Have you always loved watersports?
Pretty much! Since I was about 2 years old I was in the pool doing doggy paddle without water wings.
How did you get into surfing?
I didn’t really think about anything else from the day I competed in my first contest at 8 years old. Doing something other than surfing wasn’t an option after that. I think the fact that you can make something like surfing a career option is pretty cool. Hopefully women’s surfing will see even more support and grow further.
How have you found this season?
This year went really well for me. Starting with a 2nd and 3rd in Australia in the 5 and 6*s there and then a 5th in South Africa, a 5th in the 6* in Portugal and finishing with a 5th in the 6* in Hawaii.
How did it feel to qualify for the 2009 World Tour of Surfing?
I’m really happy to have requalified this year. I think I’m gaining a lot of experience and now going into my 3rd year on the WCT I can keep improving.
How do you prepare for a big competition?
I try to surf the break as much as I can and get familiar with the place. It’s important to find your rhythm at a new spot.
Do you still get nervous before a big contest?
I still get nervous. I think it has a lot to do with the anticipation of the event. Right now we’re on stand-by for the Sunset Event and every night I go to bed with butterflies knowing that the contest might run the next day.
What is the atmosphere like behind the scenes?
The atmosphere behind the scenes is pretty mellow. Everyone gets on with everyone and it’s pretty chilled. It’s fun to hang out and surf with the girls, everyone is always pushing each other in the water.
You must travel a lot. Which spots are you still keen to visit?
There are heaps of places I still want to go to, including Cuba, Morocco, Nigeria and I want to see more of Europe.
What’s your favourite surf spot?
I love the waves at home in East London, South Africa. There are certain spots that have memories from sessions that are special.
What are your plans for the winter?
I’m going to spend most of my Summer (from December to February for me) in Hawaii, surfing and hanging out. There are still two more contests left on the WCT for 2008, so I’m going to concentrate on those and then just relax and get ready for next year.
Can you give us a run down of your average day?
I’ll wake up and check the waves and decide if I’m going to surf straight away or go for a run on the beach with my dogs. Then I eat breakfast and find some waves and surf for most of the day. Around lunchtime, I’ll grab something to eat and check my mail and organise my next trip. In the afternoon, maybe surf again or just laze around. Then mom and dad make a good dinner and keep me well fed. It’s usually pretty early to bed for me so I can do it all again the next day!
And if you could have the perfect day, what would it include?
Fun waves, sunshine, family, good friends, fun boards, laughs and a braai to end it off. Maybe in France.
What have been your biggest career setbacks?
I think just finding my groove and getting my confidence up has been important and the fact that I need to break the curse of my boards not arriving – it happened 3 out of 4 times at contest locations this year! I don’t want to ride any more borrowed boards in heats, that’s for sure.
What have your greatest achievements been so far?
When I was 10 I got the most stoked trophy at the South African Longboard Champs, that was kind of special to me and to be the only South African female on the WCT for my 3rd year is pretty cool. I’m just happy with surfing and enjoying it.
Who or what are your inspirations?
I think the heros of South African Surfing like Shaun Tompson and Wendy Botha, those are people I look up to and admire.
How do you relax when you get the chance?
I love swimming in the sea, reading and listening to music, just chillaxing and not doing much.
What’s up next for you?
Next its The Roxy Pro at Sunset then off to Maui for the last event of the year. For updates on how it’s going, check out my website rosyhodge.com.