“I don’t think you ever get used to the size of the waves. You just learn to push through the fear – that’s one of the thrills of surfing,” says Michael February.
At 23, the Cape Town-based surfer has reached career heights normally associated with seasoned veterans. In 2014, he battled it out with some of the country’s best surfers to win Quicksilver’s Takes One to Know One event. He was also the runner-up in last year’s inaugural Martinique Surf Pro event in France.
Following his achievement, he was ranked as the top surfer in South Africa. So how does it feel to be the country’s best surfer at 23? “Pretty good,” he laughs.
“I’ve been surfing since I was about eight years old and I’ve always just wanted to do my best. That’s been a real highlight so far.”
When February isn’t riding the crest of Cape Town’s waves, he does a bit of graphic design and photography. Last year he pulled together some of South Africa’s best surf photographers and released a coffee-table book called For the Love. “All the proceeds went to a local charity called Waves for Change. It was my way of giving back,” he says.
Find February on Twitter: @mfeb