With the spotlight shining brightly on South Africa as a revived hotbed of surfing talent, it’s easy to get lost in the massive shadow cast by the Jordy Smith monolith. Shaun Joubert, however, is one of the few rising stars that have managed to carve his own path into the international fray. Coming from the notoriously sharky Southern Cape region, Joubert is no stranger to taking risks in the water, and his fearless attitude has been translated into a futuristic, powerful approach to surfing, of which his performances on the North Shore are testament. With a solid competitive foundation firmly established through numerous local and international results, Joubert is already being pinned as “the next Jordy,â€ a billing that is not entirely without substance. Joubert defeated Franklin Serpa (BRA) and Billy Stairmand (NZ) in Round 1 last year, faced Billy again in Round 3, and ended his Global Challenge campaign in the semis losing to Marc Lacomare (FRA). ). Thirsty for more, Joubert took first place for the second year in a row at the Oakley Pro Junior South Africa, held this year in Port Alfred, and is frothing to make a big appearance in Bali this October.
Q & A
How did you start surfing? How old were you?
While moving to the coast from inland, we stopped in Jbay and it all started from there. I was 9, but it took me really long to stand up.
Movie: : Toss up between Transformers and the Hangover Books: The Harry Potters and the Twilight Saga
Are you reading anything now?
I'm pretty into a Mafia book at the moment.
Jordy Smith for coming out of SA and Mick Fanning for bouncing back from injury and winning a world title, maybe even 2. Lance Armstrong is also pretty inspirational.
If you were not a pro surfer, you would be?
Maybe something to do with the environment, like earth sciences. I find that pretty interesting.
What is the biggest obstacle you have faced?
Having to go to school, so I can't surf as much as I would've liked.
What is the best advice you’ve heard?
Happiness is best shared.
What is the best advice you’ve heard on improving your surfing?
To deliberate training for a specific area you want to improve.
What is the best trip you have been on for surfing and why?
Every trip to Bali because the waves are good, its warm, it's cheap and you never get bored.
At this level, what is something unique that you do in your training to improve your surfing?
I've been trying to improve explosiveness and power in my surfing.
Did you ever have a doubt that you could be a pro surfer?
No not really, after a big loss you always get doubtful, but I get over it pretty quickly.
How was the Global Challenge in Bali? What did you learn from the other surfers from different parts of the world?
It was amazing. You just learn from the way the guys approach a wave because everyone lives at a different wave.
Do you feel surfing came naturally for you or was there something you struggled with?
I think if its something you enjoy and you put in a lot of effort it comes a bit easier, but there are tough times through growth spurts and bad results.
What is one trait that you have that is truly South African?
My first language is Afrikaans, which is only spoken in South Africa.
I heard that you have a doctor and a scientist for parents, do you have plans to follow in their footsteps when your surfing career is over?
No not really. I admire them, but I want to follow a different path than what they have done.
Tell us one secret to surfing J-bay.
I don't really know I'm still figuring it out. I just try to surf the whole wave and not wait for the barrel at the end.