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I'm in the water at the New Pier and it's firing as only New Pier can. It's six to eight-foot and powerful. Jordy and the boys are out and they're frothing. It's full on barrels and the bank is super-shallow, dredging sandy pits. I'm flopping around and trying to get a good one. A wave swings wide and it's Jordy and I sitting wide. I paddle for all I'm worth but the wave does a double up concave and I back off and start back-pedalling so that I won't go over the falls, and look down at the ugly beast of a wave.

"Come on!" Jordy admonishes me. "That was a tube."

A wave that I saw no way down, that had pain, fear, broken board and hate written all over it to me, was a perfect tube to Jordy. "I'm on the wrong side of thirty." I mumble to myself, and look for a gap between sets to paddle in.

 

After I have towelled down and calmed my nerves Jordy and I have a quiet cuppa. Jordy is home in Durban to celebrate his 21st birthday with his friends and family, and readying himself for the 2009 World Tour. The first question I fire off to him is to the direction of surfing, where is it going, what's next...

 

"The future of surfing? That's a good question. The future of surfing is combos. I think that it's going to all boil down to combos. In the next five to ten-years combos are going to play a massive part in competitive surfing. Like a huge carve straight into a big air, or an air to a tube ride, or an air to an air. I also think that the moves are going to become very short. What I mean is, the amount of manoeuvres on a wave is going to become very limited. Like maybe three, max four moves on a wave, but each move has to be absolutely massive, really radical."

 

Jordy travels with WQS surfer Damian 'Dooma' Fahrenfort, who has probably surfed more with Jordy than anyone else. "I think with Jordy its not about one outrageous move anymore, it's about the combo." Dooma has obviously seen Jordy's possible future. "I have seen him do the hugest air and be pissed he didn't land fast enough to go straight into a fin throw or under the lip reverse."

 

Whilst Dooma is campaigning hard to qualify for the World Tour, he acknowledges that Jordy is getting it right. "This is where surfing is going and what people want to see," agrees Dooma. "I have seen him to some pretty crazy shit over the last few years that have wanted to make me give up surfing. We went on this trip up the coast the other day, to Ventura, and he did this turn that I don't think has a name as of yet, nor could it be classified, but it was the most on rail, under the lip tweak, carve backwards fin throw turn I ever seen."

 

The one thing about the World Tour is experience. The more experience you get at the tour stops the better your chances become. While Jordy has surfed them all he doesn't have that much water time at a few of the stops. So as we sip on our Java I ask him how he feels about Teahupoo and Pipeline.

"The thing about Teahupoo and Pipe is that they are just such perfect waves. I love Teahupoo, and Pipeline is just one of the most perfect waves in the world. This year I'm going to be at these venues long before the events run, to really get into the waves and the setups, learn exactly how the waves break and which ones are the good ones. I'm going to go to Teahupoo at least a month before the event starts, maybe even longer."

 

After a mediocre year on the World Tour, and injuring himself before he got a chance to surf Pipe, 2008 in retrospect was a mixed year for Jordy.

 

"On the whole 2008 was a good year. I learned more last year than I have learned in any of my previous years competing. I had some big expectations that kind of fell by the wayside as I lived through the year. Of course I made some mistakes. I made some mistakes with my boards. I was arriving at a venue with a bunch of new boards that I didn't really know. I was also arriving late, the day before an event and a few minutes before my heat. All that is set to change. You live and learn, that's how you better yourself.

 

Any world class athlete is going to structure their career over short and long -term goals, but Jordy is a little reticent about his plans and goals for this year.

 

"I have set myself some goals, but I don't really want the world to know what I'm up to and what my plan is. On a micro level I am just going to take it heat-by-heat and surf as good as I can. There is so much going on throughout a year of competing, so I am going to take it back to the basics, keep it simple, and just get through heats."

The attention that Jordy has garnered from all forms of mainstream and surf-media has been relentless and consuming. The sort of paparazzi that you see on television and you hear about in Hollywood. This sudden intrusion into a surfers' daily routine has been the downfall of brilliant surfers in the past, people who prefer quietness and the company of friends and family. Jordy however, has more than taken it all in his stride.

"I've had a lot of media attention over the last few years. Nothing that I've ever experienced but I kind of like it, it's kind of cool. A lot of people come up to me and ask me how I deal with all the pressures. The pressures of the media and the pressures of competing and the pressures of sponsors and all, and I'm like, I don't really feel any pressure. I'm just doing what I love and, well, I don't actually know what pressure means."

South African-born Shaun Tomson, 1977 World Champion, has been witness to the rise of Jordy over the last few years, and reckons that he has a few characteristics that really make him stand out from the crowd.

 

"Jordy possesses more strength, more power, more mass, more creativity and more speed," reckons Shaun. "If he can concentrate on his board underfoot and the next wave, he will achieve what he wants to achieve."

 

WQS campaigner and good friend Warwick Wright has another take on what freakishness Jordy possesses. "He just doesn't have a set way to surf a wave like others do," reckons Wok. "He just does what he feels and it keeps people on their toes, because we just know that he is always about to do something out of this world."

 

We wrap up our interview and shake our hands. There's so much more to Jordy than can be said in 1200 words. There is going to be a signature movie, and possibly a book on his life thus far. At the age of 21 he is already a zillionaire. Young girls blush in his presence; many people are saying that Jordy will one day be a world champion. A world champion that doesn't understand what pressure means.


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