The swell machine decided to take a bit of a break last week after a pretty good run. "Break" being a relative term. It just didn't cook every single day, just some days! Let's hope it's recharging it's batteries and will come back firing. Just as well it looks like it won't wake up again this week - as the charts show a full week of winds out the north.
Dylan Lightfoot was spotted getting some practice in for this weeks Mr Price Pro at Ballito - which starts Monday. Be a good warm-up comp for Dylan, who has a wildcard slot in the JBay Open, which will be taking place in his back yard soon (10 - 20 July).
Despite the good surf, the taxman still demanded payment - so the odd board and suit were trashed to keep him happy. Bystanders were impressed by a display of boardless surfing from what looked like Shaun Payne. Quite a few of the international contingent have arrived to start getting some practice in for the JBay Open, so some impressive surfing going down.
PE local Brad Beck is still over in Maldives training as a surf guide getting barreled off his pip and making everyone back home pretty damn jealous. He steps it up a notch this week as he'll be joining his Tropicsurf team on a charter on the ridiculously pimped out Four Seasons Explorer. Not your typical leaky feral bumboat with no aircon and rice & fish every night.
Bit of drama at Sards late Thursday arvo after some kiters got themselves into trouble and were spotted trying to swim back to shore. Local residents kept an eye on them, and the NSRI and Coastal Water Rescue crews got out there super quick. Apparently an ou had to ditch his kite cos he couldn't get it up, and swam back in to borrow another kite so he could go fetch the one he had to dump. Him & the mate that went out to help him retrieve it then got into trouble, again having to ditch kites. They got swept out the bay, but thankfully managed to swim in a gully around the corner before the rescuers had to go out & fetch them. Bit of an expensive kite sesh that - 3 kites goodbye gone (for the NSRI report on the incident, click here)
Just a reminder that we're really lucky to have a jacked up water safety crew patrolling our coast. So next time you see an NSRI collection tin, make sure you put a few greenbacks in it, as you never know when these guys might have to come pull your ass out the water. The local Coastal Water Rescue crew also do a great job.
Shot to the NMMU surf team who took 2nd spot overall in the SA Student Champs held at Vic Bay last week. Really solid surf saw the guys display some serious commitment. Jean du Plessis took the men's title, and NMMU won the men's division.
Plenty discussion about the spate of recent shark sightings along the JBay stretch, but at least these johnnies have been in cruisey mode, unlike the flying submarine snapped by Brandon Kilbribe just off Seal Island near Cape Town last week. Imagine seeing this bearing down on you!?
15 years ago, this month, members of the surf clubs in Jeffreys Bay formed the Supertubes Surfing Foundation, ostensibly to maintain the beaches and to protect the dunes. In the early years, 4T of glass and piles of litter were removed from the beaches.
Prior to the RDP houses being built, approximately 3000 aloes in that area were rescued and planted at Supertubes and the other beach breaks. Other plants, at one stage there were over 4000 in black bags in a private garden, were rescued and then replanted at Supers, Point, Lower Point, Main Beach, Tourism Office, along Da Gama Road, Secrets and Magnatubes.
When bush sleepers started erecting their shacks in the natural coastal bush in the Supertubes Park, the Foundation raised funds to erect razor wire to protect the bush, the tiny duikers and the mongoose that live in there. Beds were dug and the rescued plants planted therein. All of these plants, being indigenous, survived the serious drought of a couple of years ago and require no watering.
The Indigenous Plant Rescue Centre is situated in the Park and the Foundation's operations take place from there. The Point garden was started with plants rescued from what is now Die Opstal next to the Caltex garage.
The Supertubes Surfing Foundation has also been involved in community project such as fixing up the toilets at one of the local schools, planting indigenous trees and plants in the school yard, starting veggie patches both at the school and with private households in Oceanview and is very involved with the JBay Recycling Project
The Foundation has paved paths and dustbowl areas and made paths wheelchair friendly. It also developed the idea of the penguin recycling bins which are now a feature in the Park and have collected 5.5T in the 7 months that they have been there. Smaller penguins will be placed at certain beach breaks.
The penguins at the SuperTubes Park have recently has not 1 but 10 Babies!!! The stunning birds were created by Arno Seyfert from Custom Works and painted by Stephen Bibb Art The project was funded by the Supertubes Surfing Foundation. The babies will spend some time adapting to their surroundings in the Park before fleeing the coup. The parent birds have produced a massive 5.5 tons of recyclable matter in the 7 months that they have been in the park!
Maintenance is now one of the huge tasks of the Foundation from the lawn mowing of the Supertubes Park, Point and Lower Point, maintenance of the various gardens and beach breaks etc to the upkeep of the boardwalks.
Future plans include a cycle track, more seating at Supertubes, creating a marine reserve, outdoor gym, setting up an education centre, upgrading of the toilets in the Park, moving the showers at Point and the anti nuclear call is on going - amongst others.
The Supertubes Surfing Foundation only does what it does because of the vision of those surfers 15 years ago, spearheaded by Koffie Jacobs. Salute.
"Surfers Helping Surfers is a new initiative brought to you by Billabong that gives you a chance to feel stoked by helping the less fortunate surfers know the feeling...
Bring in your old wetsuit and get 20% off on a brand new BILLABONG wetsuit and we will donate your old suits to our surf outreach programs!"
So there you have it peeps - go scrounge around for all those suits gathering dust or taking up space in the garage, and go take em in to your nearest Billabong shop to trade em up for a nice spanky new one for a kiff discount, whilst knowing your old suit is gonna get a new lease on life - and keep some less privileged surfer a lil more toasty this winter.
The winter swell machine was still going full ball last week. JBay was the place to be as usual, as handled the heavy winds that battered the coast. Rumour has it that both Twiggy Baker and Remi Peterson caught waves from Supers all the way through to Point. That's a kilometre long ride. Ou's must have legs of steel!
PE surfers had to cry into their coffee as they watched Thursday solid swell get decimated by the cross chop, rendering it basically unsurfable. There were those that tried. Guys reckoned the chop was so big you had to duckdive it! Such a pity as there were some really great lines pulling through. The torment of being a bay surfer.
Friday was International Surfing Day - which woulda been a good one. If it hadn't been for the wind. Again. Common theme this is. Still, a nice lil rainbow pitched up mid-arvo to highlight the pot of gold at the end of it - a solid set at Avo's.
Wish we'd get a visit from the Sand Fairy so that all our low tide spots can come back to life. Can't remember when Humewood, Pier and Avo's broke properly.
West of the bay's been pumping all week. The locals were stoked about a service delivery protest that threatened to block off entry over the weekend - so they had some great waves to themselves without the usual influx of townies.
Mike Hill has a sketchy back at the moment, so is resigned to swimming instead of surfing. Scored a great shot of Dane Staples - who's normally on the other side of the lens.
Sunday closed out with another spectacular sunset. Cape Town can keep their mountain and Joburg can keep their money. There's no place like home.....
Good to have another winter's week that delivered a few waves. From Monday through to Sunday there were waves to be had. It also delivered some serious wind - which was only appropriate given that Saturday was Global Wind Day. Happy to say that the Eastern cape came to the party for that one.
The predicted storm delivered some serious surf to the more exposed breaks. JBay continued it's epic run, and even some lesser known beachies put on a barrel-fest for those in the know. Elevator drop straight into heaving barrel, and mostly makeable. Ou's were smiling.
Ou's were not smiling when in the midst of the kiff swell they got chased out the water by a toothy fiend. The man in grey cleared the line-up at Supers quicker than any gnarly local could. Deon Lategan came cruising through on a wave from Boneyards and couldn't work out where everyone had gone. Until frantic waving from those on the rocks conveyed the message pretty clearly!
The saying goes that the early bird gets the first worm. But this week it tended to be the those out at last light that got the bombs. Still, the sunrises were nothing short of spectacular.
The johnny at Supers might not have snacked on anyone, but a fin in the Kowie certainly caused some major damage. Mickey Witthuhn's session went from awesome to awful in a split second when a wipeout went bad, and his fin sliced right through the top of his foot. Thankfully prompt action by some locals saw him off to get some needlework done.
Always a good idea to sand down those fins peeps - they don't have to be sharp enough to slice ya limbs off.
Thanks to ex-local Jaryd Mason for letting my fins hitch a lift back from Australia in his grandparents luggage - beats paying courier and customs fee's! Got a set of Hanalai quads from Lance Pearson a while back when he was out in SA for a school reunion. Loved em so much ordered another set of them, so can stick em in my shortboard too. Current set lives in the Gobbler.
Have loaned em out to Bruce Campbell to test drive for a bit. Also got a set of the hammer side bites, which are super drivey and fast - see Bruce rode em over the weekend so keen to hear what he thought!
Speaking of fins, anyone spots a silver H2 in the reef at Millers....that'd be mine. Had a battle vs my calf on Friday and lost. Went fin searching at low tide the next day. Found zillions of sea anemones, a few pearlemoen shells and a fin - but not my one.
Brad & Hannah are over in the Maldives at the moment - and aren't missing out on any of the surf back home. Cos what hits us hits them a week or so later. Hannah's already creased her longboard and broken 2 leashes. Brad's broken one leash. Plenty of pits and beatings, and they're loving it.
Winter seems to be clicking in to gear - so lets hope it carries on rolling. More waves, more sunsets. Bring em on.
WHAT IS IT?
Surf forecaster and founder of Wavescape, Spike, gives a multi-media presentation to depict how waves form, how swell moves through the sea, what happens when it arrives at the coast, and how to predict surf. This fascinating, graphical journey brings home the catastrophic power of nature. Forecasting insights give it a unique perspective with appeal to all ocean users or interested parties.
WHO IS IT FOR?
* Ocean sports (surfers, sailors, kiters, boardsailors, divers, paddlers)
* Marine industry (Sailors, harbour workers, lifeguards, fisheries, shipping)
* Recreation (beachgoers, anglers)
* Other (retirees, paragliders, marine tour guides, oil rig staff, naval officers)
WHAT DO WE COVER?
* The genesis of ocean storms
* The destructive force of waves
* Video footage inside intense hurricanes
* Damage by freak waves & tsunamis
* Ways to understand wave period
* Ways to interpret weather models
* Surfcasting tips and tricks
* Storm and big wave case studies
WHAT IS THE FORMAT?
1. Section 1 (40 minutes)
Genesis of storms and swell, how to define and observe swell, and the mathematical connection to energy dictated by the formation of swell
2. Section 2 (30 minutes)
Propagation of swell, role of period, destructive forces, how swell becomes surf, shoaling, storm damage, shipwrecks
3. Section 3 (50 minutes)
The Internet, weather models, prediction and interpreting the data, big wave case studies, questions and open forum
WHAT DO PEOPLE SAY ABOUT IT?
"You've read his twisted humour in the surf reports. Now experience it in person, with 'stories from the deep' - simple explanations of where waves come from, and a generally fascinating delve into weather patterns, storms and swell from around the world. Oh, and you also get a great dinner, a few beers and the chance to skinner with other surfers and kiters. Highly recommended!" -- Ian Henderson (kitesurfer)
"Over the years I have attended dozens of courses on various topics but nothing has the vibe of having a real enthusiast share his passion. Multo obrigado." -- Mike Ohlson, Richards Bay
Tuesday, 15 July 2014. 18h00 - 20h30
The Venue - next to Bridge Street Brewery.
Book online at https://www.quicket.co.za/events/5529-spike-swell-course-port-elizabeth/
Or buy tickets at the door. But if you gonna buy at the door please still shoot Spike a mail to say ya coming.
Also 2 courses in JBay:
Wed 16 July - Jeffreys Bay: Love Food Cafe, 4 Da Gama Road
Thur 17 July - Jeffreys Bay: Surfmasters, TO BE CONFIRMED
A while ago we took a look at the weird sh*t that surfers get, and it included a bit about Surfer’s Ear. Turns out quite a few local surfers have had their ears drilled. Local goofy-footer Etienne Potgieter is the latest unlucky recipient of what is the ear’s equivalent of root canal.
Sticks a few guidewires in the canal to hold it open. Then he pops a scope in there, and looking through that chips and chisels away at the lumps using a mini-drill. Takes a good coupla hours.
Was it eina?
You come out of theatre with a wad of gauze stuck in your ear, over which is the equivalent of an eye patch, and that’s strapped on with a bandage around your head. The first coupla days are sore – but not as bad as I imagined. They give you some pretty strong painkillers to start with.
Am assuming it’s not something you’d recommend as a fun thing to do! Did your doc give you any advice about preventing a recurrence?
He told me to use prestik in my ear for the first week back in the water – but after that said I didn’t have to do anything. He felt long term use of prestik or ear plugs was just as much of an irritation to the ear canal as the water going in and out.
I do carry around a few bottles of Aqua-ear these days – and pop a few drops in after my surfs. It just helps evaporate any water that may get stuck in there, as well as having an anti-bacterial component.
And long term prognosis?
It really differs from person to person. Some people are lucky enough not to get it recurring, but others get it back again within a few years. Which just means you have to have the op again.
A word of warning
Don’t leave it too late! If the lumps have grown across the ear canal to the point where the doc can’t see the ear drum through the gap anymore, then he can’t operate. And then you’re screwed.
So if you’re struggling with continuous ear infections, or battle with water getting stuck in your ear all the time – go get it checked out sooner rather than later.
Better to keep your ears happy rather than facing a date with the drill.
Wanna check out what other weird sh*t surfers get? Have a look here.
By Brad Beck
Hannah and I are at the Four Seasons resort in Maldives at the moment. We’re in the process of training to become surf guides for a company called Tropicsurf.
Tropicsurf are pioneers in the art of ‘luxury surfing’. It’s for everyone who wants to improve their surfing, whilst catching plenty of waves at exotic surf locations around the world - all in the comfort of a five-star resort or boat.
We’re busy learning what that’s all about. We get to surf cooking waves every day here, it’s always offshore somewhere and the water’s warm (and so clear you see right through it to the reef below). And wow – we get to work here! It’s crazy that this is even a job!
Being a surf guide is not just being able to surf well or thinking you just go out there and catch as many waves as you can. You have to have a whole variety of skills.
Tropicsurf is based at 5-star resorts or charters luxury boats, so manners, grooming and social skills all come into play. Being able to communicate and socialize with your guests is important. You have to know about all aspects of surfing; coaching, psychology and be able to offer expert advice specific to each individual. Being able to surf well is important, but so is being a role model in and out the water.
It really is a full time job, with no weekends off and two surfs and a surf lesson each day. Trust me, it is work. But one thing is for sure, I don’t mind surf-guiding as a job!
It is really awesome to see the smile on the faces of guests that have just had the wave of the day or the wave of their life - and all because you put them on it. That basically what it’s all about, getting people stoked. To get someone who’s just learning on to that perfect little runner and let them feel the real joy of surfing is so rewarding.
So to all the lighties wanting to find a cool career path, being a surf guide is a good option. But keep studying and surfing hard. Hannah is a fully qualified commercial helicopter pilot with her instructors rating and I studied Sports Psychology. If it weren’t for our qualifications we wouldn’t be here.
We hope we make a good impression whilst we’re here and get taken on permanently, as it’s such an opportunity to travel the world doing what you love.
We hope you all come visit us over here in the Maldives. For the rippers we can find you plenty of great barrels, for the ballies - we will keep your wave count up and ripping that beer belly into the lip!
Tropicsurf’s motto is a Mark Twain quote ... "Throw off the bow lines, and sail away from the safe harbour. Explore. Dream. Discover ...."
So we hope to see everyone somewhere tropical soon!
A good week of swell last week - but the usual wind issues plagued the bay. Reckon one of these chop reduction systems that windsurfer legend Bjorn Dunkerbeck designed with his Red Bull team could work pretty well here! Any local engineers out there wanna give it a go!? Would definitely give us plenty more surfable days, and gotto be cheaper than building a wave park?
The comps held over the weekend had to do some wildside missioning to find waves, and that they did. Both the CYOH Surf Off and the Billabong EP Trials found some decent surf - despite the weather being pretty damn nippy. Nothing that a few fires can't help though.
Most wildside surfs have the locals dropping in on you, and this weekend was no different. Not wanting to feel left outta the comp, one lil guy boosted a big air - which saw him get the first perfect 10 of the comp.
The JBU Supertrial was held on Thursday - and local JBay lightie Dylan Lightfoot took top honours - and with it a wildcard slot into the main event of the JBay Open. Here's hoping he can smoke a few top seeds!
With the wind playing havoc with conditions in the bay plenty of guys have been making the missions west to catch some surf without the chop. Big Dave reports that ou's keep on dropping in behind him! Photographic evidence suggests the ballie has been ripping on his new "shortboard" despite having to share the odd wave.
As long as you went west you could escape the wind - didn't even have to be as far as JBay. Not only did you get rewarded by fun surf, the water was like an aquarium. Meant you could smile for the camera underwater...
Reports of plenty whales along the wildside at the moment. Seems a bit out of season for them to be there now - but always a good sign to have them about - means our sea's are still fairly healthy. Unfortunately one washed up along the Sacramento trail - so better not to surf anywhere nearby, as there're be a few toothy friends in the vicinity. Luckily the "Whale Demolition Squad" is on it - so hopefully pecked away soon.
Let's help out local surfers Bruce Campbell and Tracey Admiral - support their fund raiser to raise some money to get them to the ITU Cross-Triathlon World Champs in Zittau Germany. Some of the Eastern Capes best artists will be performing: Wayne Kallis /Cotton Fields / Alan Kozak and Claire Ven, cash bar available, borrie rolls for sale, a raffle and lots of fun. Tickets will be R80 each and all you need to do is deposit the money into the account below and send proof of payment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets will also be sold at the door.
If you can't make the event you can still make a donation, cos every lil bit helps!
Date: Friday the 27th of June 2014
Venue: Summerstrand Lifesaving Club
Account holder: Terry Almirall
First National Bank
Account Number : 62279975612
Branch Code: 211417
The skollies are on the prowl again, looking to grab your cabbie whilst you are out in the surf. Mark Impey is the latest victim, with his late Sunday surf costing him his car (below). Quite a price to pay for a coupla waves.
He'd parked in 2nd avenue and then hidden his keys under a rock in the dunes in front of Millers. As it was a super high tide he was sitting in the line-up only about 20m from the spot he'd buried them. Next thing he noticed a guy pacing up and down close by (pretending to be on phone). Mark had to watch as the ou turned the rock over and found his key!
He caught a wave in straight away and sprinted across the road, but it was too late.....and his car was gone!
So please keeps your eye's peeled peeps. Cos the bad ou's are watching you! The scum-bags are only to keen to affirmative shop your shit. So don't give them the chance. Don't leave you key on the wheel or hide it on the beach. Rather hang it round your neck or stick it in your wetties key pocket. If it's one of the fancy-ass computer one's you can get a plastic version made which you can take into the water with you.
Otherwise go grab a surf lock from Surf Centre for R500 - cos you can't get a R500 car. They have nice deep one's which can take a big remote.
Also, don't tempt fate by leaving stuff visible in your car. That shiny new ipad or iphone is gonna guarantee you a broken window for sure.