Why would I put a picture of a man running up a beach for a post on the best left tube in the world? If you have ever been to Skeleton Bay for a solid swell, you will know that what I write here is the absolute, honest truth – Andre Botha is the man at the Namibian freight train. He will literally ride a 100 waves all day long, he does not stop, he goes deeper than anyone and he runs back up the 3km point after every wave. He is almost not human! Watching him both inspires, blows your mind and makes you feel somewhat like a pussy. That is why I chose the image I did for this post, because while every other person is dragging their board back, fighting the worst wetty chafe of their lives and takin a breather, Andre Botha is going full tilt!
You will think 7 minutes a wee long for an online edit, but as I did, you will feel like this video is over in the blink of an eye. So enjoy!
South Africa has some of the best bodyboarders on the planet and amongst those standouts is a wave, called the Tand. For the last few years the boys have held the, Tand Invitational, with all our top riders charging this mean, almost dry rock slab up the west coast. This year the conditions were perfect and made for some super entertaining viewing!
Sacha Specker was on fire from the starting buzzer at the Sniper SA Tand Invitational 2016, boosting big back flips and showing true control in the bigger barrels available. Spex was awarded an impressive total of 19.83 points out of a possible 20, riding every wave in the final like the Champion he has proven himself to be.
The Sniper SA Tand Invitational 2016 ran to completion on Sunday the 10th of July 2016, in 4-6 feet waves. Competitors, and the 300 spectators alike, were greeted with warm weather, clean offshore winds, and groomed swell unloading off the Tand reef. The first two heats of the day were slow due to the higher tide, causing the first upset of the day, with 2015 Tand Champ, Michael Ostler, bowing out early and ending the tradition of back-to-back wins set by past Tand champs Jared Houston and Tristan Roberts.
The final was an incredible showdown with the draining tide playing its part. Hot on Specker’s heels was 2 times World Champion, Andre Botha, as well as Cape Town charger, Charles Pass. Botha and Pass both scored in the excellent range with big maneuvers and deep barrels, earning Pass a second place with 17.5 points, and Botha a third place with 16.5 points out of a possible 20. The youngest participant of the final, Wilder Schultz, performed extremely well throughout the event, but just could not get the waves he needed, which resulted in his 4th place finish.
This year’s Shaggy Choice Award was a tough call between Aden Kleve’s big closeout barrel, and Andre Botha’s madman commitment. In the end though, the Shaggy’s Choice Award for 2016 went to Andre Botha, for going over with the falling lip on one of the crazier waves of the day.
The Sniper SA Tand Invitational was proudly presented by Zion Wetsuits SA, in association with Digicape, Pick n Pay, Flatmountain Roasters, Kingdom Longboards, and Surf Ears ZA. With a massive thanks to Red Bull South Africa, for their continued support and commitment.
When you meet Andre Botha, your first impression is a very quiet and almost distant person, then as you spend more time with him you realise he is not distant, simply focussed on the next heaving mass of water he plans on entombing himself in. The guy feeds off heavy water. On a long day at Donkey Bay, where everyone else is taking the 3km walk back as slow as possible, Andre spent the day running back up the point and charging right back down again. In this video he spends as much time on the foam ball in serious Hawaiian waves as possible, literally the only thing that knows the feeling he does must be the corn kernel caught in your drunken nights projectile vomit, he gets spit out that hard, that often. Its just terrifying madness and thats why he is called, the Boogie Man.