Before SA Champs, we called Brandon Benjamin up and invited him on a Zigzag strike mission to Mozambique. We promised him cooking right hand barrels and good times. Brandon was frothing, his soul and his heart wanted to go along with us and it’s pretty safe to say he considered it for a fleeting moment but he had other ties. “I’ve got to go to SA Champs.” he told us, “But all I wanna do is get barrelled!” Brandon ended up going to East London instead of Mozam and came away with the win at SA Champs. Temptation looked him in the eye but the youngster made the right call.
Zag: Luckily you didn’t go with us to Mozam!
Brandon: Right! Lol dude, it was a big decision. Either big barrels in tropical water, or big walls and big sharks! hahaha
Zag: So how does it feel being crowned SA Champ?
Brandon: I’m truly overwhelmed bra. The support and love I’ve received since the win has been incredible. And to have made history is another level ekse. So grateful for every opportunity I’ve been blessed with to be able to achieve this.
Zag: How were the conditions for SA Champs? We heard it was wild and woolly and Nahoon Reef is a large playing field. Was it a struggle getting on the good ones?
Brandon: Conditions were really tough. From trying to position yourself, catching the right wave to paddling back to the take-off spot. It was a mission! The body and mind had to be strong for.
Zag: Who was ripping (besides you)? What was your most difficult heat?
Brandon: The BALLIES BRA!!! They were shredding. My toughest heat must’ve been the finals. I mean Greg and Llu are well known for putting mense in a combination situation.
Zag: Was there a point during the event when you thought to yourself, “Damn, I could win this thing!” Or did you go into the event thinking that?
Brandon: Funny enough I had this feeling that I was going to win, I just never knew how it all was going to go down but I had 100% belief in God and his plans. So all glory to him for sure. After my quarter final heat, I realized that I was capable of putting solid heat totals together and aimed in that direction in the finals.
Zag: What was your highest scoring ride? What did you do?
Brandon: A 9.25! Bru, I just made sure I klaaped that ding from top to bottom!!! Lol. #dalawhatyoumust
Zag: We know you grew up in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. And there are a lot of lefts in the area… How did you develop such a mean backhand whip!?
Brandon: Funny enough I hated by backhand but huge thanks to Llewellyn for the fine tunning. #FTB
Zag: You’re a part of the SWOT surf team. What exactly is SWOT about? What do you guys stand for?
Brandon: We’re basically a bunch of talented surfers from the struggle Lol, that try our utmost to give back to the community. We have unreal passion for surfing and competitive surfing and we strive to share the love with poorer communities. SWOT stands for Surfers with Original Talent.