You only need to read the tributes being posted about him to know he was a special man, held dear in the hearts of so many.
I met Vaughan out at Millers, on one of his infrequent visits down the beach – given that he was the ultimate Pipe Local. Spent many a lull discussing board shapes and fin configurations, and have him to thank for getting me onto a quad fin set-up. He was just so enthusiastic about his quad Vetkoek from Dennis that the next board I ordered was a quad, and have never been back on a thruster since.
Many of you may not know, but it was actually Vaughan’s idea for Dennis to design and start producing the Vetkoek, so anyone out there riding one – catch your next wave for Vaughan to say thanks.
A week before I left for Maldives I’d asked John to get me Vaughan’s cell number as wanted to get hold of him to lend him a set of the new Hanalai quad fins I’d just got in from Aussie, as knew he’d enjoy trying them out. Just never got round to making the call.
Jeepers, we’re all really going to miss this special man. He may have been just the other side of 60, but still had the enthusiasm of a grommet. Hardly ever saw him miss a wave and he was ripping right til the end.
RIP Vaughan. May you get it 6ft and offshore forever.
After a long, cold winter it's only too lekker to make a quick trip to the tropics. Lots to be said for sunshine, warm water waves and palm tress swaying in the breeze. Less to be said for the mission flight over packed like sardines in a can. Even less said about our luggage deciding it really liked Dubai so much it would stay an extra day without us. But at least the guitar and the boardbag got on the right plane.
Despite cursing the airline for leaving our bag behind - we were better off than the poor ou who picked up his boardbag, only to have it fold in half on him! Now that's kak luck to be on your Maldives surf-trip and the baggage handler muppets have managed to turn your 6'2 board into two 3'2's. Ysss, the ou was spewing!
Missing luggage presets a unique set of problems - so our first surf was a full-on Vaal dam affair, having to borrow some mooi Adidas XL running shorts from hubby who lucky had stuck 2 pairs in the boardbag. After wrapping the drawer-string twice around my waist I was good to go, sort of. Thankfully we were the only peeps in the water, so total humiliation was avoided.
Had to hang about close to the airport til our bag decided to re-appear. Then a few days sailing til we got to our favourite part of the Maldives. Not nearly as remote as years gone by thanks to the charter boat industry discovering it whilst trying to avoid the craziness of North Male atoll.
Have had a few days of super fun surf. Yesterday a full sunrise to sunset mission, with just ourselves in the water. Broken bodies by bedtime. And of course not a single photo cos we were too busy surfing!
Managed to hook a coupla fish on the morning trawl so looking forward to popping that on the braai soon. Already did some beach combing and found a drum and something that could pass as a grid. Boer gaan altyd a plan maak when it comes to a braai!
Internet is abysmal in the middle of nowhere, so generally trying to even get one bar of signal means climbing up onto the roof of the boat, and hoping for the best! Today for some reason it's working.
Charts looking good for the next few days.....
Holy cow, Jbay went off it's pip for the final day of the JBay Open. Absolutely cranking would be an understatement! You know when Millers is 6ft then Jbay is gang-buster. Mick Fanning took the title from good mate Parko, and was frothing like a grommet about it. Wilko & Owen surfed like men possessed to get into the semi's, but it was experience that won over youthful enthusiasm. For the full wrap on the final day of competition check the Comp News blog.
Plenty of entries into the ML Fantasy Surfer comp, and lots of guys backed Mick for the win. All the correct entries got popped into Random.org...and it spat out Kyle Rubin as the winner. Kyle scores a lekker hamper valued at R1600 from Billabong. Schweeeet!
Pretty much the whole of PE's surfing community made it out to Jbay to watch the finals ('cept me who was on a plane to the Maldives!) Guys grabbed some shots of their heroes, with their heroes, and grabbing a feel of their hero's boards!
There were plenty locals lined up at the keyhole just waiting for the final horn to blow so they could get out there and charge the huge surf. Classic pic taken by Robbie Irlam.
Although Jbay had laid low swell wise until day of the final dawned, there was still plenty of action all week despite the comp being on hold. The Oakley X-Over Challenge took to the water at Lower Point. In the mix were some of the rugby players - and rumour has it they were kakking themselves! Sharks shouldn't be scared of sharks! Jordy took the win, followed by Biker Greg Minaar and Bob Skinstad for 3rd.
Spotted on the beach was Oakley team manager Seth Hulley and team rider Jordy Smith having a bit of a tactical discussion whilst Jordy walked his dawg. Good to have a dawg, but yrrr, that's a fluff-ball of note!
Plenty of comps going down, and PE local Tom Collins won himself an entry to the Red Bull party, and bumped into quite a famous surfer whilst he was there. Always cool to meet the pro's, specially a legend Saffa like Jordy.
An added bonus of the pro-circus being in town is that there are camera's everywhere - and if you hit the water there's a good chance of you scoring a shot. Like Billabong's Josh Enslin, who got a sneaky Boneyards sesh in and got some clicks from Spex.
Josh Enslin @ Boneyards © Sasha Specker
Autograph hunters were in 7th heaven. Gino Fabbri has a conundrum now, cos his lightie has got a great collection of scribbles on his board now, and obviously would like to keep em. Reckon Gino should just give this a coat of varnish and stick it up and in bar and buy the grom another stick!
Luckily the wildlife has been limiting itself to the PE area for the time being. A big family of Orca's were spotted by Raggy Charters in the Reserve during the week. These things have massive fins, and will be sure to get your heart pumping if you spot 'em. Almost as much as spotting a white, which Jason Brown saw there yesterday.
Brad Beck continues to get barreled off his pip whilst on the job as a surf guide in the Maldives. Hoping to bump into him and Hannah whilst we've over there for the next 2 weeks. Surf's been cranking there so here's holding thumbs it keeps doing just that!
Busy trying out my new Garmin Virb Elite. It's a lil waterproof action camera. Gotto say it's a helluva lot easier to operate than my GoPro. Far more intuitive. And it has a lil screen to navigate through all the menu's which helps heaps. Haven't had much time to play yet - but did pop it in the window to record a quick timelapse. Rather an arb sunset by PE standards of late, so plan to keep an eye out for one of those red sky spectaculars.
(make sure you view it in HD, so change the settings on your YouTube player accordingly. For the ballies - that means hit the cog thing on the bottom right & choose 720)
Shewee! What a week! The JBay Open started off with a bang. Some pumping waves funneled down the point and the ou's went ballistic. Jordy looked like a man possessed, and local boy Dylan Lightfoot surfed like a champ against the champ. Nothing quite beats surfing heats against Kelly and Medina in a single day.
Round 2 is now done & dusted, and there looks like a coupla days of good swell still left in the waiting period. So we'll be sure to see some more great surfing go down. Keep up to date with all the daily news, results and shots on the ML Comp News page.
Don't forget to get your entries in for the ML Fantasy Surfer competition - pick the winner and stand a chance at scoring a great Billabong hamper valued at R1600.
Most of PE made the mission down the road to check out the world's best in real life. It's also a great opportunity for the lighties to meet their surf heroes. There was a huge turnout for the autograph signing at the Billabong Magna's store on Saturday evening, with ou's getting to meet Taj, Parko and Occy.
It's not only surf action at Jbay - the JBay Winter Fest is in full swing too. A whole bunch of skating went down on Friday & Saturday with the Sector 9 Poker Run and the Sokkie jol. There's been crazy ou's braving the 11C water of the canals at Marina Martinique for the Cold Water Classic swim, and plenty of trippy kites at the kite festival on Kabeljous.
The sunrises and sunsets have been putting on a show for the foreigners - just so they know there ain't no place quite like Africa. Luckily there haven't been any sighting of the man in the gray suit, but Luc Hosten did spot another strange creature floating about in the line-up!
Kai Linder forgot Rule #2 at Seals (Rule #1 being don't ride into Full Stop). Don't stick your feet in between the rocks! There're some locals who live there, and like to stick your toetsies stukkend if you let 'em. They're pretty impossible things to pull out as mostly they just crumble when you try yank em - so drizzle some lime or lemon juice over them. Dissolves the critters. Add a some salt, suck your toe - and then down the tequila. Probably make you feel better.
As much as JBay overflowed with action, not a helluva lot went on in PE during the week. Basically cos most of PE had gone to JBay! The odd lil surf here and there for those who just wanted to get wet.
Stoked when my new Garmin Virb Elite arrived - had applied to be one of their official testers and lucky enough to crack the nod. So get this schweet lil puppy to test drive. It's an action cam, with a twist. It has GPS built in - so can measure your speed, G-Forces, heart rate etc and track where you've been and overlay this info onto the video file. Super keen to hook it up to some of the skaters and surfers to see what sort of speeds they reach!
The Indian ocean is having one of it's best seasons ever. The Maldives and Indo have been getting klapped but some incredible swells. PE local Brad Beck is fresh into his first season as a surf guide in the Maldives. Looks like he's having a terrible time....
Sea urchins are the ocean's pincushions; strange, spiny creatures that inhabit the sea floor.....just waiting for your unsuspecting foot to come along and stand on them. Sea urchin 1. Foot 0.
They seem to be flourishing at Seals right now, judging by the number of pic's posted on social media lately of spike infested feet. They lurk in crevices between the rocks, so the obvious advice would be to tread on top of the rocks not between them. Unfortunately one doesn't always get the luxury of choice when coming in at Seals.
So, you make the mistake of sticking your foot where it shouldn't go, and your prize is few spines in the sole. So now what? Here's a quick run down of what to do post critter attack:
Try yank the suckers out. Easier said than done cos they often just break off in the tweezer, so be gentle. You may even have to cut the skin open slightly to allow you to dig a bit further in to get a grip on them. Cos trust me, rather out than in. Just remember to disinfect the tweezers and the scissors first. Cos last time you used the tweezers they were up your nose...
Leaving any foreign object under the skin, regardless of whether it is poisonous or not, is gonna give you grief - cos firstly they bloody sore to put pressure on, and they also stand the chance of getting infected. Double whammy bad. K, so you've got em out as best you can - but there're still some buried in there to deep to get out...
Go to the kitchen, grab the white vinegar, stick it in a foot-sized bowl and heat it in the microwave until it is hot (but not so hot you gonna burn yourself). Because of the properties of sea urchin spines, the spines dissolve in vinegar. Vinegar is also a natural antiseptic. So double thumbs up for the essential slap chip condiment.
Submerge your foot in the vinegar and leave it in the there until the vinegar is no longer warm. This will help to dissolve any urchin spine remnants that are not visible to the naked eye, and even help lift spine pieces to the surface of the skin.
You're not done yet...
After soaking in hot vinegar, soak the area in hot water. The water, like the vinegar, should be hot but not hot enough to burn the skin. Keep ya foot in there for about 20 minutes, or until the water is no longer hot. The hot water help reduce the inflammation and soreness, as well as hopefully killing any remaining bacteria that the vinegar didn't nuke.
Wanna get the noddy badge for first aid treatment?
Before you go to bed, soak a clean towel in warm vinegar and wrap it round your foot. Use a bit of duct tape to strap it in place. Now put a plastic bag over the whole foot and tape it closed round the top of your ankle. This will keep the dampness of the vinegar soaked cloth contained. Leave it on overnight.
Speed is your friend in this whole process - the quicker you get the spines out using your tweezers and the vinegar, the less chance you have of an infection developing.
So keep a beady eye open for the sea floor porcupines, cos it's blerrie sore when you stand on them lil bastards.
Did you know when you're picking up a shell on the beach you're actually holding a lil critters skeleton? Seashells are kinda hard to define, but generally speaking they're the hard protective outer coverings of marine animals. Most seashells come from dudes called mollusks.
We have our skeletons inside, but mollusks have 'em outside - and are what what we know as a shell. So when you're walking along the beach admiring all the shells - you're actually walking along admiring a graveyard of marine skeletons. Cool, huh!?
Mollusks exude shells as a protective covering. The shells are excreted from the outer surface of the critter which called the mantle, and are made up of mostly calcium carbonate. So how come there are so many different types of shells? Well, there're over 110 000 species of mollusks!
After the lil dude dies, the durable shell remains. Ocean currents carry shells underwater, which is how they end up on the beach for us to find and wonder over.
Although there's a moer of a lot of species of mollusks, they come in 2 major types, bivalves and univalves. Remember latin class? "Bi" means "two", so bivalves are mollusks that have two shell halves that form a whole shell. Stuff like clams and oysters. "Uni" means "one", so univalves just have a one-piece shell, usually a spiral-type shell, often looking something like a larger, stronger and more elaborate snail's shell, guys like conch, whelks and nautilus.
So how come shells come in so many different patterns and colours? Some theories suggest this helps with camouflage against predators. Or that maybe bright colours imply to a would-be eater that the shell is poisonous,like a big sign saying "don't eat me!"
Another theory is that the colour patterns often align with the shell's spiral or axial sculpture. This sculpture, like corrugation in cardboard, strengthens shells against predators such as crabs, and pigment might further strengthen it. So instead of just trying to have a thicker shell, it might be more energy efficient for mollusks to make pigments to help with strengthening the shell.
So where do the colours come from? The food that the mollusk chows causes pigments to be produced within it's mantle. If the pigment secretion is continuous, then spiral or radial lines or bands will be laid down. If pigment secretion is periodic, then spots or flecks will appear on the shell. If the whole mantle is secreting pigment at the same rate, the shell will have uniform color, but if the process is interrupted, then axial or concentric lines appear. If the pigment is secreted in zones, then wavy bands or angular markings occur.
Why are there so many different shapes of shells? Mollusks' shapes are a product of habitat and life style for the most part. Shell shapes have evolved to make their lives easier. A snail that burrows through sand needs a shell that will move through wet sand easily, so a slender and gradually tapering shell, narrow end at the front, would work well. Whereas a mollusk that needs lots of camouflage may have evolved a shell that has a spiny or irregular surface which will catch and hold all sorts of camouflaging encrusting organisms.
The inhabitants of shell's can be some pretty crazy characters. Take for instance the muricid snail - he climbs aboard an oyster, drills a hole through its shell, then inserts its proboscis and uses the teeth at the tip to rasp up the oyster's flesh. The Cooper's nutmeg snail dines on shark! He works its way up through the sand underneath angel sharks resting on the bottom, then it threads its proboscis into a vein in the gills and sucks the shark's blood. For the shark, it's just like a gooey mosquito bite!
So before picking up that shell on the sand - make sure no-one is home, as you might just end up with a sting or a bite!
Was a week for the winter woolies, but not really the surfboards. As per usual, if you put petrol in the tank and went drive-about you got waves. But if you were limited to the bay you were screwed somewhat. JBay's abuzz with the pro circus that's moved into town ahead of the JBay Open of Surfing. The talent level in the line-up has gone off the richter scale, like the shot below by Robbie Irlam of Gabe Medina doing his thing. Can't wait to watch the world's best blitz the point at Supers.
Sticking with pro surfers for a minute - Kelly Slater's new brand's gonna be called Outer Known. Um, doesn't exactly roll off the tongue does it?! It'll be the 3rd brand in the Kering group, together with Volcom & Electric. Here's Kelly rock n rolling the lip in some Volcom boardies in the mean time, til he makes some of his own.
There's also a whisper that John John Florence has waved goodbye to long term sponsor Van's. JJ signs a family deal if he signs and it seemed like Van's were no longer keen to take on the whole clan when it came time to re-ink his deal. Proving blood is thicker than water JJ has walked.
A big trip down memory lane this week with the release of Turtle Morris's compilation of vintage Super 8 footage. It was such a privilege to sift through all the hours of film I got converted onto DVD and make a lil clip of it all. Have to agree with the ballies when the say the waves were better back then. Definitely less sand at Fence and more everywhere else 30 years ago.
You can check out the Turtle's movie here: http://youtu.be/ln21CcvreqY
In a fine exhibit of why surfers are core, Twiggy surfs the finals of the Billabong Pico Alto big wave comp with a broken ankle. He sat out there patiently, and with just 10 minutes to go stroked into an absolute monster. Had he made it round the whitewash that blew out behind him halfway along the wave, he might have been in contention for a win. Now compare that to the soccer naff's in the World Cup who look like they've been downed with an AK47 every time sometime nudges them.
Friday night saw the Cottonfields lay down another foot-stomping gig - this time to celebrate the 4th of July. The band is fronted by lead vocalist and local surfer Jean du Toit, backed up by Steven Carter (aka Joff) local graffiti guru and spray artist, and Megan Du Toit and Dameon van Antwerpen.
If you haven't got round to seeing these guys perform you're missing out. Check a snippet from their gig below. And make a plan to check em out next time they're live.
Whilst everyone's bitching about the cold, local Brad Beck continues on his Maldivian adventure. This week spent some time on a very un-feral like surf boat. Styling digs, top-end chow and amazing waves - yeah - he's hating his job right now. Says he'd much rather be stuck in a windowless office all day!
The weather man had called for it to be really kak on the weekend - which didn't actually transpire. Yeh, it blew a bit and there were a few drops of rain, but nothing impressive. Other than another perfect Sunday evening...
Anyone who's been to Hobie beach lately will have come across some pretty cool sand art. You gotto love what these guys are doing when their sharks have polystyrene teeth - bite me any day of the week with those! Just so the shark doesn't think he's the king of the beach - there's a big-ass rhino right behind him, complete with anti-poaching slogan. A cheetah, an elephant, a crocodile and Jesus round up the sculptures for the day.
Brothers Wayne & Duncan are two local guys who epitomize the "give him another chance" philosophy. They went off the rails a bit in their youth and ended up in a rehab centre in East London. There they met a Dutch guy who taught them some art skills - which they are now using to great effect to give regular beach goers a smile.
Wayne says they come to the beach for a month or so at a time, sleeping in a small tent they pitch next to the wall. They subsist on donations from the public - half of which they are saving towards their dream of building an arts & crafts centre in their township, so that they can teach kids art - keeping them off the streets. They'd love to get a sponsor to help them set-up the centre.....so if your company is looking for a kiff community project to get involved in - this would be a rad one to get off the ground.
The plan would be to recycle the communities waste into art - turning cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, wire and tins from rubbish into art and functional items.
Really cool to see guys turning sand and water into some impressive sculptures. Pop down to the beach and check them out, and help the guys out with a donation.
Jeffreys Bay - with 8 days to go before the start of the JBay Winterfest, the town of Jeffreys Bay is gearing up for an influx of tourism, athletes, music fans and holiday-makers. The ASP World Tour surfers have started arriving in South Africa, and the stage is already set for an epic Winterfest.
The JBay Open ASP World Tour surfing event is the anchor of the Winterfest, and with the world's top surfers gracing the waves of Suprtubes for the first time since 2011, it promises to be an exciting event. For more on the JBay Open go here www.jbaywinterfest.com/open-of-surfing/
The Oakley X-Over Challenge is an exciting addition to the Winterfest, with top sportmen and celebrities competing in a multi-discipline cross-over challenge during the Winterfest. Comprising surfing, mountain biking and golf disciplines, the invite-only event will see the likes of Jordy Smith, Ryan Sandes, Greg Minnaar, Butch James, Ruan De Smidt, Raynard Tissink, David Miller and Kevin Evans to name a few, competing for the Inaugural Oakley X-Over Challenge trophy. For more on the Oakley X-Over Challenge go here www.jbaywinterfest.com/oakley-x-over-challenge/
The Music Festival is what a lot of people are coming for, and it promises to be a big party, with some of the best bands in the country headlining. We can expect to see A King, Van Coke Cartel, Taxi Violence, DJ Naalderkoker and Jack Parow amongst other performing at the 1500-capacity Jolly Dolphin. Ticket sales have been brisk but there are still tickets available -www.jbaywinterfest.com/music-fest/
The VW Rally is set to take place on the streets of JBay on the 11 and 12 July, and promises to bring high speed adrenalin action to JBay. For more on this exciting event go herewww.jbaywinterfest.com/vw-rally/
Steve Pike will be running his famous Wavescape Swell Courses during the Winterfest, and there are limited numbers for this event. The Wavescape Swell Course uses video and graphics to take you on a journey into the deepest ocean storms to observe how waves form, how swell moves through the sea and what happens when it arrives at the coast. It is set to be held in JBay on the evening of 16 July, and tickets can be bought here www.quicket.co.za/events/5530-spike-swell-course-jeffreys-bay-1/
The JBay Mountain Bike open is another dynamic event that forms part of the Winterfest. The track has been purpose-built for the event, there are a number of tunnels and constructed berms and bridges, and the route promises to be a fast one. For more information and to enter go herewww.jbaywinterfest.com/mtb-open/
Swimmers prepared to brave chilly water over long distances can compete in the JBay Winterfest Cold Water Swim Classic. There will be both a 7.5km and a 2.5km open water swim. For more information go to the event page www.jbaywinterfest.com/cold-water-classic/
One of the big attractions at the JBay Winterfest is the Downhill Sokkie Jol. This is a skate course punctuated with a series of obstacles including cones, ramps and kickers, and the fastest time through the course wins. Some of the prizes on offer at the Core Downhill Sokkie Jol are Highest Jump, Best Disco Dress, Downhill Race Winner, Worst Wipeout and Longest Slide. All the Sokkie Jol details can be found here www.jbaywinterfest.com/downhill-sokkie-jol/
"The JBay Winterfest 2014 is ready to go," said festival organiser Koffie Jacobs. "It has been a challenge putting it all together, but the town of Jeffreys Bay and all the individual event stakeholders have worked together closely over the last few months, with the common goal of putting Jeffreys Bay back on the map."
The Winterfest has a very active FaceBook Fan Page www.jbaywinterfest.com/
Local legend Turtle Morris unearthed some old Super 8 footage from way back in the day. Classic stuff from JBay, Seals and all around PE. Yssss, the ballies aren't lying when they say many of our spots were so much better back then. They were.
Fence locals will see why Fence is called Fence. Pretty obvious really. Guys used to drive right down onto the beach. A-frame peaks with schweet lil barrels. Pity the sand build-up over the decades has all but killed it.
Talking sand - flipping hang, Denvils used to be epic! Freight train rights pumping across the beach and past the wall at McArthurs. Pretty ironic that today it's the unofficial learn-to-surf beach. Avo's also used to have plenty more sand. There's a clip of a solid set that runs past behind Bird rock!
Stoked to see the footage included a short snap of Turtle in his helmet. That's why he got dubbed "turtle". Got clonked on the head whilst surfing as a lightie so his dad said he couldn't surf unless he wore a helmet to protect his pip - and Turtle was born!
Some kiff skating footage too - the guys used to ride down the stormwater drain at William Moffet. The authorities heard about their exploits after a coupla months, and proceeded to jack hammer sections of the drain to stop the ou's from skating. Municipal muppets.
Luckily it was possible to escape the confines of over-zealous officials with a quick trip west to Seals. Dirt roads, no bridge across the Krom - but Full stop was still Full stop, and Turtle gets barreled over it.
Would be stoked to get hold of some more old super 8 stuff - so if you're a ballie that has some stuck in a box somewhere - go dig out and give me a yell. Let's get it off film and onto digital, let's not lose any PE surfing heritage.