Living the Dream

Living the Dream

Surf’s up in Ballito this month as we prepare for the biggest surfing contest in the country, the Ballito Pro by Billabong. We chat to our cover star and top South African surfer, Umhlanga’s Beyrick de Vries, who came fifth at last year’s event. He may be laid back, chilled and easy going, but 25-year-old Beyrick is also a highly regarded sportsman who has become a master of his craft over the past few years.

Originally from Hillcrest, Beyrick fell in love with surfing when his family moved to Umhlanga and he started school at Atholton Primary School. “I met my best friend Devin in Grade 5 and he got me into surfing. I have been addicted ever since.

”Having accumulated a number of surfing accolades over the years, including placing second at a QS6000 event in Mexico, Beyrick says his result at last year’s Ballito Pro is the one he cherishes most. “Being in front of the home crowd and beating one of my idols, Jordy Smith, is by far my favourite contest memory to date.”

Truly ‘living the dream’, Beyrick loves the fact that he is able to travel the world and surf at the same time.

He says that while the waves aren’t always incredible, competing in the World Qualifying Series (WQS) means that he has surfed in countries like France, Spain, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal and Hawaii. “It really is my dream lifestyle. It has also taught me a lot, and I think my biggest life lesson to date has been understanding and adapting to different cultures and trying to fit into the same routine as home while being respectful and not too expectant of the local people.”

When it comes to training, Beyrick says he finds surfing to be the best training of all. “I do like to do super surf-specific routines, rather than dead weights. Being flexible is the most important aspect of training for me.

I use a foam roller to get my muscles in order at the end of every day, which helps keep me supple.

But just surfing two to three times a day has always made the most sense to me when it comes to training.” 

Despite the fact that Beyrick, and surfers in general, are pretty laid-back, competing as a top sportsman can be quite stressful. This is especially true when you are dealing with natural elements like the ocean and the weather. “It’s very important to be focused and present to be able to adapt to anything that comes your way in terms of changing conditions.”

Beyrick says his ultimate career goal would be qualifying for the Championship Tour, but in the meantime, he’s looking forward to hitting the Ballito waves this month.

“Ballito is my favourite event on the calendar, hands down.

The local support last year was something I’ve never experienced. I literally heard the crowd shouting after every turn I did on every wave. The genuine stoke of the people on the beach was indescribable. I can’t wait to get back into the groove this year.”


1. Favourite surf spot?
My favourite spot is definitely the South Coast of Durban. There are so many right-hand point breaks that change constantly due to the movement of sand, so it would be hard to say which exact spot but that region is my happy place for sure.

2. What is something most people don’t know about surfers?
Surfing is one of the only sports where peeing in your pants is acceptable!

3.  If you weren’t surfing, what would you be doing?
I would probably be in a lot more trouble, hahaha. But I think if I weren’t surfing I would be playing another sport for sure. I’ve always been interested in Law, but studying for four years would be impossible for me!

4. Five things you use every day?
Car. Surf board. Foam roller. Kettle. Windguru

5. People you admire or look up to? My father, my mother, Richard Branson, Simon Nicholson, Mick Fanning, Anne-Marie de Vries. The Lord.

Text: Leah Shone | Photograph: Taryn Van Rensburg


Get It Magazine (Ballito/Umhlanga) October 2017

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