Hodge grew up in an area of powerful waves, heavy reefs and fierce surfing talent.
Her skills were noticed early on by her older brother, who provided encouragement.
By the age of 7, she was charging; by 14, beating the boys.
Nurtured by the likes of four-time world champion Wendy Botha and former World Tour competitors Greg Emslie and Royden Bryson, Hodge enjoyed a remarkable junior career, taking nine South African Championship titles before qualifying for what was then called the ASP Women’s World Championship Tour in her first year after school.
I still stutter a lot at the end, though, and drop the dreaded ‘back to you, guys …’ Aargh!