Wave conqueror

2013-11-05 00:00

IN years to come, Durban could produce its next top surfer on the world circuit, following in the footsteps of current hero Jordy Smith.

Bevan Willis, a Durban boy born and bred, living at Umhloti with the smell of the sea in his nostrils, has his heart set on surfing and conquering the waves of the world.

“My dad Shaun surfs and when I was eight, we went to uShaka beach and he just pushed me into my first wave,” said Bevan.

“I had done some skateboarding so had an idea of balance and how to stand up. Yes, it was quite scary that first time, but it was enjoyable and I was hooked from there.”

The bug had bitten and Bevan spent as much time as he could on the water. For the past three years he has had a coach, Quinton Jones, who is also his role model.

“Whenever the surf is good, I’m out there. Obviously, I can only surf after school and have two sessions a week with the coach,” said Bevan. “The rest of the time, I do my own thing, surfing from three to four hours at a time. The longest I have been in the water is nine hours.”

Bevan also trains with his father, doing some running and boxing moves, keeping himself strong, agile and focused.

“This year was the first year I travelled around South Africa. I was reserve for the SA U16 team that went to Nicaragua in January, but never got to travel,” said Bevan. “However, I have surfed at some of South Africa’s prime spots such as Jeffrey’s, Cape Town and St Francis, but Umhloti is still my favourite.”

Jeffrey’s was a memorable experience for the youngster as he took on waves of 10 to 12 foot.

“Those were big waves but that’s what Jeffrey’s is known for. It all adds to my experience and helps me mentally to move on and cope with my next challenge,” he said.

Wanting to make a career from surfing, Bevan is on the right track.

Besides being recognised as the best surfer at last weekend’s SA Schools Champs, he added the KZN Champs to his CV this past weekend.

“It’s great to be winning and it makes me determined to succeed and push forward.

“My dream is to make the SA team for the World Games in Brazil, in June/July next year and surf in all the spots I have heard and read about,” said Bevan.

Name: Bevan Willis

Age: 15

School: Northwood

Grade: 9

Sport: Surfing

Achievements: Top junior surfer at SA Schools Champ­ionships in Durban; Top seed in U15 age group at 2013 SA Champs, Jeffrey’s Bay.

Bevan Willis lifestyle

Plays U16B hockey

Favourite surfer is Craig Anderson

Enjoys watching rugby

Skateboards with friends when he can

Likes to think he can cook and makes a decent lasagne

Calamari is his favourite meal

Enjoys comedies at the movies

Jack Johnson is a music favourite.

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