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Bruce Donkin

Our next rider has proved very hard to track down....however after nearly a year chasing I am super happy he decided to share his story.

I'm hoping 2021 sees some drastic changes in travel restrictions and me and the missis can get out to SA so I can paddle out with some of the boys and girls that charge Cave Rock and score some of the epic waves you are about to see in the interview to follow.

Not only does the Bluff produce some epic waves but has some of the most talented water and land photographers SA has to offer, most of whom are featured in this interview.

" Hi my name is Bruce Donkin and I was born 28/02/1984 which m makes me 36 years old. I Started bodyboarding in the early 90s as a grom and started off with my first proper bodyboard in around 96/97, having been bodyboarding for over 20 years.

Bodyboarding has always been a massive part of my life and ocean love has not stopped growing over all these years, a week with no waves is a week lost I reckon!! I started competing during school days with local inter school challenges and George Campbell always had a strong team, be it in the junior or senior divisions.

I was made team captain for both the Junior and the senior team and I really enjoyed this through my schooling career. I rode my first official comp in the Coke classic and came 2nd in the development division in 1999/2000 comp.

I then decided that I preferred free surfing and gave up competitions when I left school, free surfing all the swells that hit our coastline and I loved pushing myself and others in heavy conditions.

Be it cyclone season or winter season, I really enjoy riding and testing myself. I have had my fair share of injuries in my bodyboarding journey and just when I feel I’m getting to a good solid level of riding and fitness, I get dealt a shit hand and get injured!!

I have in the past done some crazy damage to my body and being young and stupid, didn’t ever give it time to properly heal up. When the waves are pumping the last thing you worry about is your injury, you go out and ride and deal with the pain later ahahaha!!

Then in 2015, I decided after many years of not competing to try out for our local CKZN bodyboarding team. This was to compete at the SA champs, I made the Men’s division for CKZN and came 3rd in the finals for men’s SA Champs 2015.

Then rode the Lizzard classic for the men's division and made finals and once again got 3rd place. I landed my first official sponsor from Maniac Bodyboading, with Simon Williamson signing me up and was very stoked about that. Cheers Simon!!!

My second sponsor came from a legend Couple Andries and Stacey Meyer, they had Marilla Surf and that’s when I signed a contract with Sniper Bodyboards SA as a team rider. I Just want to say a massive thank you to Andries and Stacey for everything!!

Debbie Patterson a legend woman’s bodyboarder from South Africa then signed me up as a team rider/ brand ambassador for her local company LapaSide | FlipIt SA. They are 100% local and love what they stand for, Local is always lekker, so please check them out for some epic bodyboarding/lifestyle gear!! Thank you Debbie!!

In 2019 I then signed a contract with Dragon Energy Drink and was super stoked with being a Dragon Energy team rider. They have some extreme athletes on their team and I am stoked to be a part of that!! Dragon Energy Drink the power is yours!!

I then took a year off from competing and went back to just free surfing and enjoyed all types of conditions. I would try to ride all the swells and in different conditions and had a legendary photographer Nic Aberdein down at the beach capturing all the goodness. Thanks so very much to Nic for countless hours down at the beach in all kinds of conditions.

He got some crackers over the years and he is the best land photographer!! Check out Nic's facebook and Instagram page. Darren Simes (being a bodyboarder firstly) is a flippen hell man in the water, swimming in conditions when most guys will shit in their pants hahahaha

He is always in the right zone and he has some world class images in the water, so check his content out for sure!!!! Then Nelis de Jager is a solid land photographer/bodyboarder and recently got himself a water housing so watch out for some of his images coming soon!!! Marco Justino also has spent some long hours behind the lens and thanks so much for all the lekker photos Marco!! Douge Fresh is a legend and be it in the water or on land he gets some world class photos of the guys!!

But just in general all the guys in the water all just want to have a good time and score waves!!! My favourite spot is Cave Rock on the Bluff. I first bodyboarded this wave back in 1998 and fell in love with it straight away!! Its a world class wave and breaks anything between 2 feet and 10 feet!! From barrels to ramps this wave is just nuts!! We have so many good spots along our coast from shore break waves to meaty slabs!! Best thing is, its in WARM WATER hahahaha!!

2017 I tried out for the Ethekwini Bodyboarding side and rode in the Pro division, came 2nd overall for Pro division just behind Micheal Ostler for the Ethekwini Bodyboarding side. 2017 SA champs was in Durban so was very stoked, I didn’t ride great but made quarterfinals and finished I think tied 11/12th place for SA Champs in Pro division.

Been getting a lot of water time and getting to share waves with such legends in the water has always been so lekker. To be a part of the bodyboarding community in South Africa is like being part of a family.

Guys that rip and charge in the surf Brendan Greenaway, Shaun Haage, Brad Dames , Wynand Grobler and so many other good riders in South Africa. Most mornings we get to bodyboard before work and get some fun action in. The right way to start your day :-)

Once my contract came to an end with Sniper Bodyboards SA. I was looking for a new board sponsor and Marco Justino helped me with a legend from South Africa Marc Rossouw.

Rossi Board Co. flip was I super stoked with this, as Marc has always been such an amazing board shaper and has so many years of experience in the industry. I received my custom-made board and it’s a thing of beauty! Hand crafted to perfection! So, stoked to be a team rider with Rossi Board co and can’t thank Marc enough for this.

Mika a local grom at Bike and Bean, he is a legend in and out of the water, so psyched to watch him grow in the water and watch him charge some solid waves. Mika and his dad Marco Justino have started an epic epic idea to bring in bodyboarding accessories. The brand being MStar Bodyboarding. Items like RipGripz,RipPlugz, Ripropez, Ripfinz and many other sick bodyboarding accessories!! They just shipped in the RipFinz and they are so comfy and sick to use. Check them out on Instagram!! Stoked to be a team rider now for MStar Bodyboarding!!!

I have two beautiful children Brayden (10 years old) and Madison (5 years old) and they are my life!! Love my groms to bits and being a father has always been a challenge, but wouldn’t trade it for the world. Soon I'll have them riding some waves and sharing ocean love with my groms!!! I really love the sport and seeing others grow is always a lekker thing, bodyboarding is a way of life and it's a lifestyle!! Thank you so much Lidlife Bodyboarding for allowing me to share my little story!! Thank you!!

I want to see our sport we love so much Bodyboarding grow in the future!!!

Life motto for Bodyboarding is ‘If you don’t go, you won’t know!’

I want to thank my Sponsors Rossi Board Company Lapaside SA Dragon Energy Drink MStar Bodyboarding If you fancy check my Insta out it is Bruced_84 and my YouTube account is

Photo credits include:

Nic Aberdein

Dennis Schroeder

Darren Simes

Douge Fresh

Marco Justino

Treat someone you love this Christmas with 10% off SENNOSEN just click on the pic of PLC to head straight to your discounted online store.

Again if you have any online needs to gear you up for winter click on the pic below to head over to the worlds local Bodyboard shop, Bodyboard Depot.

Guy Sowry has a wealth of knowledge and will be able to give you all the advise you need

If your not excited about 2021 you should be....Just check out below some of the new Thrash Range and the all new Thrash website coming soon, all our favourite accessories in one place just hit the pics below

We are also really excited for New Kid on the Block Adren Apparel, if you haven't seen them yet just head over to Insta and Facebook, check out a little taste below of what they have in store for our beloved Bodyboard Community, Just DM them if you want to get more info or become one of the selected stockist for 2021.

I got mine when are you getting yours ❤️ thanks guys.......

These interviews are brought to you in association with:

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