In Riptide Issue #204 we featured a relatively unknown charger from the South Coast by the name of Oden Malitz who has been making some noise amongst the bustling lineups of talented bodyboarders.

As part of our follow-up, we sat down with Oden to see what he’s been up to since his face graced the pages of our magazine.

All photos courtesy of Asgar Ovantory, Thurston Photo and Jackson Rutter 

The kid doesn’t mind the odd fish or lobster dive. Photo: @odenmalitz instagram

Name: Oden Malitz
Age: 19
Lives: Ulladulla, NSW
Sponsors: ID bodyboards, Boardlounge

Congratulations on the Youth shot in #204. Was it your first time in Riptide? How does it feel?
Yes first time in Riptide, it feels amazing I’m so stoked, it was my number one goal for me ever since I started bodyboarding to get a shot of myself in a bodyboarding magazine.

Tell us about that wave and session (see photo above)
This wave is one of my favourites on the South Coast; there’s always a good crew of guys surfing it which makes it very enjoyable to surf. This session was one of the most memorable surfs I’ve had out there. When we got there, the wind was kind of cross shore, so it wasn’t looking the best. But, after about an hour into the session, the wind swung straight west and the waves were pumping.

A picturesque afternoon air forward on the South Coast. Photo: Thurston Photo
A picturesque morning air forward on the South Coast. Photo: Thurston Photo

What have you been up to since then?
Since then I’ve been working a little bit, but mainly just surfing, diving and fishing with a few of my good mates. Have had a few big sessions at a local bombie recently which I think has really pushed me in my surfing.

When did you get into bodyboarding?
I got into bodyboarding when I was about 13 years old.I used to live about 15 minutes north of Ulladulla (and) I used to be into riding bikes. Then I moved to Ulladulla and my neighbour Jackson got me into bodyboarding.

Oden Malitz certainly loves to chase chunky slabs. Photo: Thurston Photo

What is it like surfing with all the amazing south coast breaks that are a short distance from you?
It’s so good, there’re so many waves to choose from. I don’t need to travel very far to get waves, there’s fun beaches, slabs, bowls all within a 30-minute drive, it’s perfect.

Some say having so many good waves at hand can be detrimental on your technical style. What do you think? And if so, what do you do to work on your technical surfing?
I think having so many waves around is good for training your technical surfing, especially on the South Coast having so many waves on offer. There are waves perfect for training spins and waves perfect for training airs. Also, I think having pro riders down here like Gornall and Finlay, it pushes the upcoming riders to try and get onto their technical level.

You have been making a name for yourself recently taking on some big swells at notorious big wave spots. Is that something you want to pursue, a la Chris James, Damian Martin and Co, or do you want to chase the world tour and contests?
I haven’t really thought about it much, to be honest,
but at this point I think I’d like to surf bigger heavier waves than chase competitions. Surfing big slabs is so adrenaline pumping and there’s always a real good vibe in the water, I love it.

Have you travelled much?
I haven’t really travelled, the furthest I’ve travelled with bodyboarding would have to be about four hours down the coast for a day trip.

Is there any wave you especially want to surf?
There’s not really any wave in particular but I’d like to go to South Australia one day. It seems like there are some good waves down there.

Oden taking on a South Coast bomb. Photo: Thurston Photo

Who are your favourite bodyboarders and why?
I’d have to say my favourite bodyboarders would be Jake Stone, Nick Gornall, Glen Thurston and Jase Finlay. They’re all really good at their tech surfing and also surfing big waves.

Who influences you most?
Both Shane Ackerman and Glen Thurston. Both all round legends who are always keen on surfing or diving. And they push me a lot when it comes to surfing.

What do you do out of the water?
I fish a lot, does that count as out of the water haha? Nah I don’t do much out of the water, I eat a fair bit and sleep I don’t know Hahahahah.

Are you studying or chasing a trade/career/job?
I’m currently chasing a trade in Metal Roofing, I used to have one but I quit for some stupid reason, now I want it back.

What do you love about bodyboarding?
I mostly love just being in the water with friends just sharing waves having a good time.

The sunshine once again becomes Odens friend with a tight air reverse near home. Photo: Jackson Rutter.

Lastly, any shout outs?
Yeeee shout out to Pencey for pretty much everything! And Shane Ackerman for pushing me into surfing bigger waves! And my sponsors of course ID Bodyboards and Boardlounge.

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