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Local surfer makes waves around the world

How long have you been surfing? Since I was seven years old.

How long have you been a professional surfer? I’ve been competing in the Pro Junior events around South Africa and the globe from a very young age. But I am now a full-time fixture on the World Qualifying Series (WQS), travelling around the world and competing in elite events open to all ages. So, I have been a full-time professional surfer for two years now.

Where did your love for sport stem from? Well, I have always been a very competitive person; even from a young age, I always wanted to be the best at whatever I did. I think it’s just in my blood to do whatever it takes to win and that is what has got me this far in my surfing career.

What led to you getting a wildcard entry into the Ballito Pro event? At the beginning of the year I went to Australia to compete in the World Surfing League (WSL) Burleigh Heads Pro QS 1 000 and ended up making the final; I eventually placed second. That gave me a huge confidence boost. When I returned to SA, I started working very closely with my trainer Phil Nel, who accompanied me to all these WSL QS events and that is when it all clicked for me. The next leg of QS events took place in SA, where I made five finals, placed second in four events and first in one. All those final appearances put me up to 30th on the world rankings and first on the WSL Africa men’s rankings. With the high world ranking and as the WSL Africa men’s champion I was granted a wildcard spot into the Ballito Pro QS 10 000.

Tell us more about your performance at the Ballito Pro. It was amazing to get the opportunity to surf in a Prime QS 10 000 event for my first time, with a very vocal SA crowd cheering after each wave – it was incredible. I had a great first heat and advanced to the next round ahead of the top seeds. The next day they called the contest off just before my heat paddled out, as the waves had deteriorated tremendously. I was scheduled to surf my second round heat first the next morning. It was a very slow match-up, with only two sets of waves the whole heat, so I ended up falling out in that round. However, it was a great experience and learning curve to be in a Prime QS 10 000 event. As a result of my current high ranking, I will make the mid-year cut-off and spend the rest of the year surfing Prime QS 10 000 events in Portugal, Brazil and Hawaii.

What has been your top-four highlights of your surfing career since turning professional? Making my first ever QS final at the 2018 Burleigh Heads Pro in Australia, among a very tough field of competitors in excellent waves; winning the 2018 Durban Surf Pro QS 1 000, where my trainer played an instrumental role in helping me to an emotional win; surfing in my first QS 10 000 at the Ballito Pro; and, of course, all the finals I have made this year.

To what would you attribute your success?My mom and dad have always supported me in everything I do. My trainer Phil Nel has also done so much for me over the years. Also, a huge part of my success has been Billabong’s support over the years. I want to say a huge “thank you” to everyone who has supported and believed in the dream I had – there are too many names to mention, but I want to thank you guys!

Are there any upcoming events or competitions that you are preparing for? I have a huge second half of the year coming up, so I have been training tons and getting my mind ready the past couple of months. In two weeks’ time I will be leaving for France, Spain, Morocco, Japan and Portugal for QS events over two months. Then I’m off to Brazil and Hawaii at the end of the year.

What’s next for Adin Masencamp? I’m going to keep doing what I am doing, work hard toward my goal to get onto the WSL Championship Tour in the next few years and, hopefully, through all my travels and successes get more financial support.

Any advice you would like to share with young surfers? Surf longer and harder than your competitors. Train harder in the gym and visualise you winning the next contests which you will compete in. The more work you put in, the better your results will be – just like anything in this world. And, of course, keep it fun!

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