Charges heavy slabs? Check. Badass nickname? Check.
Above: Bones and the shot that landed him in the Riptide Youth pages of issue 201. Beautiful ain’t it? Photo: Luke Shadbolt
Well, here he is at last – Jake “Bones” Gibson is our fourth and final inductee to the Riptide Youth pages from issue 201, which is on sale now (find your nearest copy here). I wonder who’ll be the lucky four stars in the rise to get the nod in Riptide #202, coming in early December? Read our previous Youth interview with Sunshine Coast’s Callum Di here.
RIPTIDE: Was the Youth shot the first you’ve had in our/a mag? How’d it feel to get a nod in print?
BONES: Yeah it was. I was so stoked. It had been a dream of mine from when I first started bodyboarding. I never thought I’d get there. Luckily for me I was just in the right place at the right time.
We’re guessing – at 17 – 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?
[Laughs] Yeah, I’m 17 and still at school. I’ve just started Year 12 and it’s not too bad so far, but I can tell shit’s gonna hit the fan soon enough! Not sure about uni yet. I might just cruise for a bit after my HSC and go on a surf trip somewhere, maybe down to South Oz or the Cook Islands. I’ve always wanted to go to those places and travel.
Photo: Alex Gibson
Where do you live and what’s it like to grow up/live there as a bodyboarder?
I live in Wamberal – a relaxed suburb on the Central Coast of NSW. It’s really great with so many different waves to choose from – from fun little beaches to big heavy slabs – all within a 30-minute drive.
How’d you get into booging? The Cenny Coast is known for quite a few heavy reefies – how has that influenced your progression as a booger?
I first got into booging through my brother, Alex, and his mates, watching booging movies like Denis, Simple Pleasures and The Road. every time they’d go to the beach I’d try to tag along like that annoying little grom everyone knows haha. From then on I started to go more and as often as I could. We then moved closer to the beach where it all just snowballed from there. Yeah, there are quite a few heavy reefs around. I think just being pushed by some of the local dudes and my brother to just go harder and bigger every session, even to this day, has been the the biggest influence to me. Surfing those heavier waves also teaches you to respect the ocean because if you don’t you’ll always come out second best!
Photo: Jakeb Newling
Have you had any hairy/sketchy experiences/wipeouts/injuries at some of the notorious slabs there?
Yeah I’ve had a couple of pretty solid ones. I had one hairy one last winter at the Zone where I took off a bit late and lost my board, getting sucked over with the lip, smacking the reef and getting dragged along. It sliced open the heel of my foot and I had to get six stitches. Good session though.
You guys seem to have a solid little crew of under 18 guys ripping at the moment, getting plenty of shots (I guess fair guys shooting too?). Tell us what the scene’s like there at the moment. Who’s starting to turn some heads/pushes you the most?
Yeah, there’s a sick little handful of guys (both shooting and surfing) that have been giving it a good nudge and stepping it up every session. Guys such as Alex Mcalpine, Joe and Darcy Bourke and Josh Selmes have been the main standouts for me lately, always ripping no matter what the conditions. There are also some up-and-coming photogs that have been hitting the scene lately such as Jakeb Newling and Riley Edwards. They have a real talent and some really good stuff, check ’em out!
Photo: David Ross
What kinda relationship do you have with your bro, who we’ve seen takes some pretty sick images? Was he a big influence on your growing up (he’s a bit older yeah?)?
Me and my brother have always been tight. He’s been my role model all my life and probably the biggest influence to me growing up. He’s three years older than me so before I got my licence he was my taxi service, always snagging a lift to wherever he was surfing. This was good for me because he also took photos as well, making it really easy for me to get shots. Yeah, there have been a few fights here and there about when we should get out of the surf and where we should surf, but that’s just what brothers do I guess.
What about in terms of older guys and the history of the area? Who were the guys you looked up to e.g. Local guys/regulars like Novy, Putty, etc.? Further back Keegan, Ben Holland etc. (or are you too young to remember those guys?!). What about in general – who are the best bodyboarders in your eyes that you think are doin’ it right these days and why?
The guys I looked up to and still do now are the local guys such as Michael Novy, the Rushton Brothers, Kerry Langdon Down, Mitch Hall and Adam Keegan, who are always pushing the limits and surf with so much style and ease. These days I think the semi younger guys such as Lewy Finnegan, George Humphreys and Jordan Putland are doing it right because they’re always constantly pushing the limits, whether it’s doing that bigger air or getting that bigger slab.
Photo: Daniel Browne
I noticed you were out that that day during Riptide 200 Hours when Keegs was out there (same sesh as your shot, yeah?). How was that?
Yeah, that was definitely a session to remember. It was one of the most crowded days I’ve seen out there. It was pretty consistent though so everyone was getting waves. It was also sick surfing with Keegs. He’s just an all-round legend and super nice guy.
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 think my ultimate dream, like any grom, would be to just be able to travel the world, surf and get paid to do it. Bringing out a couple of clips and getting [magazine] spreads here and there would be sick. But for now I’m happy just doing what I’m doing – surfing, having fun doing it and just seeing what happens.
Photo: Harrison Goodenough
Finally, any shout-outs ya wanna dish out?
I’d just like to thank Riptide for the Youth run and interview, Shaddy for the shot that got run, QCD Bodyboards and Spank Monkey Wax for helping me out. Yew!
Oh, also, I forgot to ask! Why do they call you Bones?
[Laughs] OK, it all started when I was about seven years old or so. I was really skinny and my grandpa called me Bones because of that. It then caught on and more and more people starting calling me it. Now most people don’t even know my first name!
Are you still a skinny fella now?
Haha a little bit, but not as much as i used to be.
Photo: Stu McAndrew