Stop #1: South Africa
Back to Durban for the second time this year, well, 30 minutes north of Durban, a little place called Ballito. I wasn’t sure what to expect from Ballito as I’d never been there before, I’d only ever been to Durban, J-Bay and Capetown.
My first impression was it seemed like not a bad place on land, and a bit of a close out in the water. There was heaps of swell for the first three days of the event, the second day had some massive scores go down, even a 10 I think.
But the surf before the event was something else! Before the wind came up there were some crazy right barrels with guys like Dan Ross and Mark Mathews getting some crazy ones. It was so consistent and the bank so straight that it was really hard to even make it out the back. It took me and Nathan Hedge two attempts before we managed to get out!
Jack (Perry) began paddling out for his heat 20 minutes before it started and nobody in his heat made it out until five minutes into his heat, it was just so consistent. By the time my heat came around, the swell had dropped quite a bit but I managed to have a good first heat, I started strong and backed it up almost straight away with another good score. I was pretty nervous because I was riding a new board in my heat, not a brand spanker but it was the first time in a long time I hadn’t just ridden my old favourite Bells board.
My second heat didn’t quite go to plan, by this stage the swell had dropped a whole lot more and the swell had completely ruined anything close to a bank. I had a shocker and got 4th in a really low scoring heat. I was spewing because they called the comp off for the day right after my heat due to bad conditions.
But there’s plenty more events so off to the next one.
Stop #2: Brazil
So the next stop was two events in Brazil. I’ve never really liked Brazil that much. The waves are just really difficult to surf unless you are from there which makes it really hard to get a result there.
The first comp was at Florianopolis, where we stayed at Praie Mole right on the beach, I was staying with Jack Perry and Dion Atkinson which was pretty fun. I did no good in the event which was a bummer. Actualy felt like I surfed a really good heat under the circumstances. When you have two Brazillians content on a heat score of around 9 and then sit on you for 13 minutes it’s pretty DAMN frustrating. I felt I did all the right things to rid myself of my Brazillian backpack and almost got the score I needed where I did an alley oop. But it wasn’t enough so I packed up and onto the next one!
The second event was about two hours drive north of Rio, again the waves were really difficult to surf and I was knocked out in my first heat. I fell on a wave which would have gotten me through the heat. So I’m not going to write much about this one because I’m simply choosing to forget about it.
Stop #3 : Huntingon Beach, USA
I love the week we get in Huntington and due to my early exit in Brazil I was able to hit the USA early for a few waves and finally I could order a meal and know exactly what I was getting, this was a hard thing to do in Brazil as I speak no Portuguese. Jack and I both arrived in the states and went straight to the best burger joint known to man: In-N-Out Burger! Damn it was good!
We just surfed around Huntington and Newport for a few days even getting down to Oceanside for a wave. It was sick fun just cruisin’ around getting in some surfs before the event.
I had a great first heat against Chris Ward and Evan Geisselman, it was a close heat with Wardo boosting all over the place and opening with a high 7. I got busy and ended up with a 5.8 and a 7. After the previous two weeks I had, I was happy to make a heat and feel like I was surfing up to scratch again.
I lost in my second heat two days later, which sucked, but when CJ Hobgood opens with two massive scores and Dan Ross opens with a 9-something I had my back against the wall. I started the heat OK but didn’t have that wave that would allow me to get a score in that excellent range. I tried to change it up and sit by the pier where Dan and CJ got their good scores but as it does in Huntington the peak kind of moved from the pier to up the beach.
Either way it was a sick comp to watch, Kelly was surfing amazing! Just totally going mental! He was riding some different equipment when it was small, a little four fin which was flying in the mush. If you want to check out his first two heats on his little four fin check out some of the older posts on Nic and my website, http://www.moborush.com.
By the way, if you wanna check out a full resource that a lot of us on the WQS use, go to mysurfworld.com; check the accommodation section, it can help you with all best and cheapest places to stay when you’re travelling pretty much anywhere.