J-Bay Open

Steven Sawyer Nabs J-Bay Wildcard with Upset Trials Win

Photo: Alan van Gysen Sawyer was the only goofyfooter in the four-man Final. Photo: Alan van Gysen. - WSL

Steven Sawyer, the 22-year-old goofy footer from Jeffreys Bay, was the surprise winner of the JBU Supertrials presented by RVCA. Surfing against three very talented natural-footers in perfect 4-to-6-foot waves at Supertubes, Steven was trailing in second place before he snuck into the lead against WQS campaigner Dale Staples.

The final was loaded, with Staples the in-form surfer of the event, Sean Holmes the perennial dangerman, and Dylan Lightfoot, the 2014 winner, frothing for another win.

Photo: Van Gysen All smiles. Photo: Van Gysen - WSL

Steven was probably the most surprised when he heard that he had won the event and the wildcard for the J-Bay Open Championship Tour event.

WSL: Well done. How does it feel?
Sawyer: Oh man, this is one of the best things that has happened to me in, well, forever. I just won the South African Longboarding Championships this year, and this is my next contest straight after that. This is probably my biggest win. I am so stoked to be in the CT event. I've wanted to surf it ever since I was a little kid. I'm so overwhelmed right now.

Trials winner in J-Bay. Photo: Van Gysen Sawyer is looking forward to showcasing his backhand attack on the big stage. Photo: Van Gysen. - WSL

Tell us about the final. Some stiff competition.
Sawyer: The heat was kind of slow, not too many waves coming through. Supers is well known for its long lulls. I got two average scores; I didn't win the Final with two nine-point rides you know. I snuck through there but I guess that's all you've got to do -- get the job done. I'm still super surprised that I did it.

And as the only goofy-footer in the final.
Sawyer: Wow. Stoked to be representing for the backhanders.

Photo: Alan van Gysen Sawyer is the South African Longboard Champion, and a champion of versatile approaches. Photo: Van Gysen. - WSL

What's your plan for the J-Bay Open?
Sawyer: I want to surf against Wilko (Matt Wilkinson). Everyone says Wilko-J-Bay, Wilko-J-Bay, and I'm not saying I wanna kick his ass but I kinda do. Bring it on.

Everyone says Wilko-J-Bay, Wilko-J-Bay, and I'm not saying I wanna kick his ass but I kinda do. Bring it on.

Anything else?
Sawyer: It's being an amazing event. Incredible. I'd like to thank the J-Bay locals for holding this event for us. Very cool of them to do this. Also like to thank my dad for my boards -- we've been working on my boards together -- and my family for keeping me strong going into this contest. I'd also like to thank the Lord for guiding me. I put all my trust in the ocean, I was simply relying on the ocean to bring me the waves, and it just happened, bru. It just happened.

Photo: Alan van Gysen Sawyer's come-from-behind win was especially sweet. - WSL

...and by the way, Steven "Steezy" Sawyer is a talented musician and singer with an album out called Summer Daze. Check this out.