Stab Magazine | Jordy Smith
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Jordy Smith

“We do miss him a lot and Jordy misses his sister a lot,” said Jordy’s mum of her 22-year-old son who now spends nine months of his year living in Newport, California, sharing a house with fellow South African pros, Damien Fahrenfoort and Craig Kaplin, during the Billabong Pro, J-Bay. “It’s great having him back […]

full frame // Mar 8, 2016
Words by Ryan Miller/
Reading Time: 2 minutes

“We do miss him a lot and Jordy misses his sister a lot,” said Jordy’s mum of her 22-year-old son who now spends nine months of his year living in Newport, California, sharing a house with fellow South African pros, Damien Fahrenfoort and Craig Kaplin, during the Billabong Pro, J-Bay.

“It’s great having him back here just relaxing and surfing and hanging out with his friends,” added dad Graham.

Jordy has relished his time at home in South Africa. His parents shadowed him throughout the Billabong Pro, before he took a lengthy road trip from J-Bay to Cape Town (when this shot was taken) with friends after his victory, en route to the Cold Water Classic.

“I think the most special thing about this place is the vibe. It’s not like the Gold Coast where there are a million people hounding you,” he says.

It’s an interesting characteristic of the South African surfing community Jordy touches on. During the event at J-Bay at least, they were very unaffected by the presence of high profile surfers. On day one of the comp, with Dane due to surf shortly, he planted himself on a wooden handrail with a coffee and went completely unmolested by autograph hustlers and fans.

At 7.30am on day two, I sat in a grandstand populated only by five South African men in dark coloured hoodies. They were there to watch Sean Holmes surf his round two heat against Jadson Andre. It was cold and they blew air into their cupped hands, breaking the grip to clap or whistle as sets approached, or cheer the man they called “Holmesy.”

“There might be the crowd and the people supporting you but they’re all your friends. It’s good to have them,” says Jordy.

And if you’re a stickered up grom visiting South Africa, be sure to adhere to the old school interpretation of surf etiquette. As pint sized Italian pro, Leo Fioravanti found out. He tried to slip inside an older and generously proportioned local guy during a mid-contest free surf.

“Now you two behave, alright,” the old guy said to little Leo and his pal.

“There’s locals out here and we’re surfing one peak. If you don’t, it’s down to Albatross with you,” and motioned to the point reeling way, way in the distance. “Yeah. Sure, sure,” squeaked the tiny Italian before paddling way wide and spending the rest of the session tentatively paddling for scraps.

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