This week sees us catch up with a Saffa charger that is hoping to make an impact at the upcoming South African Bodyboarding Championships in Cape Town.
There is still time to help support Shaun's dream by heading over to his Go fund me page(details at the end of the feature) or look him up on Facebook and Insta.
With a country saturated in world class breaks, South Africa is a must on any aspiring bodyboarders wish list.
Having had the privilege of surfing there myself, I can confirm if you make the pilgrimage you will be rewarded, not for the faint hearted thou....
Please let me introduce Shaun Haage.
In Shaun's own words.......
"I was born and bred in Durban. We spent about 7 years in the UK, but now we are back in Durban and loving it.
I started bodyboarding at the age of 12 when I started high school.
Originally I was invited to go the beach with some guys from school.
I didn't have my own board at the time, so borrowed one, after that first session I was hooked and never looked back. Every weekend after that, the 6 of us would pile into the back of a mates dad's pickup and spend most of the day on the beach.
Bodyboarding in the 90s meant I was largely influenced by what the No Friends crew was doing at that time. I was lucky enough to be around some local legends like Andre Botha, Alistair Taylor, Douglas and Gordon Cockwell, Billy Theil, Brad Keet and Mike van Huysteen. Seeing these guys in the water was inspirational. Every kid back then wanted to be the next Mike Stewart, but I was largely influenced Spencer Skipper and Lanson Ronquilio.
My local break growing up was North Beach, but now days I call Cave Rock my local.
Ive had the opportunity to surf Mozambique, Morocco, Portugal, Spain and France, but Cave Rock would be my favourite break. Cave Rock is a world class right hander and is situated south of the Durban CBD.
Cave Rock or a fickle “Secret” (Not so much) Slab further down the South coast.
My bucket list waves have to be Pipe and Skeleton Bay. Plans are in place to try get to Skeleton Bay next year.
My first board was a secondhand Pro-Atac. It had a yellow top with two red pin stripes, A lumo green surlyn bottom and pink surlyn rails.
When I started we had a tight little crew and I spent most of my weekends with these guys. Marc, Steven, Wazza and Tyron are lifelong friends now and we all still ride together regularly.
Nowadays I hang out with Bruce Donkin, Brendan Greenaway and Darren Simes (Water Photog). These guys are by far some of the best Bodyboarders in the Country.
As a junior I didn’t really compete, I did a few school comps and did okay, but wasn’t really into the whole competitive scene.
In the past 5 years I’ve been competing quite seriously and done relatively well.
Finishing third in the South African National Bodyboarding Champs and consistently finishing in the top 3 in our provincial team.
I try and compete when I can, juggling family, work, bodyboarding and my commitments as vice-chairman of the eThekwini Bodyboarding Association.
I am a full time Lead Front-end Developer at a Digital Agency here in Durban. I also handle all the website, social media and technical aspects within the eThekwini Bodyboarding Association. I also co-ordinate the technical directorship for our live scoring through the StactApp.
If you haven’t got it already, you should definitely download it.
I ride a 42" HandPicked Movement Custom with Black Top, Neon Green Botton, Double Stringer, No Mesh, 55/45 rail.
Best boards on the market in my opinion, why ride a stock model when you can have a custom board.
I am also kitted out with Supers Fins, Zion Wetsuit and a Sushift Bicep leash.
I see all my peers getting sponsors, whether its clothing or boards and it was never really been a factor for me, but this year above all others I’ve really felt like I needed the support of a company to help me achieve my goals of becoming a South African Champion.
I would rather support brands that are invested in promoting the sport than those "other" brands that take advantage of mass marketing and never give back to the sport.
Brands like the HandPicked Movement have really embraced this and have created a strong brand and now have a large, successful community.
I have a really eclectic music taste. Anything from Dylan to the Offspring goes, but pre-surf I usually listen to punk or metal.
Spending long days on the beach with good friends. Sharing the water with some of the No Friends crew when they visited Durban. Sharing the lineup with Mike Stewart when he also visited Durban are just a few of my favourite memories.
My Story is simple, Bodyboarding is my passion. I am super passionate about the the ocean and try and spend as much time near it as possible. I have two daughters who both love the ocean and getting on a boog. Definitely I might have a future world champ in the making.
Right now I am training and fund raising so that I can get to The 2018 South African National Bodyboarding Champs held in Cape Town in the first week of October. Due to a few financial constraints I am looking for funding help to pay for my flights and accommodation this year. I have a GoFund me page setup
at https://gogetfunding.com/please-help-me-raise-funds-to-get-to-the-2018-south-african-national-bodyboarding-champs/to try and help me get those much needed funds.
I really appreciate Lidlife Bodyboarding for the interview and shot to all the legends who took the time to read this.
Nelis de Jager
Next week we head back to Australia to catch up with the recently crowned Female Australian Champion at only 16, Millie Chalker, until then.......
In association with:
Van Life Productions