26 June, 2024 26 June, 2024
Ballito Pro

CONTEST NEWS | O’Neill SMTH Shapes Rookie Rippers Day 1

An icy winter morning greeted competitors on the opening day of the O’Neill SMTH Shapes Rookie Rippers event as excited junior surfers headed down to register.

This popular contest starts two weeks of competition surfing in Ballito, around the Ballito Pro Festival. 

The waves were small and highly contestable, and the event had a full entry list, so it was early into the water for Heat 1.

The first heat win in the first heat of the day, the U12 Boys Quarterfinal Heat 1, went to local surfer Tyler Balfour, who took out Slayde Shooter (St Francis Bay) and James Gunning (Ballito).

Jumping forward to U16 Boys Round One Heat Three, Matt Canning (Durban) put on an explosive performance to outpoint his competitors and took a comfortable win, advancing to the following round. Canning went on to do the double, winning his U18 Boys Round One Heat as well, with another inspired performance in the small conditions.


The low tide around midday made the conditions punchy, allowing the surfers to go for aerial moves and other high-scoring manoeuvres. With the sudden-death format, junior surfing is always exciting and sometimes brutal. Ntokozo Maphumulo (Dbn) clutched a second place behind Clayton Turrel (South Coast) in their U18 Round One heat with a tight surfing and a huge forehand air reverse, edging Ben Esterhuyse (CPT) into third and out of the event along with Rylan Jarvis (CSF).
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Matt Canning with a winning performance across two divisions © Tostee/Ballito Pro.

In the U18 Girls quarterfinals, Louise Lepront (Scottburgh) continued her winning ways, along with Lily Heny (PA), Sarah Scott (CPT), and Anastasia Venter (CPT), who all won their respective heats.
The U16 Girls Semi One saw Emily Jenkinson (CPT) advance to the finals along with Louise Lepront, while the Semi Two saw Taylor Emslie (EL) and Nina Bone (Strand) advance to join them in tomorrow’s final.
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Emile Jenkinson. © McGregor/Ballito Pro.

Levi Vosloo and Tyler Balfour advanced in the U12 boys’ semi-finals. They will meet Marcello Zedde (Ballito) and Lazaro De Bruyn (Garden Route) in the Finals.
With a slight bump in the swell forecast for Wednesday, event organisers are looking forward to an exciting finals day. WATCH THE ACTION HERE.
Outside of the surfing arena, there is still plenty of action happening with a full festival programme at the Ballito Pro Festival activities, events, and entertainment. 

1 Comment

  1. […] 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 […]

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