4 July, 2023 4 July, 2023

Ballito Pro So Far…

Once again the South African Surf Season delivers! It seems to be that all the WSL need to do to break their ‘good wave drought’ is host an event in SA. So far we’ve had the Rookie Rippers as well as the first three days of the Ballito Pro CS event. Throughout both competitions we’ve had cooking waves. Crisp offshore winds in the mornings with consistent swell in the 3-6ft range all week long. 

The Rookie Rippers event featured SA’s top young surfers as well as some international youngsters looking to do damage on the Kwadakuza coastline. The boys and girls showed us what this next generation is all about. Powerful rail surfing and clinical progressive manoeuvres is where it’s at. Three taps to the beach can no longer cut it. If you’re not gouging out heavy sections or spinning to the flats chances are you won’t make it. No weekend warriors sneaking through heats anymore. Bleak if that’s you but exciting for surfings future. 

On the boys side the standouts were, Mitch Du Preez, Luc Lepront, finalist Dan Emslie and winner Ryan Kainalo (BRA). In the girls event Louise Lepront, Pua DeSoto (HAW), finalist Alyssa Spencer (USA) and winner Anon Matsuoka (JAP) were on the money! Both the girls and boys surfed in some heavy conditions which only seemed to enhance their already near perfect techniques. The event wrapped up on Saturday 01 July and was followed by the CS event which kicked off on the Sunday. 

Sunday was a typical winters day in Ballito. Sun beaming down, morning offshore blowing, followed by a windless afternoon. Can’t beat it! The crowd gathered at Willards to enjoy the first day of the main event. 3-5ft right handers pealed across the bay as we saw some of the world’s best surfers earn such a title. From Sunday onwards it’s been as high performance as surfing gets. Big airs, big turns, barrels and clutch moments. 

On the Saffa front we sadly only have two surfers left in the mix, Dan Emslie and Sarah Baum. A couple major backhand slaps worth mentioning from Zoë Steyn and Tash Van Greunen but sadly they both bowed out in the Round of 32. Dan has been on a tear making the Rookie Rippers final and now into the Round of 32 in the main event. Dan has a razor sharp forehand and knows how to put together a heat. Sarah has been leading the charge for Saffa Women for the past few years and looks determined and ready to get onto the CT. It feels like it’s her year. 

With a big south swell blowing in tomorrow we’re expecting some solid surf to come. Make sure to get down to Willards and indulge in some top notch viewing. If you can’t get down to the beach stay glued to Zag socials, we’ve got you covered!

Written by – David Armstrong

Images by – Luke Patterson / Kody McGregor / Pierre Tostee

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