In 2017 Mikey February went on a tear through the City Surf Series. He pretty much won every event except one, where he placed second to eventual winner Steven Sawyer at Nahoon Reef. Mfeb displayed complete dominance throughout the series, showing that his surfing was worthy of much respect and comparable to a top international level.
This year, there hasn’t been such a dominant performance from anybody, no one person has gone on to win multiple events let alone two, although, Jordy Maree came damn close today. That being said, we are beginning to see a couple of guys consistently rise to the occasion (in the Open Mens category that is). Guys who don’t seem threatened by heat draws big names or how well their competitors are or aren’t surfing.
Guys who believe they can win, and ultimately assume they should win. Mike Ditka once said, “Before you can win, you have to believe you are worthy.” – Among many other things a winner must do to emerge victoriously, they must also believe that they are worthy of lifting gold. Ironically, the three surfers that we see as the most worthy winners in their own eyes, are the three highest ranked surfers on the Africa QS right now. Jordy, Davey, and Adin.
Davey Van Zyl
It seems Davey brought the momentum from last year’s great showing at Sunset Beach to the first event of the City Surf Series in Port Elizabeth. When you’re surfing 6-8ft Sunset Beach with a couple heavy tattooed Hawaiians and the worlds best QS surfers, a couple heats at Pipeline, PE, is a walk in the soft white sand. Davey’s surfing has looked great this entire series. His rail work is absolutely gorgeous. Spicy. Like a gritty extra hot Durban curry with yellow rice and a butter naan. Last year DVZ made the final at Lamberts against good friend MFeb, maybe this year the man can go one better.
Out of everyone who believes they can and should win, Jordy seems to believe it the most. He walks around with winners swagger. He bottom turns with swagger, and he certainly belts the lip with winners swag. It only seems fitting that Maree leads the charge. It also appears, assuming that Maree reads these little articles we put together, that the hype around him considering that we’ve written about him a fair amount doesn’t phase him one bit. Unperturbed. Hopefully, Jordy gets a start in the Ballito Pro, or even the Jbay Open, cause we’d absolutely love to see how he compares to the cream of the QS crop, or better yet, the cream of the universal crop. Another solid result and leading the charge.
Adin is a gritty competitor. When he surfs a heat, it looks like he’s going to war. Ready for battle. He’s angry, and he’s gonna do what needs to be done to take the win. He’s so focused on winning that nothing else really matters. Like a donkey with blinders and a carrot. He’s going to get that carrot even if he has to drag that damn cart all the way up, down, and around this mountain. But it’s the drive we can admire because, with Adin, the heat’s never over until the fat lady sings. Today the waves at North Beach probably resembled something similar to what he surfs at Strand with a whole lot more power. And Adin showed his superiority over the conditions, linking the dots better than anyone and hitting big sections. In a quick convo with coach Llu on the beach before his semi, he told Llu that he knew what waves he was looking for. In the jumbled mess that North Beach was, the statement came as a surprise. But Adin showed that he did, in fact, know what he was looking for, a win.
Pro Junior Mens:
The Rise of Bryce Du Preez
While chatting with a certain someone of surfing influence this afternoon, he stated that there are about 8 or so boys in the juniors who could take out an event. And the winners pretty much rotate around those 8 kids. Today, Bryce put his hat firmly in that winner’s ring. If there’s a prize for the most improved surfer of the City Surf Series, it should go to Bryce. Loosing early doesn’t (seem to) fluster Bryce too much, and it certainly doesn’t change his wonderfully kind nature, which allows Bryce to not overthink losses, but instead, hop straight back on the bandwagon, and continue plowing away at his craft. Today, Bryce’s two scoring waves in the final were two of the most exciting waves in the final. On the first he laid down three BIG gouges, power turns, #ManTurns. And the second he did one crazy carve under the lip kinda thing. It was a turn I thought was underappreciated by the judges, cause were I was watching from, which was not from ground level, I was able to see the technical ability of Bryce’s down carve under the lip jam. It was great. Bryce needs to develop more of a winner’s worthy attitude. And from there, it’s only up.
In day one’s write-up, we said that beachies suit Luke Slijpen just fine. Turns out we were right. Young Mr. Slijpen remained a standout throughout the event. Reading the onshore tricky conditions with ease and he complimented that by consistently being on the best waves in his heats. And when he found himself on the best waves he surfed them damn well, earning a 9.00 in his semi-final for a wave that kept on giving and that Slijpen kept on belting. Luke also isn’t afraid to throw risk, and if the wave allows for a risky maneuver, he doesn’t mind dropping it like it’s hot. Which certainly is a pleasure to watch. Big congratulations to Luke Slijpen on his win today.