20 September, 2019 20 September, 2019

Billabong JNR – Day 1

Thursday the wind pumped onshore. Disgusting. Dark clouds groaned overhead threatening rain. Constantly. The sea looked tormented. Twisting and contorting. Unruly and wild. We arrived on the beach to find the remnants of yesterday’s filth still lingering. But soon the wind switched to a more favourable direction. Cleaning the ocean up beautifully. The sun emerged from behind the dark, ugly, groaning clouds and suddenly, we were on to a cracker of a day.

Anyway, enough of the damn weather. We witnessed some spicy surfing on day one of the Billabong JNR presented by BOS ice tea, here’s who spiced our curry.  

Dan Emslie – The Flair Show
Flair – Noun
A special or instinctive aptitude or ability for doing something well.
Stylishness and originality

If there’s a word that describes Daniel Emslie’s surfing, it would be flair. Dan Emslie’s surfing is like an expression. An expression of oneself. The waves are his canvas, his surfboard the paintbrush and the lines he draws, the colours. Dan’s surfing is unhindered by scores he surfs big, pushes hard regardless of risk or what score is required. Often as surfers grow older, they begin to surf more reserved, calculated and don’t take unnecessary risks. Humans are born with two fears, the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. Other than that, all other fears are taught. When Dan surfs it appears as if he has abandoned the fear of lose. He has shaken those shackles off, freed himself from the weight. And it’s a pleasure to watch. A man unburdened. Expressing. Winning. 

Dan Emslie -Welcome to the flair show. Image: Thurtell

Ntokozo Maphumalo – Surprise
Ntokozo, surfs with grit. And we love gritty surfing. It shows a certain amount of determination. A certain boldness that says, ‘I Can’ no matter the circumstances. Classic style or not, Surprise knows how to get the job done. His arms swinging all over the place, inspired by Jadson Andre, Ntokoso still sticks it up into the lip and bangs that thing hard.

Surprise didn’t win his heat, neither was he one of the crazy standouts of the day, but there’s potential in his approach. Growing up in Durban, Ntokozo isn’t used to the long-winded approach offered by Seal Point, but we predict that as the event moves forward and he fine tunes his approach tunning his eye in, we’re bound to see some excellent surfing from Ntokozo. So don’t be surprised (lame we know – but that’s how we rolling).

Surprise attack on the lip. Image: Kody McG

Nate Colby – Smooth Jazz
Nate Colby is like an old soul in a young man’s body. Like a school kid doing university maths. Like a grom grappling with the greater philosophies of life. Nate’s surfing, far beyond his years. Smooth as jazz, Nate only draws lines that are pleasing to the eye and compliments a great read with explosive turns.
Usually kids who are around 14 years old have a lot to learn, like an old wooden deck, they need to be sanded down and varnished up before they’re ready for use. But Nate Colby, there’s very few holes in his bathtub. His competitive approach is like a well-oiled machine. He chooses great waves, manages the lineup well, is explosive when the wave allows, has excellent speed management and never looks under duress. Nate is an excellent surfer, and we’re frothing so see how he progresses through the contest.

Smooth Jazz.

Zoe Steyn – The Machine
We were going to call Zoe’s section in our little writeup ‘All About the Zoe Show’ but alas, we decide upon ‘The Machine’. Why you ask. Well, we’ll tell you why. Zoe flew straight from Japan, enjoyed a lengthy layover in Dubai, missed her flight in Johannesburg, where she was forced to spend 10 hours – after which her parents picked her up in their trusty Land Drover in PE and ushered her straight to Seal Point for the Billabong Junior. Rumour has it, she was one of the only people who dared to surf yesterday in the howling disgusting onshore. Zoe then paddled out for her heat and proceeded to absolutely demolish her competition. I mean come on! If that ain’t a machine, then what is! Her father should throw away that Land Drover, cause Zoe’s the new machine in the family.
Anyhoo, I digress. Zoe dropped a 7.25 – a heap of burning coals on her competitors and if that wasn’t machine-like enough for your sorry ass, she then punished the field with a straight 8.00. How’s life in combo land baby? Her backhand looked impeccable multiple solid attacks into the lip, powerful, confident, machine-like. 

The Machine. Image: Kody McG

Enjoy a wonderful gallery courtesy of two photography stalwarts, Kody Mcg & Ian Thurtell

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