26 November, 2015 26 November, 2015

Near Perfect (Royden Bryson, Mundaka, 2008)

While scrolling through Zag’s newsfeed yesterday, this little gem popped up (thanks Pip Malherbe). It’s the heat review of Royden Bryson’s Round 2 victory over Damien Hobgood at the 2008 Billabong Pro Mundaka. The goofyfoot from East London won the heat with a 19.37 total, which is damn near perfect:

Royden defeats Damien Hobgood before HD video became internet standard.

“If that had been a free surfing session, he would have come in over the moon” said Ronnie Blakey alongside Occy in the commentary booth.

2009 was the last year the WSL Championship Tour visited Mundaka, because moments like this were considered too few and far between. It may be one of the finest waves in the world, but is hidden away in the corner of a sheltered bay and doesn’t break often. So a lot of heats were contested at the alternate venue – Bakio – a more exposed but very average beachbreak. Mundaka is not the kind of spot you can assign a two week waiting period to and expect to score surf, so the event was eventually canned.

Royden tucks into a Perfect 10-point ride during his Round 2 heat at Mundaka in 2008.

The Hobgoods exacted revenge in the round following Royden’s near perfect performance, when CJ defeated the Saffa shredder before going on to win the event ahead of Joel Parkinson.

Gone from the Championship Tour but not forgotten, Mundaka still draws the surfing world’s attention when it does turn on; especially that of current Dream Tour surfer Aritz Aranburu, who is from the Basque region where Mundaka is located.

Aritz Aranburu rides Mundaka just about better than anyone.

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