Ballito, and an open letter to the WSL

 Photo: Mikey Wright by Alan Van Gysen. Text by Alexei Obolensky.

Photo: Mikey Wright by Alan Van Gysen. Text by Alexei Obolensky.

Oh WSL. How we’ve had our differences.

   You refused to let us endulge in beers in France. Even when we took the initiative and picked up the tab. Your security was very, very mean to us and how we cringed at a number of things you’ve done. We never saw eye to eye on a number of levels. Our relationship was strained to say the least. I won’t apologise but after the past few days, we’re willing to extend an olive branch of peace which we sincerely hope you’ll take.

This might seem like a huge about turn, a volte face, but let me explain…

   Oh Ballito! Oh South Africa. The primest of primes. You’ve changed our standpoint. This is how surf comps should be. Let me illustrate. It’s warm! The water is bluer than blue. The staff are beyond friendly, I mean really the nicest of nice and the event site is beautifully maintained. Most crucially (take note France) there are strategically placed ice cold buckets full of beers without a time lock and open to all! Why it couldn’t it always be like this? We’ve run amuck and had the best possible time. Everyone is nice, there are no egos. Why oh why have you waited until we’ve come to the depths of Africa to show us this side of you. It’s a side we like unashamedly.

   And the Surfing. Sublime! Freestone, Dora, Pupo, De Vries, Mikey Wright, Nat Young, Coleborn, February, Jordy Smith. Blowing up under the warm African sun and cool winds as we sit with beers and scan emails but mainly chat shit with astroturf underfoot. Oh the joys of a well kept media area! Lattes and beers and lunch and small talk. The Media area at the Quik Pro France is only fitting for ‘America’s worst jails’. The Media area at Ballito is the Four Seasons. Once at the Quik pro we were served a shit in a tray purporting to be a chocolate moose. The contrast is beyond belief!

   We’re happy to report that the QS is alive and well. The surfing is better than ever and the extra curricular activities have kept us thoroughly entertained. Seafood platters and ice cold black labels. Those who have been to Ballito before will be familiar with ‘Crush’, those who haven’t – should. A certain surfer who I won’t name because it would put Beyrick De Vries in a compromising position, rolling in from Crush at 6am and won an expression session at 9...... We can’t advocate sending it enough, the results will speak for themselves… 

In a world of Trump, Brexit, hung parliaments, the euro WSL and increased economic turmoil - WSL Africa, can you run the whole world please? We’re sure you would do a much better job.