8 The Best South African Surfing Players in History

Tom Kershaw

South Africa is home to some of the best surfing players in the world. The country is renowned for its surfing culture and the surfing scene has been growing steadily over the years.

In recent years, South African surfers have made an impact on the international scene and have achieved great success in competitions around the world.

South African surfers have also been recognized for their unique style of surfing and have been featured in many movies and documentaries. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the best surfing players in South Africa and what makes them stand out from the rest.

1. John Whitmore

John Whitmore is a pioneering figure in the sport of surfing in South Africa. His connection to the ocean began early in his life when he worked as a diver for abalone and crayfish. In the late 1950s, John read about surfing in Hawaii and was immediately captivated.

This inspired him to build his own surfboards and pursue the sport of surfing, making him one of the first to do so in South Africa. He is now celebrated as a surf legend, having played a major role in developing the sport of surfing in his country.

2. Shaun Tomson


Shaun Tomson is an accomplished individual who has achieved success in multiple areas. He is a renowned South African professional surfer, having been listed among the top 10 surfers of the century and crowned the 1977 World Surfing Champion.

Beyond his surfing accomplishments, Shaun Tomson is also an active environmentalist, actor, author, and businessman. His activism has brought attention to environmental issues, and he has used his platform to promote sustainability.

As an actor, he has featured in films and television shows, sharing his story with the world. Shaun Tomson has also written several books, delving into his surf career and life lessons he has learned.

He is also a successful businessman, having founded the clothing line Instinct. Shaun Tomson’s accomplishments and influence on the world are remarkable and have set an example for how one person can make a difference.

3. Grant Baker

Grant “Twiggy” Baker is an impressive athlete, conservationist, and entrepreneur. He is a professional South African surfer who has won three world championships in his sport.

Not only is he a successful competitor, but he is also passionate about protecting the ocean and its wildlife. Twiggy’s conservation efforts include working with various organizations to reduce the impact of human activities on the ocean’s ecosystem and advocating for sustainable ocean-based businesses.

He is also actively involved in campaigns to reduce single-use plastic pollution and promote ocean-friendly practices. In addition to his conservation work, Twiggy is also an entrepreneur.

He owns several businesses in the surfing industry, including a surfboard company, a surf school, and a surf lifestyle brand. Twiggy is an exceptional athlete who has accomplished a great deal in his career.

He is an inspiration to many and serves as a role model for those who wish to pursue their dreams and make a positive impact on the world.

His contributions to the surfing community and the ocean environment are invaluable and serve as a testament to his commitment to excellence.

4. Andre Botha

Andre Botha is an impressive example of what is possible when someone is determined to follow their dreams. Born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1981, Andre left schooling at an early age of 15 to pursue his passion of bodyboarding.

His dedication quickly paid off as he became a professional bodyboarder and gained recognition for his talent. Andre achieved a remarkable feat by winning his first world title at the age of 17, and his second at the age of 18.

He won both the World GOB Tour Series and the Pipeline World Championships, marking his place in the world of bodyboarding. His accomplishments show that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible.

5. Christopher Bertish

Chris Bertish is a remarkable person. He is a South African surfer, stand-up paddleboarder, adventurer, and motivational speaker who has achieved great feats in his career.

In 2004, he gained global recognition for his impressive surfing skills when he became the owner of the “Best Cribbar Barrel Vision Ever”. This impressive feat was achieved when he pulled into a large, closeout wave at the legendary big wave spot in Cornwall.

His skills did not stop there, as he went on to win the Mavericks Big Wave Surf Contest in 2009. This accomplishment further established him as a talented surfer and as an inspirational individual. Chris Bertish is an incredible athlete and an inspiring individual.

His achievements serve as a source of motivation for anyone who hopes to achieve great success in whatever pursuit they choose.

6. Bianca Buitendag

Bianca Buitendag is a professional surfer from South Africa and is well known for her athletic achievements. She has been competing in surfing competitions since she was a child and has been recognized for her talent all over the world.

At the 2020 Summer Olympics, Bianca represented her home country and made history by winning a silver medal in the women’s shortboard competition.

This was the first medal of its kind for South Africa in the sport of surfing, and it was a moment that was celebrated by people around the globe.

Bianca’s success not only put South African surfing on the map but also demonstrated her dedication to the sport and her incredible skill. Her medal was a major milestone for the sport and a great accomplishment for Bianca herself.

7. Wendy Botha

Wendy Botha is an accomplished surfer with an impressive record of four world titles. She first made her mark in the sport in 1987 when she won her first championship as a South African citizen.

After moving to Australia, she went on to win three more championships in 1989, 1991 and 1992. Not only was she successful in the sport, she also had the courage to pose nude for the Australian Playboy magazine in the September issue of 1992.

This demonstrates her confidence and fearlessness in both sports and life. Wendy Botha is an inspiration to many and a true champion in every sense of the word.

8. Corran Addison

Corran Descy Addison is a multi-talented athlete who has mastered several sports. He is an expert slalom canoeist, whitewater kayaker, and surfer, as well as a creative surfboard designer.

He currently resides in Montreal, Quebec, where he is able to pursue his passions. Corran Descy Addison has dedicated his life to becoming a world-class athlete. He has achieved international recognition as a slalom canoeist and competes in the sport regularly.

He is also an experienced whitewater kayaker and has been able to explore some of the most beautiful rivers in the world.

In addition to these two sports, Corran is also an avid surfer and has been able to ride some of the biggest waves in the world. Not content with just pursuing his athletic passions, Corran Descy Addison has also become a creative surfboard designer.

He has been able to use his knowledge and experience of surfing to craft boards that are tailored to each individual’s style and needs.

He has also created unique surfboard designs that have been used in competitions around the world. Corran Descy Addison is currently based in Montreal, Quebec, where he is able to take advantage of the city’s excellent outdoor activities.

He can continue to hone his skills as a slalom canoeist, whitewater kayaker, and surfer, as well as pursue his passion for surfboard design. Through his dedication and hard work, Corran Descy Addison is now an accomplished athlete and surfboard designer.


South Africa has some of the best surfing players in the world. The country has produced some of the most talented surfers, such as Jordy Smith, Shaun Tomson, and Peter Mel, who have all made a name for themselves in the sport.

South Africa is also home to some of the world’s best waves and surf spots, making it the perfect place to hone one’s surfing skills.

With the country’s consistent swell and the great surfers it has produced, South Africa is definitely the place to go for the best surfing experience.

Photo of author

Tom Kershaw

As a sports reporter at The Times & The Sunday Times, my passion lies in covering Olympic sports. With years of experience in the field, I have had the privilege of witnessing and reporting on some of the most thrilling moments in sporting history. From the adrenaline-pumping races on the track to the intense battles in the pool, I strive to capture every moment with accuracy and enthusiasm. My goal is to provide readers with comprehensive coverage that goes beyond mere scores and statistics, delving into the stories behind each athlete's journey and showcasing their triumphs and challenges. Having covered multiple Olympic Games, I understand the importance of delivering timely and engaging content that keeps readers informed and entertained. Whether it's a feature article highlighting an underdog's remarkable rise or a live blog capturing the excitement of a nail-biting final, I am committed to delivering top-notch reporting that brings the Olympic experience to life. With my deep knowledge of various Olympic sports, coupled with my strong storytelling skills, I aim to provide readers with a unique perspective on these incredible athletes and their pursuit of greatness. As a sports reporter at The Times & The Sunday Times, I am dedicated to bringing you all the latest news, insights, and memorable moments from the world of Olympic sports.