by Michelle Michalak December 16, 2016

The stage was set for an epic Llandudno Bodysurf Wavejam 2016 South Africa.

A forecast of good to gnarly conditions, 5 meter swells easing to 4 meter laterin the day and light off shore winds.

Chris Schmidt Slyde Pro-Ambassador was amped on the day "its actually more a gathering of like minded spirits that appreciate the ocean, the waves, the simplicity of what body surfing is, and I somehow feel I want it to stay what way.  A community spirit rather than a WSL vibe where the pressure to perform becomes the driving force, rather than the love for the sport itself."

This isn't a story of Chris scoring epic barrels at Wavejam, and winning first place, but rather embracing some humbling life lessons, perhaps we could all learn from.

"I am not one for allowing things to stop me from what i want to do, even on a psychological level, but when your subconscious decides its's done & done it was. The pure inability to inhale deeply to duck dive white water after white water to get out too the line up somehow triggered a sense of panic so deep down.  I wasn't able to override it and i recall myself thinking...I cant - I might have even uttered it out loud. I still tried to get out there, one more wall of foam one more attempt at diving on about 15% lung capacity and that was it. There was no way i would make it and the painful realization set in that I was going to bow out at that point. Question was how, after being short of breath and inhaling water there wasn't much left in my one arm or legs to get me anywhere safe."

Read his full excerpt in his recent post on Body Surfing South Africa FB page "The Art of Fear" HERE

Read tales of courage: The Chris Schmidt Story


Llandudno Bodysurf Wavejam


Michelle Michalak
Michelle Michalak

Michelle's diploma reads BA Psychology with a minor in English, and her license plate reads #CaliforniaDreaming4Life. She begin her career in the NYC fashion industry working with fashion and internet pioneer, However, due the constant "nagging" of her entrepreneurial spirit, her crush on surfing, and hardcore love for the ocean, she chosen to call San Diego home for the past 10 years. On the west coast she 's chased waves & enlightenment working alongside "Gurus" in the online marketing & personal development industries. It in May 2012 she found her true Zen & Stoke, and joined the Slyde Handboards Team.

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