Our next rider has taken her years of hard work and a driving passion to follow a dream of one day living the ultimate completely independent beach lifestyle.
Supporting 100 % local South African industry to produce a proud South African brand.
Add to that the support being given to the South African Bodyboard scene with team riders, support coaching and a general positive presence in the ocean and community, nothing more could be done to make the dream a reality.
Please let me introduce to you one part of the revolution that is "Lapa Side" Debbie Patterson
"I grew up in Durban but now I reside in Cape Town, South Africa.
I started Bodyboarding when I was 10yrs old.
What got me hooked on Bodyboarding from such a young age were the weekend visits to North Beach with the entire family.
We would head down there for the day & packed almost everything but the kitchen sink!
I would spend hours upon hours in the water on my orange hard-plastic board; you know those old dodgy ones with handles.
One wipe out on those would leave you bruised & broken for days!!
I was fortunate enough to grow up in what I still believe was SA Bodyboarding’s peak years! The contest scene was massive & we had a ton of brilliant riders…young & old…that to this day have remained ‘childhood’ heroes of mine: Suzie Husselman, Andre Botha, Dean Seppings & The Cockwell brothers.
My local break for many years was North Beach, South Africa.
Currently, my favourite break is a local spot here in Cape Town…Sandy Bay.
I must add that it’s a nudist beach (bloody hilarious at most times & no…I keep my kit on) but it’s a beautiful beach break with clear waters & plenty sections on offer!
I haven’t been fortunate to ride the wave yet, but Donkey in Namibia is top of my bucket list.
My first proper Bodyboard was a Manta.
North Beach had a massive crew of people that would always gather on the steps outside Wimpy / Steers.
I wasn’t with the main owes but we had an awesome crew that would be there no matter what the wind direction or swell, before school, after school (which meant nose runs during school), weekends & 6hr long boogie sessions were just part of our everyday life.
I started competing in some local Durban contests when I was 14yrs old.
I made the KZN team on my first try & actually went on to win my first SA Champs when I was just 16yrs old.
I managed to rack up a few more contest wins in our local SABA tour events over many years & was invited overseas when I was 17yrs old. However, due to factor’s like funding & school, I never made it onto the world tour.
Sadly after school life happened so my dreams of becoming pro didn’t work out. I do still Bodyboard in a few local contests here & there but bodyboarding for me is now more about giving back to the sport & my deep love for the riding waves & the ocean.
I work two jobs at the moment; OPS Manager for a company called Wag World & I am the co-owner of a local clothing brand here in SA - Lapa Side. Established in 2017; so I kit myself out in them lekker local threads…but no, I’m no longer a sponsored rider.
I ride a Sniper board…well I have four of them to choose from (cause I’m greedy like that) & I keep warm in a 4.3 Zion suit, Sniper leash, Hubb fins & keep my ears protected with a pair of Surf Ears.
I support all brands that support the sport we love so much! We have some really amazing brands here in SA that are doing their best to support local riders & also support our SABA events with funding & prize money. Reef SA, Sniper Sa, Marilla Surf, Hand Picked, Rossi, Surf Ears SA, Wind Water Waves, The Surf Garage, Pick n Pay & the Berman Brothers are huge standouts for me. I urge the public to support those that support our sport.
Again, I will support the brands that support our local riders & SABA events. In all honesty, it really blows my mind when I see riders wearing international labels that do nothing for our sport or for any of our pro riders on the tour!
I love music in all forms…as it’s good for the heart & soul. I love a good thumping beat to get me pumped before a wave but something more chilled & relaxing after.
My favourite memory of bodyboarding growing up was landing my first roll. I remember it like it was yesterday. North Beach used to have the most amazing wave & it’s where I perfected most of what I know today! Also winning SA’s at such a young age was pretty rad.
Growing up in the warm waters of Durban was just amazing. Perfect waves, perfect water temp & just a large crew of us that would cheer for one another on every wave!! I loved contest riding when I was younger & met some pretty remarkable female riders: OD, OJ, Suzie Husselman & Kamala Botha to name a few.
I like to think that I helped pioneer & push women’s riding in SA as I loved to push the boundaries of what became the norm in women’s riding. I was very blessed to have had some big sponsors behind me; Rip Curl, Island Style, BZ Boards through Surf Obsession. It was pretty awesome to have sponsors knocking on my door & I’ll eternally be grateful to those that supported me during those times.
Sadly, the year I matriculated…my love to Bodyboarding seemed to have taken a massive dip. I fell into the trap of partying a lil too much & made a few poor lifestyle choices. I’m stoked to say that it’s all behind me but having shared all this; I’m glad I went through those rough patches in my life & I wouldn’t change a thing.
I am the person I am today because of those life lessons & I’ve been able to help others that have found themselves in similar situations & that has been one of my life’s greatest gifts.
Bodyboarding has & always will be one of my greatest loves! I’ve met some amazing people along the way, surfed some of the most perfect waves, met the love of my life through it & it has also opened up a fantastic opportunity for our clothing brand Lapa Side.
In my younger years; I spent loads of time in Mom’s screen-printing factory; worked retail for the major brands that supported me & have also helped other well-known clothing labels in SA with their production. It’s safe to say that my love for clothing production is just as great as my love for Bodyboarding. Lapa Side was est. 2017; a proudly South African brand & is based on the “local is lekker” concept. Lapa Side being more of a surf & lifestyle brand & Flip It is dedicated to the Boogie.
We pride ourselves in pushing every last bit of our production through local mills, CMT & print factories as we believe in supporting local. No, we can never compare in price to cheap, bulk China gear; but we promise quality & small unique runs of a great product. Retail is never easy; but we’ve kept things simple & have showed a slow & steady growth over the past year. We have a small shop at the Mojo Market in Sea Point, Cape Town & an online store www.lapasidesa.co.za.
We give back to the community as much as we can & have the radest bunch of Brand Ambassadors that do so much for the brand. We are super grateful that they’re part of the Lapa Side family: Tracy Delport, James Clayden, Pamela Bowren, Henk – The Secret Adventurer, Brendon Greenaway & Bruce Donkin.
We would like to thank everyone that has supported the brand so far & we really hope that even though times are tough; people will continue supporting Lapa Side & other local brands.
Thanks to Kristian & his wife from LidLife Bodyboarding for sharing our story & the boogie love.
PS – My baby girl Morgie is just the best!!!
Photo credits include: