The Freshwater Pro pres. by Outerknown is ON

LEMOORE, California/USA (Thursday, September 19, 2019)

Pictured: Defay stalls for the ultimate vision to garner a near-perfect 9.33 to kick off her Freshwater Pro presented by Outerknown debut.
Credit: WSL/ Cestari

The opening day of the World Surf League (WSL) Freshwater Pro presented by Outerknown, the seventh stop of the women’s Championship Tour (CT) and eighth stop of the men’s CT, fired into action with the world’s best taking on perfection at the Surf Ranch. The pressure-cooker was in full effect with men’s Round of 36 powering through half of their contingent and the women’s Round of 18 getting underway. The implications of this event are paramount and tested the world’s best with all eyes on them as some thrived and others merely survived.  

Medina and Defay Tip The Scale Toward Perfection

Pictured: Colapinto debuted in stunning fashion compared to his 2018 start and sits at No. 2 on the event leaderboard. Credit: WSL/ Van Kirk

It was current No. 4 on the Jeep Leaderboard and two-time, reigning WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) who decimated his debut with an immaculate 17.77 (out of a possible 20) heat total, surfing alongside the likes of wildcard Barron Mamiya (HAW) and 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater (USA). Medina’s signature “Kerrupt Flip” aerial maneuver finish earned him an excellent 8.27 before dismantling the righthander to earn an equivalent 8.27. The World Champ looks to defend his Freshwater Pro win and showed that desire to perform by improving opening scores with an 8.77 and near-perfect 9.00. 
“I just want to thank God for this opportunity and we have perfect waves, all we have to do is surf our best,” Medina said. “I’m happy with my performance. The turns I wanted to do on both waves I was able to do so it feels amazing to not have any mistakes. It’s important to be toward the top of the leaderboard but there’s still so much to go but I’m feeling good and confident. I like this pressure situation and I feel that pressure, I think everyone does. Hopefully, I can keep this going and get another good result.”

Current World No. 10 Johanne Defay (FRA) is searching for a breakthrough result, only accruing a Quarterfinal appearance so far in 2019, and started off in near-perfect form during her second run with a 9.33 and 17.50 (out of a possible 20) heat total. Defay was in disbelief coming out of the basin and can rest easy heading into cut day atop the event leaderboard. 
“I can’t believe it, usually I get my best score on the left and honestly I’m just so surprised,” Defay said. “I was really feeling good and didn’t feel a lot of stress when I got here after stressing at home since it was such a long day, overthinking everything. So just getting in the water, I wanted to have fun after I felt like I had some good waves on the training day. I’ll just take it all and I’m stoked to get another chance to surf.”

Medina’s fellow countrymen and World Title threat Italo Ferreira (BRA) is on a whirlwind of competitions after competing in Tahiti, Japan, and now the Freshwater Pro with a great debut to put him third on the leaderboard despite feeling the fatigue. Current World No. 1 Filipe Toledo (BRA) and No. 2 Jordy Smith (ZAF) await their starts on Friday, but current No. 3 Kolohe Andino (USA) continues his World Title chase here in Lemoore and currently sits at No. 16 on the event leaderboard with 12 surfers still to take their opening run

Americans Peterson and Colapinto Unphased by Surf Ranch Stakes 


CT sophomore Griffin Colapinto (USA) took early control of the leaderboard with explosive maneuvers throughout the entirety of his first righthander, garnering an excellent 8.00 (out of a possible 10) and followed up with a brilliant execution of his second left opportunity to back it up with a 7.50. The 21-year-old made vital improvements from his opening performance last year and held the top spot through the day’s first competition break. 
“It’s a totally different story when the jersey’s on just getting a few waves before the event but it’s good because you get used to the pressure of the contest,” Colapinto said. “I feel like every day I’ve been warming up the same and doing everything exactly how I would before my heat. I’m really happy about that after bettering my left by 1.50 which is huge for me – I think last year my score was a 5.67 on the left. To do that, all the hard work I feel is paying off.” 

women made their debut to close out qualifying day. The Santa Barbara, California, native opened up on her forehand attack and showcased multiple power turns in critical sections from start to finish and accrued an excellent 8.17

Rookie Moniz Starts Strong, Wildcards Falter 

Pictured: 2019 CT rookie Seth Moniz (HAW) stood apart from his fellow rookie contingent and handled the nerves brilliantly, sitting at No. 12 on the event leaderboard. – Credit: WSL/ Cestari

Rookie sensation Seth Moniz (HAW) put himself into the Top 10 with a showcase of barrel-riding technique and powerful forehand turns. The young Hawaiian currently sits at No. 9 on the 2019 Jeep Leaderboard coming into the Freshwater Pro in his first year among the world’s best and withstood the pressure of his first exhibition at the Surf Ranch. Fellow rookies Deivid Silva (BRA) and Peterson Crisanto (BRA) also got their first experience of perfection but couldn’t find their rhythm.

Wildcards Barron Mamiya (HAW), reigning WSL World Junior Champion Mateus Herdy (BRA), and Crosby Colapinto (USA) also got their first competitive taste of the Surf Ranch and have plenty of work ahead after struggling in their opening run.

Rookies Macy Callaghan (AUS) and Brisa Hennessy (CRI), along with wildcard Gabriela Bryan (HAW) will surf tomorrow in the women’s Round of 18 starting at 12:22 p.m. PT.

Men’s Freshwater Pro pres. by Outerknown Leaderboard Top 8

  1. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.77
  2. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 15.50
  3. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14.97
  4. Conner Coffin (USA) 14.07
  5. Kelly Slater (USA) 13.87
  6. Yago Dora (BRA) 13.63
  7. Jesse Mendes (BRA) 13.30
  8. Owen Wright (AUS) 13.26

Women’s Freshwater Pro pres. by Outerknown Leaderboard Top 4

  1. Johanne Defay (FRA) 17.50
  2. Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.70
  3. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.00
  4. Paige Hareb (NZL) 13.00

Freshwater Pro pres. by Outerknown Schedule

The Freshwater Pro will be broadcast LIVE on and the free WSL app. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners. 

World’s Best Prepared for Showdown at the Freshwater Pro pres. by Outerknown

LEMOORE, California/USA (Wednesday, September 18, 2019) – The world’s best are ready to contest the World Surf League (WSL)  Freshwater Pro presented by Outerknown, the seventh stop on the women’s Championship Tour (CT) and eighth stop of the men’s CT. This exquisite competition will test the men and women on waves of perfection nearly 100 miles inland at Lemoore, California, to bring out their very best when it matters most with the World Title race, CT qualification and Olympic Games 2020 Tokyo implications on the line at the Surf Ranch from September 19 – 21.

Pictured: (L to R) Lakey Peterson, Kelly Slater, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Stephanie Gilmore and Filipe Toledo prepare for the 2019 Freshwater Pro pres. by Outerknown. Credit: WSL/ Cestari

The Freshwater Pro also marks the WSL’s one-year anniversary of announcing equal prize money across all WSL owned and controlled events. To celebrate the occasion, the six female CT athletes who have earned wins so far this season — the beneficiaries of equal prize money — gathered for a roundtable discussion on the impact of the change and what the future holds for women’s surfing and the sports industry as a whole.

Pictured: Six of the sport’s most iconic figures gathered to discuss the progression of women’s surfing. Credit: WSL/ Miers

The first roundtable participant was 17-year-old Caroline Marks (USA), who made history as the youngest World No. 1 with her first-ever CT victory on the Gold Coast; Marks was also the first woman to receive equal prize money. She was joined by Courtney Conlogue (USA), seven-time WSL World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Lakey Peterson (USA), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), and three-time WSL World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW), all who have cemented their place in the record books as well. Each of these six event winners contributed to the discussion in a meaningful way leading up to the Freshwater Pro

“It’s amazing and I think the equal pay has just helped raise the level of women’s surfing even more,” Peterson said. “I feel like just this year alone I’ve seen even more young women in the water a lot more and surfing is just such a legitimate career path for females which is really awesome. For me personally, there’s a lot more to fight for and it’s just incredible WSL is able to give us equal pay – it’s something I never thought I’d experience in my career. It pushes us to do our best every single day and I’m just humbled to be a part of it.”


Mercedes-Benz Buffalo City South African Surfing Team Finish Fifth with Two Medals at ISA World Surfing Games in Japan

Miyazaki, Japan, September 15, 2019 – The Mercedes-Benz Buffalo City South African surfing team finished fifth overall and earned two medals and one surfer qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at the ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans which ended at Myazaki in Japan on Sunday.

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz Buffalo City South African surfing team on the podium receiving their Silver medals for second place in the Aloha Cup at the closing ceremony for the ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans at Myazaki, Japan.
LtR: Isaac February (Cape Town, Manager), Greg Emslie (East London, Coach), Zoe Steyn (East London), Bianca Buitendag (Victoria Bay), Sarah Baum (Durban)

The powerful team from Brazil won the team Gold medals for the first time in 19 years, with Italo Ferreira capturing the Men’s Gold, Gabriel Medina taking Bronze and Silvana Lima clinching the Silver medal for Women.

The USA, led by Dino Andino’s Silver in the Men’s and Carissa Moore’s Copper in the Women, finished runners-up in the teams event, followed by the host nation and defending team champions Japan and Peru whose Sofia Mulanovich captured the Women’s Gold.

South Africa, who finished fourth overall at last year’s ISA WSG, can be proud of their fifth place in 2019. The event attracted a record setting 55 nations and 240 of the world’s best surfers, including a host of current and former World Champions who were intent not only on winning the team and individual titles, but also in participating in the qualifying process for surfing’s debut on the Olympic stage next year.

Bianca Buitendag was the standout performer for South Africa, adding the Bronze medal in the Women’s event to the Bronze and Copper medals she won in 2017 and 2018, contributing a massive 730 points to the team total, participating in the Silver medal winning Aloha Cup event and also earning provisional qualification for the Olympics as the highest placed woman from the African Continent.

The 25-year-old from Victoria Bay in the Southern Cape was ably supported by Australia based former Durbanite Sarah Baum, who placed 21st overall, and 15- year-old East Londoner Zoe Steyn who ended her second ISA WSG in 29th place among the 103 women.

Michael February (Kommetjie) fared best of the South African Men with his 22nd place finish, while Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga) and Jordy Smith (Durban) placed equal 31st out of the 137 Men.

In the ISA Aloha Cup, a form of relay surfing where a squad of two men and two women each have to ride two waves before returning to the beach to ‘tag’ the next teammate, with all eight rides counting and having to be completed within a prescribed time limit, the South African squad of Smith, February, Buitendag and Baum comfortably won their semi-final against Japan, Peru and Argentina.

Up against Japan, USA and Australia in the final, the South Africans finished just 0.08 of a point behind the surfers from Down Under to clinch the Silver medal ahead of USA and the host nation.

South Africa’s finish among the top eight ranked nations in Myazaki has earned the team an invitation to the 2020 Aloha Cup at next year’s ISA WSG.

The team was very well supported by the experienced pair of Isaac February (Cape Town, Manager) and multiple South African champion and seasoned international competitor Greg Emslie (East London, Coach).

Speaking at the closing ceremony, ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:

“Today is a very special day for the history of surfing. For the first time, every nation brought their surfing dream teams and for the first time an ISA World Surfing Games is a qualifier for the Olympic Games. Thank you to all the competitors, including the CT (Championship Tour) surfers, for taking time to compete and enjoy the ISA Aloha spirit at our World Surfing Games.                                                

“All visitors, teams, fans, and supporters will now go home as ambassadors of this beautiful Miyazaki. The ISA will be back in Japan in less than a year, for the arrival of surfing at the world’s greatest sporting stage, the Tokyo Olympic Games.”

Full results, images, video footage, news and more can be found at

ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans


Team Ranking (top 10)

  • Gold – Brazil
  • Silver – USA
  • Bronze – Japan
  • Copper – Peru

5 – South Africa
6 – Australia
7 – New Zealand
8 – Costa Rica
9 – Spain
10 – Canad

Open Men:

Gold – Italo Ferreira (BRA)
Silver – Kolohe Andino (USA)
Bronze – Gabriel Medina (BRA)
Copper – Shun Murakami (JPN)

22: Michal February (Kommetjie)
31: Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga)
31: Jordy Smith (Durban)

Open Women (finished 10 September 10):

Gold – Sofia Mulanovich (PER)
Silver – Silvana Lima (BRA)
Bronze – Bianca Buitendag (RSA)
Copper – Carissa Moore (USA)

21: Sarah Baum (Durban)
29: Zoe Steyn (East London)

ISA Aloha Cup (finished 12 September)

Gold – Australia
Silver – South Africa
Bronze – USA
Copper – Japan

Provisional Tokyo 2020 Qualification:


Shun Murakami (JPN)
Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR)
Billy Stairmand (NZL)
Frederico Morais (POR)


Shino Matsuda (JPN)
Anat Lelior (ISR)
|Bianca Buitendag (RSA)
Ella Williams (NZL)

The South Africa Surfing Team’s participation in the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games in Miyazaki, Japan, an Olympic qualifying event, was made possible by Mercedes-Benz South Africa and Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality for the third year in a row. The team is also supported by the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa and Sea Harvest.

Surfing South Africa is the governing body for the sport in South Africa and is a member of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC), the African Surfing Confederation (ASC) and the International Surfing Association (ISA). Surfing South Africa is recognised and supported by the National Department of Sport and Recreation.

Calm As… Launches Their Revamped First Aid Kits For Surfers

Manly, Australia – Due to popular demand, the Calm As… First Aid Kits For Surfers have been revamped, and the new-look kits are already available for sale here

The Calm As… First Aid Kits For Surfers came about as a collaboration between a number of Doctors with one thing in common – they all surfed. In fact they were all members of the Surfing Doctors – a close-knit group of like-minded individuals who have filtered out of various specialties and areas of medicine to combine the love of two totally different passions; the surfing sport and lifestyle, and a lifelong career in medicine.

Every year the Surfing Doctors gather in Grajagan to discuss various medical and surfing topics in their Annual Conference. Conference topics vary, but the conversations remain around medical procedures, emergency surgery, eye injuries and fin chops, as well as the latest surfboard technology and the best equipment needed to take on the fabled waves of Grajagan

It was while in the jungle that Dr Jon Cohen from Australia, along with the help of Dr Phil Chapman from South Africa, came up with the concept of Calm As… surfers medical kits that are specific for surfers when traveling into remote areas, and who might experience surfing or travel injuries.

The first edition of the Calm As.. First Aid Kits For Surfers were an immediate success, and as more information and knowledge came through from end-users, so Dr Cohen tweaked and updated the kit into this current iteration.

“We knew what most surfers would need in a medical emergency while in the jungle or off the beaten track, but we needed some more information as to the quantities of the gear they would get through when using the kit,” said Dr Cohen. “As a result we have increased the quantities of certain gear, including the basics like bandaids and alcohol wipes, as well as including some heavy duty gloves and reorganizing the layout of the kit for more intuitive use.”

“It’s been fun just slightly modifying the contents so that the kits fit a wider variety of needs than originally intended,” continued Dr Cohen. “We found that a lot of surfers were keen to have a kit sitting in their cars or utes after getting back from overseas for those unexpected accidents when kicking around home, or on mini road trips.”

Dr Cohen on a G-Land bomb.

“The ongoing support of Calm As… has been encouraging, and surfers have been quick on the uptake,” said Dr Cohen. “Those surfers who have dealt with medical emergencies before will feel comfortable with the contents of the kits, and those ones who find themselves in an emergency situation for the first time should be comfortable with the contents and the straight-forward instructions that come with it.”

The crew at Calm As… will be giving away a few of the kits online via their social media channels some time in the future, so check them out on Facebook and find them on Instagram on @bettersurfoz

The Calm As… first aid kits for surfers are available on

Join the newsletter here and receive a free download of the Calm As…Instructional booklet.

For more information:  –   –  Distributed by:

Mixed fortunes for South African Surfing Men on Day 6 of ISA World Surfing Games

Miyazaki, Japan, September 12, 2019 – The three men in the Mercedes-Benz Buffalo City South African Surfing team suffered mixed fortunes on Day 6 of the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans in Japan today (Thursday).

Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga) confidently advanced to Repercharge Round 3 at the ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans at Myazaki in Japan on Thursday – Photo: ISA / Jimenez

Jordy Smith (Durban), Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga) and Michael February (Kommetjie) were all surprisingly relegated to the cutthroat Repercharge Rounds when they finished outside the top two in their respective Main Event Round 2 heats early in the day.

The trio then confidently progressed from their next heats to keep their medal hopes and potential qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games alive.

Smith slipped to third place behind heat winner Peter Devries (Canada) and current world No. 2 Filipe Toledo (Brazil) in his opening match-up, but redeemed himself with a solid second place result behind defending ISA Men’s champion Santiago Muniz (Argentina). The pair finished ahead of Julian Wilson (Australia) who was eliminated from the event in a major upset.

After finishing third in his morning heat, de Vries bounced back with vengeance in his Repercharge clash by delivering three great rides, the best two of which totaled 15.94 out of 20, one of the top 5 heat totals of the day’s action.

February also opened his account with a third place finish, behind Gabriel Medina (Brazil) and Israel Barona (Ecuador), but an excellent 8.03 and a backup score of 6.93 gave the lanky Capetonian a solid heat win over 2017 ISA champion Jhony Corzo (Mexico) and a berth in the next round.

Upsets continued throughout the day with Australia dealt a major blow in the chase for the team title when Owen Wright joined Julian Wilson on the sidelines after suffering two defeats on the day. Other favourites who find themselves in the Repercharge rounds include Jeremy Flores and Michel Bourez (both France), the USA’s Conner Coffin and New Zealander Ricardo Christie.

The provisional standings after six days see Brazil out front followed by Peru and the USA, with South Africa currently in fourth position, Spain fifth and host nation Japan, last year’s team Gold Medallists, back in sixth place.

The 2019 ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans is streamed live from September 7-15 on starting at approximately 1 am SA Time daily.

The tentative schedule for the remainder of the competition is as follows:

Friday and Saturday, Sep 13-14

  • Open Men competition continues

September 15

  • Finals Open Men
  • Closing Ceremony 

Mercedes-Benz Buffalo City South African Surfing Team Bags Silver Medal in ISA Aloha Cup

Miyazaki, Japan, September 11, 2019 – The Mercedes-Benz Buffalo City South African Surfing team bagged the Silver Medal in the ISA Aloha Cup at the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans in Japan today (Wednesday)

The Silver Medal winning South African squad wait in their ‘box’ while Jordy Smith is surfing in the final of the ISA Aloha Cup at the ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans at Myazaki in Japan. (LtR) Team Coach Greg Emslie (back to camera), Michael February, Bianca Buitendag and Sarah Baum
Back row (without vests) Beyrick de Vries and Zoe Steyn
Photo: ISA / Evans

Anchored by Jordy Smith (Durban),  who earned the two highest wave scores of the final with 7.47 and 8.5 (both out of 10), the squad of two men and two women accumulated a total of 38.11points, just eight / hundreds (0.08) of a point behind winners Australia who took the Gold Medal.

South African, represented by Smith, Michael February (Kommetjie), Sarah Baum (Durban) and Women’s Bronze medalist Bianca Buitendag (Victoria Bay), benefited from an error by the greatest surfer of all time, 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater, whose final ride in the dying seconds of the final pushed his USA team into a narrow lead.

But the 47 year-old phenomenon fell on his final manoeuvre and was left with a long sprint up the beach, returning to the team ‘box’ seconds after the hooter was sounded to end the encounter. Team USA incurred a five-point penalty for not finishing within the time limit, dropping them to third place and the Bronze Medal, while simultaneously elevating Australia and South Africa into the Gold and Silver medal positions.  

Team Japan was also given a five-point penalty for not finishing in time and totaled 28.10 points in the Copper Medal position.

The ISA Aloha Cup is a team relay event that features two men and two women from the top eight teams from the previous year’s ISA World Surfing Games. There are two semi-finals and a final where each surfer catches two waves in their leg of the relay before ‘tagging’ the next teammate, who is waiting in the team box. The total of all four surfers’ waves becomes the final team score.

The first semi-final featured Japan, South Africa, Peru, and Argentina, while the second semi-final featured Australia, USA, France, and the defending Aloha Cup Gold Medalist, Spain.

South Africa won their semi with a total of 41.77 points and advanced to the final along with runners-up and event hosts Japan (38.34). The second semi saw Australia (47.72) and the USA (46.72) qualify for the final.

ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:

“The ISA Aloha Cup is a unique medal competition at all ISA Global Events. It’s full of unity, camaraderie and the joy that epitomize the ISA spirit.

“Drama was not lacking in today’s final as we were on the edge of our seats until the final seconds. Congrats to Team Australia for putting together an all-around, team performance to earn the first team-oriented Gold Medals of the event.”

Competition continued with Men’s Main Event Round 1 and Michael February (Kommetjie) completed a clean sweep of opening round heat wins for South Africa when he produced a pair of six-point rides and a total of 12.93 (out of 20) to join Smith and Beyrick de Vries (uMhlanga) in Round 2 of the Main Event stream.

Shun Murakami, a member of Japan’s World Surfing Games Gold Medal Team and individual Copper Medalist last year, was the day’s top performer, earning the two highest wave scores of 8.83 and 7.67, and the highest heat total of 16.50.

Reigning World Champion Gabriel Medina (Brazil) held the crowd of thousands in awe with huge aerial maneuvers, earning a heat total of 13.50 to advance into round 2.

“I’m loving my time here in Japan,” said Medina. “Representing my country in the Olympics in 2020 would be a dream come true. I grew up watching Team Brazil in all sports and now it feels great to be part of the team myself. That’s why we are here after all. Hopefully it all works out and I can represent my country next year in Tokyo.”

The 2019 ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans is streamed live from September 7-15 on starting at approximately 1 am SA Time daily.

The tentative schedule for the remainder of the competition is as follows:

Thursday to Saturday, Sep 12-14

  • Open Men competition continues

September 15

  • Finals Open Men
  • Closing Ceremony 

2019 ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans

ISA Aloha Cup Results:

  • Gold Medal – Australia 38.19 pts
  • Silver Medal – South Africa 38.11 pts
  • Bronze Medal – USA 35.38 pts
  • Copper Medal – Japan 28.10 pts