With a large crew of SA’s top surfers up on the West Coast, I decided to take my video rig with for the Vans Surf Pro Classic at Lamberts Bay. We had some insane waves over the event and the forecast for the far reaches of the coast just after the event were looking magical.
We found a heaving beachbreak, easily overhead, but with shifty peaks, loads of current and some heavy, heavy sections. The boys tried hard to find the nugs though and were rewarded with some gaping Kegs.
This coastline has so many spots, especially when the NE and East winds blow. You just need to drive along the coast and look for the lip lines. Great accomodation is easy to find and the locals are always ready to help, or feed you incredible food. They are so happy to see people, they literally open up their doors. While some crowd and fight at the more well known spots, many score by simply going a little further.
The VANS Surf Pro Classic at Lamberts Bay went down in epic surf up the Weskus of South Africa. With the best local and a few quality international drop-ins, the surfing on display was of the highest quality imaginable!
The first standout was undoubtably the waves at Yoyos at Lamberts Bay. The South African Trestles as its affectionately called by myself and others delivered highly contestable surf. The other standout was Michael February, Mfeb to his friends, who has been on a tear in the City Surf Series. Mfeb never looked like losing and eventually took out his best mate, David Van Zyl, in the incredible final.
Vans Surf Pro Classic
The Event grows every year and is fast proving popular with even international surfers. This is great news for both local surfers and the local community as it brings much needed tourism revenue to the very poor area. I hope this event grows into a bigger event and perhaps even a WSL 10000 one day.
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.”
I love the West Coast! Every time I head up there I just fall in love all over again. One of the main reasons is what I like to call the “West Coast Handshake”. For this event, myself and Stanley Badger drove up a few days early and we arrive at pretty good Elands Bay in the morning with quite the crowd on it. Have a surf, go have lunch, come back to the point and the crowd gone and an old guy from the coast in the parking lot. We have a quick chat and he says, “Enjoy the empty lineup, I am paddled out and heading home.” and he shakes my hand. We score three hours of uncrowded perfection.
This is followed by the first ever WSL event on the coast and as per usual YoYos delivers whether 2ft, 8ft, crossshore or offshore and high tide or low tide. The kids are going off, the Pros are frothing and the vibe is super chilled and everyone is smiling. (Just watch the videos I tell you!) Mike February is looking sublime, but Beyrick de Vries has a look in his eye. Funny then that both end up in the final with Beyrick just pipping Mikey. In the juniors Jordy Maree smokes the field and it is good to see the Grom smiling from ear to ear with a big victory. No huge party follows, just fire, braai and a few beers. West Coast style.
I find myself parked at one of the multitude of reefs along the coast road, one surf down already on a Monday. The waves are out there and looking pretty good. A car pulls up with a bunch of frothing surfers who have just arrived. I say hi, we chat about the event and how the waves looking. A good little set peels off down the reef. I tell them to go enjoy themselves, I am hitting the road. We shake hands and I drive off with a big smile on my face.
We couldn’t have asked for a better season opener of the 2016 Monster Energy TRP Distributors SA National MX Championship in Port Elizabeth. Both fans and competitors expected round one to be interesting but what they got was better then they ever could have anticipated. Not only was the competition in the premier MX1 and MX2 classes on another level, but every single other class offered incredible racing.
Round 2 now heads to the ever popular Zone 7 in Cape Town on 2 April. The competitors enjoy the Zone 7 track and it’s a great venue that always draws large crowds. In the premier MX1 and MX2 classes, it is anyone’s win. The level of talent is so high that there are so many favourites that could easily take the win. It is going to be intense racing at every stop this year. The first round also attracted riders from Zambia, Zimbabwe and Swaziland and we hope to see them all again in Cape Town.
The Championship is sanctioned by Motorsport South Africa (MSA) and brought to you by Motocross South Africa (MX SA) in conjunction with Monster Energy, TRP Distributors, Thor, Bridgestone, FMF, Gaerne, Motul, DC Shoes, Bell Helmets, Rockwell Watches, Racestar Graffix, Pac-Rite, 100%, Fly Racing, Winstel, MMT and Progression. Official vehicle partner is Ford Performance.
Racing will kick off at around 10am. There is catering on site and this is guaranteed to be a great day out for the whole family. Entrance is R50 per adult and free for kids of 12 years and younger.
Zone 7: Van Schoorsdrift Road, Cape Town, Western Cape.
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.
Ok, so the video is actually an Ian Walsh project, but to be fair, Grant Twig Baker and Frank Solomon, the South African chargers, are rather prominent. The video was shot by surf cinematographer, star, Taylor Steele, and funded by Hullet Packard, hence the Hollywood feel. The boys charge some rather perfect looking, but extremely heavy waves up the West Coast.
The Cape has been cooking, but not only for the big wave crew. Check out some crazy action over the last month or so from the Bodyboard crew. Nice to see some serious representation from the Hooded Deeks from Llandudno! Great little video from Dave McMaster.