Incredible insight into Great White behaviour – REMUS SharkCam

This video absolutely blows my mind. It shows that once a Great White has decided on attack, firstly you will not see it coming and secondly there is very little you can do. When the sharks are not in attack mode and just being inquisitive or territorial, there are slower approaches, gentle nudges and very little use of the mouth and teeth. While my absolute worst nightmare, I cannot help but be fascinated by these giant hunters who are the masters of their domain. Also keep an eye out for the teeth raining away while the shark is biting the camera, its absolutely unreal.

In 2013, a team from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution took a specially equipped REMUS “SharkCam” underwater vehicle to Guadalupe Island in Mexico to film great white sharks in the wild. They captured more than they bargained for.

REMUS SharkCam: The hunter and the hunted from Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst. on Vimeo.

Best of South Africa 2013 – Surfing

I hope you guys and gals had a great Xmas and New Years and welcome to 2014! It’s going to be a mental year of action sports in SA, but as we get underway I thought I would look back at 2013, and first up the world of surfing.

Best Surfer – Grant Twig Baker

Starting the year looking down the barrel of a gun financially as he lost his major sponsor and the year’s big wave season stuttered and started very late, Grant Baker came back guns firing! With the announcement of the ASP Big Wave World Tour, twig looked me in the eye and stated with total sincerity and focus, “I am going to be the Big Wave World Champion”. The nay sayers would say he is getting too old, his time is passed, etc etc. Twig shrugged it all off, trained his ass off and when the waves finally arrived in late winter, blew minds with his commitment and focus. (While watching the Dungeons segment below, make note of John John Florence on the boat in the channel and what he says watching one of Twig’s waves!) When the first official big wave event on the year was called on in Europe, many of the big names chose to remain in Hawaii, where they had just arrived. Twig got back on a plane and missioned across the globe to dominate the event and take the number 1 spot on the ASP BW World Tour. The kids going on tour this year like Beyrick de Vries, Slade Prestwich, Mikey February and Dane Staples need to take a leaf out of Twig’s book. If your mental game is on, your body fit and ready for anything and you believe in yourself so much you intimidate your competitors, you can be the champ! The ball is rolling for Twig out of 2013, lets see what 2014 brings…

Twig: A Calculated Madness from SURFING Magazine on Vimeo.

Best Tour Surfer – Beyrick de Vries

I checked Beyrick getting a lot of flack through the years. I don’t think people took his challenge for the tour seriously. Those people, all have egg on their faces now though! An incredible year of results, culminating in what has been called the best tube ever ridden at Sunset and a solid Triple Crown showing has put Beyrick on the cusp of qualifying and with a a super seeding for 2014. Now the pressure really starts as the World number 49 heads out as the number 3 South African seed on tour behind Jordy and Travis. With an able support cast in Dale, Mikey and Slade, I am really looking forward to watching the Qualifying Tour in 2014.

Best Junior Surfer – Slade Prestwich

The big kid made big name in 2013. Long touted as the heir to Jordy Smith’s power game, Slade came right after a rather shocking start at the first Billabong Pro Junior at the beginning of the year. His big break came winning the Volcom Pro Junior in Durban and getting a slot in the competition at Fiji. With the powerful lefts of Cloudbreak as his pallet, Slade proceeded to slash and burn the competition in front of a global webcast audience. A massive win for the kid from Scottys and suddenly his head was back in the game. For me his best surfing was to come at the Junior World Champs in Brazil, where he lost to Gabriel Medina in the Quarter Finals (Medina smoked every heat in the competition), where more importantly it came to a last minute count back by the judges as Slade was the only surfer to challenge Medina the entire event. Slade has the skill, he is an immensely nice guy and he has the support of some great sponsors. My feeling is that with the right support and management he can go all the way!

My 2014 Wildcard – Dale Staples

Ducky has more than proven himself in big surf and tubes. Name made on the North Shore, a proven track record out at Jbay in front of a home crowd (Not long now till the return…) and a solid bag of tricks in the small stuff. The World number 71 has a decent seed going into 2014 and after speaking with him, he definitely has the desire to get onto the Championship Tour. Put Dale Staples on the Dream tour and watch magic happen… Now he just needs to go out there and qualify!

All in all we are poised for a massive year in professional surfing in South Africa. We have some serious firepower hitting the Qualifying Tour and make no mistake Travis Logie will go about business like he does every year. The biggest question on everyone’s lips must be, “Will Jordy Smith win a World Title this year?” He has looked me in the eye and told me there is nothing else more important to him than that exact goal and I believe him. I have put the bottle of champagne on ice in anticipation…

All hail the Champ! Mick Fanning World Champion x3

The dust has settled, the pro surfers have flown home for xmas, the Fantasy Surfer winners have lorded it over their friends and Mick Fanning is safely home in Oz with World Title number 3. This puts him on par with Andy Irons, Tom Curren and Marc Richards, with only Kelly Slater having more titles. I reckon that deserves a drink mate! Cheers Mick and bloody well done (Hope Eugene was allowed out for a celebration!)haha

Savage Downhill Skate Wipeout – Hot Heels Africa 2013

Hot Heels Africa is the premier Downhill Skate race on the continent. Always loads of big crashes on the hill at Koggelberg, but this year with heavy tail winds throughout the weekend, there was much carnage. This wipe on Baboon Corner though took the cake. Multiple fractures, ribs and concussions. Eish, I don’t wanna skate no more…
Riders: Tim Bowman, Tom Rushovich, Olliver Faile, Henry Muller
(Through in a full on board run below the wipe so you can see what it feels like to race down this incredible hill.)

Road Bike Party 2 – Trial riding a very expensive Road Bike

We have all been in awe of the Danny MacAskill and his trial bike videos, which have garnered millions of Youtube hits. His good mate Martyn Ashton made his first version with a road bike and it promptly became a huge hit. So now he decided to make another one, using a R210’000 bike… (Thanks for the link Rawlins.)

Road Bike Party 2 is here! Martyn Ashton, Danny MacAskill and Chris Akrigg take you on a new journey with a new bike.

Incredible stunts and amazing tricks all completed on a £15,000 Colnago C59 Italia? It can only be a Road Bike Party! Lycra-clad trials legend Martyn Ashton’s first Road Bike Party was a YouTube sensation, so a sequel HAD to be made, bigger and better than before! Martyn was in the middle of filming when his life was transformed by an accident during a trials display which has left him paralysed from the waist down. Courage, determination and great friends have helped Martyn to complete his vision for what a Road Bike Party is.

In the words of Mr Ashton, “Party on”!

No bikes were harmed in the making of this film.

Billabong Pipe Masters 2013 Preview

Talk about a year flying by. Its time for the biggest event of the surfing year, the event that draws viewers from across the globe and cultures, the event that has always been considered the pinnacle of professional surfing, the Pipe Masters. You are never going to be considered one of the best until you have won this contest and thats a fact!

Starting on Sunday and with the swell charts showing some decent swell, the contest that will decide who our 2013 World champion is will get off to an explosive start. Mick Fanning is in front and will be looking to take his 3rd World Title along with the Pipe Masters crown and in so doing emulating one of his best friends and legend, Andy Irons. His competition in the form of 12x Champ, Kelly Slater, will make for an epic battle. In my eyes Kelly has started to show weakness towards the back end of the tour with some serious chinks in his infallible armor. Mick on the other hand is looking super fit, super psyched and the man for the job. Kelly will also have to win the event to take the Title.

Who else should you be keeping an eye on? John John Florence pretty much dominates the Pipe lineup when he is out there and no one would bet against him being able to win this competition. With Jamie O”Brien not given a wildcard, which seems insane considering how good he is out there, the door is open for other young Hawaiians such as triple crown contender, Ezekiel Lau. With a commanding win at Sunset and considered one of the strongest surfers on the North Shore, this kid is looking to make name like Sebastien Ziets did in 2012. (Just check the photo above!) His major competition for the title is the Spartan! Michele Bourez has had a great year, is looking focused and strong and will be wanting that Triple Crown title to take back home to Tahiti. What better way to win the Crown than winning Pipeline along the way.

My 2 dark horse picks are Kai Otton and Kieran Perrow. Kai has had his best year on tour ever – in a year where I called him falling off the tour at the beginning of the year. He has had an incredible year and is super strong in waves like Pipe. Kieren is the defending Pipe Masters Champ and always makes the rounds at this event.

This looks to be an epic Pipe Masters with loads of guys needing results to qualify and the battle for the Triple Crown and World Title thrown in the mix. I cannot wait!

The Billabong Pipe Masters will be webcast LIVE via

Heat 1: Patrick Gudauskas (USA) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW)
Heat 2: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Joel Centeio (HAW)
Heat 3: Alejo Muniz (BRA) vs. Marcus Hickman (HAW)
Heat 4: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Kaimana Jaquias (HAW)
Heat 5: Yadin Nicol (AUS) vs. Kahea Hart (HAW)
Heat 6: Raoni Monteiro (BRA) vs. Bruce Irons (HAW)
Heat 7: Dusty Payne (HAW) vs. Reef McIntosh (HAW)
Heat 8: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Olamana Eleogram (HAW)
Heat 9: Mitch Crews (AUS) vs. Shane Dorian (HAW)
Heat 10: Granger Larsen (HAW) vs. Kalani Chapman (HAW)
Heat 11: Tanner Gudauskas (USA) vs. Ricardo dos Santos (BRA)
Heat 12: Dane Reynolds (USA) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS)

Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. TBD
Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. TBD
Heat 3: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. TBD
Heat 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. TBD
Heat 5: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. TBD
Heat 6: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 7: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 8: Brett Simpson (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 9: Travis Logie (ZAF) vs. TBD
Heat 10: Miguel Pupo (BRA) vs. TBD
Heat 11: Adam Melling (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 12: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. TBD

Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 2: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 4: Nat Young (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 5: John John Florence (HAW) vs. TBD
Heat 6: Mick Fanning (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 7: Josh Kerr (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 8: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. TBD
Heat 9: Kelly Slater (USA) vs. TBD
Heat 10: Kai Otton (AUS) vs. TBD
Heat 11: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. TBD
Heat 12: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. TBD

Saffa World Champ Sacha Specker – Riptide 2013 Dropkneer of the Year Nominee

Sacha Specker has been charging on the IBA World Tour both prone and DK, but it is in the Dropknee where he became the World Champion. Riptide magazine have put up their Top 5 DK riders for the year and Sacha is of course right there. So support our guy and lets hold thumbs he is the Champ once again.

Here are the top five nominees for Riptide Magazine’s 2013 Dropkneer of the Year award (in no particular order) as voted by you and the riders themselves. Featuring: Sacha Specker, Dave Hubbard, Matt Lackey, Cesar Bauer and Dave Winchester.

Under Desert Sun – Another Angolan sojourn…

Every year there is a new surf spot that pops up on the radar with online videos and stories hitting the zines and Magazines. Angola seems to be the new perfect surf zone for 2013. With 2 groups of South Africans already weighing in with their videos, I have been patiently waiting for this to drop from a mixed team of Euros and Dane Gudauskas. Great edit, story and some pretty cool waves.

A film about exploration and surfing in the heart of Angola. It is in the hard moments, the moments when flights are missed and bus tickets bought, food is scarce but conversation is plentiful, cars are stuck but waves are just over the next dune, that the beauty of travel becomes apparent. It is in these moments that you learn to let go, to succumb to the wills of the road, and to allow life to happen around you and take in every experience. It was days of the most arduous travel any of had ever experienced, and in a moment it was washed away with the first wave- Kevin Voegtlin

Under Desert Sun from Kevin Voegtlin on Vimeo.

Wavescape Film Festival & Dutchie on air tonight!

Cracker show for you guys this eve with the launch of the Wavescape Film Festival on air, while their Art Board auction is happening downstairs at Superette, at the Woodstock Exchange. If you are coming to the auction you can pop upstairs and watch the radio show happening live in studio. I will have Wavescape big boss, Steve Pike on air along with artists such as Conn Bertish. My man Dutchie, surfboard shaper and commentator, will be joining me for the whole show to talk Triple crown action in Hawaii and we may be lucky enough to get live skype with some of the boys abroad…

Tune in from 6-8pm on

For more on the festival just go to