One of two former Dream Tour surfers on the panel. Paul spent 4 years on the Championship Tour, and his best result came at Teahupo’o, a scaled-up mirror version of Cave Rock, the treacherous reef break back home where the goofyfoot cut his teeth in solid waves before taking his professional act overseas. The heavier the surf, the better Paul performed, making him a great judge for this year’s Striped Horse Challenge.
Although no slouch on a surfboard in his free time, Ettiene Buys joins our list of esteemed judges not on surfing ability alone, but his deep understanding of how to pick apart a ride and score it accordingly. As part of the panel of WSL judges awarding points to the world’s best surfers, Ettiene knows what he is talking about and adds expert knowledge to our collection of judges.
The regular foot from East London is a contest monster, which might explain his nickname ‘Big Foot’. Actually it’s because he has really big feet, but there’s no denying that Greg knows how to put together a solid heat strategy backed-up by some incredible skills on his sled. Big Foot spent 9 years on the Dream Tour, charging at places like Pipeline and Chopes, ensuring that he knows exactly what it takes to blow the judges minds. This time he is on the panel and will be scoring you.
Jonny didn’t earn the nickname ‘The Iceman’ for nothing. His reputation was built on a calm, calculated approach to big waves, earned through an intimate understanding of the ocean from a young age. A master sailor, who was also considered one of the best surfers out at Hawaii’s notorious Sunset Beach in his prime. But it was back home at spots like Outer Kom, Sunset Reef and Dungeons where The Iceman proved his mettle on many occasions, paving the way for the Cape big wave chargers of today.
Alan van Gysen
Another of our judges not renowned for his surfing, but it’s his work behind the lens that has built his reputation. With some of South Africa’s best big wave spots in his backyard, AVG has spent his years documenting every major swell that has walloped SA’s coastline over the past decade and a half, developing an expert understanding of what good surfing in heavy conditions is all about.