Brian Grubb and Matti Buys Wakeskate Durban’s Beachfront

Wakeskate show in Durban

This summer, local wakeskate athlete, Matti Buys invited one of the most influential pioneers of the sport, Brian Grubb (USA) to South Africa. To explore and session some of the most prominent spots around Durban. What transpired was an epic video short titled ‘Reflections’. Which not only showcases Durban’s flair but some of the most imaginative trick lines and obstacles.


Wakeskate legend Brian Grubb

“Since my last first trip to South Africa back in 2006, I have always wanted to come back and see more. Durban was a perfect location to wakeskate and put this project together with Matti,” says Grubb, who has been dominating in the sport since his first pro tour in 2003.


Red Bull Reflections

In Red Bull’s ‘Reflections’, you will see a myriad of cables and high-powered winches taking Grubb and Buys from the Indian Ocean shoreline, to Durban Point Waterfront Canals, right through uShaka Marine World and onto Durban’s iconic beachfront pools. The duo creatively make use of their natural surroundings, adding obstacles like ramps or kickers to perform a host of tricks.  One would normally expect to see these on a lake or public cable park, yet this time in a much trickier and unique setting. 


Growing South African wakeskate

In South Africa, wakeskating is still very much a growing sport with a lot of potential and young talent continually raising through. “It is important for us as athletes who have spent a number of years building up the sport to continue to find creative ways to share our stories and to also put the sport of wakeskating in front of new, larger audiences,” concludes Buys.

Watch the Video

Thando – An Inspiring Film based on a former Street Kid

I have to say, especially knowing the young man this is based on, I was really touched by the sincerity and honesty of this short film. Made by Calvin Paul Thompson, Thando, tells the story of a young boy, Thando, growing up in the township, who loves the ocean. His father introduced him to this magical place, but after he dies, the kids life spirals down a path many in the informal settlements end up experiencing.

Drugs, crime and violence become reality, resulting in Thando running away from home and becoming a street kid, at an age where most children cant go to the shops on their own. But, there is a positive message to be taken from this story and I only hope that, Calvin gets more funding, to complete the full story.

Interview with the Filmmaker

I asked Calvin if it was indeed ispired by former street kid and pro surfer, Ntando Msibi?

Calvin:  I know you’ve had your own relationship and experience with Ntando, so it’s cool to talk to you about this. The film’s storyline is entirely based on Ntando Msibi yes. He was going to feature in the final scene but unfortunately I couldn’t organise to shoot it before the DIFF submission date closed. So he wasn’t really directly involved in the actual production, but we always spoke about making a narrative based on the stories he’d tell me about growing up in Kwamashu and running away from home. And I wrote the script based off notes I made talking to him at the surf project years ago

I really wanted to know if there will be a sequel, that continues the story of Thando, from the streets to becoming a Pro Surfer?

Calvin: Yes I’d like to make a sequel/follow up if I can raise funds for a decent production, I’d love to do another film with Surprise acting – he’s a real champ and a dream to work with bru.

Surprise is one of my favorite little groms from Durban! He has just started competing too and expect some big results from him in the future.

Lastly I asked Calvin why he made this project?

Calvin: My friendship with Biggy, combined with my my keenness for filmmaking I guess, is what made me wanna make the film in the first place. I wanted to make a story that had some truth and meaning, rather than just for the sake of fancy visuals and effects etc. I wanted to put people in the shoes of Ntando for a few minutes, and see how it must have been growing up for him. This short film obviously didn’t have the space to do that justice, but it gives the audience a taste at least. Getting to the truth behind Ntando’s back story became a fascination of mine while getting to know him, because everyone’s always had their own version and opinion on it, so when I finally sat him down in like 2015 and got some real facts straight from him, turning it into a film was inevitable I guess.

The Film – Thando:

I highly reccomend watching this inspiring film. You can watch Thando below:

Thando from Calvin Thompson on Vimeo.

City Surf Series delivers for SA Surfers

In 2017 South Africa was finally blessed with an extended WSL Qualifying circuit locally. The inaugural City Surf Series, presented by Volkswagen South Africa, brought WSL 1000 events to Port Elizabeth, East London, Durban and Cape Town, with the additional WSL 3000, SA Open of Surfing also in Durban.

Looking back at the series, it is not hard to see the incredibly positive impact the series has had on South African Surfing. With 3 wins in the 1000’s, Michael February is now 2nd in the world on the Qualifying tour, after a great result in in the 10000 at Ballito as well. With Jordy Smith currently World Number 1, this is a great time for surfing in our country.

The series also gave our top junior surfers the opportunity to surf at WSL level, against the older more experienced guys and against some tough international competition.

Nelson Mandela Bay

The first event, the Billabong Nelson Mandela Pro, was held at the Pipe, in Port Elizabeth. The first ever professional surfing event in the town. The conditions were not ideal, but the field of hungry SA surfers put on an incredible show for the local surf fans.

Buffalo City

Next up the series moved to East London, where the competitive surf area’s locals were excited to be surfing against the best of the rest of the country in a professional event. Nahoon Reef delivered for the, Reef Buffalo City Pro and the surfers reveled in the long walls at the iconic surf spot.


The City Surf Series then moved to the long time home of Pro surfing in South Africa, Durban. The Corona Durban Surf Pro saw an increase if foreign surfers, as many South American surfers flew across for a four event run through the Western Cape and Durban. This pushed the local surfers and made for entertaining viewing for the crowds on the beach.

Cape Town

Onto Cape Town and the Jordy Smith Cape Town Pro presented by O”Neill. With the World Number one surfer in attendance to award the winner, it was the Brazilian storm who delivered the results both in the juniors and the open divisions. After massive storms had made the original venue at Big Bay a disaster zone, the contest moved to Melkbos. The tiny West Coast village delivered great waves and huge crowds at the beach.

SA Open

The final event of the series was the WSL 3000 Volkswagen SA Open presented by Hurley. The 3000 ratings event drew a larger international crew and this put the local surfers up against it. Eventually the Brazilian crew showed their greater experience pulling off major wins across the board.

The series was an incredible success and I am hoping we will be looking at a greater and more expanded series in 2018. Big thanks go to El Jimador Tequila for sponsoring me as the series commentator and to the hard working team at Accelarate Sport for putting on the City Surf Series with WSL.

The big man is back! Jordy Smith rips Durban & Mozambique

2015 is a year Jordy Smith will want to wipe from the memory banks, with recurring injuries and a less than stellar year on tour. Coming home to SA for the holidays he finally got over his injuries, scored some epic waves at home and managed to sneak a quick trip over the border to Mozambique. He says he is feeling great, hungry for victory and ready to assault the World Tour in 2016, as he got the injury wildcard. Watching this video, I find it hard to doubt, especially when the first stop on tour on the Gold Coast resembles the waves he is busy destroying right here. So watch this and I almost guarantee he is going to make a quick appearance in your Fantasy team.

Go Jordy!

Jordy Smith in Mozambique and Durban from Jordy Smith on Vimeo.

#Movember #OfftheLip surf jam with Quiksilver

Every year the Durban surf community get together for a good cause and meet for the day at Bean Bums for the Quiksilver Off the Lip surf jam in aid of Movember. This year had a great turn out, with good vibes all day. The waves were not the best or safest, but everyone had fun. Congrats to Brandon Jackson on taking the win in the men, Kirsty Delport in the ladies and of course the legend JJ in the masters.

To support men’s health make a donation to #Movember at

Quiksilver 'Off the Lip' Movember Surf Jam – BeachBums KZN , South Africa from steven michelsen on Vimeo.

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I am Thalente – A skate movie about Chance and Survival

I first met Thalente when he was just a kid. He was living on the beachfront streets of Durban and surviving barely. He had support from guys like Dallas Oberholzer and others, but it was tough for him. I took a bunch of Austrian Snowboarders and skaters up to Durban and they met the kid and were moved by his story. This then was the first overseas aid to come his way. You can see Chris Cab in the documentary teaser at Dallas’ Indigo Skate Camp. The guys from overseas, as the AMericans are now, were touched by his story, as well as his ferocious dedication to everything skateboarding. Tammy Smith became a large part of his life and its amazing what just her simple love and support have done for the guy. Make no mistake, Thalente has gone down some dark roads. Some were not of his choosing, some were. What never changed though was his talent for skateboarding and his love for riding. Ultimately it was the sport and life of a skater that not only gave him the hope he needed to rise from his circumstance, but to become one of the best skaters ever to come out of South Africa.

The documentary of his life is looking for crowd funding and support and I hope you guys will go out there and support it. I think it is a story that can carry huge impact into the first world and third. I also hope that the filmmakers stay true to the actual story, from his dreadful family story, to the bad choices he made and ultimately to the choices and aid that have helped him to go to America and become a success. More than that I hope his story can highlight the plight of the many other children walking the same path. I was at the North Beach skate park last weekend and there is a whole new generation of street kid finding escape in skateboarding. Sleeping in doorways, scrounging for food and survival and accepting gifts of boards to surf and skate and by doing so for just a moment each day, leaving their squalid and despicable circumstances to feel the joy of the ride. Thalente’s story is their story.

To support the film go HERE

#OfftheLip Movember Retro Surf Day

A good cause backed up with a great event. The #OfftheLip Retro surf day with Quiksilver aimed to raise funds for Movember while putting on a fun day for the crew in Durban. I was lucky enough to fly up as an ambassador for Movember and had a great time. There were plenty of great Mo’s on offer and most people had made an attempt to dress up. Gorgeous Bikini girls walked around raising cash for a raffle and Kirsty Delport sported a Mo to shame the boys! Ryan Bisset looking like a 70’s policeman from Poffadder took third place, with big wave man, Grant Twig Baker, impressing in the smaller stuff for once and taking 2nd. The man with the only actual retro hairstyle took it though with incredible surfing on an old Mark Richards Twin, showing up all the old ballies. Mikey February won the event and took home an amazing Twin Fin Surfboard from Quiksilver. I walked away with a devastating Farmer Tan and a great big hangover. Movember promise to do the event again in 2014 with an additional day promised for Cape Town. Great video of the day by Steve Michelson…

Off The Lip – Movember Retro surfing event, all in the name of fun. from steven michelsen on Vimeo.

Nitro Circus Live – South Africa get ready!

I have to say, well done Big Concerts. You may have shocked me in the past with some of the acts you have brought out, but seriously well done for bringing out the biggest action sports show on the planet! If you have watched the Nitro Circus Tv show or even better yet the 3D Movie, you will know what we are in for! Otherwise, just take a gander at the video below and start frothing!

Nitro Circus Live will perform three stadium dates on 15th February 2014 at Cape Town Stadium, 19th February 2014 at Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban and 22nd February 2014 at FNB Stadium, Johannesburg. Tickets for the three cities go on sale today at 09:00 a.m. Tickets can be purchased from from Big Concerts, Computicket and through

King of the Groms Video Contest – Shane Sykes

This kid first came to my attention last year, but it was earlier this year in East London where he really showed me some classy surfing. He has the whole package from power turns to big airs and coming from the Durban area will have no problems in the beachies of France for the Quiksilver King of the Groms. (Oh, did I not mention you need to vote for the kid here –,vote,261.en.html so he can represent SA at the comp in france!)

Shane Sykes – South Africa by kingofthegroms

Dan Redman throws Buckets!

His friends often rip him off about being fat. This is in fact simply due to their jealousy in regards to the amount of water Dan displaces every time he does a turn. He still regularly pitches up at contests at home in South Africa and gives the groms and youth a reminder of what power surfing is all about and how it easily wins these comps. He still launches crazy airs with ease. In fact even though he told me the other day he is now an old man, it does not really show in his surfing…

Dan Redman from Mathew Gardner on Vimeo.