Local surfing veteran just misses out on title

Well-known Sunshine Coast surf school owner David Macgregor missed out on another South African longboard surfing title when he came second at the recent national championships in famed Jeffreys Bay recently.

Macgregor, owner of Shaka Surf School, gave up a lengthy journalism career to teach surfing and run an upcycled forest surf lodge. He missed out on a third national title when he came second in the grandmasters division.

“The past 18-months have been a rollercoaster of uncertainty as people try to make it through the uncertain times of this covid pandemic,” Macgregor explained.

Last year the prestigious champs did not take place and, it was cancelled several times this year because of lockdown restrictions preventing events from taking place.

“Every time I surf [in] a contest my aim is to make the final, and it was the same strategy again this year.

“Everybody wants to be top of the podium but making the final is always the aim.”

Macgregor lost out in the final of the 45 to 55 year old division to fellow EP surfer and former Kowie local Craig Cuff.

“Craig is an absolute legend and a good bloke too, and he was definitely the man to beat.”

For the first time in years only one Macgregor represented the Kowie at the national championship as older son, Cuan, is finishing his journalism degree and his younger son, Kye, is planting trees in Sweden. His wife, Jill, is working overseas at Oxford University so it was a solo affair this year.

“I am bummed my family could not be there and also up on the podium. It really is a family affair as Kye has three national titles, myself two and Cuan one, so this year was an event of mixed emotions.”

Although Macgregor has been teaching surfing for almost 30 years, he only took the plunge and went full time into his passion five years ago.

“I have been surfing for 45 years and feel blessed to earn my daily crust doing something I love. Winning titles is amazing, but I derive even more stoke introducing people to the sport and seeing them still at it years later.”

Besides running Shaka Surf School, the family has also turned their forest treehouse home into an unique surf camp called the Shaka Shack Surf Lodge.

“I grew up on the beach around surfing   it was the greatest gift I ever received and it has lasted a lifetime. I’m glad I passed the stoke onto my kids and them and other local groms who I have taught over the years help at the Surf School. It really is a family affair.”

Over 150 surfers from across the country competed under strict covid regulations this year and the event was a huge success.

“I first surfed SA longboard Champs 25 years ago with my dad, so it is good to carry the torch with my sons. Hopefully next year they’ll join me again.”

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