By Dennis Ellis - The Boardroom
Surfboards hold a special place in the hearts of most of us.
Surfing is our passion and due to the fact that we spend so much time on the bladdy things, most people grow quite fond of them. Al Merrick reckons they are more than just inanimate objects because they are handmade.
So, we love them, and we want(or should want)to make them last as long as possible, hence you’ll be hearing from this crusty sea dog for the next little while about how to get the most life out of your fibreglass friend.
Most boards these days start at around 3 and half to 5 and a half sheets, a fair chunk of change which you don’t want to be dishing out every couple of weeks. A polyester board with medium weight glass job should be lasting at least a year. 2 years is good, 3 is probably too long if it to still be a performance board. Remember, shapes are constantly evolving, so not only should you be getting a better board, but your surfing will not stagnate, which does happen after too many years on the same board. The jury is still out on epoxy lifespans, it’s generally double that of a polyester board, but some of the more expensive options out there can last many years.
In terms of value, think of your board as a laptop or flat screen TV. Would you bounce your laptop down the stairs, leave it on the roof of your car for days, or let your 3 year old play horsie on it? Nope, so let’s look at protecting your investment as you do your others, which fortunately don’t have to make the hazardous trek to the beach in a hot car, dodge the bergies in the carpark and then the frothing okes and gnarly rocks in the water.
It’s hazardous out there. Enemy number one though, is the heat. Leave the flatscreen baking in the sun all day? The same goes for your board.
In summer as we know the temp in a car can reach 80 plus. This will destroy your baby like nothing else apart from snapping. On the car roof,not much better. In a boardbag? Still not good enough. Think laptop guys.
Sure, epoxy boards are more heat sensitive, but even your polyester board will shrivel up like a Willards chip given enough heat. The air inside expands, escapes and you’re left with an empty shell.
By Luqmaan Bruce
Word in car park is that Surf Centre has been searching for some hot local talent. The answer to the question you’re about to ask is, YES Surf Centre is refreshing its surf team!
Surf Centre has been sponsoring surfers along with Seaflight, Local Motion and Faith surfboards (those are big Daves' 3 babies for you laaties who didn't know) since the 1980s. Many of our team riders have seen success on various levels, guys like Sean Holmes who actually got his first 2nd hand surfboard at Surf Centre wayyyy back when he was still a frothing grom, other names that have featured on our team include LEGEND Wendy Botha (4x world champ) and local shaper Greg Smith.
Our team represents not only Surf Centre, but the local surf community at large. Surf Centre is proud to get involved by helping these surfers improve their skills by giving them access to equipment, apparel and accessories at unbelievable rates. Team rideres can also get any custom shaped boards from any shaper country wide at cost!
Our team riders are tasked with one mission! Push the level of surfing in our region and encouraging their peers to do the same. So to all our frothing groms, teens, operators and even ballies spend those extra hours in the water and you might just find yourself on The Surf Centre team.
Check out the team below.
ML - Thanks to Luqmaan and Surf Centre for the write-up - good luck to the new team!
Junior Trouble makers
By Blake Sorour
"A three month working contract in Dubai left me and one of my mates daydreaming of the waves back home while we sat infront of our laptops building our travelling reserves.
When we caught wind of the wave park somewhere in the UAE, the grom froth buried within us was immediately brought back to life and we had to check it out...
That weekend we woke up early, navigated our way through the morning desert mist, and an hour and a half later we found ourselves standing at the base of the Jebel Hafeet mountain in Al Ain outside Wadi Adventure. After getting ridiculously lost (street signs must be taboo in Al Ain) we met up with a fellow Port Elizabethan who was already in the water as the swell had started to jack.
Before the hydraulic pumps could refill to push through another wave, we had made our way out to the backline ready for the next set. That is the first time it sunk in - it is a surreal feeling to be floating in a concrete wave pool, at the base of a mountain, in the middle of the desert.
Every time I chat to my mates there are usually three questions: Firstly what is the wave like, secondly what did it cost and thirdly how many guys are in the pool at once.
What is the wave like - to be honest, the wave is no Supers or Elands, but considering it is a wave park I was super impressed. There are 6 different height settings (was at setting 5 in the video as there wasn't enough water in the pool to crank it to 6), the wave can be set to a right, left or centre peak which runs in both directions. They can also play with the timing of the hydraulic pumps to make the wave run all the way to the shore or close at the end section so you can try land your rodeo flips...
What did it cost - taking that 1 AED is = 2.5 ZAR, entrance is R250 (100AED) and you can book the pool out for an hour for R1,500 (600AED), if you don't book the whole pool out for a private session, you can join an open session for an hour for R250 (100AED)
How many guys are in the pool at once - well this purely depends on how cash flush you are as you could book it out for yourself, but the pool is limited to 6 people in the water in a session. After having surfed it I would say 2 to 3 (max) is optimum. I say this considering the time in between waves is 90 seconds as the pumps need to refill with water.
All in all, I left that wave park super stoked and it was a really cool experience, but nothing beats good old mother nature."
Check out Blake's schweet lil edit of their surf at Wadi.
Two PE diving buddies, Eugene van Wyngaardt and Kyle Murie, managed to get themselves an A-Grade dinner party story whilst spearfishing just off Thunderbolt reef last week.
In an area known as Pinnacles, south of Thunderbolt (which is on the wildside), what started as a fishing trip for a coupla yellowtail quickly turned into a heart-stopping moment for the guys.
Eugene had just speared two nice yellowtail, and then noticed that there were no ragged tooth sharks around. Something which is unusual for this area. He started was thinking "wonder why, maybe a big white around?" And as the saying goes, careful what you wish for.
Minutes later after surfacing from his dive, a great white passed right underneath him. A big female at least 5m long. She turned and came in very close, on then on her second approach Eugene had to push her away with his speargun! And get his legs out the way pretty pronto.
Whilst this was all happening Kyle had hightailed it the 30m swim back to the boat, jumped in, cut the anchor line and then reversed the boat back towards Eugene. Once they were both safely in the boat, the shark still circled them another 3 times.
Shew, those hearts musta been pumping custard ou's! Glad you got out safely and have nothing more than a super cool shark story to tell.
Thanks to Eugene & Kyle for the video & story.
If you're wondering why I'm having a go at fish farms at the moment it's cos there's an EIA that's in the process of getting approved that will allocate a large area just 2k's off the beach at Pipe for up to 9 commercial fish farms. Which I think is a pretty kak idea. The first in this series of posts looked at the pollution that fish farms can cause, and how it'd be a really uncool (and unhealthy) idea to be swimming and surfing in fish poo. But what's also really pertinent to us as surfers is the potential for it to change the shark behaviour in this part of the bay. Not good.
Fish farms can act like a big McDonalds drive-through for our toothy locals. Nothing like 35 cages (100m wide by 20m deep) packed with yellowtail to draw interest from any passing shark. They'll pull in to check out the fish farm, not only if they're hungry, but just cos they sense all the agitation in the water of thousands of tons of fish swimming about. The hiccup with all this is that it's happening just 2k's off our beach.
For sure we have sharks cruising along our part of the bay - the stats from the Algoa Bay White Shark project have had 9 whites pinging at the receivers that are 500m offshore at Something Good, Humewood and Kings (between May '12 and Jan '13). But currently that's what they're mainly doing....cruising by. En route to their usual chill spots north of the harbour or out at the islands.
The problem with plonking a fish farm right off the beach is that it could change their behaviour patterns - in that they are now specifically drawn to this area. Whether it's cos they're hungry and smell the fish, or that they're just attracted by the electrical signals form thousands of tons of agitated yellowtail. Quizzy or hungry, it doesn't matter - they've gone from passing through to hanging about. And not just hanging about, maybe hanging about hungry cos they can't get at the fish in the cages.
None of this is ideal if it happening pretty close to where we're surfing. Cos logic says that statistically if you have more sharks in an area you stand the chance of an increase in shark/human encounters. Sure, we aren't on the sharks menu, but they're inquisitive creatures, and so if he wants to suss out what we are he picks us up. The problem is it's with his mouth. This generally doesn't turn out so well for the peep being "picked up"
The Marine Specialist report within the EIA even acknowledges that "Potential changes in large shark distribution patterns and behavior caused by fish cages have been documented and the potential change in risk to personal water sport participants (particularly should Algoa 1 be developed for fin fish cage culture) is not quantified"
One of the issues I have with the shark section of the Specialist Report, is well, it didn't consult our resident specialist! Matt Dicken runs the current Algoa Bay White Shark project. Surely if you're wanting an opinion on white shark behaviour in our bay, and how the fish farm might effect it, then you ask the guy studying them? Matt was just asked for comment via email, and at no stage asked to submit a formal opinion. When I spoke to him about it he felt that not only could the numbers of sharks increase, but there could also be a behaviour change with them staying for longer periods instead of being transient.
If we're looking for evidence of a correlation between fish farms and an increase in shark attacks, Reunion Island might be an example. There has been a sharp spike in attacks in recent years (many of them fatal). Many of the locals point the finger at the fish farm in St Paul Bay which was built in 2007 (consists of 7 cages). Reunion had experienced shark attacks before, but generally only 1 or 2 a year, with many years of no attacks. However since 2010 there has been 14 attacks, of which 6 have been fatal. The majority of attacks have occurred on the NW and west side of the island - right where the fish farm is located.
It's not as simple as going 1+1 = 2, and blaming the fish farm for the increase in attacks, but yoh, it's an unnerving coincidence if nothing else.
A 2010 study on the association of sharks with fish farms in Hawaii found that sharks occur at fish farms more frequently and at higher densities than is typical for coastal Hawaiian waters.
Here's a disconcerting lil statement from the Marine Impact Assessment of the EIA "Fish will be bled on the workboat and placed in ice, no blood or offal should enter the water."(pg 2). I don't have an enormous amount of faith in that word "should". How do you bleed tons of fish for transport to the harbour and keep all that blood and guts on the boat? Cos where are they going to put that waste on the boat....and once it's back in the harbour what are they going to do with it anyhow. The dodgy (and easy) option would be to just chuck it overboard. Who's gonna be checking?
So there's a few reasons as to why a fish farm just off our main beaches could result in an increase in local shark activity. Something I don't think any of the bathers or surfers are too stoked about.
Why fish farms suck - part 1 (marine pollution)
All images courtesy of Peter Schwartz
Might be good to start by saying that Hobie Beach doesn't officially exist. Well, not on any municipal maps at least. It only picked up the name Hobie Beach in 70's when Hobie Cats became popular and this was the beach they launched at. It's actually officially called Shark Rock beach.
Interesting bit of info on the name Shark Rock. It's actually a total misnomer. The rocky outcrop known as Shark Rock upon which the pier was built was so named after the Shark River that empties into the sea at Humewood Beach. However - it isn't actually the Shark river at all. It was the Sark river, so named by the Dutch originally (maybe a distant relative of SuperSport commentator Ashwin Willemse...he's always talking about Sarks!). The English then somehow bastardised it into Shark instead of Sark...and Shark it stayed.
Development along this stretch of beach started in 1976, with the construction of Katie's Walk - which is the pathway built along the shore in this area, and still stands today as the walkway running in front of Barneys all along the beachfront up to Pipe. Part of building the walkway was the construction of the wall along the shoreline. This had the effect of destroying the small sand dunes that used to replenish the adjacent beaches.
So what happened was all of a sudden rocks started to appear on the beach cos now the sand wasn't getting fed back onto the beach from the dunes. This lead the municipality to recommend Hobie became a boating, not a bathing beach.
The municipality then decided they wanted to create a breakwater to try build up the sand a bit and make it safer for the Hobies to launch, so they just went and plonked a whole bunch of concrete blocks out without doing any sort of study on it's possible impacts beforehand. There was plenty opposition to the eye-sore, and it eventually got removed.
The Red Windmill was an iconic landmark at Hobie. It was built in the 60's, and was PE's most famous roadhouse at the time. Had the best soft serves you could imagine. And that lil "FLICK YOUR LIGHTS FOR SERVICE" sign on the wall above the menu always had peeps giggling cos the "L" and the "I" in "FLICK" were a bit close together n it looked like "F*CK YOUR LIGHTS FOR SERVICE"!
In 1982 the Hobie National were being held in PE, and organisors decided it's be a great idea if they could build a breakwater just off Hobie so that they could make it easier for the guys to launch their cats without getting slammed by the waves. They came up with the doff idea of tying a whole bunch of tyres together and then dragging them just off the backline and anchoring them there. Everyone told em it was a kak idea, and needless to say just before the event a huge east came up and destroyed the tyre breakwall after it'd been floating out there for just 36 hours.
Coupla big things went down in 1984. The Hollywood Hotel - a landmark possie which was a surfer hangout back in the day - was demolished. It made way for what today is the apartment block No1 Summerstrand on the corner of 1st Ave. In the same year, the Yacht Clubhouse was built next to the Red Windmill - where it still stands today in the carpark at Hobie. Yet another controversial beachfront saga - as no building was meant to take place on the sea side of Marine Drive. But probably the same then as now, anything goes if you know the right peeps.
Hobie beach as we know it today took shape in 1988 - with the building of the new car park, walkways and the start of the construction of Shark Rock Pier. The plan for the pier was to capture sand on the beach to cover what had become a really rocky stretch.
And whilst not strictly Hobie - the SugarBush deserves a mention. It was the roadhouse that used to stand on the corner where the Courtyard Hotel is today - opposite the City Lodge. Another favourite haunt for burgers and milkshakes. Nothing beats a roadhouse for a good post surf chow, and PE was lucky to be spoilt for choice back then - with the SugarBush (later known as the Casbah), Red Windmill, Something Good and Sundowners, out at Flat Rocks. Glad we're seeing the return of the Roadhouse era with Something Good being brought back to life.
Thanks to Peter Schwartz for all the images.
Maybe someone in their marketing dept read the memo incorrectly and thought it said "porno" not a "promo"? Pretty sure whoever signed off on it has now been demoted to taking out the office rubbish on Fridays. Cos shew, Quik took abuse for that video.
It's actually a well made video - and the ou's will definitely froth over it. The hiccup is, well, it isn't exactly a surfing video. Sexy yes, surfing, no. Pity, cos the chicks today really can surf. Throwing big hacks, sharp snaps and lofty airs. Would kinda been nice to show a few of those too.
The comp had to be cancelled and then rescheduled for September cos Mother Ocean decided if Quik was gonna be sexist she's just refuse to send 'em any waves. Which is exactly what she did. Dead. Flat. For the whole waiting period.
So Oscar was right, life imitates art - and in this case, Quik got plenty T&A on the beach for their event, but zero surfing. Just like their video. Bummer. Literally and figuratively!
Safe to say the majority of surfers think that the proposed fish farm off Pollock is a really kak idea. There's a bunch of reasons as to why it's a dumb-ass spot to put a fish farm. Let's start with kak. Literally. Fish poo. Lots of it.
Fully developed the area zoned for fish farming could hold 9 commercial fish farms. With each farm having approximately 35 big cages (30m diameter by 15m deep), that's a total of 315 cages producing about 30 000t of fish a year. That's a LOT of fish kakking just 2k's away from where we surf and swim.
Made worse by the fact that the predominant currents in this part of the bay will carry all the kak straight towards us. The marine specialist study done as part of the EIA reckons that the current speeds are also too slow about 70% of the time to properly disperse all the waste - so it's just gonna hang about. Great. Not.
The whole concept of expecting the ocean to clean up the mess you make is really flawed anyhow. Marine aquaculture has got it pretty wrong with it's approach of "the solution to pollution is dilution".
It has been widely assumed that the effluent from fish cages would just be diluted by the sea if the cages were kept a reasonable distance from shore. But recent results from a new Stanford University computer simulation based on sophisticated fluid dynamics show that the icky stuff will travel farther, and in higher concentrations, than had been generally assumed. So no - a fish farm just 2k's off of PE's main surfing and swimming beaches is NOT far enough.
Besides 30 000t of fish pee'ing and poo'ing right next to us, there's also the issue of all the chemicals & disinfectants used to clean the cages. That stuff is also not so lekker to swim and surf in, and can be directly toxic to non-target organisms, remaining active in the environment for a long time. And don't forget all the antibiotics and stuff they treat the fish with - cos sticking a whole bunch of fish in a cage means they can get parasites and diseases pretty easy - so yah, all that stuff goes into the water too.
All these waste streams really can bogger up both the water quality as well as affect marine life on the sea floor. Sediment (a polite term for kak and stuff) can settle on all the reefs nearby and can screw them up good and proper. So, now you're pissing the divers off as well. The bay has some really cool reefs, which are home to unique species. Might be saying goodbye gone to these if the fish farm goes ahead.
The shots below are from Dr Shirley Parker-Nance, a marine biologist at NMMU, who has been documenting all the unique species we have right here on the reefs just off Pipe. To say she ain't stoked on the fish farm idea would be an understatement.
Although the management plan of a fish farm entails monitoring of the water quality by the commercial operators themselves, my guess is that anyone marking their own homework is gonna give themselves good marks even if they not doing too well. Cos if they've sunk tens of millions of bucks into it, it best make em some cash - and it certainly doesn't suit em to get fingered for polluting the water and maybe having to shut up shop.
So, reason #1 on the list of the many reasons the fish farm proposal sucks is how it's gonna screw with water quality - which will affect us water users, as well as the marine environment such as reef species and soft corals.
Looking forward to a chance at surfing in miff water if it goes ahead? Not me.
Next post coming soon - will the fish farm result in an increase in the number of sharks?
Link for graphic: http://www.elcamino.edu/faculty/tnoyes/Extra/pew_aquaculture.pdf
Lekker. CYOH Surfboards had their official launch party at the Pitch on Saturday night, and it was an epic jol. Here's Jakes' wrap on what went down....
"What do you get when you combine the best shaper in the country with futuristic manufacturing machinery … another CYOH inspired adventure & a new surfboard label known as CYOH SURFBOARDS.
It was yet another night to remember & yet another CYOH collaboration for the history books. Our first 40 guests arrived to free DAKINE & PALMERS merchandise, as well as some amazing PITCH & PUTTER snacks. Once the dust settled we introduced everyone to the whole CYOH SURFBOARDS concept & what all we had in store for everyone. After our brief presentation we kicked off the night with some soulful sounds by non other than RED BULL’s very own notorious Miki San, followed by the new ground breaking funky country group THE COTTONFIELDS. To top the night off for all the solid party players, non other than the man himself, the king of deep house, MR MUNZY MUNRO mixed down an unbelievable performance as always.
We had a great turn out & sold all SEVEN of our signature models on the night. CYOH would personally like to thank everyone who was able to come show their constant valued support. A huge THANK YOU to our sponsors THE PITCH & PUTTER for their hospitality, great service & venue for the night. To GSM – DAKINE, KINETIC RACING & PALMERS for coming onboard with us to turn our CYOH SURFBOARD dream into reality & letting us be able to supply the best possible surf gear online off our website. To RED BULL for all their event equipment & on going synergy.
Check out our easy to use website in order to purchase your brand new custom surfboard & accessories today. Just a few clicks is all it takes to make sure all your surfing needs are fulfilled ( www.cyohsurfboards.co.za)
SUPPORT those making a difference for you & as always SUPPORT local, cause local is LEKKER!
CYOH is you – CYOH is now – CYOH is forever – CYOH lifestyle living for life!"