Another successful Ballito Pro Presented by O’Neill Festival wraps up!

Thousands of visitors flocked to the warmest winter venue, KwaDukuza, from 25 June to 8 July to enjoy the longest-running professional surfing event and its non-stop festival entertainment. Hosted for the 15th year on the KZN North Coast, the 55th Ballito Pro Presented by O’Neill, themed This is the Battlefield – Lena Inkundla Yempi, was deemed another success with sports, family-friendly events, and after-dark parties catering for all tastes.

“I’d like to extend a massive congratulations to all the competitors this year and a special thanks to the many sponsors who contributed to The Ballito Pro’s success, and our incredible hosts, KwaDukuza for making this all possible,” said Collette Bundy, The Ballito Pro Presented by O’Neill Festival Organiser. “This is the 55th year of the event which continues to grow every year, bringing more activations and features that support community inclusiveness and a celebration of our ocean. We encouraged anyone who missed out this year to follow ‘The Ballito Pro’ on social media for the 2025 edition!”


Sports action at The Ballito Pro

While the Challenger Series surfing action is central to The Ballito Pro, the festival’s sporting action has expanded with the likes of the Monster Energy Activation’s top BMX performers impressing the crowd! This year also saw the 4th edition of the Ballito Skate Jam presented by Monster Energy & Volcom taking place at the Ballito Bowl on 29 June, with Durban’s legendary skater, Khule Ngubane (30) taking home the Open’s and Best Trick titles for the day, while Ballito’s Ezra Vosloo won the Groms Division. Finishing off in style, brothers Matthew and Joshua Fenn took home the title at the Engen Ballito Downwind surfski race which ran from Blythedale to Tiffany beaches on 7 July. Local contenders, Hank and Pippa McGregor were crowned Mixed Doubles winners, while Saskia Hockly and Christie Mackenzie won the Ladies Division.


Music at The Ballito Pro

It was non-stop musical entertainment at the 55th edition of The Ballito Pro with the Corona Sunset Beach Bar Sessions running from 26 June to 7 July at the Willard Beach Retail section where the best in local DJ talent were performing. The fun continued at The Ballito Pro After Dark Programmes at Conchilla and Good Vibes. Local talent was on display when KwaDukuza Municipality organised the Battle of the DJs audition at KwaDukuza Town Hall on 2 July. The winning DJ, Blaq Muntu from Darnall, then got to perform on the main stage at the free-to-attend Ballito Pro Music Concerts Presented by Corona which ran on 4 and 5 July at Salt Rock Main Beach. Here visitors got to enjoy the likes of DJ Merlon, Stanky Deejay, December Streets, Desmond & the Tutus, Veranda Panda, the Saxby Twins, and TIMO ODV.

Festival-goers immersed themselves in the finest electronic dance music and outdoor lifestyle activities, offering a perfect escape to unwind, relax, disconnect from daily routines, and reconnect with their essential selves in nature. South Africa’s top musicians and DJs performed against a stunning sunset backdrop, leaving a lasting impression on visitors.


Community initiatives at The Ballito Pro

The event is committed to community upliftment, social responsibility, and environmental sustainability as was evidenced by the festival programme. This included The Ilembe Surf Riders Fundraiser on 2 July at Fiamma Grill, where surf equipment and memorabilia were auctioned, a raffle held, and an autograph signing session with O’Neill Pro Team Surfers raised much-needed funds to develop the future of surfing in the Ilembe District. Forming part of the evening was the Made for More presentation where the KZN-based NPO showcased the work it does equipping and empowering people with disabilities through sport.

This year saw the introduction of The Ballito Pro art activation run by KZN NPO Painting on Purpose in partnership with the KwaDukuza Municipality Youth and Sports Development Unit, the KZN Department of Education, and O’Neill. The art competition welcomed art contributions from 19 KwaDukuza high schools with the top 10 contestants participating in a Lino Cut workshop on 15 June hosted by Painting on Purpose. The artists had to create something based on the Ballito Pro’s 2024 theme #Thisisthebattlefield #LenaInkudlaYempi, all of which are on display and for sale at The Gallery at The Junction, with 100% of the profits going towards the artists. The top three artists – Danita Pharo from Stanger Manor Secondary School (1st place), Yashvir Chabalalsingh (2nd place), and Hazel Ruth Ramdass (3rd place) – participated in an interactive mural at the Ballito Pro, assisting the Painting on Purpose team. Prizes for the three top contestants include work internships, a mural at their respective schools, as well as many more goodies donated by the Ballito Pro event partners.


Conservation Initiatives at The Ballito Pro

The Ballito Pro welcomed back the local Litter4Tokens Recycling Awareness Campaign and Beach Activation which encourages ocean conservation while supporting livelihoods. Litter4tokens collectors and volunteers worked throughout the two-week event to prevent ocean-bound and landfill waste while educating visitors about their work. Funded by the President’s Stimulus Fund and Brownie Points, Litter4Tokens employed 15 staff to collect and separate waste at the source, making the WSL Ballito Pro the first event to quantify its environmental impact with all data logged on the Litter4Tokens app, verified by recycling partners, and tracked.

Branded bins encouraged proper waste separation with environmental care provided by Dolphin Coast Waste Management, Ballito UIP and KwaDukuza Municipality. There were also engaging activities and prizes for participants in the National Nurdle Cleanup with volunteers collecting tiny plastic balls – Mermaid Tears used in plastic manufacturing. Prizes included lifesaver water bottles capable of removing 99.9% of all known bacteria and viruses, a surfboard worth R7 200 made from bio-resin and natural fibres, and additional prizes sponsored by Fiamma Grill, Concha Cafe, and Coco de Mer. The activation set a new standard for WSL events, hopefully inspiring future WSL events to adopt similar practices.

Litter4Tokens Impact:

Total Recycling Collected: 694 bags

Materials Collected: Glass, cardboard, plastics (types 1-5)

Total Weight Repurposed: 1157.18 kg

Total Waste to Landfill: 472 kg (including Styrofoam and food waste)

Nurdles Collected: 3.56 kg


Daily Entertainment at The Ballito Pro

Willard Beach was a hive of activity as families were kept engaged with the Recreational Actionthat included fashion shows, beach sports, dance, yoga, nduku (stick fighting) demonstrations and environmental displays. The little ones enjoyed the Willard Beach Kids’ Corner which consisted of daily face painting, sandcastle building, beach dashes, water balls, and the popular Jive with Jen dance programme. Those looking for great food, drinks, arts, and crafts, as well as live entertainment found what they wanted in the daily Retail Delight hosted throughout The Ballito Pro.


Don’t miss out!

The Ballito Pro will return to KwaDukuza in the winter of 2025, so don’t be caught out! Keep updated by visiting or follow on the various social media platforms:






Snapchat: Username – TheBallitoPro


WatchThe Challenger Series on, the free WSL app, and the WSL’s YouTube channel. Also, check out more ways to watch from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

Image Credit: © WSL/McGregor