Chris – aka Bondi – is the man on the ground running the 10 Week Surf Adventure and Surf Instructor Training experiences in South Africa and the 3 Week Mozambique Surf Adventure we offer. He also runs our 2 & 4 Week Indonesia Surf Adventures too, so it’s safe to say he knows his stuff when it comes to epic surf trips!
And since a couple of our team are currently out enjoying the waves with him we thought we’d tear him away from the beach to find out a little bit more about Cape Town, South Africa, barrels and of course what to expect from our surf experiences there…
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So Bondi – let’s get the formalities out of the way, introduce yourself!
I’m from Cape Town with a passion for South Africa and surfing – job done!
Obviously surfing is your passion and indeed your career – how did you discover the sport and what keeps you coming back for more?
I actually don’t remember how I discovered the sport as such! When I was 5 my parents moved closed to the beach and we’d swim on weekends. I started standing up on boogie board and on my 8th birthday they bought me a surfboard. Neither of them actually surf themselves though!
I keep coming back for more is the fact that every wave and every session is different, you never know what you’re going to get and ultimately it’s the quest to get better – a longer barrel, a better turn, a bigger air!
You’ve travelled all over the world in search of waves – any favourite spots or countries?
Except for South Africa I really enjoyed Mexico – it wasn’t even just the waves, the whole experiences was awesome.
Wave wise Indonesia has an endless supply of spots, Super Suck was the best wave I’d surfed for 8-9 years until I went to Namibia and surfed Skeleton Bay!
What’s the single best piece of advice you can give anyone looking at getting into surfing?
Do it for the right reasons – use it to take a break from the daily grind of life, simply enjoy surfing and appreciate being in the water.
You’ve managed to turn your passion into a career which is epic, how do you find mixing work and play?
If I didn’t enjoy my work so much I’d find it really challenging as it cuts into my surf time massively. Luckily I enjoy my job and it has taken me to some amazing places and waves, so it’s working out well so far!
I also make sure when the waves are pumping I take the time out to grab a session just for myself.
What opportunities has being a surf coach opened up for you?
I’ve surf coached beginners in 5 different countries now which is always fun. Since then I progressed into a surf guide and run the South Africa trips which has been a great experience.
From there I stepped up to the Level 2 instructor certification and started coaching high performance surfing which another great challenge and it’s great to see your hard work pay off when they win competitions!
How long have you been running surf trips out in South Africa?
I ran my first trip in my second year at uni – way back in 2007. I also coach a number of surf teams (and have taken them on to win a couple of national championships) and some of the top juniors from Cape Town which also allows me to travel quite a bit.
I don’t just coach them for surfing though – I aim to help them travel, grow as people and explore the world.
What makes the 4 South Africa surf experiences we offer so epic and what can people heading your way expect?
The unparalleled diversity of South Africa sets it apart from other trips – there’s such a range of cultures, waves and activities going on. The landscape is incredible too.
People can expect to meet a lot of interesting and unique people, have a lot of fun and return home with some interesting stories from the road…as well as being solid surfers of course!
When it comes to the non surfing side of things what do you always look forward to?
Getting to know the group and seeing how the dynamic becomes such a tight surf crew as they essentially make friends for life is always great to witness
For you whats the overall highlight?
My personal highlight are the last few days, where people reflect on their experience and how many people say it’s a life changer, for me that’s a job well done!
And finally – any help you can offer to those deciding between simply a surf adventure or the surf instructor training?
The reason that it’s two trips is purely due to the pressure some people feel by including the instructor course.
I’d always recommend going all in with the instructor examination, it’s easy to achieve after the surf training you go through and it’s always great to walk away from a trip with a internationally recognised qualification – just don’t psyche yourself out about it and remember to enjoy the whole trip.
Plus being a surf coach is an awesome job!
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