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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Fri, 2 March 2018

The Rolling Retro is back for its ninth iteration at Llandundo, and the surf forecast is looking kiff for Sunday as a long period swell builds all day, making for more top tube riding.


BARREL RIDER: Ike Forsyth shows how to get barrelled on a retro board. Photo Ian Thurtell

Rolling-Retro-by-Ian-Thurtell-2018-003Pull in to Llandudno near Cape Town to sample a surfboard from the collection of antique boards owned by Robby McDonald of Vudu Surf, and enjoy a day on the beach with family and friends.

The retro surfing party looks set for good conditions, with small building surf early in the morning reaching 4-6’+ by evening in fresh SSE winds.

Expect mild warm weather on the beach with old school music and beach party vibes, including lots of reggae, while gaping offshore barrels crack along the sandbank. Rolling Retro raises funds for the Llandudno Lifesaving Club. Remember to bring cash, as food and bar available.

The biggest attraction is the varied collection of old school surfboards - a big part of South Africa’s surfing heritage – that you can use if you enter. Robby and partner, Kai Linder founded the event to enable friends and other surfers to see, touch and surf these incredible pieces of history.


ON A ROLL: The Rolling Retro has been around for nine years. Photo Ian Thurtell

Each entrant can pick a surfboard from the collection and surf a 30 minute heat with nine others in the water. It’s not a competition, but rather a celebration of surfing and its heritage. There are no judges and no finals. Instead Captain Kai and fellow MC, Ilan Sheer, choose prize winners from the following categories: Surfing; Log Surfing (Ancient Single fin craft); Bodysurfing; Bodyboarding; and Kneeboarding.

The prizes are Best Surfer (Male); Best Surfer (Female); Best grom; Best Bodysurfer; Best Longboarder; Best Tube; Best Dressed (Male & female); and three Instagram winne plus giveaways.

All ages are welcome and some heats see fathers, sons and daughters surfing together - another unique aspect of the event. Once the surfing is done and prizes awarded, the music starts and the day is finished by an old school sunset beach party. This year the theme of the event is the Reggae Revival and sees Reggae MC, Crosby and his Rasta DJ. Thirsts will be quenched by Presenting Sponsor, Striped Horse beer, Red Bull and the party vibe cultivated by local tequila manufacturer, Leonista. Prizes are sponsored by Billabong, Hurricane Surf, Skullcandy, Von Zipper and Vudu Surf. The event is sanctioned by Surfing South Africa


KA-BOOM! Another dredger offloads on the shallow sandbank at Llandudno. Photo Ian Thurtell

“Registration starts at 8am with the first heats in the water at 9am. The day is finished with the annual Pro Heat, showcasing some of SA’s top surfers and a crew of the best local surfers from Llandudno (Around 5pm). This year will include multiple best surfer, Michael Grendon, current SA Champ, Brandon Benjamin, as well as last year’s best surfer, Dale Staples.


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