Image Credit: © WSL/McGregor

Kalvyn MacMillan, Janine Louw, and Ezra Vosloo take top titles in the Ballito Pro Skate Jam competition

In what was by far the biggest, most hotly contested Ballito Pro Skate Jam to date, it was Kalvyn MacMillan (35) who put on the winning display, earning himself first-place in the Men’s Division. Capetonian Janine Louw (24) brought some impressive skills to win the Women’s Division, while local skater Ezra Vosloo take first prize in the U16 Boy’s Division. Hosted at the Ballito Bowl in KwaDukuza on Saturday, 1 July, the 2023 Ballito Pro Skate Jam welcomed some of the country’s biggest skaters in this high-stakes competition that is now a regular feature on The Ballito Pro Presented by O’Neill Festival calendar.

“We’d like to extend huge congratulations to all this year’s Ballito Pro Skate Jam winners, and to all the 2023 contestants who put on an unbelievably impressive performance,” said Markus Müseler, Old School Productions event’s organiser. “This is the third edition of the Ballito Pro Skate Jam, and the support of our sponsors and the high standard of South African skating has seen this become one of the dominant skating events on the calendar. We’re looking forward to growing this even further next year.”

Paul Canning, O’Neill Brand Director and event organiser, commented: “On behalf of Volcom, we’re stoked to be a part of such a cool event that forms part of the Ballito Pro. It’s awesome to see how it’s grown – it just gets bigger and better every year.”

He said they were excited to welcome new sponsors Hot Wheels Skate who came on board for the third edition of the Ballito Pro Skate Jam, joining Volcom, Fallen Footwear, and Groundswell Skate and Surf.

“Personally, I love to see the support the Ballito Pro Skate Jam gets from the local Ballito community. This is one event that everyone looks forward to and it’s an event we want to see growing from year to year,” he concluded.

Umhlanga’s Kalvyn MacMillan, the Men’s Division winner, is no stranger to the Ballito Pro Skate Jam, having won the 2021 edition and placed second last year. Commenting on the competition he said:

“My first two runs weren’t great – I fell in both. But managed to pull myself together in my final run. Looking forward to next year as well! This was definitely the biggest bowl contest they’ve had with guys coming from Joburg, Cape Town, and all around South Africa so the competition was a lot a lot tougher – the bar was raised on all platforms and guys came out swinging! It was really fun, very challenging but that’s what you want. The turnout from the Ballito people supporting was also great.”

He extended thanks to all the sponsors for making the event such a success: “We’re always happy to have this contest, it was an all-around good day and I’m really looking forward to next year.”

Cape Town’s Janine Louw flew out to experience the Durban skate scene and the Ballito Pro Skate Jam for the first time.

“The Ballito Pro is such a prestigious event that has significantly contributed to the local community and the South African surf and skate scene. Its recent addition, the Ballito Bowl Skate Competition, holds immense potential to further this legacy,” said Louw.

She is one of the female skaters who has been championing the growth and recognition of female skaters as athletes. She hopes that, through this win, she can inspire incoming female athletes to join the sport.

Winner of the U16 Boy’s Division, Ezra Vosloo (12) described it as ‘the best day of the year!’. Speaking after the event, Ezra’s dad, Brode, said the youngster’s goal was to win the U16 event and re-qualify for the Open event, but he enjoyed some great competition along the way. “It’s great to see skaters like Warrick Edgar from the Western Cape coming up to compete. There aren’t many skate competitions in the year, so there’s a lot of pressure on the one event to attain your goals. We live in Ballito very near the bowl so Ezra’s there most afternoons – it’s his sport of choice!”

The Ballito Pro Skate Jam 2023 Results

Open Men’s Division

1st: Kalvyn MacMillan
2nd: Khule Ngubane
3rd: Damian Bramley

Women’s Division

1st: Janine Louw
2nd: Bexx Sneddon

U16 Boy’s Division

1st: Ezra Vosloo
2nd: Warrick Edgar
3rd: Caleb Ambrose 

2023 Ballito Pro Presented by O’Neill Festival

The globe’s longest-running surfing contest is accompanied by the epic 2023 Ballito Pro Presented by O’Neill Festival! Bringing the best in entertainment, retail, and beachside fun, this year’s festival programme from 27 June to 9 July will be centred on sustainability, inclusivity, and growth, following the theme Konke KuLuhlaza – Everything is Blue. Alongside the surfing, skating, and biking action, visitors can look forward to:

  • Brent Le Riche performing trial biking tricks for the Monster Energy Programme
  • Retail offerings
  • Free beach Yoga and Pilates from 7am to 8am (except Sundays)
  • Daily beach sports, and recreational activities
  • Jive with Jen daily dance lessons, expression sessions, face painting and fun games for children
  • O’Neill Blue Capsule initiative and Women of the Wave activation
  • Bra Golf Day fundraiser
  • Environmental awareness programmes and events
  • Coastal and Cultural Tourism Experience
  • Indoor rowing demonstrations

Don’t miss any of the action at the 2023 Ballito Pro Presented by O’Neill Festival and be part of the change.  #konkekuluhlaza #everythingisblue