GROWING UP WITH SURFING
The scene at New Pier, a surf break in Jordy's hometown of Durban, is the kind of place that requires respect, hard work, and a good attitude to climb the ranks of the pecking order. A fast right that is known for heavy localism, New Pier taught Jordy how to excel in both small and large hollow surf. These are all traits that come naturally to this young superstar who has a surfing history longer than most. At the age of three, Jordy's father, a shaper and surfer himself, began driving him to the local beaches and pushing him into waves. "Smitty," or "Superfreak" as Jordy is also known, took to surfing early on and by the time he was 15, he knew it was his ultimate calling.
"I look up to Martin Potter and Shaun Thomson, but my dad taught me everything and motivated me more than anyone else," says the 23-year-old. When asked about his upbringing, Jordy comments that his mom and sister also keep him in line. This close-knit family environment is one of the reasons Jordy has found so much success on both the amateur and professional levels. When traveling on tour he mainly stays with his family and team manager, who help him focus, rest and eat well.
After winning the World Juniors in 2006, the Triple Crown Rookie of the Year Award in 2007, and landing on the WCT in 2008, there was a lot of pressure on this regular footer to succeed. Pressure, however, is the one thing Jordy doesn't let get to him. Never one to boast, he says he surfs against himself in heats:
"My first year on Tour probably wasn't the best, but I gained so much experience. Just getting to events on time, with the right boards, and sticking to a plan has helped me so much. In 2008, I traveled with too many boards and tried new things at contests, and I learned quickly that preparation is the most important thing."
Being on tour is not all fun and games. Jordy learned this when maxing Sunset Beach a few years back -- he tore his ACL and meniscus. When he went to stand up, his front foot slid forward too far and he fell, causing him to get completely annihilated by an oncoming set. It wasn't until he tried to catch another wave that he realized something was wrong.
"That was a heavy moment," he said. "I thought that was it, for sure. I tried to surf again, and it just hurt so bad to stand up, I couldn't believe it."
The experience made Jordy a stronger competitor.
THE MAKING OF A CHAMPION
Jordy's ranking amongst the best surfers in the world is no accident. While growing up, sports like soccer and tennis played a huge role in developing his focused determination and competitive drive. As a junior, Jordy was selected to the South African National Soccer Team, which in a country where soccer rules, would have guaranteed him a promising future early on and the chance to play overseas. At age 11, Jordy was asked to play soccer abroad in England, but chose to surf instead. He knew that surfing was his true passion, so he spent hours on end studying surf movies and memorizing his favorite moves by surfers like Kelly Slater.
When Jordy's own fame started rising, he never claimed to be the next great one. Instead, he quietly chipped away at his training and his surfing, along the way inventing new tricks like the swiss-roll, a signature move where he grabs the board with both hands and spins 360 degrees.
In 2009, he landed the Rodeo Flip, what many called most difficult and awe-inspiring surfing maneuvers to date. What's next in his bag of innovative tricks, only time will tell.
Besides being able to charge the biggest surf, Jordy has a quiet sense of humor that makes him entertaining to be around, especially for anyone that has seen his infamous Batman suit. "I couldn't pass it up in the store when I saw it." On tour, however, it's game time and Jordy turns his razor sharp focus on the waves and the competition, a signature trait of a world champion. As the target of media hype since he turned pro, Jordy is well prepped to be the next best surfer in the world.
ASP WORLD TOUR – COMING OUT PARTY
In 2006, Jordy put the competitive surfing world on notice when he took the ASP World Junior Championships, as well as the ASP WQS season, qualifying him for the ASP Dream Tour in only one year. Before officially joining the ASP World Tour in 2008, Jordy already earned a wildcard spot for the ASP event in his backyard of Jeffreys Bay, South Africa. He surfed to an impressive third place finish at J Bay in 2006, then defeated tour mainstays Joel Parkinson and former ASP World Champ Andy Irons on the way to a ninth place finish at Lower Trestles in 2007.
An impressive 3rd place finish at Bells Beach last year further established Jordy as a force to be reckoned with and the future of world championship surfing. 2010 has been Jordy's coming-out party on the ASP Tour – a consistent performance throughout the year has earned him the top spot in the world and a prime position to become world champion. The crowning moment thus far was his win at Jeffreys Bay in July. In front of a home crowd on Nelson Mandela's birthday, Jordy took J Bay by storm and snatched the number-one ranking from legend Kelly Slater.
PAST, PRESENT & FUTURE
At only 23 years old, Jordy has achieved a level of surfing success and skill that takes most decades to reach. Whether it's his incredibly focused raw talent or his under the radar sense of humor, Jordy is a surfer who knows how to succeed. Through large airs or massive rail to rail carves, he can always look back to his days at the rough hewn New Pier, where his work ethic and surfing style were honed. The new face of surfing has officially arrived, and his name is Jordy Smith.
Regarded as one of the most naturally gifted and progressive talents of his generation, Jordy first signed with O'Neill as a 19-year-old World Junior Champion in 2007. During the course of the last five years, the South African has become one of the standout performers on the elite ASP World Championship Tour.
After winning the World Qualifying Series title in 2007, Smith embarked on his maiden World Tour season in 2008. Since then, he's racked up numerous career highlights with O'Neill by his side. Among other achievements, the 24-year-old secured top honors on the Transworld Surf Exposuremeter in 2008, starred in the game-changing surf film Modern Collective in 2009, snagged two World Tour victories at his beloved Jeffrey's Bay, and finished runner-up on the World Tour in 2010. More recently, Jordy starred in his own profile film Bending Colours, which earned a 2012 Surfer Poll Movie of the Year nomination.
"We are fortunate to have a surfer of Jordy's calibre representing O'Neill," said O'Neill Global Marketing Director, Michael Heath. "Whether it is during competition or while free-surfing, Jordy continues to prove he is one of the most progressive surfers in the world."
On his partnership with O'Neill, Smith stated, "The last five years with O'Neill have been unbelievable. They have given me so much freedom and yet so much support at the same time. I have built a relationship with O'Neill in which they help me out in so many different aspects of my life, and not just in surfing."
Currently, Smith is ramping up for the 2013 World Tour, which kicks off in Australia in early March, and remains focused on regaining the competitive form he enjoyed in the first half of 2011 before a rib injury derailed his WCT title challenge.
"I've been training and surfing a lot; reflecting on last year, and changing a few things" continued Smith. "First and foremost, my goal for the next five years is to win a World Title. I'm going to put my head down and definitely go for that."
Jordy has been coming to Cape Town since he was a grom and has never surfed this wave the locals call "Dunes". He said, "I didn't think many people surfed there and always heard it was the starkest wave around." Now, every surf we go for this wave "Dunes" is engraved in his memory and never seems to disappoint. The feet melting walk is worth every step.
One of many photos click HERE for full gallery.
O'NEILL x OHANA is a piece created to really highlight our athletes. The word Ohana means family in Hawaiian and everyone in this short film has spent countless years riding for the same brand we call O'Neill. Jordy Smith, Ian Crane, Timmy Reyes, Cory Lopez, and John John Florence (as seen in order) all feature their best waves from the time they spent on this rock called Hawaii. It's 8 minutes full of gold and you don't want to miss the end section with JJF. If you ain't having fun, then what the hell are you doing? Enjoi these next 8 minutes. Might blow your mind… Press Play.This is a short film starring Team O'Neill.
Bending Colours, the long-awaited action-sportsmovie about pro-surfer Jordy Smith is nearing its November 5 world premiere. Amust-see for fans of exquisite jams and stunning cinematography, you can get ataster of what to expect from the pre-release trailer available to watch now onwww.redbull.com/bendingcolours.
Bending Colours, a Red Bull Media House productionrealized by Kai Neville Studio, gains unprecedented access to Jordy Smith'spersonal and professional life and, through the use of new camera andproduction technologies, presents a wholly unique take on the surfing moviegenre. One of the world's most intuitive and expressive board riders, Jordy canregularly be seen on the podium at competitiveevents. From Reunion Island to Mexico to Indonesia and back again, theSouth African surfs like a shaken-up bottle of champagne as he squirts roostertails and drowns rails on the high seas.
Director Kai Neville (Modern Collective, LostAtlas and Dear Suburbia) takes Jordy as his subject in Bending Colours andcreates something totally new to the surfing genre, thanks to a hugelyinventive mixture of cinematic highs, visual manipulation and pulse-quickeningsurf action.
The trailer, online now at www.redbull.com/bendingcolours, will give you a great taster of what to expectfrom this hugely anticipated movie event and will undoubtedly build upexcitement levels for the World Premiere taking place at the O'Neill Cold Water Classics in Santa Cruz on November 5.The World Premiere will be accompanied by a live web cast on www.redbull.com/surfing. BendingColours is released internationally on iTunes, DVD and Blu-ray™on November 6, 2012.
This piece documents three days of Jordy and his preparation for the Hurley Pro at Lower Trestles. It gives you an inside look at what he represents and his overall outlook on surfing.
Check out our new on going series "Three Days".
1. Most embarrassing moment?
That is tough one. I don't really get that embarrassed.
2. Favorite quote?
You're not born to fit in. You're born to stand out.
3. Chocolate or Vanilla?
I love them both but I would say I eat chocolate 75 percent of the time. But the other 25 percent Vanilla really hits the spot.
4. Glass on fins or fin systems?
Love Glass-ons. Yeah all the way.
5. Favorite surf destination and wave?
My hometown for sure. Tavarua is an incredible place. Great surroundings, people, food, nice accommodations. And the waves speak for themselves. It is an amazing place.
6. Favorite maneuver?
Riding the barrel for sure.
7. Celebrity crush?
I don't really have one. Um…let me think about that and get back to you.
8. What's in your traveling quiver?
I travel with about 10 boards. My boards range from 6'2" to 6'6". You always break a board or the airline crush's one of them. But really having two go–to boards is the key.
9. Status (Married, single, whatever?)
I am dating and here for friends.
10. Favorite website?
Myspace and Facebook.
U2, Simple Minds, INXS, Pink Floyd, Mickey Avalon, Lil' Wayne.
12. Biggest influence in your life?
My Dad for sure. He is a legend.
13. Favorite Surfers?
Archie, Justin Mattison he was really futuristic, MT, my Dad and the SA boys who made it big time.
14. What traits in the opposite sex are most attractive? Good sense of humor, nice curves, the whole package.
15. Worst wipe out?
Pipe for sure. It is a heavy wave.