Our next rider was born in a land locked country in the Eastern part of Central Europe.
It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the East, Hungary to the South, Austria to the South West and Cheque Republic to the Northwest.
It is a land of mountains and castles and not typically the sort of place to produce a Bodyboarder 😎 but has produced these famous peoples either parents or grand parents,
Angelona Jolie, Audrey Hepburn, Andy Warhol, Paul Newman, Jon Bon Jovi and Ivan Reitman.
"Hi my name is Veronika Janeckova I am 33 and I was born and raised in Slovakia, a small country in central Europe. I left my home country when I was 19 and lived in London, UK for 10 years.
I then moved to Siargao Island in the Philippines and eventually ended up on the Gold Coast in Australia where I live now.
The first time I experienced riding a wave was On Siargao Island.
My boyfriend at the time Mickey Edwards is fully responsible for getting me hooked. I was learning to surf for a couple of years and was hitting a bit of a stagnation point when Mickey put me on his boogie board.
He made fun of my first wave and still does to this day because I burned a surfer by being too keen and wanting the wave so badly and that’s how it all started 😎
My heroes growing up included the Italian mafia – I was obsessed with The Godfather, Bruce Lee, Supermodels – Claudia Schiffer and Cindy Crawford and a fashion designer and activist Vivienne Westwood – quite a combo now that I am thinking about it!
I think Cloud 9 in the Philippines is my favourite wave.
I’m such a frother when it comes to the ocean, I love just the fact that I can be out there.... I love all the spots along the Gold Coast, sneaky shore break sessions during the work day are my favourite when no one’s out.
Siargao’s Cloud 9 is amazing and it’s got lots of other fun breaks too.
I will always remember my first barrel it was at Ulus, that session left me a souvenir scar on my bum, so that’s also a pretty special wave for me.
I also really love Cokes in the Maldives that’s such a fun wave with a gorgeous reef under it.
My first board was a Pierre Louis Costes model from Pride, I would usually go out with Mickey, he’s a great bodyboarder, surfer and a photographer so it’s just great getting out there with him.
I would sometimes tag along on the trips that Mick shoots with other guys like Joe Clark (he’s my idol hahaha but don’t tell him he doesn’t know it), Brad Stone and a few other awesome bodyboarders that I look up to!
Compete? Not yet, I thought about it, maybe next year as I’m still learning a lot at this point.
I own my own business called BizTreat. We help people work better together, I have basically made my passions around the ocean and nature in general into my profession because I know just how important it is for us humans to be in touch with the nature.
We take people out of the offices and take them through immersive learning experiences to help them improve their soft skills and teamwork. In terms of my kit - I ride a Pride board it’s 40.5", Limited Edition flippers – they’re so incredibly comfy! I also wear little fin socks that are also my fin savers because my feet are incredibly skinny and I lost a flipper previously. I’ve got a Creatures leash that I bought from Ryan Hardy in his Bali store.
I’d love to form a partnership with bodyboarding brands for my business actually and bring them closer to the world of business.
At the moment it’s a bit challenging renting out good bodyboards for retreats, it’s usually surfboards that are available. I’d love to see how bodyboarding could be given more exposure because I feel that a lot of people would love to get in the ocean and could really benefit from it but surfing might just be too much for them.
I don't really buy bodyboard clothes, I actually struggle finding wetsuits for myself too so I sometimes end up getting mens stuff.
I usually start my day with gentle yoga music and stretch before going out so I love anything that gets me calm and positive like the sound of Tibetan bowls, monks singing and stuff haha a bit different from your typical boogie video.
Well, I wasn’t really exposed to bodyboarding as a child or to the ocean for that matter. My first ever holiday on the beach was when I was around 9 years old with my parents in Italy. We rode an old bus without aircon from Slovakia and it felt like ages! That was back in the days when there were still borders between European countries so we had to stop and queue at every border. Crazy times!
I have very vivid memories of my dad showing me how to jump waves and I was instantly hooked. I never wanted to leave the water, my parents had to drag me out of it.
Later, I also started competing in swimming for a local swim club and for my school.
But back to bodyboarding – I started booging when I was 31 and that was epic! I remember seeing the ocean from a completely different perspective, being so close to the waves and being so much more agile in the water definitely built my confidence and that’s why I dare to take bigger waves on a boogy board as opposed to on a surfboard and I just love to boogie.
For me it never was a child like thing, it was a way to improve my ocean awareness and get better at riding both bodyboard and surfboard.
Photo credits include:
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Last remaining spots with the crew at The Puerto Experience in May they have teamed up with Valentina Diaz to offer an all female masterclass down in Mexico.
Just click below for details and to book!
If you are in the UK in April then come check this out the boys at Ocean Corduroy, Bodyboard Depot and Saltwater Therapy have got a fantastic family weekend planned in Croyde, Devon.
Or maybe you fancy surfing the Pororoca in Brasil
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