Jake Sharp: DK Sessions Winner!
By Dan Dobbin.
All 📷 @bangers.
Congratulations on your win at the DK sessions event! How many years have you been competing in the event, and what is your record like in the event?
I have been surfing in this event on and off since its conception 20 plus years ago. I’ve had mixed results but have generally found myself in the final round more often than not. The best results would have been second to Crispin Hughes at cracking breakwall in Port Macquarie 2002 however the pinnacle for me was a win at the 2009 Forster event which I won and had Paul Roach hand me the winners trophy. Don’t feel I will ever be able to top that.
You seemed pretty emotional when you found out you had won, was it joy or relief for you?
Yeah the emotions were running high that day. I told my 12yr old that I would bring the winners trophy back for her and as the quarters came round I felt confident it was a definite possibility and this seemed to bring it all to the surface. Combination of that and also for the last few years I haven’t been able to surf in this event or at all due to injury’s and I really wanted to compete again. I worked hard to get myself fit and really wanted this win more than ever.
Did you have any specific tactics you employed throughout your heats?
I’ve never been a tactical surfer in competitions. Kinda just winged it. This year I took a different approach. Spent most of the morning accessing the conditions, understood what the judges we looking for (speed,power,flow) and in each heat tried to get busy early. After each heat I would look at the sheets to see what is getting scored well and try to follow that through in each round. Realised the lefts were going to be the best options for scoring potential so I think I went right once the whole day. I’ll be the first to say I got lucky in the final. I did what I needed to win but it also had a lot to do with the fact that the other competitors didn’t capitalise on their waves as it was so close it wasn’t funny. I’ll take it though!
Tell us about the vibe around the event? We understand it’s pretty special to the Ozzie Dropknee community?
The vibe at DKS is epic. A bunch of like minded people coming together to do something they love. Clayton Pickworth event organiser/director/manager etc etc has been doing this for years and understands what the surfers want as he has competed and judged himself at the highest level. People travel from all over Australia and previously the world to compete with arguably some of the best riders globally. Its also a great way to catch up with mates you wouldn’t get to see if it wasn’t for this event. Also who doesn’t love a road trip!!!
You’re renowned for being a stylish yet powerful rider with a style similar to Roach, what influences your riding?
The thing that influences my surfing the most is anyone who does it with power and flow. Roach has always been at the top of that list for me. Others like Aka, Mason, Lackey, Dubb, McGee and plenty more I’ve missed have always been a pleasure to watch. Personally though the people that have influenced me in dk the most have been the guys I’ve surfed with over the years. Maloney, Pope, Welsh, Dawso, Coy, Klimo and plenty of others. They know who they are and have pushed more than anyone to stay sharp. When it comes to style I have never really tried to surf like anyone. For someone to say I have a remotely similar style to Roach is very humbling and I would take that over any contest win.
What constitutes good Dropknee to you?
Good drop knee to me is really constituted as good surfing. I ride my standup as much as I DK and for me its about utilising the wave and not looking forced. I’d prefer to see one well executed manoeuvre than multiple forced moves. Style is important as going big is great but making it aesthetically pleasing is important too. Someone who does this really well is Grant Maloney. You’ll never see him do something that doesn’t look like it shouldn’t have been done. Unique style with an uncanny ability to read a wave and surf it to it’s full potential.
What about the future of Dropknee, are they’re any younger riders coming through?
The future of Dropknee is an interesting one? I really don’t see many young riders out there getting up which is dissapointing. I feel that most dabble but not 100% commitment to the stance. Competitions like DKS gets riders together and promotes the sport which is great but unless there is new blood coming through that can disappear pretty quickly like any sporting club. I don’t feel money and advertising is the solution (it helps sure) but what the generation before can do. Keeping it alive and passing down the stoke to the younger crew. Any sport goes through ebbs and flows in its lifetime so it’s understanding how to ride that wave (no pun intended) and remembering why we do it in the first place. Don’t try and making something it’s not.
Well thats about it in a nutshell. To whom it may concern, thank you for reaching out and asking what matters to me. It’s been a pleasure.
Here’s to a successful 2022 for bodyboarding in general and may more to come!!!