Shorts: he has Produced/Directed/Photographed “Windsurfer” (12
mins ,shot in 35mm); “White Waves”(21 mins,16mm blowup);
“Sky Surfer” ( 33 mins,16mm blowup), which showed with Feature
Films FAME, ROCKY 11, and THE LAST SNOWS OF SPRING respectively.
former champion competition surfer, he has written five
non-fiction surfing books, including “Surfing Hawaii”
published by Falcon Press, and he’s been a leading figure in
“style surfing”. He has shaped surfboards at Hobie surfboards
in California and Bilbo surfboards in Newquay, UK. During a long
career at the top of the sport, Rod has surfed all kinds of waves,
from the huge surf at the Cribber to perhaps the most unusual, the
Severn Bore tidal wave that runs up the River Severn, Gloucester,
in spring and autumn. After several half mile rides, he rode the
wave for six miles unaided, a recognized world record at the time,
Guinness Book of Records.
has placed in World Surfing Championships: fifth (San Diego 1966)
and then seventh (Bells1970) in consecutive World Surfing
Championships, and he has surfed in over twenty-five countries.
in Watford 27th May 1947, a British Citizen, Rodney
Sumpter, at age four, immigrated with his parents to Australia on
a ten pound passage called the “British assisted migration
scheme”, Desperately poor, his father struggled to feed Rodney
and his brother David. Rodney was born with a stammer that
developed to an embarrassing level when he started school. Unable
to ask questions or answer them, he escaped to the solace of the
waves and surfing. So started a sometimes comic battle to overcome
his speech impediment, dyslexia,
and a gambling approach in sport that would win him the National
Surfing Championship of three countries, and in doing so
encountered dolphins, sharks, and turtles, which inspired his
first fiction book, “The Green Flash”.
days, Rod lives not far from the waves and thinks he’s as good a
surfer as Kelly Slater. When Rod isn’t writing, he enjoys surf
reporting, painting of all kinds, and archiving his films into
historical documentaries. His girlfriend, Bel, and 9 goldfish named
“Jaws 1-9” keep him company.