“I still get so nervous, and I try to just take a couple of breaths and hope that I don’t mess up,” she says.
Nurtured by the likes of four-time world champion Wendy Botha and former World Tour competitors Greg Emslie and Royden Bryson, Hodge enjoyed a remarkable junior career, taking nine South African Championship titles before qualifying for what was then called the ASP Women’s World Championship Tour in her first year after school.“From there, Rip Curl asked me to do the Bells Beach event, and then I got asked to do the Western Australia events, too.”Hodge’s life in surfing had been given a new focus.But in the booth alongside the likes of seasoned broadcaster Joe Turpel, World Tour veteran Ross Williams and former champs Martin Potter (known as Pottz) and Peter Mel, she still needed the legitimacy of her former pro career. Hodge managed to keep the stoke and continue traveling the world and surfing long after the prize money had dried up by smartly reinventing herself to remain relevant.I do yoga every single day and get a surf in or another activity like running if there's no swell.I train with my personal trainer three or four times a week.She took the experience of years on tour riding the various breaks and getting to know all the athletes and used it to carve out a new career direction within the field she loves.
While hers may seem a glamorous and extraordinary case, Hodge believes this approach can be translated to most careers.
Surfers have to stay within a certain ranking on the Championship Tour — contested at the best breaks in the world — or they’re relegated to the Qualifying Series (QS).
“I was obviously a bit shattered about that, because being on tour had been my dream since I was a little grommet [young surfer],” says Hodge.
She traveled the world competing and spent four consecutive years on the ASP World Tour as a Top-10 contender.
But late in 2010 her run came to a screeching halt when she failed to prequalify.
We work a lot on my core and balance, hip mobility, ankle mobility, endurance and everything really.“Then I was hanging out at Rocky Point in Hawaii and I bumped into one of the women who worked on the Roxy and [brother brand] Quiksilver productions.