With only three weeks to go, the countdown has begun for the Zulu Kingdom’s only dedicated wave riding festival. Organisers of the biggest Open Longboard and Kitesurfing event in South Africa are watching the weather patterns with glee as Scottburgh beach and its sand banks are being reshaped and moulded to hold the classic right hand waves which Scottburgh is internationally renowned for.

“With the recent rain and storm damage earlier in the year the face of Scottburgh beach has continually changed but the beach is starting to look like its old self again and this is good news for the surfing fraternity and the big guns who will be competing in this year’s SOUTH COAST SURF CARNIVAL presented by Jeep Apparel and the Independent on Saturday,” comented event organiser Paul Godwin of Nerve Events.

The much anticipated water extravaganza takes place on the 1st and 2nd of November at Scottburgh beach where the heavyweights will do battle for generous prizes in the Longboarding, Kitesurfing and Stand up Paddleboarding event which boasts over R30 000 in cash and product.

For the first time the traditional Hawaiian sport of Paddleboarding will also be contested. This sport is growing around the country and organizers expect to see South Africa’s top professional surfers taking part in this discipline. Stand-up Paddleboarding is a traditional form of surfing which has been revitalized around the world and now brought to South Africa by big wave surfer and Bilt Surfboards Jason Ribbink (Durban). Other “SUP” riders to look out for who have been practising feverishly for this event are Alwin van Breda (La Lucia), Jason Wright (Ballitto), Gavin Spowart (Westville) and Brandon Ribbink (Berea); another favourite to take this event is Donald Brierley (Durban)

The who’s who of SA longboarding will be in attendance in the SALSA (South African Longboard Surfing Association) sanctioned premier division starting with Jason Ribbink and his brother Brandon (Dbn). Other top contenders doing battle for the title will be Dylan Macleod (Port Elizabeth) ,William Wallace (Cape Town) and last years finalists Donald Brierley (Durban) and Brad Trickett (Durban) to name a few.  This event has never been won by a KZN surfer and the local boys will be throwing down the gauntlet to the visitors. Contest Director for this years event is local legend and sponsor Hugh Thompson of Natural Curve Longboards.

The event will also feature an over 35 division and last year’s champion Brendan Callaghan will be looking for the double. Callaghan will face formidable competition in the form of multiple SA Champions Grant Gilmour (Dbn) and Craig Daniel (Bluff) to name a few. There will also be a ladies division with defending champion Nikki Trickett (Berea), Lisa Smith (Sherwood), Jessica Lefevre (Umhlanga), Nicole O’Driscoll (Dbn North) and longboard newcomer Traci-Lee Phillips (Durban). The over 50 division will also be a strongly contested division with big Durban names such as Mike Patterson, Mike Larmont and Attie van de Pas in the mix.

Kitesurfing will take place at Scottburgh Main beach in front of the Cutty Sark Hotel. This sport is an absolute spectacle to behold when a myriad of kites brighten up the sky and the action is guaranteed to be red hot. This event will see the likes of Rob Chrystal (Umhlanga), Gavin Spowart (Westville), Alwin van Breda (La Lucia), Jason Wright (Ballito), Dave Pons (Umhlanga) and Bryn James (PMB) powering up. As per 2007 the event will be run as a wave riding event were the judging will be based on wave riding ability combined with risky moves.

The experts will also be on hand to give tips to novices or interested members of the public who will also be able to try their hand at the sport.

Over and above the contest action uShaka Surf and Adventures will be conducting surfing clinics The organizers welcome everyone to come on down and enjoy the event. Several experts in the various disciplines will be on hand to offer advice to aspiring enthusiasts.

The South Coast Surf Carnival is sponsored by Tourism South Coast, Jeep Apparel and Independent on Saturday. Contributing sponsors to the event are Pick’ n Pay Scottburgh, Bilt Surfboards, Thermo Plastic Concepts & Equipment (TCE), Maisch Fins, Pro Class Wetsuits, Nestle Pure Life Water, Komunity Project, Natural Curve surfboards, Bokomo, Cyclone kiteboarding, Ocean 2 Air kiteboarding, uShaka Surf and Adventures, African Surf Rider Magazine and Southern Comfort Jeffreys Bay Accommodation.

Scottburgh has first class facilities with great restaurants offering fantastic sea views and a waterslide; there are also curio sellers in the vicinity and fast food outlets. Come and visit the Kingdom of the Zulu!