World-class musical acts, extreme sports’ action, food contests, quality retail, fashion and general beachside fun are all on the programme for this year’s Ballito Pro, presented by Billabong. This jam-packed event – celebrating its 50th edition – will be taking over KwaDukuza from 22 June to 1 July.

“We are going to be #LiveTheLegacy at this year’s Ballito Pro – looking back at the event’s history while celebrating all the elements that continue to make this such an incredible annual festival,” said Collette Bundy, event organiser. “We also want to extend our thanks to KwaDukuza Municipality who have been hosting The Ballito Pro for a decade now, and are various sponsors and partners, It’s been a productive partnership that has showcased the incredible talent and beauty of this region.”

Riding the retro wave

Forming part of the golden Jubilee celebrations is Shaun Tomson’s #positivewavetour to promote surfing and healthy oceans. The six-time winner of The Ballito Pro will be in attendance for daily activations as well as a Retro Expression Session and the screening of his film ‘Bustin Down the Door’ on Thursday 28th June will be hosted at the Ballito Junction Regional Mall. Tickets for the ‘Living the Legacy’ 50 years of Pro Surfing Evening hosted by Shaun Tomson at Coco De Mer are available, all in favour of Development Surf.

Classic food and drinks

Visitors will get to #LiveTheLegacy at the Ballito Pro Retro Jubilee Food & Drink presented by Ballito Junction Regional Mall on Monday, 25 and Tuesday, 26 June from 4pm to 11pm. This two-night culinary showdown will take guests on a journey of surfing through the ages while they enjoy live musical and dance entertainment. There will be cooking contests – for young and old – fashion shows and spectacular food and drink options in a retro, carnival-style setting. The Retro Cocktail Lounge and Bar, serving classic mixes, will be a choice destination for relaxing as the sun goes down.

Monster activations

Willard Beach is the place to be from 28 June to 1 July as the Monster activations get underway. This year, Monster will be unleashing non-stop action including:

• The Monster Cash-Up presented by Zigzag – amateur surfers can win R2 000 and a Groundswell Surf Store voucher every day during the free surf session as Zigzag scouts for the most explosive manoeuvres outside of the heats.

• The Monster Expression Session presented by Zigzag – just before the main event finals there will be R30 000 up for grabs for the best moves. Festival-goers can also enter to win one of the three custom-shaped surfboards by guessing the winning surfer.

• Monster Skate Demos – local skaters, headed up by Khule Ngubane, will show festival fans some dry land board action. Khule will be hosting skate clinics, having sessions with local skaters, a best trick jam with prize giveaways throughout.

• Monster Energy Rig Riot – the Monster Energy Station will be on site with a games’ station, music, and giveaways. This is the spot for visitors to refuel their stock of Monster Energy.

• The Le Riche Bro’s Trials Bike shows – South African motorcycle trials’ champions, Bruce and Brent le Riche – sponsored by Monster Energy – will put on a captivating performance on their demo rig.

Musical mayhem

On Thursday, 28 June and Friday, 29 June, Salt Rock Beach will get rocking with a bumper musical line-up featuring at the Ballito Pro Free Music Concerts Powered by 5FM. Big name stars include December Streets, Okmalumkoolkat, Black Motion, MS Cosmo, The Kickstands, Sketchy Bongo and 5FM’s Nick Hamman, among others. Hamman will also be broadcasting live from The Ballito Pro from Wednesday, 27 June to Friday, 29 June, 9am to 12pm time slot and on Saturday, 30 June from 10am to 2pm.

But the music doesn’t stop there, because from 22 June to 1 July, partygoers will get to hear some of the country’s best DJs at the Crush Nightclub official After Dark Parties. With two dance floors, the best music, as well as some amazing drink specials, Crush is the only place to be in Ballito when the sun goes down! Guest DJs featuring this year include Chunda Munki, TiMO ODV, Chris Taylor, Strange Loving…and many more!

Ballito Downwind Series

The aquatic action kicks into high gear with the introduction of the Ballito Downwind Series on Saturday, 30 June and Sunday, 1 July. More than 100 of South Africa’s best paddlers will participate in the doubles’ race from either eMdloti Beach to Tiffany’s Reef on a south-westerly, or Zinkwazi Beach to Tiffany’s Reef on a north-easterly, in the hopes of winning their share of R10 000 prize money, as well as product prizes from Muscle Wellness, Gara Racing Paddles, Thule and Canelands Beach Club & Spar.

Daily beachside action

Alongside the Monster activations, Willard Beach will be transformed into an outdoor market, boasting various stalls retailing food, clothes and crafts with local musicians setting the vibe. And, for some high-adrenaline fun, The Coke-a-Cola Football Arena will be the location for daily recreational activities such as beach soccer and a variety of engaging children’s games.

Charity drive

The Ballito Pro will also be hosting the Ilembe Surf Riders Development Programme, a newly-established initiative aimed at developing new surf talent, particularly within the Dolphin Coast’s rural areas.