See more photos of Jacob at the end of the interview.
Sixteen-year-old Jacob Albury of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia will be representing Team Canada at the 2010 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship, which takes place January 20-28 in Auckland, New Zealand.
Albury, who is in Grade 11 at Park View Education Centre in Bridgewater, took first place in the open boys division at the Shut up and Surf Classic contest in October at Cow Bay, Nova Scotia.
ScotiaSurfer.com interviewed Albury through email this past weekend.
ScotiaSufer.com (SS): Tell us a little about your background.
Jacob Albury (JA): I grew up in Abaco, Bahamas but moved to Nova Scotia when I was 10, then moved back to Bahamas at 13, then back to Nova Scotia this summer. I get back to the Bahamas two, three times a year. Surfing in the Bahamas is definitely more convenient not having to change into wetsuits.
SS: How long have you been surfing for?
JA: I’ve been surfing honestly longer then I can remember. Anywhere between seven and nine years is my guess.
SS: Does anyone else in your family surf?
JA: My dad is an avid surfer who competed all over the world and helped found the Bahamas Surf Association and was president for quite some time. He has supported my surfing ever since I first started and always tried his best to make sure I was on the right boards and got to contests in the States, even if it wasn’t financially sound because it’s something he always wanted but never had as a kid.
SS: Where have you competed?
JA: I’ve competed in Bahamas, Nova Scotia, Florida and Virginia Beach. I qualified for NSSA Nationals in California but was unable to attend due to a variety of circumstances, mainly financial. I competed mainly in ESA and NSSA contests in Brevard County (Sebastien Inlet area, Central Florida) and the competition was always really tough.
Editor’s Note: The National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) is the highest profile amateur competitive surfing association in the United States. The Eastern Surfing Association (ESA) is the largest amateur surfing association in the world.
It always felt good to do well in contests at a place synonymous with breeding talented surfers (Slater, Hobgoods, Kechele, etcetera). Competing at Sebastien Inlet was always an experience as I got to watch and compete against the best surfers on the East Coast which helped my surfing and put a lot of pressure on me to perform when I got home.
SS: How do you feel about competing in the ISA Word Junior Surfing Championship, and what does it mean to represent Canada?
JA: Competing in the World Juniors is a huge honour for me, and something I’ve always wanted to do. Representing Canada in an ISA event is something I never expected to happen; I always imagined representing the Bahamas. But after experiencing more of the surf scene up here, it’s something I’m proud to do. As Peter Devries showed a couple months ago, Canada is on the rise as a top surfing nation.
SS: What category will you be competing in at the World Juniors? Do you know anyone you will be competing against?
JA: Although I am only 16, I will be competing in the under 18’s due to the way my birthday falls under ISA policy. I know some guys on the U.S. team from competing against them at NSSA events, but no close friendships.
SS: What’s the surfing like in the Bahamas compared to Nova Scotia?
JA: The differences would be more crowds and almost every spot is a reef break. I like mixing it up surfing the beach breaks and point breaks in Nova Scotia as it’s something I didn’t get to do often in Bahamas.
Although you would think they are polar opposites, in my mind they are more similar to each other then anywhere else I’ve been. They both have underground rippers who don’t get the exposure they deserve, and the surfing communities are really tight in both places.
SS: Where do you surf in Nova Scotia?
JA: I surf the South Shore mostly – I won’t say any specific spots out of respect to the guys who showed me them – but I really like surfing Lawrencetown and Cow Bay whenever I get the chance.
SS: Any long-term goals?
JA: I would like to continue having fun in surfing and go as far as I can with it. I’m not sure of anything long-term except I know I will be surfing. I’m definitely interested in doing some kind of team manager work to help sponsor deserving kids who are under the radar or aren’t in the right place at the right time, something that I’ve had trouble with.
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The Canadian Surfing Association (CSA) would like to thanks the following sponsors who are helping send a team to the 2010 Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championship in New Zealand: