Emerald is the longest running bodyboard store in Australia, and longtime sponsor of one of the longest running clubs, Cronulla Bodyboard Club. Emerald was also a driving force behind one of the most influential era's in bodyboarding with local riders such as Doug Robson, Brett Young, Matt Percy, Wingnut, Nugget, Mark Fordham, Dave Ballard and Andrew Lester. It ain't all history though, Emerald currently sponsors world champ Jared Houston and has a team list as long as your average bodyboard. We caught up with owner Dessie Govender to get the low-down on his store and bodyboarding in Cronulla.
Give us a rundown of Emeralds history. Emerald has been running since 1978 but originally made surfboards in Taren Point. In the mid to late 80's Emerald moved to Surf Lane, Cronulla where it was run by Arnold and Kathy Cohen. Emerald then moved to 130 Cronulla St where it was for about 15 years and was run by Harry and Narda Bosworth for about 10 years. I bought the shop off them in late 2007. Finally in 2012, Emerald moved next door to Oporto's on Surf Rd where we are currently located. Its pretty much across the road from South Cronulla Beach.
Why shop at Emerald? Emerald has a wide variety of boards, wetsuits, fins, clothing and accessories which are all bodyboard brands which keeps all the money in the industry. We also run Cronulla Bodyboard Club through the shop.
Who / what are your influences? My influences growing up were the older guys charging Shark Island and when Holding On came out this year it reminded me of the good old days. Watching Wazza, Nugget, Matt Percy, Rissole, Ballard, Wingnut, Fordy and some of the boys going mental out there day after day was epic to see. All I wanted to do was watch those guys and learn how to scoop properly and have control of my board and body.
What riders does Emerald sponsor? Emerald sponsors a wide variety of team riders from
- Current World Champ Jared Houston
- Eric Gamez from the Cook Islands
- Mini hellman Cam Green from Tassie
- Shark Island hellmen Shaun Pyne and Luke O'Connor
- DK legends Azza Glossop, Stevie Maher and Jon Capilli.
- The guru Sacha Specker who can do anything at all from making water housings to winning comps like the TAND!
- Super grom Noah Gillroy
- Sam Strachan male model
- Edgar the Peruvian animal
- A bunch of Bakers a few from Bundeena to a boxing Boat Harbour beast.
Who is the best grom right now? The best grom right now for me would probably be Tanner McDaniel and he probably has the best coach/mentor in Mike Stewart.
What about Pro Rider? The best pro at the moment for me is Jared Houston he has worked so hard on his lefts to be even with his rights and pushes himself every time he surfs. He hits big sections and charges massive slabs!
Which riders are easy and hard to work with? The hardest guy to work with is Jared Houston because he lives so far away and is constatly travelling. The easiest guy to work with is Luke O'Connor because he is always keen to chase waves and never seems to work.
Advice to groms: All groms should put there mobile phones in the bin. Bail on Facebook and Instagram and work hard on their surfing in all conditions going both ways. Stop looking at the internet and chase big heavy slabs with no photog or filmer and just do it for the love. Sponsorship is not the be all and end all. Don't put your hand out unless you can give something back to the company/brand!
What would it take to be an Emerald Team rider? I would like regular photos and footage from team riders. Positive attitudes and a drive to want to get better. Do it for yourself not so you can gloat and tell everyone what you did.
What if you just want a job in store? In a worker I would love them to turn up on time and try and give the customer what they want not what you think they need!
Anything you want to add? Running a business is a full time job, so make sure you surf first when it’s pumping, then you can to work nice and relaxed.
7/2 Surf Road
(02) 9527 4149