Durban – South African Surfing Legends is proud to announce its plans and ideas for the future. With the simple intent of paving the way for our surfers to once again reclaim the rightful place in the international arena, the South African Surfing Legends’ plan is to train and mentor our junior surfers to one day become a major surfing force again.


Shaun Tomson, Graham Hynes, Gavin Varejes and Barry Wolins at the SASL Gala Evening © Dawn Rouse

South African Surfing Legends is a group of past competitive and surfing enthusiasts concerned with the current state of competitive South African surfing results who, rather than sit back and criticise, decided to form an entity (SASL) to develop, nurture and mentor the country’s junior surfers.

The initial impetus for SASL came on the 12 May 2015, when a large group of surfing legends and sporting greats from around the country and around the world met at the Southern Sun Elangeni Hotel for a Gala Evening, and surf memorabilia auction. The Gala Evening was spearheaded by Gavin Varejes, who’s support and backing brought the whole evening, as well as the SASL as a whole, to fruition. To his credit Gavin also founded the South African Rugby Legends Association, on which the South African Surfing Legends is modelled.

Guest of honour and keynote speaker was South African World Champion Shaun Tomson. Shaun won the IPS World Champion crown in 1977, was instrumental in starting and growing Professional Surfing, and has been at the forefront of surfing ever since as a motivational speaker, author, film producer, film star and talented surfer amongst other things.

The auction was a resounding success, as was the entire evening, with VIP guests, surfers, surf industry heads, South African sporting legends and surf and mainstream media in attendance. The highlight of the auction was a replica of Shaun Tomson’s Pink Banana Pipeline Masters winning surfboard, shaped by Spider Murphy, going for R65k to a very stoked Alan Burke.

SASL co-founder and Durban surf photographer Pat Flanagan, elaborates.
“The gala dinner was a major success because it focused our message that SASL is all about growing junior surfing in South Africa,” said Pat. “The funds derived from the dinner will enable us start that process.”

A High Performance Centre (HPC) is the focal point of the SASL’s plans, and it will be set up and managed by Jason Ribbink. This centre will utilize the best facilities and programs available for our junior surfers. These include coaching, fitness training, clinical psychology, dietetics, biokinetics, physiotherapy and other subsidiary services.

“Our goal is to develop a modern, high performance surfing facility for our junior surfers,” said Ribbink. “Surfers who show talent and who stand out above the pack will be invited to attend the academy and go through the training program with us. The facility will not be exclusive however, and other surfers can pay to go through the same training program. We are trying to give our junior surfers the same opportunities as their international counterparts, in a bid to bring them back to the top of international surfing.”

There have been a few misconceptions with regards to the South African Surfing Legends entity. A few facts pertaining to SASL are listed below for clarity.

SASL is not here to bestow legendary status on any past or present surfer. We define a legend as a past competitor or surfing enthusists who wants to give back to our great sport.

SASL is not here to meddle in the politics of the sports governing bodies. but rather to contribute to the competitive development of South African surfing.

SASL is not here to act as a fundraiser for our sports structures, but will assist if we are in a position to do so.

SASL has submitted their application to register South African Surfing Legends as a section 18(a) Non Profit company and their status at present is pending.

SASL acknowledges that as a group they do not know all the answers to competitive surfing but they are passionate, and together with everyone’s support, input and advice, will strive to develop future world champions.

SASL is supported by SA Rugby Legends, Richmark, Firewire, Avis and Maverick Printing.

Zigzag Magazine is the media partner.

SASL will also be supporting the charity organisation Surfers Not Street Children:

SASL has a vibrant Facebook group:

For further SASL info please contact
Pat Flanagan on

Compiled and distributed by

Craig Jarvis