Slow week waves wise, coupla lumps popping up over the weekend just to keep everyone sane. Main news of the week was the NMBS lighties who won the Sea Harvest Grom Games Surfing Trophy at Pipe over the weekend. Well done lighties!!
Was mostly flat during the first part of the week - which meant beach time, snorkel time, pretty much anything other than water time!
If the bay's flat, no problem, just put a coupla bucks in the tanks and head over to the wildside - sometimes it entails a trip right to the end of the road. But it has to be really small for Maitlands not to have something surfable. You do of course sometimes hear the faint sound of Jaws theme music when you're sitting out there though!
Speaking of finned friends....a Cape Town lightie didn't realize how close he was to one. Craig Drysdale's son was out surfing Kalk Bay and his mate snapped a few shots. When reviewing the pics they noticed a large great white about 1.5 m away from him!! Lightie is duckdiving the wave next to the peak, and Mr Grey Suit - well - he's easy to see!!
As usual the spots further west delivered some fun one's when the swell did finally show up. JBay and Seals had a wave or two.
If you had more than just a few bob for a tank of fuel - and could afford to spring for an air ticket - well, you could have hooked some cooking waves with ex-Seals locals Brad & Hannah. They are "working" out in Indo at the moment - at a spot famously known as Occy's Left.
Despite the lack of swell - the windless days meant you could take a nice walk out at Cape Recife without getting sandblasted to pieces! We do actually need the wind to blow though - so it moves the sand off the dune field and over into the bay - as that's where all our feeder sand comes from. Most of the bays beaches are super stony at the moment - so some more sand wouldn't go amiss.
More skelm issues during the week. Guy's went for a swim at Pipe and buried their keys on the beach under a rock & put their towel on top of it. Came back - looked for key - gone. Wayne Barnes went over to see what was up and started to help em look. They gave up, and when Wayne walked back up onto the boardwalk a guy asked him what they were doing. When he explained, the guy then said he'd seen a dodgy dude scratching around there and described him.
Wayne and the key owner jumped in Wayne's car and headed down to Millers to see if they could spot the skelm based on the description they'd received. They did find him near Something Good. Flagged down a police van and asked them to search the guy - but he had nothing on him. Skunked.
Elvis the car guard was made aware to keep an eye out for dodgies. So the very next day he sees them sitting on the dunes at Pipe (not the brightest bunch, our thieves, maybe in the hope the car was still there). Elvis enlisted CarPark John to go with him to confront them. They got the keys back. So good job by all. The surf community needs to watch out for each other. Thanks to Wayne, John and Elvis.
For those of you allergic to early mornings - your chances of seeing the sunrise are steadily improving as winter approaches and the sun wakes up a bit later.
Nothing like an aerial shot to provide good evidence that the pier at Hobie is doing it's job of trapping sand. The concrete cross struts between the pylon bases are actually removable - so if the council ever wanted to do us the biggest favour they'd lift em out for a coupla days so all the sand from Hobie could wash through onto the north side of the pier - and we could get some waves there again!
As you can see from this old pic there wasn't much sand on Hobie in the days before the Pier was built. Apparently this shot is taken between 1969 - 1970. Clues were the detour on the Humewood bridge - so just after the '68 floods, UPE site had been cleared but no construction taking place yet. Still there are the tennis courts and the caravan park.
You'll see from the shot above that the pylons at Humewood used to have steel girders on them - this was to guide the ships up onto the slipway. Back in the day there had been talk to build a restaurant on top of the pylons - but anyone whose seen Hummies on a solid day knows that would be a kak idea!
Easters coming up and usually it delivers some decent surf - but the charts aren't showing any hint of that yet. Here's hoping that we get a nice surprise!!
Was a scratchy week for waves. The charts had looked OK'ish but decided to downgrade in reality to not-much'ish. If a surf counted as getting wet, that was possible, but not a lot else around. Some beaut weather and lekker days though, so all was not lost.
No surf, no problem, grab your skateboard and head off to the wildside for some serious hill bombing. Just pack your band-aids...
Maybe we have to thank these to guys for the flat spell? You know how it goes - you get a new stick and the ocean goes flat. Well these brothers collected their new sticks last week so might have something to do with the double flat spell? Kiff sprays by Robyn van der Merwe.
First WSL of the year kicked off at Snapper. Mikey February got a last minute entry thanks to King Kelly pulling out. Mikey got skunked by the judges in Rd 3, and was awarded what many thought was a lower score on his last wave to ensure that Julian Wilson went through - Julian eventually went on to win the title. Jordy also got pipped in Rd 3. He goes into Bells as defending champion though - so hopefully gets a better result there.
Head's up! Pull into Chingada's in Walmer this Friday for Matt Bromley's new film, Risky Ripples.There will be Monster Energy and beer flowing from Jack Black. Entry is FREE so pull in for a good time. The guys will also be raising money for 9Miles Project with raffles from Billabong, Nixon and Scarfini Fins.
Friday 23 March 7pm for 7:30/ 8pm start.
CarPark John isn't only in a car park near you - turns out he's in your local Spur too. You can now grab a pint of the Richmond Hill Brewing Company's amber ale when you pop in for your burger or ribs.
Salty Hour on Saturdays continues to spread the stoke - with enthusiastic peeps pitching up to have a bash at surfing under the expert guidance of the Boardroom crew. Everyone is welcome - so every Sat pull in for an hour of free surf lessons (equipment provided) at Kings Beach (near McArthur Baths), 3-4pm.
Annie van der Merwe and Willem can Rjswicjk started Gromblitz a year ago - teaching kids from Missionvale to surf and skateboard, and in the process teaching them discipline, respect, and how to look after environment. The groms had a session down at Deville's and had a blast. Surf Centre helped out with boards and coaching staff.
PE probably has some of the less imaginatively names surf spots around. Take Pipe for instance. In Hawaii Pipe is so named as it refers to the hollow appearance of the barrels there - they look like drainpipes. PE, on the other hand has a spot called Pipe because....
Good to see the new NMB initiative rolling out at Hobie Beach this week - thanks to the hard work of Councillors Dean Biddulph and Renaldo Gouws and others. For a small fee you can now store your valuables safely in a locker whilst heading off for a swim. Hopefully it proves successful and they'll put something similar in at Pipe soon.
The week was pretty much flat with some lumps and bumps showing up for the weekend, but the wind didn't quite co-operate. Least you could get wet though.
Even when the waves fail to materialise, the sunrises and sunsets always make an effort. Here's a kiff collection of shots from during the week.
Waves and lekker weather - smiles all round. On occasion the crowds could remove the smile from your dial, but otherwise all good. The whole of the Eastern Cape coastline had waves for days. You drove 40 min down the track and it was firing, add another 30 min and you were grinning from ear to ear. Sneaky wind shifts meant those in the know scored the not-so-secret-but-very-finicky right point with only 5 guys out.
The sunrise and sunset brigade were not disappointed either. Although sunrises trumped sunsets this week for sheer awesomeness factor.
Not only does local surfer and early riser Andrew Garai take lekker shots of the early mornings along the beachfront - turns out he is also a pretty good snake handler! Removing this puff adder for the guys at the Engen at the airport. Maybe we should employ his snake-handling skills in the line-up as well! Just the right guy to deal with the snakes who forget there's this thing called a line-up.
The Proteas were in town this week for the cricket test. They're staying on the beachfront so their bus can be seen going up and down each day. Both the Saffa's and the Aussies have been seen grabbing a swim at Hobie - but get their early if you wanna bump into them.
The Max Wax comp winner Howard Briscoe popped into the Boardroom to collect his stash. He now has 5 blocks of the big sticky stuff so don't feel bad if you ask him to bum some wax for your stick. Don;t wanna be a bum? Grab your own at the Boardroom.
Fins are great for getting your board to go where you want it to go - but they ain't so great when they decide to have a nibble on your ankle. In the fin vs skin debate the fin always wins, as Pieter-Ben van Rhijn found out last week. But all stitched up and ready to go in record time. Can't keep a surfer out the water!
Local surfer and artist Ryan Allan has made a cool Penguin Aweh-ness sticker pack of the Penguin crew hitting the water. A portion of the sales from each pack will be donated to Sanccob at Cape Recife. Their work includes the rescue and rehab of our coastal birds, including this endangered penguin species.
Want to support their efforts by getting yourself a pack or two to paste up on your car and surfboard? Then head on over to Ryan's online store here.
Some hefty cyclone swell klapped Durbs last week - and there were barrels aplenty if you were up for it. Can't say we've seen to much of it, unless the south swell we had this week was coming off o fthat?
Anyone surfer who flies into PE always has their nose stuck to the window if landing when the west is blowing, cos you approach the airport via the sea - check out the right and you can see if Fence has a wave, out the left side to see what's going on at Hummies, Millers and Pipe.
All the early risers this week got rewarded - with both sunrises and waves. Often the best time fo the day to be down at the beach.
As surfers we're programmed to see things differently. See a pic with a hint of the sea in the background and the first thing we look at is to see if there's surf. Hundred bucks says every surfer seeing the shot below looked at the waves first!
Despite the crazy crowds clogging the line-ups locally, you can always find a wave to yourself if you don't mind a bit of travel time. Luke is probably one of the most shacked surfers in the Eastern Cape.
We have some of the best beaches in the country right on our doorstep. Sardinia Bay is only a 10 minute drive outta the city. Such a lekker possie for a walk or a swim (sometimes even a surf - ask Jorg). Schoenies resident and photag Luc Hosten sometimes changes his stomping ground to a few k's down the coast and always comes up with a unique angle on this beautiful beach.
Nazare in Portugal has been getting some monster surf. Check out this lucky escape for this ou who went over the falls on his jetski. Eina!!
Mixed bag as far as surf goes this week - nothing flash but enough to get wet. And even a mediocre wave is better than no wave!
A weekend wave bonanza. Cry into your coffee if you didn't get wet - cos it was fun. Provided you could wrap your head around the crazy crowds. Pipe was firing, Millers was fun, and a few of the other spots were getting some good one's too.
You can check out Petronel's shots from Sat and Sunday here:
Vaughans water shots from Sat here:
There is always the pay to play side of things though when there are waves about. Andre Venter had to bid farewell to his trusty pink n purple sled, as Pipe claimed another victim. Luckily all it claimed was a board.
Local chiro and surfer Mare′ Moolman had a nasty experience at Pipe on Saturday morning. Got wiped out and hit the sand with his head. His neck got bent pretty bad and he was paralyzed. There wasn't anyone in the water at the time to help him and luckily he just managed to keep afloat with his face just above water gasping for air like a guppie, and got washed in to shore by the surf. Elvis the carguard ran into the water to pull him out onto the beach and called for help. Thankfully it was just a temporary paralysis and he was discharged later from hospital. Thankfully a happy ending to what was a gnarly situation.
Also a few drama's at Cape Recife too, where 6 people had got into difficulties after taking a swim and the NSRI and Coastal Water Rescue were called to assist. Thankfully everyone was rescued and some of the victims taken to hospital. Moral of the story - always keep you eyes peeled if you taking a walk along the beach or if you're out in the water - you never know when someone might get into difficulty.
There were waves down the road as usual, although surprisingly it sounded like PE had more crowds than JBay. Can't say that happens often.
Coupla beaut weather days in the bay as well this week. The last few days of summer maybe? Water temps have been almost balmy, and the water super clear. Although still some miff red tide hanging around deeper in the bay.
Pencil this into your diaries. Cool initiative by local surfer Lewellyn Whittaker. The Waves School of Surfing seminar is designed for the whole family and will cover wave riding technique (what your board and body are doing at any given moment whilst doing a turn). So don't miss the opportunity to improve your surfing. Entry is free, and it will be held at the Bridge street Brewery 29 March at 5pm.
Sign of the times and a tight economy when the morning Surf Report on Radio Algoa gets the axe as part of a cost cutting drive. Pretty sad day when something iconic like that is lost. Sure, everyone can check on their apps what the surf is "meant" to be doing, but nothing beats an actual real live surf report from the beach that morning. So no longer will you have CarPark John's surf report pop up on your radio. Feel free to tune Radio Algoa if you think it's a swak move. You can WhatsApp them on 0617 940 940.
CarPark John did a lekker interview with Charl Leslie on his Sunday Sitdown show. Charl had a kiff chat with John about surfing in PE. You can listen to it here:
The sun is still getting up early enough in the morning for those who feel so inclined to get a swim in before work. Mornings always a lekker time to be on the beach. Ou's taking a swim, peeps walking dogs, peeps running (or trying to run), ballies walking. We are lucky to live in a town with such an easily accessible (and mostly safe) beachfront.
Not so safe for a visiting seafarer though. Mid-week a Turkish crewman took a walk from the harbour to the Boardwalk. He wanted to pop in to the Boardwalk to play the slots but didn't have his passport with him so couldn't change money there. So he stopped a random dude on the boardwalk just after Hummies to swap what he had for some change - and being Africa that went badly wrong and the ou just stole all his money & stuff at knifepoint.
Poor dude ran all the way down to the Dolphins Leap Centre for help and the guys at Surf Centre calmed him down, put him in touch with the police and arranged for a taxi to get him back to his ship. Welcome to Africa.
Plenty of new sticks coming out the Boardroom - Deno on a mission. Good news is that Dennis has taken over doing all the glassing of the boards himself, so expect em to be as tough as nails going forward.
Howard Briscoe is the lucky winner of the 5 blocks of Max Wax in last weeks comp. If you dig to learn a lil more about the story behind this #localislekker surf wax made by some ex-Pe locals now living in JBay check it out here:
So that's the wrap on a pretty eventful week. Waves, drama and the usual lekker sunrises and sunsets. Possibility of a few waves this week too. Monday was really fun - which is why the blog is a day late.