It was a holiday to remember as The Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill returned to KwaDukuza’s shores during the winter months, bringing with it a well-supported festival programme of music, retail, extreme sports and beachside action. Running from 29 June to 10 July, visitors to the world’s longest running professional surfing event were treated to a host of festival entertainment, from seaside games in the day through to After Dark parties later in the day.
“We’d like to thank KwaDukuza and our event sponsors for supporting The Ballito Pro and ensuring the 2022 edition was incredibly worthwhile for all locals and visitors,” commented Collette Bundy, The Ballito Pro Festival Organiser. “It’s no secret that the past few years have been incredibly tough for the local economy, particularly our tourist-friendly seaside spots, and this year’s Ballito Pro brought some much-needed support for local businesses while providing holidaymakers with endless activities and fun. We’re looking forward to continuing this tradition and growing the event in 2023.”
Following the success of the inaugural Ballito Pro Skate Jam presented by Volcom, Fallen & Groundswell Skate & Surf in December 2021, The Ballito Pro welcomed the best local skater groms and pros to The Ballito Bowl on Friday, 1 July. Durban North’s Jamie de Villiers who took home the R7 500 cash prize in the Open Division, while local skaters Ezra Vosloo and Jessica Louw took first place in the Groms (U16) Division for boys and girls respectively. This was followed by the relaunch party on 3 July of the iconic Groundswell Surf & Skate which celebrated 25 years in business.
Music lovers were in for a treat as The Ballito Pro Free Music Concerts returned on 7 and 8 July boasting a great line-up. Some of the big names that took to the stage included Q Twins, DJ Tira, Majozi, Desmond and the Tutus and Yo Grapes. The winner of the Ekasi Experience Battle of the DJs also got the limelight with a spot on the concert lineup.
Good Vibes, which ran from 5 to 9 July at Good Vibes Café and Bar also provided ongoing entertainment with the likes Syzo, Funky G, Brent Crud, Chunda Munki and Kyle Cassim on the decks. Ballito Village Vibes also kept visitors entertained with music by The Tequila Twins, Rene Tshiakanyi and Spare Parts – with the Ilembe Surf Riders Fundraiser taking place on 6 July. And if this wasn’t enough from the After Dark programme, Concilla Tapas Lounge & Bar featured DJs every night with great prizes and giveaways.
During the daylight hours, alongside the surfing action, Willard Beach was the place to be! This spot played host to ongoing Beach Action in the form of morning pilates and yoga, Jive with Jen, fashion shows, and competitive beach sports. The Kids’ Corner kept the little ones occupied with face painting, water balls, sandcastle building and a Kiddies Beach Dash. There was also great shopping – including the Oakley Pop Up, Surfboard displays and Shaping Pop Ups – as well as a food and cider garden at Retail Delight.
Ocean conservation is at the heart of The Ballito Pro with environmental and sustainability awareness programmes forming part of the Beach Action programme. The National Nurdle Clean-up Competition, organised by Litter4Tokens, got people collecting microplastic nurdles (known as mermaid’s tears) to prevent them entering the marine ecosystem. Breathe Conservation hosted an exciting snorkel day and guided walk on 3 July, with visitors encouraged to share their sustainability stories on social media using the tag @wsl for the #WeAreOneOcean campaign.
To find out more about The Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill festival programme, visit:
Snapchat: Username – TheBallitoPro