"I didn’t grow up in the wealthiest neighborhood and it led me to believe that, if you want anything, you have to fight for it."
My dad always told me that if I wanted to have a career in surfing, I’d have to do it overseas. In South Africa, it doesn’t work to be a big fish in a small pond. All we had was Zig Zag magazine, which was cool, but it wasn’t on the scale of say, Surfer magazine. Before I moved to California, my contract with my sponsor ended. I was basically living paycheck to paycheck on my contest winnings. Luckily, at the time, I’d won a few big QS’s in a row; that’s when I was able to sign with O’Neill – which was a dream come true, they’re the original surf brand and I’ve stuck with them ever since.