|Intro||South African bodyboarder|
1 January 1980, Durban, eThekwini, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Andre Botha is a South African bodyboarder. Born in Cape Town 1981, he left school at the age of 15 to become a professional bodyboarder and won his first world title at the age of 17 and his second at 18, winning both the World GOB Tour Series and the Pipeline World Championships.
Botha was also the first South African to ever win the Morey Banzai Pipe Championships and the last champion of this 17-year-old event. He is the first South African bodyboarder to win the GOB (Global Organization of Bodyboarding) world title. The second person ever to win both the Pipe and GOB titles in one year. The following year he proved this was no fluke by winning the first ever Mike Stewart Pipeline Pro.
He is known for his amazing and relaxed surfing style, and his ability to ride dangerous waves such as Waimea shorebreak and Keiki. These infamous Hawaiian spots, located on the North Shore of Oahu, receive large swells and waves break in very shallow water. Botha displays great tranquility even in the face of very dangerous wave conditions, and has developed his unique, clean style of bodyboarding.
He is also the survivor of one of the most spectacular wipeouts ever witnessed by the surfing community at the infamous Teahupoo (one of the heaviest and most feared waves in the world) in the Tahiti Skins 2000 event. Botha free-fell after paddling too late into the wave, all the way down the bottom, only to fall hard, then getting sucked over and not hitting the coral reef at all.
On Dec 8, 2015, Botha was the first responder and came to the aid of Evan Geiselman after a serious wipe out at Pipeline in treacherous conditions. Botha single handedly pulled unconscious Geiselman though strong rip currents and crashing waves. Botha saved Geislman from drowning in a spectacular effort. In the end, Botha was assisted by the north shore lifeguards and 3 time world champion surfer, Mick Fanning. Botha received an award of valor from the Mayor of Hawaii for saving the life of Evan Geiselman. The rescue was captured on film and was broadcast across America, South Africa and the internet.
Botha keeps competing in the World Tour and seeking big waves all around the globe.