The eagerly anticipated swell didn't quite deliver as the forecasts suggested it would. It was fun for sure, but not quite what we thought it'd be. Unfortunately again it rained on our parade. An overnight downpour did it's bit to dampen the swell's energy and chop it up so it got a funky wobble on it. There were some good sets, you just had to wait (an wait) for them. For those that took the day off work, and those that cancelled ear surgery, it probably wasn't worth it.
Tough being a PE surfer. We don't get much to start with, and super annoying when some good surf's predicted and it ends up not delivering. Of course it did deliver if you traveled west. As it always does.
It's official, the mighty bald one is now a 70% shareholder in Firewire. They were a company looking for direction, and he was at a loose-end, so it makes a good match. By his own admission his clothing brand Outer Known is not going to be positioned as a player in the surf market. There'll be some cool threads coming outta there for sure, but with one of it's core principles being sustainability, mass production for the surf market is not a comfortable fit.
Maybe Kelly's purchase of Firewire was pre-ordained? How's this shot of him surfing a door - which if we're honest is not unlike the Firewire Vanguard - with it's blunt nose and tail shape. Life imitating art?
Wondering what he'll be riding at Bell's? Rumour has it that it'll be a Tomo shaped beauty that has Firewire founder Nev Hyman in a froth.
The PE crew who hit the Maldives this last week have had some fun surf. Hard to complain about uncrowded waves in paradise. Nothing beats a boardies sesh. They've had to mission around a bit due to some funky winds at times, but hooked into some cooking 4-6ft lefts at the end of their trip and are totally surfed out. Wish they could pack a few of these waves in their bag and bring ém home.
Teeny conditions earlier in the week inspired some belated spring cleaning. Safe to say own more wetties than shoes. About 16 in this pile, and those just the one's living in my spare room. OK, not all mine, coupla hubby's in there too. My theory is surfing is like golf. If they're allowed 14 clubs in their bag why can't we have a bunch of boards and wetties so we can pick and choose according to conditions? Plus, am all for not having to wear a wet wettie.
Gonna pass on a few to good homes, including the Billabong "Surfers helping Surfers" campaign. It's a great initiative that encourages all surfers to donate their old wetsuits and in exchange, qualify for a discount on a new Billabong suit - and then Bong pass the suits on to local surf outreach programs. So anyone with old wetties - don't just chuck em out - drop em off at a Bong store near you.
Sunday saw the Ironman event go down in some pretty decent weather. Luckily no surf in the bay so all those who woulda been stressing about trying to get to the beach to grab a wave via all the road closures didn't have to worry. The potential of missed surf on the wildside was another story.....
Speaking of the wildside - Ryan Allen spotted this classic sticker. Seems like the Wildside crew aren't gonna let the Pipe crew be the only one's with their own sticker.
The new Boardtalk mag is out, so go grab yours at Coffee's Up or Surf Centre. Great shots, and some good words. Local is lekker.
Good luck to all the local lighties who'll be surfing for the EP team at the Billabong SA Grom Games that starts this week. The comp will be taking place at Pipe, so head down to cheer on our kids. Froth levels will be high cos these kids just love to surf. And when you just about knee-high to a grasshopper then almost everything is overhead!
Local surf photag Dirk Erasmus got bust on a SUP recently. We'll forgive him cos he takes lekker pics ;-)
Surfboard, boardies, wax, sunscreen. They're the obvious inclusions for any surf trip. But sometimes it's the lil random things that can make all the difference.
The ultimate surf trip is to a remote location to dodge the crowds. But remote means you're not going to be be able to pop down to the local surf shop and grab a coupla fcs plugs when you tear your outta the board on a shallow reef.
Losing a fin is ok, cos you can generally bum one off another surfer - yanking the fin plug out with the fin is another matter all together. Totally worth having a few spare plugs stuffed into your kit bag, cos you'll never know when you'll need one. Bonus is that they weight nothing and take up zero space - no excuse for not grabbing a few from your local shaper before your trip.
If you have the space, a set of tie-downs can be the difference in getting your board safely from A to B. The more off the beaten track you are the greater the chance of your board getting tied onto a roof rack with a bit of hessian or a straggly piece of twine.
No tie-downs, no problem. A coupla shoe laces can do the trick just fine. Lost count of the number of times we've had to shoe-lace a massive coffin bag to the roof racks of a van in the middle of nowhere. Take note that the scientific equation says the driving speed and skill of the driver is inversely proportional to how vas your boards are. The more tenuous the attachment of your boards, the more the ou thinks he's Indo's answer to Michael Schumacker.
Cable ties are another useful thing to have stowed away in the bottom of your bag. Grab a few of different lengths and chuck em in. They weigh nothing and take up no space. Use em to "lock" your zips together and keep your stuff safe(r). Re-attach broken straps to boardbags or luggage. Secure a piece of pipe to railing of your boat for a makeshift rod holder. Velcro on your reef booties stuffed and keep coming undone? Make a cable tie loop and thread your velcro strap through it. Secure your boardbag to roofracks. Lose a leash string? Use a cable tie. Their uses are endless. Have yet to go on a surf trip and not use one.
Don't forget the duct tape. This stuff can keep both your bod and your bod patched together. Airlines smash your rails or your board bounds over the reef - just grab a piece of tape and stick it over the ding. Keeps the water out and keeps you in the surf til you have time to fix it up. Overcook a floater and do an ankle in - no worries, tape it up and get back in the surf. Same goes for reef cuts, bit of tape over them keeps the skin together and can help it stay kinda dry.
Also helps to patch your boardbag together after the baggage muppets have managed to rip gashes in it. Stop the tear in it's tracks before it gets worse. Use it to stick your pool noodles to your rails when trying to make your boards safe for travelling. Get dragged across the reef and rip your baggies. Don't flash your butt to the world - just stick a patch on the tear, one inside, one outside, and you good to go.
You get 'em in smaller travel sizes too. No need to take half a kg of the stuff over with you.
Travel pillows are good to have along. Easy to clip to your backpack. Saves your neck on the plane on the trip there and back. Great if you need to doss at the airport between flights. Invaluable to replace the kak pillow at the hotel, your warung or charter boat.
Amazing how even the larniest hotels can have the worst pillows ever. Bizarrely enough, Indo hotels seem to have the thickest pillows in the world. Which is odd cos Indo are generally pretty small people, which means the don't have very wide shoulders - so why hotels think peeps wanna sleep with their necks at a moerse angle is beyond me.
Try and explain to housekeeping you want a thin pillow? Get met with very very blank looks. Much easier to just use your travel pillow instead.
Also useful to grab a doss on the speedboat when you missioning between breaks. Make sure you get one with lil press-studs so you can clip it closed in order to hook it onto your backpack etc.
If you're planning to take a smartphone, laptop or camera, then a dry bag is a must. Keep your gear safe from tropical downpours of mishaps in the dingy. Better safe than sorry is a motto for a reason. Don't risk losing all your holiday snaps cos you send your camera for an unplanned swim.
You can go from budget to deluxe depending on your requirements. The run-of-the-mill drysack is fine to keep stuff dry, but depending on what you planning to do with it and how much you'll be lugging it about, it may be worth considering upgrading to a drybag backpack like the Oakley Motion.
So there you have it. A coupla extra lil bits and pieces to chuck into your gear when you plan your next surf trip. Guaranteed you'll use most of them. Just hopefully not the fin plugs!
Another small week leaves us day-dreaming about the kind of waves that ex-Bluewater Bay local Craig Anderson scores on a regular basis. Here's Morgan Maasen's shot of Craig making it look effortless. Gotto be one of the most fluid surfers out there.
No waves, but plenty of other happenings in the bay. Jeard the Jester will be leaving our shores and heading up to work in Cape Town. Can't blame the guys for bailing for greener pastures, but will be sad to lose our lil cruise boat. Would often give rise to the set of the day as it sailed passed behind the line-up! In retrospect shoulda hired it during flat spells to just cruise up and down between Chomp Rock and the Pier - our very own wave machine!
Well done to the J-Bay crew for excellent results at the Quiksilver Get Free contest in Cape Town. Joshe was 2nd u16, Matt 1st u20, Jerry 2nd u20 & Steven 2nd in the Open men. Nice surfing guys! Hope the ice-cream headaches have subsided.
Coupla the PE entrants for the comp decided to get a lil warm up sesh in at Vic Bay on the way up to CT. Here's Josh Enslin seeing if he can blow out his knee's whilst he blows out the back of the wave. Practice musta helped cos he hooked a good quarter final finish in the QUIK Pro CT.
No surf normally means no wind, and some chilly waters on the wild side gave rise to quite a few foggy misty mornings in the bay. Always fun to imagine that the surf is firing somewhere in the fog bank, but nope, generally it's still flat as a pan. Been lucky that the bay has kept really comfortable water temps, whilst the wild side and Seals area have had some serious rubber days.
PE local James Booth-Jones is on a travel mission to Central America at the moment. Looks like he's scoring pretty good! Gonna catch up with him soon to find out more about his trip so far.
Other travelers are Barry, Greg, Donovan, Carl and Justin. Just a quick trip over to Maldives for some sun, surf and palm tree's. Charts are looking good for the end of the guy's charter - so hoping they might hook into something like below - which was early March in the Southern Atolls. Doesn't look too Maldives like does it, more like Indo on steroids!
The surf gods can have a funny sense of humour when they want to. Take Snapper for instance. Dead flat and decidedly dull for most of the Quik Pro GOld Coast event, despite an extended waiting period. And then the day after the comp ends, this happens......
Stoked to see that cormorants are pretty good surfers. There're plenty locals out at Millers....who often pop up next to you and give you that heart-stopping moment til you work out it's just a bird. Turns out they don't mind hitching a ride when they can - Luc caught a bit of penguin surfing going down at SAMREC recently.
Nice weather means no surf usually, but at least the week threw out some good sunsets! Luckily charts looking a bit better for this week, so let's hold thumbs.
Surfing has it's fair share of comic moments, but nothing is funnier than seeing someone screw up a rock jump. That split second when you see it's all about to go wrong, horribly wrong, and you get to watch it unfold in techni-colour & stereo in front of you.
And you laugh. You laugh til the tears roll down your face and your ribs ache. And that's fair. Really it is. Because somewhere down the line you will be the wipee, and others will laugh at you. The karmic circle of surfing says we will laugh and be laughed at. If you can't deal with that, don't surf. And certainly don't rock jump!
Why do we dance with death? Cos we lazy. Mostly rock-jumps are short-cuts to the take-off spot. So rather than a long paddle round the point or up from the beach, we take our chances and dash down the rocks hoping for the best.
Mostly there is (or should be) some form of tactics involved. Like watch the surf for a while to work out how far apart the sets are, and how many waves in a set. Scope out the launch pad area, work out what Plan B could be if A misfires. If you don't do the basics you're a guaranteed youtube clip waiting to happen.
A sensible approach is to watch someone else do it first. Let them be the proverbial sacrificial lamb. Seen a few jumps and no disasters? Ok, you're up.
Pick your path - know where you gonna go. You can't be halfway down and then have to stand there like a schmuck wondering where to next. Best time to make a run for it is straight after a solid set, cos theory says you should get a bit of a lull thereafter. Although the wave gods have a sense of humour and can often chuck out a random set just to crew up the theory.
Nonetheless, once you commit, commit. You don't wanna be caught halfway down the jump rock as a set approaches cos you been dawdling your way down. Don't forget to hold your leash - getting tangled up with that is just plain doff.
Watch out for slippery stuff en route. Black rocks are slippery. Rocks with seaweed on are slippery. Green moss stuff is slippery. You want to try choose a route where you encounter none of these. Keep your feet on top of the rocks. Do not stick your foot in between rocks - that's how you break an ankle if a wave hits you.
Make sure you've scoped out your landing spot. Can't tell you how many times I've seen ou's jump off the Bruce's jump rock and straight onto that rock just under the surface. Look where you leap! And time when you leap too. Good plan is to jump just as a wave washes up at you, so there's some extra water to cushion your landing. Then as you land you should be helped seawards by the suck of the water back off the rock. Jumping off once the wave has already started to suck back is too late.
Try jump out as straight as you can. That's how boats punch through waves - head on - as you have the least chance of getting swept back with the whitewash. Hit the water paddling - paddle hard, paddle fast. Get outta there like your life depends on it.
There is no fail-safe way to rock jump. You will get nailed eventually, and your friends will see it and piss themselves. The level of ragging you'll receive will be proportional to the amount of photographic or video evidence. If you're lucky. no-one got a shot. If you're very unlucky your mate video'd it, shared it on youtube, and it went viral. Like this poor ou....
Laugh. Laugh heartily. Laugh that you cry. Laugh that you wet ya pants. But laugh. Because your turn will come....
Don't think it won't happen to you. It will.
Unless of course you Nathan Fletcher - who acid drops off rocks into waves, and makes it.
Kody McGregor Photography has been scoring some great shots of local lighties lately. Great to see our kids are blowing up whilst they're growing up.
Gino Fabbri is still frothing on the epic barrel he scored at Millers weekend before last, so much so he decided to immortalize his froth in froth - with this cool coffee art impression. Just gotto love that styling stance...even looks like he's unweighted his front foot and is stalling. Impressive detail! He did get called out by Merv for forgetting to include his hat - so rectified matters with a second cuppa.
Quite an interesting week on the WSL (and no, it still does not roll off the tongue like ASP). Had zippo to do with the surfing - altho that wasn't half-bad, and a whole lot more to do with the sideshows. Eleven lay days and the promise of pumping cyclone swell due to arrive in the extended waiting period had raised the level of expectation. However, the surf gods decided to pull a middle finger at the comp directors and the last day dawned with......crap surf.
So the ou's were a lil testy about being over-sold and under-delivered on, not that anyone can order waves on whim. Nonetheless, a few went into brain-melt mode and kept us entertained. Freddy P was so gatvol he foam bounced his way towards the rocks and then chop-hoped up onto one. Slater went and fetched a groveller midway through his heat, then wouldn't catch a wave on it. And finally Gabe stepped up to add the icing to the cake.
He threw a proper wobbly after getting called on an interference that was neither here nor there, told Micro he'd teach him a lesson if he told him to F*** off again, and then told the comp director he'd boggered up. Pretty good effort in how to piss off a multitude of peeps in just a short one-minute interview. Our new world champ is still a wee bit wet behind the ears, and no doubt his publicity machine will do their best damage control. Still, far more interesting to see some passion and emotion methinks. Maybe Gabe is surfing's answer to John McEnroe? Long may it continue!
Some happy tuxedo guys got released on Sunday. Always great to see the penguins get returned to the sea - SAMREC does an awesome job of cleaning up and fixing up these cute lil dudes. An easy way to help them out is to take your lighties down to watch the penguin releases - the R25/adult and R15/kid fee goes towards raising much needed funds for SAMREC to enable them to continue with their vital work. SAMREC are located just inside Cape Recife, go give their Facebook page a Like to stay up-to-date on penguin releases dates/times....and see plenty of Luc Hosten's lekker shots of the cute critters.
Brad Beck & Hannah Bing are taking a break from tropical perfection for a coupla weeks and headed home for the first time in 9 months after starting their surf coaching stint in the Maldives. Brad got a bit of a shock re-introduction to local surf - having to don full rubber head to toe tobe able to handle the ice-cream headache water that had come into the bay at Seals early in the week. Not so easy after being in baggies 9 months.
The local JBay lighties have also been blowing up. Dylan Lightfoot is up in Ballito at the moment, and has been nailing some great shots - like this one from Greg Ewing.
Matt McGillivray was seen throwing buckets way beyond his weight-grade recently. That's a real AI looking spray he's got going there. Nicely captured by Robbie Irlam.
Don't forget to pop in to your local surf shop to grab the latest Zigzag. Cos you score a free block of wax and a key-ring. You don't get the kiff freebies if you by it at the Spar or CNA....so surf shop or bust if you want the goodies.
Speaking of kiff goodies, Peter Coffey earned himself a great haul from Billabong by correctly guessing the winner of the 2015 Quik Pro Gold Coast. Not many peeps picked Toledo, so your chances of being the lucky number drawn of those who did were gonna be good. Pete scores himself a lekker pair of Billabong boardies, TShirt, cap and slops. Make sure you enter the next ML Fantasy Surfer comp.
Dennis Ellis at the Boardroom has come up with a beauty - a black beauty to be precise. Say hello to the Darth Vader, Deno's futuristic new stick. The Boardroom doing their bit to be BEE compliant!
Caught up with Dennis to find out more about the kiff looking carbon-deckedboard.
Give us the breakdown...
This board features a full carbon top deck, which is wrapped under the bottom deck. The wrap width is at a maximum at the midpoint of the board and decreasing towards the tail. This makes for a lively flex, with a flex variation throughout the board, increasing towards the tail.
And what's hiding in the core?
I've been doing some EPS (standard polystyrene) epoxy boards as a change from the extruded polystyrene,which is incredibly difficult to work with. I think a lot of shapers have been going this route, Hayden shapes, Wedge etc.
Apparently the new foam has only a 5 to 7% water absorbtion rate when dinged.
Absorbtion was a problem in the past, but 5 to 7% is about the same as standard polyurethane foam. There is a lot of (very heated) debate on the foam blogs about this, but the proof is in the testing.
Why the carbon deck?
The carbon deck gives the board rigidity where you need it, under your feet, whilst not having a stringer. Keeping the bottom deck standard glass gives the board a nice lively feel. One can get a similar performance effect with wood veneer decks which also look great, but I wanted to do something different.
Carbon just looks super cool too! But is actually a hazard in the sun. If you take your time getting out into the water your wax can liquidize! So definitely not a board to leave the board lying around on the beach either.
Some factories spray over the carbon to hide it from the sun, but I'm pretty good with my boards, and carbon just looks so good...it's like the gold of the surfboard industry, why spray over it!?
Tell us a bit about her shape.
The shape on this baby is similar to what a lot of pros are riding and its a very popular model for me right now. I'm doing it from 4'11 for groms like Kye Mcgregor and Alex van Rijswik up to 6'2 for the big boys. It's got a very aggressive bottom curve with loads of concave, single into double, all the way to the tail and nose. It needs to be surfed hard from rail to rail, definitely not a cruiser.
Probably a bit high performance for my personal board, being a ballie and all, but I got it to hit the lip a few times, so I'm learning. (Ed - don't let Deno downplay his ability on this - ou's saying they've seen him rip waves to pieces on it!)
How's she ride?
The board has plenty of speed with the high volume and boxy rails, and the tightest turning radius of any board I've ridden, thanks to the aggressive curves and flex. It was designed for better surf but seems to go great in the smaller stuff too. She has Future boxes, but we do any options.
So there you have it, wanna insane looking futuristic board that rides as good as she looks? Give Dennis a shout.
The Boardroom 041 586 2276
(Groms - if you dunno who Darth Vader is - go watch Star Wars. Baddest of the bad dude's ever)
Been wondering what happened to Dean Simpson; the Cobble's King, leash-less legend and Millers style-meister? Turns out he's hopped across the pond to the States. Caught up with him to find out what he's up to.
Whassup!? Heard you’ve ducked over to the States – whereabouts are you at?
Yeow! Right now…..as in today, I call San Clemente home. Home of Trestles but even more so a mecca of logging.
California! Home of the Beach Boys and epic right points. What’s the surf been like?
As I hit the shores (well, the choas of LAX, then the chilled shores of Socal aka Southern California) I’ve heard this often: “Dude, you came at the right time” or “ some of the best swells in a long time man!”. It has been really fun, have been logging a lot but there's also been some solid waves to be had - when I have to pull out the Mikey Meyer Majestic Majenta.
Which are the spots that you’ve been surfing regularly? Anything which reminds you of home?
I surf a spot called Churches, which is almost like Millers on a good day; had my top surfs there. SanO (San Onofre) would surpass anyone’s California surf stereotype by far. It’s pretty insane, the vibe, and the old cars - which wouldn’t be the same without the cruisers in them chilling from morning till night during the middle of the week! I now understand what the 60’s surfers are on about when the reminisce about the old days – everyone here has surf character. Not on purpose but, like a unwritten old surf comic being played out. It’s rad.
Have you tried out the famous log spots like Rincon or Malibu yet?
Rincon is like Jbay, but a hundred more people a square metre with worse waves and less scenery! Places like Cardiff by the Sea, Swammis, Blacks have been really fun. Malibu and I haven’t met with but we have a date!
And how’s the crowd factor & the vibe in the water over there?
If you surf the well known places, specially the shortboard spots, its pretty hectic. Too much so for me.
What’s the standard of logging like over there compared to home?
The logging scene is full of guys and chicks killing it. The culture here is surfing, and everything emphasizes that; from the coffee shops, music, shaping expos, kids, ballies, and young shapers learning from old ones. South Africa needs hungry young shapers and the ballies need to teach and pass on knowledge of shaping and life. Thanks to people that are doing that already.
Did you take some boards over or are you begging, borrowing and stealing?
I brought the Mikey Meyer Majestic majenta 6’2 single over with my. But after borrowing a Donald Brink, which is one of the longboard shapers killing it on the logging scene over here (and a fellow South African), he’s hooked me up with a rad log.
So is the move to Cali just an extended vacation or are grafting whilst you over there?
Any plans to do some surf missions north or south?
Planned! Yeah, been down to Mexico already and as far up as the Ranch; but the two trips I want to do is drive from Socal to Oregon up north, as well as head down to Costa Rica.
Been over there long enough to start missing anything back home yet?
The three F’s….. FOOD, Friends and Family
Finally we got a few waves! Had to wait the whole week for them to arrive, but at least they did. As usual the wind came along with them, although only later on during the day. Some winners, some losers. Winners were Gino Fabbri who scored a big, slurpy sucky barrel and was so frothed up afterwards that he lost his bearings and paddled back to the line-up via Outer Mongolia. Lifeguards nearly launched a jetski to go fetch him! Brett Hoppe also stuck himself into a few throaty one's.
Taz unfortunately had a bit of a 'mare. Walking back in after his surf he cut his foot on the rocks, and whilst investigating the cut, lost his balance, stuck his other foot into a crevice - and got about 20 urchin spines in that one. Double blind. I managed to land on my board and knock one of the fins out, so anyone finding a Hanalai red fin at the bottom end of Millers reef (near the drain I think??), there's a R150 waiting for you if you hand it in at Surf Centre. Bummed, lost favourite fin, bruised ass and big ding in my favourite board where the fin pressed into the deck before popping out.
It was the early birds who got the worms earlier during the week, but had to be up and at it to score. Things disappear quickly in the summer wind swells, so Alex Van Rijswijck did the dawnie to make sure he got a couple. Not that much long to go before dawnies become 7am instead of 5am affairs. Winter marches slowly towards us, and not a moment too soon.
Remember the fog bank that came over on Saturday morning. Luc Hosten was going walkabout at Cape Recife when he came across a strange colourless bow in the sky. Intrigued, he looked it up on Wikipedia - it's called a fogbow - "Fogbows form in the same way as rainbows, but they are formed by much smaller cloud and fog droplets that diffract light extensively. They are almost white with faint reds on the outside and blues inside. The colours are dim because the bow in each colour is very broad and the colours overlap." Thanks Luc for always finding something weird to shoot that ends up enlightening us!
Yip, we're the Windy City for sure. Blew so much out at Sards recently that this ou had to hang on to stop himself getting blown off the old lifesaving clubhouse! Great shot by Craig Anderson Photography. No photoshop involved - that's one strong ou. Didn't look like any waves at Sards that day.
JBay local Deon Lategan is known for his amazing line-up shots of the town's iconic breaks. Here's yet another of his great captures - dawn patrol time, always the best time of day. If you like to keep up with Deon's super snaps then give him a Like on his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/DeonLateganPhotographics
Groundhog day with week after week of flatness. Maybe it should be ground dog day? Stoked bulldog at the recent RVCA Retro event held in Llandudno. Looks like he thinks the rails are a bit boxy though?
This shots being doing the rounds of social media lately. Of course it's photoshopped ou's! Easiest way to tell if a supposed big wave you see on social media is legit? Just check to see if it's entered into the Billabong XXL comp. Cos anyone crazy enough to ride a moving monster would surely wanna win himself $100k for doing so now wouldn't he! So if it ain't entered in there, chances are it's phony.
All sorts of weird stuff comes ashore at Jbay. Like this bottle that Deon Lategan picked up. Funny water. Has to be at exactly 596ml!? Wahaha Bottled Water ain't so funny after all - it tops the list of eight bottled water brands that are unsafe to drink, according to the Beijing Bureau for Food and Drug Inspection. The unfit bottled water has problems with excess amounts of bacteria and yeast. Maybe that's why the ou's turfed it?
Plastic ain't fantastic - remember to pick up a coupla pieces of trash as you make your way back to the car after every surf. Every lil bit helps. It's your beach, look after it.
You know it's lank flat when the best "set" that rolls through all sesh is thanks to the Jester going past and a bit of boat wake throwing up a lil wedge. At this rate we'll have to get 'em to cruise up and down the beachfront all day til the swell finally arrives. C'mon winter, c'mon.....
Chris the car guard at Pipe has upgraded his pirate's attire to now include a blunderbuss - the fancy-ass name for a pirate's gun. Hopefully would-be car thieves will be terrified at the prospect of getting sprayed by his deadly water pistol. In case that isn't sufficient deterrent, the knife in the right jacket pocket might suffice. Plastic as well, fear not.
We might need Chris to start extending his beat down to Millers. Dodgy ou tried to nick a ladies bag who was sitting on the beach watching her lightie surf. Luckily both Kevin & Wayne spotted the guy casually walk past and lift the bag without her noticing and yelled to raise the alarm. The muppet had continued to walk along nonchalantly holding the bag until he realised an ou was after him, then he dropped it and bolted over the dune. Ou's like that need a good bliksem.
JBay says goodbye to one of it's iconic locals. Clive Barber, South African surfing legend and all round nice guy died peacefully in Humansdorp near to Jeffreys Bay Saturday before last. He was a remarkably talented and creative surfer, craftsman, filmmaker and non-conformist. A paddle-out was held at the Point in his honour. RIP.
Lats. Other wise known as Latisimus dorsi. Latin for "broadest muscle of your back." The ou's that paddle you round the line-up. Every stroke you take, from the second your hand grabs the water, til it pulls down to your waist, those are the lats. They're the one's that get noodle-armed when you surf a long sesh. The one's most likely to make your shoulders eina. So give 'em some love if you don't want funky shoulders keeping you out the surf.
Your Lats get hammered during paddling. They get tired, so they get tight. When they get tight your shoulders angle forward. This creates an imbalance which can create a shift in posture, and stuff up your neck, back and shoulders.
Shoulder imbalances can shrink some of the space within the shoulder joint. All that paddling tightens up the lats so you start getting compression in the subacromial space cos the muscles are pulling the joint out of proper alignment. Just like the tyres on your cabbie get worn funny if your wheels outta alignment, same thing can happen in ya shoulder.
Kak alignment grinds those lil rotator cuff tendons stukkend and leaves you with miff shoulders. The overworked lats and tight pecs tend to yank the top of your arm bone up into the shoulder socket and squish the lil tendons that run through that small gap. This flares the rotator cuff tendons up, and it becomes painful to lift your arm above shoulder level.
So, love those lats and release em if you don't wanna be kept out the surf cos of a dodgy shoulder. Gotto decompress the compression....
Doesn't help that most peeps are stuck behind a desk or computer all day - and that hunched over posture just exacerbates the shoulder imbalance. A slouched spine, rounded shoulders, and forward head posture is gonna create havoc in your shoulder joint. Just re-affirming that work is bad for your surfing!
Even if you don't have an acutely painful shoulder, you probably have some type of dysfunction or postural offset happening in there if you're surfing regularly. Which means you might run into problems down the line. Which might keep you outta the surf. Which is not a good thing.
Staying shoulder smart is pretty simple, although it does involve making the effort. All you need is a tennis ball and foam roller. They sound innocuous. They are not. When applied to your lats they become trigger point eating rottweilers. They will hurt, they might even bring tears to your eye's, but they will keep you in the water.
What you're gonna do with these guys is use em to mobilise the tight tissues, and get rid of those knots which make the muscles tight and cause all the kak to start with.
Tennis balls are great to loosen up tight pecs. Stick em on your upper outside pec area and lean into the wall and move about a bit so they rub into that area - the dude in the vid below shows ya how to do it.
Foam rollers are the perfect tool to roll out the tight spots in your lats. Lying on your side on the roller with your arm stretched out and just slowly moving up and down so the roller does it's magic along the whole length of your lats. Remember it runs right from your lower back up into the armpit, so make sure you roll right up and down.
Don't worry, you'll know when you hit the spots cos it's flipping eina. Find an eina spot then linger there a bit. The Navy slogan says pain is just weakness leaving the body.
Once you've tended to your pecs and your lats, it isn't a bad idea to chuck in a bit of thoracic mobility to counteract those long hours of slumping forward in front of the computer, desk or TV. The trick is to keep the bod balanced, so for all that forward tightness you wanna offset doing the opposite movement which is thoracic extension - see below
If you're serious about your shoulders then check out Chris Mills's site http://surfstrengthcoach.com/
He's a guru surf conditioning and strengthening coach in Aus who has some great video clips which will help you stretch and strengthen your shoulders. It's really worth looking after them cos once they crap out on you they take a while (and often a good deal of cash) to get sorted. Prevention is better than cure....
You know it's yet another week of small swell when some of the guys reckon conditions are perfect to swim from the wildside round to Pipe. That's just what a small group of endurance swimmers did last week - getting in at Noordhoek, rounding Cape Recife, and swimming in at Pipe. A scary distance of nearly 12k's. Respect.
They did meet some interesting sea life en route, with a few quizzy sharks and a pod of dolphins saying hi. Support boats were with the swimmers the whole way so nothing that a quick "walk-on-water-jump-into-boat" couldn't solve if anything decided to get too close.
The lack of surf is doing guys heads in. Including Richard von Wildemann who's taken to surfing his malibu....in a pink speedo! Scared some of the lighties at Millers for sure, and no doubt a few post-traumatic cerise budgie-smuggler nightmares tormented them that evening.
However, the pink speedo has a message. It's Rich's way of showing support for breast cancer awareness, so props for Rich for doing his bit to raise awareness to this serious cause. Wanna know more about how pimping with pink can help? Check out http://www.pinkdrive.co.za/
Gotto love how the pole did a bit of censorship work....
Things have been getting a bit smelly along the beachfront lately. Some seriously miff stuff has been coming out the stormwater drains - particularly up near the Avo's/Bird Rock area. That lil building just where the road from Millers car park joins the one going up to Avo's is actually a sewerage pump station. It seems as if yucky stuff from there is somehow ending up in the stormwater drain and spewing out onto the beach. The authorities are aware of the situation, and it is noted in the draft Coastal Management Plan that this is a problem that needs resolving. Guess it's lucky there haven;t been waves at Avo's for ages, cos would be tough to skip a firing sesh there thanks to dodgy water quality.
Talking about kak - a lady longboarder was wrestled to the ground, punched in the jaw & robbed in the Long beach parking lot last week. The guy then sped away in a fancy black BMW sedan ... obviously crime pays? Seriously though - keep an eye out for your fellow surfers.
Congrats to Matt McGillivray for taking the u18 title in the recent Junior International Shootout between SA & France held in Durbs recently. Conditions were pretty iffy and the French dominated proceedings, other than Matt doing his bit to fly the Saffa flag high. Shot bru!
Not often you see a board that looks good enough to eat, but Koffie's new stick fits the bill. JBay's Stephen van der Walt did a lekker job. Koffie's stoked cos it matches his TShirt. Hotdog board for hotdog summer waves, what's not to like.
The pro circus has invaded Snapper for the first event of the 2015 ASP - I mean WSL - event of the year. Is it just mean or does WSL just not roll off the tongue well? Could be an interesting year - can Medina make it 2 in a row or are there some other young pretenders to the throne looking to unseat him?
Let's hope Jordy - looking a bit discombobulated below - can step it up and make it his year. Bought time we had another Saffa world champ and his surfing is looking so good at the moment.
Whispers that the comp's could soon be pay-per-view. Already the video feed from the WSL events has moved over to someone called Neulion - who are the dudes who do pay-per-view for plenty of other yanky sports. No more being able to go check out the ASP aka WSL youtube channel - she be gone. You can still check out the comp highlights etc via the WSL event site, but the video player is no longer Youtube. Interesting times.
Local legend Mush Hide was spotted with his mutt Kokorot at Seals recently - appropriately positioned under a No Stopping sign - which pretty much describes Mush perfectly - never stop surfing, no matter how grey your hair might become. Keep the stoke alive.
A side note on Kokorot - he was rescued from the dump site and was actually going to be called Muffin, but luckily it got saved from a life of embarrassment and ended up with the coolest dog name ever. Being called Cockroach is about as bad-ass as you can get in dog-world.
Speaking of ballies - all those surfers over 30 are encouraged to take part in the 4 upcoming EP Masters Trials. Management is serious about mounting a proper challenge to the title this year and would be stoked if ou's made the effort to come surf. Plans are to raise money towards the comp in Richards Bay to help team members out with costs.
Fundraising has already begun with the sale of Pipe Crew stickers (go grab yours at Surf Centre or Warwick at Coffee's Up for just R20), as well as retro surf comp & a multi event beach day. Boardtalk’ Sean has also offered the guys fundraising opportunities, so please support the sale of these awesome local mags!
Trial dates are:
8 March (J-Bay) ,
18 April (Port Alfred –to be confirmed) (afternoon)
24th (PE Roving)
31st May (J Bay)
Whilst we're vrekking from heat, in Nantucket it's downright nippy. So much so that last week some of the waves became over-sized slush puppies. Ice-cream headache anyone?
Now here's a good answer to flat spells from hell - chuck your stick on top of your electric skateboard and off you go. Have been following Boosted Boards ever since I spotted them on Kickstarter a while ago. They're now in production with a long waiting list for orders - if you don't mind the hefty price tag. A snip at R10k.
But it is the most awesome electric skateboard out there. Cruises at 40km/h, goes up impossibly steep hills, has a great braking system, and is made by ou's from MIT (which is the coolest techie varsity in the states).
You've heard the saying "Life's tough in Africa". But am thinking "Life's even tougher in the Maldives". Brad Beck & Hannah Bing are still surf coaching in the tropics. Besides having the coolest jobs in the world, it also means you're well placed to hop across into Asia for a quick break when you get sick of sun, sand, surf & palm trees. The pair are off to Cambodia soon. Safe travels!
Long term forecasts aren't looking very exciting. Maybe something with decent period this Saturday, with some mid sized 15 second swell due. But it all depends on whether it actually arrives, and what the winds decide to do. Would be particularly crap luck if we get honking east on the only day some half-decent swell pulls through. Sense of humour failure....