Let’s take it back to the day I met a kid named Robbie Berman…
After arriving at a Western Province Bodyboarding Trial in 2016, I thought I would be the first on sight to check out the conditions, but as I pull up into the parking lot, far in the distance is this figure freaking out like a person seeing the ocean for the first time. A second later beyond this figure barely visible in the mist was a perfect heaving west coast shorey with nobody on it. This kid completely loses his mind, comes screaming past me, suits up faster than a superhero, paddles out like a beast and starts boosting air reverses like a seasoned veteran. Now, “Who the *** is that” was the only thing running through my head until he shoots out for a quick water break, introduced himself like a legend and disappeared for another session before the contest started.
This is all going down minutes before the days heats began and on that particular day he would be riding about 8 times. As the siren goes off and the trials start, he runs up the beach, quickly grabs his rashy and owns his first heat like a boss. It was at this moment I realised what he was chasing and how far he would go to get there.
It’s not often you meet kids that compete so hard in such heavy conditions. As the day moved on it was becoming more and more clear to me that bodyboarding was the one and only thing on his mind. After a full day of tough heats, he was more psyched than ever and going home with back to back wins in multiple divisions. Standing before me was a super grom, on a level of his own. This my friend’s, is one of the South African new breed and he is on a mission.
As we move into 2020, that kid is now a polished freestyle charger working his way up the ranks and having more fun than anyone else doing it. With an ever present dose of stoke Rob rarely has bad surfs and is constantly competing with himself in and out of the water. There are levels to this game and it all starts with the right mindset.
Another freakishly skilled charger by the name of James Symmonds has been on the rise in the digital world along with local photographer Jordan Masters. Whilst dominating the lineup in big waves as well as keeping it classy behind the lens, this trio combined with some other passionate contributors have produced a piece of art that introduces you to the world of one of South Africa’s finest Bodyborders.
All achievements come through extremely hard work and so far hard work has been second nature to this rising South African ripper. It seems this is a default commitment within the South African Squad and thanks to current legends Alistair Taylor, Andre Botha, Jared Houston, Iain Campbell and Tristan Roberts, the competitive fire keeps burning. We now have a whole new generation of riders ready to rock.
This is going to be one great year for Bodyboarding and it’s an honor to have our country play such a large role in the global bodyboarding scene. Our riders push the sport to higher levels for future South African Champions and will continue doing so as long as there is an International Bodyboarding World Tour, which is coming to South Africa!
Follow Robbie Berman on his Journey as a Professional Bodyboarder and keep your eyes on the horizon. He’s just getting started. When he’s not dragging the boogie, he’s running his own clothing label, Blurred Lines. An iconic brand of lifestyle wear incorporating two of his greatest passions, surfing and design. Be sure to check out and join the blurred life at www.blurredlines.com.
Take care out there and catch you all in the water.
Sponsors : www.blurredlines.com
Credits: Jordan Masters, James Symmonds, Dan Raubenheimer, Michael Feltman, James Jones, Dave McMaster, johan Rademeyer, Tsev Rosenthal, Wesley Lewis.