Jayke Sharp is a gifted surfer who honed his skills at the breaks around Coffs Harbour as a grom. Recently returning to the area and reconnecting with this amazing piece of coast that we all call home, Focus paddled out to find out more.
What do you love about surfing in local area?
Everything – I love the variety of waves and you often get to share pumping surf with no more than five dudes. Coffs has a really strong surfing community, in which we all look out for each other.
When did you start surfing?
Around 10 years old my older brother used take me, only because Mum made him … But I couldn’t think of anyone better to take me surfing, and he has taught me a lot.
How often do you surf?
I try to get out most days, but my weekends are full of surfing, chasing the best waves around the Mid North Coast.
Where is your favourite spot?
Spot X ha ha … In Coffs, every beach gets fun on the right swell direction, but Macauleys is my favourite spot. As for overseas, it’s pretty hard to go past Hawaii.
Word is that you have been ripping; what are some of the results you have had this year?
Ha ha cheers. I only moved home from Sydney at the start of the year and have been free surfing lots. No real contests at this stage, as I’m just enjoying my surfing, although I did win the local Barney Miller classic – which was something I’ve wanted to win since I was a little.
Do you have any sponsors?
Yeah, Hurley, Zombie tread and Coopers Surf.
What kind of support do they give you?
Basic deals such as free product, which is always a bonus.
What kind of boards do you ride?
None at the moment; I snapped my favourites in Bali two weeks ago. Although, I have been riding JS Industries, JR Surfboards, and I just ordered a Shaun Cansdell Shapes Surfboard – pretty keen to try it out, as he is a good mate and one of my favourite surfers.
Do you train outside of surfing, or just surf?
Yes, I do lots of training. When I lived in Sydney the past four years prior to moving home, I didn’t surf much, so I had to keep fit somehow. I started at a gym called Live Athletic, coached by Justin Lang – an Exercise Physiologist who also trains the likes of Paul Gallen, Robert Whittaker and several other top end athletes.
If you could surf anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Coffs Harbour. That’s why I live here.
Who is your favourite surfer and why?
Mick Fanning – speed, power and flow.
Any older local surfer who you have gotten advice from?
Shaun Cansdell always used to take me surfing, when I was younger. It was awesome watching someone as good as him.
Favourite music to listen to before surfing?
I like all types of music, but watching a surf video before surfing gets me amped the most.
With all the shark attacks along the coast, does it freak you out when you go surfing?
Yeah I guess, whether there are more sharks now, or I think I see more because it’s in the back of my mind due to the media coverage nowadays. But something is definitely going on up in the Ballina/Byron region. I think all the shark deterrent technology is awesome; I may have to get myself something soon before something gets me …
What else do you do outside surfing to pay the bills?
I am a carpenter by trade, which I really enjoy. I like working with my hands and anything physical – I definitely couldn’t sit in an office all day. I work for Solitary Design Homes most of the time with a really good boss, which makes a difference.
Plans for the future?
Yeah, plenty more surfing. I entered some WQS events at the start of next year, which I’m really excited for, as I haven’t competed professionally in quite some time.
Any shout outs or places people can find out more about you?
I’d like to thank Coffs Harbour Boardriders and Coopers Surf, who do an awesome job for the development of surfing in the local area and also run a junior development program, so eventually we’ll get many Coffs locals on the world tour.
Photo Credit : Salty Lenz