All Hail The Pope!
Congratulations on the win, how does it feel to take out the 20th edition of the DK sessions?
Thanks guys. Relief. 20 years is a long time to wait for anything. Certainly humbling. Standing on the beach half blinded by some rogue champagne and reading the names on that trophy was overwhelming. Fulfilled. It’s a goal I set myself a long time ago and completely lost sight of only to eventually get my house in order.
How many years have you been competing in the event and what has your past record been like?
Since 2002. I missed a few through the broke as hell uni days and the Dan Andrews extended house parties of the last two years but I have been to most. Always the bridesmaid and never the bride I was runner up in 2007 to Dylan Lee, 2018 to Garry Thatcher and then third a couple of times.
Tell us about the vibe around the event, being the 20 anniversary of the first Dksessions it looked like there was an extra special hype surrounding this one?
I haven’t been to a comp like this. It didn’t even feel like a comp because of that hype. I haven’t seen the bodyboarding and local community get around an event like this since I was a grommet and we used to do the Pippie Beach classic with those shirts with what looks like 200 sponsors on them. It felt like a high school reunion but without the pissing contests and if you went to a school full of mad dogs (i.e. “legends” for my non-Aussie friends). A lot of fun is underselling it.
Did you have any specific tactics you employed throughout your heats?
I’ve never been overly tactical which probably explains my track record other than to try and peak technically in the final.
This one though, I had just watched Kelly Slater’s ” Lost tapes” episode on YouTube and he said you must be on the first good wave and make people respond whilst holding priority that made so much sense, so I gave that a crack. When I drew Luke Hall and Tyson Ryan in my first heat and I almost had to throw the tactic straight in the bin because it doesn’t work when Luke gets the best wave of the contest in your heat, but got through Round 1 and it seemed to work from then on. Docco was best on ground and organised a comical/brutal ice bath Friday and then I surfed in boardies Saturday which helped a lot as I am normally in 4/3s hoods and booties.
How did it feel when you were announced in first place and did you celebrate the win?
Just a big release. When the buzzer went I was sitting next to Grant so that was super special. We’ve been doing this for over 20 years and I love watching him do well and it was nice to feel that from him and what honesty felt like everyone on the beach. Celebrated for a minute out the back with Grant, Ducky and Jake because the ocean just totally stopped. To come in to my close friends waiting on the beach was amazing. The boys had cracked a few tins at lunch time so things got a bit silly but I didn’t get too loose. I was buzzing enough without the sauce!
What constitutes good Dropknee to you?
Put simply it is speed, power and rail control without looking like a flying egg or a whacky inflatable arm man.