Doc: Hey Nick,
This interview is about you , but folks hear the surname ‘Ormerod’ and get all jumbled as to which is which amongst you and your brothers Alex and Simon. Can you give us the official run down on yourself and your bro’s so it is super clear who is who?
NO: Well I’m in the middle. I’m 24 and I’m from Coolangatta on the goldy. Simon’s 2 years older than me and Alex is 3 years younger than me. In terms of bodyboarding Simon and I both ride the boogie and Alex is a photog but he gets on the boogie every now and then too, not a bad scoop on big gay Al either!
Doc: Your first trip to Teahupoo was with Eddie Solomon and Simon “Teahupoo Master” Thornton scoring solid Chopes with just three of you out. Big names to be riding with there, what was it like?
NO: Yeh it was pretty cool, as you can imagine it was a little intimidating feeling like I’d have to catch any lump of ocean coming at me to make me feel cool in front of those guys hahah. The swell had a little bit of south in it that first trip though so it was pretty likely you’d be coming out if you took off in the right spot, but on the trip I went there recently it was more west and wouldn’t always let you out so I’d have to say that was a bit more intimidating.
Doc: I remember a pic of you doing a sick invert off a big Chopes lip with a quote something like “Nick Ormerod going dangerous where most do not” (or words to that effect). It was a mental shot. The question is: Do you have a brain? Haha
NO: Yeh like with any action sports the more you do it the more you learn how to wipe out safely. Things can go wrong, but sometimes it’s too tempting to hit some bowls and if you have some control over the situation it’s usually ok. There’s definitely a bit of an art to wiping out.
Doc: On your recent signing with Empire Boards, team manager Gregg Taylor says of you:
“Nick is a future legend in the sport on a mission to make a serious impact worldwide”
That big respect and a big call from a man who knows the industry and its riders inside out – you up for it?
NO: He just said that because it was a press release. Hahah nah, I hope he meant it - it’s a good feeling to think someone with a good idea of what’s going on in the industry is giving that support. Yeh, I feel up for it, I’m still young and amped, I’ve seen plenty of guys talk it up then fade away as quickly as they came along and I don’t wanna do that. I’ve dedicated a lot of my life to bodyboarding. I wanna push my boundaries, and at the same time push boundaries of the sport if that’s what level I get to.
Doc: Your working with shaping legend Glenn Taylor to bring out a sig board in September this year. So sick to hear of riders getting direct input into their sig board design. You’re a tall fella, will you be designing a board that is your dream template to ride in different sizes or will you be working to a market type template?
NO: Yeh I’ll be working with Glenn to make a board that’s perfect for me and luckily the guys at Empire are as adamant as me to make sure my stock boards in the shops are exactly the same. I’ve basically got my shape sorted, the shapes and materials are the same as in the shops, even though they might be scaled down a bit. The only thing I’m really experimenting with at the moment is weight in the stringers.
Doc: The first round of SIC saw a heavy slab hit you on the side of the head, rupturing your eardrum. When I saw you at the comp hours after you were still in a lot of pain. How are you healing up?
NO: Yeh that was a weird feeling. It hurt a fair bit and made me feel a bit off balance for a little while. It’s now over three weeks from when it happened and it feels the same as it did 2 days after it, It’s not painful but now it’s leaking more seedy mucusy shit out of it. I been having to wash my pillow cases every one or two days because of the discharge, pretty seedy.
I know a few guys who busted they’re eardrum lately so it’s been the flavour of the month in the injury department, and they all said they had the same deal with it healing up.
Doc: You’re no stranger to waves of consequence, how did you find the Shark Island break? (you held some sweet lines in the barrel)
NO: Generally I love shark island. It’s an amazing wave with a bit of everything. The first round of this years comp had the odd good wave but it was too east for how low the tide was and super inconsistent which meant you couldn’t be picky at all. You’d either be taking off or watching someone take off and just be looking at the inside knowing it was about to cauliflower and go mutant and dry, so it was tough trying to get big points but it was ok, everyone was on an even playing field. Second round was pretty playful for the island.
Doc: what mix of Prone/DK/Stand-up Boogie are you riding?
NO: Pretty much full-time prone, with a few dk ones thrown in there just to remind lackey who’s boss hahah. When I’m at home tho and there’s no swell I go for heaps of stand up boogie sessions down at kirra shorey, it’s so good for it. Keeps you fit when there’s shitty surf and it’s heaps of fun.
Doc: What boards are you running in your current quiver and what are your current faves?
NO: I’m riding a coupla newby’s that Glenn shaped me, they’re my first boards with Empire. They’re pp with a single stringer, and I just ride the most worn in board for heavy or cold waves. My fave is my blue one, took it to Tahiti and it’s perfect.
Doc: And how about accessories – leash, fins and wetsuits?
NO: Ally fins and accessories and agent 18 wetties.
Doc: D.O.B height and weight?
6/9/84. 6’3. 83 kg.
Doc: Fave breaks – local and overseas?
NO: I’d have to say my favourite break now would be on the barrier reef. It’s like a tropical coral reef pass with long round barrels and it’s super bowly. It’s one of the most fickle places on earth and it’s an absolute mission to get to but there’s something super special about it, it almost feels like it’s out little baby and no one can touch it hahah. I’d love to see it bigger than what we had it.
Overseas I’d have to say pipe/backdoor. 2 waves are never the same there and it’s got every type of wave a bodyboarder could want, either left or right, and it can be good at 3 ft to 15 ft.
Doc: What would be the biggest wave you’ve taken on?
NO: Ahh not really sure but I guess one of the biggest and definitely most intense was one I got at chopes this year. It was kind of a goal to get a bomb. I was super close to making it but got thrashed, but it felt good once that part was over, like I’d accomplished a goal for the trip.
Doc:And what’s the toughest wave you’ve hit up?
NO: Backdoor pipe.
Doc: Do you have a crew you hang with in the water?
NO: Yeh my brothers, my roommates tomic and micka, the usual goldy crew like lackey, byron, deethy, ash, joe, blackzach, cleggy, and also the guys I go on trips with, I get along with most of the fellas pretty well which is handy when you don’t always know who’s gonna be on your next trip.
Doc: What’s the maddest roadtrip you’ve been on?
NO: A roadtrip Simon, Sam Gray, Mark Bunyan and myself did to the south coast when I was about 15, we were all just little groms. We camped the first night near this little reef and it was a full moon so I could see the swell picking up just before we went to bed, I was so excited that no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get one second of sleep the whole night. The next day I grated my face along the reef at blackrock but wouldn’t let myself have any days outta the water. We went further down south and at that stage there’d only ever been one wave of nuggan on a vid and it showed the rock in the foreground. I looked across from the next headland and saw the rock and went oi! There’s that rock! that could be that wedge! We walked over and sure enough it was THE nuggan, 4 – 5 ft and pumping with no one else around. We had it like that for about 3 or 4 days, taking turns filming till one day this old bodyboarder guy who was about 6’5 and as thick as a tree told us to stop filming or he’d throw our camera in the water. We didn’t argue and surfed with him for a coupla days and he invited us to stay with him and cooked us some sweet dinners. One night our dad rang and said hey boys I think some swell’s coming so be ready, and sure enough it came. It was the 2001 island comp swell, super clean and solid 12, maybe even 15 ft at some spots and you can imagine some of the waves coming through at those south coast reefs in that swell. Now when we look back at that swell we were waaaay out of our league but we got out there anyway. To top it off when the swell dropped a bit we got redsands all day as good as it gets with us and a couple other bodyboarders, one of them told me I had snot all over my chin but it was the soggy scab from my blackrock face rake. Some filmer guy was kind enough to leave a note on our car saying he’d filmed some waves of us and to give him a call which was a bonus. The whole trip was pretty amazing, a totally unplanned roadtrip in school holidays but just one of those ones that you never forget.
Doc: Best boat trip?
NO: That’d have to be the trip to the barrier reef we did recently. As far as I know the next riptide is doing something on the trip. I’d been waiting a year and a half for the conditions to be right and didn’t even know what to expect or what reefs to go to. Everything about the trip was running just on the right side of it being either epic or a total disaster, but it all worked out like a fairytale and we all came out of it pretty stoked with getting good bodyboarding indo style waves in oz, and some solid fish to back it up haha.
Doc: Who are some of your fave photogs?
NO: Obviously one is my brother, Alex, it might be a little bit of a biased call, and I guess it happens with other photogs too but some of the photos Alex gets, whether they’re of bodyboarding or lifestyles, landscapes, or random thought prevoking stuff or whatever are amazing, I’ve got heaps of faith in him. Also Phil Gallagher and Trent Mitchell, they’re both super consistent, artistic and original and work hard, and I know Alex looks up to them a lot too. I love shooting with all those those guys.
Doc: Board history – any chance you can remember and name the boards you have had under you over time? Fave ride ever of all of them?
NO: I started out with a deal with Ocean & Earth and had a few planks from them back in the day. Then had a little deal with NMD and then moved to BZ which was when I got my first dream board. I got it shaped by Dan Sivess and it was perfect, looked good, and felt right, and I had amazing waves on it – pumping waves in the caroline islands to work it in then rode it around home for a few really good sessions and I had it for the 07 winter on the south coast and had some really good sessions on it and it felt perfect. That would’ve been my favourite board, but the board I’ve got now I went out of my way to make sure it’s exactly the same as that board, even the colours and it’s perfect, had some of the best waves I’ve ever had on it too.
Doc: Scariest moment on the boog?
NO: Scariest was maybe my first year in Hawaii when I was 17 and got caught inside at solid pipe. I think it was just the whole name of pipe that freaked me out. I felt like crying. Most recent and maybe sketchier was at chopes, freefell a bit, fins came off and dragged behind me like parachutes, got too deep, blasted, wetty came off and wrapped around my legs, leash wrapped around me until it pulled tight enough to snap. Got held under for ages to the end closeout bit on almost dry reef where I came up then got held there and rolled for a few waves, naked and with my fins dangling off like anchors, then got flushed into the lagoon with my tail between my legs wondering what the f@k just happened while I swam around looking for my board.
Doc: How would describe the boog scene in Australia at the moment and where do you see it heading?
NO: At the top level it’s amazing. Guys are so much more consisitently doing things that wouldn’t have been dreamt of 15 years ago. There’s still room for improvement though, sometimes you see someone do something that looks like it couldn’t really be done better but I think there’s a lot more potential for that to happen a lot more consistently, especially tech stuff in solid and heavy waves.
Doc: What do you reckon BB needs most at the moment?
NO: Boards that go faster.
Doc: What do you love most about the BB culture?
NO: That anywhere there’s a good bodyboarding wave there’s almost always be a bunch of dudes there to welcome you, it’s like most people in bodyboarding have an instant friendship.
Doc: Who would you like to give a shout-out to?
NO: Sponsors, family and friends, especially the ones who I know have gone out of the way to help me out with stuff like airport runs and a place to stay. I owe a lot of people favours I reckon
Doc: And finally who are your sponsors?
NO: Empire, 662mob, Ally, Agent 18.
Unite Clothing: http://www.unite4fun.com/
EDIT: Nick has his own webby now: http://www.nickormerod.com/ looking fresh
Thanks so much for your time Nick
No worries. Cheers
Rider: Nick Ormerod Photo: Chris Gurney
Rider: Nick Ormerod Photo: Chris Gurney
Rider: Nick Ormerod Photo: Chris Gurney
Rider: Nick Ormerod Photo: Alex Ormerod
Nick by Alex Ormerod