We caught up with local Bondi Ripper and Boardsox Team rider Freddie Carmody. Fred is a multi talented waterm and only 14 years old, we can't wait to see what the future holds.
What’s your name and where did you grow up ?
Fred Carmody. I’m 14, grew up and live in Bondi
At three I tried to surf a boogie board on a family holiday. Sounds weird but it was probably the right size and shape for me. We also have family photos of me just before my fourth birthday surfing an old foamie we hired for the week. I remember my mum telling me this guy came up to her on the beach and said ‘I think you need to get your son a proper surf board.’
Who got you into surfing?
No one really got me into surfing. I don’t have a mad dad that surfs, and my mum thinks all fins are the same. I think I just tried to stand on a board and it took me on a wave, I happened to be on it and it grew from there.
What kind of surfer wound you describe yourself as?
I don’t know what sort of surfer I am. Obviously surfing Bondi a lot makes me a hungry surfer because you have to hunt down and compete against hundreds of others in the line-up just to get a wave, let alone a wave to yourself. So, I suppose it plays to your advantage to be fit. I mainly have second-hand boards because surfing at Bondi, they all get dinged at some point. Al Merrick Fever seems to work for me because they are light and work with me on the waves. I also have DHD which I got cheaply because one of the colour variations on the fin box was wrong so I alternate surfing this with my Al Merricks depending on the conditions and crowds.
I love being in the ocean and the rush of that first wave. Once you're on that board, you're on for the ride. In winter I tend to surf and in summer I compete on race Mals for North Bondi Surf Lifesaving Club so whatever the season I am in the ocean every day. I try and nail my work at school so I can head straight to the beach. It clears your head.
What’s your favourite part about surfing and the spending time in the ocean ?
Surfing is exhilarating - when you are racing down the line to get to the next section and you take that half a second to enjoy the ride before you bottom turn to the next turn, is such a good feeling and then you madly paddle back out to do it all again to re-live that moment. It’s a healthy addiction.
Surfing has a great community. You can catch up with friends or just chat with anyone – it’s ageless. Everyone’s in the water for the same reason. The sound of the ocean is so different to anything else. I’ve seen dolphins, whales, seals and turtles and surfed through big bait balls which is a bit scary.
Bondi is my home break. I feel at home there. I can paddle out and there’s always someone to talk to so it’s definitely social out in there. Maroubra has a different vibe. It offers good banks and big waves and there’s more water movement. You really have to be on your game there. It offers consistently good waves and with right wind and swell you can score some of the best waves. Sadly, for Bondi, a peak in big swell re-sets the banks.
Where do you want your surfing to be in the next 5 years?
I love competitive surfing. I compete for Bondi Boardriders and Southern Maroubra. It’s a great feeling to surf under pressure, it brings out the best in my surfing. The comp days bring everyone together. There’s usually a sausage sizzle and parents are around so there’s a nice connection. I love trying new breaks. Before COVID, I surfed Snapper and D’Bah and I couldn’t believe the quality of the waves and surfers, it made me want to be a better surfer and try new manoeuvres.
We have some quality surfers in the East. Grayson Hinrichs is a world junior surf champion from Bondi and Koda Killorn from Maroubra is a huge talent so watching these guys is inspiring. Perth Standlick and Blake Thornton are former world tour competitors so it’s pretty cool to share the surf with them. Mick Fanning and Julian Wilson are two of the worlds best surfers and role models and they’ve represented Australia really well and Ethan Ewing makes surfing look seamless.
Once borders open up do you have any destinations or particular waves you are dying to surf ?
I would love to go to Bali and surf Keramas but unless my family take me there it’s not going to happen! So it will remain a dream for now!
If you had to ride one board for the rest of your life, what board would it be and why?
I’m only 14 so I haven’t had my fair share of trying many boards. Most my boards are second hand from Surf Culture at Bondi. Froggy always picks out a good board for me. So at the moment, the Al Merrick Fever works the best for me and the boards feel light under my feet.
If you could share a perfect empty line-up what wave would you surf and who would you surf it with?
If I could share a perfect empty line-up who would I surf it with? Good question. I would probably want it to myself because when you surf Bondi you rarely get a wave to yourself without a tussle – just a big, long wave is all I wish for.
What’s your favourite Boardsox cover?
It would have to be the Bombora Travel Bag. I love the dot design and it’s connection to the ocean. It’s also big enough to hold few of my boards.
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