How does it feel to be awarded the breakthrough performer award at Surfer Poll?
I went to the Surfer Poll awards the year before in California just as a spectator, this year I went being nominated. I never thought I'd be going up there to accept that award, especially looking at what all the other athletes had achieved in the year. It was quite a humbling experience. It means a lot to my career as a surfer and it felt good to be recognized as a pro casual surfer.
So you weren't prepared?
I was pretty disorganized coming into the night, I didn't have any nice clothes and had no shoes thanks to Travis Logie a few nights prior. I ended up borrowing some shoes and got myself to Turtle Bay. It was pretty daunting walking in there with tons of cameras and hundreds of people around but I managed to walk away from the night not having pee’d my pants. It was pretty rad having it in Hawaii this year and the passing of Andy made it a very emotional night but really special in a way.
How did you lose your shoes?
That was a interesting night. Myself, Trav Logie, Jordy [Smith] and Damien Fahrenfort went to a "car party," or that's what I was calling it. In Hawaii car dealerships throw these shindigs with plenty of awesome tasting cocktails. Trav had a few too many and on the way home we we’re wresting in the back of the Audi, the li'l guy somehow got my shoes off and threw them out the window. That was the last I saw of them. We went to Lei Lei’s to party on and Damien lent me one shoe which was a size 12. That didn't really work. We got the boot and sat in the car park for the rest of the night.
What's the plan for next year?
I'm just taking it at it comes. I'm going back to South Africa for the first two weeks of January to hang out with some friends and family and to do some filming. Then I got a trip to Morocco with Dane [Reynolds], Dan Malloy, and Alex Knost, which is being documented by some super cool dudes which is exciting. Then I'm going up to Byron to hang with Dion [Agius] and Jordy to film for Kai [Neville]’s movie Lost Atlas for the month of February. That's as far as I got planned but definitely going to try to stay busy all year. I'd also like to travel to some weird countries, read some books and buy a car that works.
Anything new or exciting happening with your boards? I noticed you had some fun looking boards on the North Shore this winter…
I'm pretty useless when it come to surfboards. I've been riding a lot of funky little boards lately and I'm struggling to get off them because they're so fun to ride. But yeah, just going to stick to the fun boards when the waves are lame and ride the normal ones when it’s good.