Our next rider comes from the second largest city and 6th oldest in the Western cape, South Africa.
It is located directly below the Outeniqua mountain range and is surrounded by a beautiful array of farmlands, rivers and wild flowers.
It has also been referred to as the shopping Mecca of the garden Route and is home to many historical landmarks such as "The slave Tree" an ancient English oak, known as the slave tree because of the very large chain and lock embedded in the trunk.
It is a perfect blend of city and ocean, what a great place to call home.
Please let me introduce you to Jaco....
"My name is Jaco Calitz and I am 19 years old, I come from a small town called George on the Garden Route of South Africa.
I was born and raised in this town and soon I am looking to move to Australia for a few months, after that I don’t know yet, but I’ll see where life takes me.
I started bodyboarding when I was about 13 years old, I actually started to learn surfing first with my older brother and then he progressed much faster and started surfing the backline while I was still riding in the foamies.
One day he told me there is such a thing as bodyboarding, I you tubed some videos and thought holy shit that’s sick, the next day my dad and I went to the local sport shop and he bought me a Science Pipe with some froggy fins and away I went.
I caught my first actual wave at Victoria Bay and immediately fell in love with the feeling.
As I progressed through the year my friend Paul and Johann Rademeyer told me about doing trials to make the provincial team in 2013, it was called Eden Bodyboarding Association.
I did the first two trials not knowing how to do anything, no spins, no rolls, not anything.
One day they told me Dave Camacho is moving back to George from Johannesburg and that he is the best bodyboarder in the area and that he surfed for Viper and Custom X back in his younger days.
Till this day I owe Dave a lot because he started taking me to the break he was a local at called Herolds Bay. We were always scared of it cause we just heard it was this mean left wedge with the strongest of currents.
Dave took me out everyday, no matter how big or how small, so yeah, Dave I thank you my bru and always will. Now Herolds Bay is my local break and it has the most underrated waves in the country with the tiniest amount of people surfing it, for some reason that I don’t know why.
My favourite break in the country has to be good old Herolds Bay, it's probably one of the most inconsistent waves around but man when it pumps it pumps and will provide you with some naughty airtime and pits.
My favourite break in the world has to be Monuments in the South Australian desert, hopefully I will make one of my dreams come true by going there soon this year.
My first board as I mentioned was a Science Pipe till I felt like the PE core was way to soft for the Garden Route waters, I then ordered myself a custom Rossi bodyboard because there weren’t any 34” boards available in PP core.
My crew has always been the same 5-7 bodyboarders that surfed Herolds Bay and then Klaus Schroder the only local surfer, all these guys are legends and have helped me somewhere in my life.
I started competing in 2013 on the national circuit called SABA where I did the Wedge Classic. The same year I did trials for the provincial team and found out at the Wedge Classic that I had just made the team for the u/15 division.
A few months later the South African Bodyboarding Championships were held at Outerpool in Mosselbay, close to where I live and some how I ended up claiming the title for my division that year.
After that competing got harder and harder as I got older and I didn’t really achieve anything for a few years. In 2016 I surfed in the u/18 division and also the pro division. SA’s was held in Onrus (Hermanus) and there I ended up getting a 4th in the u/18 division and a joint 7th in the pro division and for a little bonus I got wave of the contest.
At the moment I have clothing sponsorship from ARS Bodyboarding Africa and they provide me with some nice clothing pieces now and then.
Boards, wetsuits and leashes I buy what I like at the time. I’m riding a Stealth Jake Stone Vaxtrax Rail which I could never afford but luckily I met Marli Dunn in Indonesia last year and the board was too big for him so he gave it to me, absolute legend. I wear Zion wetsuits, Stealth fins and a Found leash.
Favourite bodyboarding moment was my whole Indonesian trip, surfing with all the pros like Marli, Joe Clark, Chase o’Leary, Ewan Donnachie and Matias Dias.
Then when I was younger it was a lot like seeing Iain Campbell do the biggest inverse in the west coast, winning my first title, scoring pumping Caves in cape town with all the boys after the contest.
I thought about trying to go pro one day but then I realised I would rather work and then go surf all the waves in the world that I can and go visit as many countries as possible for the most cooking waves before I get too old.
I also just want to improve my bodyboarding, where I feel I am good enough for myself and just have fun if that makes sense.
Dis lekker by die see (An Afrikaans phrase that means, it’s good by the ocean)."
Photo credits include:
Nicolás Dias cortés-Monroy
Felipe fatiga Concha
Jaco thanks for catching up with us bro, I hope you get to realise your dreams.....🤙🏻😎
Don't forget If your looking to book a trip this year there's availability On Heriberto Sanchez's All Bodyboard adventure 07th to 12th Aug, experienced guides to all the sickest spots Oaxaca, Mexico has to offer just click below for a link to booking......
Also this summer two spots left on Stevie Mahers July 8th-19th Mentawais charter and 1 spot left on board the Adam "Wingnut" Smith Charter July 22nd - 2nd Aug
These Interviews are brought to you In association with #supportthosewhosupportyou
Click on the logos below for either contact info or to be directed to their website.....