Crushing backside 317s, big boosts and perhaps a megaloop KGB above a spitting sea in a 40-knot wind off a beach in Cape Town or Rio or Maui.
That’s halfway to heaven for five-time South African champ, Oswald Smith. “My little escape from everything, my safe haven,” says the 20-year-old Stellenbosch local of his sport, kitesurfing.
On still days he’s stoked with a stroll in the mountains, a skateboard session and spinning gnarly tunes on the decks. “I DJ at all the big events and stuff like that,” he grins. “It gets me amped to ride.”
Smith has blown in at the right time too. In January he helped 414 other riders set the Guinness World Record for “largest parade of kitesurfers” carving it up at once at Big Bay in Cape Town.
The booming kite hub hosted the sport’s most extreme competition just days later, the Red Bull King of the Air. Smith’s big-air best is already a leap of 21 metres.
Kiteboarding magazine forecasts greater heights to come: “Ozzy is the present and future of South African kiteboarding. On home soil he’s almost unbeatable, globally he’s fast becoming a major force.”
His signature move? A tweaked out Shifty 5. Sick!