Surfer Phil Rajzman takes inspiration from volleyball legend father
Bernard introduced three-year-old Phil to surfing when he put him on his back during a body surfing session, and ever since, the young boy has built a strong bond with the ocean.
Phil began competing at the age of 14. At 17, he was already among the elite competitors at the Longboard World Championship. His surfing knowledge grew, which got him closer to the bigger surf, eventually building an impressive resume of accomplishments, including two world championship titles.
Phil took a risky surfing move aimed at a new career high when he tackled ‘Jaws’, a big wave on the north shore island of Maui.
“It’s really scary when you see that wave breaking up close,” Phil said. “I can’t describe how I felt after surfing Jaws. It’s a wave that demands a lot of respect, support and strength. If I didn’t have that mindset, maybe I would be sitting on a cliff just watching the whole session.”
Phil took a risk surfing 'Jaws', similar to his father Bernard’s on the volleyball court. Bernard is known for the move he created from the service line, the ‘Star Trek’ or the sky ball serve.
Bernard participated in three editions of the Olympic Games – Montreal 1976, Moscow 1980 and Los Angeles 1984 – where he bagged the silver in his last Olympic stint. He also won silver at the 1982 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship in Japan, and won bronze at the 1981 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup.
Watch Phil Rajzman’s tribute to his father when he was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 2005.