Riding waves, that’s all that matter

I’m glad to see that the more wave riding sports progress, the better different genres of the sport are getting along. Except SUP’s at the moment it seems. Bodyboarders and surfers (I happen to do both) seem to get along better than ever in terms of mutual respect. At least in Cape Town waters where I surf frequently. (more…)

RIP David Lilienfeld

It’s with a heavy heart that we say farewell to a great South African Springbok bodyboarder, David Lilienfeld who sadly passed away from a fatal shark attack in Koeël Bay (near Gordon’s Bay, Cape Town) on Thursday 20 April 2012. His brother was in the water with him and he fended the shark off three times before it fatally wounded him.

My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones and friends.

There is a paddle out tomorrow 12 ‘o clock at Camps Bay (Saturday, 21 April 2012) in his name.

Catch some good ones up there bru…

Holiday’s gone, but visions of waves will stay

After grinding the hard slog to a halt I finally got to go on a long awaited surf trip down the garden route for the December break. Mossel Bay was to be had for one day near Christmas and then went flat for a week. Crazy dubstep parties and trash talking around the camp fire were the highlights of the day as the waves didn’t show much in terms of improvement.

Around the 30th I ventured to Still Bay, hoping to catch a swell that was looking better and better on WindGuru and truth behold, on New Year’s morning it was firing like I haven’t seen it in a long time. Solid 6-8ft corduroy lines were filling up the bay and I surfed for almost 6 hours. The next morning was more of the same being out for 3.5 hours, but the rips started coming over the reef and down the line, making paddling a hard fought battle. On the 3rd it was even more of the same, but the swell was jacking and I decided to skip to Betty’s Bay to try and catch the end of the swell.

Arriving at Betty’s the wind had turned and messed things up, but I could see the potential of some waves to be had. The local crew had it great from early morning, so I was excited to get into it on the dawn patrol the following morning. We surfed ourselves out the morning, and I managed to land on my board and break the fin box on my fish. I didn’t want to risk the long board, so paddled out the afternoon with a bodyboard. BEST DECISION EVER! We had it all time, and were frothing around the braai that evening in anticipation of the next morning’s dawny. Having bodyboarded for 17 years before turning to stand-up I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to do it anymore. Seems that was not to be a worry at all, just that my feet got chafed heavily by the flippers which I wasn’t used to.

What greeted us was perfection! We caught the second session of the day on camera for your viewing pleasure…

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Review: 25th South African Bodyboarding Champs 2011

Since this Beachbum has bodyboarded for 17 years, I decided to cover the local 25th South African Bodyboarding Champs 2011, held at Big Bay, Blouberg (near Cape Town), South Africa. It might have something to do with the fact that it was right on my doorstep… The conditions were excellent for bodyboarding, albeit small initially, but throughout the waiting period the waves just got bigger and bigger with the finals day held in huge surf. It was a paddle battle in the finals, especially for the ladies (read Beekman and co), but everyone pulled through and it was a greatly successful event in the end with great exposure for sponsors. The earlier days were sort of a letdown as conditions weren’t that great (though it was contestable) and people questioned the location, but Big Bay showed SA what it’s worth in the end, drawing huge crowds on the finals day (in 30 degree weather) with epic waves.


South African Bodyboarding Champs 2011 at Big Bay

The South African Bodyboarding Champs is on at Big Bay this week. Be sure to pop in and support the guys. I’ll be doing limited covering with pics this week when the swell picks up, hopefully Wednesday the 5th of October 2011.

Watch this space for some fun coverage and comment us if you’re keen to contribute.

10th Annual Wimpy Rossi Pro-Am Bodyboarding Finals Results

The 10th Annual Wimpy Rossi Pro-Am, a 4A Rated South African Bodyboarding Association (SABA) event, was held at Margate Main Beach from April 25 to April 27, 2009. The final day of the event got underway in cold, wet weather on Sunday.

Surf conditions had deteriorated slightly but were very contestable with one-metre waves.

Contest director Wayne Beekman decided to postpone the finals after all the semifinals were run in order to wait for the higher tide in the afternoon.

The Pro final pitted Wesley Fischer (Berea), Mark Watts (Durban), Jaryd Houston (Cape Town) and Warren van der Merwe (Empangeni) against each other.

Wesley was on form, also advancing to the Factory 7 Drop Knee final in style, where he was joined by Stuart Bradford (Westville), Sean Tickner (Cape Town) and Aden Kleve (Kommetjie).  Spectators looked forward to the “Durban vs Cape Town Final”.

The Boys final was already decided on Saturday in an extremely good wedging shorebreak and saw the following boys battling it out: Murray van Vuuren (Millpark), Sebastian Koopmans (Melkbosstrand), Stephen du Preez (Bluff) and Ashley Wheeler (Margate).

The Ladies Final consisted of Tania dos Ramos (Bluff), Tiffany Higgins (Uvongo) and Nicky Dreyer (Uvongo).

The Masters finalists were Mike van Huysteen (Weltevreden Park), Kevin Williams (Uvongo), Karl Liebenberg (DBN) and Martin Otto (Uvongo).

Wayne Beekman (Uvongo), Jeffrey Davies (Durban), Steven Bahlmann (Uvongo) and Jaryd van Daalen (Wnklespruit) made up the Mens Final.

The Junior final saw a mixture of competitors from over the country, namely Bradley Moys (Shelly Beach), Iain Campbell (Westville), Aden Kleve (Kommetjie) and Terence Pieters (Uvongo).

But in the end, there could only be one winner in each category! Durban local Mark Watts took top spot in the Pro division in an awesome display of high risk manoeuvres. A huge crowd gathered on the beach as the sun rolled out perfectly from behind the dark clouds that drenched everyone earlier in the day.

But the ladies were first up. Tania seemed to have no trouble picking the better waves to claim 1st place followed by Tiffany Higgins and Nicky Dreyer in 3rd.

Conditions were difficult for dropknee with the rising tide and the wave shifting to the shorebreak. This didn’t seem to deter defending champion Sean Tickner from keeping his cool and retaining his title as the Factory 7 DK Champion. He was followed by Aden Kleve in 2nd, Stuart Bradford in 3rd and Wesley Fischer in 4th.

Kevin Williams won the Masters division thanks to some combo manoeuvres. Martin Otto came second, Karl Liebenberg came in 3rd and Mike van Huysteen took 4th place.

The Boys division was hotly contested but in the end it was Stephen du Preez who walked away with the title, followed by Murray. Sebastian was 3rd and Ashley took 4th.

Wayne Beekman was the favourite to win the Mens finals, since he has won the event numerous times before, but in the end he was beaten out by Jeff Davies. Jaryd van Daalen came third and Steven Bahlmann fourth.
The Junior final looked more like a Pro final the way these guys put it all on the line to take top spot, but Bradley Moys took the top spot with his clean air roll spins.
The Pro final is always kept for last as this is the elite division where the big prize money lies and competition is very fierce. All 4 competitors rode as best they could in the shorebreak conditions but ultimately it was Mark Watts who claimed victory with his no holds barred attitude to become the 2009 Wimpy/Rossi Pro Champion.

The Surf M’Ocean Best Trick of the contest went to Jaryd Houston for a massive backflip on the 1st day of competition, earning him R500 cash.

A special inspirational prize was handed out to 6-year old local Alex Nutt who entered the Boys division and showed massive determination and courage.

The even was generously sponsored by Wimpy Margate, Rossi Board Co, Lizzard, Factory 7, Surf M’Ocean, Criss-Cross Security, Face Forward Studio and Johnny Rockets.

It’s Happenin’: Sports Unlimited/Spur Cape Classic 2009

The Sports Unlimited/Spur Cape Classic 2009 is taking place in South Africa’s Mother City, Cape Town, until Sunday 5 April 2009.

The 4A rated event, which is the first stop on the South African Bodyboarding Association (SABA) tour, is being organised by the Western Province Bodyboarding Association (WPBA), in association with Ocean Minded. It is playing host to South Africa’s finest bodyboarders as they compete for top honours and prizes to the value of R60 000.

One of the competitors is current South African Pro champion, Mark McCarthy. The 25-year old has travelled all the way from Australia to compete. He currently holds 5th place on the International Bodyboarding Association (IBA) World Tour, and said that coming home would be a welcome relief from the strain of constant travel associated with the tour.

Öne of the biggest attractions to competing in the event was the quality of waves surfed last year as a result of the contest being held with a roaming venue,” said McCarthy.

By using the “roaming venue” method of holding a contest, the organisers are able to take advantage of the diverse scope of the Cape Peninsula, which usually offers favourable swell and winds at one or more beaches along the coast.

According to WPBA Chairman, Deon Meyer, bodyboarding is best done on steep, hollow waves that offer riders a ramp-like end to their ride so that they can perform the spectacular aerial manoeuvres that professional bodyboarding has become renowned for.

“The level of competition at SABA events is world class and we will do our best to ensure that only the best waves are ridden in order to showcase bodyboarding as the spectacular sport it is,” Meyer said.

“The level of competition at SABA events is World Class and we will do our best to ensure that only best waves are ridden in order to showcase bodyboarding as the spectacular sport it is”, said Meyer.

For further information please call WPBA Media Liaison, Gareth White, on 072 740 4225 or SABA Contest Director, Pat Harris, on 082 863 6665.

Matthew Moir Does SA Proud at ISA World Surfing Games

Matthew Moir successfully defended his ISA World Longboard title on the final day of the 2008 ISA World Surfing Games at Costa de Caparica in Portugal on Sunday.

The Capetonian was joined on the podium by fellow South African Dave Lee (Uvongo) who came fourth in the Men’s Bodyboarding and the SA tag team who also came fourth in the Aloha Cup.

Moir won all five heats he contested en route to his second gold medal, as he did in California in 2006. This is inspiring him to match the three consecutive longboard titles won by Brazil’s Marcelo Freitas.

“I’m so, so stoked. I never thought I would have the chance to win two events in a row. Marcelo Freitas won it three times in a row and I’ve done it twice, so I’m pretty happy for that. I had great support from my teammates on the beach. That was amazing, I just can’t believe it.”

Australia emerged as the champion nation at the 22nd edition of the “Olympics of Surfing”, earning the accolade for the third consecutive time. American CJ Hobgood took the men’s surfing title,

Australian Sally Fitzgibbons triumphed in the women’s surfing, Brazilian Marcus Lima in the men’s bodyboarding, Natasha Sagardia earned a first gold medal for Puerto Rico in women’s bodyboarding and France won the Aloha Cup tag team event

South Coast Surf Carnival Only Three Weeks Away!

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!