South African surfing champion and master surfboard shaping craftsman Hugh Thompson grew up surfing Addington Beach in Durban and shaped his first board at the age of 15. Since then he’s turned out over 17,000 hand-shaped boards. He has a first-class understanding of modern high-performance surf shapes built on the back of many long hours in the shaping bay, over the years, tracking the evolution of surfboard design from single fins to modern thrusters and all the way back. Hugh’s shaping prowess is built on the bedrock of competitive surfing success, having competed on both short and longboards with 16 national titles and just as many provincial titles to his name. Hugh has also represented South Africa at 3 World Longboard Championships. Hugh Thompson is the first feature in Mami Wata’s ‘An African Surfing Life’, profiles. A series that offers a glimpse into African surf culture by introducing you to a few of the continent’s more interesting surfers.