December in Ballito is typically a hot and humid situation with summer-slop-surf conditions.
It's not a time that's known for gusty winds, non-stop rain and big, pulsing groundswells.
As bizarre as this might sound, no one was complaining and the Ballito Pro presented by O'Neill QS 5,000 kicked off with guys frothing to hit the 4-5 foot surf that was only improving.
It looked like the more traditional Ballito line-up, with the right-hand point break coming to life and waves running all along the beach.
It's the best surf the event has seen so far this week. Squalls of rain affected visibility for surfers and judges alike. Some competitors even opted to exit the water and run around instead of facing the exhausting paddle back out.
These type of conditions have a way to separate the boys from the men. Rising stars like Daniel Emslie, Ntokozo Maphumulo, Joshe Faulkner and brothers Jake Elkington and Max Elkington weren't afraid to commit to some scary sections.
When you need to step up in situations like this, competitive experience is priceless. The maturity from South Africa's top surfers like Adin Masencamp, Slade Prestwich, Shane Sykes and Dale Staples was unmistakable. These guys know how to preserve their energy, stay patient and get the job done.
Now we head into the business side of the draw and every guy is a worthy competitor, but it's all about who wants the crucial 5000 points the most.
Watch all the action LIVE right here on WorldSurfLeague.com or the WSL App.