RIDING against the toughest competitors in the country, Bay bodyboarder, Nicholas Flood, put everything on the line to win the men’s open title at the South African Bodyboarding Championship held earlier this month at Big Bay Table View in Cape Town.
The second-year industrial engineering student at NMMU finally got what he wanted after making the top 20 in three previous appearances at the nationals.
“It was a really awesome experience. It was a dream of mine to make it to the top and win the men’s open title,” said the 20-year-old.
Flood, who started bodyboarding six years ago, said his goal before the start of the championship was to make the quarterfinals.
He had some tough competition in the final when he went head-to-head with the South African Bodyboarding Association circuit champion, the Margate men’s champion, as well as a top Western Province rider.
“Each SA champs brings its own conditions and challenges,” he said. “My final presented some great conditions. The four of us competed in six-foot offshore waves, which was challenging but fun.”
The champion said he is in the water as often as possible in preparation for events and generally tries to push the limits.
When he is away from the sea, Flood works on his fitness by running and going to the gym, where he focuses on core exercises.
Fitness and knowledge of the sea to be able to read the ocean are some of the skills a bodyboarder needs to possess, said Flood.
“For the technical aspect of the sport, practise makes perfect.”
Bodyboarding turned out to be one of his passions, he said, as he has always loved the ocean and has been doing everything in it since he can remember.
“It’s an unusual sport that enables you to ride the wave in a way that allows you to bust some seriously cool airs.”
Flood said his next goal would be to defend his title next year.