Where I first saw Mark's name and his riding in a deaf competition I can't exactly remember - it was thanks to Movement either the mag or online. Either way, it stuck in my mind and I chased Mark up, just before he went to Hawaii.
Every time I go for a surf I think of what a personal blessing it is to have all fingers and toes wiggling and eyes and ears to enjoy the world of booging with. Here is Mark with one of his senses not working and he goes for it anyway. Respex.
Please meet Mr Mark Howells and take a step into the quiet world of Deaf Surfing.Hey Mark,
You not long back from the World Deaf Surfing Championships (WDSC) in Hawaii, which ran July 9th to 12th. The final results were as follows:
1) Adam Farrington (USA)
2) Mark Howells (AUS)
3) Ron Sagucio (USA)
4) Kaimi Seminara (USA)
Mate you let a yank beat you, what’s the bloody story?!? Haha. Did us proud man. In 2005 you came second in the pre-trials at Flynn reef, Philip Island. You’re no stranger to the sponge, can you tell us a little about your riding and competition history?MH: haha the yank beat me by 2 waves as we all were fighting to catch the one wave breaking every 5mins but im still stoked with 2nd… Actually it was 3rd not 2nd at Phillip Island… yeh im no stranger to the sponge im usually riding when I am not working or busy with other things im out there in the water riding by my self and while im riding I am learning new moves… In competitions I am in both deaf and hearing contests.. The deaf one I am the Australian deaf Bodyboard Champion 4 years in a row.. The hearing ones I am a member of Solid Bodyboard Club and havnt won a trophy in the club yet hopefully soon… The last few years I have been in the Nsw state titles and national titles in the Senior Mens Division…2006 I came 3rd in the state and 2008 was the state champion …In the nationals my highest was semi finals .Doc: In 2008 you won the bodyboard division of the NSW Deaf Boardrider gig up on the Cenny Coast, put on courtesy of Crescent Head Boardriders. What’s the story with NSWDB and is there a website folks can look up?MH: Actually it was called the Australian Deaf Boardriders Championships and was held at Crescent Head. Yes I did win it. NSWDB will be having a website soon and hopefully folk will be able to look in it…Doc: Earlier this year I interviewed a deaf DK’er from vicco called Josh Morgan, you heard of him or surfed with Josh by chance? (his interview thread on the forum is viewtopic.php?f=20&t=1984 )MH: cool to hear there are more deaf boogers. No I don’t know him and havnt surfed with him yet. If Josh reads this he can contact Doc and get in touch with me. Be cool to meet him.Doc: what mix of Prone/DK/Stand-up Boogie are you riding?MH: Im a Prone rider and sometimes get up on DK but mostly prone is my style .Doc: What boards are you running in your current quiver and what are your current faves?MH: A 4play king model board that I use sometimes. I am riding a custom made Turbo board now and its my favourite board.Doc: What dimensions and core compositions are you finding hot for your riding at the moment?MH: 360’s, el rollo’s, ARS, huge cutbacks, AerialsDoc: And how about accessories – leash, fins and wetsuits?MH: turbo leash, Churchill fins, dunes wetsuits are the ones I use for my riding.Doc: D.O.B height and weight?MH: 16/07/75 , 5ft 5, 70kgs Doc: Fave breaks – local and overseas?MH: my fav local break is Newcastle Beach. Overseas would have to be Sandy Beach and Makapuu in Hawaii Doc: What would be the biggest wave you’ve taken on?MH: 8ft at Phillip Island during the Pre Trial contest.Doc:And what’s the toughest wave you’ve hit up?MH: 10ft at Phillip Island Doc: Do you have a crew you hang with in the water?MH: Not up in my local spot but do see some of the boogers in the water from my club. When I go down the coast I have a mate who I hang out in the water in Wollongong he is a good rider too. Doc: What’s the maddest roadtrip you’ve been on?MH: My maddest would have to be the Surfari I did back in 2003 from Sydney to Gold coast we stopped at nearly every beach on the way up the coast and found some good spots.Doc: Best boat trip?MH: Havnt been on a boat trip yet but would love to do one in the Maldives one day.Doc: Who are some of your fave photogs?MH: Would have to be chris stoh and tim jones from the mags I read. I don’t know any photogs. 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?MH: Morey mach 7.7, Science 5, Elemenohpee skipp , 4Play King, Turbo custom designs. My fav is the Turbo custom board.Doc: Scariest moment on the boog?MH: Don’t have a scariest moment yet. Maybe in the future I will get one.Doc: How would describe the boog scene in Australia at the moment and where do you see it heading, deaf and otherwise?MH: The Australian Tour is goin well and hope it goes heaps better in the future. Im hoping to hear or see more deaf boogers in Australia and maybe one day we can join the Australian Tour.Doc: What do you reckon BB needs most at the moment?MH: A lot of Sponsors to have a huge world tour like the ASP world tour. That would boost the bodyboarding industry. So we can get on top of the stand ups Doc: What do you love most about the BB culture?MH: I love BB coz we can do more things on our board than a stand up can. We can do massive airs without falling off.Doc: Who would you like to give a shout-out to?MH: Mike Stewart, Hauoli Reeves, Damian King as they are all my idols.Doc: And finally who are your sponsors?MH: I don’t have any sponsors but hope to get some one day. I would like to thank Glenn Taylor from Turbo for donating me the custom board.Thanks so much for your time Mark
Mark Howells being presented Second Place
5 Finalists ready to hit the water Mark Howells second from right
Mark Howells Cutttie in Hawaii