Winter ain't done with us just yet. Called her out last week for being in hiding and she came back with a proverbial bang this week. More like a "Boom" actually. Massive 5m swell with a 20 second period delivered monster waves all along the SA coastline.
You know if the bay is 8ft plus then it must be chaos outside. Rincon didn't even have a backline - just rolling whitewash as far as the eye could see. It turned the normally lackadaisical longshore drift current into a raging river - at one stage the back of Millers looked like the Zambezi rapids.
Things started on Thursday - Monday to Wednesday was just the usual knee-high-and-not-much-happening typical PE scenario, but then it all went ballistic. By midday Thursday it was huge, and continued to build into the evening. The high tide help settle things down a bit.
Check out all the shots and stories from the Storm Surf here:
Peaked overnight so Friday was fun sized and manageable, with some less than fun-sized crowds. Ou's were frothing like a cappuccino. Head over to the Latest Shots page to check all the galleries from Friday.
Gnarly timing for the SA Champs held in East London. The conditions were off the charts. The comp had to move to Nahoon Corner. Couple of heats the ou's just got washed right down the beach and meant they had to restart heats.
Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders (NMBS) for a 3rd possie overall, with the Masters coming 2nd and the Open 5th. Check out all the results and shots here:
Andre Venter had picked up his new stick from Dennis Ellis at the Boardroom just before heading off to SA's - seems to have done the job cos Andre got a 3rd in the Over 55 division. Apparently new sticks now come with a free matching dog.
Musta been kak to have been sailing big container ships around the coast last week - but seems to help if you have a kiff name!
Classic old shot of the lifesaving tower at Kings Beach cropped up during the week. Reckon these retro one's are way cooler than the new plastic spaceship's currently on the beaches.
Earlier in the week before the swell went haywire Raggy Charters was out on one of their regular trips and spotted a some big whales right off the back of McArthur baths. Good to see these big mammals still frequenting our bay. Unfortunately one was found washed up just up from Sundays River during the week.
By the weekend the swell was pretty much done and dusted - just a few lil dribbles left over for everyone to get wet on and for those who's missed out on the main swell to not feel completely left out.
So much surf action almost forget that we still had our usual dose of awesome sunrises and sunsets during the week.
So this is what 5m 18 second swell looks like. Lekker to finally have a swell deliver and not be one of those phantom one's where the charts call it and it ends up being knee-high.
But gotto be careful what you wish for. Most spots in the bay were totally maxed out and was a crazy current sweeping along. The wind got a bit better late arvo and the high tide helped even things out a bit. But still quite a mission out there.
The low tide saw Clubhouse doing it's thing.
And the Bell Bouy and Avo's.
iThose who tried both soon realised that they hadn't eaten enough Pronutro for brekkie to overcome the crazy river like current. Once you'd caught a wave at Avo's it was impossible to get back to the take-off spot. Saw 2 guys trying for over 20 minutes to paddle back and literally getting nowehere.
One dude decided to call it quits and turned round and headed behind Bord Rock. Tried to come in between Bird and Chomp but at low tide it's a minefield through there, so he opted to Plan B round Chomp and came in at Millers.
Other chap managed to catch the tail end of a set, but for his efforts ended up in the washing machine section at Avo's. You never want to be there on a big day. Ever. There is no escape plan that doesn;t entail meeting mussels and reef. Which he did. Finally getting spat out through the gap between the reef and Bird Rock on the Millers side.
Being a glutton for punishment he went out at Hummies's. And broke his board. Eish! When it's not your day it's not your day!
On the low the waves were breaking from behind Chomp. Nice from far. Far from nice.
A few brave souls took on Pier, also not the easiest place to surf when there's so much water moving around. Anyone who's been out there before know's it's a kak idea to try paddle back round the pier and in at Hobie - as you need lat's like Dolph Ludgren. And you definitely go out far and paddle round wide - anywhere near the pier and you're in kak cos of how the current drags there.
But this ou didn't get the memo. He battled for age's trying to make it back round, twice nearly getting dragged into and then through the pier. Did finally make it back to the beach looking very relieved.
Hummies was heavy. Properly heavy. Didn't get any pics. Sorry. Rincon was breaking a million miles out to see - just a backline that stretched to the horizon.
The high tide and big swell means plenty of sand will have gotten chowed away - and end up at Fence. Please Fence - can we have our sand back? You have too much already!
PE lost sand, but St Francis lost a parking lot....
Of course west of here was off it's proverbial pip. Big. Big. Big. Very big.
Then if you headed a bit further west....
And last but not least. Head east. Moer. It was big. SA Champs got shifted into Nahoon Corner which was firing. But look closely at the ship in this picture - imagine swell big enough that it lifts out the entire back-end of that thing. Yrrr.
Pretty slow darn week out in the surf. Count yourself lucky if you hooked a few. If anyone knows the number for Winter - please give 'em a call and say "Oi, mate, we still want a coupla waves!" (we'll go with the colloquial usage of mate, cos who knows if Winter is a guy or a chick, and Mate is just a perfect apply-to-anyone term.)
Of course Maldives was (and still is) absolutely pumping off it's pip!
PE, on the other hand. Nup, "pumping off it's pip" would not be a phrase we get to use with much regularity. We did win the rugger though. Will settle for what we get at this stage.
Only ou to score good surf in the bay this week was the Grom Reaper, Andre Clarke's lil doodle man cartoon. Just another of our talented local surfers - need any design work done, Andre's your man.
All together now...Eina!!!! Looks pretty miff hey!? Local booger James Jones is over in Bali scoring some good waves but had a howzit with the reef after a kook dropped in on him at solid Padang Padang. Gotto pay to play. Looked worth it!
Millers Local Shane Pyke also had a bit of "pay to play" action in Mauritius last week. Tore a rib cartilage and some rib muscles after getting slammed into the reef. To add to the fun n games then took a few 6ft sets to the head whilst standing in thigh deep water on the reef. Always the opposite of fun when that happens.
Maybe karma was getting them back for stacking the rental car to the hilt! Shane's hidden in the back of the car somewhere!
Winter was around - just not the waves that should come with it. In the absence of anything exciting happening in the ocean - locals Mark and Chaim Simmons took a trip inland to check out the snow. In typical Stompi-style he-who-feels-no-cold was in shorts. Which kinda explains why you never see him in a wetsuit.
The whale carcass washed up near Schoenies is still attracting plenty of interest (and flies). Take a set of nose plugs along if you want to go check it out. Wouldn't advise surfing anywhere in the vicinity. Lots of finned friends will be hanging around just off the backline.
Enough sharks on land without having to worry about those in the water. Luc Hosten was shooting at the Wedge in Plett, and just after chatting to some tourists they got mugged about 30m away from him. Apparently negotiations were successful and they retained their passports. So safest place to be at Central Beach is in the barrel!
Despite winter not throwing out any waves this week it didn't disappoint in the sunrise/sunset department.
Looks like some swell this week - just the wind might make it tricky for the bay. Just load up with a tank of fuel though and you sorted. Am tempted to go one step further and load up with a plane ticket and chase it north of the equator...
Coupla beautiful days of waves in the Eastern Cape last week. Friday and into the weekend was just peachy. The egg beaters timed it well and had their SA Champs at Magna's. Shot to East London surf photag Bruce Viaene for taking the win.
Friday was a really fun day in the bay - winds behaved themselves mostly and early birds got bit fat juicy worms, the lunch time crew got skunked, and then the early arvo takers struck it lucky before the inevitable Friday circus arrived. The weekend continued to deliver some good one's, so everyone should be starting the week surfed out.
You mighta been forgiven if you thought your eyes were deceiving you if were down at Hobie and you saw a windsurfer looking like it was floating on air. It was! Paul Wagstaff and the crew from Hi-Fli foils were having a demo day in PE. Pretty cool lil craft they have.
And the ou's were nice enough to snap a few shots of Millers whilst they were at the beach.
With there being more south in the swell earlier in the week, a few brave souls decided to have a go at Smelly Creek cos it was dishing up some peaks in the light NW's. The devil winds blow straight offshore here. Merv and Deno get awarded bravery medals for taking on the suspect water quality.
Turns out the dip in the sketchy water may well have had some consequences - Dennis was seen running around the Boardroom with a hoodie on all of the next day - so make your own call about the water quality and it's effect on your health!
With the cold water doing the rounds it's a good idea to go grab yourself a pip lid, so if you are wanting to get a hoodie, then go grab one from Dennis at the Boardroom - they selling em off cheap - cos the ou's are worried that Deno has taken a liking to wearing em at work!
The usual array of awesome sunrises and sunsets, and a fail. Turns out Monday morning moron-head got me last week and I led into the blog post with a shot titlds "Monday Morning" showing the sun setting behind the pier. So most definitely the evening not the morning - thanks to the ou's who politely pointed out the fail.
Certain things inspire one to paddle faster than normal. Like sitting out alone in the line-up and suddenly spotting the flash of a big silver belly as it turns about 20m to your right. Quick scan reveals no other fins (which is what you want to see cos then it'll be a dolphin and some mates). Seeing nothing means hightail it outta there. Rather safe than sorry. Luckily after a few minutes standing on the beach scanning the water a single dolphin fin popped up. So straight back in the water.
The other thing that gets you paddling faster than you ever thought possible is having Big Dave (aka Dave Lippie) bearing down on you at a rate of notes! There's just a whole lot of momentum heading your way and it would be really kak luck to to be an involuntary speedbump!
If you're planning on a some surf travel missions soon then grab yourself a Jiqs - the quickest easiest leash fix solution around - and better yet - invented by a Saffa. You can check out how it works here - Fix ya leash in a flash
If JBay has a special place in your heart then how about giving it pride of place on your wall. Local artists Martin Bakker has got a sale on some of his iconic JBay paintings, so a great time to pick up a piece of awesome artwork of your favourite spot. You can check out his paintings here - https://www.facebook.com/MartinBakkerArt/
PE local James Jones is scoring some tropical perfection over in Indo at the moment. Lucky man has timed his trip well and is hooking some epic surf.
Had enough of winter and wetsuits? Wanna score some tropical perfection of your own? Cooking swell gonna hit Maldives this coming weekend, so if you can literally drop-all-and-go-last-minute- mission then drop me a mail and can get you on the yacht for a super good price. Must be able to get to Maldives this Sat or Sunday. Guaranteed surf.
The rain forecast is more exciting than the swell forecast for this week - so let's hold thumbs it rains where it needs to. Just watch those ears in the water if you gonna surf during the downpours - expect some sketchy water quality as all the stormwater drains get flushed.
Would you want to be stuck on the beach with a broken leash whilst watching that fire off? Probably not. And Cape Town local Carey Lagoe didn't either!
No more need to worry about a snapped leash ruining an epic session. Thanks to Carey you now have a super quick and easy fix to get straight back into the water, instead of having to sit bummed on the beach watching your mates score.
Say howzit to Jiqs, the world’s fastest leash fix solution. Carey talks us through his clever invention:
So how’d the idea come about - Am guessing you came up it after your own snapped leash experience?
Jip, that’s right. I was on holiday in Bali with my lovely wife when news of an amazing swell heading for G-land made rounds. I suggested we go check this out, I have never been to G-land, but as a goofy footer, I’ve been dreaming about that wave since a laaitjie. All the camps were maxed out for what was to be the best swell to hit in years. G-land didn’t disappoint…however the other 250 strong surfers in the line-up wasn’t very inviting. The morning of the swell peak, I decided to paddle out before sunrise to beat the crowd, that worked, but unfortunately my leash didn’t - It SNAPPED on a mediocre wave!
I recovered my board and paddled in to shore, ran back to Bobby’s Camp for a spare leash and hurried back out through the key-hole. That whole turn-around took about 45 minutes, so guess what, when I got back to my position in the line-up there were 40 more faces staring back at me. That is where and when the idea was born, right there at the take-off of Money Trees, G-land, 9 years ago.
Once you had the idea of coming up with a solution for bust leashes was it something you dived into head first or did it sit on the back-burner for a while?
Yes, exactly. You know you get back home after a surf trip and reality hits. Work, family and cold water distracted me for quite some time. It wasn’t until the beginning of 2016 that I made myself a promise to follow through on the idea.
Was there much else in the market that offered a similar solution?
Currently No. Jiqs is the only surf gadget in the world that offer surfers a quick fix solution to snapped leashes.
Where did you draw the conceptual inspiration from or was it one of those lightning bolt moments where it just kinda popped into your head, and you were like “Yip – that’s it!”?
It started with some simple sketches and many hours of searching on Google for ideas. But it wasn’t until I a saw a camping tent gadget that the light bulb really came on.
So did you get a coupla prototypes made up and take ‘em for some serious R&D testing at a few of the Cape’s heavier spots? Things work from the get-go or a few “back-to-the-drawing-board” experiences?
Today it’s so easy with 3D printing, the first two prototypes I made worked in theory, but that was until I added a snapped leash. The moment I applied serious tension on the little gadgets, the cords kept slipping loose! I was really disappointed with myself at one stage, I seemed so close, yet it wasn’t holding. Until one day when I happened to come across a tent peg in a camping store.
Talk us through how it works, and what makes Jiqs unique.
Inventions should always be tested against the concept of ‘Keep it Simple’. The Jiqs gadget is basically made up of two cleats, each with its own locking nut – the one end of the snapped leash gets placed into the cleat and then the nut is tightened over to lock it in place and same goes for the other end. A Jiqs can fix any standard leash no matter where it snapped.
Is it an “in-the-water” solution? Assuming your board hasn’t bounced its way to the beach, it is like literally grab the two sides of the bust leash, pop the Jigs on and “boom” back to riding waves without even having to set foot on the sand?
Yes exactly, that was part of the whole idea. Often when your leash snaps, the board pops up quite close to where you are, just paddle back to the safety of the channel or backline and apply your Jiqs. Simple as that really, you don’t have to mission to your car, shop or home and miss out on what might have been a cooking, uncrowded session!
Say you’re on a feral Indo mission and gonna be stuck miles away from a surf shop for a while, would you be able to rely on the Jiqs holding up for a good few sessions, or is it really designed for short term use only?
I won’t recommend long term use, but hey if in the very unfortunate event that you snap all of your spare leashes, sure a Jiqs will solve the problem. A good friend of mine had to use his Jiqs awhile back, guess what he’s still just surfing with that same broken leash fixed with a Jiqs.
Why the name Jiqs?
I first thought of the name ‘Fixs’ but it was already taken, so then I came up with ‘Jixs’ but that was also taken and finally I settled on ‘Jiqs’. It rhymes nicely with fix – Jiqs Leash Fix.
Where can guys grab a Jiqs? And how much do the retail for?
Most of the surf shops in Cape Town stock them, a friend of mine has them at her shop in Scottburgh, Ginsy has them at Country Feeling in JBay and on-line you can get them from Pollywog.
Jiqs retails for R100.
Just domestic at this stage? Any plans for the international market?
Local is Lekker, but I’m busy connecting with all continents. My biggest order to date was from Europe.
Am guessing leash-fix inventor isn’t your full-time gig, so what do you do when you aren’t coming up with genius surf gear idea’s?
That’s right; my daytime job is project managing TV commercials.
Shot Carey! Always lekker to see a unique surf product originate from South Africa!
Wanna know more about Jigs and how it works, head over to the webpage http://jiqs.surf or follow Jiqs on Instagram @jiqs.surf
The week started off slow, with a few days of waves here and there, but improved on the weekend with some good southerly swell. Thankfully the water has warmed up compared to previous weeks so you can even get away with a 3/2 fairly comfortably for now.
You can check out shots from Humewood on Tuesday here, and Pipe on Thursday here.
Had an interesting looking ship and it's cargo hanging out just off North End for the week. The Hua Hai Long is transporting a fish farm from China to Norway. Ironic that it was anchored nearby one of the proposed fish farm locations for the bay.
The cage has been built using the same technology as North Sea oil rigs, and has been designed to withstand the hectic conditions of the very exposed North Sea. It will be submerged up to the top ring. Chinese have this thing waxed - pillage the oceans with their fishing fleets so they get to sell their fish farming cages to countries where the fish have run out??
What does your name say about you? I cannot think of anyone who epitomizes their name better than local surfer Star Campbell Douglas. Bright and sparkly just like a star! The happiest, smiley'est person you'll ever meet in the line-up.
If you have a boggered up old board in serious need of a new lease on life then tune the guys at Surf Centre Humewood. They've been working some miracles lately on some stuffed up old sticks.
The Cobbles Classic is coming up towards the end of Sept, so get those entries in. There are divisions to accommodate everyone, whether you're a serious competitive surfer or you just wanna go and have a paddle with only a few peeps in the line-up.
The usual array of lekker sunrises and sunsets during the week. Wondering if the sunrise shots are gonna get less frequent now that summer approaches and the sun wakes up earlier!
Stoked to have two articles I wrote featuring in the August edition of the Australian Surfing Life magazine. Did have to un-slang them a bit! Have a penchant for using Saffa speak rather liberally when I write. The Aussie editor was fascinated to finally found out what "Lekker" meant! Said he hears it from Ex-South Africans over there all the time, but never knew what it meant til now.
You may have spotted some rad lil stickers about lately. Local graphic designer and surfer Andre Clarke whipped up some for the Pipe Crew. So if you really wanna cement your possie as a local of note then get hold of Mervyn Goddard to find out how you can lay your hands on a few.
Also kiff to see shots taken from the line-up looking back to shore. The view from Millers will be changing fairly soon as building of the new apartment block between Berkely Court and The Seagulls has commenced, so that gap you see at the nose of the board will soon be filled up.
Some southerly swell cropped up on the weekend, so those that drove west were richly rewarded.
Seems that sharks aren't the only locals you have to watch out for at Supers. It appears that the oyster catchers are quite hectic too!
Lekker to see JBay photag Robbie Irlam get some reward for all his hours standing on the beach snapping shots. He takes out the win in this months Zigzag Shot Bru comp.
Not much swell on the forecasts - so catch up on some work or studying! Bit of a blip for the weekend again maybe.