Yewee - EP won the SA Champs in Mossel Bay! JBay lighties Dylan Lightfoot & Emma Smith won the u20's and Steve Sawyer hooked the Zag Blow Up award (and 2nd spot in the u20's). Great surfing by the whole team saw us get our grubby hands on the trophy. Shot to Billabong for sponsoring the team. Local is lekker!
Check out the full comp wrap, results and shots here.
Not so rad were the kids on the beach at JBay who terrorised a juvenile Great White that was dragged out of shallow water at Main Beach. They beat it with a golf club and tried to gouge it's eye's. Thankfully a surfer finally stepped in and pulled the shark back into the water. Tsek.
One of the original Saffa big wave legends celebrated his 60th bash at the Seal Point Resort this weekend. Johnny Paarman is still renowned in Hawaii as one of the best big wave surfers our country has ever produced. He competed there back in the 70's, where he placed fourth in the 1976 Smirnoff Pro, and fifth in the Duke Kahanamoku Classic, which took him to 15th in the international rankings.
Four time world champ Mark Richards rates John Paarman riding Sunset back in the day as the best that Sunset has been ridden. Ever.
Attended the Coastal Forum meeting last week and raised the issue of the broken steps going down to Millers. Hopefully some money will be found in the maintenance budget to repair these soon. There is a new Coastal Management plan being drawn up for the bay at the moment, and one of the issues it will raise is that often capital projects are approved but allowance for the maintenance thereof isn't factored into the annual budget....which is why it can take a while for things like the missing steps to get fixed. Holding thumbs the new plan will rectify this.
Another area fallen into disrepair are the fences which prevent access to the dune area's between the beach and boardwalk. They were there for a reason - to stop peeps just missioning over the dunes wherever they wanted to. The hiccup with ou's making their own paths over the dunes is that it creates a break in the dune and accelerates sand loss. The dunes are important to help stabilise the beach, so we really need to protect them. If you have enough vooma in your legs to surf, then you have enough vooma in them to walk the extra 50m to either end of the dune to check the surf. Go round not over!
Same applies in the Pipe area. The new fences are up, so stick to using the boardwalk access and don't moering over the dunes wherever you feel like. Things are looking super rocky on the beaches at the moment, so despite hating the beasterly easterlies, we really do need some serious onshores to deposit some sand back again. Speaking of which - looks like east most of this week...bleh!
Found a classic shot of Seals back in the day whilst looking for an image for Throwback Thursday. Turns out it was taken by Clive Barber in around '68. He dug the slide out from under his shaping bay, and thankfully JBay's Garth Robinson has the original and has got the shot available on canvas and paper print at The Surf Art shop at Supertubes. Go check out the shop for plenty of awesome vintage JBay & Seals shots & other cool surf stuff.
Apparently plots were on sale around that time for about R3000. Lotsa ballies still kicking themselves today for not laying down the cash.
The week started off slowly surf-wise, then Friday saw decent swell if you could find a corner outta the wind. Even Jbay had some serious ridges to start with. The weekend had some lekker weather and a coupla good 'un's here and there, specially if you traveled west.
Jordy won! Yay!! FInally. But shew, not without making us stress our mielies off first. He started with a bang and a 9.33, and then proceeded to bog on every single wave until he caught his back-up wave about 2 minutes from the buzzer. Shattered nerves!!
Props to the Boardwalk for coming on board to sponsor the EP Junior team. What's so cool is they'll be kitting our groms out with EP blazers. Last time our any of our teams rocked those was the early 70's. Here're the ou's back in the day - gotto dig the big wave thingy on the pocket. Great to see so many of these guys are still in the water. Surfing is for life!
Plenty of sealife about at the moment. Gina Smith made a buddy in JBay. Octopus are such cool critters. 8 arms and 3 hearts, blue blood (cos it's copper-based instead of iron) and a beak like a parrot. Don't mess with 'em! They're kinda lizzard-like in that they can lose an arm if it means escaping an attacker, and then just grow it back later. Oh yah, and it sucks being a boy-octopus. After mating, it's game over. They die about 3 months later.
They're known to be really intelligent creatures, and what's cool is that two-thirds of an octopus’ neurons reside in its arms, not its head. As a result, the arms can problem solve how to open a shellfish while their owners are busy doing something else, like checking out a cave for more edible goodies. Neat, huh?!
Something old, something new. Let's start with the old - classic vintage Seaflight with original Surf Centre sticker. What's cool is that both are still about 20 years later. Love the spray job.
And the new? Clay is back. On the cover of the latest Surfing mag, nose-picking a West Oz right. Yes, West coast. The cold coast, where everyone else, other than Clay, wears wetties. Apparently Hawaiians are allergic to wetties to just man-up to chilly water temps to avoid the rubbery restrictions. Clay kinda disappeared off the map after being dropped by Quik a coupla years back, but shew, that kid can surf. With wild abandon. Still one of my favourite guys to watch. Just a pity we don't get to see more of him cos he doesn't fit into a brand sterotype. He now lives in Ry Craike's home town on the west coast of Oz for half the year (when Hawaii's flat), and hunts down barely rideable ledges.
The 2nd annual Cobbles Classic went down over the weekend. Still waiting for the wrap & results to drop in, but loved this shot from Luc Hosten of Grant Beck splitting the peak with the Eagle. Reckoned the ship called he was going left so Grant had to go right!
The week started off with a bomb. A photo-bomb to be precise. Jonno Coffey was happily going for his boost whilst a chick posed for her pic at the end of the pipe. Nice capture by Craig Potgieter.
Bit of a slow week again for surf in the bay. More action in the car park than the surf.
The new fence went up at Pipe after a coupla weeks of being able to walk where ya wanted. No more over-the-dunes missions now. Gonna be even harder to get Carpark John outta the car park now.
Plenty of PE surfers still on surf missions overseas, which is good timing given the absence of surf at home. Nic Flood and James Booth-Jones are at Lakey Peak in Indo at the mo and hooking into some lekker looking waves. Nic's been taking his GoPro out with him so expecting to see some rad shots soon.
No surf AND no electricity?? That's what happened to the peeps in JBay this week. Cool to see Billabong on the ball - organised their staff to do a beach clean-up whilst the power was off. Good stuff. We'd have lekker clean beaches if we all just remembered to pick up a piece of trash or two every time we came back in from a surf. Not hard. Keep ya beach clean!
Not every day you find out you're a breakfast item. Turns out Millers Local is on the menu for Something Good's new Get Fit menu. Thinking about asking 'em whether we can put in an "Add wave" item under the "Add bacon" option!?
Local photag Stan Blumberg was stoked when Ripcurl approached him to use his kiff shot of Mick Fanning ripping at Supers for their latest ad in the Zag. Inside page double spread. Lekker.
Staying in JBay. The surf mighta been slow, but the skies sure as hang weren't. Robbie Irlam was on the beach shooting when next thing this ou screamed overhead. Seen him buzz the PE beachfront a coupla times too. Rad toy to have in ya cupboard for when you need that adrenalin rush! If there's room for a board you could get across to Donkey Bay for a quick lunchtime sesh and be back for lunch!
Being Spring there's plenty of sealife about at the moment. Coupla whales lurking about, as well as a seal which has taken up residence on Devil's Reef just off Millers. Catches peeps out the first time you spot his outstretched flipper - which at first glance bears a striking resemblance to a fin.
Just to finish off a really nothing-muchness week, the ASP decides to gooi in a curveball and change their name. Goodbye ASP, hello WSL. Which stands for World Surfing League. Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue now does it. No doubt paid a thick wad of greenbacks to the media-monkeys for that one. Maybe they should have paid extra to find out that the term "League" refers to a competition structure which involves teams?! Oh - and maybe a quick google search to see that WSL is already taken. No doubt the FA's Women's Soccer League will be stoked with the extra coverage they'll be getting. WSL?! Really. Kak name. Period.
Here's hoping Laurie Towner got paid plenty for taking a beating at Chopes this week. A swell similar to the Code Red monster of a coupla years ago smashed into Chopes and the ou's were on site to film a scene for Point Break 2. Laurie is a stunt double for the character Johnny Utah in the movie, and towed into an evil lil west bowl. Looked lekker to start with then went mutant and got him a broken jaw, some stitches in the lip an eye lid, whip lash and a couple small puncture wounds that went through his neck and into the back of his mouth, apparently just missing an artery.
Pay to play...
I don't reckon surfers are generally superstitious people, but there are certainly a few things we say and do that can really hoodoo a surf....
#1 "I'm just gonna get a last wave in..."
Guaranteed to go totally flat for the next 20 minutes, whilst you sit there pondering on why you didn't get in on your previous wave. Most of the time your last wave in will be kak, cos you grow tired of waiting for the ocean to send you something, and you end up going on a marginal lump. This is normally followed by...
#2 As you set foot on the sand & turn round to check the line-up a kiff set rolls through
And you're left feeling cheated. Cos if you'd just waited that extra minute....Well done, you have been the official surf sacrifice of the day. Everyone gets a turn at this, so just shake your head and drag your feet back to the car.
#3 "Ysss, it's such lekker waves, I wonder where the crowds are?"
Never, ever, EVER say this whilst you're sitting out there enjoying an uncrowded session on a lekker day. Cos guaranteed within a few minutes 3 longboarders will appear on the deck, 4 groms will walk down the beach, and another few guys will come over the dunes. 2 peeps tp 20- in the blink of an eye. Repeat - never say the "c" word unless you want your peaceful session to go pear-shaped quick time. Informal rule is if you say it you owe the line-up 20 push-ups for every peep who paddles out after you've sworn!
#4 "You take this one, I'm gonna get one behind..."
It looks like your stars are aligning. A set pulls through and you're at the head of the line-up queue. First choice is yours. Wave number 1 looks OK, but yoh, that one behind it looks like a smoker. So you generously give up the first wave of the set....only to discover the 2nd one was a ghost, or it peaks further out that you anticipated and you collect it on the head...
#5 Whenever you get a new board, the surf goes flat for 2 weeks
Got your paws on the new stick, smelling that fresh fibreglass, rubbed on the wax, ready to roc, frothing to try it out and see how she goes. Keep frothing, cos you ain't gonna get a wave to try it out on. Welcome to the "new board no waves" curse. Afflicts most owners of new custom boards. Do shapers have a sarcastic streak, & check the swell charts to make sure you get your sled right bang on as a flat onshore spell hits?
OK, so the above technically isn't last week - but it's hard to ignore shots like this. Must be quite a crazy feeling to look over the ledge on one of these.
After a week of feast we got punished with a week of famine. Bogger all surf in the bay all week until the weekend, which then saw a few fun lines pulling through. Saturday was uncrowded thanks to all those ardent Bok supporters who live in hope that maybe we'll play better this week. Shoulda surfed instead guys....
PE peeps get out and about in search of waves - Grant Beck is over in Bali at the moment, and his boet Brad Beck & Hannah Bing popped across from their holiday in Sri Lanka to say Howzit - they then have to go back to work...in the Maldives. Some peoples lives just suck coconuts.
Faye Zoetmulder & Ari Kraak are over in Fiji, the surf's cooking - check Ari get a full on Cloud Break barrel. Luckily looks like a bump in the swell this week so should be seeing some legit cover-ups soon I'm sure.
Chris, the Pipe car guard, continues to upgrade his pirate's garb. Now he he has an eye patch and revolver - mess with this dude at your peril. Parrot next? From pirates to pirate boats. Ok, not really a pirate boat - John Davies set sail on Spirit of Millennium on Saturday morning, en route to Madagascar - guaranteed to return with plenty of stories, which should include the discovery of epic surf spots.
The ou's normally worry about GW's at JBay - well, looks like they have to add Killer whales into the mix too. An orca was spotted hunted a dolphin just off the back line. Kiff snap from one of the guest at the African Perfection guesthouse. How fast would you paddle if you saw him bearing down on you?
Surf grom Ryan Lightfoot showed some ingenuity for his schools Entrepreneur Day recently - Bomb the Surfer for a buck. Happy to sit there all day and get nailed whilst making some cash. Not nearly as scary as getting drilled by a big set at Supers.
Check who's back in town! Welcome home Pottie - aka Craig Potgieter. Popped over for September to come say howzit to his chommies, and get some Saffa waves. Tune him for a dop or tjop. Carpark John has his contact deets, so just buzz him at the Surf Centre shop.
Over & out.....Dale Staples dad, Daryl, taking a break from filming the boys and making use of a bust board as a sunshade. Best sunscreen you can get, guaranteed not to get sunburn.
September might not officially be winter - but it often behaves like it. Traditionally PE has been blessed with at least one absolutely gangbuster swell every September. Sometimes they're so gangbuster that they wash into the car park at Clubhouse, and have even washed away bit of the Summerstrand Lifesaving Club & the wall at Millers before.
Avo's got so gnarly it washed Bruce Campbell over the jump rock, guys bunked school to catch the cooking days, Millers barreled, Pier barreled, Hummies barrled, ou's towed into massive Clubhouse on jetski's.
Yah.... September is a good month!
Are we in for one this year? Who knows?! But let's hope so. Went through the archives and pulled out some shots from September's gone by. Plenty from Avo's, Pier and Hummies. Such a pity all the sand's disappeared and those spots hardly work anymore.
Shots from Luc Hosten, Dirk Erasmus, Nick Cadle, Stan Blumberg, Frikkie Greybe & ML. There're a bunch in here - so make sure you scroll along that set of thumbnails at the bottom to slide it across, else just sit back and watch the slideshow. And dream.....
Winter finally decided to deliver the goods in it's last week. But deliver it did. Really good surf the whole week with mostly favourable winds, despite the storm on Thursday arvi. Great to see Hummies making a bit of a come-back. The sand still isn't quite right, but at least it broke. It also broke a few boards in the process. Pay to play.
Even the pier tried to work. Still backwashy on the dead low, but you could get a few. Clubhouse was certainly the pick of the bunch on the bigger days. Pity no-one got any shots of it doing it's thing.
Rumour has it that Denvils put on a few cameo performances as well, with super round nuggets on offer, although the make-ratio wasn't that high. But worth the rinse and spin cycle for some serious shade time.
Check out Latest Shots for all the pics of the week.
If PE was cooking you know JBay and further west was going off it's pip. Bruce's saw some epic sessions go down, as did Jbay. You know if legend surf photag Alan Van Gysen is in town to shoot it's gotto be decent. It meant some of the lucky locals got a coupla kiff water shots of their exploits - like this one of Trevor Hansen putting his recent Indo barrel training to good use.
Unfortunately the biggest wipeout of the week wasn't by a surfer. A chokka boat ran around on the shallow sandbar at the entrance to Port St Francis and then got into mechanical difficulties - which resulted in it getting washed onto the dolosse and smashed to smithereens. Thankfully all the crew was saved due to some quick sharp action by the locals & NSRI.
It was a case of surf all day and watch surfing all night....cos Chopes delivered. On steroids. Widely hailed as the best CT event in history, the surf went ballistic and the ou's stepped up and charged. Wipeouts were gnarly, but barrels were just crazy. To have 2 guys both get 19.7 heat totals like in the John John vs Kelly heat is unheard of. Follow that with a final were Medina wins by 0.03. That's a comp for you. The Billabong Pro Tahiti will long be remembered, that ain't a maybe.
The week's winning streak continued with Dalen Davidson scoring himself the kiff Billabong hamper worth R1600 for picking Medina to take the title. Most ou's had picked JJ or Kelly, so your odds were good for the win if you went with Gabe.
The funky skies we've been having lately were due to a massive fire in the Elands River area - on the hills above Gamtoos - which burnt for days. Gave us a few great sunsets, but devastating for the farmers in the area.
Mind those feet at Millers at the moment. Plenty of sand has washed off the reef, leaving about an extra 5m of new reef exposed....which is as sharp as sh*t, and just looking for a juicy toe or instep to snack on. Seen someone cut themselves on it every day this week. Carnivorous bit of rock that is.
Chris the car guard at Pipe has been transformed into Jack Sparrow thanks to the donation of a pirates hat. Maybe he yells "harr, harr, me hearties" when he chases the ou trying to break into your car. Further donations of an eye-patch, cutlass and parrot would complete the look...
The waves dropped off over the weekend but the adrenalin levels didn't - a shark scare at Avo's kept everyone on their toes - check out the full story here.
So there we have it. A flipping good last week of winter. Woulda preferred it if we'd had this all winter - but beggars can't be choosers. Here's hoping spring surprises us....
The waves might have dropped off by the weekend, but the adrenalin level's didn't! A shark scare at Avo's on Saturday saw the guys get their hearts racing a bit. Body Boarder Warren Canepa was in the water at the time and takes us through what happened:
"It was about 10:30ish, cross-shore about 3ft on the sets. Waves were average but you could see the potential for Avo's to turn on the dropping tide. I was sitting alone at the back, the rest of the guys (Brownie,Jacques du Plooy, Wes Wiehahn, Josh Saunders, David Young, Dane van Greunen & Peter Coffey) were sitting wide and a lil more on the inside.
I was looking up towards Rincon as you'd do to see if sets are coming but for some odd reason I had paddled right onto that lil rock that sticks out on the take off zone and was standing on it. Literally 30 secs later I just heard splashing and frantic shouting, so I turn to look towards Millers and I see everyone bolting towards the beach (basically they were at that front ledge that sticks out) and then Jacques shouts "SHARK!"
Lucky for me a small swell came along and I motored straight for the rocks. Dunno how I actually caught that tiny lil swell! I then hugged the rocks to that inside dry ledge and a set pulled through as I got there. Somehow I ended up underneath Jacques' board!
I didn't see anything myself, I just reacted. But Brownie and the rest said they saw a fin maybe 20cm-30cm long and and moer of a splash as the "thing" swung around and back out. First time ever I've had that sorta thing with a BIG shark in the bay.
Three other guys carried on surfing. As we were in the carpark chatting and coming off the adrenalin rush, some fishermen rocked up. Okes were like naught, call it a day! Pretty sure if Brownie got out that quick along with the rest of us, it was definitely legit!"
Data from the 3 Algoa Bay White Shark project listening stations just off our main beaches (Avo's, Hobie & Kings) showed 9 great whites detected in the 9 months between May 2012 and January 2013. Five of them were local boytjies who'd been tagged in our bay, and 4 were ou's that had been tagged in Cape Town or Mossel Bay. Most of the sharks were detected in September (6 of the 9).
Seasonally, more white sharks were recorded inshore during September than any other month. Helicopter and shore angling surveys of the beaches also seem to support the observation that they're more common close inshore during spring and summer.
So, what does this mean? Just cos the sharks cruise past fairly close to shore doesn't mean you're gonna lose your toes....cos at this stage their main behaviour seems to be just cruising by. But still - be aware that September seems to be the month where their space and our space overlaps, so just keep your eye's peeled, and rather be safe than sorry.