Wow. What happened to the year!? It felt like just yesterday that the City Surf Series kicked off. And here we are, just under 3 months down the line about to start the final event of the series; The Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres by Hurley. We have witnessed some superb surfing throughout the series, but as with everything, there have been a couple standouts. Here are 4 surfers to watch out for going into the final event of the series.
Mr. Lawler has finally found a victory on South African soil. He’s been a standout throughout the City Surf Series, but hasn’t managed to seal the deal until the Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres by O’Neill which took place last weekend. Jordan took out the surfer of the event in Port Alfred, Greg Emslie, with a perfect ten point ride, he nailed one of the backhand blasts of the event over at Lamberts Bay and then went on to win the Cape Town Surf Pro.
Jordan boasts a world-class backhand that sometimes gets a touch lost on the open point break faces that many of the South African waves provide. PE, however, is a different story, it requires tight lightening fast snaps and quick transitions through the flats. Jordan’s going to be more dangerous than ever before going into the final event of the City Surf Series.
Kai Woolf has done well at many of the City Surf Series events. Still a junior, Kai has entered both the Open Women’s and Junior Women’s divisions in each event. And excelled in both. Her backhand is like a Toyota Tazz. Entirely reliable. You’re probably less likely to break down in a Toyota Tazz on a journey through rough Mozambican terrain than you are in one of those fancy Jeep Land Cruisers with seat heaters, DSTV and ABS. That’s how reliable Kai’s backhand is at gathering scores. If there’s a lip, Kai’s going to bang it. And if the waves’ flat, she’ll wait for it to stand tall before she bangs it. Coming from Jbay Kai’s competed in a fair amount of junior events at the infamous Pipeline. She knows the wave well. And as easy as Pipeline appears, it’s a tricky little cheeky bugger to master. Waves never do what you expect on that little reef. Kai’s local knowledge and reliable backhand will aid her well at Pipeline.
You’d be a fool to disregard Matty in any conditions at any spot on the City Surf Series tour. If there was a Fantasy Surfer game for the City Surf Series, putting Matty in your team would be a no-brainer. Matty won the Vans Surf Pro Classic at Lamberts Bay by absolutely decimating the field, and last weekend, he finished third at the Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro pres by O’Neill. Although McG remains a point break stalwart, the public often forgets, Matty McG began his surfing career at the dribbly powerless Pipeline shore break. Thus, if anybody knows the terrain, it’s Matty McG.
Adin’s had a rollercoaster of a City Surf Series tour. He started off strong in PE with a second to Davey Van Zyl, did okay in Port Alfred and then lost the plot in East London. Perhaps his GPS ran out of battery. But Adin’s a fighter. He’s like a 12 round boxer. You might be hitting him in the face right now, but his going to damn well drag this fight into the 12th round and knock you the hell out before the final bell rings if it’s the last thing he does on this planet.
Following his East London slip up, Adin made a couple changes, he changed his equipment and added the level head of Philip Nel to his entourage. And the changes worked out just fine. Adin went on to win the next event in Durban and placed second at the Jordy Smith Cape Town Surf Pro last weekend. He looks confident in his ability, solid on his equipment and dare we say there are hints of the late Andy Irons in his style. Maybe just a sneaky little sprinkling of Andy in the way he holds his arms. Growing up surfing Strand, Pipeline should be a walk in the park. We’d be damned if he doesn’t bring the heat.