SOUTH African surfing sensation Jordy Smith will soon return home to further fortify his stature on the South African leg of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour, starting at the Mr Price Pro Ballito from June 30 until July 6.
Marking the crucial half- way mark on both the ASP Qualifying Series and ASP World Tour, the world’s best surfers will flock to South Africa for the back-to-back ASP Prime rated Mr Price Pro Ballito, followed by the newly reinstated stop on the elite ASP World Tour, the J-Bay Open from July 10 to 21.
One of the most dominant athletes on home soil over the past five years, Smith thrives on performing in front of a home crowd, clinching victory at the Mr Price Pro Ballito in 2010 followed by a runner-up finish in 2013 – not to mention back-to-back victories in J-Bay in 2010 and 2011.
“There is always something special about competing at home,” Smith said from a less familiar Tahiti this week. “It’s mainly being familiar with the waves and having the support of family and friends.”
A standout performer in every kind of surf, Smith is looking forward to what Ballito will serve up this year.
“When it’s on, it’s a world- class wave,” he said.
Earning a total of nine heat wins on the World Tour this season Smith, currently ranked 11th in the world, has produced a mix of results and is looking to the Mr Price Pro Ballito as preparation for the J-Bay Open.
“I find surfing Primes a great opportunity to fine-tune my surfing, especially in the lead-up to a World Tour Event. It’s sometimes easier to stay focused when you surf every day – too many lay days in a row can be the biggest distraction.”
With a second-place finish to Julian Wilson in one of the most exciting finals in Mr Price Pro history last year, the competitive beast in Smith will settle for nothing less than one better this time.
“I’m really looking forward to trying to bring the trophy back to South Africa,” Smith said. “I love nothing more than winning in front of the home crowd and winning in Ballito would be the ultimate preparation for J-Bay. I want to win three in a row!”