One thing I can tell you from hanging with bodyboard crew, is that it is not about the quality of the wave, or making it as such, but about how bloody heavy it was. These guys smaak a deep, mutant pit, whether they make it or not. Michael is one of the top young film guys coming through the ranks and he spent a year following our top guys around the west coast of South Africa. Great footage, rad music and some mal pits!
“This year has been a blur of long car drives and pumping waves. We started filming at the beginning of 2016 and scored every corner of the cape as well as up in Namibia (unfortunately didn’t get too much footage up there cause I was too busy surfing haha).
With the African Fire series I’ve tried to capture the passion Allan Horton has for riding and chasing waves. He’s definitely missioned in the cape harder than any guy I know. He’s constantly checking the charts, amped to be on any swell that pops up. African Fire was the name chosen to describe the series because of the fire inside him, and so many other underground bodyboarders in the Cape, that ignites when it comes to bodyboarding. Not even work or the financial burden of it all stopped him from chasing a swell and him driving myself, Nik Martin and Tsevi Rosenthal for 24 hours up to Namibia in his Bantam bakkie. Haha that was definitely the gnarliest trip we did.
Allan and I chased swells so hard this year and definitely got our fair share of amazing sessions (as well as our fair share of skunkings) but in the end it’s all worth it and 2016 has been such a good year! Keep a look out maybe there’ll be an episode 3 in 2017.”
Ok, so John John drops the second video in his new Twelve series with Hurley and I watch it and it blows my mind. From huge waves, to doing massive punts in big waves to surfing Pipeline, he rips it all. By the end I actually said to my mate, I wonder when Jordy Smith is going to drop a boss edit like this again and true as all hell, a few days later he drops a new web video, with some insanely progressive power surfing. Pound for pound these two videos will get you frothing for your next surf (Or maybe not frothing as you realise how far ahead these two gents are!) Either way, prepare yourself for 20 minutes of radical surfing from my two favorite surfers to watch…
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 I am asked why I say all the time that ladies surfing has turned the corner, from now on I will just point them at this post and let them watch this video clip of Tyler Wright charging, heaving pits. A few years ago this could have been considered unbelievable, but now tis becoming the norm for the world’s best female surfers. So girl groms, if you want to become a pro surfer, best start lining up some serious tubes!
WOW, what an incredible day of big wave surfing. South Africa can be proud as we watched Matt Bromley charge one of the biggest tubes of the day before the contest started, followed by Grant Twig Baker charging into the semi finals – which will go down today! Check out the highlights video below, i know its 16 minutes, but it is so worth it, I promise!
PUERTO ESCONDIDO, Oaxaca/Mexico (Friday, June 24, 2016) – South Africa’s Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker started his campaign for the 2016/17 World Surf League (WSL) Big Wave Tour (BWT) title with a solid second place finish in his Round 1 heat of the Puerto Escondido Challenge in Mexico on Friday.
Held in monstrous 10 metre (30-foot-plus) unruly waves and challenging beach break conditions, the 2013 BWT champion from Durban showcased his big wave skills, finding several huge hollow tubes, and demonstrating his commitment and bravado by taking several bone-crushing wipe-outs.
Will Skudin (USA) claimed the heat win with a 22.07 heat total over Baker by only 0.74 points. Rogercin Ramirez (MEX), event wildcard and local favorite, opened Heat 2 with a huge barrel, pulling off a technical exit to earn an authoritative 9.00, which brought the large hometown crowd to their feet.
Ramirez held the lead against the field, but with 15 fifteen minutes left in the 75 minute heat, Skudin and Baker fought back to secure the first and second positions. Skudin, Baker and Ramirez advanced to the Semifinals while BWT heavyweights Billy Kemper (HAW) and Damien Hobgood (USA), along with local wildcard Coco Nogales (MEX) were knocked out of the competition.
“It was hard to find those corners out there,” Skudin said. “It was big and heavy, and I just put my head down and kept on going. I was hoping that eventually I’d lock one down and make a good barrel. Unfortunately, I didn’t make a really good barrel, but I made it through the heat.”
Reigning BWT Champion Greg Long (USA) led the field with back-to-back solid scores in Round 1 Heat 1 and was the first surfer to secure his place in the Semifinals. Long set the pace for the opening heat of the event by picking off multiple right-hand barrels to earn a 20.01 heat score (out of a possible 30).
Albee Layer (HAW) secured a 12.83 heat score and the second position. Kai Lenny (HAW) and Gabriel Villaran (PER) battled for third place, but it was Lenny who showcased full commitment as he pulled into a deep barrel and edged out Villaran by only 3.10 points.
“The waves are really good right now and there are a lot of corners if you know where to sit,” Long said. “I actually deliberately rode a much bigger board than I ever do out here. There is a lot more volume so I could cover the ground that I needed to. It is something new for me, but in a heat if you can’t catch a wave, nothing else matters. My strategy was to keep moving around wherever it was clean and I locked in four waves.”
2014/15 BWT Champion Makuakai Rothman (HAW) charged through Heat 3, with Pedro Calado (BRA) and BWT veteran Carlos Burle (BRA) close behind. Rothman, last year’s BWT runner-up, locked in a near-perfect 9.50 and a solid 7.80 back-up score. Calado fired with an excellent 9.07 and 6.93 to earn the second position. With only 0.29 points between Burle and event wildcard Angelo Lozano (MEX), Burle’s 23.56 heat total was enough to advance to the Semifinals.
“This is my second time to Mexico and the waves are really fun,” said Rothman. “I was just in the right place at the right time. I am not thinking about the end result. I am just thinking about my first wave tomorrow morning and hopefully I am in the right spot. The local boys charge.”
Jamie Mitchell (AUS) netted the highest single-wave score of Round 1, a perfect 10.00, with an extremely technical barrel ride in Heat 4. Mitchell’s final heat tally, a near-perfect 29.03, was the highest of the day, earning him the heat win and a place in the Semifinals. The bout also saw high-scoring rides from local wildcard Jimel Corzo (MEX) and Rusty Long (USA), who will also progressed to the Semifinals.
“I think we were all worried about the fourth heat with the wind coming up, but I think we scored the best conditions of the day,” Mitchell said. “The tide was dropping, the winds stayed glassy and the swell was peaking. I found an early right hander and nearly made it out, which put me into a good rhythm. I found that left and didn’t think I was going to make it, but somehow I pulled out of that. It was an historic day. Incredible surf and incredible barrels.”
Event officials will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. local time (about 3pm SA time) for a possible 7:30 a.m. start.
For more information, log onto WorldSurfLeague.com where the Puerto Escondido Challenge will be webcast LIVE.
Mr Casual returns with another Kai Neville creation. Craig Anderson has to be the most understated surfer, but when he gets in the water it is all style and flare. Watch this film and glory in the flashbacks to another era, mixed with the most modern of maneuvers.
Craig, “Driving across Australia. Hunting uncrowded waves. I like how hard the spots are to get too. I like being mysto in the desert. I like being in the jungle.”
A short film about Former world tour surfer Ricky Basnett’s return to surfing after 8 years of alcohol abuse. He is joined by mate, Casey Grant and they score some pretty rare gems up the West Coast. Heavy tubes, beautiful scenery and incredible surfing.
As we head towards the next WSL stop at the high performance waves of Trestles, most of the tour will be watching this latest web drop from Julian Wilson and praying they don’t get him in their heats. This guy is smooth like butter!
By now you should have seen at least one super session of video from the magical right hander in Micronesia. One of the most expensive and longest trips as a South African surfer, but hells, just watch this session with Jay Davies and you will be booking tickets and packing your bags! P-Pass is simply mind blowing.