27 June, 2024 27 June, 2024
Ballito Pro

Ballito Pro | Behind The Scenes – Pre-Heat Rituals Of The Groms

What does it take to be a champ? When it comes to winning, a lot happens on the beach before the surfers even hit the water. Read on to find out what some of the top groms do before their heats:

Whether it is a specific type of music blasted into the ears, a specific set of stretches that need to be done, or just a quiet moment in the corner as you gather your thoughts. 

On a Championship Tour level, you can see Jack Robinson going through his somewhat bizarre-looking breathing routine, or Italo Ferreira with his headphones on, drinking energy drinks and bouncing around, shadow boxing, sometimes boxing for real, and getting totally amped before his heats. 

We chatted to two of the O’Neill SMTH Shapes Rookie Rippers 2024 winners to learn about their pre-heat rituals, which helped them reach the podiums today.

Ballito Pro

Louise Lepront takes the U16 and the U18 Girls’ divisions
© Kody McGregor / Ballito Pro.

Louise Lepront won both the U16 Girls and U18 Girls divisions, a feat she has accomplished three times this year. 

I start by listening to really loud techno music. Then, I have a few sips of a sports drink and do the same stretch routine that I do before every surf session. Finally, I will talk to my coach, and then I’ll hit the water. 

Ballito Pro

Levi Epenetos claimed U18 Boys Victory at the O’Neill SMTH Shapes Rookie Rippers 2024
© Pierre Tostee/ Ballito Pro.

Levi Epenetos won the U18 Boys division with an inspired performance against tough opponents, keeping his composure as the heat wound down and the competition was chasing him down.

Before my heats, I strive to maintain a peaceful mental state. Following a routine definitely helps me achieve this serenity, keeping me in the zone and calming my nerves before the heat. 

  • An hour before my heat I will get ready and get suited. 
  • Then, I’ll watch the waves until 40 minutes before my heat. 
  • Finally, I get my rashie on 20 minutes before my heat. 

Exact timing?

Exactly. Exact timing. It’s very punctual, and I’m strict about it. I watch the clock quite a bit to time everything perfectly. 

Do you listen to any music?

No music. I’m really amped up for my heat anyway. 

Nutrition? Anything into your body before a heat?

I don’t eat much, and I can’t really hold anything down, but I do drink quite a bit of water. I also sometimes take keto energy drinks, which help me stay energised during the long days of surfing. 

Ballito Pro

Maya Malherbe, U/14 Girls champ of the O’Neill SMTH Shapes Rookie Rippers 2024
© Pierre Tostee/ Ballito Pro.

Full results of the O’Neill SMTH Shapes Rookie Rippers 2024:

Final Results

U12 Girls

  1. Adriana Canning
  2. Lila Prinsloo
  3. Lily Jameson
  4. Pippa Wang

U12 Boys

  1. Marcello Zedde
  2. Levi Vosloo
  3. Tyler Balfour
  4. Lazaro de Bruyn

U14 Girls

  1. Maya Malherbe
  2. Leah Lepront
  3. Camilla Heuer
  4. Charlotte Copson

U14 Boys

  1. William Neill
  2. Sebastian Copson
  3. Owen Heny
  4. Zach Epenetos

U16 Girls

  1. Louise Lepront
  2. Emily Jenkinson
  3. Taylor Emslie
  4. Nina Bone

U16 Boys

  1. Rory Dace
  2. Nathan Tayler
  3. Ashton Sangster
  4. Kai Stubbs

U18 Girls

  1. Louise Lepront
  2. Sarah Scott
  3. Emily Jenkinson
  4. Anastasia Venter

U18 Boys

  1. Levi Epenetos
  2. Luc Lepront
  3. Matt Canning
  4. Rory Dace

1 Comment

  1. […] were some tense moments on the final day of the 2024 O’Neill SMTH Shapes Ballito Pro Junior, which is bound to happen in any junior surf contest in South Africa and worldwide. The waves were […]

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *