Kai Hall grew up in South Africa surfing predominantly right waves. He has enjoyed a solid competitive career in the South African junior series, even at his young age and now finds himself living in paradise in Bali.
Bali improves your left surfing
Living in Bali, Kai has had to learn to ride left pits and he has adapted very quickly to riding pig dog. Wearing wetsuits and a helmet for protection from the live coral reef, he is making a name for himself in the islands and all over the world. Kai Hall is possibly the most tubed 13 year old on the planet!
When you look back at the generations of South African surfers, not many groups can compete with the style and class of this generation. Royden Bryson was one of the stand out surfers on tour, until a horrible injury at Jefferys Bay ended his career. He is now living on the South Coast and coaching and by all accounts shredding again.
Davey Weare was the coolest and calmest competitor we have ever produced. I call him the ice man. Now a financial advisor, he still gets in the water and puts on a. power surfing display every time.
Undeniably one of the most stylish surfers to ever come out of South Africa, Simon Nicholson still shreds. He came perilously close to qualifying for the Championship Tour and won some of the biggest events on the planet. He still rips and now works in real estate.
What we talked about
Amongst many subjects was just the pure stoke for these guys catching up. After years spent traveling the globe, Simon and Royden had not seen each other in a decade. We also chatted about that hunger retired to compete with the world’s best and what its like when the tour is over and you have to adjust to “Normal” life.
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This week on #TheLockdown I am joined by three of SA’s hardest working shapers and brand owners. Graham Smith is one of the longest working surfboard manufacturers in the country and, of course, father to Jordy Smith.
Josias “Dutchie” Louw is one of hardest working guys in the industry, from making boards, managing brands and of course on the Mic at contest with myself.
Gary van Wieringen is known for his all out power surfing, but was also the hard worker at Clayton surfboards for years and now runs his own brand, Africa Surfboards, from his home on the South Coast.
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What better way to start off Season 2 of #theLockdown that with three of South Africa’s most influential surf coaches. These guys pretty much have their hands on the wheel of where SA surfing is going.
Llewellyn Whitaker is the current German Head Coach and has also coached many of our top young surfers. Chris Bond is the current SA Junior Team coach and works with many of our top QS competitions. Quinton Jones, AKA QJ, is one of the longest working coaches in South Africa and amongst others works with our new CT surfer, Matt McGillivray.
Watch the Podcast
Support Captain Kai
If you enjoy the podcast and my other work, you can help me through these very tough times. I have had no event work this year, all being cancelled due to Covid Lockdown. I have designed some high end, great quality Hoodies and a Cap and you can pre-order on my Thundafund Page here:
What do you do when you’re locked down on the sickest farm in South Africa? Grab a shovel and get digging! When World Cup slayer, Theo Erlangsen, was lucky enough to get quarantined with young gun, Ike Klassen, on his farm in Stellenbosch, the boys stayed busy riding bikes and spraying dirt!
Locked in at Hellsend Dirt Compound is a 3-part series following The Trails Crew getting up to all kinds of good, bad and wild. Watch the boys riding dirt jumps, shredding some downhill laps and staying “almost too busy doing cool things the whole time!” These boys have all the toys and a whole heap of ideas, so jump on board as they race pit bikes, trash rally buggies and shred anything with wheels on.
“We’re basically quarantining in heaven! I mean, it would be nice to be racing in Europe, but this is a close second!” Theo Erlangsen
In the first episode, we meet the infamous builders, Justin Novella and Duran Van Eeden, who can wrestle a digger like nobody else, and were luckily quarantined on the same farm. First state of business was carving out the Corona track, an insane downhill course through the forest from top to bottom. The boys hit the building work hard and then set to work stacking clips and roosting turns.
Getting the pit bike track built was a dream come true for Ike, who started his career on bikes with Moto X and was a junior national champ. For some light relief, they jumped into one of the race buggies on the farm and tried, but failed to keep all the wheels on…
“Tim shreds the BMX so hard, he’s also such a silent assassin, he comes in super quiet and then does WAY bigger and better stunts than any of us” Theo Erlangsen
In episode two, Tim Bentley joins the crew and shows the boys how to ride the perfectly manicured dirt jumps. Justin gives you an insight to the Trailscrew daily life, meet India the trail dog and watch the riders push themselves in a trick jump sessionwhilst quarantined in South Africa.
In this episode you will be subjected to some serious wisdom from the surf photographers! These two are clever, articulate and definitely know what they are talking about. We discuss this current crisis, why you should obey the law, rather funnel your energy into a good cause than get angry, where contest surfing should go now locally, what it takes to be a good surf photographer and even how to stay fit until we can surf again.
Meet the surf photographers
Alan van Gysen is a name synonymous with surf photography and has worked with the biggest surfers, publications and content creators on the planet. Based with his family in Kommetjie, Cape Town, he is a very spiritual man, loves surfing, writing and traveling to exotic locations with the world’s best surfers. We call him, the world’s nicest man.
Ian Thurtell, is one of the top, young photographers in South Africa. A solid contributor to the local and international scene and covers most of the major contests in South Africa. He builds custom housings for cameras, puts together media trips and works very closely with some of the best junior surfers in the country.
Support these surf initiatives
Once again we highlight the great work happening around the SA coastline by some great people. Please support these incredible programs:
Rosy Hodge is a household name in surfing, world wide, as she presents on the WSL webcasts and of course surfed on the world tour. Calling San Clemente in California home, Rosy is one of the most influential ladies in world surfing.
Heather Clarke was the longest representative on the World Tour for SA, along with Greg Emslie in the men. She still regularly wins open and masters SA titles and now coaches surfing, based in her home town on the South Coast of SA.
Coming from the North Coast, growing up surfing heavy waves, Sophie Bell has had an illustrious junior career and has recently moved into the Open division. She is not scared to charge heavy waves and is one of the few ladies to have a crack at Donkey Bay, Namibia.
We talk lockdown and Girls Surfing
We chat about how communities are handling the lockdown, how tough it is to be a surfer in SA currently, unable to surf and about the current state of ladies surfing internationally and locally. (We may be putting together a girls surf camp and schools road show in the future.)
One of the first things we chat about on the podcast, is just how much experience Jack has already on the CT, before he even starts his career there. With numerous wildcards since his teens and surfing against most of the top guys in QS heats, he feels he has all the experience he needs to spend 20 plus years on the tour.
Staying Positive during Lockdown
With the delayed start to 2020 due to the Corona Lockdown, he stays positive at home in West Oz, where he can surf. In fact most of the waves on his doorstep make up the venues for the 3rd CT stop. He also tells me that the break, his first since he was 14, allows for some training, rest and quality time with his lady and family.
Some quality Humor
Jack has a great sense of humor and we have a couple of really good laughs over the interview. At one point, girlfriend, Julia Muniz walks from a shower, thinking its a telephone call… needless to say huge laughs around.
Jack Robinson is the most anticipated Rookie in CT history.
One thing is for sure, no surfer’s debut on the the Championship Tour has ever been this anticipated. Jack rips in all conditions. He charges the big heavy waves that would normally intimated the new comers. Hell, he has one the VolcomPipeline Pro and is always a stand out at Teahupoo. I for one cannot wait to see him on tour.
Follow Jack and get live video from the Box and other West Oz heavy waves on his Instagram and his amazing gal Julia Muniz on her Instagram.
I chat to WSL Championship Tour, rookie, Matthew McGillivray from the Gold Coast. What has it been like starting your CT career only to have it stalled by the lockdown? What has lockdown been like in Australia? What are his thoughts on the new WSL formats for the tours, announced this week? Why does he love BASE jumping? These are just some of the subjects we cover in the 30 minute interview.
We also chat surfboards and Matt’s relationship with Graham and Jordy Smith with the new brand, SMTH Shapes.
Lets Feed Jbay
We also chat about his home town and the incredible movement right now to feed the poor community of Jbay!
Wow, almost forgot about this film from Jason Hearn and Duncan Scott. Pretty rad that it came up today when I posted an interview with Travis Logie, Jordy and Wok. This surf film included Travis and many of the surfers either side of their generation. It was also the film that got me booking my trip on the Indies Explorer (Sadly burnt a few years ago) and I had one of the best trips of my life.
The surf film “The Fountain of Youth,” which was written, directed, filmed and produced by the duo of filmer Jason Hearn and writer Duncan Scott, encapsulated a highwater mark of that period, as a crew of some of SA’s best surfers stepped aboard the Indies Explorer and gorged themselves on uncrowded, prime-season Mentawai perfection. The surfers included Greg Emslie, Paul Canning, Davey Weare, Travis Logie, Simon Nicholson, Peter Nicholson, Duncan Scott, Dan Redman, Ricky Basnett and Damien Fahrenfort.