JASON BITZER | NEVER OFF DUTY
What is your name?
Where are you from?
Durban, South Africa
How do you spend your time?
What are the fondest memories from childhood/ upbringing that you feel impacted your life choices and lifestyle?
My fondest memories would have to be when I was a kid growing up on the beaches enjoying the lifestyle and having good times with my friends. That has impacted my life to become a professional sportsman and earn a living from the sport of bodyboarding.
Are there any people who were particularly influential on your life or who inspired you?
There were a lot of people that influenced my life including my parents who are sportspersons as well as my first big sponsor Billy Thiel, who was also my first bodyboard coach.
What 'learning path' did you chose after school? What other career options did you take before you found what you wanted to do?
After school I chose to study. The reason for this was a push from my parents but looking back I am so grateful that I did this and got the opportunity to study. My degree was a Bachelor of Social Science in Housing which allows me to go into construction as well as do architecture drafting and other design work.
How settled are you on your present path?
For the time being I am very settled. I have a number of sponsors who I promote and they support me by financially backing me to bodyboard and allow me to compete on the international tour.
What future plans do you have?
I would like continue bodyboarding and traveling until I want to settle down. At my age of 26 I am living in the moment and taking it step by step. If I feel the need to change my career path I will go and try something different but for the time being I'm happy with the sport and where it's taking me.
What 'battle' have you fought that you consider to be the most important?
For me making a living from this sport was the hardest and best thing I have fought for. It's taken me 6 years to get to a place where I can sustain myself financially traveling out of South Africa for every trip and making 3/4 international trips a year.
What would you most like to change in the world/environment?
I would love to change the way that people deal with pollution of waste. I am in the ocean a lot of the time and the amount of trash that is in our oceans is disgusting. I know there are some ideas about certain clean ups starting for the bigger pollution but the fact is it starts with us and once people start acting upon it the repercussions will be better for everyone.
What do you value most in your life?
My health, my family and friends and my girlfriend.
How do you assess the impact you have on the important aspects of your life?
For me the important aspects would be how people see me as a figure to follow and to be like. So for me the way to assess it would be to see who wants to follow me and be like me. This would show the support I have and In turn can show them what I am doing.
What are the most important lessons you have learned?
Always be humble and treat people how you would want to be treated.
Are there any books that have guided your thinking?
I have taken life experiences over what I have read in books.
What brings you the most joy?
What legacy do you hope to leave?
I hope to leave behind being the best sportsman I was taught to be by my parents. If people can see I am good and that I respected everyone I came in contact with then I have achieved what I always set out to do.