Some waves to kick off the week. Ou's were stoked. Mondays are just so much better if you can get wet. Even better on Tuesday once the wind waai'd. Lekker to have a few last gasp swells still finding their way through despite winter being firmly behind us.
JBay's been getting quite a few grey suited visitors cruising the line up lately. So if you arrive and think you scoring cos there's hardly anyone out - there might be a reason for that! But hey, what you don't know can't scare you. So just paddle out and be stoked that you timed it well!
Dungeons in Cape Town roared to life as well in the early week - some takers, and some beatings dished out as usual. Such a heavy wave cos of how shifty it is.
Maldives has been cooking all week of course - cos I'm back home. Bummed to have missed firing waves in my home from home - specially cos it's off season now and basically no-one in the water.
The Big Wave tour went XXL at the Pe’ahi Challenge, where massive surf unloaded on Maui. Ian Walsh took the win. Unfortunately Saffa Twiggy Baker just missed out on getting to his heat on time cos of flight delays etc. Gnarly to make the mission to get halfway round the world for an event and stupid plane delays stuff it up for you.
Days are getting longer and there've been some beauts in the bay - pretty sunrises and cool sunsets, as well as some peachy glassy days where we remind ourselves how lekker PE can be when the wind isn't blowing!
Pipe early bird Andrew Garai posts a daily pic of his visit to the beach for the sunrise - gonna get harder n harder to do as that sun comes up earlier each day! Interesting to see if Andrew will still be posting once it gets to a 4h30 sunrise!
Surf legend Graham Hynes aka Hynsie celebrated his 88th birthday this week. Still going strong and imparting a wealth of knowledge to the younger generation.
Expect to see CarPark John rocking his new shorty wettie from Gul in a break near you soon. Well, that is if he makes the move from the car park to the surf. Sometimes needs a bit of cajoling to get him out there as he's pretty fussy about surf conditions these days!
Shot to Johnny Bakker and the crew at SA Surfing, as the Federation has been nominated for the 2017 SA Sports Awards. Good luck team!
PA local Dave MacGregor has launched his new home stay possie (Shaka Surf Lodge) in the dunes just off the beach in the mellow sea-side town. If you looking for a lekker place to stay when surfing PA then this is it, plus the guys can organise surf tours up and down the coast from there as well. Check out the full story behind the new venture here...
I have a serious sock fetish. Absolutely refuse to wear white socks cos life is just too short to be that boring! Thankfully Stance socks have the most epic sock range ever and spend much of my "pocket money" buying crazy coloured socks! Was stoked to find their latest Monster sock range in the RVCA store in SF this weekend - and of course had to buy em! Cos seriously - how can you have a bad day if you wearing fun socks!? (available at Billabong and RVCA stores)
Nothing much on the charts for this week, so catch up on all sorts of mundane routine kak that you need to get off your plate so the next time a swell arrives you'll be able to hit it without any guilt!
Was still lurking in Maldives last week so a bit out the loop as far as what's been happening in my 'hood back home - and which explains why the Monday blog only manages to surface on Thursday! Cos basically when you in the Maldives you have no idea what day of the week it is - you know the month, and that's about it - days and dates are meaningless in the world of paradise and palm trees.
So instead of some words about the week and taking a short cut and just posting a collection of shots from the week that was...
Local surfboard shaper Dennis Ellis and Boardroom partner Mervyn Goddard ducked over to Indo for a coupla weeks. Looks like they had a jol - lotsa waves, got up to lotsa kak, met the reef a few times and even found Dave Lippies baby shoe.
Apparently more wind than waves last week, but still seemed like a few slides were to be had.
'Nother lekker week in Maldives. Got some fun waves, caught a coupla fish, had a braai on a deserted island and fell asleep under the palm trees (maagies vol, oogies toe)
And can't have a "Week that Was" without a sunrise or sunset shot. So thanks to Thelma Nel for ensuring the routine isn't messed with.
If you’re looking for a totally lekker possie to stay in Port Alfred head over to the Shaka Surf Lodge. Built and managed by local surfer David Macgregor, it has just recently opened its doors.
Caught up with Dave to find out more.
When was the idea of opening a surf lodge born?
I have always been passionate about surfing and the lifestyle that comes with it and have spent years dreaming of finding an isolated spot somewhere to build a spot. After many moons in the Kowie, I realised paradise was right here and decided to open our space and home to others. We love nature and this was key to choosing our location.
It’s a super rad looking spot – you build it yourself?
I have spent the past 15 years building our treehouse home - eight metres up on stilts, on the edge of an ancient dune forest, one dune from the beach - using mainly upcycled and reclaimed materials. It is amazing what you can do if you have a little vision and creativity. Being close to nature means there is heaps of wildlife, from loeries to bushbuck, in our backyard. We also have the Loeries Loft treehouse made from upcycled garage doors, shipwreck and other interesting materials.
It looks really authentic, no Ikea pop-out furniture here. What’s the story behind that?
Although we have a sick leather sofa, most of the stuff in our treehouse is built or salvaged. Everything from old sneezewood poles to salvaged shipwreck and driftwood have found a home in our home.
Is there good access to the surf from your spot?
We are one monster dune from the beach and the views into the barrels at East are amazing, once you have walked our forest hiking trail. We two minutes from the beach by car if you are not feeling that energetic.
Is it a case of guys come stay and just cruise about and surf on their own mission, or are you also offering a bit of surf guiding and trips to spots in the area?
I also run Shaka Surf School and Good Vibes Road trips which are all about surfing. My groms Cuan and Kye and their mate Andrew Laverge all rip so there is no shortage of froth this side. I have also teamed up with a mate to set up Good Vibes which offers road trips from the Shaka surf camp to two other sick spots we have near Yellowsands and an epic Transkei spot. I bailed my journalism job to do this and am amped to surf anywhere from Cape to Cairo.
Tell us a bit about that epic looking skate ramp!
The skateramp is sick, I have always tjooned the groms I am gonna build you guys a ramp and finally got it together after years of talk. It is a three metre wide by seven half pipe that has been sited under our house. The groms and people who stay over ride it and chill out on sofas messing around on the wifi between skates. The idea is to also offer holiday surf camps for the groms where they come hang for a week and surf, fish, skate, camp on the beach and do other cool things we used to do back in the day. The dream is to try spread the stoke.
You’ve been open for business for a coupla weeks now – what’s the feedback been like?
Officially open for a few weeks but we have been hosting people from all over the world for several years in our Loeries Loft camp. Our spot is quirky and surfers from Aussie, Hawaii, US, Germany and SA have visited the island style camp. I have a guest book and the comments are lakka encouraging. Before they leave, I always ask what I should change or improve and most people say I should keep doing what I am doing, so I guess we doing something right.
What sorta accommodation do you guys have – how many rooms etc?
We have a guest treehouse called Loeries Loft, a cool off area and ablutions and are working on turning a loft room in the family treehouse into a space for people to stay. The guest treehouse has a double bed in the loft, with a huge window onto the milkwoods where Knysna loeries sometimes chill, as well as a couch which folds into a double as well as two single beds. It can sleep up to six. It can be hired for a couple, family or as a dormitory. The loft in the main house has an upstairs double, accessed by ladder, a downstairs double and a single and can be used if Loeries is full
How do peeps get in touch with you to find out more?
Details are on FB and Instagram under Shaka Surf school…
The Shaka Surf camp evolved over the years from building our dream forest spot to sharing it with others who surf or connect with nature. It is a zen space where a person can chillout in hammock after a good day surfing. We not a backpackers, but rather a surfers homestay that offers authentic experiences. If you looking for a backpackers, there are those establishments nearby. Ours is about making new friends.
Thanks for hitting me up Millers Local, but sorry I gotta go now cos the surf is cooking!
Swapped Millers for Maldives this week. Not a bad trade. Kiff weather, a coupla lil waves, wandering about deserted islands. Life might be tough in Africa, but it's even tougher north of the equator!
Not too much surf wise back home apparently. Coupla waves popped up on the weekend to save everyone's sanity.
The town's without it's resident shaper for a bit - Dennis Ellis from the Boardroom has gone to do a bit of R&D in Indo together with Mervyn Goddard.
Surf Centre played host to record holder Chris Bertish (solo SUP across the Atlantic). The leather couch in store got used for something other than lounging about - group shot time!
Changing of the guard for EP Longboarding - thanks to Andy Radford for doing such a great job, seen here handing over the reigns to Lyell Watson.
Always cool to see drone shots of our coastline, and Chris Allen shot this lekker one of Sardinia Bay. Can you spot your footprints in the sand....?
The drought might still have us in it's grip, but it seems the seaweed trees are doing pretty well nonetheless.
Anyone missing their pop-out board? Gordon Schutz picked this up on the beach, so if you're the owner drop me a message for his contact details.
Gabe Medina won the Quiksilver Pro France - JJF's semi-final placing coupled with Jordy's early exit meant the John John displaces Jordy at the top of the leaderboard.
Hope some good surf pulls through PE - cos then it winds it's way up to us in about 5 days!
Coupla fun days to be had. Weather continues to improve as summer approaches and the waters warming up. Earlier sunrises and later sunsets mean those stuck in the 9-5 grind can stand getting a few waves during the week. Life is good!
Plenty of wildlife action again this week. Lots of dolphins about, and a good number of whales as well. Spring has well and truly sprung.
Unfortunately a few dead whales about as well. Big guy on the beach at Cape Recife means better to give surfing at Cobbles a skip for the time being. That whale juice will be leaking out into the sea and all the finned locals will be pulling in as if MacDonald's were offering free burgers.
Also a dead whale off Seal Point during the week, which was towed out to sea, and a few Great Whites tagged along for the ride, so warnings were issued to rather give dipping your toes in the water a miss.
SAMREC hosted an African Penguin Awareness Day on Saturday with a Penguin Waddle between their possie at Cape Recife all along the beach to Something Good. A bunch of the tuxedo'd dudes got released back into the sea at Pollock after completing their stint of rehab.
New addition to The Boardroom sees a table tennis table enter the mix. Perfect way to spend the flat days. Turns out CarPark John is a bit of a dark horse on the table - rumour has it he used to play league table tennis back in the day. So careful if he challenges you to a game....
When Deno is playing table tennis he is busy creating some new flying machines. Literally. R&D phase for a foil board. Watch this space.
Well done to Ed Hallam for spotting a forlorn looking GoPro lying in the rock pools at Black Bottoms. After giving it a clean he managed to get it powered up and found a selfie of the owner. Thanks to Facebook he was quickly identified and will be reunited with his wandering camera.
Something you hear a lot is "Remember how good Fence was back in the day!" Besides the wave being heaps better back then, it was also a helluva lot easier to access. Quick drive into the harbour and right to the end of the breakwater. Park your cabbie and wish your radio/tape deck good luck (and pray it was still there on your return) and a short hop straight over the wall, and down the dolosse and you were in the line-up. Too easy.
Ever been tempted to cut off the extra thread on your wettie seams? Don't! Those dangly threads are intentional. Here's why. Neoprene stretches, especially when tugging on ya suit to put it on. Those extended loose ends allow for play in the stitching when this happens. Not exactly fashionable know, but very practical. Cut em off - and you could end up with your seam unraveling. So leave em alone. Betcha didn't know that, cos I sure didn't. I just thought their needlework was as kak as mine!
Stoked to be heading north of the equator for a bit this week. Off to Maldives for a spot of sailing and surfing. Hopefully a coupla waves about, as despite being at the tail end of the surf season there's always something fun to ride - with the bonus of not many peeps about. And hard to beat crystal clear warm water!! Yeeeuw - cheers wettie!
Anyone keen to head over for some fun uncrowded waves in November give me a holler, got a charter available for 8 days from 9th Nov at a good price.
Yeeuw, finally everyone's patience paid off. Three weeks of bogger-all was quickly forgotten on Wednesday when the ocean roared to life. In typical PE fashion the wind roared atthe same time, but finally switched at midday and the lunchtime sesh in the Bay was about as good as it gets. Size dropped off really quickly though and not much left by the arvo, but still enough to keep everyone happy.
Definitely that time of year where the wind pomps one way and then switches and pomps the other way immediately. Which makes it a good time of year to bear in mind traveling a bit extra west than the usual west to a not-so-secret right point that rather likes that kinda stuff.
Maldives was also quite kiff this week!
Wasn't only the surf that roared to life on Wednesday - the Ferrari Club was in town so a whole slew of these throaty cabbies came cruising down the beachfront from the Boardwalk.
With summer time approaching and the probable increase in crowds out in the line-up thanks to longer days and warmer water just a reminder to watch your manners out there. It is called a line-up for a reason - which means once you've caught your wave join the back of the queue and wait your turn. Think of it like going to the Spar - you don't just walk in grab your bread n milk and then shove yourself to the front of the queue and not expect the ou's who've been waiting in the queue to tune you.
So just like the TShirt says - Don't be a Doos, be lekker.
(and if someone can sponsor Deno a pair of shades please - looks like he's struggling a bit looking into that sun!)
Always fun to check for surf in the background of shots of our coastline, cos sometimes you can spot some really good looking set-ups. Like these dudes who posted shots of their 4x4 Nambian mission and happened to coincidentally snap some kiff looking surf spots at the same time. Looks like it would be worth packing a board for their next safari.
The Billabong Junior Series Presented by All Aboard Travel went down in fun surf at Seal Point over the weekend. Local lighties did well, with Kai Woolf winner of the u16 & u 18 girls, Angelo Faulkner 4th u16 boys and winner of the Series u16 boys, Tayla de Coning 4th u16 girls and winner of the Series u16 girls and C-Jay 2nd the Series u12 boys. #localislekker
Beach weather is here - and if you feeling lank lazy you can rent a lil electric scooter for a cruise along the boardwalk. Soon be available from Ocean Side surf shop next to McArthur Baths. Chris doing a test drive.
PE's blessed with some amazing beaches. Just a quick drive round the corner and there's a whole untouched coastline to explore. Never moan there's nothing to do in PE - there's plenty if you make the effort.
We're also blessed with some really talented peeps. Local surfer and film maker Jean du Toit put together this classic version of Game of Thrones, aptly named Bay of Thrones. Take a look - it's pretty damn brilliant. CarPark John getting a leading roll too.
Shout out to Billabong for some good customer service. My wettie seam had a teeny blow out and after returning it to the Bong store they sent me a brand new suit. #happycustomer #billabong #warrantyworks
Finishing off the week with a bit of humour - these ou's in Oz are convinced that sticking a pair of eye's on the bottom of your stick is gonna stop Mr Great White from having a chomp on you - apyly named Shark Eye's. Guess it's worth the try just in case on the off chance it actually may work. Add it to your seasnake leash. Which follows the same theory.