Indonesia’s Rio Waida and SA’s Zoe Steyn took the premier Pro Junior surfing titles at the Billabong Junior Series presented by BOS which was completed in bumpy but contestable waves at Willard Beach in Ballito.
Rio Waida made the most of the shifty, onshore conditions in the Junior Men’s final to defeat local favorite and event top seed, Luke Slijpen. The Indonesian flowed effortlessly from section to section, surfing with visibly more speed than most of his competitors and posted an early 6.00 to take the lead and put the pressure on Slijpen.
Slijpen kept busy hunting for good waves but was unable to post anything better than average range scores, 4.0 – 5.9.
With 10 minutes remaining, Waida put the final nail in the coffin by dropping an excellent score of 9.25, the highest single wave score of the entire event, to leave Slijpen needing a perfect 10 to take the lead.
Zoe Steyn took the Junior Women’s title in emphatic fashion, beating Kirsty McGillivray in the tricky onshore conditions. Steyn eventually found rhythm towards the end of the heat and her last two rides, a 4.75 and a 5.60, were the two that counted.
Steyn was in devastating form throughout the event, winning every heat she contested and posting the highest score of the women’s division, a 9.0, in her semi-final defeat of Kayla Nogueira.
Photos by WSL / Cestari.