The Sheppie Local, the Surf Champ and the Coachwith Heather Clark
As Heather and I settled in, Riley snapped off photos – including the rack of more than a dozen boards – mostly Safari boards sponsored by Spider Murphy.
It feels like the 1990s were just the other day and that a lot had progressed by then, but Heather was competing against the men in the 1989 Gunston 500 because there was no women’s division. That was to only come in 1992.
We also spoke about how it felt being one of the two women on the national team on tour in 1992 when SA was let back into international competitions since being banned during apartheid.
As South Africa’s most decorated women surfer, Heather has reached many proud milestones in her career, one of which, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, has yet to be achieved by a South African man.
She’s a bright light on the waves nurturing the next generations, girls and boys, and sharing what she knows and what it takes to be a star in the water (whether socially or in competition) and as a role model of surfing culture from KwaZulu-Natal to the world stage.
“We live to surf. And as long as I can wake up every day and go surfing. I think after surfing, if I can’t surf, I might grab a body board. As long as I can be in the water and floating. It keeps you young.”