'Prepared' Jordy Smith looking to put SA surfing on the map in Tokyo

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Jordy Smith (Getty)
Jordy Smith (Getty)

South African surfer Jordy Smith shares insight into his game plan for this year's rescheduled Tokyo Olympics.

Despite disruptions from the pandemic over the last year, Smith managed to secure a spot for the Olympics through the World Surf League (WSL) Champion Tour in 2019.

Smith says that the Tokyo Olympics delay did not seem to impact the 33-year-old at all, claiming that it's given him a chance to prepare so that he can give it his best shot.

"We never had this four-year preparation leading up to the Olympics, it has only been a year to try and scramble," Smith told Red Bull's Road To Tokyo.

"Having that extra year available to us has almost been a blessing in disguise as we've been able to get more equipment and data on the Olympic surfing spot. We need to make the most of the time we have off, not only for the Olympics but for the Champions Tour."

It's safe to say that Smith put a lot of thought into the Olympics, including in the new make of his travel partner - his surfboard.

"In Japan, it's (surfboard) is going to be a lot smaller, a lot more volume and more litres inside the board for smaller waves," said Smith.

"They pretty gutless in Japan, obviously you can get a typhoon, but it's rare that it'll happen in July so you've got to prepare for the worst and give it your all."

Smith mentions that he makes sure to research and test all types of boards and equipment to get him ready.

He was able to fine-tune a lot of the equipment made for his trip to Japan, and while there are a few backups that he's bringing along, Smith's certain that he has got his surf 'weapon' ready.

"Since the waves are going to be pretty small so my training had to shift quite a bit," he said.

"I took two weeks to zone down and focus on the Olympics by shaping and building boards and equipment around that surfing spot. I'm doing everything I can to make sure that my success at the Games is high."

In his last bit of preparation, he is certain that it's really all about technique; it's all about how he manages his opponents, his heats, and making sure his equipment is as good as it can get.

With the extra attention that will inevitably take surfing by storm, what does this mean for the South African surfing scene?

Smith hopes that surfing in the Summer Olympics lineup will do good things for the surfing community.

"I think the most important thing for me is to try to inspire somebody and to try to turn their life around in a positive way, if you can do that, you've done your job," said Smith.

"You've got to believe in yourself, to put your best foot forward and give it everything you've got."

The rescheduled Tokyo Olympics set to get under way from 23 July - 8 August with the surfing competition starting on 25 July at Tsurigasaki Surfing Beach.

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