Our next rider is originally from a city in South Africa known as "The Bay" or Die Baai and was nick named "The Windy City" it stretches for 10 miles along Algoa Bay and is one of the major seaports in SA.
It was also one of the host cities for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and claims to be the birth place of Springbok rugby player Schalk Burger, SA cricketers Wayne Parnell, Robin Peterson and Ashwell Prince and former England rugby player Mike Catt.
Please let me introduce you to Pamela Bowren.
"I am 32 years old and I am from South Africa, originally from Port Elizabeth but now living and working in Cape Town.
I started bodyboarding when I was 13 years old we have always loved the beach and watching other bodyboarders and surfers in the waves, it made me want to go and join them.
Yearly visits to our family beach house in St Francis Bay, my uncle would take me out to the backline and push me onto the set waves – even though I ate sand often in those days, I was hooked and just wanted to be able to go out on my own.
Who were you childhood heroes?
Andre Botha – seeing him become World Champion at the age of 17, I wanted to get to that level and compete internationally.
Jeff Hubbard – amazed by his aerial antics.
Spencer Skipper – loved his style.
On the ladies side, maybe not childhood heroes, but definitely heroes, Lilly Pollard and Isabela Sousa.
My local break growing up was Pipe in Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth, but living in Cape Town, I frequent Derdesteen
My favourite break in SA thou is Sandy Bay in Cape Town it is blessed with barrels and ramps for days, I also love Seals Beach in Cape St Francis.
I was lucky enough to travel and experience a few different waves around the world in 2014. Based on these travels, Itacoatiara (Brazil), Lakey Pipe (Indo) and some beachies in Margaret River are my favourite waves in the world.
My first board was an oversized pink and yellow Wave Warrior.
Most of the time it was just my mom (as taxi) and myself. My brothers would also join me in the water along with a few of the PE locals.
I started competing in 2002 and was quite active on the competitive scene during my High School and early University years; winning my 1st SA Champs (local SA tour) in 2003 and again in 2007 and 2018.
The last few years I have taken a step back from competitive bodyboarding and rather enjoy the free-surfing aspect with the odd contest here and there.
I have been lucky enough to be invited to, and compete in, the Tand Invitational event for 3 years now. I am the only female rider to receive this invite, and also ride this wave, a heavy slab up the West Coast of South Africa.
I am also proud to have represented my country in the 2008, 2012 and 2014 ISA World Bodyboarding Games, with my highest finish being 4th in the 2012 event.
I took a “gap-year” in 2014 to take part in the APB World Tour which may not have been the best time tour-wise as this was when APB was still finding it’s feet and almost in a “break year”, however I enjoyed the experience and got to meet and surf with most of the top ladies on tour.
I am currently working at Old School Group, a sports and lifestyle business where I am the operations manager.
Unfortunately not able to be a pro rider, but I am lucky enough to be sponsored by Marilla Surf, Sniper SA Bodyboards, Lapa Side, Flip It and Surf Ears SA.
I am currently riding a Sniper Moz NRG with single stringer and propel myself with Blunt Fins, keeping warm in the Atlantic Waters with a Zion 4,3mm suit.
Do you try and buy Body boarding brand clothing? Who’s your favourite?
"No as I am sponsored by a proudly SA and local brand, Lapa Side and Flip It.
I don’t really have any specific music that I listen to before surfs but don’t mind anything up-beat and or sing-a-long before a surf as long as it’s not house or rap.
My favourite memory would be receiving my SA blazer (colours) for a sport and passion I love also my 1st experience of a barrel – nothing can explain this stoke until you experience it yourself.
Bodyboarding within SA should be super proud, having 3 SA riders in the top 5 of the APB (Jared, Iain & Tristan)! However the women’s division in the country is struggling; which is the main reason behind Debbie Patterson, Suzie Husselmann and myself started the “SA Women’s Bodyboarding” Facebook group where we aim to connect the female riders across the country while offering free clinics where possible.
Unfortunately these clinics don’t happen as often as we would like, due to all of us working full-time. I would love to see the women’s division grow and to have SA female riders on tour.
I am fortunate enough to be part of Lapa Side, a proudly SA lifestyle clothing brand where we support local CMT’s to make awesome and good quality clothing for all.
I love experiencing and being outdoors and in the ocean, bodyboarding has given me many life long friends and memories I will cherish forever.
I would like to thank Lidlife Bodyboarding for this opportunity and for sharing the stoke with others! Also my family who have always supported my passion and sports. To my sponsors, friends and loved ones – thank you for your support and continued care.
Photo credits include:
Alan Van Gysen
Pamela thank you for sharing your story with us and it is so inspiring what you guys are doing for women's bodyboarding in SA..... It would be great to see you have another shot on the APB tour
Last few remaining LidLife beach towels grab yours before they are gone....
Wishing Legend Stevie Maher a happy birthday, come join Stevie this summer in the Mentawais aboard "The Asia" spots still available on Stevie's 3 trips, cruise with Adam"Wingnut" Smith or Current DK APB World Champion Sammy Morretino
get in touch to bag your spot....
Only a few Wingnut 2019 custom coloured boards left, contact Wingo to own your piece of history.....
Last spots down in Mexico with our boy Heriberto PM for details....
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