skate-night viewing

2008-02-09 00:00

Durban has been scoring waves. Young Jordy Smith has been gorging on the New Pier perfection, while Jason Ribbink has been pulling into big ones on his stand-up paddleboard, paddle and all. It’s been a good thing though, as all the professional surfers will soon be embarking on their 2008 pro campaigns.

First up is the WQS five-star contest in Brazil, an event that Warwick Wright won a few years ago. The Hang Loose Pro has been around for a number of years and the event, Fernando de Noronha, is renowned for world-class barrels. One WQS campaigner who won’t be heading off to Brazil is Durban surfer Davey Weare, who injured his knee last week. “Just a grade one tear,” said Davey when I phoned him during the week, “I just can’t risk a worse tear, so I need to rest the knee for a while. It’s okay, the next three important contests after the Brazilian event are all big events.”

The World Championship Tour crew are heading off to the Gold Coast of Australia for the Quiksilver Pro Snapper Rocks, the first event of the year for the WCT. Jordy Smith, Travis Logie and Ricky Basnett from Durban as well as Royden Bryson from East London are all going to be in attendance, and ready to start the year with a bang.

It was reported a few weeks ago that American surfer Chris Ward had charges of assault laid against him after an altercation outside a pub in the States. At this stage the situation hasn’t been resolved, but Ward has withdrawn from the first event of the year, possibly to settle the drama.

Now if you’re like me and also enjoy a good few hours in front of the television watching all sorts of sports and killing time between surf sessions by eating biltong, drinking shandy and flicking channels, then this news should excite. Boardriders TV is back on the box for its third season.

Now surfing and boardriding TV series have come and gone (remember 360X TV? How about Dirty Habits?) But a third series shows great longevity and proves that Boardriders TV have found their place and have proven to be popular among boardriders across the country. The programme features surfing, skating and snowboarding and premiers every Monday night at 6 pm on SuperSport 1. Good way to start the week. This Monday has a bunch of surfing, including some epic big wave tow footage of Jason Ribbink at Dungeons.

Along with the start of the respective contest seasons comes the good period of surf across the country. The Durban coastline starts showing her form when the north-west land breezes kick in. Gently groomed south-west and southerly swells start gathering to meet the land breezes head on and to provide some of the best waves in the country. So good that it happens to coincide with our prime run of contests. Good thinking contest organiser fellows.

The Quiksilver Pro Durban is to be preceded by the Quiksilver Pro Junior, a grade 2 Pro Junior event that is bound to attract a bunch of top young talent from around the world. Should we get a good day of surfing between now and then it will be all about the Quiksilver Goodwave as well, the most popular event on the surfing calendar.

Then, before you know it, it will be time for the 10-year anniversary of the Red Bull Big Wave Africa.

Yep, 10 years since its inception, and having been run three times over the last nine, this year looks set to be a big one with a couple of new things in the pipeline for the big wave riders. The former champs like Sean Holmes, Greg Long and John Whittle will be in attendance, along with legendary names like Ross Clarke Jones, Grant Washburn, Jason Ribbink and Twiggy Baker. It’s going to be a good year for surfing.

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