Back in November of 2022, Pride Bodyboards released a documentary – called Jannie – directed by Sébastien Boulard which enlightens the path of Tristan Robert’s second world title of bodyboarding at the young age of 25.
Please know that the doc itself is a compilation of fantastic images collected during team trips and in events where the world tour has passed last year – Azores, South Africa, Brazil, Chile and Frontón, for example. However, one issue remained to be clarified. Why the name Jannie?
“The name Jannie came from my friend’s dad who called me “Krisjan”, which is a very Afrikaans way to say my name. From there my friends called me “Jan” and then “Jannie”. I thought it was fitting to name the documentary this to dedicate it to the people who helped me grow into the person I am today”, clarified the champ.
In addition to the images, important testimonials from his peers emphasize and underline the South African willpower and sacrifice in the entire clip. “Determination makes him the best bodyboarder in the world. He gave up things and is willing to go the extra mile to win!”, says 3x world champ Jeff Hubbard.
“I would say that my mind has to be my strongest weapon.”
According to Tristan, “I would say that my mind has to be my strongest weapon. I have dedicated my whole life to becoming a world champion. I never drank, smoked or did any drugs growing up. I trained hard and I knew I deserved to be world champion at some point in my career. When you know you deserve to be world champion and you have cut out the bullshit distractions your whole life, your mind becomes so powerful, your hunger after all that sacrifice is second to none”.
Roberts has a strong mentality, it’s his primary strength and since his 15/16 years old he knew he wanted to be world champion. Regarding talent and work outside of the water, 2x world champ Moz has no doubts: “He is the best competitor on the planet!”
“Jeff Hubbard set the benchmark for future generations.”
After watching the whole movie we got the feeling (a good one) that Jannie sees a lot of Hubb in the way he bodyboards. You see, their approaches are very similar – always looking for the air game.
“I agree, I think I have just always had the urge to hit big ramps and do big moves like him. It’s those moments that got me addicted to bodyboarding”, he confesses.
“(South Africa has) plenty of waves and a huge coastline to explore and not much of a crowd to share the line up with.”
Next we wanted to know how was growing up in South Africa as a bodyboarder? “Growing up here as a bodyboarder is epic. There’s plenty of waves and a huge coastline to explore and not much of a crowd to share the line up with. However, finding sponsors is really difficult. The currency is really weak and all the money that companies want to spend on athletes, would be spent on the big sports in our country such as rugby, cricket and football to name a few.”
“I trained hard and I knew I deserved to be world champion at some point in my career.”
The sphere of competition is very present and alive in the daily routine of the Saffa kid. Maybe that’s why it’s not surprising he considers both Pierre-Louis Costes and Moz some of the fiercest competitors on tour. “Just so much experience and skill between them. They could quite easily combo you in 10 minutes”, he adds.
One more question arises before leaving the King of bodyboard alone and in peace. How about a third title, are you amped for such accomplish? The answer:
“Indeed I am. I want to keep chasing titles and cement my name in the History of the sport.”