Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker Prepares For Mavericks

Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker Prepares For Mavericks Challenge Big Wave Event

South African big wave surfer and two times Big Wave World Champion Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker is currently in California, preparing for the final big wave event of the 2018/2019 Big Wave Tour. This final event will take place at Mavericks, a big wave location in Northern California, outside Pillar Point Harbour, just north of Half Moon Bay. The waiting period for this tournament ends 31 March. Twiggy already has two victories under the belt at Mavericks, winning in 2006 as well as in 2014.

Twiggy has had a flagship year so far, and is looking to cement it with a third World Title. “They say you only remember an athlete if they win three of something, so that’s in my goals for the next five years,” said Twiggy. I want to win another Mavericks event and another World Title.”

Representing Vissla in South Africa, a World Title from Twiggy would see him join Stevie Sawyer from JBay as another Vissla World Champion. Sawyer was crowned the World Surf League Longboard World Champion last year.

“Steve is epic and a great ambassador for surfing in South Africa.” said Twiggy. “It would be great to join him this year in his achievement, and then cheer Jordy to his first. Can you imagine!”

With one big wave event win, the Nazaré Challenge that took place in Portugal in November 2018, Twiggy currently leads the Big Wave Tour rankings from Billy Kemper (Haw) and Kai Lenny (Haw) in second and third place respectively.

Twiggy also received the honour of the cover shot of the recent Zigzag Magazine for an incredible ride of his at the Jaws/Peahi Challenge that took place in Maui, Hawaii, during November last year.

“Zigzag is such an important voice for surfing in South Africa,” said Twiggy. “Every company and surfer should be supporting them and making sure they survive and prosper. To get the cover with that wave, so it goes down in history, is special, and I’m very thankful.

Twiggy is also in contention for a few XXL Big Wave Awards with this ride at Jaws – the same wave that graced the cover – and a ridiculous tube ride at Seal Reef on the West Coast, with both waves up for the Ride Of The Year category, that carries a US$ 50,000 prize.

“My wave from the West Coast is probably the best barrel I’ve ever had,” reckoned Twiggy. “Even though it’s only 15-18ft , it’s as square as you can get and almost 10 seconds long and probably better than Ian Walsh’s wave at Jaws that won the year before, so I’m always hopeful.”

For more information on the Big Wave Tour go to

Golf & Beauty at Play

Golf, Beauty Treatment and a Ryder Cup Atmosphere!

The Pop In Beauty Bar golf morning on 12th February at St. Francis Bay Golf Club (SFBGC) proved to be a GREAT success, thanks to Renee Botha and her team. This is the fifth year in a row that Renee has sponsored this special beauty day on the St Francis Bay Golf Calendar. 

Players from Jeffreys Bay and overseas visitors (76 in total) joined the SFBGC ladies to enjoy good weather and great golf in a Valentine’s spirit. Our thanks to Renee and Christine Langford (Professional and Golf Operations Manager Thorpeness, UK) who arranged to “import” over 40 UK ladies to make up a Ryder Cup Team field.

After the sponsored Better Ball competition, the ladies were pampered with free shoulder and neck massages followed by light lunch. 

The winners on the day received vouchers and products from Pop In Beauty Bar for which the ladies were sincerely thankful.

Nearest to the Pin winners:
8th hole Kane Dove Meadow & 10th hole Jean Fynn

Betterball winners:
1st: Pam Beaumont & Kath Bowren – 46 points
2nd: Helen Gustavo & Val Kedge – 43 points
3rd: Heilie Uys & Dawn Speirs – 42 points
4th: L Wray & G de Sausmarez  – 41 points

Ryder Cup winner:
South Africa on 387 points with the UK on a close 380 points

Thanks to Janine van der Merwe and her Team, Course Manager Gordon Dennett and Jani and Frank for a lovely lunch.

Not a mechanic in sight when you need one!

The Pop-In Beauty Team


James Ribbink Inks Deal With Vissla

Vissla South Africa is proud to announce that they have signed up dynamic young Durban surfer James Ribbink onto their team. James will be wearing Vissla threads, as well as sporting Vissla wetsuits in the water.

“James is a great addition to the Vissla family in South Africa, and we’re very happy to have him with us,” said Arno Lane from Vissla South Africa. “We have known James for a long time, and his great style in the water and on land, his fun personality, and obviously the fact that he rips make him the perfect rider to represent our brand. Last year we saw James blowing up at Supertubes, and everyone was very impressed with his relaxed approach when it got a bit bigger, combined with his focused rail game and air moves. James has a great future ahead of him and we’re proud to be a part of his journey.”

The 14-year-old surfer has a string of excellent results behind him in his own age group, and was recently nominated as an alternate invite to the Cell C Goodwave invitation-only surf contest at New Pier in Durban, the youngest surfer in the country to be considered for the event. Apart from winning surf tournaments, James is well traveled, having visited Indonesia many times, recently surfed the famous Donkey Bay in Namibia with last year’s 5th rated Championship Tour surfer Jordy Smith, and often heads down to Jeffreys Bay to meet the south-west swells heading up the coast from Cape Town.

James Ribbink flying high in Durban © Di Parkes

“I’m really stoked to be part of Vissla in South Africa,” said James of his new sponsorship. “It’s great that a brand like Vissla supports surfing in our country and also worldwide, and I aim to represent the brand in a positive and inspiring manner going forward. I’d also like to thank Arno and the rest of the team at Vissla for allowing me this opportunity.”

Media Release – The Truth Collective

DarkFEST Freeride Mountain Biking 2019 Returns

Vuurberg Wines, Helshoogte Pass, Stellenbosch, Thursday February 8 & Friday February 9.

DarkFEST is set to hit Stellenbosch on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 February, and will be an action-packed event, with huge sends, brutal slams and massive hits with the best crew in MTB.

Talking about brutal slams, Sam Reynolds is out of the event.

On Tuesday evening the guys had a test session on the track, and started warming up on the step-up and drop, checking speed for the newly upgraded big beast of a trick jump. The nerves were high. The lip is around 5m tall with the landing 15m away, which makes this one of, if not the biggest trick jump ever!

After a few run-ins to eye it up, Sam decided to send it first. Not knowing what speed to head into it, his main concern was overshooting it. With such a steep landing you could end up coming down a long way. He went in fast, but not full speed and popped high off the lip. Unfortunately he just didn’t get the distance, and had to hit the eject button. He came down hard on the back of the landing, taking a lot of the impact on his foot, hip and shoulder all on his right, but his left hand and wrist took the brunt of the force and he fractured and dislocated some of his carpals and shattered the end of his ulna.

It’s surgery time for Sam.

Sam hitting the eject button © Eric Palmer

This obviously means he won’t be able to ride at DarkFEST, which we are sad to say, but the madness will still continue and Sam will be around to chat to fans and cheer his friends on!

“Absolutely devastated to say that I won’t be able to ride DarkFEST this year,” said Sam. “My wrist is badly broken, and am going in for a complicated surgery. Can’t wait to watch the boys send it from the sidelines though and I’m so motivated to get it back strong enough to ride this line again one day!”

The Hellsend Dirt Compound at the Vuurberg farm will be open to the public for 2 days only, with a limited batch of tickets up for grabs for the Friday 8th and Saturday 9th sessions, so we’re inviting you out to Stellenbosch to witness the boys throwing down on the DarkFEST jumps.

Food, drinks and beer as well as a limited run of DarkFEST merchandise will be available for purchase.

Cell C Goodwave Surf Contest Surfers Names Announced

St Francis & JBay Surfers in lineup

The event organisers of the 2019 Cell C Goodwave have announced the invited surfers for the upcoming tournament. The one-year waiting period for this contest officially starts on Monday 21 January 2019.

The event features several well known names from the Kouga Region (St Francis and Jeffreys Bay).

The Cell C Goodwave is supported by Oakley and Bilt Surfboards, and the event will be hosted by California Dreaming.  

The contest is a one-day event, with four-man heats and a sudden-death format of high performance surfing. It will be run on one of the best surfing days of the year at New Pier, with the call being made by contest director Jason Ribbink, along with surf forecasting guru Spike from Wavescape.

“It has been a challenge to find the right day to surf this event,” said Ribbink, referring to the fact that the contest didn’t run in 2018. “We are determined and confident however that we will get an excellent day of surf at the New Pier in the first quarter of 2019.”

As a direct result of the competition not running, there has been an increase in the event prize-pool, with the first prize now up to R150k

Prize allocation:
1st – R150k
2nd – R50k
3rd – R20k
4th – R10k
Lee Wolins Award R10k

The invitees, in no particular order:
1. Brandon Jackson
2. Matt McGillivray
3. Dale Staples
4. Shane Sykes
5. Mikey February
6. Josh Redman
7. Jason Ribbink
8. Dan Redman
9. Slade Prestwich
10. Beyrick De Vries
11. Dylan Lightfoot
12. Chad Du Toit
13. Damien Fahrenfort
14. Brendon Gibbens
15. Adin Masencamp
16. Davey Van Zyl
17. Greg Emslie
18. Matt Bromley
19. Benji Brand
20. Chris Leppan
21. Steven Sawyer
22. Twiggy Baker
23. Davey Weare
24. Sponsor Wildcard

Alternates, in no particular order:
Shaun Joubert, Richard Kidd, Shaun Payne, Frankie Oberholzer, Simon Fish, Jordy Maree, Chris Frolich, Blaine Wood, Allan Johns, Gary Van Weirengen, Mike Frew, Ryan Payne, Simon Nicholson, Ford Van Jaarsveldt, Brendan O’Connor, Warwick Wright, Robbie Schofield, Gavin Roberts, York Van Jaarsveldt, Sean Holmes,, Paul Canning, Eli Beukes, Luke Slijpen, Max Elkington, Bryce Du Preez, Mitch du Preez, James Ribbink, Koby Oberholzer, Karl Steen, Angelo Faulkner, Joshe Faulkner, Jake Elkington, Manoa Robb, Michael Monk. 

Lyons Group Yellowtail December Competition

News from Port St Francis Ski Boat And Yacht Club

 23 boats with 87 anglers, 14  Juniors and 4 Ladies.

The competition was run over 2 days with a total of 14 Yellowtail and 9 Bonito of size being weighed.  

Unfortunately the weather wasn’t kind on the 2nd day of the competition so an informal additional competition was set up for the 30th December.

We wish to thank the Lyons Group and Vincent Lyons for their generous sponsorship which greatly contributed to the success of the competition.

Prizes were awarded as follows


Open Section
1st Hein Van Rooyen – Boat Geelstert – Weight 6.80 kg
2nd Dirk Ellis – Boat Geelstert – Weight 6.00 kg
3rd Dirk Ellis  – Boat Geelstert – Weight 5.70 kg

Ladies Section
1st Debbie McCracken – Boat Mathambo – Weight 3.60 kg

Junior Section
1st Charles Short – Boat Strenue – Weight 4.20  kg
2nd Andrew Wigg – Boat Tolla – Weight 2.80 kg
3rd  Andrew Wigg – Boat Tolla – Weight 2.30 kg


1st Paul Spowart – Weight 3.5 kg


1st Paul Jorge – Boat Mathambo – Weight 13.2 kg
2nd Guy Wigg – Boat Tolla – Weight 5.70 kg
3rd  C Weeks

Over the official competition there were 23 boats with 87 anglers, 14 of which were Juniors and 4 were Ladies.