BALLITO, KwaDukuza/South Africa (Tuesday, June 28, 2011) – In the midst of high performance surfing, a live webcast, innovations in surfboard design, live TV broadcasts and everything associated with a modern day professional surf contest, this year’s a R1.7 Million Mr Price Pro Ballito will honor surfing’s heritage in a Legends Exhibition scheduled for the weekend of July 9 and 10, 2011.
Whisking surf fans back in time to an era when single fin surfboards ruled the day, five of the original six 1972 Springbok surfers will show off their wave riding skills on boards shaped by South Africa’s top 1970’s shapers Spider Murphy and Mike Larmont.
In what promises to be a thrilling look back into South African surfing history, six times Gunston 500 winner and 1977 world surfing champion Shaun Tomson, first Gunston 500 winner (1969) Gavin Rudolph and the youngest surfer (15) to be selected for the Springbok team Ant Brodowich will take to the Ballito waves riding Safari replica surfboards shaped by Durbanite Spider Murphy.
Former Springboks Jonathan Paarman (The Ice Man), Bruce Jackson and Mike Larmont will put on their best performances on classic Lightening Bolt surfboards shaped by Larmont.
“In the 1970’s we had all the top surfers riding our boards,” Larmont said. “It was a highly competitive as well as incredibly innovative period so what we have tried to create is a snapshot of the best surfers in the 70’s riding boards very similar to that time period.”
With nearly five decades of wave riding experience behind them, these six South African surfing icons will unleash some of the influential surfing maneuvers that shaped modern surfing today.
“I’m looking forward to connecting with my old rivals and sharing some waves,” Tomson said. “I’m not sure how much competitive fire we all have left but if the surf is firing you just never know what memories of our youth might bubble to the surface!”
For those inspired by the Legend’s Exhibition, this year’s Mr Price Pro Beach Festival will feature the screening of Tomson’s 2008 release ‘Bustin’ Down the Door’ on July 7 at Willard Beach. The documentary won 2008 Surfer Poll’s Movie of the Year award, chronicling a crucial turning point in professional surfing’s history.
A Legends cabin will be on display in the Mr Price Pro Beach Festival area throughout the event, featuring the single fins of the 70’s combined with modern surfboards and other Gunston memorabilia.
The Mr Price Pro Ballito 2011 will include an action packed Beach Festival running in conjunction with the main event. Beach entertainment, extreme sports, dedicated children’s programmes and a lifestyle and retail area, provide plenty of daytime fun. The ever-popular Mr Price Pro Music concerts will take place on the evening of 8 and 9 July at no cost to festivalgoer’s starting at 4.30pm on both nights.