Bodyboarder HQ Exclusive!
Interview with Jay Reale
JR:I'm going to be competing down your way at 13th Beach (Near Bells Beach) on the weekend of Nov.23-24. Maybe we'll see you there.
BBHQ:How long have you been bodyboarding?
JR:Since 1979, so that's 17 years
BBHQ:How did you get into the pro scene?
JR:I started by winning an amateur event on the East Coast and qualifying for the first-ever Morey World Championships at Pipe in 1982, and I went there and met some of my heros. Then, after I graduated from Uni in 1986, I moved to California and joined the Pro Tour.
BBHQ:How did you go about getting your sponsors?
JR:As an amateur in 1980, I went into a surf shop and asked the owner how to get on his bodyboarding team. He said to wait and see how I did in the local contests. After doing well and getting a couple of photos in the local paper, he put me on the team and eventually helped my get wetsuit and clothing sponsors as well as a board sponsor. The key was convincing the companies that I could get positive exposure for them. Now, I write to companies and approach them with my resume' and sometimes a video about myself. Being businesslike and professional is what it's all about.
BBHQ:What do you think of the bodyboarding as a sport at the moment?
JR:I believe that the mood of our sport has changed a lot over the years. It used to be a sport that was strictly clean-cut, more family oriented. Now I see a lot more of the hard core, extreme sport influence coming in. A lot of bodyboarders are punkers, skaters, snowboarders, whatever...the sport is more edgy now, and it's pushing the limits.
BBHQ:What are your goals for the future?
JR:My immediate goals are to finish the GOB Tour in the top 16. For next year, I want to hopefully sign new contracts with all of my sponsors and continue to push the age envelope for being a pro. I learn something new every year, and I want to keep improving. I also want to help professional bodyboarding gain popularity as an extreme sport. Finally, I want to surf new places that other bodyboarders haven't visited yet.
Many thanks to Jay Reale for this interview
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