Interview with Dylan Kelly.
Dylan Kelly (@elmundosanchez), a DMC fin athlete, is indisputably one of the most talented Australian body-surfers. The elegant spin, front flip or rarely imagined body surfing belly spin, this guy has them all. His moves are executed with style and precision and are impressive to watch. Some body surfers may argue that to do such tricks you need a steep wave with a lot of power, yet, this does not seem to apply to this man. We watched him at Slyde Fest Australia where some competitors were struggling to even catch a wave. However, he was busting out moves like he was body surfing the firing Point Panic itself.
It is no surprise that legendary body-surfer and former president of New South Wales Body-surfing Association, Don McCredie, described Dylan’s body surfing skills as such of a “baby seal, playing gracefully in the waves”.
Currently, he is road tripping through North America where he tied the knot with the love of his life, Nina.
To celebrate such a special moment, as well as all of his outstanding body surfing achievements, we organised an exclusive interview with Dylan.
You grew up in Norther Queensland, is that where the first connection to water was made?
“Yes, I was there with my wonderful parents who taught me how to swim when I was a baby. I have to say, this is the main reason why I have done so well in my life with aquatic sports. At a young age, I started competing in swimming, lifesaving and triathlon”
Then the move to Sydney followed:
“I moved to Sydney when I was about 10. This is where I would discover my love for body surfing. I actually started stand up surfing, but I always ended up spending more time swimming out at the back and practicing catching waves without fins. Slowly I moved away from swimming and started playing water polo”.
You were very talented at water polo player for your age:
“I started in Breakers Water Polo and this was a life changing experience. I discovered the sport that I truly enjoyed and loved, at that time. After a couple of years, I was recognized in water polo and started making NSW squads.”
Looking back, do you think water polo and body surfing have much in common, except the obvious swimming aspect?
“It was during my time in Sydney playing water polo that I would always resort to the sea and body surfing. This was my greatest source of happiness. Water Polo taught me a lot about moving in the water and finding ways to position my body in a response to my environment. Body surfing provided me with wonder, inspiration and happiness. I think they make a great combo”.
It was time to take body surfing to next level. 2nd at the world body surfing championship, 1st at Slyde Fest and 3rd at Noosa festival of surfing:
“I eventually found out that there were body surfing comps in Australia. That is when I decided to buy my first fins and competed at Noosa festival of surfing. Body surfing fins allowed me to enter the wave earlier and by making strong propulsive kick I was able to make critical part of the wave”
You got your first fins very late, was that perhaps the key to your success. You are known for doing amazing tricks on the waves:
“I would like to stress that body surfing with fins really helps you to position your body adequately, as you can not rely on your fins to get you out of bad wave positioning. So even after I got my fins, I practice a lot with out them, to really hone my skills. With the competitions, I think the key is to try to understand what the judges are looking for and practice at home. This is important for good competition result. I must add that nothing beats freestyle body surfing. “
You are currently living the dream overseas. Congratulations on your recent engagement:
“I’m having the time of my life overseas with my friends and family. Here in Guatemala I got engaged to the love of my life Nina, and I could not be happier. Now we are taking on Central America, and we have been catching some world class waves. It has been a real dream so far.”
What is the next step:
“Next step is to bring another shredding body surfer grom into the world!”
On a final note:
“I’m happy to be a part of such a beautiful community. So many legends young and old make up the body surfing community. Let’s see where we can take the sport and how we can direct it to help and inspire the youth.”
Dylan you are a true champion and thank you taking the time to get in touch with us.
We must mention that Dylan was also a swimming teacher. Teaching everyone from young to old, competitive and handicapped, all due to his love for the water and his wish to spread the awesome vibe that it provides.
What an absolute legend!