What a week. Shew. A blow-your-mind smorgasbord of all things surf. JBay turned on for the Corona Open, with a heady mix of insane surfing, sheer craziness and random happenings. Best ever comp wave surfed? The King gets konged. Toothy locals. Nutso boat drivers. It just kept coming. And once the dust settled...Toledo took the win.
Plenty of waves in the bay as well during the week - and hardly anyone in the water as all the ou's were out at JBay. Were some wind issues on a few of the days, but generally a good size and plenty of rides. Just that you needed quads like Bruce Campbell's on a few of the sesh's. Bumpidy bumpidy bump. Hands up for who hates a howling straight west....
Things did calm down towards the end of the week and some cleaner surfs could be had.
Those who traveled further west than the comp site got rewarded with some lil nuggets too.
But in actual fact you didn't need to test the petrol card at all this week - staying right in the bay scored you plenty to fill the tanks. Jakes scoring a drainer at Clubhouse (video by Chris Taljaard)
Some PE locals also scoring a bit further afield. Body boarder Jot de Lauwere found an awesome left and right wedge tucked away in a remote corner of Indo. Am guessing you wouldn't be able to wipe the smile off his face for days...
Still so much sea life out there at the moment. Great to see. Dolphins been cruising by regularly. Always wanna see that second fin pop up when you catch the first one out the corner of your eye as you sitting out in the line-up, cos spotting two usually means shew, it's just some dolphins. Versus if you just see that one - well, it makes you start wondering....
One of the places you can definitely feel a bit more part of the food chain compared to inside the bay on the wildside. Not called the wildside for nothing - has claimed plenty of ships in it's time.
Sadly the bay claimed a life this week, with a Transkei student still missing and assumed dead, after a group of swimmers got into trouble and ripped out to sea whilst at Hobie on one of the bigger days of the week. Thankfully retired lifeguard Peter Brits managed to rescue two of them. Rescue services were down at the beach really quickly, and there were jetski's, rubber ducks, rescue swimmers and a chopper trying to find the missing guy. Unfortunately without any luck.
The beachfront is still struggling with crime issues. On the weekend the car guard at Something Good was bliksemed properly whilst skelms broke into a tourists car who had just come from the airport - all their stuff stolen from the vehicle. Maybe we need a car guard like this - spotted at a parking lot in CT.
The Corona Open wasn't the only comp happening. Shot to all those that organised the inaugural JBay Logger's Classic. Well done to local club Loggers Union for winning the Turtle Morris Memorial Trophy for the interclub comp.
Men's Amateur winner: Greg Smith
Ladie's winner: Rachel Tilly
Men's Pro winner: Ludi Du Toit
Women's Noserider Of The Contest: Lucy Small
Men's Noserider Of The Contest: Mike Grendon
Logging is all about vintage. And you don't get much more vintage than the old roadhouse that used to be at the Red Windmill. Besides having great burgersm awesome toasties and ice creams to die for, it was also well know for it's somewhat ambiguous "Flick your Lights for service" lighting which had the "L" and the "I" of the word "flick" close enough to create doubt. as to whether it was "flick" or "F*ck"
In among all the action of the week there was still time for the usual array of awesome sunsets and sunrises.
Back to earth with a bump for everyone this week - comp's over, the world's best make their way home, swell's over, and holidays are over. Life returns to normal.
Some waves around, even some very good waves. Some wind, some rain, some cold. Hello winter! Also hello to the Corona JBay Open, which kicked off during the week.
Koffie and the guys have done an amazing job of constructing what must surely be one of the best WSL venues on the tour. It's like watching surfing in the Super Bowl. Word on the beach from the guys on tour is that it's by far and away the best looking contest site on tour. #localislekker!
Having the whole pro circus in town means you get to share the line-up with the best in the world. Here's Jordy feeling privileged to be surfing with Big Dave.
The comp started with probably 2 of the best lay days ever, plenty of super fun waves racing down the point at Supers, and free surf instead of contest vests.
PE managed to have a few waves as well. Some off the beaten track, and others right middle and centre.
The SA Junior side was in town doing a training campo at Pipe, cos the World Games are going to be held in Japan - so they reckoned the surf there will be pretty much like pap Pipe!
It costs $$ for the lighties to get to Japan, and JBay's Dillen Hendricks could use a bit of help raising funds (R43 000) so he'll be able to go - if you are able to assist in any way with a contribution please get in touch with Petronel Posthumus who is arranging the fund raising.
Luc Hosten has been wandering about the wild side documenting the devastation from the recent fires. Reckons one of the scary things to see is the massive volume of perlemoen shells scattered under the now burnt out bushes.
Last weekend the surf world said goodbye to one of it's legends. Paddle out's were held everywhere for the man who blessed us with the wetsuit. The biggest was in his home town, with an estimated 5000 paddling out at Pleasure Point to say their farewells.
Plenty of good waves over the weekend, not only at JBay. Travel a bit further west and you would have scored almost empty waves.
East London water photag Pierre de Villiers came to town to host a "Swim with Me" workshop, where he took peeps into the water to show them the art of water photography. Some great shots from the session below.
CarPark John is stoked with the arrival of his new stick from Graham Smith. Expect to see the ballie ripping at a break near you.
Super stoked with the arrival of my fresh sled from Greg Smith (the other one got left in Maldives). Even more stoked with the kiff artwork from Stephen van der Watt.
The latest edition of the Boardtalk has hit the shelves, you can grab one at Surf Centre, the Spar or at the JBay comp site.
The contest kicked off at the end of last week with some cooking surf. You know if ou's are throwing away 9.2's then there are some decent waves about.
Also means lots of selfie opportunities!
Supers really did turn on, and there were some epic waves on offer. Even more stoked when the organisers called the comp off for the day and everyone hit the free surf to score their own lil slice of heaven.
That's the wrap on a pretty good week - here's hoping this week delivers more of the same!
Some waves about and the pro's have arrived. In the week leading up to the start of the JBay Corona Open there's been plenty of of action in the Super's line-up as the ou's fine-tune their game for the upcoming WSL event.
PE wasn't to be left out though, and some fun line's made their way into the top of the bay. Rumour has it that on the odd day Pipe even managed to have better waves than the Point in JBay. That happens about as frequently as finding a four leaf clover. Or a unicorn.
Some wildlife action at Nahoon, where Zoe Steyn had a local come and have a looky-see as to what she was. Slummies lensman JP Veaudry was nearby and responded quickly to the incident and assisted Zoe to safety. Very lucky young lady that her arm wasn't where the bite occurred. Nice work by JP to have assisted where other ou's may have just scuttled for the safety of the beach.
Not all the pro's are restricting their practice surfs to JBay. Mick Fanning was spotted down at the Kowie grabbing a few runners. Waves looked pretty damn fun in PA.
Pipe tried it's best with a few fun lumps, and had the ballies schooling the lighties on how to throw some weight into a turn.
Some high-tech creations being brewed in the Boardroom lately. The Hopper II model is proving popular - here's the latest one on it's way to the Seychelles (which happens to have some surprisingly good surf).
The whales have started their annual pilgrimage to the East Cape, and are being spotted everywhere along the coast from Cape St Francis to PA. Keep an eye on the horizon for the tell tale spouts and flukes.
Quite a few hanging about our bay. If ever you want to head out and see what sort of amazing marine life lurks about in Algoa Bay, then give Raggy Charters a holler and take a trip with them - you'll be blown away by all the cool critters in our bay.
Winter still continues to deliver amazing sunsets, and this week was no different. Much as we all look forward to summer, it just doesn't have nearly as awesome sunsets as winter does.
The Surf Centre isn't only home to famous ou's like Car Park John, sometimes another well known face pops in to say hi. Chris Taljaard grabbing a shot with Just Jinger's Ard Matthews, who was in town for a gig over the weekend.
PE is blessed with an amazing coastline - hardly more than 10 minutes from town are amazing beaches like Sards. Despite the recent blazes decimating a large portion of it's coastal brush, it's still a pretty place to hang out.
Some good surf in the Maldives this week. Got to share the line-up with pro freesurfer Asher Pacey. Didn't actually know who he was at first, but just knew he surfed blerrie well. Has the most incredibly languid style in the water, and then still throws in crazy hacks and airs at will. But super super fluid out there. And a totally cool cat too - gave me lots of waves - stoked! All round nice guy.
Gonna be hard to get used to cold water and wetties again after this....
If you gatvol of winter and want some crystal blue warm water waves then grab a trip aboard Shantaram. (www.sailshantaram.com)
Here's holding thumbs that Neptune delivers for the Corona Open JBay which kicks off on Wednesday this week. Good luck to Saffa's Jordy Smith and wildcards Dale Staples and Mikey Feb. Kick some butt boys!
Winter continues to deliver despite officially heading towards summer. Waves to be had for sure. JBay is starting to have a few of the pro's filtering in ahead of the Corona Open, so competition for waves has got a lil stiffer. Locals still scoring the bombs though.
PE had some good surf, coupled with some beaut weather. Just what the doctor ordered. Glad my surf sacrifice delivered the goods. Sacrifice relatively speaking, since surfing crystal clear warm water walls isn't exactly missing out...
Not only the waves that delivered, but mother nature has been pretty active as well. Huge pods of dolphins have been cruising the bay lately. Guys are starting to wonder how to interpret dolphin-speak. If you've never heard the racket that these dudes make underwater, do yourself a favour next time they glide by and stick your head below the surface.
Cute lil guy popped his head out the surf at St Francis - the actually ride waves just as well as the dolphins do, and are really inquisitive when it comes to investigating nearby surfers. Once you get over the fright of them popping up next to you they are fun to share the surf with.
The waves delivered and the sunsets and sunrises did as well. Winter certainly is good for something!
From beauty to devastation. The coastline around Sards was decimated by the recent fires, and looks akin to something from a Mad Max movie. Thankfully nature is resilient and it will re-grow soon enough.
Skollies seem to be having a field day again, with plenty of break-in's and skelms scoping out the car parks. Mounted police are on the beat again, so hopefully may have a positive effect in reducing crime, But keep your eye's peeled for scumbags.
Did we mention there were waves this week? Just in case you forgot...
Things were pretty fun the other side of the equator as well. Blogging from location in the Maldives currently....
The new gym at Pipe is cause for amusement if you check out the google-translated Chinese to English instructions!
That's it for the week that was. Signing out with a cool shot from JBay lens maestro Dean Lategan...
Hello winter! Goodbye winter. You saved the best for last. Out with a bang it went. Gangbuster surf to mark the halfway mark in the year. The shortest day of has now come and gone. And the surf showed up for the party. In a big way.
JBay was obviously off it's pip, but even PE has some solid surf once the wind settled off. Corduroy lines wrapped around Cape Recife and lit up all the spots in the bay.
The paddle out at JBay was daunting, and entailed plenty of deliberation on the reef before committing. Time it wrong and you were at Tubes long before you came close to the back-line.
Whenever the Bell Bouy breaks PE surfers start frothing. Often it can be frustrating if the swell is too west as it peaks out on the horizon and the breaks are as flat as a pan. But this time the stars aligned and the swell had the perfect combination of period and direction to bless the bay with waves.
You can check out Howard Briscoe's shots of Millers here.
And just in case you're wondering what that swell looks like when it gets to Maldives....
When there are waves around it definitely isn't possible to score a sneaky sessions with just a few mates, everyone, their dog' and the kitchen sink were out there.
Despite the crowds the skollies still managed to sneak in unnoticed and scaled a silver VW cabby from the Millers carpark. Even worse, the owners yellow vetkoek was in the back. Car is no doubt long gone, but the vetkoek should show up somewhere local - so please keep eye out in PE and JBay for it.
The old wives tail about gold at the end of the rainbow certainly delivered this week...
In amongst all the wildness of the ocean there were some moments of pure serendipity on shore...
The karma of good surf played out into the real world. Port Alfred local Dave McGregor was driving back from EL to PA and his board decided to make a bid for freedom en route, which he only discovered later - trekked all the way back but she wasn't to be found. Dave was gutted - it was his favourite board, and he wrote an ode to her passing on Facebook.
PE surfer Gareth Godwin spotted a stick on the side of the road outside EL and picked her up and popped me a message to tell me about it. Posted it on my timeline and immediately JBay photag Garth Robinson did a 2+2=4 and knew the found board was Dave's and put everyone in touch. Dave got his baby back with a few war wounds, but nothing that can't be patched up. Happy ending!!
Happy days abounded in the ocean to. The sardine run frenzy continues and the dolphin gang were out in full force in the bay.
Yeeeuw - winter is finally done and dusted. We're officially en route to summer after the winter solstice has passed. This is what the last day of winter looked like.
It isn't always a case of bigger is better. How cool is this lil collection of teeny shells collected along the beach at JBay.
Pretty rad week surf-wise, hope everyone got some! And this week looks pretty good too...
Some waves about last week but generally accompanied by annoying devil winds. They ain't called devil for nothing! Of course the devil's in the detail, and they can be perfectly offshore if you know where to look. JBay photag Robbie Irlam was visiting a mate on PE's wildside and awoke to find 8-10ft sets detonating outside the front window. And no takers....
Schoenies local Luc Hosten also had some good one's in his front yard - also all going unridden. So no shortage of waves around if you're prepared to make a bit of effort.
If you didn't mind lumpy bumpy one's then Pipe and Millers had some on offer. At least you can be assured with Big Dave's dodgy phone camera that it definitely was better than it looked! Not sure how he manages to get that "I've smeared Vaseline over the lens" look so consistently!
Of course the surf was pumping in the Maldives all week......
Hard to be stuck at home whilst our yacht is anchored in places like this....
But at least the beautiful winter sunrises and sunsets continued to impress....
If you're walking along Cape Recife or the wildside beaches keep your eye's peeled for the paper Nautilus shells as a few have been found recently. They're actually the home of an octopus-type creature, but unlike normal octopi who lurk about in the rocks, these dudes float about on the top of the sea surface.
Always the smallest days that end up eating you. Seals local Brad Beck - who's currently based in Mexico as a surf guide, was out logging a teeny day and ended up meeting Mr Reef. Luckily being in Mexico, a lime is never far away. Squeeze a bit on the cut to kill the coral, and then use the rest for your tequila!
Charts looking quite active for the next coupla weeks, so just gotto hold thumbs that the winds don't p*ss on the parade. The forecast shows open ocean swells, so for PE you pretty much divide it by 4 to get a better idea of what the bay will be like (and also bear in mind swell angle - anything which too much west doesn't bend in so lekker). JBay on the other hand....
The first serious swell of the winter smashed into coastline. JBay was off it's pip, but unfortunately swell direction issues and hectic winds meant PE, although it had a wave, wasn't as gang-buster as it can get. Still - a waves a wave and beggars can't be choosers! Just such a pity about that blerrie wind though....
There were still some fun waves on offer the day after the big storm, and the boogers were making the best of the kegs at Clubbies.
There were plenty of lesser known spots that were firing as well, you just had to go on a bit of a mission and you got rewarded for sure.
The swell made it's way across the Indian Ocean and pounded Indo. Desert Point was insane, and Ulu's was detonating on the bombie. Big balls only need apply.
Massive northerlies over the weekend. Turned Millers into a left point. Have never seen waves breaking across from the left before.
The JBU SuperTrial powered by Monster Energy ran on Thursday. St Francis local Dale Staples took the win, beating JBay locals Dylan Lightfoot and Matt MCGillivray to earn a slot into the Corona Open WSL comp coming up at JBay.
Terrible fires ravaged the Garden Route right down to outside of PE. At one stage blocking the N2 between JBay and PE. Such loss and devastation. Thoughts & prayers to all those who have been affected.
JBay local Bruce Gold was spotted at Muizenberg recently sporting his unique ant-shark outfit. No self-respecting shark would want to nibble on a classic Hawaiian print now would they?
Speaking of JBay legends, sad to see the old legend that was the original Country Feeling shop on the corner of Da Gama road has now become a mattress factory shop. Maybe that's what happens when you sell bodyboards? Start with the doormats, and next thing it's mattresses?
Remember the shop well, had an insane amount of stock in it, pretty much anything and everything related to surf you could find in there. So sad that times have changed and local corner surf stores are hardly around anymore. They had such character.
Should be a few bumps about this week to get wet on, so make the most of it!