Traditionally the surf community gives egg-beaters plenty of stick, but to be honest what some of the guys can do on waveski is pretty damn insane. Local waveskier Ian Macleod has just won the World Masters Waveski title, so let’s catch up with him to find out how an ou from PE gets to be the best in the world.
Ysss, World Champ – you must be feeling pretty chuffed right now!?
I am super stoked. It has taken 7 attempts over 28 years. I never attended all the world titles due to costs and my retirement in ‘97. Thanks to my sponsors Safire Insurance for helping me acheive my goal.
You guys surfed in Durbs – what were the waves like, and tell us a bit about the standard of surfing you were up against.
I am 98kg so I really need bigger waves to help me ride to my full potential. The bigger the better….. Last year’s SA Champs was also in Durban with 6-8 foot sucking bombs and I was hoping for the same this year but that was not to be.
The biggest it got to was 3 foot with the off shore wind and 4 foot with onshore wind. Every morning it blew offshore with the horrible cross and onshore winds blowing in the afternoons. So it was really tricky throughout the contest. With the French riders all weighing in between 60kg and 75kg it was super tough to beat these okes. I ended up 9th in the Open. The Masters is by far the most competitive category. The final consisted of 3 previous World Champs.
You come from a famous waveski family – with your dad, John, and brother, Alistair, also being world champs. Surely that makes you guys the only family with so many world titles?
Yes, my brother Alistair won the World Junior Title in 1989 in Cornwall, England and my Dad has won 3 World Titles: 1984 Noordhoek, Cape Town, 1986 Hawaii (these 2 in the Masters category) and 1996 North Beach, Durban (that year Alistair and I came 3rd and 4th respectively in the Open division).
There has been no other family where 3 members have been crowned World Champion.
Give us a quick history behind your brand, Macski
My dad started Macski in his garage in Summerstrand in 1979. Obviously Macski comes from our surname. In 1986 Macski produced just under 4000 waveskis. It was around this time when the hand shaped waveski made its first appearance and Macski stared making Body Boards.
End of 1991 I joined my Dad at Macski and within 9 months I started to shape waveskis. Alistair joined Macski in the financial department in the beginning of 1993. The nineties saw the cheap body board dominate our production and the waveskis steadily declined. By early 2000’s we were making over 12 thousand cheap body boards per year.
After breaking my back on a waveski in 1993 and achieving a 5th in France in 1995 and a 4th in Durbs in 1996 in the Open division of the World Champs and winning the SA Champs at Noordhoek in PE in 1997 I decided to retire from the sport and concentrate on being a husband and a father. Since my retirement the World Titles came to SA twice and I entered them for the fun coming 13th in 2000 and 9th in 2006. My dad retired from Macski in September 2004 and I took over the production and Alistair the sales and marketing.
With cheap body boards being imported I decided to stop the production of the body boards and started to produce and install fibreglass pools. By this time we were making only a handful waveski’s per year and with being out of the sport the sales of the hand shaped boards was almost zero. I was force to liquidate my Macski Manufacturing early 2009 and having signed personal surety lost everything.
I tried to get a job but was either the wrong colour or to qualified. It was at this stage that I decided to start making hand shaped waveskis again. I soon realised that I would have to get back into the sport if I was to gain the respect of the public and sell boards. The first year I sold 10 boards and this number almost doubled each year. In 2012 I rebranded Macski and Macski has grown to almost 80 boards last year. I started exporting my boards all over the world now and things are only looking better with me being World Champ now……
Were any of the competitors in the World Champs riding your boards?
More than half the competitors were riding my boards. I got 3 World Titles (Ladies-Sandra Pienaar, Masters (Me) and Grand Masters (Kieron Davies from the UK), I also got three 2nd’s, a 3rd and a 4th. This makes Macski the most successful brand at these World Titles.
Another local, Sandra Pienaar, won the Ladies Masters World Champs – how come PE is so strong in waveskiing?
It is weird, we don’t have the waves to justify that statistic….. There are 2 other World Champs over years that have come from PE. Ronnie Ackerman (three times) and Adrian Vos (junior) have also won World Titles.
Well done on your win, local is lekker!
Want a rad custom waveski? Give Ian a shout on his Facebook page or webpage Macski Custom.