Sealand Gear Graces Zigzag Cover

June 14, 2017

Sealand Gear co-founder, recently became a dad, 40 years old and going strong, now the face of the latest Zigzag. How do you feel about all of this?

They say that life begins at 40 and if I look back at the year that I am having after having just reached that milestone I would say that it is absolutely true! Having a little boy that is happy and healthy has been an amazing experience for me, but now getting the cover of Zigzag after all these years of putting it all on the line is really just the cherrie on the top. I never expected nor strived for this so I guess that's what makes it such a surprise and so much fun. It is not everyday that you get on the cover of a magazine, especially one where your passion lies, so ya, I am very grateful.

 

Sealand Gear Co-Founder Mike Schlebach holding Zigzag cover

Sealand represents a culmination of all the business experiences I have had as well as allows me to have a business that not only helps protects the natural world but also enables me to put food on peoples tables.”

Sealand Gear Co-Founder Mike Schlebach featured on Zigzag cover

Talk us through this session/wave?

We have had a couple of years of drought, not just with rain, but also in terms of nice clean big waves. The day this photo was taken the swell was picking up through the day, I paddled out around lunchtime into a picture perfect and glassy 15 to 18 foot lineup at my home break. As I arrived I saw Twiggy sliding into a perfect looking inside barrel and that really got me pumped. Twiggy can do that to you! That wave came to me around the middle of my session as I was paddling back out… With big wave surfing, if you are in the spot, you must turn and go, so when this insider came at me it had "barrel" written all over it so I swung, paddled and pushed hard off the bottom straight into this gaping pit. I rode for a long while but then got nicely obliterated before I could come out. All in all it was a great days surfing with amazing conditions.

Mike surfing a massive wave in Kommetjie

Photo by Nic Bothma

With big wave surfing, if you are in the spot, you must turn and go, so when this insider came at me it had barrel written all over it so I swung, paddled and pushed hard off the bottom straight into this gaping pit.”

 

Mike surfing a massive wave at DungeonsPhoto by Alan Van Gysen

Big wave surfer and co-founder of Sealand Gear, where, how, and why did these lines align?  

Surfing has been a passion of mine since I was a kid. I am fortunate in that I have a mother that always encouraged me to be outside. We moved to Kommetjie in 1978 and with my Mom being a working single parent of 4, she used the beach and the small community that lived there at the time to help bring us up. Being in the water and on the beach was a safe place and it was where I founded my lifelong passion for being outside and in the ocean. I am also naturally an entrepreneur and have always struggled with working for people. I love being in business. I have had several different business's over the past 20 years, from construction to tourism but I never really found a home in any of them. Sealand represents a culmination of all the business experiences I have had as well as allows me to have a business that not only helps protect the natural world but also enables me to put food on peoples tables. Coming from SA, this is a life priority for me. Through Sealand, I am now able to tick all the boxes as a business person that will help make the world a better place as well as make me feel good about going to work.

 

Sealand Gear Co-Founder Mike Schlebach