Youth – James Page

Meet the Phillip Island young’n.
If you’ve cast eyes on Riptide #195, there’s a good chance you’ll remember this Youth shot of James Page’s perilous drop, as shot by Daniel Sykes. If not, do yourself the favour and cruise on through for the issue preview HERE. 

We decided that we’d like to bring you more than just the best youth shots kickin’ around – we want to introduce you to the young guns behind them. With that in mind, we got James Page over the wire and found out a little bit more about the man. Enjoy!

Portrait: Ed Sloane

RT – Tell us a little bit about where you grew up and where you started riding.
JP – Unfortunately I’ve had to move around a lot due to family issues, as you do. I was born in Camperdown in Sydney and was raised there ‘till the age of 4. I then moved to Newcastle with my mum and brother. We cruised around there for a year or two until we decided to venture on up to Ashmore, just outside Surfers Paradise on the Goldy. After a while we grew tired of the crowded population and the typical “Queensland-mentality” surfers, so we ended up taking a stab and relocated ourselves on a little Island at the bottom of Victoria, Phillip Island. It’s a pretty unique place, small population, crazy weather patterns and a strange consistency of hoax-ey waves. I guess that’s why I’m the only bodyboarder on the island. I started riding a piece of foam around four or five years ago, but unfortunately I’ve had a few harsh injuries in that time and they’ve set me back a bit.

That’s a pretty unforgiving slab you’re taming in that Youth shot. What other setups do you get into frequently down your way?
Another gob-face for the books huh! Well there are only a handful of slabs in Victoria, the majority of them a five-hour drive away. So I just base myself around some of the novelty reefs on the Island, but if I get the chance to boot it towards the West Coast I’m always up for Luna’s or a few spots along the Bass Strait coastline.

Photo: Burg Thurston

What would you say is your favourite break? Why?
A certain right-hander in the middle of the desert. Why… Well, It’s hard to beat the constant amount of barrel-to-bowl setups that are being thrown at you one after another, not to mention the fact that there’s not a soul in sight.

Do you have any competitive aspirations, or are you keen on the freesurfing side of things?
I love comps but I’m not into the whole groveling thing. I’d rather focus on freesurfing and just practice clean lines and critical manoeuvres. That being said, I did cruise over to Hawaii at the start of the year for the Pipe trials. Somehow managed to win my first three heats and then choked in the finals by 0.9. But…. you get that. The whole experience was worth it!

Run us through some of the places you have travelled to. 
Japan, Hawaii, Sumatra and Bali twice. Sumatra would definitely be the highlight out of the overseas travels. Though I have had some pretty epic trips throughout Aus in the past year or so, clocking up around 37 thousand clicks behind the wheel.

Photo: Daniel Sykes

Thanks to our shameless Facebook creeping we noticed that you’re pretty handy on a stand-up. Do you split your time between the two crafts or just do it for a laugh?
(Laughs), Creepin’ it real! Yeah, the stick’s sweet, I kinda jump on it when I’m over hearing old men complain that I’m lying down on my gut. It’s priceless seeing the look on their face when they realise you are still human and that you can still stand on your two legs. It still gets me what goes through their small, arrogant mind… Anyway it seems if I mix it up, I start seeing and drawing different lines on the boog. I’d love to be able to surf heavier slabs on the fiberglass, but due to my knee injuries it’s a bit of a struggle.

We old folk at Riptide need to live vicariously through the youthful antics of all you groms. Any particularly funny grom tales you’d like to spill to us?
There are a few stories I’d love to spill but they are most definitely not appropriate for the younger generation. Maybe in person sometime!

What would you like to have achieved by the time your teenage years expire?
I’ve always wanted to travel overseas on an isolated surf trip with a bunch of shredders! Also, getting a board sponsor before my bones fall apart is another big one.

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