Alistair Taylor – 7 times SA Champ, 4 times Pipe Finalist in Hawaii, 4th in the World in 1998.
1) Hello AT how you doing thanks for speaking to us about what you up to these days!
Thanks for checking in 🙂
Right now I’m in Arlington, Virginia for a year for the final stage of my school program!
2) Looks like you moving away from Hawaii to do your doctoral program internship tell us about that?
Yes but hopefully temporary – depends on how the next year works out with the virus and its impacts on Hawaii and future work opportunities, and of course living somewhere my kids are happy. The mainland US has better work opportunities in general unless Hawaii is under normal circumstances and you’re in the tourism business… Right now that is almost comatose in Hawaii. The internship lasts a year but I will be applying for post-doc positions in a few months, so that will shed light on where to next.
3) When did you leave South Africa and why?
It was just a sort of natural evolution towards being able to travel and compete easier – SA was just too far from most venues on the world tour in those days, and I actually started out on the US tour first, so pretty much had to be US-based to do that, then one thing led to another and I stayed on.
4) Tell us a little about growing up in South Africa and your fav wave?
Probably North Beach just because it was my home break and it offers so much variety – it’s a really good training ground to learn everything from small mushy surf to big heavy barrels, and you can surf almost every day of the year. It has drawbacks too obviously but overall it’s good. Cave Rock was maybe my other favorite, but really SA has tons of fun waves with different things to offer.
5) What’re your biggest highlights in the sport of bodyboarding?
Probably the few pipe comps I had good results in, as those all coincided with being held in big, really good surf….so kind of a bonus when you get to surf epic pipe with just a few guys out.
6) What do you think of the future of SA Bodyboarding?
I don’t know since it’s been so long since I was there and am a bit out of the loop – it definitely seems to keep producing world-class riders though, which is amazing and a good sign.
7) Where would you like to see the sport in the future?
As always, more contests in good/critical surf would be nice, but also as always, those come down to money. The new wave pool tech might present some cool opportunities, especially if they can figure out a way to get to double the wave height – that one in Texas with the ramps already looks amazing, but that with twice the wave height could be nuts on a bodyboard.
8) You have gotten into photography also do you enjoy shooting?
Yeah for me it was just a way to experience the ocean in a different way and also share what I saw with others – it’s a different challenge to try to get critical angles of big waves too rather than zoom lens beach shots.
9) Looks like your kids are picking up a few tips from you could they be the future rippers?
Yeah:) maybe, Maika my younger son is picking it up quickly – Joshua is more like into it for fun only and could care less about performing at this point, but that might change – but I’m definitely not leading them on with those kinds of choices, just letting them figure out what they enjoy.
10) Any shoutouts you would like to give also?
I guess just for all the guys back in SA, if you have career aspirations in the sport, to work hard at it and dream big, but also have a solid plan B in place; even surfing has not been immune to big industry shake-ups and contract cancellations and such, so it’s good to work on more reliable career choices. Personally, I think that having another focus that develops your mind actually helps your surfing anyway, so it can be a win-win to develop yourself both physically and mentally.
Thanks for chatting with us!
Right on thank you, alohas