Travis Logie, Davey Weare and Greg Emslie charge on the WCT dream tour. Mavericks champion Twiggy Baker sits alone atop the world of big wave riding. On the ladies side, Heather Clarke is firmly entrenched in the women's WCT again. South Africa is a growing force in the competitive surf scene. The future looks good for South African surfers — the brus are brewing.
But what is next? Where is the next big South African push to come from?
The recent SURFER Magazine "Hot 100" rated Ricky Basnett from Cave Rock, South Africa at #32. Just before the "Hot 100" was released, Basnett placed a credible second at the four-star Margaret River Pro WQS, just behind Occy. Many believe that he should have won the event. Jake "Snake" Patterson collided with Occy in the final, which many felt should have been a double interference, but only Snake received consequences, and Occy went on to win. Had Occy been penalized as well, Ricky Basnett would own the Margaret River Pro title.
Nevertheless, Basnett shot up to number two on the WQS ratings, and at the time of going to press Basnett sits at third in the 'QS ratings behind Gabe Kling and Jarred Howse.
2006 Margaret River Pro
Surfermag.com: You always seem to do well at Margaret River. How well did you do last year? What do you think this is all about? Do you feel comfortable there?
Ricky Basnett: Well……actually last year wasn't a very good one at Margarets. I actually only made it through one heat. The waves got really bad for the second heat so I can blame it on that… (laughs). But yeah, I like it there and usually do pretty good there. I feel pretty comfortable with those kind of waves. I like the solid stuff.
Surfermag.com: You're sitting in third on the 'QS. Is this going to be your year to make the 'CT and join your mates in the ever-increasing South African WCT posse?
Ricky Basnett: Definitely! This is my year. I am so amped to make the 'CT. I'm going to give it my all. I want to join those guys there!
Surfermag.com: What happened with that interference in the final at Margaret River? Everyone said that it should have been a double and that you should have won the event. Did you see it? What did you think?
Ricky Basnett: (laughs). That was a pretty crazy finish to the final. I actually didn't see it 'coz I was behind the wave, but everyone said it should’ve been a double. I wish it was, damn it, but them's the breaks.
Surfermag.com: You’re renowned for big airs as well as winning contests. Are you busting in 'QS heats yet, or are you playing it a bit more safe?
Ricky Basnett: I usually try to go as hard as I can. No holding back. It's what gets the scores, so it's what I’ll try do.
Surfermag.com: What is your favourite wave in the world?
Ricky Basnett: Fave wave is probably the surf right in front of my house. (Ricky lives on The Bluff. That's Cave Rock territory.) I get everything I need there, and it's uncrowded. I couldn't ask for much more.
Surfermag.com: We hear you've got a thing for cars. What's that all about? What car do you drive?
Ricky Basnett: I love cars. I drive a '72 Ford Fairmont GT. It's pretty cool.
Surfermag.com: What's the best thing in surfing for Ricky Basnett today?
Ricky Basnett: The best thing right now is being able to go out surfing with friends and having a really good time in the water. It's the reason to surf. I love it.
Surfermag.com: What's the worst thing? The thing that grinds you the most, in surfing today?
Ricky Basnett: The worst thing must be the crazy crowds at the 'QS events. It sucks.
Surfermag.com: Thanks for your time Ricky. Keep it up on the tour and we'll hopefully see you on the 'CT next year.
Ricky Basnett: Thanks. It's my plan.