Local is lekker, and often it’s better. Say howzit to PE bro’s Alan and Gary Cooper, makers of the East Capes only home grown surf wax, Max Wax.
How did the whole wax gig come about?
Long story short. Sitting round a fire, sipping wine, shooting the breeze with the late Mike Jensen; a photographer friend of mine, when the conversation turned to surfing and other tall tales. After much talk and numerous glasses of wine, we concluded that we were capable of making surf wax as good, if not better than what was available; after all we were inebriated scientists.
And so TitWax was born; a play on the word “tit”' which meant lekker, and every man's fantasy. Moulded in the form of a young female breast, our dream was ready to take off.
When did you decide to do it commercially?
After the failure of TitWax to hit the moon; though sticky, it was impractical to package effectively, not to mention the pervasive paraffin smell .
I then launched MaxWax, an improved, sweet smelling, sticky wax. This happened round about the mid-nineties.
And the story behind the name?
Again, a play on words; my grandfather's name (figured it would bring me luck) and MAX for maximum traction.
Tell us a bit about your wax – your tagline is “bigger and better”
Not to be conceited, I believe it is bigger and better than most waxes on the market. ...I have yet to lose traction on my board – even after three non-wax-up surfs.
Am guessing there must have been quite a trial and error process when you first started? Any epic fails?
Yep! After selling only a few blocks of Tit Wax we were left with stock that had nowhere to go except on my board. The scented reek of paraffin pushed us to go back to the lab (the fireplace and more glasses of wine, plus some time at the chemistry books). Unfortunately Mike never lived to see the final product.
How many versions of the wax do you offer?
We offer Tropical, Sub-Tropical, Temperate and Arctic versions.
What is the difference between the various types? Obviously they are for specific water temps, but what do you change in the manufacturing process that gives it the necessary characteristics for a particular water temp?
The various types are formulated for a specific water temperature range. If I divulged the manufacturing process I would have to send you out at Dungeons on a code RED day!!!!
Where can guys grab a block?
The wax is available at Surf Art at Supertubes – Garth Robinson's classic shop , Aloe Surf Shop, Country Feeling and Natural Curve in J-Bay.
Stockists in P.E. include Surf Centre and The Boardroom. It is also available at St. Francis Boards, St Francis Bay and Just Surfing in Nahoon,East London....
Any plans for global domination? Well, supplying outside of the Eastern Cape!?
Aye for sure....looking further afield in S.A. Just gotta sign Kelly and Jon-Jon....then comes world domination!!!
Got any team-riders as such?
Still shootin' fer Kelly, JonJon 'n company!!
However I regard Dylan Stephens, Guthrie Cooper, Gary Cooper, and Garth Robinson as my test pilots !
Being ex-PE locals, what were your local surf spots here back in the day?
Fence was my spot. Heavy backhand drops and spitting tubes, that was the place. Surfed Humewood, Denvil, Bakebeans, Millers and Pollock Beach stretch, but always came back to Fence.
Win 5 blocks of Max Wax
Enter the lucky draw to score a hamper of 5 blocks of Max Wax. Just answer this easy question. Winner will be drawn on Friday 2nd March.
*Entries open to South African residents only. Collect your prize in PE or JBay, or cover postage to wherever you at.
We didn't get any waves, but at least console yourself with the fact that somewhere else in the world they were. Like the Maldives for instance. We did however have some pretty cool thunderstorms this week.
For once they also brought a few drops of rain. Not enough, but better than nothing. And of course the cool thunderclouds mean we get some impressive sunsets. Pity our waves are not as impressive as our sunsets - then we'd be styling.
Wanna guarantee a flat spell - then order a new board. Fresh sticks and surf seem to be mutually exclusive entities. My better half got a lekker new stick from Greg Smith, with an epic spray job by Stephen van der Watt in JBay. A mate from the US also got a stick done at the same time.
Always cool to see surfers doing their bit for the environment - Pipe local Allan Bezuidenhout, owner of Muse restaurant, is now using 100% bio degradable and waterwise napkins, cardboard straws and corn starch doggy bags. If you a surfer you have a duty to be environmentally friendly - small price to pay for enjoying what it gives you. Just wish other restaurants in PE would follow suit.
From the good to the not-so-good. Some weird stuff in the water at Cape Recife. Luc Hosten spotted it during his walkabout there yesterday "There was a strange cream soda float/lime milkshake tide at Cape Recife today, it could also have been something toxic escaping from the water reclamation works (unlikely as their record is good). I think it was probably some algal bloom, interesting colour and I did wonder what it tasted like....."
Gavin Snow, a local aquatic ecology expert, said it is probably microalgae in the discharge from the Cape Recife Waste Water Treatment Works, as the colour is that of a harmless green algae (chlorophyte).
And from the not-so-good to the downright bad. Dean de Klerk found this shark fin washed up at Millers on the weekend. Am guessing the dodgy Chinese fishing vessels which skelm along our coast have been up to no good...
Well done to all those who attended the Bushy Park beach clean on the weekend, organised by concerned local Andrew Stewart. A whole bunch of trash was collected and that stretch of coast has been returned to it's pristine state. Nice work!
In the absence of any waves, photags are having to resort to cloud pictures of Pipe instead of surf shots. Anyone with good connections to Neptune please drop him a line and ask him to send us a few lines.
Local is lekker, and what's not to love about some home-grown wax. Made out in JBay by the Cooper bro's, Max Wax is just what you need on your board. Made specially by Saffa's for local conditions, it's also a whole bunch cheaper than the imported stuff.
Check out the interview with Alan Cooper of Max Wax to find out more, and stand the chance to win yourself a kiff hamper of 5 blocks of wax. Enter here:
If you're a surfer you have a bucket list of places you wanna go. And this possie is on mine. Known as Double Island Point in Oz it's a long long long right sand point with crystal clear water situated in a National Park. It lit up last week during the cyclone swell that smashed Oz.
This is what JBay looked like almost the whole week. Varying between 0-2ft. So you can only imagine how flat PE was. Small bump in the swell over the weekend saw the opportunity to get wet.
In the absence of any waves to surf at least PE has plenty of benches all along the beachfront that you can park off and stare out to sea and just wish for waves! Keep wishing - cos not much on the charts for this week either.
A week that was neither here nor there. A few lil waves about, nothing flash. But at least enough for your weekly salt water dose. Still waiting for the February that should be delivering glassy conditions and fun peelers. Someone tell the weatherman please.
One thing the weatherman delivered on was some pretty impressive cloud formations and spectacular sunset to mark Valentines Day. The weird cotton-ball looking clouds are called Mammatus clouds. They are formed by cold air sinking down to form the pockets contrary to the puffs of clouds rising through the convection of warm air.
So yah, maybe no waves to write home about, but we did get to tick the "sunset" box.
Remember the fuss about Fu wax on the WCT a coupla years back? Throw back to the 2011 Quicksilver Pro New York, Kelly Slater launched a frontside full-rotation slob grab for a perfect 10 to defeat Taj in the waning seconds of the Quik Pro semifinal. He did it on a board without a traction pad, which Fu Wax said was covered with their secret recipe.
Martin Potter said it was cheating, like surfing with foot straps. No more groomed bumps, just a sticky spread of hyper-tack wax, which sticks to the bottom of your feet like glue. So if you keen to start blasting some airs and wanna stay attached to your board - this is the wax to try.
Now finally available in South Africa. Grab some down at the Boardroom.
Moan as we may about crowds, we have nothing compared to Aus. Would you even try paddle out and get a wave in that mayhem? I counted 130 surfers out at Noosa. And who knows how many more sitting off the the left out of view of the surf cam.
Despite the iffy weather on Saturday there was still a good turn-out for the 2nd Salty Hour. Salty Hour is a an hour of free surf lessons hosted every Saturday by Dennis Ellis, Mervyn Goddard & Alan Buchanan. Everyone is welcome, boards are provided as well as some wetsuits. It is held every Saturday at Kings Beach (meet on the beach next to McArthur Baths) 3-4pm.
Lekker Sunday sunrise captured by Colin MacKenzie. Betcha don't know the story behind the tin hat? There's an excellent book called "Port Elizabeth - a social chronicle to the end of 1945" by Margaret Harradine which is a mine of information and images of old PE. This is what it has to say on the Tin Hat: "The Governor General of the Cape (Prince Arthur of Connaught as well as Princess Arthur) paid a short farewell visit to Port Elizabeth in 1923. On this occasion Prince Arthur opened the Campanile and laid the foundation stone of the First Scouts Hall in North End. Princess Arthur opened the "Princess Promenade" in Humewood which was built in sections over several years. The official opening took place under the Promenade Dome, designed by the Assistant City Engineer JJ Burt, on 6 November 1923. "
The Promenade Dome is commonly known as "The Tin Hat" from its resemblance to a First Word War helmet, but couldn't have had any connection to the Moth order as it was only founded in 1927.
Black wetsuits although functional, can be pretty boring. Enter Janga, an independent Portuguese wettie brand that only does brightly coloured wetties. Been wanting to get my hands on some for ages but bit of a hack to take a chance on wettie sizes when ordering from overseas. Local Cape Town surf-girl Simonne Robb has a few of the Janga suits - and decided to give her latest white one a bit of Posca love - pretty cool suit don't you think!?
Environmentally-minded local Andrew Stewart is looking for Volunteers to join the WILD SIDE beach clean up this Saturday.
WHEN: 08:30 on Saturday 24th Feb
WHERE: Bushy Park Farm entrance (close to T junction of Old & New Seaview rds.
HOW: Refuse bags will be supplied and full bags will be placed on a trailer close to beach.
All welcome - The more the merrier!
WHY: The group walked this area a few weeks ago and were blown away by the amount of litter. They helped two little Terrapins clean the plastic from their pond!
The weekend saw a few waves pop up, with some fun easterly bowls to be had. Hope everyone got a few cos not much on the charts for this week.
Everyone should have a smile on their dial cos at least there were a few funs lil waves whipped up by the wind. Nothing flash but certainly enough to get your salt water injection for the week. Coupla barrels if you went looking.
Some photags shooting Hummies - you can check out Johann's shots from Friday here, and Vaughan's shots here.
The big news of the week was the line fishing boat which got washed onto the rocks in front of Barneys on Sunday morning. Thankfully the crew were all safe, and Xtreme Projects were quickly on the scene to remove all the fuel so that there would be no environmental issues.
After a number of attempts the vessel was finally successfully towed off the rocks and back to the harbour - with much cheering from the large crowd which had gathered to watch.
Bad week for boats. These poor guys washed up onto the rocks at Coffee Bay. Apparently their engine packed up and they where taking in water. They tried heading in at the beach but current pushed them onto the rocks.
The first ever Salty Hour was held at Pipe on Saturday arvo. Really great turnout for the free surf lessons on offer. The Salty Hour initiative was started in East London by Jono Burton and Mervyn Goddard and Dennis Ellis are running the Port Elizabeth one. Together with surf coach Alan Buchanan they got over 30 peeps out into the water and catching their first waves. From lil tykes to older folk, everyone was stoked, and there were smiles all round.
Salty Hour will be held every Saturday afternoon 3-4pm, and it's free and open to everyone. So pull in for some fun. Currently the venue is Pipe, but this might change in future.
Skelm alert for the Fence. James Flood came back to find the ou's had tried to jimmy his surf lock and get at his car keys - but thankfully some locals saw what had been going down and chased off the rubbish.
Just be aware that you should check with your insurance if you are covered for theft or loss of your vehicle if you use a surf lock, as previously guys have reported issues cos the insurance just goes "no sign of forced entry into the vehicle" if the dude has used your keys to get in (this is of course forgetting the fact that your surf lock has been forcibly broken - but insurance ou's are also skelms!)
The DEA announced last week it has given approval for land based aquaculture development at Coega. Despite not being related to the offshore aquaculture development that was proposed for the bay, hopefully one aquaculture project for the town is enough and the planned bay development will stay off the table.
Not so good news is they've started with those seismic surveys along our coast. Despite the dudes doing the surveys being of the opinion they don't do any harm to marine life, there does seem plenty evidence to the contrary. Even more so - when will peeps realise that fossil fuels aren't the future. The seismic survey program covers a large area of the South and East Coasts, extending roughly between Mossel Bay and Port Edward, although don;t expect to see them from your window cos they can't come within 15k's of shore.
The skies clouded over plenty of times last week but nothing much fell from the unfortunately. Things remain dry as a bone. Here's hoping the clouds finally decide to let loose soon.
What would a week in PE be without a lovely sunrise and sunset - and as always Schoenies photag Luc Hosten and JBay local Robbie Irlam oblige with a lekker shots. Looks like it was gonna be a green flash. Anyone actually seen one of those?
Has anyone informed the weather that it's February? And it's meant to be lekker. Not lekker windy! The week started out with the ou's arriving on the Queen Mary 2 agreeing with their guide books that they were visiting the Windy City.
Surf checks meant getting sand-blasted whilst you stood on the boardwalk. I reckon the ou's that design glues should learn a bit from sand - cos that stuff can stick to you like nothing else. There was the odd small wave about, but nothing to write home about until the weekend.
Swell picked up a bit Saturday and Sunday, so you could at least rinse the sand off you that had been stuck there since the beginning of the week.
Still lotsa bait fish about which means the food chain is active close to shore. We generally aren't part of it, but sometimes being in the wrong place at the wrong time means we inadvertently enter is. So keep your toes up and your eyes peeled.
Also a bunch of seaweed hanging about. Always entertaining trying to surf through big clumps of it as it all catches round your leash and acts like a handbrake. It also gets stuck in your hair. No hair? No problem.
For all those who are struggling in the summer mush - remember foam is your friend. Head down to your local shaper to grab a fleshy stick. Unlike CPJ who has decided that a 5ft3, 17 inch flip chip is all that you need.
The very first Salty Hour is taking place in Port Elizabeth this Saturday!!! Never surfed before but want to try? Pull in to Pipe this Saturday 3-4pm. Surfboards will be provided so you just need to pitch up. All ages welcome and totally FREE.
Thanks to Mervyn Goddard and Dennis Ellis for starting up the PE branch of this awesome home grown surf community project initiated by EL's Jono Bruton. Ou's from the Oos Kaap rock. More deets here
Summer days are all about wildside missions - cos at least there is always something surfable round the corner. Pity waves aren't like shadows - where if you just change your perspective they can become pretty big.
Suffering from the summer doldrums is easily solved by some skateboard glide. We're blessed with a really cool boardwalk that is perfect for some sliding. Even the ou's out in Seals get up to bit of asphalt surfing.
Surfers love surf mags. Sometimes surfers love em so much they hang on to them. For a long, long time! Greg Heasley found this hanging around his dad's office. Barry has a bit of surfing gold - the very first issue of Zigzag - from way back in 1976. Princely sum of 50c. To put it into perspective it cost about five bucks to fill your car and a loaf of bread was 10c.
Big-ass full moon last week. So if any of your mates were acting a lil crazier than normal remember where the word lunatic comes from. Wednesday saw a rare lunar occasion - a full moon, a total lunar eclipse (not visible from South Africa unfortunately), a blue moon and a super-moon all at the same time! We got the big tides, but unfortunately the big swell forgot to arrive. Pity.
PE missed the moon event cos it was too cloudy in most places, but not to worry - we never miss the sun. And Schoenies does sunsets proper.
Nothing flash on the swell forecast for this week. But enough to keep everyone sane at least!