The 4th annual SA Surfing Awards went off in classic style on Sunday evening (4 July) at Suncoast Casino in Durban. The 80’s themed gala event drew the who’s who of SA surfing in a neon celebration. SA surfing legends were honoured and the very best SA surfers were given their due. The chief award of the night, the ‘SA Surfer of the Year Award’, went to SA’s next great hope for a world title, Jordan Michael Smith.
Recipients of other awards on the evening were Cape Town big wave rider Chris Bertish, whose underdog performance in the Mavericks contest certainly helped sway the decision to give him the ‘Pushing the Boundaries’ Award. At the Mavericks event, the modest South African claimed with gold in conditions called by many as ‘the biggest surf ever for a contest’. Along with the likes of Grant Baker (Durban), Bertish has been instrumental in putting South Africa’s name on top. The ‘Pushing the Boundaries’ award is by no means limited to big wave accomplishments, but it was once again a big wave surfer who raised his hand for the award this year. One of the extraordinary moments of the event took place spontaneously, almost un-announced, when Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker was asked to join fellow big wave charger, Chris Bertish on stage. The two big wave combatants stood side by side as they were venerated with official South Africa surfing colours, handed over by Surfing South Africa’s Robin De Kock. After donning his newly acquired Springbok blazer a highly stoked Twiggy strode up to the mic and mentioned that this was one of his most ‘special moments that he had ever experienced’. Chris also offered an emotional and heart felt message where he mentioned that he had finally realized his life dream and that he dedicated his ‘Pushing the Boundaries Award’ to all South African surfers who put their heart and minds into reaching their goals.
The 4th Annual SA Surfing Awards was proudly presented by Zigzag and Surfing South Africa in association with Paarl Media and Carling Black Label.