Epic festival programme announced for the 53rd Ballito Pro presented by O’Neill

Beach action, shopping, extreme sports, entertainment and good vibes are on the cards for visitors heading to this year’s Ballito Pro pres. by O’Neill festival, running at various Ballito venues from 29 June through to 10 July.

“We’re very excited to be bringing the popular Ballito Pro back to the shores of KwaDukuza this winter, and we’re celebrating this return with a really fantastic festival programme that will keep the entire family entertained,” said Collette Bundy, The Ballito Pro Festival Organiser. “This world-renowned surfing contest is attracting some of the best international competitors who will put on a great display for spectators, but we’re going to ensure there is something for everyone this holiday with our superb festival line-up.”

Extreme sports at The Ballito Skate Park

On Friday, 1 July, skaters will get the chance to show off their skills and win some awesome prizes in the Ballito Pro Skate Jam presented by Volcom, Fallen & Groundswell Skate & Surf. This contest is for open and groms (16) with a girls and guys division. Registration is at 1pm and the action getting underway from 4pm to 9pm. The winner of the Skate Jam will take home an impressive cash prize of R10 000!

Groundswell Surf & Skate relaunch

The iconic Groundswell Surf & Skate is celebrating 25 years in business with an official relaunch party on Sunday, 3 July at 5.30pm for 6pm at Ballito Steps. Everyone is invited to the celebration with lots of giveaways and prizes up for grabs. 

Beach action at Willard Beach from 9am to 5pm

There will be daily seaside action, starting with free sunrise yoga followed by some competitive beach soccer and volleyball, dance displays, Jive with Jen: kids dance and entertainment, fashion shows and the beach walk and talk.

Forming part of the daily beach action is some fun and informative environmental and sustainability awareness campaigns run by Breathe Conservation, We are One Ocean, Litter 4 Tokens, as well as a UIP programme.  

Breathe Conservation will host a snorkel day and guided walk on Sunday, 3 July. Visitors to The Ballito Pro are also urged to share their sustainability story on social media using the tag @wsl and #WeAreOneOcean. More information is available at weareoneocean.org.

Finally, visitors can also help clean up the ocean by collecting Mermaid’s Tears (plastic nurdles in the sand) as part of the National Nurdle Clean-up competition. Visit www.litter4tokens.co.za to buy a Mermaid Tear Catcher, collect nurdles and upload the photo and entry on the same site to win great prizes!

Retail delight at Willard Beach from 9am to 5pm

For those seeking some relaxed seaside activities during The Ballito Pro, the festival programme includes retail delight in the form of a food court and cider garden. Those looking for quality shopping can visit the arts n crafts section, various exhibitions as well as great retail stalls. Among the stalls will be the Oakley Pop Up, Surfboard displays and Shaping Pop Ups.

Kids’ Corner at Willard Beach from 9am to 5pm

The little ones will be kept entertained throughout The Ballito Pro at the fun-filled Kids Corner near the bathing area. Some of the activities to enjoy include face painting, water balls, sandcastle building and a Kiddies Beach Dash. There will also be daily Jive with Jen kids’ dance activations!

Ballito Pro Music Concerts

The Ballito Pro Free Music Concerts at Salmon Bay on Thursday, 7 and Friday 8, July. This will feature big-name musicians such as Q Twins, Daliwonga, Majozi, Desmond & The Tutus, Kyle Cassim, Freddy L, Black Lapels, Yo Grapes and more!

After Dark programmes

There’s a lot of after-dark action when the surfing is done, The Conchilla Tapas Lounge & Bar features DJs every night with great prizes and giveaways.

Ballito Village Vibes is also the place to be with music by The Tequila Twins, Rene Tshiakanyi and Spare Parts with the Ilembe Surf Riders Fundraiser hosted on Wednesday, 6 July. 

Good Vibes programme will include the Cookie Cutter Swimsuit Show, FT Jay Jabs, Student Night with Chunda Munki, Syzo, Kyle Cassim, Funky G and more.

The Ekasi Experience Battle of the DJs is another fantastic After Dark addition with the top 10 selection taking place on Tuesday, 5 July at Gidela Lounge in Nshaweni, with the Battle of the Finalists taking place at Prince Lounge. The winner of this contest will take a spot on the Main Stage of Ballito Pro Music Concert on Thursday, 7 July.

Surfing action

The festival programme runs alongside the world’s longest running professional surfing event which is welcoming the return of international surfing with the O’Neill SMTH Shapes Ballito Pro Junior, World Surf League (WSL) Ballito Pro Presented by O’Neill Trials and Ballito Pro Presented by O’Neill Challenger Series (CS) for men and women.

Some of the big-name surfers set to compete this year include former Ballito Pro champions Zoe Steyn (East London), Sarah Baum (Durban), Adin Masencamp (Cape Town), Jordy Smith (Durban), Alejo Muniz (ARG) and Deivid Silva (BRA). There are also Championship Tour surfers such as Conner Coffin (USA) and Ezekiel Lau (HAW) and other international competitors including Bronte Macaulay (AUS), Luana Silva (HAW), and Moana Jones-Wong (HAW).

Visitors can also check out the up-and-coming surfers during the O’Neill KZN High School League and the Sea Harvest SSA/Ilembe Development Tag Team contests taking place on Thursday, 30 June.

Watch The Challenger Series broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, the free WSL app, and the WSL’s YouTube channel.

Don’t miss any of the action

The Ballito Pro will be live on People’sWeather (DStv Ch-180 and Openview Ch-115) from 7 to 10 July at 11am daily.