Tuesday, November 20, 2012

HISTORY: The Damian King Interview, Part I

HISTORY: The Damian King Interview, Part I

  Australian Damian King, also known as "Kingy" and "The Joker" within the international bodyboarding community, is a 2x Men's World Champion (2003 and 2004) as well as the 2011 Drop Knee World Champion.  Kingy was the first Australian bodyboarder to win multiple world titles, and is the first bodyboarder in history to have won titles on both the Men's World Tour and the Drop Knee World Tour of the International Bodyboarding Association (IBA).  Here, Kingy discusses his two men's world titles.  This interview was conducted at the IBA Media House on the North Shore of Oahu on 24 February 2011 during the IBA Pipeline Pro.

STEVE JACKSON:  What was going on in your life going into the first world championship that you won in 2003?

DAMIAN KING:  My mum passed away in March, so that was kind of like a kick in the bum to do something with my life.  I had just been kind of plodding along on the world tour, and just cruising kind of.  Literally, like half an hour after that happened I walked out of the hospital and just made a full decision that I was going to win a world title.  It was pretty crazy that I, actually, thought that.  I thought I've got to do something with my life, do something important.  Half an hour after she passed, I made that decision and then I was just absolutely focused, ridiculously focused on it.

STEVE JACKSON:  After you won that first world championship, how did that affect your life?  The day-to-day in life, short term, long term, looking back on it now, how did that change things?

DAMIAN KING:  I guess I felt, just as a person, I just felt a lot more confident in myself.  I remember even after that first event in Tahiti.  I wrote on my board.  I wrote on the front of it kind of where I could just see, but I wrote "1st Place" and I ended up getting first.  I remember after that first event, I just spun right out.  I was just like, "Wow, I can't believe I was, actually, so determined to win and I won!"  I won the 2001 Shark Island contest, but it was different.  I wasn't absolutely focused on winning as I was with Tahiti and all the other comps throughout the year.  Then, when I won the world title, I couldn't believe that I actually won.  At the end, I was just stuck in this work mode to win and when I actually won I was like, "Wow!"  I just couldn't believe.  You think you can win, but to actually win is another story.  I, basically, came away from the first world title thinking anything is possible if you fully focus.  Then, I just wanted to prove to myself that it wasn't a fluke, so I was just determined to win a second straight-up just because I was like I don't want to think that it was just luck.  So, I was just as amped for the second.  After the first one, I kind of like didn't really rest after the first one.  I was kind of like, "Hang on, I just want to make sure that can happen again."  I just wanted to test this out in my mind, and I ended up with another one after it was all over.

STEVE JACKSON:  When you got your second world championship under your belt, you became the first Australian to ever have two world titles in the sport of bodyboarding.  Did that play in your mind at all?

DAMIAN KING:  Not really.  All I wanted to do, basically, was use that to build the sport in Australia.  I was pretty busy, always trying to get mainstream media and all that kind of stuff.  I really didn't get caught up in it when I was world champion.  I thought what I did was good.  It was good that I accomplished that.  I thought it was a big accomplishment, but I really didn't feel myself change as a person.  I didn't really think like, "Oh yeah, I'm the only one."  I didn't really care about whether anyone had done it before or whatever.  Obviously, I have respect for that but it wasn't like I thought, "Oh yeah, I'm the only guy who's done it now."  It didn't really worry me.  I was just stoked that I put my mind to something and I did it.

  I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to Damian King for taking the time to sit down and answer my questions for this interview.

(PHOTOS: photo #1 from The Sydney Morning Herald www.smh.com.au , photo #2 from Happy Zurowski, photo #3 (Kingy and Action Jackson, North Shore 2011) from Manny Vargas)

CURRENT EVENTS: Bodyboarding News

CURRENT EVENTS: Bodyboarding News

...Damian King announces retirement, Jeff Hubbard wins in Puerto Rico, Fronton, Final rankings for DKWT and WWT!


Damian King claiming the 2011 IBA DKWT title in Puerto Rico.  Photo: Action
  PORT MACQUARIE, AUSTRALIA-  2x Mens World Champion and 2011 Drop Knee World Champion Damian King announced his retirement plans this past week.  Kingy, the only professional bodyboarder to ever win both the men's world title (2003 and 2004) as well as the drop knee world title (2011), will retire at the conclusion of the 2013 IBA Men's World Tour Grand Slam Series in which he will compete as one of the top 24 ranked bodyboarders in the world and battle it out for the world title.  For more information on this story, please click on the following link:



  ISABELA, PUERTO RICO-  2x World Champion Jeff Hubbard (Hawaii) won the 2012 IBA Encanto Pro at Middles in Isabela, Puerto Rico on the final day of the competition window (November 2nd-13th) last week.  With this, his third win of the season (Pipeline, Zicatela, and now Puerto Rico), Hubb goes into the final event of the 2012 tour with the points lead and an opportunity to claim his third world championship.  Stay tuned for more on this...

  Also, walking away with victories at the 2012 IBA Encanto Pro were South African Sacha Specker in the Drop Knee Pro and Brazilian Karla Costa-Taylor in the Womens Pro.  Specker, whom had already clinched the 2012 DKWT title, managed an oustanding performance and placed an exclamation point on a stellar season.

  1999 Womens World Champion Karla Costa-Taylor finished off the 2012 WWT with an impressive performance, including a perfect 10 scored along her way to victory at Middles.  Her win in Puerto Rico was proof-positive that she continues to regain her championship form and is a legitimate contender for the 2013 WWT championship.  For more information on the 2012 IBA Encanto Pro, visit the following link:



  GRAN CANARIA, CANARY ISLANDS-  The 2012 IBA men's world title will be determined in the season finale, event #8 of 8, at the 2012 IBA NMD VS Fronton Pro in Galdar, Gran Canaria (December 7th-16th).  2x World Champion Jeff Hubbard enters the event ranked #1 in the world, holding a slim 60 point lead over the other remaining title contender Dave Winchester (Australia).  Winny, who finished second behind Hubb in the 2009 title chase, is looking to claim his first world championship.  For more on this story, please visit the following link:


  For those of you not familiar with Fronton, it is considered one of the best waves in the world for high-performance bodyboarding.  Fronton features bowling lefts and rights, with gaping barrels and ramp sections, breaking over a very shallow and extremely dangerous reef.  Watch this video clip for a better idea of what to expect from the season finale at Fronton!


  Here are the final rankings for the International Bodyboarding Association's 2012 Drop Knee World Tour.

1.  Sacha Specker (South Africa)
2.  Dave Hubbard (Hawaii)
3.  Cesar Bauer (Peru)
4.  Pancho Galdos (Peru)
5.  Ardiel Jimenez (Canary Islands)
6.  Daniel Alvez (Brazil)
7.  Kiko Galdos (Peru)
8.  Ricardo Sotelo (Peru)
9.  Jeff Hubbard (Hawaii)
10. Alberto Collucci (Venezuela)


  Here are the final rankings for the International Bodyboarding Association's 2012 Women's World Tour.

1.  Isabela Sousa (Brazil)
2.  Karla Costa-Taylor (Brazil)
3.  Eunate Aguirre (Basque)
4.  Maylla Venturin (Brazil)
5.  Minami Hatekayama (Japan)
6.  Sari Oohara (Japan)
7.  Neymara Carvalho (Brazil)
8. Catarina Sousa (Portugal)
9.  Lilly Pollard (Australia)
10.  Luz Marie Grande Perez (Puerto Rico)

  For more information regarding the IBA World Tour, please visit the following link:

(All photos by the IBA unless otherwise noted.)