Tue | Oct 3, 2023

Beckford in right mindset and ready for WSG

Published:Friday | May 26, 2023 | 1:23 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer

Jamaica’s Elishama Beckford is a man on a mission as the 26-year-old Bull Bay native prepares to represent his country at the International Surfing Association’s World Surfing Games (WSG) in El Salvador next week.

Beckford will be making his fourth appearance at the Games, having debuted for the national team in Peru back in 2018.

El Salvador has been the best hunting ground for the avid skateboarder, having made it all the way to the third round of the men’s open division back in 2021. The Hurley-sponsored surfer, who has been in El Salvador for the past week, is keen to go one better this time around with much more favourable waves at La Bocana and El Sunzal this year.

“This time around I am feeling a lot healthier and more focused and I believe I am more seasoned to the waves over here. What is also important is that I have the right equipment and the right mindset,” said Beckford.

Over the last couple of days, Beckford has been surfing at least five hours every day as he aims to get everything right as he faces some of the best competitive surfers in the world, including two-time World Surfing League champion John John Florence of the United States and Brazil’s current WSL champion Felipe Toledo.

“It’s going to come down more to strategy than skill because there are two different points breaks and you have to make the best decisions in those 20 minutes that you get. It can take all of eight minutes to paddle back out if you don’t catch the right wave so decision-making and execution is going to be critical,” Beckford said.

With the heat allocation set for next Tuesday, Beckford is eager to go out and demonstrate what he has been practising all season.

“The goal is to crack into the top 30 in the world and I am ready because the mindset and skill level are in the right place and it’s just to get the job done.”

Beckford is sponsored by Hurley, HaydenShapes, Futures, Sun Bum and Sympl.