Youth – Vaughan Hoekman

Victorian Vaughan’s very vivacious ventures.
Above: Vaughan and a very appealing beachbreak at home. From the pages of Riptide #198. Photo: Ed Sloane

We think you’re probabaly used to the premise of these things now – grom (sorta) gets a shot in the Youth section of the mag, followed by one of these things – the online Youth interview. Our most recent interviewee was South African supergrom Tristan Roberts, but this here is Mr Vaughan Hoekman – one of Vicco’s young hotshots.

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The V-man. Photo: Ed Sloane

Tell us about yourself mate.

VH: How’s it goin’ gang, my name is Vaughan Hoekman and I live in a town called Warrnambool. I’m 20 years of age and love to ride boogs! In the down-time of the boogs I try to ride a skateboard, party a fair bit with the boys and just try to have as much fun as possible. You’ve gotta keep occupied. Growing up as a young booger in Warrnambool was pretty fun! I copped a fair bit of grief off the older guys, but I guess that just comes with being a grommet [laughs]. We have two beachies that get so fun when they want to. I just surfed them every day after school back in the day.

Are you “chasing it” or just content to cruise with your bodyboarding?

I want to chase/ride the best curls there is on offer. I’d be stoked to get in the mags more if possible, but then again who wouldn’t be? I’m currently working on a clip, which should be out pretty soon hopefully. It’s so hard to get footage in Vicco though! I’d be stoked to get a board sponsor one day, but I’ll see what happens. I’m not too fazed by it, just as long as I’ve got a board under me at all times I’m happy.

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Vaughan doing a barrel. Photo: Burg Thurston.

What’s life like for a Victorian bodyboarder?

It can be extremly hard sometimes. You see all these people getting good waves and you just ask yourself – how did Vicco turn out to be so shit [laughs]? I still ask myself that question on a daily basis. But on the bright side we are pretty damn close to South Australia and the closer I get to that place the happier I’ll be!

What’s the Vicco scene like?

To me it’s getting heaps better than it was. I’ve noticed guys have been shredding lately and it’s so sick to see that coming from Vicco. Everyone pushes each other in the water. James Page is an obvious standout to me – the guy knows how to get a big pit and he’s been popping up everywhere in my news feed the past few months. Keep up the good work bro 🙂

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Photo: Daniel Sykes

Why do you think it is Vicco doesn’t churn out big-name pros, world tour competitors, etc.?

Ummm, that’s a hard one. The only thing I can think of is that there isn’t much of a bodyboard scene down here at all. Like, there are guys that chase it, but filmer/photog wise? There’s only a very small handful of them down here so getting exposure is extremly hard, that’s for sure. Throw bad wave-quality on top of that…

You mentioned James Page – he’s certainly been turning heads lately. Do you surf with him much and is he one of the main guys who pushes you?

James Page! He’s an absolute legend. Yeah, I reckon we’re pretty good mates. I don’t get to surf with him as much as I’d like, but when I do surf with him he definitely pushes me in and out of the water. He’s just a genuine good bloke, that’s for sure.

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South Oz freight train. Photo: Ben Hill

What about non Vicco dudes, who are the main bodyboarders you look up to/who’s ripping the most these days?

I’d probably have to say Tom Rigby. He surfs as smooth as a freshly-whipped bowl of cream. And that’s pretty bloody smooth! 

Tell us about that recent day at an infamous slab down on the South Coast, NSW. I heard yourself, Chris James and James Page were the only fellas that paddled out?
There were a few more crew out there than us. I can’t remember names, but was a pretty hell session! To start off with I don’t really know what Griz was thinking while paddling into that thing… but who cares about what he was thinking, it was pretty spectacular to see a human do that. I came off on my third wave and hit the bottom with my ankle. I bent it on a pretty weird angle and I don’t know what I did to it, but all I know is that I couldn’t walk so I sat on the ski with Ryan Mattick for a couple of hours and just watched on. I can’t believe some of the waves that were hitting the reef that day. It was outrageous! Just watching Pagey freefall after freefall was pretty sick. Unfortunately he injured his back due to hell scorpion dives over the course of the day. As for Griz, I’m pretty sure he said it was the worst beatdown he had last year, but I’m not 100 per cent. He was actually planning to wear wetty shorts for a few waves for and ad or something. Gnarly!

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The mucho publicised South Coast slab sesh. Photo: Luke Barker


Are heavy waves something you’re keen to chase more of? Any other memorable heavy sessions stand out lately?
This year that’s what I’m more keen to do for sure. Fingers crossed for a few heavy sessions. My most memorable session in the past couple months would have to be Java. It was pumping for four days straight and the biggest crowd in the water would have been three people? Eighty per cent of the time I was surfing by myself!

What else do you reckon you need to work on?

I’m keen to work on my style because that to me is the main factor of bodyboarding. I just wanna have fun and go to as many places as possible really. 

South Oz invert. Photo: Jake Seabrook


What are your plans for the rest of the year and beyond?
My brother is moving to Wollongong in a couple of days so within the next few months I plan to be based there with him. I’m pretty over warrnambool. Other than that I’ll just try and get to South Australia as much as possible and that’s probably what matters most to me at the moment. I’ve currently got someone helping me out with a clip so that shouldn’t be too far away either!

What about longer term – do you know what you’re gonna do when you “grow up”?
At the moment I’m working as a waiter at Lady Bay Restaurant and it’s probably the best job I’ve ever had. Hospitality is the go as far as I’m concerned. I try not to think too far into the future, just take it a day at a time and enjoy what life has to throw at me.

Any shout-outs or last words?

Shout-out to Josh O’Sullivan for having a moustache that makes most men jealous. Good on ya bro, keep the hair flowing.

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Rev-head. Photo: Reece Dobbin
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Jake is a senior contributor and sat in the Editor's chair from 2012 until 2014. Currently resides in South Australia and you can often find him dodging Knight's close-outs on the knee.