22 April, 2014 22 April, 2014

Simon Says… (RVCA Junior Challenge)

In just ten days time the long winding walls of Lower Point, Jeffreys Bay will play host to the RVCA Junior Challenge. Aside from bragging rights and killer prizes across the divisions (Boys U10, U12, U14, U16, U20, plus Girls U14 and U20) the U20 Boys Pro Junior division winner will receive a slot into the JBU Supertrials event presented by RVCA. So there’s a lot at stake.

Eastern Cape shaper Simon Fish crafts boards for some of the country’s top groms, so he has his finger on the pulse of competitive junior surfing. His lethal backhand is also a familiar sight in J-bay. We managed to get him out of the shaping bay for five minutes to give us the scoop on how he sees the RVCA Junior Challenge playing out:


What are the best conditions for competing at Point?
Best conditions for Point are three to four-foot waves with a light southwesterly wind. It stands up and runs across the middle shelf for about 150-metres offering multiple sections for the surfers to lay down a variety of turns.

Are you expecting some high scores from the Pro Juniors?
If the waves are consistent there’s no doubt that the competitors are going to post some huge scores, especially into the later rounds, as the competition gets fiercer.

Dylan Lightfoot ripped all the way to the final in 2013.

And progressive moves?
One of the features about the waves at the Point is that it highlights just about every aspect of a surfer’s ability – speed, style, flow and progression. If the southerly wind comes up later in the day, you can expect the surfers to start throwing fins around and taking to the air.

Would being on your forehand be an advantage? Or are the goofies in with a good shout?
To some extent I would have to say yes. The wall offers sections for the regular-footers to open up with some big, carving rail turns. The goofies are going to have approach the wave more technically, surfing deep off the bottom, in order to get their boards tight and vertical at the top of the wave. Call me biased, but I would have to say that the tower, way down past the end of the wave, does not offer the judges the best view for judging surfers’ techniques.

At last year’s event, Rewaldo Abersalie was dominating on his backhand to take the Under 14 title.

Who do you think are the Pro Juniors to look out for?
The local boys and girls Dylan Lightfoot, Joshe Faulkner, Emma Smith and co. are going to pumped and prepared to win in their back yard. I’ve had a couple surfs with Matt McGillivray lately and he’s looking bigger, stronger and back to his best! You can trust guys like Slade Prestwich and Koby Oberholzer to bring their something special to the rippable walls as well. Also look out for brothers Ford and York van Jaarsveldt.

Do you think there will be extra pressure for the groms because the winner gets an entry to the JBU Super Trial and a shot at a CT wildcard?
As if the competition in the juniors was not boiling up already, RVCA and the JBU have gone and thrown in the chance to win a spot in the WCT and surf against Mick Fanning, three other past world champions and the rest of the WCT. If there are guys in this contest thinking that big, then it’s going to be a war in every heat!


1 Comment

  1. Max the froth Mr R90 000
    23 April, 2014 at 6:33 am · Reply

    R90 K to make the CT event sheez !!….might need a loan from one of these groms one day .

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