1 June, 2018 1 June, 2018

Vans Surf Pro Classic – Day 1

So this one day I was scouring the web for a recipe on how to make butternut soup. It was a winters evening, and all I could think of was my mother,s hearty butternut soups back in the day, when I lived at home and my parents made all the meals, and all I worried about was getting to the beach. So as I stood in the Spar, in front of the onions, searching my phone for a recipe, I stumbled across one that looked good and clicked play. I was then greeted by the most waist of time introduction by the author, about how his mother made it for him, and how it’s so healthy, blah blah blah… I mean when you click on a recipe, all you want is the ingredients and the order by which those ingredients need to enter the pot. It was on that day, that I realised how absolutely useless introductions can sometimes be. Just a pure waste of space and time.

Here’s who impressed us on day 1 of the Vans Surf Pro Classic.

Brazilian. Luan Carvalho. Takes to the sky in heat 8 of round 1. Image: AVG

Eduardo Motta – Set the Pace

Today’s conditions were a mishmash of Krons and Longbeach. But instead of a fat left running into a closeout Krons right, Billas Beach featured a fat right running into a Waimea shore break right. Thus getting a good score required you to string together a couple of open face carves outback, and then muster up all the courage in the world, to throw yourself at the lip on the inside drain section. A tricky affair indeed. And brutally tricky on the backhand. As the day progressed, that inside closeout section just got more satanic. And by the time round 1 heat 9 of the men hit the water, that end section was so ugly, we could barely look it in the face. 

Eduardo Motto, from Brazil, was the first human to attack that filthy end section once it started doing its thing. And he spanked that thing like back in the 80’s when corporal punishment was deemed ethically correct. Motta set the end section blitz standard for the day, and from then on, it only got better.

No Shame on Shane

Shane ain’t afraid of smashing the lip when the section hollows out and life gets hairy. He faces up. While eating a juicy meaty beef burger (sorry veggies/vegans) made by the wonderful team at Vans, we enjoyed Shane Sykes smashing some juicy meaty sections out back. And as the fresh cheese melted on my hot beef pattie, the three bashes out back melted into the brains of the judges, they carefully calculated the score and spewed out a 9.00. Highest wave score of the day (until ‘exclamation mark Matt’ Happened). And damn was it a delight! The kinda surfing we wanna see!! Three big bashes to the guts. No safety surfing. No holding back. And the judges gobbled it up like a juicy medium rare beef burger and rendered the meal nutritious. And delicious.

Shane Sykes couldn’t care less about the meatiness of the end section. He went ham. Image: Thurtell

Luke Gordon Don’t Lack Flare

Sometimes, and I say sometimes, cause it’s important to note that only sometimes, SA surfers struggle to take advantage of the end section bowl. You know those wonderfully nice foam closeouts that bend towards you, and just beg you to absolutely go to town!? Foam closeouts are probably one of the things in surfing that allows you to really flare out. Take a calculated risk to gain big scores. Luke Gordon from the country where Donald Trump reigns supreme, understands this cheeky fact. And went to town on the end section bowl. Dropping his wallet when the section was soft, and belting it in the face when that thing stood to attention. The judges noticed his creative enthusiasm towards the end bowl foam closeout, and threw him an 8.00 for his first wave. Moral of the story. Flare it out on that end section foam closeout baby. Throw us a layback at least. 

Exclamation Mark Matt

Matt surfs full throttle all day long. If he was writing an email, we fear for the receiver on the other end, because there’d probably be no commas, no full stops, just all caps lock and exclamation marks. Every turn he does, he throws the kitchen sink at. And then rips the toilet, basin and shower heads and throws those as well. All turns an exclamation point. In heat 13 of round 1, Matt started off with a 6.00, backed his 6 with and 8. Improved his 8 with an 8.5. And then he dropped a bomb on the heads of his competitors by nailing a perfect 10. Boom. Adversaries combo’d. A superbly nice guy on land, best you don’t experience the other end of that niceness in a heat.   

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Image: AVG

Three heats of the womens were surfed today. And big ups to the women who faced up in those treacherous conditions. We’re hoping to see much more action from the women tomorrow once action resumes!


Enjoy the gallery courtesy of two of our most superb image capturers South Africa has to offer; Ian Thurtell and Alan Van Gysen

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