Road-tripping is not dead. Long live the road trip! Local crew Brad and Grant Beck, together with wingman Scott Lenton decided that a Red Hot Chilli Peppers concert wouldn't be the same without some Weskus exploration thrown into the mix. The ou's had bought their RHCP tickets early - and as jol time approached they realised they were still on holiday. So what better to do that get some double whammy value out of their drive down to Cape Town.
And being a bunch of goofy's, it wasn't hard to work out that the West Coast is the Land of Lefts. Goofy heaven on a stick. Being hard core guys, they pulled a 03h00 departure outta Seals, and had the Hannah & Scott Show for entertainment en route.
Grant forgot his pillow, but realised he wouldn't need one when they found some R10 quarts at a random bottle store in the middle of nowhere!
200km of gravel road and they were in Elands. The goofy footers JBay. Swell started to pick up, and they hooked some waves at a spot called Farmer Burgers....cos well, it's on farmer Burgers farm. Geddit?
They also found themselves a lil no-name-brand spot with some lekker waves, and dubbed that TG's (Toll Gate's). With water hovering between 13-16C, let's say it's been fresh - but our EC lads are tough. Chuck in some camping, lekker braai's every night, and you have just the perfect road trip.
Next on the agenda is some cooking Elands......
Did it lying down for the first time on Wednesday. Bodyboarding that is. Necessity is the mother of invention as the saying goes. What are you gonna do if the lifeguards yank up the blue flag and boot you out the surf at Humewood? Pack up and go home? Or swop the fibreglass for foam?
Thanks to Jono Scheepers for not laughing his head off at my pathetic attempts! Wasn't only me trying out alternative craft to stay wet. Anthony Scholtz swam out with a hand-plane for a spot of body surfing. Only way to survive the small summer swell is to think outside the box.
What's the deal with sponging anyhow?
Turns out the bodyboard was born back in 1971. Tom Morey, a surfboard builder with a background in math and engineering, moved out to Hawaii for a change of scenery. One day he ended up at the beach without a board, and desperate for a surf he did the classic "boer maak a plan" kinda action. He borrowed an electric carving knife and an iron (as in the thing you iron clothes with) and bunged together some scrap polyethylene foam into a small rectangular mat, then covered it with newspaper. And off he went....
He dubbed this first effort the S.N.A.K.E. (side, navel, arm, knee, elbow) - I kid you not!! Prophetic? Anyhow - he refined things a bit (ok, a fair bit) and decided to trademark the name Morey Boogie for $10 in 1973. And that's how it all began...
Take the piss outta them all we want - but boogers ride deeper and fly higher than their stand-up counterparts. So hats off to them. They were the first ou's out at nutso spots like Teahupo'o and Ours. If it wedges ledges, slabs, shorepounds...or is just plain mutant - these ou's are on it. Just please ban the bloody spinner thing tho guys!
Anyone who's made a mission down to the beach recently will have noticed the ou's digging up half the King's Beach car park. So what's the deal? Are we getting more ponds and stuff? Nup - turns out it's going to be landscaped parking. What's that - just a fancy way of saying they're pimping up the parking area with some tree's and stuff. Nicer. Basically.
The skate park is coming along, and should hopefully be ready to ride by the nend of Feb. Amped to go give it a try - just cruise over the lil bumps n stuff on that nice smoooooth concrete. Yum.
They should start casting the floor panels soon. It's lank important to remember that the concrete will take at least 28 days to cure properly - meaning get hard as rock. If you ou's are impatient and skate it before it's ready it stuffs up the concrete and means you gonna get all sorts of lil holes and kak all over the floor. So don't be doff - try exercise a bit of patience...and then at least we'll have an kiff smooth skatepark - instead of you skating it too early and boggering it up for good. Fail. Of the most epic proportions.
So you took out the overall win in the CYOH Surf Off series for 2012 - some tough competition?
Thanks, yeah competition was tough. Especially the last event. Guys were surfing really good, Xcuzzy aka Clint, Donovan, Josh Saunders, Etienne, Robert, Grant etc.
Now you're the owner of a pretty rad prize from All Aboard Travel - a trip to Indo! So what's the plan - when and where are you gonna go?
Still in discussion with Lorrin. But looks like I'll be going in September, I'll be staying at Balangan for about four nights then wanna go surf shipwrecks and just mission around.
Will you be on your own mission or hooking up with some mate's for the trip?
I'll be going with my girlfriend Bernita, She hasn’t been before so looking forward to going with her.
Shew - now THAT buys you some serious brownie points! Good man! Any shout out's?
Big thanks to CYOH and All Aboard Travel!
Surfers are all about the present, which is why we tend to forget that the who's who of the surf industry has changed pretty radically over the last 30 years. Many of the brands that were big back then don't even exist today. The various economic crises over the last few decades have exacted their toll on the surf industry - pretty much what it's going through again right now. Let's hope the brands around today fare a bit better and manage to survive the economic downturn a lil more successfully than their predecessors.
Anyone that was around in the 80's will remember Instinct, Gotcha, Catchit, MCD and Hot Tuna amongst others. They were the threads on our backs and the stickers on our boards. Lumo was in - for the first time. So were Rayban wayfarers and Oakley Frogskins.
Brands like MCD - s spin-off from Gotcha - were radically outta the box. The brand (started by Shaun's cousin Michael Tomson) was built around the very best (and often most controversial) surfers ofthe time - Dino Andino, Sunny Garcia, Derek Ho, Michael Ho, Gerry Lopez, Brock Little, Matt Archbold and Martin Potter. The MCD team of Gotcha was recognized internationally as “the mother team” of all surf brands and came to be known as the “Superior Mothers.”
But no matter how innovative MCD was, despite having a stellar surf team, the economic crunch still got em.
So how will today's brands survive the current belt-tightening period? Who knows. Let's just hope they've learnt some lessons from those that went - and fell - before them.
Gotto say I really miss those old surf brands - for one thing - they had some insane ad campaigns! Like this one from Gotcha....
Spotted a picture of you standing at Seals with a finless board! What’s the story there? First up, who shaped the board, and why’d he leave the fins off? Just couldn’t find his fin key?
DGS – Derek Girven Surfboards from Durban. Unlike a wooden Alaia this model has 5 stringers and a quadruple concave. Absolutely no rocker though. Not sure how the board came about.
Is this the first time you’ve surfed fins-free?
My first surf board ever when I was 14 had no fins, it was supposed to but someone had knocked the fins out! Since then it’s been fins all the way.
It must feel kinda weird to be without those lil guys – take us through a wave, from take-off to kick-out...
The first challenge is just paddling the board as it is only 1cm thick and has very little buoyancy. Once you get going the best is to take off sideways. Stand up normally but crouch really low like a body boarder would do standing up. Too far back and the tail slides out, too far forward and you nose dive. The board goes superfast down the line but don’t try pumping as this won’t generate speed. You kinda have to change your whole mind set on how to surf, it is a refreshing change.
How does it handle the drops – you find yourself sliding out a lot?
Being so flat you can’t paddle down the wave or you will nosedive. Sliding is a given, it’s how you control the sliding that makes it fun.
Throw down any 360 spinners?
Not intentionally and didn’t make any! The rails are so hard you have to be careful not to land on the rail as there could be some serious consequences.
How’d you end up with the board to start with?
I was at Alister Browns’ place in Seals discussing some board shapes. Next thing he pulls out the board and says I should give it a go. Not one to pass up a challenge, it took me a couple frustrating sessions before I finally made it to my feet. I did not figure I would use it much in Cape Town so have left it with Terry Billson who lives next to The Full Stop (pub not rock!). Hit him up if you are keen to give it a go. Alister has donated the board to “anyone who is brave enough to give it a go!”
Other than Derek Hynd, have you seen anyone local rock on these things?
DH claims to have not surfed a board with fins for 10 years! His boards have deep concaves that act as fins though. Remy Petersen inspired me to give a go. He was out at Supers on a 4’ day catching loads of waves and really having a good time. Surfing on his backhand at Supers he has the “going backwards in the barrel” pretty wired. I have heard that he puts in a lot of time though.
Would you see yourself trying it again – or is it more like “OK, ticked that one off the list, move on...” kinda vibe?
We had so many waves at Seals over the holidays that I figured it was worth a bash. I will definitely put some more time in when we are back at Easter when the waves are small and soft.
Any chance of ever trying it out in Indo!?
A: I wouldn’t go so far as to schlep one over but if there was one on the boat I would put some time in. Not at HT’s or any of the recognised breaks as you don’t make any mates on an Alaia when you blow take offs! Not as bad as a SUP’er though!
So there you have it ou's - you wanna go finless like Chappy? Just go find Terry to borrow the board. The challenge is oooooon!
This lil gem came in from Dave Randle. Just shows how something funny can come of our paranoid South African security measures.....
"Today the carguard at Millers was hovering around my car, and seeing as plenty cars have been broken into lately, as well as a few stolen, I was being pretty suspicious of him! I have a speaker magnet that I attach my car key to, and then stick it deep under the front fender. I cover up the key-hiding procedure by doing stretching exercises against my front wheel and whilst doing so then slip the magnet into the wheel arch. On getting back to my car after my surf I repeat the same "stretches" against my front tyre and retrieve my key. Then, on standing up, act like I'm pulling the key outta my wetsuit.
The whole thing is to dupe the carguards into thinking that my car key is in my wetsuit not hidden under the fender. Now today, cos the carguard was hovering so close, it was not an option! So I walked down the beach and buried my key in the sand under a rock just past the high tide zone. When I came out from my surf and started to dig my key out from under the rock and sand, a Chinese tourist came up to me and said "Is that where you find mussels? That’s velly good, I dig too!"
Nice one Dave!
It reminded me of an incident last year - when 2 beginners paddled out at Millers. They flapped about for a bit, and then decided to head in. Next thing we see them starting to dig all over the beach. Up and down they went. After an hour the one ou ran down to the Boardwalk construction site and came back with a spade - to aid the digging procedure! An hour after this - they finally found where they'd buried their keys! Turns out they'd just picked some random lil rock on the beach itself - and of course couldn't remember where this random lil rock was! Um, not too bright. Let's just say - if you gonna bury your keys - do it next to something big and obvious! Like a pipe or tree root or pole. Cos sure as nuts you ain;t gonna know where they are if they just sommer in the middle of the beach.
Eish. If you live in Africa, you gonna get naai'd somewhere along the line. On Saturday it was visiting Vic Bay surfer Ruben Lanners's turn. His white Nissan Champ bakkie got stolen out of the Pipe car park on Saturday morning. Swak.
Some questions arose as to how this could happen seeing as there was a familiar car guard on duty. He did however raise the alarm immediately after the vehicle was stolen and did note down the registration plate. Maybe he coulda done something more, maybe not? He's one guy and can't have eye's in the back of his head. The car was parked in the quieter area of the car park - behind the toilet block.
He has been involved in apprehending car thieves previously, and has also looked after guys car keys/phones etc without any issues before (he wasn't in possession of the keys of the stolen vehicle - they were with the owner). So who knows what went wrong this time. Let's bear in mind that this was probably an organised car syndicate, as it was 3 ou's who arrived in a vehicle...not some random bergie just wandering along the beach seeing if he could nick a cabbie.
Guy's like this can easily walk up to a car guard and threaten them with life and limb. So for a measley R5 tip would you as a car guard then take the chance at trying to apprehend them when they do steal a vehicle....knowing they might come back and beat the sh*te outta you? I sure as hang wouldn't. Not saying this is what happened, but it isn't improbable.
Here's hoping some of the Pipe regulars spot the next would-be car thief in action - before he makes a getaway, and dish out a bit of behavior modification training to him. Like it or not, it's the best deterrent.
So, if you see suspicious looking ou's pull into the beach - keep your eye's on them. It's your beach and your carpark - so be responsible for it.
For all beach-related incidents - Don't forget that the Beach manager's office monitors the beach CCTV camera's from Rincon through to Fence, so you can always pop in there and get em to pull up the footage to see if you can spot anything. They share the management of the beach car park camera's with the Disaster Management centre - so if beach office doesn't have the footage, ask em to put you in touch with the other ou's. They do store a few days worth of footage, so you are able to go back and check.
Coupla ou's spent a lekker morning climbing and diving off the pillars at Hummies yesterday. Got me thinking whether the lighties even know what the history behind the pillars and the slipway is, versus being these random bits of concrete and steel.
Seeing as school's back, let's have a quick history lesson! Before the harbour was built back in the 1930's, boats that needed to be repaired came in at what was then known as the Humewood Slipway. The boat would sail in between the pillars (which are the 6 concrete stacks you see today) and then get pulled onto the slipway (the steel bit) using a steam pulley.
The slipway fell into dis-use after the harbour became established, but luckily for us they built things properly back then. Which means today the structures still exist - and contribute to making one of the best surf spots in the bay! (oh, and before it became a slipway - it used to have a hospital for ou's with leprosy!!)
Humewood beach, taken from where Brookes Pavilion area and looking down towards where the beach and slipway is today. The building was a hospital for infectious diseases called the Lazaretto! Humewood Beach was as far out of town as you got in those days. The river is the Sark River (now called Shark) which was flowing through what today is Happy Valley.
FInally someone ou's started surfing! Check out the No Surfing sign. Humewood was a no-surf zone from back in the day cos of a municipal bylaw. Check the ropes in the top right of the shot- they used to run from the pylon across to the pole on the breakwater on the other side of the beach (where Suicides is today). There were ropes hanging down into the water from the main rope - there for guys to hang on to when they swam out!
If you grew up surfing in the 80's you definitely owned some Instinct gear. Originally established in South Africa in 1979 by World Surfing Champion Shaun Tomson, it was one of the most recognized surf brands throughout the 1980’s. Instinct was synonymous with surfing legends Tom Carroll and Barton Lynch, who were both team riders for the clothing label.
They also had one of the most innovative ad campaigns that we've ever seen from a surf brand. Who can forget their classic one-liner ad's like " It's simple, either you get the wave...or it gets you!" and "Waiting for waves is OK. Most people spend their lives waiting for nothing!"
The brand suffered from the tail-off in the retail market in the 90's, but an attempt was made to relaunch it in 2006, although this was short lived. Pity - cos they would have been as relevant today as they were 30 years ago.