Youth – Callum Di

The Sunshine Coast’s Callum Di Bartolomeo is the latest in a long line of Riptide Youth stars.
Above: Meet Callum. Callum likes pits. All photos: Campbell Anderson/Andography

Inductee #3 for the Youth pages of Riptide #201 is the Sunshine Coasts Callum Di Bartolomeo, 16. Read last week’s interview with Albany, WA’s Noah Symmans here, and stay tuned for our chat with the Central Coast’s Jake “Bones” Gibson next week. Then the only question remains – who’ll get a nod in Riptide #202 (dropping next month)?

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RIPTIDE: Was the Youth shot the first you’ve had in our/a mag? How’d it feel to get a nod in print?
CALLUM: Yeah, it was the first time I’d ever been put in the mag. When I got the nod I was that stoked, couldn’t believe it.

Tell us about the wave/session? I reckon it’s one of the dreamier shots we’ve had in the Youth section for a while (see below).
That session started off pretty early, checking it out just before the sun came up. It looked pretty full out at the reef, but we decided to paddle out anyway with the offshore winds. I doubled the photographer out (Campbell Anderson) then got a few fun ones before this insider rolled through. I remember paddling for it and could see the wave starting to wrap around the corner into this perfect A-frame so I took off a bit deep and watched it bowl up and throw over my head. The bottom went so square [so] I knew I was in for a fun one. Just looking out of that barrel it was so dreamy with the photographer on the channel. It’s probably the best barrel I’ve got out there.

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Above: The shot that landed Callum in Riptide’s print pages.

We’re guessing – at 16 – you’re still at school. What year are you in and how are you finding it? Planning on sticking it out the whole way, going to uni etc.? Or got a trade in mind? Or way to early to be thinking about that shit?
Schools pretty chill. It’s just a bit of fun during the week I guess while waiting for a wave. I’m planning on sticking it out and going all the way to uni. I’m not too sure where or what I’ll do at uni, but I’m just gonna keep all my options open. It’s a little early to be thinking about it, but something with graphics or tech studies would be a path I’m looking at.

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Where do you live and what’s it like to grow up/live there as a bodyboarder?
I live in Buderim, which is about a 15-to-20-minute drive to most of the local spots. It’s a good place to live. Most of the boys I boog with live in the area and we always seem to get up to some fun and muck around, plus it’s a heaps mellow place to grow up. 

I suppose the Sunshine Coast is know for – despite having good set-ups – being fairly fickle. Is this accurate or are you pretty happy with the regularity of waves?
It’s pretty accurate. The coast is quite fickle, but so far this year we’ve had a good run despite a few two-to-three-week blocks without a wave. It’s not so bad. Consistent waves is ideal, yeah, but we make the most of what we get.

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I guess there’s a bit of a lack of big, heavy reef breaks too – how do you think the waves there influence your riding? I know guys like Jake Stone credit the waves there as being key to their tech riding, for example.
The waves here are mostly onshore beachies or short reefbreaks so they definitely influence tech riding, but when we do get the bigger swells that hold it’s always fun to have a punt.

What’s the scene like for bodyboarders your age there and who are the guys killing it/turning a few heads at the moment?
It’s just heaps fun here. We’re always surfing in a group so we all seem to push each other to try harder and improve our surfing. I’d say the whole group I surf with – Josh Keenan, Simon Cassidy, Patrick Law, Andy Cassidy, John Childs and all the rest of the boys – are turning heads at the moment.

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The Sunny Coast has a pretty ridiculous list of good boogers it has produced e.g. Stoney, Michael Novy, Cade Sharp, Jono Bruce, Kira Llewellyn, etc. Do you see this crew much in the water? How have they influenced you, if at all?
I seem to see Stoney and Cade a bit when they’re on the coast, sometimes Jono, but not too much of the others. Stoney, Cade and Jono have some influence on my riding as they’re definitely the guys I look up to and watch closely when I’m in the water when they’re out – especially with their technical side of surfing.

More generally, who are the boogers you look up to most around the world these days?
I look up to Ben Player, David Winchester and a few of the local guys (Stoney, Cade, Novy, Jono). They all have their individual styles and they always seem to be pushing the limits of bodyboarding.

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What are you keen to achieve with your bodyboarding and why? Chasing sponnos, the tour, clips, mag spreads, etc.? Or just happy to hunt waves around home and see what happens?
I’d love to take my bodyboarding to the next level by maybe picking up a few sponnos, a clip on the way and some more mag spreads, but I’m having fun regardless. I’m also hoping to do a little more wave-hunting down the coast and overseas.  

Finally, any shout-outs ya wanna dish out?
I shout out to Kym (mum) for always doing the early surf drives for me and the boys and dad thanks too. Also all the people that take photos and film (Campbell, Andy, Sean, Ben Wells and the rest) and thanks Riptide for the interview and Youth run!

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