Local lad Alex Lincoln is set to take the bodyboarding world by storm. With his talent, determination and absolute passion for the sport, this 17-year-old plans to follow his dream of surfing on the pro circuit …
At what age did you start bodyboarding – what prompted you to take up the sport?
I was about 12 or 13-years-old. Probably my brother … I was always going to be better than him! He bodyboards, so I started to bodyboard too. And I just enjoyed it so much, I never stopped!
Who’s been coaching or mentoring you along the way?
At the moment, Sam Bennett. He’s one of my good mates. He points me in the right direction and gives me heaps of advice. I surf with him a lot, and he’s really good. He helps me out with everything.
Other than that, all my mates. We push each other to be better.
What are some of the competitions you’ve been in recently?
I came first in the State Titles last year, here in Port. I got 7th in Australia and 2nd in the New South Wales Goose Gosby last year.
I get to move up into a harder division now, which will push me better. I’ll be in Opens now, because I turn 18 at the end of the year.
I’ve beaten everyone in the local comps whose older than me, so more of a challenge will be good. I want to get better.
How do you go about preparing yourself for competitions?
Usually about 3 weeks to a month out, I start to train heaps. I’ll surf for 20 minutes, come in, stretch, then go out for another 20 minutes – because that’s how long a heat goes for. I try to surf the best I can during that. Then, I’ll maybe do some fitness training.
I try to feel good going into the comp – I try to be really focused and positive about it all. After that, I just surf my best and do what I can do.
So, you’re juggling your bodyboarding with school and other commitments as well?
Yeah. I’m at Newman College, just finishing Year 12, and then I’ll focus 100 per cent on bodyboarding.
With certain trips and comps I’ll have time off school, but then I’ll be straight back into it as soon as I come back. I surf every morning before school and every afternoon after school and every weekend.
What’s actually on the agenda for you in 2011, in terms of comps?
I’ve got a pretty busy year. My sponsors this year are paying for every competition and all of my travel. I think I’m doing the Shark Island Trials in Cronulla, and I might be doing a comp in Western Australia.
Both the State Titles at the Central Coast and then the National Titles – plus all the local comps and the Goose Gosby.
Who are your sponsors this year?
Nomad Bodyboards, Limited Edition Fins and ATTICA Wetsuits. They look after me – they’re heaps good to me.
If I have another good year next year and the year after that, I’ll hopefully soon get put on the pro team and just surf. It’s all I want to do – I just love it so much.
Would extra sponsorship help you out as well?
Yeah – I haven’t got a clothing sponsor at the moment, but Nomad, Limited Edition and ATTICA have me covered with all the surf stuff. I’m looking to get on the pro team with those companies at the moment.
I want to stick with them and keep impressing them, but it would be good to pick up a clothing sponsor along the way as well.
What would you say to other aspiring young bodyboarders who are keen to get to where you’re situated in the sport?
Just have fun! You have to enjoy it, really. If you’re having fun and surfing every day, you’re gonna get better and better. It depends how much you get in the water – and if you surf every day, you’ve gotta improve.
What skills do you need to have to be a good bodyboarder?
Balance … flexibility. It’s sorta like gymnastics on the water, so you have to be pretty flexible and really explosive when you get to certain waves and good sets.
What’s your favourite move?
A back flip. It was hard at the start, but once you start landing them, you get them all the time. It’s like learning to ride a bike, I guess!
What’s the trickiest move to learn?
The hardest move in bodyboarding is an air forward, I reckon. It’s like a forward spin in the air – and it’s tricky. You have to get the right wave to do it on, and you don’t get that wave all the time, so it’s the hardest trick to practice.
Every other trick you can pretty much do off a 2-foot beach break, and with tricks like an air forward, you need good waves to do them.
Where are the best waves you’ve ever surfed?
I recently went to the Cook Islands. They were probably the best barrels I’ve ever been in, for sure. There’s a reef and you paddle into it, and every wave’s perfect.
Other than that, probably a few waves down on the South Coast that were pretty consistent and locally, Breakwall.
If you could bodyboard anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I definitely want to get into bigger waves … there are so many waves out there! I want to go to Secret Sumatra, and I think the big waves over in Tahiti would be a hectic experience.
What’s the best surf you’ve ever had to date – the dream surf?
The best surf I’ve ever had was with a few of my friends over on North Wall. It was when it had really good banks, in the middle of last year. It was just pumping … really good waves.
I paddled over in the early morning, and it was just that good, I didn’t go to school – we just surfed all day. It was just us out – and it was the best surf I’ve had.
What’s been the highlight for you so far with all the comps you’ve surfed?
Probably the State Title, when I won that. I was sort of the underdog in that final, and it just felt good to win here at home.
There were a lot of good riders in that, but I had a good plan going into it. I just got one good solid wave, like a flip, and then once I landed that I’d get a little back up wave through the heats.
What else would help your dream of becoming a pro bodyboarder?
I definitely need my name to get out there – some more promotion. Some more mag shots in bodyboarding magazines. I’ll keep trying to get into comps and perform well and get my name up there – and my sponsors will help with that as well. There’s video clips coming out on YouTube and Vimeo. Type my name in, especially on Vimeo, and everyone gets to see exactly how I’m surfing. This helps to promote me as well.
What are you most looking forward to this year?
I think I’m going back to the Cook Islands with my friend from the South Coast and a guy who’s making a bodyboard movie. Hopefully all that comes together – I just love travelling! But I love coming home too.
Thank you Alex – and all the best with achieving your pro status!
Interview by Jo Atkins.
Action photo of Alex bodyboarding – Ben Jackson.
Photo of Alex – Daniel Scott.