OK, so this is lank late. But did a quick runner over to Maldives for 2 weeks and the surf was pumping and had no time to do blog posts! But here's a quick wrap of all that went down the last 2 weeks. Cos despite everyone ripping poor 'ol PE off, stuff actually does happen in our dorpie!
Some solid ground swell wrapped it's way round the coast of South Africa on 18th April - as in 22 second period kinda solid. Don't see that too often. JBay lit up like Guy Fawkes day. PE managed a few good one's too.
A few clicks west of JBay was pretty fun as well....
Overhead surf is a state of mind - anything can be overhead if you just bend those knees a bit - meaning you can get overhead barrels at Pipe with a bit of effort!
In preparation for the coming winter surf CarPark John got spoilt with a kiff new stick from Dennis Ellis at the Boardroom. Lightweight epoxy shred-machine designed to gobble up waves. So expect the ballie to suddenly start paddling rings around you in the line-up and up'ing his wave count by 500%.
From new boards to new fins. Beyond frothing on these amazing Hanalai fins which will soon be wending their way over to me from Aus. Ex-PE local Lance Pearson is hooking me up with a customised set of Q2's, which look insane. Have been riding Hanalai's for over 3 years now and absolutely love them. Totally unique fin concept, leveraging a lot from sail design, with a slightly concave interior foil.
Finally available locally in SA - tune Mike from Dust Surf in Cape Town and he'll hook you up - and change your life!
The kiff sunrises are getting easier for everyone to appreciate thanks to the onset of winter and the sun getting up later. Here's a collection of what we were blessed with in the past 10 days.
Seems hat the skollies just refuse to give up. Reports of a sketchy white bakkie scoping out Pipe car park lately. So please keep your eye's peeled. Cops have been called a coupla times about it so are also aware to be on the lookout for it.
If you do park at Pipe do consider giving Elvis the car guard a coupla bucks to look after your cabbie - he is pretty on the ball and does a decent job of keeping tabs on the skelms and keeping your stuff safe.
Plenty of wildlife activity at the moment - with a paddleskier in Plett getting a free heart rate acceleration when a great white breached up under his ski and took a bit chunk outta it. Luckily the guy got to shore in a flash and didn;t meet the finned fellow himself.
Aerial footage from around Robberg recently has shown plenty of sharks cruising about, and even snacking on hapless seals.
The SA Longboard champs took place up the west coast in Lamberts Bay. Some good results for the Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders (aka NMBS):
Steven Sawyer won the Men's Open, Mike Hill 2nd
Mike Hill won the Masters
Ryan Lightfoot 4th in u18 boys
Michele von kempen 3rd Senior Ladies
Faye Zoetmulder 3rd Open Ladies
Kye McGregor 2nd u16 boys
OK, sunset time - PE never disappoints...sometimes it even throws in a rainbow just to really make it next level.
Nice short week this week thanks to the public holiday. Some swell about but some wind issues which may mess things up. Joys of living in the "Windy City"
Waves!! Decent waves actually. A solid long period ground swell made it's way along the Eastern Cape coast and managed to find it's way into the bay. Tuesday was the day. You could pretty much take your pick of the spots as everywhere had surf.
JBay was solid. Like solid enough to give you a snotklap if you wiped out. Pretty sure everyone was stoked to get their sinuses cleared again. Hard to get a good rinsing when you don;t even get your hair wet in a surf - which pretty much described last week's efforts.
The Ironman came to town for the weekend so it would have been a bonus for all those living down in Humewood & Summerstrand to score uncrowded surf cos of all the road closures - but unfortunately Sunday dawned super teeny. Wildside looked good - but you would have to hike in to surf it. At least lekker conditions for the guys to race in.
Waves everywhere this week - Seals local Brad Beck hooked some kiff lefts over in Sumba, Indonesia. A nice change to get barreled after a year of nose riding in Mexico.
Really sad to have 2 dead dolphins wash ashore this week - one at Cape Recife and the other at Pipe. Bayworld will be doing a necropsy on the bottlenose which washed up at Pipe. What is worrying is it had a rope around it's tail. It is thought that the dolphin at Cape Recife may have been one of those rescued earlier in the week from Woody Cape.
For all those fans of CarPark John amber ale - you can now get it in cans. The legend not only lives on - but grows! Remember if you see CarPark John hanging about the boardwalk - drag him out for a surf with you. Ballie needs a bit of motivation these days.
Great surf for the Buffalo City Pro in Slummies over the weekend. Nahoon cooked, and the surfing cooked with it. Dale Staples took the win from Matt McGillivray in the final, and St Francis's Michael Hill won the longboards. East Cape continues to represent.
And just in case you thought the waves would overshadow the sunrise/sunset situation - nup - they still delivered.
Charts look like some surf this week - so watch the wind and be on it.
For the last coupla years we've headed over to Indo over Dec/Jan. Get to escape the holiday madness back home and score super fun warm water surf with hardly anyone around. What's not to like!? Off-season suits us just fine as we aren't chasing big scary barrels.
This year we stayed at the newly built Monkey's Resort in the Telo islands. It sits right in front of our favourite wave in Indo, a really fun right point. Nice hollow A-frame kinda take-off that then reels off down the reef for about 200m. Think Humewood mixed with really good day at Millers. Plus it's not trying to eat you as most Indo waves are
You can see it coming as it peels down a series of right points on it's way to the line-up, breaks in the same place, does the same thing every time, and then let's you out at the end so that you can paddle back with dry hair. And I have yet to hit the reef. My kinda wave! It even has the occasional barrel section if you that way inclined. But for sheer fun factor - 10 outta 10.
There are plenty other waves in the area, but I'm a creature of habit, and if there's a super fun right point out front I ain't bothering to go anywhere else! The resort is situated inside a deep bay with the wave being on the edge of the bay - you can sit on the deck of your bungalow and watch it reel down the point. As the crow flies it's about 800m out front from your veranda. A 15 min stroll up the beach, or else hook a 2 minute boat ride in the dingy. Too easy.
It's hard sitting on the front deck of your possie and watch kiff waves peeling down the point but your arms are too screwed to paddle out again. Not the worst conundrum to face.
If you've had your fill of fun right points then there's a speedboat available for those that want to venture to the other side of the bay or a nearby island for series of left points, or round the corner for the beachies. We'll get back to the beachies later...
Despite it's sheltered position deep inside the bay the right picks up plenty of swell. Even in the "off" season we surfed pretty much every single day. Some days were small, some days approached double overhead. The water was always warm, and the maximum crowd when we were there was 8 people. With plenty of sessions just the two of us.
Even in season there are plenty of waves to go round, as charter boats passing through the islands en route to Nias only stop over for a day or two. There are a few other surf camps and resorts in the island chain, but most of them are situated up north and it's quite a trek to speedboat down south - a one and a half hour ride. Which means throughout the year there's always a dawnie and a sunset sesh with hardly anyone about.
The resort is aimed at those that like their creature comforts, whilst keeping nice and low key so no insta-crowd issues. Definitely somewhere you can bring the missus or the family. There are 4 twin-share bungalows and one double story bungalow for families. They're super comfy and spacious with aircon and fans, and a western style bathroom. Plenty of good chow on offer, so expect to have to surf lots just to make sure you don't put on weight!
You definitely won't go hungry at Monkeys Resort - which is just as well cos surfing 8 hours a day means you need to stay fueled up. Food is great - plentiful and really tasty, and is a mix of Western and local cuisine.
What's really neat is that the resort has a huge solar array to supplement it's power needs - pretty sure it must be the first resort in Indo to have so much solar. The resorts been a year in the making and is almost 100% complete, just a bit of grass to grow and a pool to install still. But everything you need to enjoy a lekker surf holiday is already in place - so you can jump on a plane and head over tomorrow and have an epic time.
I'm not an early morning person, but I have to say when we made the concerted effort to get up at the crack of dawn we were rewarded with sheet glass surf.
On the days when the waves were small, and our arms were too tired and needed a break we went exploring. You can do the full on Bear Grylls kinda missions as acres and acres of untamed jungle around, but also lotsa Bear Grylls-Lite adventures where you can just go wandering along the deserted beaches which flank Monkeys resort.
A few small river crossings keep things entertaining, particularly the slightly deeper one's that entail a swim - which you tend to do pretty quick- given you're not sure about crossing paths with toothy friends. Just joking - those apparently got eaten themselves many years ago. No reports of any crocs in the area. Wildlife these days consist of weird lil sand burrowing goodies that throw out some cool patterns, and plenty of birds, monkeys, iguanas and lizards.
The rivermouths look like they'd dish up a few tasty sandbars when the swell is big enough in the peak season to sneak deep into the bay. They also seem to dish up some pretty cool home-made surfboards. Like this really well shaped log (literally and figuratively) with a nice bit of rocker and mini-simmons square tail. Would have loved to take it back to the Monkeys resort for a surf but was a bit far to carry it.
Remember earlier I mentioned the beachies. Holy cow - these are some of the best beachies in all of Indo. Not that you come to Indo for beachies, but still, these are epic. They're a few notches above my pay grade cos they super hollow and quick - but they offer tubes galore and more punt sections than you can swing a cat at. So for anyone wanting either shade or air - this is your spot.
Occy and Curren surfed it at 8-10ft years back, and said it was undoubtedly one of the best beachbreaks they'd even surfed. Mere mortals will find that even from 2-3ft it offers up a froth fest of fun. In crystal clear water.
It's an absolute wave magnet for the area, so sucks in anything that's in the Indian Ocean. There are a series of reefs offshore which break up the swells into peaks, which then make their way landward and detonate as A-frames on the sandy shore. Detonate being a very accurate description for when it gets head high or bigger. Make no mistake, it can be a wave of consequence, despite being a sand bottomed break.
Then there's the lefts - lots of them about - but I'm allergic to my backhand so don't spend any time on them at all. But if you a goofy - there are plenty of options for you. Just don't expect to find me in the line-up with you!
So when considering Indo for a surf trip, check out Monkeys Resort, as it's a great option for those looking for an uncrowded surf, kiff resort, and a large variety of waves. Really well suited for those guys wanting to come and have some fun as opposed to charging 10ft death barrels. Although you can still get those if you want in peak season - but you can also just as easily avoid them and surf fun, friendly waves instead! Plus you can bring partners of family with and they will have a blast whilst you out scoring waves. Ticks all the boxes!!
Tune me if you keen to find out more. Our mate runs the joint so can probably wangle a Saffa friendly price for you.
(Saffa slang decoded: Lekker and kiff both mean the equivalent of great/awesome/amazing)
A rather eventful week. There were some waves, then there weren't, and there was lots of activity out there. Unfortunately the normal parallel universe of us on the water and the finned dudes under the water coincided at Seals.
Seals local Ross Spowart was surfing the beachie and had just paddled out after catching a wave - just past the whitewater he sat up on his board and not even 3 seconds later he got hit on his left leg by what he said felt like a train. Luckily he managed to stay on his board.
"Then in what felt like slow motion, I watched the top jaw of the shark come down on the left-hand side of my left knee and just rip, pulling me off my board. The shark then suddenly half breached to my right and I scrambled to get on to my board and paddle for my life it was about 5 seconds of complete cavitation and no movement as I was so alarmed by what had just happened. Luckily a big closeout broke just behind me and I managed to make my way to the beach."
Despite viewing the inside of his knee cap Ross will be making a full recovery as the quizzy junior Great White missed the bone and only nicked a tendon. He did however leave Ross a souvenir. Wishing him a full and speedy recovery.
Seals beach remained closed for a number of days after the incident as there were a number of fins spotted cruising about. Probably due to the huge amount of bait fish activity in the area. Basically the whole food chain just moving right into the backline.
The second of the City Surf Series went down at Port Alfred over the weekend, with some decent waves. St Francis local Crystal Hulett recovered well from having her brand new longboard stolen off the top of her cabbie at Pipe the week before and went on to win the very first WQS Women's Longboard event ever in Africa.
Lekker happy ending story for the week was CT surfer Tom Lovemore getting reunited with his GoPro after Kirsty Froneman picked it up on the beach at St Francis. Tom had lost it whilst been jet-skiing there during the Christmas vac.
Three months later is washes ashore to be discovered by Kirsty. She took it back to PE and with the help from Colin and the crew at Katz Camera Warehouse they managed to recover the footage despite the camera lens having leaked a bit of water.
Within a coupla minutes of the pic hitting Facebook Tom got in touch to claim his camera. In an even better stroke of luck Tom's mate was about to fly from PE to CT so could hand deliver it back to him. GoPro's are tough lil bastards, that's for sure.
In what seems to be a week of re-appearing GoPro's local surf photag Petronel Posthumus picked up one which had washed ashore at Blackbottoms on Sunday - below is one of the images from it. Appears to maybe be a booger's camera as some bodyboarding footage on it. Tune us if you can ID the peeps in the pic or know of someone who recently lost a camera.
Every surf town has it's local legend. And it's always cool when you see a coupla of the ballies hanging out. Graham Hynes aka Hynsie is still actively coaching the lighties despite being in his eighties. He was in PE attending the City Surf Series and bumped into CarPark John. Let's hope we can all still be enjoying the surf world when we're that age.
Still some awesome weather about. And Hummies is always up to the challenge of looking photogenic when it's lekker. Even though it hasn't delivered much in the way of waves lately, it's still a peach of a possie.
The pinks and reds are still happening. We tend to take the sunsets and sunrises for granted but how do they actually happen? Stephen Corfidi, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) meteorologist who's written about the science of colorful sunsets, to help us see the light.
"When a beam of sunlight strikes a molecule in the atmosphere, what's called "scattering" occurs, sending some of the light's wavelengths off in different directions. This happens millions of times before that beam gets to your eyeball at sunset.
The two main molecules in air, oxygen and nitrogen, are very small compared to the wavelengths of the incoming sunlight—about a thousand times smaller. That means that they preferentially scatter the shortest wavelengths, which are the blues and purples. Basically, that's why the daytime sky is blue. The daytime sky would actually look purple to humans were it not for the fact that the sensitivity of our eyes peaks in the middle [green] part of the spectrum—that is, closer to blue than to purple.
But at sunset, the light takes a much longer path through the atmosphere to your eye than it did at noon, when the sun was right overhead. And that is enough to make a big difference as far as our human eyes are concerned. It means that much of the blue has scattered out long before the light reaches us. "
The prospect of a coupla waves in the coming week - if the wind plays ball. Hopefully a spot or two of rain as well. Remember to keep your eye's peeled if you're out in the surf - still a few more finned friends around than usual.
A week of stunning weather and even a few lil waves. Those who made the extra effort to drive round the corner were well rewarded. Lonely barrels if you walked a bit down the beach. Especially on Sunday.
CarPark John might have turned 71 this week, but that didn't stop him picking up the pretty girls at Pipe over the weekend. Why have one if you can have three! Plenty happening down at Pollock with the NMB Surf Pro going down in highly contestable conditions.
Normally PE comps suffer from kak weather and even kakker surf, so all involved breathed a sigh of relief when the wind stayed away and a few waves rolled in. Unfortunately the skelms didn't stay away like the wind did. Crystal Hullet's brand new pale pink Fishstix longboard got re-appropriated. Please keep an eye out for it.
Wasn't only the pro's in town. The new kids on the block were having just as much fun. The regular Salty Hour on Saturday arvo at King's Beach stoked out a fresh bunch of groms. Everyone is welcome to pull in every Sat arvo at 3pm for a free hour of surf lessons thanks to Dennis Ellis and Mervyn Goddard (equipment supplied).
Usually a beaut day is followed by kak weather, but this week proved the exception. Kiff day followed kiff day. The water was warm, there were a few fun peelers, and it it was a long weekend. Happy smiles all round.
The absence of wind meant the water was super clear. Which made it even easier to spot the locals. These guys cruise up and down the beachfront every single day like clockwork. We aren't known as the Dolphin Capital of the world for nothing.
During the week one of the PE old-timers recalled as kids how they used to enjoy swimming through the gap in the rocks at Baked Beans (seen below) when there was a swell running. Haven't seen any lighties do it recently so maybe the groms from days gone by were a lil tougher? (or just crazier!?)
The annual Splash Festival saw Hobie Beach being a hive of activity. Past experience meant the organisers built a pretty big "sand dune" around the beach tents just in case the surf got up. Irrespective of the surf the Spring high tide would probably have tested the integrity of the wall all by itself. Had a bit of decent swell shown up woulda been interesting....
Always stoked to find environmentally friendly surf gear, and spotted this awesome kit posted by John McCarthy this week. It's a crew in Durbs called Uzwelo Bags who make all sorts of bags from recycled PVC banners. No two bags are the same, so besides supporting #localislekker and recycling you get a super cool unique bag.
As iconic as Shark Rock Pier is it has only been around since 1988. Before then Hobie Beach was a rocky narrow beach. Nonetheless it was still a focal point of PE beach history. You can find out a bit more about it here:
What would a week in PE be without yet another great sunrise or sunset, and this week was no different. Not as many peeps see the sunrises as the sunsets, but thankfully there are the early birds who snap the shots so the rest of us can enjoy them.
Not much on the charts for this week, so you'll have to think a bit outside the box if you want to get wet.