South African surfers are the bomb.

And that isn’t our biased opinion. Okay, wait… let us rephrase: It isn’t merely OUR biased opinion.

Our riders have been doing so well over the past few years, they’ve wracked up enough medals to give us third place in the recently published International Surfing Association’s (ISA) country medal standings! Australian and Brazilian surfers hauled in the most and second most medals respectively.

Since 1996, South African surfers have won no less than 41 medals while representing the country at all World Championships events organised by the ISA.

South Africa’s medal total comprises fifteen Gold, seven Silver, eight Bronze and eleven Copper. The Golds include overall team victory in the 2002 World Surfing Games held in Durban, and in the two Masters events run in Puerto Rico in 2007 and in Peru last year.

Clinton ‘Gigs’ Celliers is SSA’s most successful representative, having won the WSG kneeboard title in 1992, ‘94’, ’96 and ’98 (although it has to be noted that only the ’96 and ’98 medals are included in the table) and also taking Silver in 2000 and 2002.

Jordy Smith, Matthew Moir and Chris Knutsen have each won two Golds. Smith earned the Under 16 crown in Durban in 2003 and the Open Men title at the WSG in California in 2006, where Moir also clinched the Longboard title which he successfully defended in Portugal last October. Knutsen won the Kahuna’s (Over 45) title in Puerto Rico and then the Grand Kahuna’s (Over 50) in Peru.

Individual Gold’s have also been won by Travis Logie (Open Men) and Warwick Wright (Under 18) in Durban in 2002 and by Mark Wright (Grandmasters / Over 40) and Heather Clark (Women’s Masters / Over 35) in Peru. The SSA Junior team took Gold in the ISA Cup (tag team) event in Brazil in 2006.

“Considering South Africa’s small surfing population, the number of medals won by our surfers is exceptional,” says proud SSA General Manager, Robin de Kock. “It is a tribute to the talent of the athletes and also the hard work and dedication of the coaches, managers and administrators in this country.”

We couldn’t agree more! Which is why we’ll be keeping our eyes on our surfers during these future events:

The Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championships at Salinas in Ecuador (March 28 – 5 April) followed by the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games (July 31 – 8 August) and the World Masters in Chile later in the year.

Our advice to our South African surfers would be to pack light! Because at the going rate, they’ll be paying loads in excess baggage fees for all those medals that they are going to bring home!