Focussed and determined. Travis Logie WILL be back on the World Tour.
He’s currently SA’s most experienced campaigner on tour, has doggedly fought his way back from injuries to requalify for the Dream Tour twice. He’s beaten world champs, been dubbed one of the fastest surfers around, won an ISA World title on home soil and appeared topless on Carte Blanche. Travis Logie may be back on the WQS, but the word on the beach is he’s surfing harder and better than ever. In fact, we’ve got good money on it the man is going to be back in the big leagues come 2012. But not before we grilled him.
Zag: Okay let’s start with the question we all would like to hear the answer to: Will we see Travis back on the Dream Tour mid season?
Travis: We’d better (laughs). I’ve put in a lot of hard work during the off season and that usually pays off. So if I was a gambling man I would say yes.
Do you have a game plan to work towards requalifying?
My aim is to just stay fit and positive throughout the year. Last year I got a bit negative and lazy after my loss at J-bay which was basically my downfall, because before that I was actually getting through a lot of heats on both tours. I learnt a huge lesson there.
You’re a competitive person by nature and enjoy other sports, especially tennis. Have you ever thrown or broken a racquet when a line call went against you?
Haha ja,I’ve thrown a few tantrums on the court. Sometimes I think my friends let me win because they know how bad I hate losing! I’ve smashed two racquets before, but then stopped because it got a bit costly.
Trav has been adding more airs to his already impressive repertoire. © CRAIG KOLESKY
Watching you surfing over the past couple of months it appears as though you have been concentrating on adding more flair to your surfing. You’re busting a lot more airs and fin throws than you used to. Is this in response to the change in the judging criteria?
I have been working on them, but not for competitive surfing although it has leaked into the heat strategy. It was really just to prove to myself I could evolve with the sport and I feel I’ve made huge progress. I’ve still got a long way to go though before I’m at the level I wanna be!
How many more competitive years do you feel you have left in you? In the past guys used to pack it in before even turning 30, but now with Kelly still winning into his late 30s and probably even early 40s this must have changed some guys mindset?
To be honest with you, physically I feel like I could go for at least another 10 years. I know I’m fitter than 95% of my competitors! It’s a lot of non-stop pressure, the thing is I love the pressure and it’s what I think keeps me feeling so young. I think age is just a number which only has meaning if you let it have meaning.
Do you still enjoy travelling and competing? It must be difficult to be away from your wife for extended periods?
It depends where I’m going. Some places I dread going, but other places I can’t wait to get there. My wife comes with me on about half my trips so it’s not as bad as you’d think because although we miss each other we’ve got to go to some amazing places together which is priceless. I think generally as time has passed I’ve enjoyed travelling more because I’ve mastered it. If you travel wrong it’s a nightmare!
“Fast” and “precise” are two words used frequently to describe Travis’ surfing. © CRAIG KOLESKY
You’ve had your fair share of injuries over your career. Are there any lasting effects of these injuries or are you 100% back to your fighting best?
None at all. I maintain that my injuries are the best thing that have happened to me. There’s no way I would be as healthy and fit as I am today if it wasn’t for those wake-up calls I had.
Let’s talk about the Dream Tour – do you reckon that the judges push some bigger name surfers through heats or are they spot on?
Yes I do think they push the bigger names through, but I don’t think it’s a concious thing that they do. I think it would happen to almost everyone. When one of the top guys takes off on a wave a lot happens; the crowd gets louder and the commentator gets more excited, it’s a tangible thing you can feel on the beach so I can see how it happens.
It must be a tough job though. Do you think you would make a good judge?
I think I’d be a good judge because of my experience, but I don’t know if I could take all the flack judges take. A lot of it is unjust. Imagine staring out into the glare all day and getting vloeked at the end?
What job do you reckon you would have had if the surfing career never took off?
To be honest I reckon I would have ended up as a stock broker, in politics or a sports agent.
Okay on a less serious note… Did your mates ever give you any grief about appearing on Carte Blanche and taking off your T-Shirt and posing shirtless?
Hahaha, no they didn’t! My mates are all real posers so they would’ve probably taken their shorts off too.
You’re not very tall and your wife is a model. Did you have to stand on your toes to kiss her on your wedding day?
Haha, nah she is actually a little shorter than me, but towers over me with heels on so I walk around on tip toes when we go out.
The general public reckons that surfers are pretty doff. That’s a wicked generalisation, but let’s play along. What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done or said?
Making Warwick Wright my best man was a bad call, he forgot to organize my bulls party and then spent the whole weekend losing money on the pokies. We were all calling him “Shit man” after that.
I noticed that you’ve recently started your own website. Is it difficult to keep it updated and fresh?
Yup it is. I try not to stress about it too much or I’ll just get over it. I just put new stuff up there when it comes along. Got some good ideas coming though.
In past interviews you’ve mentioned that up until you finished matric your parents wouldn’t allow you to surf during the week. How did you keep up with other competitive surfers by only surfing on weekends, and do you feel that had you surfed a lot more as a grom that you could have been an even better surfer than you are now?
I don’t think I would have ended up a better surfer, maybe just got to a certain level faster. But I’m actually so happy my parents did that. Kids that can surf whenever they want too early always end up either hating surfing or not appreciating it. My friends can vouch for me when I say that I’ve got more froth than most people 15 years younger than me!
Hanging with the Saffa crew in Hawaii. © CRAIG KOLESKY
You’re the last of a kind so to speak… The group of surfers that you grew up surfing with at the Dairy bowl were a dominant force in SA surfing. Four of you went on to win WQS events; Simmo, Wok, Davey and yourself. Simmo missed out on WCT qualification by something like 1 point, and you and Davey qualified for the Dream Tour. What was special about that group?
We were a really focussed group, partying was never a priority like it is for most of the Durban groms I see nowadays. We just wanted to be pro surfers and beat each other so bad that it consumed us for years. And to achieve that we had to keep it clean and focussed.
Staying with the topic of that Dairy bowl posse. It seems that Durban is struggling to produce a group of world beating junior surfers at the moment. What do you feel could be the problem?
I think a lack of club events, junior events and a real local tour. When I was in my late teens I was surfing an event every weekend pretty much, things like Natal trials, Natal champs and SA champs were huge back then and it created a culture and a goal for young surfers to aspire to.
You are the most experienced SA campaigner doing the tour at the moment. Do you have any words of advice for the younger guys heading on to the WQS now. Things to watch out for, what they need to be doing, etc?
There aren’t a lot of opportunities out there, so if you get a chance to give it a crack then make the most of it. Don’t mess around, only do it if you really believe you can make it!
Cool man Trav, we’re rooting for you to get back on tour again. Any parting words?
Yeah… Thanks to all the South African surfers who have supported me and watched my heats over the years. It means everything to me! Without all you guys I would be on the ping pong world tour.
Check out the video of Trav shredding below: Then visit his new website on: www.travislogie.com