Rocketing him to number two in the world, Jordy’s victory in Brazil was both a massive boost in his quest for a world title, as well as a big statement to his competitors that this year he means business.
As he jets off to Tavarua this week in search of the Volcom Fiji Pro title and the world ratings lead, we got a few moments to chat to him about love, winning and what’s next.
[Click here for a gallery of exclusive images shot by Ryan Miller documenting Jordy’s win in Rio.]
ZZ: There has been a lot of negative talk about Rio and it’s waves, especially in the light of Billabong cancelling the Jeffreys Bay event. But it looked like some super fun waves towards the end of the comp?
JS: Yeah, in the past few years we have had pretty bad waves and nothing that has really made the world tour surfers go ‘Yeah, it’s a worthy stop’, but this year changed everyone’s perception of Rio. We had 4 to 6 foot barrels on the first day of competition and then the waves went really flat for a week of lay days. But the good thing was that there was another good swell coming and it was coming with no wind. When the swell showed up everyone was super pumped. There were great barrels and a few really good air sections, and then the final day was pretty much perfect for some high performance surfing. It was 2 to 3 foot and offering some great lil’ barrels, but mostly it was about the airs. But, all this said you can still never compare it to J-Bay. They are two different waves.
You’ve won before on home soil. What did it mean to you to win overseas, especially in a place like Brazil with all the support for local surfers like Medina and Adriano?
It meant a lot. I guess it just proved that I could compete with the boys outside of home soil. The crowd factor was crazy, if you think that 15 000 South Africans can scream, then you haven’t been to Brazil yet. They were causing riots on the sand and going crazy. It was so cool to see how passionate they were about their surfers. But at the same time it was annoying ’cause in the heats I would hear the crowd going crazy for Adriano and then when I took off you could here crickets! (laughs)
What board did you surf for the majority of the contest? Was it made specifically for the waves in Rio?
I rode a Rookie Wide Tail from Al Merrick, it’s been the board that I’ve been using the whole year, it’s the first time in my career that I’m sticking to the same board for as long as it lasts. It’s got a bit of rocker to help on the hollow pockets, but it still has a bunch of drive so I really like the feeling of it. Big carves, air or barrels. It’s my magic stick!
What did you get up to during the long wait in the middle of the event? Good golf courses in Rio?
(Laughs) Yeah the golf is great there but extremely expensive, so I gave that a miss. I actually got really sick, I had bronchitis for five days and that was driving me mad, so I guess I was lucky that I had the lay days (laughs). But ja, I just tried to sleep it off and get over it as soon as I could.
The next event is Fiji. How do you feel about Tavarua?
I love Tavarua, it’s my favorite event all year. I just really hope we get some great swell. I’m heading there now, two weeks before the event, so I hope to get a bunch of practice in and learn a bit more about the wave.
What do you get up to on the island while you wait for swell?
Well they have a pool, skate ramp, tennis court, SUPs, table tennis… There are a bunch of activities you can do. It’s so much fun.
And then it’s Keramas. We’ve seen some mental footage of you tearing that place apart. Looking forward to Bali?
Ja for sure, I’m not really thinking about it though, just focusing on what’s next.
You were under some serious pressure towards the end of last year and coming into 2013. There was a lot of negative talk about love in your life changing the hungry, competitive Jordy people thought they knew.
I think if anything it has made me focus 10 times more. I think people will always find a reason why someone is not winning, even if they have changed nothing and are trying their best. It’s made me a happier person and way more grounded. I can’t thank Lyndall enough.
Thanks a lot for your time Jords and good luck with the next event.