30 June, 2018 30 June, 2018

Ballito Pro pres by Billabong – Finals Day

A huge congratulations and thank you to Billabong for putting on such a superb event. I must admit, it’s probably one of the best surfing events we’ve ever attended. 112 of planet earth’s most talented surfers, going berserk on a shifty highly puntable beachie. Now that’s a recipe for success.

The level of surfing was through the roof. And we’re not saying that ’cause we wanna blow smoke up anyone’s ass, it really was unbelievable. Last year at the Ballito Pro, you could make heats by surfing fairly safe but being on the best waves, this year, not a chance. You had to go all out. And even if you were on the best waves and you surfed them well, you might’ve been shoved off your high horse courtesy of a full rotation by Yago Dora or Krystian Kymerson. 

A massive congratulations must certainly go out to eventual winner Peterson Crisanto. But you can read more about Crisanto’s road to victory below.

Cover Image: AVG

Freestone’s Third Chance

Isn’t it dope seeing Freestone fired up!? We love it. He possesses such a wonderful style and great approach to wave riding that we’re just stoked to see Jack make heats so we can watch him surf more. 

Life gave Jack two ‘Get Out of Jail Free Cards’ this contest. The first was during round 4 heat 3, where Jack faced Ricardo Christie and Cooper Chapman. Chapman had the heat on lock down, posting two solid scores early on. Jack was lost. Like a post millennial trying to find a friend’s house sans pin. But Cooper made a crucial error. In a haze of froth, Chapman paddled for a wave Jack was on the other side of, Cooper saw Jack at the last minute and abruptly exited. But the offence had been noted, and Cooper lost one of his scoring rides, providing Jack with safe passage through to round 5.

Jack utilised his second ‘Get Out of Jail Free Card’ against Wade Carmichael. Wade as he always does, started the heat off well. Picking off a solid wave and power surfing that thing to death. Mid way through the heat, and Jack couldn’t buy himself a second score. The lord Almighty looked down upon Jack, saw the price of nappies, had mercy, and sent a gift his way in the form of a draining peaky barrel. Now if you watched the event on the webcast, the pit looked small, but live, that pit was chunky. A chunky monkey. And Freestone rode it well for a 6.70 to knock Wade’s World out the event.

Jack Freestone, a second place at the Ballito Pro and a great start to the season. Image: WSL / Cestari

Good Wave Wade

Wade Carmichael had been shredding all event long. Where everyone rolls with coaches and teams and filmers and girlfriends, Wade’s World’s entourage extends as far as himself. And as simple as his entourage is, that’s how simple his game plan is. A fundamentalist at heart, Wade doesn’t get technical going for airs and club sandwiches etc, Wade just sticks to what he knows, which is good waves and power hacks. He stubbornly took his first wave out from the back rock almost every heat, and he made that thing damn well count. In quarterfinal one, Wade’s World found himself against one of the event standouts, Griffin Colapinto. Wade’s World suckered the grom into a dud first wave, (Snaketales must’ve been fuming at the sight. In fact they probably discussed hustling Wade for the first good wave of the heat), But Griff took one look at that Gandalf inspired beard and thought ‘wizards don’t lie’. Turns out they do. Wade’s World then went on to, as he’s done throughout this event, catch the two best waves of the heat, (which he absolutely brutalised), dropping an 8.17 and a 8.73. The grom, with his wings clipped due to the offshore wind, couldn’t even take to the skies. Welcome to Wade’s World boy.

Wade’s World had a simple game plan that worked damn well. Image: WSL / Cestari

Peterson Crisanto – Hero to Zero – and Back to Hero

Peterson dropped off the scene for a while. Lost an appraised Billabong sticker on the nose. Missed a couple too many flights, missed a couple contests he was supposed to attend. He was a highly praised young surfer who took a wrong turn somewhere along the road. But Peterson soon realised he didn’t recognise or enjoy the scenery on the wrong track, so he backtracked, found the junction of the problem, and corrected his life journey.

Crisanto giving the lip a piece of his mind. Image: WSL / Cestari

A standout throughout the Ballito Pro, Peterson has a touch of Adrianno in his pumping style, but when he lays it on rail, it’s just as refined as his Brazilian counterpart. In the final heat, Jack Freestone came out guns blazing. He landed a massive full rotation alley-oop for a 7.83 and quickly backed it up with a 5.50. We thought Jack had this thing sowed up, but Peterson fought his way back into the heat, by first dropping a 8.73 and later backing it up with an 8.20 to emerge victorious.

A win at the first QS10 000 event of the season bodes well for qualification at the end of the year. Rumours spilled round town say the cut-off should lie around QS20 000 points, and if that’s the case, Crisanto is half way there.

Peterson Crisanto; WINNER the 2018 Ballito Pro pres by Billabong. Image: WSL / Cestari


The Monster Energy Expression Session:

The Monster Energy Expression Session presented by Zigzag in association with VonZipper took place straight after the main event. It featured 10 of South Africa’s best aerialists going for massive punts in the hope of claiming 30k.

Beyrick took top honours for a backside rotation. Enjoy a gallery of the Expression Session by AVG below.

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