Five things to look out for at RVCA Junior Challenge

12 June 2015



Words: Jazz Kuschke | Photos: RVCA South Africa

The popular RVCA Junior Challenge 2015 is set to go down from 13 to 15 June 2015 at Lower Point in Jeffreys Bay and South Africa’s top junior surfers will be eager to show everyone why they should be crowned king of the surf.

Here are five things to watch out for during this three-day surfing celebration:

1. James Ribbink

James won't be defending his U10 Boys title, as he has moved up a division. He will however, be defending his U12 title, as he won both divisions in 2014 (as well as claiming Male Surfer of the Event prize). This year he has also entered the U14 division. Another double on the cards? We don't want to put any undue pressure on the KZN youngster, but we will say this, “If you're U14 and find him in your heat, be afraid, be very afraid.”

2. Cooking waves at Lower Point

Lower Point is arguably one of the most user-friendly and consistent waves in the Eastern Cape. Local QS* campaigner (and favourite in the Pro Junior division) calls it ‘and easy wave’ and ‘the place surfed most around here’. Don’t be fooled though, while often overshadowed by its more famous neighbour, Supertubes, it can produce some serious power. Depending on the sand build-up in the reef (it breaks over a combination bottom), it offers long, right-hand walls punctuated by steep, carvable sections and, on just the right tide, barrels too.

Historically, mid-June is a great time for powerful, early winter south-west swells to come grinding down Jeffreys Bay’s points. Coupled with the predominant south-west offshore winds, the contest is almost guaranteed to have excellent surf.

Defending U20 champ Matt McGillivray

Local Dylan Lightfoot

3. The vibe

Lower Point is a favourite junior contest venue for various reasons. It’s rippable in most conditions, the paddle-out isn’t too hectic and the rocks are of the less-gnarly kind. The place also lends itself to massive crowd support, with a braai area and grass patch to chill out on, and there will be a tent in place for a restaurant and prize-giving. It’s not difficult to create an awesome vibe here.

Spraymate are also sponsoring hundreds of cans of paint for the surfers and their siblings to go wild with in an expression-session paint jam throughout the contest. Always popular, this element of the event makes for a literal splash of colour on the proceedings.

4. Things happening above the lip

It's the way of the world. Have you seen what's happening above the lip in world tour events? That's where the standard is at. Watch the groms (that’s a young surfer) fly – and we're not talking only about the U20 Boys division. Did someone mention James Ribbink?

Ford van Jaarsveld

5. A youngster to win the paddle battle

It’s a race! The aim is to paddle up the beach and sprint back down again. The participant with the fastest combination of paddling and running will win a flight to anywhere in South Africa. It’s an open event, but as in swimming, age is not really a factor – paddling is more about efficiency and power-to-weight. So look for a youngster to claim this title.

Come and enjoy hanging out with the best junior surfers in the country, the groms, the up-and-comers and everyone else who will be at this action-packed, not-to-be-missed event.

More information

For more information on the event, visit

*QS - World Qualifying Series, simply known as the ‘QS’ – a professional world tour where you qualify for the elite world tour (top 44 only).