The sun starts setting; there’s a buzz in the air. Throngs of people are gathered on the shoreline, ready for the action.
The commentator welcomes the crowd and introduces everyone to the event, the concept, the riders, the waverunner operators. The ski idles along the shoreline, does a tight little turn in the shallows, and a surfer crouched on his board in the knee deep water, grabs the rope.
The ski driver slowly accelerates, and as soon as the rope is taught, he opens up and goes screaming along the beach, parallel to the shoreline - close enough for the spectators to almost touch.
A wave appears and starts building up as the waverunner races along it, dragging the surfer at incredible speeds straight into it. At the last possible moment the surfer lets go the rope and is flung into the wave at full tilt. He trims along the wave eyeing out his launch spot, maintaining his speed, he ramps off the crest of the wave, projects into the air and is flying on his surfboard meters above the sea as the crowds roar their appreciation.
This is Red Bull Nightshift.
Hosted by 2010 ASP World Runner Up Jordy Smith, Red Bull Nightshift is a night-surfing event like no other. Jordy and friends get towed into waves by a waverunner and is thrown into the night air to execute radical and progressive surfing moves.
Last year, the inaugural Red Bull Nightshift was a hit, seeing 10 000 people come down to Camps Bay beach. This year the event goes to Jordy’s hometown of Durban and the break he learned to rip on, North Beach.
Jordy is pretty stoked to have it in Durban this time around: “It’s going to be bigger and better than last year.”
With Shadowclub and Durban locals City Bowl Mizers there to entertain once the surfing is over, all is set to make sure Red Bull Nightshift in Durban is not an evening anyone soon forgets.
Saturday, 30 June 2012. North Beach, Durban. See you there.