There were some waves to be had during the week, enough to satisfy the salt water injection cravings of our addiction. Nothing flash, but sure beat being absolutely flat. Even though the swell didn't quite match what the forecasts had predicted.
Had some beaut days interspersed with some that are what gave PE her moniker of the Windy City. It absolutely pomped on Sunday. Pity - cos there was swell. But ask any local surfer and they'll tell you 8 outta 10 times we have good waves the wind is there to stuff it up. It is what it is. Which is why everyone goes bossies when we have the superlative combo of swell and no wind. Bit like a four leaf clover though.
Just in case you were wondering how windy it was on Sunday...
But there were still a few places to get outta the blast.
Everyone always gives the car guards a hard time cos they are generally fairly useless. But Rasta at Pipe gets a high five for hanging on to the wallet which some guy left on the roof of his car. He was waiting for him to come back to his car to give it to him. Hope he got a good tip for that!
Robbie Irlam snapped the local labs at Supers and coined it a "Lobby of Labs". Pretty neat. Not sure what (or if) there is an actual collective noun for them. Anyone know? Google wasn't very forthcoming. Although did discover a Grumble of Pugs...which is rather apt!
As usual we had our fare share of lekker sunrises and sunsets. Kudos to Chris Scott for braving the twilight hour out at Seals, not sure I'd be dangling my toes out there then.
There really isn't anything that's much better than sitting on the beach watching the sun drop down over the ocean on a lekker evening.
OK, maybe there is. Watching the sun going down over the ocean whilst you surf an awesome wave all to yourselves, with the yacht anchored a short paddle away. FOMO (Fear of missing out) was real this week!
Schoenies resident and photag extraordinaire Luc Hosten always goes for an amble along the beach shooting interesting things. Dig how these footprints almost look inverted due to the play of the light and shadows. Or maybe there are some ou's walking under the sand?
There's nothing better to walk on the beach with than these guys. Hands up who does or has owned a pair! They are legend. I don't think you can call yourself a real surfer unless you've had these on your feet at some stage. They're also epic to skid along pools with! Ask any kid who borrowed their dads pair and took a flying jump into the pool and skated across the surface thanks to these waterski's! Grab a pair at the Croc Shop in Walmer Park (just do not buy Crocs though, unless your name is Dave). Who needs fancy-ass Havaiana's when you can have #localislekker Faith!?
Pipe got a mention by the Zag these week. Which you know is always gonna be the rip-off not the write-up variety, given it is admittedly one of the arbest waves about. Some ou's got a bit defensive of their home break, which is good to see locals will go to bat for their homie even though it is well, not exactly a premier wave. PE surfing wouldn't be PE surfing without da Pipe.
Well done to the lighties who made the Nelson Mandela Bay Surf riders team (NMBS)* The kids will be taking part in the 2018 Sea Harvest SA Junior Championships at Lower Point, Jeffreys Bay from 3/10/2017 – 7/10/2017
*side note - it rolled off the tongue a helluva lot easier when it was just called EP!
We're lucky to have heaps of talented lighties in the East Cape, and JBay's Angelo Faulkner has made the SA team to go over to the World Champs in the US. The hiccup is the kids are responsible for covering their own costs - which is really $$$. So please dip into your pockets and donate a few bucks towards helping Angelo get there. Every little bit helps. Drop Etienne a msg for banks deets.
RIP Mike Hornsey (1/9/1943 - 22/8/2018). East London surfing legend and 2014 inductee to the Surfers' Circle Walk of Fame. Mike was one of the first SA surfers to travel specificallly to surf and lived in California / Hawaii from 1965 to the early '70's. The 1965 Eastern Province champ also reached the final of the SA Champs at J-Bay Point in 1969 on a trip home to renew his US visa.
Mike considered himself one of the luckiest surfers alive, hanging out with Phil Edwards, Dewey Weber and David Nuuhiwa as they pioneered unridden spots in Baja and Mainland Mexico and on the North Shore in the late 60's.
Retired to a house overlooking Bruce's Beauties in 1983 and rode it uncrowded and perfect. I was fortunate to share many surfs with Mike out at Huletts in St Francis. At the time I didn't even know he was such a legend surfer, I just thought he was a lekker guy. Wish I had known back then, as would have peppered him with questions about all his travels. Wishing him perfect peelers and glassy days up there.
(thanks to Surfers Circle Muizenberg for the info)
Some surfable swell about most of the week - just the winds that might screw-ball things. Here's to us finding the four leaf clover.
Lekker week of waves. Finally ran outta steam on Friday, but by then everyone had noodle-arms anyway. Nothing gang-buster, but just fun clean surf, and when you live in PE you grab that with both hands when it comes.
JBay had some nuggets. But as it is when there's a good swell running - for every good one you hook, you usually take one on the head just to keep the yin and yang of a surf session in balance. Some poor ou on his waveski had one of those "Ooh koek!" moments. When everyone else is laughing at your predicament - other than you!
It's whale time of year, and the big ocean mammals are starting to arrive on their annual migration. Dan Thornton was lucky enough to have one pop up next to him looking for a back scratch.
From big to small - anyone walking in over the reef after a surf has had the soles of their feet meet up with these lil critters. Barnacles, besides being tough as all *&^$, also have the unlikely honour of having the largest penis proportional to its body size in the animal kingdom. It can reach up to 8 times the length of the barnacles' body.
Cos barnacles affix themselves to a surface, their stationary life poses a problem when it comes to mating, especially since barnacles apparently have to fertilise each other internally. They do so with a huge penis, which blindly reaches across into neighbouring shells and deposits sperm inside. This giant organ can stretch up to eight times a barnacle’s own body length, making it proportionately the biggest penis in the animal world.
An unusual ship cruised past the bay on the weekend. A ship carrying a ship in fact. Not too sure what the ship it was transporting was all about - some thought it was a car ferry, others a cable laying ship. Could be interesting to see how it fares in huge seas washing across the deck!
Always cool when dad's get the chance to pay forward the stoke of surfing and pass it on to their lighties. Gregg Clarke got the chance to get his lil guy out for some "overhead" waves just before the end of the weekend.
At least there are benefits associated with the chilly conditions! The sunsets and sunrises continue to deliver. Some particularly good ones this past week.
Medina won the Tahiti Pro. Yawn. Not exactly maxing Chopes, rather like a random head high beachie. Always so disappointing when the world tour gets skunked for surf. Least with the inclusion of the Surf Ranch into the line-up they know they'll have guaranteed waves for that.
Not sure how the WSL is going in terms of viewership numbers, but I for one was a die-hard supporter never missing a comp - and I have hardly watched a heat this year. Combination of (mostly) lacklustre surf conditions, no Kelly, Jordy not really clicking, and the remainder of the line-up just not engaging me. Is it just me? Or has the world tour lost it's shine and appeal?
Every bay has a wild side, and both PE's and St Francis's were throwing out some frothy growlers this past week. Fair to say that in winter you can never say it's flat. You just need to head round the corner.
A little bit of swell hanging about for the week, so the opportunity to get wet exists. Best swell of the week is on Friday - pity the wind looks like it might not play ball.
Flipping fin-tastic. That's the only way to describe their foil tipped Q2's from Hanalei Fins. These awesome lil puppies dropped into my mailbox recently thanks to ex-PE boytjie Lancelot Pearson.
I've been a Hanalei fin addict ever since Lance gave me a set to try out about 4 years ago when he was visiting PE for a school reunion. I haven't ridden another fin since. And have slowly built up my collection so almost all my go-to boards have them.
The original Q2's are interesting looking fins, with a very vertical set-up and a concave foil on the inside - a sailing-inspired design brought over into fins by Hanalei creator (and also ex-Saffa) Robin Mair. They're crazy fast, and just perfect for the mini-simmons type boards I ride.
So enter the new flip tip Q2's. A small flip in the tip is set at a 16º angle (outboard) to the blade of the fin and have the effect of turning it into a mini-hydrofoil. These things FLY!
The tip allows the hollow foil on the inside of the fin to extend all the way to the tip. The foil works like a sail on a yacht - so just as wind presses directly into the sails to make them puff out, and that natural force propels the boat forward, so the "sail shape" of the fin captures the water and propels the board forward.
The foil also helps the fins to release better at the top of the turn - not release as in drift-out-slide-your-fins kinda thing, but just release to allow you to pivot better through the turn.
But not only are the flip-tips fast, they're grippy as hell too. One of the cool features of these tips is how they allow the board to transition through turns. If you visualize these fins in use you can see that as the board transitions more to the rail the tips of the engaged fins become more vertical in the water. Not only does this improve the feel of the fin, but it more importantly helps the board come around during the turn, as it provides some thing to pivot around. All of this is done without losing any speed!
I had the chance to try them out in some decent waves at Millers (super Sunday) and they were flat out amazing. I'm a kak surfer and can feel the difference these make to my ride, so just imagine what they'll do for your surfing if you're a half decent surfer!
Just like you wouldn't put wooden wheels on your car, don't put crap fins in your boards. You'll be amazed at the difference a decent pair of fins can make. And the Hanalei's crank it up another notch - turning your sled into a magic carpet ride.
What's even better is that they're made by Saffa's - ex-PE/Uitenhage locals at that. Designer Robin Mair used to shape surfboards in PE and JBay way back in the day (Mera Surat). He moved to Santa Cruz where he diverted into designing racing yachts for many years, and later moved to Hawaii where he got back into shaping boards. Frustrated with the existing fin systems at the time, he and a mate and then started ProBox Fin Systems. A while after, Hanalei Fins was born.
Robin believed that a surfboard couldn't be designed independently of the fins that would be used on the board. Consequently, he had always designed and made his own fins. So Hanalei Fins was a way to take his creations public.
Lance (ex-Uitenhage dweller & PE surfer) is the Aussie rep for the brand, and also does some insane custom art-work on the fins.
If you check out the Hanalei Fins website you'll see there are some pretty left-of-centre fin designs they produce - but every one is solidly grounded in marine design principles, not just a case of making crazy looking templates. They're crazy looking templates that work insane, and have plenty of hours of R&D behind them.
They're still a pretty underground name in the fin world, but there are a number of guys in Hawaii and Aus riding them, and the word is spreading. Cos seriously, once you ridden them you won't go back to a "conventional" fin.
They have a very strong following in the kneelo community. Which is already a mark of respect to them - cos remember - kneelo's can't pump their boards to gain speed as easily as surfers do - so they really rely a lot more on their equipment to do the job for them. And that means they need fast fins.
The good news is that they're finally available in South Africa. Mike de Heer of Dust Surf is bringing them into the country - so you can now order some online from him vs the schlep of having to ship in from overseas. Plus, if you mention to Mike you read about the fins on the ML blog he'll throw in a 10% discount as well.
Do yourself a favour and spoil yourself with a set. You will not be sorry!
Yeeeuw - finally winter woke up. About time. After nearly 3 weeks of pond-like conditions we had a coupla decent days of waves during the week. The highlight being a great swell on Sunday. Even Avo's had a few good rides.
Crowds were pretty thick thanks to the long weekend and kiff weather (an absolute absense of anything rideable for ages). Some ou's forgot their manners a bit. Don't be that ou - it's not cool. But if you checked out the southern or northern most corners of the bays beaches you could still get a few uncrowded one's.
Banks at Fence are pretty shot at the moment, but still some kegs for those who didn't mind the closeouts in between. Rincon also had a few for those prepared to walk up the beach - or risk their cabbie at the beacon parking.
Pipe had plenty of swell, with waves during the week as well as the Sunday Sessions. The rain squall mid-week saw a lekker rainbow cast it's colourful arc across the bay - and appropriately one end dived into the lineup - proving their is gold at the end of the rainbow. Liquid gold!
Of course if they bay was firing you can only imagine what JBay was doing. Cooooking! A 40 minute drive down the N2 saw you get waves almost every day last week.
Things were also cooking to the east - with the SA Champs going down at Nahoon. The guys had solid swell for the comp. Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders (NMBS) got a 4th possie, with top individual performers being Michelle von Kempen getting 3rd in the Ladies, Warwick Heny 4thin the over 40's, and Andre Venter 4th in the over 55's. Full wrap and results and pics here:
We're lucky to live in a kiff lil town. She looks especially pretty from the air - and flying in over the beach when there's a west wind blowing always makes for a cool view.
Speaking of west winds - had a pomping one during the week thanks to a big-ass cold front, which thankfully brought some welcome rain. Luc braved the pre-frontal conditions at Sards to get a few shots in before the heavens opened.
It's always fun to surf in the rain - seeing as you're wet anyway! Everyone else is hunkering up inside trying to get warm - and you're doing your best to get wet.
Rain means rainbows. And there were plenty of those about.
There were of course the obligatory awesome winter sunsets - which are always that little bit more awesome if they happen to have a wave peeling off as they set.
So yah - if you didn't get wet this week you're entitled to go into sulk-mode. Although don't despair completely - looks like waves all week this week.
So that's the wrap - here's hoping this week delivers the goods.....
You can check out the surf shots from this past week in the Latest Shots
You'd be forgiven for thinking you'd entered a time machine and had been propelled forward into summer - cos flip, the surf sure thinks it's summer. Great weather, no waves. Nada. None. Scratchy stuff. Wildside only, but the bay was flat. Of course if you went west or east, then you got some.
If you went north you got even more. Indo still going off it's pip. The shot below was snapped last week at a spot that was the first wave I ever surfed in Indo - admittedly when I surfed it it was nowhere like this! Tucked into a deep bay in the Telo islands it just sucks in south swell and fires.
Not to be outdone the Pacific ocean is also dealing out some solid swells. Filipe Toldeo is getting in some practice at Chopes and got dragged across the reef for his troubles!
With all the beaut weather about the photags have been shooting sunsets instead of surfing. Altho Luc seems to by chance catch a shot of the only wave that broke in the bay last week!
Shot to the DA Ward 2 peeps, who organise a monthly beach clean at Kings Beach. This past weekend they collected 220kg's of rubbish - that's awesome going. Well done. Everyone can make a difference if they just pick a few things up each time you go to the beach. Not hard - and a small price to pay to enjoy our beautiful coastline.
Despite Neptune seeming to forget it's winter, the aloes still know it is, and are still bight blazing red. Always sad when they start to fade, as we know our chances of decent surf fades with them as summer approaches.
Even if there aren't waves, it's still worth the effort to make the beach mission and just go for a walk instead. We're super lucky to have the opportunity of such an easily accessible beachfront.
The dolphins always know where to find waves, and were getting a few out at Sards this past week. Always better to see 5 shadows in a wave instead of one....cos one might mean a less friendly fin. Whenever I see a fin pop up in the backline I always hope like hang I see another pop up soon after! Then at least you're almost assured they're friendly one's.
Some waves on the charts for this week (although wind looking a hack). So the guys will be scoring good surf for the SA Champs being held at Nahoon. Good luck to the Nelson Mandela Bay surfriders!
Beachwalks always give rise to something interesting to spot. Like trying to determine what weird creature left these tracks in the sand. Or maybe just an ou with a serious case of "time-to-cut-your-toenails"?
Sunrise and sunset continue to deliver - so those that make the wave check mission before or after work at least get some reward for their efforts!