Name + Current Age (2016):
Dawid Mocke – 38
Paddler, CoFounder (with Nikki Mocke) of the first Surfski School (2002) and the MOCKE brand (2006).
27 – My first memory of paddling was in the back of an old foam double surfski with my dad. We would paddle to the nearby beach Muizenberg and catch some waves. We’d often come back after dark. My scariest moment was when one evening a whale came up right next to us, completely unexpectedly. When I think back to that night I can almost get my adrenaline flowing again.
Which paddling disciplines do you compete in? Eg. Surfski, river marathon, flat-water marathon, flat water sprint, S.U.P etc:
Currently mainly Surfski and some River Marathon. Definitely some white water if I get an opportunity. In the past I did some Flat Water marathon, and Sprint as well for 3 years.
Favourite race, why?
It’s so hard to pick a favourite, there are some wonderful events out there. That’s the magic of paddling is the places you get to visit and people you get to meet. It’s unfair to single out 1 race – they’re ALL my favourite!
However, to answer the question I would pick the 3 most defining victories of my career:
1. King of the Harbour, Auckland, New Zealand, 2004 – my first International victory and start of being a professional paddler.
2. The Dubai Shamaal 2007 – my biggest race win, coming off a terrible start, massive prize money which helped us buy a house, funded Nikki’s Olympic journey and capital to kickstart the MOCKE brand.
3. The Cape Town Downwind 2015 – my most recent victory, racing my home waters on the world’s best downwind and winning another SA title.
What about paddling keeps you paddling?
Paddling offers a unique mix of adventure, fitness and competition. It scores high on all three fronts. (Except maybe flat water paddling 😉 To get out onto the water there is a sense of expectation of what you might see, or what conditions will be like or how hard or easy it’ll be. I almost always regain perspective on my life; things sort of fall into place and I’m able to re-center myself, make some decisions. In Gen1:2 it says: “the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” – I also often use my time on the water as quiet time to pray.
Another thing, getting out onto the water is one of the most creative times you will ever experience. I have never come off the water without a new idea for something!
Were (or are you) a champ at any other sport?
I was in the South African Surf Lifesaving team between 1999 and 2004 as a board paddler and Iron Man and have won a few National titles. My best international result was a 6th and 7th in the board race and surfski race at World Lifesaving Champs.
Why paddling above other sports?
I decided to pursue surfski paddling after my first open ocean long distance race from Hout Bay to the Waterfront in 2001. I just loved the excitement of being in open water, chasing swells and dodging big breakers.
Greatest paddling achievement ( or top 3!)
4 x World Surfski Series Champion 2009-2012
Most memorable life achievement outside of paddling:
Marrying Nikki Mocke! And then, last year, actively organising my work and paddling life to be at home more.
What is your favourite MOCKE product, why?
😉 All of them!
But closest to my heart are: the Racer PFD (lifejacket) as it is the first product I designed, is completely unique and I have no doubt in my mind that it is the most comfortable you’ll ever wear; and the Deluxe bag because it was the first of it’s kind and is completely geared to the paddler.