The Ballito Pro pres. by O'Neill is rightly hailed as the last warm-up before J-Bay, no wonder Durban's own Jordy Smith has been putting in the work over the past decade. Two wins, a runner-up, a third, a fifth and a ninth, his track record on home turf could even count one more big result when the dust settles later this week.
Here's a look at Jordy's past antics in Ballito.
2010: Year One
The first year Jordy entered the newly moved event in Ballito (it was previously held in nearby Durban), he claimed his first win and became only the third South African surfer to win this event after Shaun Tomson and Ricky Basnett.
Bear in mind this was the South African's third and best-ever (at the time) season on the CT. Jordy went on to win his first-ever Championship Tour event the following week at J-Bay and dominated the rest of the year to finish runner-up in the World Title race behind Kelly Slater .
2011: Defending the title
Jordy returns to defend his title and waves absolutely pump all week (see above cover picture). The likes John John Florence, Julian Wilson, Kieren Perrow are in the draw but eventually Patrick Gudauskas claims the title. Jordy finishes equal third, eliminated by the future winner in their semifinal clash. Check out highlights from an epic 2011 Mr Price Pro Ballito:
2012: Business as Usual
Jordy reaches finals day but in the Quarters Nat Young is too strong on his backhand and the South African has to settle for an equal fifth. You can already sense a Jordy x Ballito love story in the making and the following interview just goes to prove how much the place counts for him.
2013: Back to the Top! (Almost)
Waves pump again and Jordy makes it all the way to the Final, but Julian Wilson drops a perfect 10 point ride and the hurdle is a bit too large to overcome despite an impressive 16.70 final heat total.
2014 & 2015: Years to Forget
2014 was just another season for Jordy who collected a win on the CT at Trestles and a couple of other good results on his way to a World No. 7 finish. 2015 on the other hand was a nightmare as a first major injury came to derail his career goals, taking him away from the tour for most of the season. Ballito was no exception and his results were let's just say it, bad.
2016: Back to 100%
The time off in 2015 to fix a heel, knee and back injury put everything back into focus for Jordy and he came back re-energized to the tour early in 2016. After a slip-up on the Goldie, Smith finds his groove again and goes on a tear, claims a 9th in Ballito and 5th at J-Bay on his way to another runner-up in the World behind Florence this time.
2017: Title No. 2
Multiple new stories emerged of an exciting edition of the Ballito Pro: the rise of Mikey Wright and Mikey February, both showing signs of brilliance on their way to making the tour in 2018, but nothing compares to the excitement building throughout the week as Jordy keeps piling scores and making heats.
Smith finds the perfect formula once again in Ballito, a mixture of airs, barrels and power displays to lift his second Ballito Pro trophy after an exciting final bout vs. Willian Cardoso.
2018: Let's Not Even Mention 2018
2019: This Chapter is Yet to Be Written
So far so good, Jordy's been showing no signs of slowing down. Two heat wins, two solid totals of 14.50 and 16.07, even scoring the event's highest single score so far with a 9.57 for a four-turn combo in the windy peaks of today. Let's see how much more Jordy has in the tank as we head into finals weekend and waves are predicted to pump once again!
Follow Jordy's 11th run for the prestigious Ballito title from July 1-7, 2019 and check out all the photos, videos, LIVE webcast and updates right here on worldsurfleague.com!