Durbanite Sarah Baum can’t go more than a few days without tearing up her local waves from ‘Toti to North Pier, all for that high “only a surfer knows”. It took a podium finish at her international debut in Australia in 2008 to convince then 14-year-old Baum that she could surf as a career.
She returned to South Africa and dedicated herself to the sport. A naturally aggressive rider, Baum has developed her own progressive style. “I’m always trying to do more futuristic manoeuvres,” she explains. “I like showing the boys we can do all the stuff they can.” Her signature backhand, in particular, has earned her respect on tour. In 2011 Baum entered the top 10 on the world rankings of the Association of Surfing Professionals.
That doesn’t mean she’s forgotten her roots. “The best thing about surfing is just being out there with your best friends and family.”
— Ian Macleod