Teal Hogg caught her first wave during a family holiday in Mozambique when she was just seven years old. She was instantly hooked and began short board surfing. She started surfing competitively at the age of nine, emerging victorious in the under 10 division of the ChemSpec Durban Surfing Junior Provincial Championships in 2007.
Hogg, who is a grade 11 learner at Crawford College North Coast, has represented her province, Kwazulu-Natal (KZN) Central, as a junior short board girl surfer for the past five years.
She was also crowned the under 17 South African girls’ champion in Jeffrey’s Bay last year, receiving her Springbok blazer for junior surfing, and qualifying to compete against 40 other countries at the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Junior Championships in Ecuador, where she fared better than anyone else in the South African team, finishing 16th in the under 18 girls’ division.
But surfing’s not all this 16-year-old is good at. She also swims for her school, plays water polo, hockey and soccer and wait for it – makes surf films.
In fact, when she needed to raise funds to get to Ecuador for the ISA Champs, she conceptualised the idea of an amateur film festival in Umhlanga, where other film buffs could enter their edited work for a small fee. The event was such a success that she’s planning on repeating it.
Hogg attributes her success to her coach Quinton Jones, her family, and a healthy eating plan and fitness routine.
“My goals are to compete in Europe and America this year to gain more international experience, to defend my local KZN Champ and SA Champ titles and to make the podium at the World Junior Champs next year,” she says. — Fatima Asmal