The Homecoming of Brendon Gibbens - Stab Mag

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Don't call it a resurrection.

The Homecoming of Brendon Gibbens

Rediscovering hometown gems in the company of South Africa’s finest.

cinema // Feb 21, 2024
Words by Pedro Ramos
Reading Time: 2 minutes

If YouTube’s algorithmic recommendations are anything to go by, the chances that robots will take over much of the work done by humans still feel very slim.

During a recent procrastinative incursion to the website, I was offered ‘1995 Xcel Pro Sunset Beach’, ‘Is Anna Wintour The ‘Devil’?’, and ‘Why I Sleep on the Floor: Japanese Futon 4-Year Update’. Aside from a curious look at a fossilized surfing competition, these recommendations did nothing more than confirm suspicions that someone has been stealing my Wi-Fi.

But then, a moment of respite came in the form of a gothic font-decorated thumbnail from a trustworthy channel subscription. ‘Beegus Christ’ is the title of the new short released by the collaborative efforts of Dane Reynolds and his grassroots media house.

Not dissimilar to releases such as ‘Short Circuit’ and ‘Searching for Dillon Perillo’, the piece functions as a mini independent biopic about Brendon Gibbens, one of South Africa’s favourite freesurfing outliers.

A where-are-they-now type phone conversation with Dane deceitfully hints at someone who we may have taken for having fallen off the map. We’re given impression that the stiff Kommetje offshores will quickly wipe off your face, with Beeg displaying some of his best surfing since this, as well as optimal joint health.

“Oh my boerewors!”

In the past year — after securing his US citizenship — Brendles returned home to the Western Cape where he has immersed himself in a talent pool frequently blessed by powerful, Roaring Forties-generated cylinders and ramps. In line with Chapter 11’s M.O. of focusing on community rather than the individual, there are cameos from a local cast including Eli Beukes, Luke Slijpen, Max Elkington, Mikey February, Shane Sykes, and one Jordy Smith.

While you wait for Chapter 11’s “Don’t move back to Costa Mesa” t-shirt drop, press play for hand-drawn teepees, the biggest kerrupt we’ve seen in a minute, how fathers stay hydrated in South Africa, and how to never mispronounce “Beeg” again.

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