Sunday, June 24, 2018 – Indonesian Rio Waida won the men’s JQS of the 21st edition of the Billabong Junior Series Ballito Ballito pres. by BOS on Sunday 24 June, overcoming local favorite and event top seed, Luke Slijpen in the final of the event that kicked off the 10-day Ballito Pro Surf Festival.
Waida made the most of the shifty, onshore conditions at Willard Beach, flowing effortlessly from section to section and surfing with visibly more speed than most of his competitors. He posted an early 6.00 to take the lead in the Final and put the pressure on Slijpen.
Slijpen – who claimed the JQS title at the Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres by Hurley earlier in the week – is never one to back down however and kept busy, hunting for scores. He was unable to post anything more than an average score (4.0 – 5.9) and with 10 minutes remaining, Waida put the final nail in the coffin by dropping an excellent 9.25, the highest single wave score of the entire event, to leave Slijpen needing a perfect 10 to take the lead. That is how the situation stayed until the buzzer went.