Away from the contest site and spotlight, for South Africa's Adin Masencamp, like most other Challenger Series competitors, life as a pro surfer means constant work, travel and training to keep the dream alive.
In his new film, "Ascension," Masencamp takes us to his home in Strand, Western Cape, South Africa, where he came from humble beginnings and discovered the dream of surfing on the Championship Tour.
"It's hard work and a lot of sacrifice. For me, I never came from money. For anything I ever wanted I had to work hard for. It's kept me hungry, it's kept my motivated, it's kept me ultra competitive," Adin shares.
As a South African, the extra distance to and from Challenger Series events plus the exchange rate from Rand to the US dollar means that every heat counts.
Masencamp cut his teeth at Caves, a fast and unpredictable wedge just a few minutes from his house. He explains that this wave formed him into the surfer he is today, a calculated competitor who adapts well in all conditions, from overhead slabs to tiny beach breaks.
Masencamp has been competing on the QS since 2018, and in 2019 he quickly made himself known as Championship Tour material. With a first-place finish at the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing and two 5th place finishes at the Oi Hang Loose Pro Contest and EDP Billabong Pro Ericeira, Masencamp had a promising run, but was unable to put together the results he needed in Hawaii at the end of the season.
"I have been so close before, finishing 38 on the World Qualifying Series, only needing one more Quarterfinal to qualify for the Championship Tour," Masencamp reflects.
Now Masencamp is in Europe for the Challenger Series, with hopes of clawing his way onto the Championship Tour. Finishing 25th at the US Open of Surfing Huntington Beach presented by Shiseido and 49th in the MEO Vissla Pro Ericeira, the fire burns extra hot and he knows what he has to do in France and Haleiwa.
Note: On the Challenger Series, the 96-man and 64-woman fields are made up of Championship Tour surfers, as well as competitors drawn from the seven WSL Regional Qualifying Series around the world. The top 12 men and top 6 women will qualify for the 2022 Championship Tour. For more on the Challenger Series, head here.