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Craig Trilivas

The last time I was in Durban I arrived on a Saturday morning and went on a shark net clearing boat trip, what an idiot! Most of the sharks were trapped beach side and I didn't end up surfing until the Monday, I was freaked out for 3 days and I still remember seeing shark fins to this day.

As I paddled out at North beach on my Manta Sabre I just couldn't shake the very real reality that I may be the target of an angry hungry shark......

The Saffa boys run with this daily and I guess for some it adds an extra edge, maybe in the same way you have to be on your game when you paddle out at a super shallow reef!

Our next rider is no exception to this.... with some of the best waves on the planet on your door step, chuck in Wave House, Umhlanga for good measure and see what nature churns out.....

Please let me introduce you to Craig Trilivas.

"Hi I'm 39 and I was born in Durban but I have been in Cape Town since 1996.

I started bodyboarding around 11 or 12 years old so about 1992/93,

my older cousin did it and I was in awe of his Ocean & Earth Razor 2 lol.

I overheard two guys one day in primary school talking about bodyboarding and the one asked the other if he could dropknee so that immediately sparked my interest and I wanted to find out what it was, the rest is history.

All the North Beach rippers like Alistair Taylor, Billy Thiel, The Cockwells etc… they were all sponsored by Morey and stood out as the core SA bodyboarding crew at the time so they all had a massive influence on myself and my mates.

My local was either side of the Bay of Plenty Pier just to the left of North Beach (Far Bowl Underground for life!!!)

I’d have to say Sandy Bay when it’s on in Cape Town is my favourite break and I haven’t surfed much abroad so would have to say Tamarin in Mauritius was probably my favourite break so far in the world.

My first board was a 2nd hand Lazer 2 Team Extreme and my crew consisted of a handful of guys from Pine Town which is a bit outside of Durban central so we’d hitch hike to North Beach and back home every weekend.

It was a mix of older guys and groms. Rossi was my neighbour and I still get all my customs made by him to this day some 24 years later.

Competition riding came much later in life for me, my brother and I would always visit my Dad in Johannesburg at Christmas time and the one year we didn’t go he went to the coast and passed away whilst bodyboarding, he had a massive heart attack and drowned as a result. Bodyboarding was always something we did together and at the time, I hadn’t surfed in just over 5 years due to a shark phoebia I had developed. I took it as a sign and decided to get back on the boog and enter the trials to make the provincial side to compete at SA Champs.

I wanted to make my Dad proud and to prove a point to myself, I got my ass kicked competing against the likes of Spex, Worsely, the Kleve brothers, Wesley Potts, Ian Kruger and the boys but persevered and kept at it until I eventually made it some years later.

I was the Masters series champ for Western Province back in 2015 and just missed out on the DK title in 2017 which I was gutted about cos DK is my real passion.

I’ve represented Western Province 4 years running from 2015-2018. I placed 2nd in Masters a few years back in the Cape Classic, 2009 I believe it was.

I’ve been competing for just over a decade now and have met so many awesome people, made lifelong friendships and had such good times and I owe it all to bodyboarding. There really is no other sport that I’ve been involved in that has such a great, humble, giving and stoked community honestly (shout out to the VBC!!!) I plan on taking a break from competing though so I can get the “flow” back as competing in bodyboarding is something that is pretty uncomfortable for me, it’s always been the place where I go to just forget about everything and just have fun with my mates and to distress.

I literally don’t think about anything else when I’m in the water, it does wonders for the soul and I think for one’s general overall conditioning what with the pace and stresses of modern day life so I always encourage people to try it out.

I work for a very big international hotel chain and manage/oversee Sub-Saharan African hotels Digital & eCommece activities. I’m not a pro rider by any means haha! I currently have no official sponsors but the companies that have always supported and helped me are Reef South Africa with boards, wetties , leashes, fins, bags, clothes etc…, Rossi Board co, The Handpicked Movement, Unknown Eyewear, Hubboards South Africa and Board Hub.

I feel I’m pretty well known in the SA boogie community and I always froth on promoting all the companies that give back to the sport as a sponsored rider, ambassador or just a friend or fan.

I don’t favour any over the other but rather do everything I can to promote all of them to anyone I can and at every opportunity. My job is marketing/digital marketing it’s what I studied and am passionate about so if anyone needs repping I’m your man!

I have just over 40 sleds in my garage, a combination of vintage and modern so it all depends on how I’m feeling on the day as to what board I’ll ride. I’m a HUGE fan of the old Mantas and crosslink PE and my favourite board of all time has to be an old (well not that old) Nomad SPEX (you know which one Sacha ;)). Modern board wise I’m loving my custom Rossi and Handpicked boards as well as the new Reef Caves quad channel and VS Winny PP. The only fins I wear really are my OG Viper V5’s cos they kill it on the knee! I wear Reef SA wetsuits and use their leashes as well.

Brands like Lapa Side, Reef SA, Handpicked and Grand Flavour all have some sick threads!

Rock/Metal, usually something with badass riffs like Metallica, Pantera etc…

Coming outta my first DK barrel yeeeeeuw!!!

I’ve always wanted to shape boards so if anyone out there is willing to teach me and expand their operation please let me know ☺ it’s always been a dream of mine! Also, having to pay for all the templates I dream about is expensive LOL!

Photo credits include:

Simon Heale

Slash Photography

Billy Ackerman


Natalie Vogl

Craig thanks for sharing your story bro, keep charging...........

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