Riptide Magazine decided to catch up with the 20-year-old Caloundra local to find out more.
Name: Sam Proctor
Age: 20 years old
Lives: Golden Beach, Caloundra
Sponsors: Inverted Bodyboarding, HB Bodyboards, Enough Threads & Reeflex Wetsuits
Above: Sam Proctor with a tidy flip. Photo: Daygin Prescott
Congratulations on the Reeflex sponsorship! How does it feel to be selected by the legendary Ryan Hardy to join his growing team?
Thanks guys! Although I didn’t win the QLD division for the X clips comp I was over the moon to get a letter back addressed to the Reeflex team with my name under one of the sponsorship deals. Ryan is one of the most influential riders to me, and the sponsorship has given me a lot more motivation to get out in the water, regardless of conditions. There are so many good guys on the team, and it’s going to be really cool to see how everyone goes over the coming year with Reeflex. It is a great opportunity, and I think guys like Ryan, who do so much for bodyboarding, is just what the sport needs. And it’s a pleasure to be riding for someone like that!
What does the sponsorship entail?
A new beginning with a growing company that is getting behind the sport in so many ways like sponsoring groms, clubs, and events. I think it’s awesome, and I’m amped to have been chosen to ride for a company with those kinds of qualities. It is also good to be able to be in touch regularly with Hardy with any news and shots that come my way.
What has it been like on the Sunny Coast this winter? Getting many waves?
There has been a few really good sessions on and off throughout the year but nowhere near as good as last year or previous years I can remember.
I’m lucky I have a wonderful girlfriend and really good group of mates who are all usually amped on surfing and filming each other to try to gather each other any footage we can. It’s a fun way to keep productive and to see how your surfing and its something I use to pick out things I could improve or work with. We’ve been doing that a lot this year even when the waves are just average, it’s cool doing it with my girlfriend too as it gets her involved and amped on the sport too.
Above: Sam Proctor with a tidy forward spin. Photo: Jack Gore
What are you favourite spots on the Coast?
Reef and Seconds. Both are such good waves, and everyone pretty much knows each other’s faces on a good day out there. It’s all mates, One works when cyclones usually hit, and the other is good on smaller days and has a perfect left and right off it. It’s a small paddle, but a lot of people surf it. The Sunny Coast is chilled like that; it could be the best day all year out there, and you already know most of the dudes out there so its a really peaceful atmosphere most days. I do prefer Seconds on its day though!
What’s good about living on the Sunshine Coast?
I’ve lived here my whole life, having most of my family close by, my girlfriend and all the good mates I’ve made over the years on the coast is what keeps me sane! There are a lot of fun waves to pick from if the conditions are right too. It’s just that it can be very inconsistent for a while at times.
What’s bad about it?
It can be hard to find work with little on your resume or with not much experience. And the party and nightlife side of things too can be easy to get caught up in. It happens to a lot of the crew, but most of them don’t stick with it for long or it’s just something they do on the side. I’m not against it; It just doesn’t interest me anymore!
I’ve always looked up to Jono Bruce’s surfing along with a lot of the guys from the Sunshine Coast. Growing up as a grom around the time of the HEINOUS series was so big to me, I idolized and hung out with PJ Hadley a lot. He led me in a really good direction, and Nick Rubesaame, without those guy’s help I wouldn’t have the same passion as I have for bodyboarding today. Guys like Drew Innocend, Nick McNiel, Stoney (Jake Stone) and a few others aren’t really around anymore on the coast that often but their definitely the guys that pushed and showed me the way as a young kid. Surfing with your sponsors and having a good relationship with them helped too, it was like one big family up here when I was younger. I could name so many legends who rip and who have pushed me. Outside of home, James Kates has always been someone I look up to as well. He offered me to ride for Hot Buttered again after it’s owners changed a few years back; that was huge to me, and I wouldn’t be seen riding any other board!
Above: Sam Proctor chasing barrels near home. Photo: Daygin Prescott
Favourite wave outside of the sunny coast?
Too many to name! Blackrock is an all-time favourite but Hawaii and West Australia have some of the best waves I’ve ever seen back when I had a fair bit of money to travel with. I guess them three are all pretty equal.
What else have you been upto?
Looking for work involving landscaping, my girlfriend’s dad does a bit and has some work coming up for me throughout spring and summer, which I’m really looking forward to. I’m looking into studying agriculture & horticulture to get some qualifications on my resume and see what I can do in that field of work. I was doing it for a while with a guy I surf with, and I loved it. Hard work, decent money and it was good to be outdoors instead of stuck in a shop or office. I think that’s going to be what I’m looking for at the time being. Other than that, spending time with all the people close to me and fitting in as much surfing as I can, on top of looking for work to fund some kind of trip towards the end of the year. I just want to be stable financially again so I can focus on putting money towards trips to get the footage and photos I’m chasing for my sponsors and self-exposure.
Hobbies outside of bodyboarding?
I enjoy editing footage when the editing software is available to me, and just filming and cameras, in general. It’s always been a sideline interest to me along with bodyboarding so one day I think it’d be cool to get some of my own fresh gear!
Goals for 2015?
Mainly I want to use the motivation and support from the sponsorship to give me the willpower to improve as much over the next year as ever before. To get into a routine with work and start balancing out a healthier more dedicated lifestyle with money, good company around me and a good motivator to push myself as much as possible in the water. Another goal I’m looking towards is reaching my peak health and fitness like I was when I was 17. I miss training; it’s honestly one of the best things you can do for yourself I reckon.
Above: Sam Proctor at one of his favourite waves. Photo: Jack Gore
I’d eventually like to follow the Australian Bodyboarding Association (ABA) tour when I feel the time is right and that things are running smoothly enough to do so. I haven’t competed much over the past few years as I was more focused and found more enjoyment out of chasing waves with a good crew and going places I haven’t been before. That stood out to me a lot more than comps back then, so I followed doing that. I signed up for local comps this year to get started again, but it has been pretty average for waves each comp and they’ve had to cancel a few. It’s still good being part of the local scene. I think when I’m ready to get back into it I’ll really enjoy it. I miss the feeling of being competitive, It was fun!