Not since Shaun Tomson (or Martin Pottz, depending on who you ask), has South Africa had such a shining and tenacious World Title hopeful to entrust its dreams to. On February 2, 1988 a curly-haired boy named Jordan Smith entered the world with a hunger that'd never abate and a thirst that'd make him great. On a diet of home-cooked meals from mom Luellen and sneaky McDonalds snacks from pops Graham, a dominating and athletic 6'2" frame came into shape. Luckily, the longer limbs didn't result in awkwardness, but added power to the kid's physique.
Since Pops Graham had the Lost Surfboards license in SA, lil' Jords watched Cali jibbers like Joe Crimo slide through his hometown and wondered as they threw down shrink-wraps and the like: Why can't I do that? The young mind is an industrious thing and what monkey saw, monkey did. You might say that the strong tradition of power surfing in SA mixed with the skate-style surfing of Cali meshed to create a beautiful monster. Coming from South Africa and growing up away from the dangers of child-stardom that kids like O'Neill stablemate Johnny Florence are exposed to, Jordy felt little heat from the surfing world until age 20. Until he made the ASP World Tour. Until he stomped a rodeo at Macaronis, which found its way onto the cover of Yahoo. Then, things changed.
A phase of partying, board-punching and outspokenness followed but was an important chapter for the kid. Call it a reaction to the weight of expectation if you will. Either way, once it was done, he was a man. Ready.
New Pier in Durban ain't exactly user-friendly. So, does it surprise you to know that a man who so unapologetically man-handles waves hails from this shifty training ground? Jordy hucks, hacks and blazes with such fury, that it's little wonder his Modern Collective pals dubbed him 'Man Bear Pig' (lovingly, of course, though the nickname may also refer to Jords' ferocious appetite). You've heard of Mod Coll, right? Kai Neville's game-changing 2009 film, in which Jordy had a starring lead? It was in this film that Jordy helped show the world that the new guard had arrived. And, he was at the helm.
Two years on, two WT victories at back-to-back Billabong Pro J-Bay events, and another starring role In Kai Nev's second film, Lost Atlas, and we have a man who's fitter than he's ever been, ablaze with the heat of romance (his gal Lyndall makes him a better man –just ask him) and poised to wrap his giant hands around the throat of the World Title cup. It ain't how or if, but when.
words by Elliot Struck