The inaugural Skeleton Bay Shootout presented by Monster Energy took place over three days in late June in non-stop three-to-six foot barrels. The speciality event looks to recognise the standout surfers of the swell at arguably the best wave in the world and the rules are simple – show up and pull in.
“The Skeleton Bay Shootout is a peer-judged event and it’s pretty underground. No-ones really knows when it will happen, it’ll just pop-up depending on the swell and whoever is there is there,” says Eli Beukes, who put in a solid showing on his first trip to the iconic left-hander on the edge of the Namib Desert. “It’s pretty cool because it’s mostly going by word of mouth and whoever has been the surfer of the swell or gets the best barrel will get a bit of a cash prize at the end.”
After three days of pumping waves, Jordy Maree from Cape Town, South Africa, was the unanimous winner of the Wave of the Swell after wrangling a seemingly endless drainer that doubled in size as it chewed and spat for close on a kilometre down the point.
Nadia Erostarbe from the Basque Country set the bar as the Standout Woman after packing a deep double-tube followed by a series of big hacks. Damien Lackey from Walvis Bay, Namibia, was the Local Standout, while Max Elkington from Cape Town, South Africa, was deemed the standout Surfer of the Swell.
“This was essentially a dry-run for the concept,” says event co-founder Will Bendix. “We’re planning a series of Shootouts based on the same idea at some of the most incredible waves around the world in 2024 and looking to bump up the prize money significantly. The prizes are a nice way to recognise who was charging but it’s really not about the money at the end of the day. There’s always so much excitement when waves like this are firing and anybody who gets a good wave out there is a winner. The Shootout is essentially a celebration of that.”
Wave of the Swell NAM$10 000
Surfer of the Swell NAM$10 000
Standout Woman NAM$5 000
Standout Local NAM$5 000