Rudy Palmboom and Shaun Joubert are two of the most recognisable faces in South African surfing. Both have built solid reputations over the years, where they’ve progressed from promising juniors at local events to professional athletes with serious careers.
Earlier in 2012, Shaun moved over to California, where he has been surfing his brains out and training for the WQS. Rudy made the jump over a couple of months later and has doing much of the same thing, except with his focus more towards the free-surfing side of the spectrum. They recently set up camp together in San Clemente, one of the major surfing hubs in Southern California, and where we caught up with the pair this week to find out how the move is going and what they’ve been up to…
Zag: How’s life in California treating you? What have you been up to – Is this a permanent move, by the way?
Rudy: California has been too epic. It is a permanent move for us, we’ve both got our 5 year visas and stoked to be over here. The place makes me happy, I’ve got a lot of loved ones here, and the waves actually haven’t been too shabby either. I got a bit bummed out at the waves at first, but now that we’ve moved close to the beach and I’ve got my own car, I’m able to find the good stuff!
Shaun: Cali life is so sick. I’ve just been surfing as much as possible, training twice a week. We had a super fun run of swell and the weather was sick. I am just taking in the good vibes and having a hell of a time! I dunno, I never thought I could leave home, but I’m so happy and in my element. I definitely want to spend as much time there as possible for the next few years, at least.
I hear you chaps have moved in together? How’s the new spot working out?
Rudy: It is so, so sick. A lot better than I expected, and it’s been rad going shopping for ourselves. Our place is right in the middle of town in San Clemente, and a jog to the beach and pier. Shaun’s my boetie and we’ve travelled together for years, so it’s cool that we both can be out doing our own thing, and can now come back to our home and have a jol together with it.
Shaun: Dude! The new spot is so sick! I was so rattled to leave (I’m in the Canaries). So I’ve left Rug there to get some furniture. Its the only thing that’s missing. But we have never really had our own place so we had so much shit to buy. It was so epic going to Walmart and doing a huge shop. It was a crazy experience.
Rug, we checked you got a 5th at the USA Pro Surf Series contest and continue to travel to sick places, getting mad photos. What have been your personal highs and lows of 2012?
Rudy: For me, it’s all been a learning curve of ups and downs. I have been at a bit of a crossroads after doing the WQS for so many years and not enjoying the ‘competing’ side of things, and not knowing how or which path to take other than the WQS. It’s been tough, but I’m stoked to see some light on the path I’ve chosen, and that there ARE other options. I feel stoked to be following my true passion of pure surfing, as I do and how I want, and documenting it for my new film. I feel happy to have my future in my own hands for once, and not up to five judges anymore. Just excited to get some stoke back, getting more creative and doing my own thing again! Check out my blog coming soon, I’ll hit you guys up!
Sick. How about you, Shaun?
Shaun: I definitely didn’t have the year I expected contest wise. After finishing in the 50s last year I really wanted to have a good crack at qualifying, but it didn’t quite go as planned. But I’ve been working on fitness and surfing with a coach and I feel like I’ve improved a lot, which is a big high for me – seeing improvement. And I feel like I’ve got some good exposure this year, which has been good. It’s been a roller coaster. Moving out of home, breaking up with my long time girlfriend and losing a sponsor, but somehow I’m the happiest I’ve been in years. It’s crazy!
What have you guys got in the pipelines for the rest of the year?
Rudy: Buying furniture for our spot. Ha. Just cruising and filming around California and getting my blog going full swing, and doing some work and filming in Hawaii with Fox next month in November. Home for Christmas to see the family, and back to Cali again to hang in our new home and get some Winter waves around here. Oh, and my new love: snowboarding!
Shaun: Pretty much just carry on improving. Right now, I’m preparing for next year. I really want to qualify and I feel like if I carry on improving, then it’s gonna happen. And obviously a month in Hawaii and then I’m coming home in December to see the family and the dog and take in some sick summer vibes, suss out all the chicks on holiday in Mossels, haha.
Besides the waves and family, what do you miss the most about home?
Rudy: Everything, the whole vibe, the cultures, the people and my friends. Also the food, although we’ve got a fair share of South African stores around. But I’ll always be back home for winter. It’s just too good to miss!
Shaun: Honestly the only things I miss from home are my family, friends and the waves. I’m really looking forward to being at home in December, cause all my friends are gonna be there and I get to hang with the family and the waves are pretty fun and it’s actually kinda busy and sick with vacationers.
Shaun, I see you’ve just picked up a new sponsor (Swox)?
Shaun: Ja, I’m super stoked to be on the team. They’re a pretty new company, but their product is amazing! I’ve spent some serious hours in the sun, like all day Lowers missions and I haven’t gotten sunburnt once. So I’m stoked to hopefully not have croc skin one day. They also have these pills you take that are really good for your skin and eyes from all the sun! Super sick!
Ruggy, let’s talk facial hair. Have you got anything serious planned for Movember? Handlebars, a Colonel Mustard?
Rudy: Ha, I’ve already been rocking the muzzy as it is, so I suppose I’ve gotta come up with something even creepier? Maybe just grow my winter jersey for the snow season…
Shaun: Rug has the sickest facial hair, I’m so jealous! I just wanna grow a beard so bad!
Lastly, who is going to be World Champ in 2012?
Shaun: Hopefully it comes down to Pipe and John John takes it out! Thats what I wanna see. Holding it down for the new generation!
Rudy: I hope John John, but I’m not the judge of that…