We had the chance to catch up with Carver rider and South African Adaptive Surf Team member, Bruce Campbell.
CARVER: Where are you from?
BRUCE CAMPBELL: A little landlocked country in the middle of Africa, called Zimbabwe. Then I moved from Zimbabwe down to Cape Town in South Africa, which is where I found out about surfing, and figured out that was what I wanted to do.
CARVER: When did you start skating?
BRUCE CAMPBELL: I started skating outside the workshop at the boarding school I went to. The skateboards then were your sister’s old roller skates pulled apart and nailed to the deck.
Then I went down to Cape Town in South Africa and that’s where skating took off for me – we got a hold of some decent boards, and there was no stopping. When there was no surf, we’d be on our skateboards, bro. And that led to the natural progression of taking skating to surfing!
CARVER: So how did you get involved with Carver?
BRUCE CAMPBELL: Well that’s kind of a cool story. Living in Durban, I got myself a really nice surfboard from local shaping legend, Spider Murphy. We were chatting and Spider was telling me about these new skateboards he was getting in and that I should try one. I hadn’t skateboarded in a while, brought a Carver down to the beach and I was hooked, bro. Carver came up with probably the best design in skateboards since skateboards! You took the old trucks and changed them a bit and that makes all the difference for surfers.
CARVER: Would you mind sharing more about what happened to you?
BRUCE CAMPBELL: Sweet, so yeah how I became an adaptive surfer. I was young and dumb and showing off to my mates on a rock-face during a climb. Gravity took over, I went down, my legs broke with the fall, and smashed them up pretty bad. Doctors did all they could to try to save them, so we were able to save the left one, but the right one had to be taken off just below the knee. I still have my knee joint which is a huge bonus. Surfing with all these other adaptive surfers has taught me one thing,; I’m lucky bro, really lucky, there’s always somebody worse off than you. Don’t feel pity for yourself, just enjoy life!
So I went back to Cape Town, saw everyone surfing, and I knew I had to get back into the water. Back in the ’90’s, prosthetics weren’t that great, so it took me a while to find a leg that worked nicely in the water. I tried surfing a couple of times and couldn’t get it right with the leg I had on. So I took to the rivers, did a little bit of whitewater kayaking, and then the whitewater really wanted my leg and wanted to rip it off. I then went back to Durban with a kayaking mate to surf, and I was hooked again. The nice thing is that with Carver, with no waves, it’s a great way to get back on a board.