25 June, 2018 25 June, 2018

4 Points Concerning Day 1 of the Ballito Pro

Ahhh we just diiiig the Ballito Pro presented by Billabong. It’s definitely the second most exciting surf contest on South African soil, second only to the Corona Open Jbay. We’ve been following the City Surf Series events around the country, and if the City Surf Series prepares our surfers for anything, it’s this right here. Enjoy our 4 points regarding day 1.

Cover image: WSL / Cestari

For a teenager, Finn McGill throws buckets. He’s through to round 2. Image: WSL / Cestari

QS Points Are a Plenty
Blessings raining down on you! When it comes to QS10 000’s, points are like the torrential rainfall found in the tropics. You know the saying, ‘When it rains, it pours’? Well, that saying was probably invented after some British guy went to the tropics and discovered that there ain’t no such thing as a casual drizzle, when dark angry clouds develop overhead, best you seek out some shelter, because it’s about to pour.

At a QS 1000, you have to win the event to claim a thousand points. At a QS 10 000, you need to make two heats and come last in your third to acquire 1000 points. And that’s only if you’re not seeded into the second round. If you’re seeded into round two, all you need to do is make one heat. The point being, that if you get on a roll and make a couple of heats, the points will rain down on you like you’re in an equatorial rainforest. If you wanna make the CT, the Ballito Pro is a good place to start.

Tanner Hendrickson understands the importance of making rounds. He took the win in round 2 heat 2, beating Mitch Crews, Mikey Wright and Alejo Muniz. Image: WSL / Cestari

Go Big or Go Home
Do you want to come first in your heat at The Ballito Pro? Best you go big. The judges can sniff out soft safe turns a mile away, and they’ll punish you for it. I once had a mate who loved doing 360s on waves, not reverses, like lame 90s 360s, those ones Kelly sometimes does when he’s not thinking straight. Anyway, so we were surfing a university trial, and this friend of mine, after surfing a wave extremely well, decided to conclude his ride by furnishing our eyes with three 360s in a row. It was so terrible it almost stank. One of the highly perturbed judges, instead of increasing the score decided to take two points off his allocated total. Brutal. But deserved. Nobody needs to see 360s and nobody should award safe surfing!

Go big or go home, Jack Robinson chooses the former. Image: WSL / Cestari

Round 1 Heat 7: Adin shows his metal, Herdy goes loony
This was our favourite heat by far. Because first and foremost, Adin’s from South Africa, he’s our boy, and secondly, we been watching him compete on the City Surf Series the entire year and he’s put down a pretty damn dominant performance. So we were particularly excited to see how he equates to the big boys.

Mateus Herdy started the heat off with a bang, landing a massive double rail grab rocket air for a straight 6.00, which he quickly backed with an 8.00. While the others scrambled for priority, Mateus stalked the lineup like a rabid bloodthirsty hyena. Dressed in all red, (he wore a red rash vest and red wetsuit) Mateus pounced on anything that moved. While his competitors looked for waves that allowed turns, Herdy looked for closeouts that allowed airs.

While Herdy roamed the area fooling around on closeouts, a heated battle for second place developed out front. Adin surfed his first wave for a straight 5.00. Timothee Bisso responded with a straight 7.00. Adin then waited, and waited and waited until finally, with nerves of steel, he activated (as Giggs loves to say) and slapped a wave twice for a 7.23. Adin, the thug he is (#ThugLyfYo) with fourth priority paddled straight past the other competitors, basically paddling over the noses of their boards, and placed himself neatly on the inside. Timothee had one a last ditch effort which fell just shy, landing Adin a place in round two. Thug life activated.

Adin rose to the occasion on the opening day of the Ballito Pro. He was the only South African to make his heat. Image: WSL / Cestari

QS 10 000s Don’t Care for Big Names
Here’s a list of individuals who have served or who are currently serving on the Championship Tour but got knocked out today: Dion Atkinson, Mitch Crews, Alejo Muniz, Frederico Morias, Michael February, Miguel Pupo and Raoni Monteiro.

The Ballito Pro is a brutal affair. Imagine taking 4 of the top 100 surfers on planet earth, placing them in a rippable yet shifty beach break and giving them 30 minutes to do their thing, well that’s pretty much the Ballito Pro. And it’s a recipe for adrenaline-induced excitement. Small players up against big names, it’s like a startup coffee shop battling away with Starbucks for a double shot in the flat white. And you know the small players, they don’t care much for these well paid big names. They’ll do anything it takes to cross the border to the big leagues, even if it means dealing with Trump’s ‘Zero-tolerance Immigration Policy’. And they go big, every single damn turn. It appears more difficult to make heats at Ballito than the CT because instead of dealing with one other competitor (most of the time), you’re dealing with three rabid hungry hyenas. The only way to secure your place in the next round is to go HUGE yourself.

The only way to make heats is to go big yourself, something Griffin’s well adept to. Image: WSL / Cestari

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