too, she is the one who takes me to all my comps and to chase waves around the country, filming and taking photos of my mates and I.
There are heaps of people who I am so grateful to that have helped me get along the way.
I’d like to thank mylocal club Maroubra Bodyboarders and all the people behind that, Andrew Tunbridge, Michael Clarke, Dilan Carestia, Mark Abbott these are the people who were behind me from the start and who individually helped and inspired me with everything in my body boarding as well as being great mates.
Julio and the guys at Stealth for backing me and giving me my first sponsorship when I was 11. This also opened the gates to meeting so many other legends in the business such as Dave Winchester, Ben Player, Des Govender and Ryan Hardy whom I am so grateful to for their ongoing support in my body boarding now, both with equipment and advice.
A massive thankyou to my mates, especially Liam Newman, Liam Flanagan, Liam Lucas, and the Kiama crew for all the good times, banter, keeping me on my toes competitively and being the best of mates.
Finally, a big shout out to all the photogs/ filmers and media sites like Lidlife that capture and share the stoke of body boarding, and amp us all up to ride bigger and better waves."
Photo Credits include:
Noah, good luck with the rest of your schooling it would be epic to see you make the world tour, killing it and living your dream, best of luck buddy.....
Next stop Hawaii to catch up with female charger Ginger Prados until then...........
In association with:
VAN LIFE PRODUCTIONS