15 MINS WITH SHAM JAMAL
FIFTEEN MINUTES WITH (@SHAM_JAMAL)
Hello Sham! What have you been up to these days in the surfing world?
These days are just made up of weekly surfing trips to Desaru with a few of my close friends like Darimi, Zul, Imran, Ali and Batu. We would either rent a car to drive up or Darimi would be the one who would drive us all to the spot with his car. But honestly, we wait for our official “permit” to disappear for half a day release – Permit from our wives hahaha. But jokes aside, we are grooving into Wildboar Surf Jam in Desaru as we speak so that is something we are looking forward to!
How did you get into surfing? How long have you been surfing?
Roughly 6 years on and off. Ikut season (Depends on the season), to catch good waves in Malaysia will be between December to March. I started skateboarding first when I was about 12, my friends kept mentioning about this skate spot called Kong Hwa. Got into the sport and won a few mini competitions. I also started skimming in my 20s. Right after which a good friend and mentor, Alfian Affandi introduced me to flowboarding before I eased in into surfing.
How does surfing make you feel? And what does it teach you?
I feel free when I am in the waters. In your most natural form, just you and mother nature. I get time to reflect too and remind myself to enjoy and be in the moment. I feel that surfing is just 1% ride, 99% struggle. You learn that it is just a waiting game, a test of patience with your timings – When to paddle, duck or dive, to determine the currents and riptides etc. Sometimes you win and hit the jackpot, sometimes you meet with disappointments but it taught me to move on, show up and try again.
Do people still skim these days? If not, what do you miss most about it?
Yeah actually they are still people skimming in 2020. They call themselves “Budak budak Boon Keng” (Boon Keng kids), where they will gather at East Coast, commonly known as “The Fame” because of the high human traffic on weekends. I don’t really miss skimming haha because I feel that I have outgrown that vibe especially now East Coast is getting so packed and for safety reasons, I’d rather not. But those days still remain as good memories.
“YOU HAVE TO FUEL FOR YOUR OWN INTEREST AND PASSION.”
How did you feel when you first found out that you were going to represent Singapore for events and how did you start off?
It just came with the journey. I never intended to compete but as you go along you just want to challenge yourself because of the interest and passion for a hobby you love so much. And I am thankful to be able to experience all that I have so far. I started with my very first overseas skimboarding competition in Penang at my own cost. It was a longgg 12 hours bus trip where my family came with me. We used to take the wins before Philippines came in and took over. It was during flowboarding that marks the serious moment to commit to the sport. Having the part time opportunity as a resident mentor over at Wavehouse, it served as training time for me too. My friends and I took some time as well in recent years and headed to Khao Lak or Patong Thailand for their annual surf fest. And if not, Desaru is our go to.
What is your lifestyle when you are prepping for a comp? And what comp is next in line for you?
I never knew the “right” way to train for a competition, all I knew was to keep surfing whenever I can – Almost like a trial and error kind of thing. Not long ago, a mutual friend of ours, Arthur Koh started training a bunch of us over at Singapore Sports Hub Gym for the S.E.A Games qualifiers at Patong. Arthur introduced us to Crossfit which is super intense. We will be preparing for ASEAN Surf Games which is one of the qualifiers for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
What message would you like to convey to the surfing community whether they are beginners or curious about the sport?
You have to fuel for your own interest and passion. Sometimes when things get tough, you naturally will find different approaches to the situation. If you feel like you want to start surfing as a hobby, you must be prepared for the cost that goes along with it. Especially if you live in Singapore where spots to surf are scarce. For myself, I can be quite obsessive. Sebelum tido confirm check out videos on YouTube (Watching YouTube videos on surfing before I sleep is a must). I think it’s the small things that you think about and do that matters to make up the bigger picture.
How do you apply Slow & Steady into your life?
I have started to take things in life more calmly. Tak seganas as dulu (Not as harsh as before) haha. I think as you grow older you learn that you always have a choice to channel your energy. Your lifespan is already written for you so there is no need to go against the current. Work hard yes but also learn to take it as it is, slow and steady.
Sham Jamal is wearing our “ANYTHNG GO” cap in Stealth Black (One size fits most) and “GO SIMPLE” Slow & Steady Crew T-Shirt in Size L. Click here to spend some cash. Fastest fingers first, limited stock as always! This time when it’s gone, it’s gone ah.