Green Rashie Fridaysby Rock Bottom / 04.07.2011
The Mr Price Pro kicked off this morning. The Billabong Pro is soon to follow. And somewhere in the middle, the Oakley One Wave Wonder will announce their grand prize winner. And everyone is already buying tickets for this year’s South African Surfing Awards presented by Zigzag with hopes of witnessing their heroes either receiving awards or being kicked out of the function for being rude towards waitresses and big wave surfer’s girlfriends. Yessir, we’re right in the thick of South African surfing’s yearly moment in the sun and it’s time to dish the dirt on what’s been happening.
In a rare example of someone in the South African surf industry not holding a grudge, Rick Bob aka Ricky Basnett has actually featured on no less than two Zag covers since that fateful night when he got kicked out of the Zag’s South African Surfing Awards last year. Then he landed one of the longest barrel sequences to be run in local and international magazines, at a remote African location. He’s got a couple more international trips under his belt, started his own website with two childhood (or is that childish?) friends, Warwick Wright and Daniel Redman. And to cap it all off there’s a mind blowing web clip entry on innersection.tv (accompanied by a song that Rick Bob generally falls asleep to, but us normal people only listen to when we’re being tortured). On top of that he got engaged, and also finds the time to get kicked out of his own place by his fiancée on a semi-regular basis. The decent among us probably still don’t love him. And who can blame them?
South Africa’s only good surfer, Jordy Smith is looking very comfortable in the world rankings nearing the half way mark. And if I were a betting man, I might be tempted to lay down some cash on a repeat double victory going into the two major international surfing events on our shores. He is going to have the whole country backing him along with his new Capetonian FHM model girlfriend, who he daily expresses his love to on Twitter. Jordy has since relocated to the city of our mother and has bought a house right on the beach where their three beautiful children and two pure bred Labradors will, one day, be competing for space and attention with old uncle Laces. In Jordy’s spare time he’s also been throwing down and uploading some ridiculous entries into the Oakley One Wave Wonder competition. However rumour has it, these are his throw away clips so he doesn’t make his fellow South Africans look too kak. It’s tough to be the king.
Everyday since the start of the year, Oakley has had every average Phillip to over-the-hill ex-pro surfers calling out One Wave Wonder entries every time they think they have One Wave Wondered a wave. The internet clip competition has given Oakley huge publicity for half the rhinos and leopards they would have spent on running an Oakley Junior event. Just guessing. But it seems they’ve received ten times more publicity for ten times longer. Half way through the competition they must have twigged how much attention they were raking and bumped the final grand prize purse from 30 to 50K… unless it was a sneaky pre-planned publicity stunt to grab more attention half way through. Either way the competition has gotten everyone from grovelers to chargers competing against each other, and film crews crawling out of all sorts of dodgy orifices with their state of the art handycams trying to score the winning entry clip and that coveted trip to G-Land for two. Facebook has also been flogged like that philly that broke her leg at the Durban July with One Wave Wonder links and very wishful contenders begging their friends to please, please vote for them.
But nobody has put as much effort into winning the One Wave Wonder as Twiggy. In only a couple of months he has travelled to some seriously remote locations, inside our great Republic and just beyond our borders, searching for new waves to surf, shoot and upload to the site. Although that is exactly what his job entails, Twig’s method has changed slightly. These days you’ll find him hunting swells, searching for new locations and then lying about his adventures when he gets home. Tall stories about how he didn’t really score, that the trip was a huge mission, they got it ok but would have preferred it better or bigger, the weather was overcast the whole time, it rained a lot, they didn’t have fresh water for four days, and so on. And then a couple days later a clip will surface on the One Wave Wonder website of a perfect barrel in flawless conditions with Twig claiming he got “the barrel of his life”. Then, when confronted, he will try con everyone into thinking the wave is in an entirely different location to the one previously stated. Either way he deserves the 50K seeing he must have spent at least double that just hunting down these waves. And if he wins he’ll be rubbing salt into all the loser’s wounds when he goes to G-Land with his girlfriend who just happened to film his winning wave. And if he doesn’t win, well it doesn’t matter cause he gets paid to do that anyway. In fact Twiggy should take a bow, he’s doing the pro surfer thing a lot better than most of the pros.
As mentioned earlier, Laces has become quite jealous of Jordy’s new lady; not being able to spend as much one on one time with the champ. Luckily he can console himself that his career as an internationally recognized caddie has really taken off. These days he’s getting mentions in international magazines and serious webcast time like when during the Quik Pro on the Gold Coast he almost body slammed Jordy, embracing him in a passionate hug while Jordy was exiting the water after a regulation heat win. Lucky Laces still gets to travel to foreign destinations with the rest of the tour campaigners and his caddie skills are improving with every event. On his off days he’s been training for the next Laces Invitational, to avenge the humiliating defeat in his backyard by American Laces, Greg Kaplan. Event organizers have been speaking about adding one or two new names to this year’s invitational, with IamWok.com eagerly anticipating the call.
And talking about that ou, Warwick Wright has managed to keep his name floating around in the surf media even after spending months out of the water. At the end of 2010 he started his now famous blog that allows boring people a glimpse into the life of a former troubled teen, now troubled adult who believes he is a rockstar with only a very tenuous link to surfing. On his blog he regularly posts clips of himself interviewing his friends were he does most of the talking, amongst clips of himself living his life the way he wants you to believe he lives his life. And if you’re lucky you’ll find his penned down thoughts about jolling, women, surfing and stabs at his friends like Lord Royden Bryson, Chris Leppan, Dan Redman, Jordy Smith and other easy targets like women’s surfing. He also regularly posts uninteresting web clips that he finds interesting.
Since the beginning of 2011 he has spent time in non-surf locations like London, Germany and California (a surf destination but he did not surf) where he drove a yellow Lamborghini, all just to flesh out some content for his widely read blog. He finally used his surfing talent and did a trip to Indo and got himself a One Wave Wonder entry by, not getting barreled, or doing his trademark backside verts, but by doing a backside air 360 of all things. He also got himself into a tweet war with surfing pundit Craig “Jarvi” Jarvis (RedElvis on Twitter). They now do not speak through Twitter, over the phone or in person.
Travis Logie will be looking for some big points at the Mr Price Pro after he slipped off the World Tour last year, and is making a comeback from a hairline fracture in his foot. Brandon Jackson has turned away from a lucrative street brawling career and is looking for a big result this week to boost him up the ratings, while Rudy Palmboom has promised he will work less on achieving a US Greencard and more time focusing on beating Americans. Greg Emslie’s comeback was cut short in the first heat of the day. While the talented Dale Staples has overcome both the Jerry Springer rumours and CJ Hobgood to make it into the second round of the Mr Price Pro. Casey Grant has had plenty of waves on his doorstep this winter but there will be no repeat show stopping performance again this year, since he just got popped. You can expect he will go back to the small coastal town where lives and revert to being a grumpy local. He’s very friendly when he travels though. Other local rippers to watch out for are Shaun Joubert, who has the bonafide genes of a boffin flowing through his veins (his dad’s a professor and his mom’s a brain surgeon). Lord Royden Bryson has made it to the second round having remembered to enter, book and board his flights this year. Other surfers to watch out for are part time MMA fighter Chad Du Toit, Sean Holmes and everyone’s favourite free surfer Frankie O, unless he pulls out because he’s too busy pulling out the greatest shoal on earth, with style.
And to show support for our local pro surfers who are competing in the two biggest surfing events of the year I’m initiating Green Rashie Fridays. You can pick em up at any surf store for far less than a Springbok rugby jersey. Until then, come off the top and hit the bottom… I’ll be waiting for you there.