By JOLENE OGLE
HE HAS just taken out his maiden Australian Body Boarding Association Championship title and already local Jake Stone has his sights set on the World Championships.
For Jake, 24, taking out the ABA title on 5 July, was an emotional win having come runner-up for the three previous years and having just recovered from a back injury, which saw him out of action for two years.
“Winning the title felt like every little effort had paid off,” he said.
Jake broke into the water sport scene when he started surfing at 13, but was soon inspired to trade in his long board for a body board.
“A lot of my friends got into body boarding, as well as a few guys who I looked up to, including my brother. Then I got more and more into it. I found it to be a better feeling, being so close to the wave,” he said.
“I started body boarding and I got the opportunity straightway to go surf big, heavy waves in WA and Hawaii. So, once I did that, I was hooked.”
It wasn’t long before a sponsor snapped up the grommet, taking Jake to Hawaii to compete at the age of 16.
“It was scary and confronting, not just the waves, but the people. It really opened my eyes up to everything,” he said.
At 19, Jake was picked up by a major sponsor to compete in his first championships. Having walked away with third place, Jake now body boards for a living, travelling and touring the world for up to five months a year.
Jake credits his most recent win to C.H.E.K. (Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiology) a wellbeing program with a strong focus on personal development, organic diet, meditation and a training regime, which Jake said played a vital role in the recovery from his back injury.
“You know, it takes an injury or an illness to kick yourself in the butt and realise you need to change something in your life.
“That’s what happened with the slipped disc in my back,” he said.
“I now eat a lot of organic and whole foods and I mediate, too.”
Jake is now 18 months into his C.H.E.K. studies and plans to help other athletes look after their bodies and make the most of their time in competition with the help of kinesiology.
“I want to help athletes enjoy their time and not get caught up in the mind games of competitive sport.
“Mentality is the biggest battle… especially if you don’t believe 100 per cent that you can do it, you won’t achieve it,” he said.
Despite his successes and studies, Jake said he still finds time to return to his surfing roots and catch some waves in Noosa.
“I surf a lot, too… I love surfing in Noosa,” he said.