If I had to pick the top three countries producing the next generation of riders, South Africa would be one of these countries, it is also evident that in this years top 5 finishers on the APB tour, three of those were Saffas.
With a great support network with guys like Michael Ostler and his handpicked movement supporting the next generation it's no wonder why they are up there.
Our next feature is living prove of South African raw talent, dominating his age group, may I please introduce to you Liam Kavanagh.
"I am 17 years old and I’ve grown up and live in Durban, South Africa.
I started bodyboarding when I was 7 years old and started riding competitively when I was 12.
I’ve grown up having Iain Campbell and Michael Ostler as my role models, Michael Ostler has taught me most of what I know today and has had a big influence on my bodyboarding career.
My home break would have to be north beach, in Durban.
I’ve been riding this break for just under 10 years and am comfortable to say it’s my home break.
My favorite wave to ride in South Africa would have to be cave rock, the atmosphere is surreal and I get goosebumps every time I enter the water there, there’s nothing better than starting your day off with good waves at the rock.
My favorite break in the world would be skeleton bay, I remember when I was younger watching videos of riders getting barreled for ages and getting to the beach crying, I’ve always wanted to ride this wave and I can definitely say that this dream could be coming true very soon....
My first board I ever owned was a Rossi board shaped by the legend mark rossouw, and he still shapes my boards to this day. I like being in the water with the more experienced riders like Michael Ostler etc... as I feel It improves my riding, I’m normally in the water with one of the Handpicked boys.
I’ve been competing since I was 12 years old- I’ve made the local ckzn/ eba team for 5 years now. At our national SA champs I’ve placed 4th, 3rd and 2nd in the boys division and have won the juniors division for the last two years in a row.
I am sponsored by Handpicked and limited edition SA- I am currently riding a fully customized 40.25 inch quad channel board with a few other secrets to it as well. I use limited edition leashes and fins as well as Attica wetsuits.
I wear Handpicked apparel and truly believe in supporting the bodyboarding industry.
My favorite bodyboarding memories.... there’s to many- I remember standing on north beach pier when I was about 13 years old watching Michael Ostler and Iain Campbell being the only guys out at new pier, and absolutely ripping whilst everyone else was procrastinating in the car park
Lifting my first SA title in Durban at my home break would have to be one of my favorite memories.
This year SA champs was held in Cape Town, it was good to be in the cold waters with all the boys for a week, I was super stoked to have won my second junior title and yeah the support I got was incredible.
My favorite bodyboarding trip would have to be the time me and the Handpicked team travelled down to west beach, Port Alfred and we all stayed together in one house- there’s nothing better than scoring perfect left wedges with your mates for 6 days straight... I need to say a huge thank you to Michael Ostler and the Handpicked movement for getting me where I am today 🤙🏽 I’m looking forward to some exciting years to come with big things planned....
Neils de jager
Liam, thank you for sharing your story you have the world at your feet and we look forward to seeing you hopefully progress onto the APB tour and maybe taking on the likes of Jared, Iain or Tristan to help maintain the current South African domination......
Next week is the final instalment before we go spend the festive season in Indo and we have the honour of featuring some home grown talent, Dean Page, until then.......
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