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This is a labour of love. This is The Pit™ - a South African bodyboarding group, blog and ‘zine, with the sole intention of sharing the work of local photographers and videographers who spend their time documenting local riders. So, here’s a little taste of what’s going down along the South African coastline and a look at some pumping pits. In this 1st edition; we grab a few words with Plett grom, Niklas Martin, and see what he has to say, share some photos of recent sessions along the coast, and catch up with Durban bodyboarder, Sean “Ballie” Muller. If you’re amped to get involved - get in touch. You can also send your photo submissions through and I’ll keep you posted. The Pit™ is a bodyboarding community based project that would not exist without you - one love.

Underground bodyboarding culture. Aweh. I hope you enjoy the 1st Edition, catch you in the water!

The Pit™

Graham Wiles

PHOTO: Lavanya Naidoo








PHOTO: Willem Theron

Nik Martin

is a 17-year-old bodyboarder from Plettenberg Bay. Putting in the hours on the water, here are a few quick words: Focus, along with a whole lot of determination & passion; that is what makes me who I am today. My everyday activities revolve around bodyboarding and I do everything I can to be in the ocean as long as I can, as often as I can. I live in a small house on top of a hill that overlooks the wild waves of Keurboomstrand. My parents are extremely supportive of my bodyboarding lifestyle and allow me to travel for both competitive and free-surf sessions. My brother, Leon, also bodyboards and I really enjoy surfing with him and the rest of the Wedge Crew at spots all over Plett. We always push each other to ride on the next level, which has undoubtedly upped my game.

DK or Prone: 99% Prone

Local Spots: Plett Wedge, The Wreck, Lookout & Natures Valley

Music you wish your friends were listening to: The soundtrack from “The Art of Flight”- by far the best snowboarding movie I’ve seen.

Favourite local & international bodyboarder: My favourite South African bodyboarder is without a doubt, Jared Houston, whilst my favourite ...

international bodyboarder is Mitch Rawlins. Both are smooth and stylish riders, setting the standard I want to reach!

When the surfs flat: I hang out with my family and friends, do my schoolwork, skate or earn some bucks at the local surf school.

I love bodyboarding because: The ocean is my element, and bodyboarding allows me to be at one with it.

School / 9 - 5: Oakhill College, Knysna.

Goals: Do well on the SABA Tour 2012, get Springbok Colours, travel overseas and make a name for myself internationally.

Clubs: We have no clubs in Plett, but The Wedge Crew always hangs out together.

Aweh: Thanks to The Pit, my friends & family for their constant support, & my sponsors, ZION South Africa & Mexican Surfwear, for keeping me warm!

PHOTO: Willem Theron

PHOTO: Pierre Marqua

PHOTO: Pierre Marqua

RIDER: Niklas Martin

PHOTO: Bryan Paynter

RIDER: Andy Green

PHOTO: Graham Wiles

RIDER: Clayton Harris

PHOTO: Claire Butler

RIDER: Unknown

PHOTO: Tyler Walker

PHOTO: Adam Waites

RIDER: Alex Chang

RIDER: Graham Wiles

PHOTO: Duncan Harris

RIDER: Bryan Paynter

PHOTO: Graham Wiles

RIDER: Ryan Collins


17/04/12 14:04 - LLANDUDNO


PHOTO: Chris Clarke

RIDER: Simon Williamson

PHOTO: Frans Lombard

RIDER: Mafoos Lombard

PHOTO: Claire Butler

RIDER: Unknown

PHOTO: Graham Wiles

PHOTO: Louis van Rooyen

RIDER: Greg Fraser

RIDER: Warren Van Der Merwe

PHOTO: Errol Wiles

PHOTO: Daniel Grebe

RIDER: Chris Green


PHOTO: Simon Heale

RIDER: Bas Koopmans

PHOTO: Bryan Paynter

RIDER: Chris Green

PHOTO: Daniel Grebe

RIDER: Brendon van Wyk

PHOTO: Chris Van Lennep / Action Beyond Bodyboarding Magazine, USA, JAN 1990


started Bodyboarding in 1982 at the age of 12, before bottom slicks, channels & bicep leashes were even invented, back in the day when bodyboarders still rode with twin skeggs and foot leashes. He started competing for North Swell Bodyboard Club when he was 13 and competed in the first ever official SA Champs in 1987, placing 2nd. Having ridden for Team Morey from 1988 until 1992, Sean was chosen to represent SA in Hawaii at the Bodyboarding World Champs in 1992, but got a dame pregnant on a surf trip to East London and got left behind. He won the AAA rated Lazer 2 Classic in 1990 and made the final of almost every major bodyboarding event in SA between 1987 – 1992. Sean then took a break from competitive bodyboarding and focused on free surfing, trying to look good in a suit, and feeding the new family. He got married 5 years ago for the first time and now has 3 kids, age 20, 19 and 5, all from different moms. “It’s complicated,” he says, but still bodyboards a few times a week. Currently riding for Warner Beach Bodyboarding Club, he also made this year’s CKZN team in the Bullets Division. Sean is a partner in a technology company and shareholder in Maniac Bodyboarding Accessories, a new South African brand of accessories, soon to be launched in SA.

Years in the water: 30-ish

Favourite local & International break: Cave Rock & Madagascar - No crowds.


Favourite Up-and-Coming Local Bodyboarders: Storm Prestwich, Stephen Du Preez and Dylan van Tonder on the knee.

When the surfs flat: I spend time with my beautiful wife, 3 kids and work on developing new Maniac Bodyboarding Accessories.

I love bodyboarding because: It’s as much a part of my life as breathing.

9 - 5: Try squeeze in an early morning wave, send very important e-mails, do lots of very important things, meet very important people, get home between 6 - 8pm, spend some time with the family, then work on Maniac ‘til 11ish, and ZzZzZz ...

Goals for 2012: Nurse my back through one last SA Champs and get Maniac going so that I can put back into SA Bodyboarding.

Aweh: BIG UPS to all the South African bodyboarding brands and everyone that puts anything back into the sport, local guys behind the lens, Chris Clarke and Bryan Paynter, as well as Mike Van H and Geordie, the only bodyboarders older than me that I still see in the water.

PHOTO: Lorraine Muller

PHOTO: Chris Van Lennep / Action Beyond - Bodyboarding Magazine, USA, AUG 1991

PHOTO: Lorraine Muller

RIDER: Sean Muller

PHOTO: Simon Heale

The Pit - 1st Edition  

The 1st Edition of The Pit, South African bodyboarding 'zine.