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Iain Campbell


Hi I'm Iain Campbell and I am 30, I am originally from Durban, South Africa and now living further down south in Cape Town.

I made this move for a greater variety of waves as well as an easier travel route through a

bigger airport, plus I met my girlfriend, Rosie, who was living down here and allowed for an

easy transition.



When and why did you start Body boarding?


I started when I was very young but my love was more for the ocean in general than just

body boarding. I was a lifesaver in the competition scene before I moved to body boarding

and then started to compete at the age of 11. It wasn’t big all the time but there were

storms that used to pass in the Indian ocean and push some swell into North Beach where I

grew up. There were always moments when the condition got challenging and the currents

along the beach were always intense so that defiantly shows in my strength in the water.


I got into the sport through lifesaving but the first major influence was Billy

Thiel.

He was the first coach that I had and the first sponsor I had on an international level.

He was coaching my school team at the time and we used to do fun competitions between

the schools and then at a state/provincial level too. I don’t remember my first

competition/heats…


If your mum, dad, or any other member of your family were bodyboarders how did this

influence you, how did it feel watching them growing up?


My entire family is very sports orientated with both my parents being world class athletes in

their own respective sports. My dad was a national oarsman while my mom got swimming

titles up until a few years ago. They both have a major influence into my sports abilities and

with an older brother that has more talent than I do, competition was always high in my

family.




Who were your childhood heroes, why and how did this influence your life?



In the body boarding scene I was always in awe of how Jeff Hubbard could boost so high all

the time as well as the skill and style of Ben Player. These guys both had their amazing

attributes that drive them to being amazing riders and now amazing businessmen.

I still look up to them even today as they have influenced this sport massively over the years as I also hope to one day.


Who were the Saffa chargers you looked up to at the time?


Andre is always someone that comes to mind but in the competitions I always watched guys

like Sacha Specker, Mark McCarthy and Jared Houston.

Sacha is an amazing drop knee rider, unbelievable photographer and has a fierce competitive

streak in him. He was always a rider I loved watching and a guy I continue to try share

sessions with as much as we can.



Where was your local break and what was it called?


Local break is North Beach, Durban.


Where is your favourite break in your country?


This is a tough one for me but I would have to say Famous Last Words. Up the coast,

camping for a few night's with good friends and having mad waves on offer all day, doesn’t

get much better than that.


Do you worry about sharks in the line up in SA, do you have any stories?


A few days prior to writing this we were called out the water due to a shark in the line-up.

Here where I surf we are fortunate enough to have a spotter who sits and watches over the

beach 365 days a year. The Shark Spotters were put I place at this specific wave after a fatal

attack back in 2012 and I’m confident in saying it has helped keep the attacks down to 0.

The only story that I have is from a very close call that I captured on my GoPro at the

beginning of this year almost riding into one at that beach.



Where is your favourite break in the world?


Pipeline, Hawaii


What was your first board?


I remember when I was about 10 years old my dad bought me a 42inch Manta that I

cherished like crazy. It was way too big for me at the time but just the fun times I had on

that will be remembered forever!



Who was/is in your crew or was it just you?



There is an amazing group of body boarders around Cape Town but I spend a lot of time with

the LSD (local Strand dogs). They are a rad bunch of guys that rip and are always keen to get

some waves.


What music gets you going pre surf, at the heavy spots really big Nazare, big El Fronton etc…

is there any particular training tips you could give to paddling out in the big surf.


I will listen to whatever is playing but probably some new age rap or something with a good

beat and very simply, swimming training is the BEST exercise!!!



What’s your favourite memory of body boarding growing up?


I have had a lot of good times with a group of friends I grew up with. We were always

pushing each other and having a good time, lots of laughs in the water and very

competitive, pushing each other into bigger waves, harder moves and becoming the

body boarder I am today.... There are too many to choose just one.


What has been your most memorable trip?


I did a trip to Maui in 2016 with Jacob Romero and his family. There was just something

about being on that island, riding waves with all the legends over there and getting some

really good Honolua Bay. It was just super memorable time for me.


How has the restrictions on travel affected you and your family given that your job is to travel and compete (Dream job by the way) what have you done to stay mentally focussed having your passion taken away and are you excited for 2022?


It has been a very hard transition for me but I feel I have made it work. I have built my

YouTube channel to a place I am super proud of and I plan on doing a lot more when I can

really start to travel a bit more.



It has been hard to stay focused and I feel that I have also been struggling to stay motivated when there hasn’t been any events on, but it is what it is.

I feel that I am getting back to where I need to be and all I can do is focus on that and look

forward to 2022. Who knows what is going to happen but whatever it is, I will be ready.



Now you have hooked up with the team over at Bodyboard Depot (Click the pic above to head over to Bodyboard Depot) can we expect to see any UK based clinics for up and coming Groms?


There is defiantly some plans to head over to the UK and spend some time there. My mom

and step father have recently moved over so I am very excited to come over and meet

everyone and hopefully be able to score some waves too!




The UK is just seeing a revival of club bodyboarding. How important do you see club

body boarding, SA has a great culture of clubs and local comps and clinics, Australia too,

what advise could you give these UK Clubs like East Coast Frothers, Bristol Body board Club, Welsh Body board Club to name a few in setting up a solid foundation to actually develop young riders and encourage more people to organise comps and more riders to take part.


I think having clubs that are encouraging competition and community based events is huge.

You can do this sport at such a wide variety of ages so I love that there has been a

resurgence, I think this is where we need to go in all countries around the world.



If you had the opportunity to change a young groms life what piece of advice would you

give…..

I am trying my best to help everyone, young and old, better at body boarding. I am doing this by

making educational videos about all aspects of the sport on my YouTube channel. This is one way I am giving back and I hope you guys can use the advice, tips and video to inspire, encourage and push you to your next level. Keep body boarding and enjoy the ocean!




Just Click the link below to head over to Iain's website.




Photo credits:

Rosie Lombard

Jansje Badenhorst

Kris Martin

Jim Hatter

Matt Sharman



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