Shane Sykes Escaped South Africa Just In Time - Stab Mag

Shane Sykes Escaped South Africa Just In Time

But not before positively scoring the joint.

Words by Jack Mutschler

Shane Sykes, a name I can’t seem to get away from. It’s on my IG feed, all over the Stab site, and sneaks its way into my email pretty often. Truthfully, it’s a good problem to have.

Sykes’ clips are always top-notch quality. So much so, I started uploading this file to YouTube before I even watched it. The day Shane Sykes sends us a shitty surf clip will be the day Texas thaws out.

The South African native has been on the go the past few weeks and has recently been taken in by the good ol’ Ventura boys. I shot him a few questions to see how things were going.

Stab: It seems you’ve been doing a lot of traveling; where were these clips shot? 

Shane Sykes: I mean, before getting to the states in Jan, I had not left Sout Africa for 10 months because of Covid. The footage was all filmed in Ballito—my hometown—and Jbay over 2-3 months when the beaches opened back up. I was surfing with a torn meniscus on my right knee, but the waves were too good to leave the whole J-Bay section. After that trip, I got surgery and have only been back in the water for the last two months. 

What are you doing in CA? How’s the Ventura crew?

I was at home at the start of the year, and my friend Eithan Osborne called me and said I should come over because it was firing. Plus, the beaches had just closed in South Africa for the second time and only recently opened. I did everything I could to get here.

The day I arrived in the States, SA closed all travel in and out of the country. I felt so relieved to get out when I did. The Ventura crew is epic. It’s a tight group of legends that all dig hanging out, surfing, drinking a couple of cold ones. I’m grateful that they make me feel so welcome when I come over. 

Also saw you went to Puerto Rico, how was that?

PR is one of my new favorite places to travel for sure. Thanks to Rolando Montes for showing us around such a rad place. We scored for the first week or so and had rippable waves for the rest of the trip. I should have some footage coming soon!

Are you a neck pillow on the airplane kind of guy?


Loved that clip of you surfing J-Bay on a twin fin, you do that often?

Haha, thanks. That was actually my first time riding a fish out there and I will never go to J-Bay without a fish ever again.

Travel with any weird boards in the quiver or strictly business?

I came with strictly business boards for this trip but ended up shaping a board in PR. Rolo helped me shape it in his backyard bay. It’s similar to my shortboards but has a reversed swallow. It surprisingly works pretty well but needs some power behind it.

What’s the weirdest thought you’ve had in a barrel?

I can’t recall any weird thoughts; I obviously haven’t had enough time in the tube to think about anything but making it, haha.

Watch Shane’s latest clip ‘Reach Zaf’ here.


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