In London they have a famous saying "Mind the gap" which is what the automated voice in the tube stations tells you ad nauseum. Well, we gonna have to have a "Watch the bus" chant for a while. The municipality is finally launching the integrated transport system today....yes, a fine asset to our city, despite being 3 years overdue.
"Watch the bus" is gonna have to be your mantra when you drive the from the freeway through to NMMU route along the beachfront. Cos these things are gonna be running regularly (supposedly every 10 minutes).....and the hiccup is that most of the bus stops along Beach Road/Marine Drive are NOT pull offs. They are just right there in the traffic lane...meaning pay attention else you'll be rear-ending buses all day long. Or getting side-swiped by ou's trying to pull out into the next lane from behind the bus whilst it's stopped.
Be especially careful as you come off the freeway heading to the beach, as there's a stop (inconveniently) placed just after the road bends before you go past the gym. My money's on some fender benders there pretty soon!
A cash only system means that stops won't be quick. So be patient of you stuck behind one. No idea why they couldn't have fitted a card swipe system - quicker, and safer - cos no cash on board. You'll be surprised how often the buses get robbed in this town!
The name of the new system is a bit of a mouthful .... "Libhongolethu". Maybe they thought calling it "Late" was too obvious? Libhongolethu means Our Pride. We are proud that after 3 years we finally have this thing on the road! Seriously though, let's hold thumbs it works, cos if it does it will be an excellent asset to the town. We're all just a little jaded about whether things will work out as planned...so let's see!
The main route of interest for those wanting to get to the beach is Route 302: PE CBD- NMMU. The Start point is the Lillian Diedericks building, Govan Mbeki Ave, and it runs through to the NMMU South Campus. Buses are meant to run 06:30- 20:00 (weekday) and 07:00-20:00( Saturday & Sunday) at 10 minute intervals in peak times.
Summer rocks. Sunny skies, warm water, boardies. What more could you want? Skin cancer? Probably not! That sun fries peeps. It might be kiff to get that nice buff tanned look, but just make sure it doesn't come at a price you don't wanna pay. There's nothing naff about loading on the sunscreen to protect that pretty face of yours. Sure, Kelly might reckon you don't need sunscreen you just gotto eat right. But being the best surfer in the world doesn't make you a leading authority on skin care. Anyway, if anyone can put up their hand and say they eat as healthy as Kelly, sure, go ahead and ditch the sunscreen. But that means you eat 90% raw food like seeds, nuts, fruit, drink mainly water, hardly any alcohol etc....willing to bet none of you do that. So then listen up...
So for all you ou’s going yada, yada, yada about putting stuff on your face, do it. Cos you only got that 1 layer of skin, and if you burn it bad, it’s burnt for good. Not cool. Not only do you want to avoid skin cancer, but you also don’t want to look like a crusty sea-dog when you hit 40.
Sunblock is a very, very important addition to your surf equipment collection. We definitely have a good chance of getting skin cancer cos of the time we spend out in the water. Both sand and water reflect UV rays, so we get dealt a double whammy. And don’t think if the sun’s not out you’re safe, those UV rays pass straight through the clouds, just looking for a face to fry.
It’s totally worth the bucks investing in a decent face sunscreen. Cheap is nasty as far as sunscreen goes. It’s a bit of a juggle cos obviously you want something that’s going to protect your skin, stay on for at least a coupla hours in the water, not turn your face into zit-city, and not run into your eyes and sting like crazy.
I fried my face stukkend a few years ago, and really stuffed up my skin. Nothing like living in the UK for 2 years to make you white like a sheet, and then forgetting to put sunscreen on on your first day back home (early December) and then heading out to surf for 6 hours. Was always gonna end in a bugger-up…or in this case, a bad burn! And a permanent set of freckles. So now I’m paranoid about putting on sunscreen, and lank fussy about what products I use. Did some serious research into what was decent and what wasn't.
Make sure your sunblock protects against both UVA and UVB rays. SPF is a multiplier that indicates how long the sunscreen will increase your bodies natural defenses against UVB radiation. Essentially, if your skin could naturally handle 10 minutes in the sun, then putting SPF 30 on would mean you could handle 300 minutes. The hiccup is that the organic chemicals are being broken down from the second you put the sunscreen on, and so the effectiveness of a sunscreen is constantly decreasing.
Sunscreens marked "Water-Resistant" are rated after 40 minutes of submersion. So an SPF 30 that boasts “Water Resistance,” might have started off much stronger, but is still rated 30 at the end of the test. The best rating for surfers is “Very Water-Resistant,” in which a sunscreen is rated after 80-minutes of submersion
It helps heaps to have a sunscreen that has physical as well as chemical blockers. So you want some zinc or titanium dioxide in there. These literally sit on the outside of your skin reflecting the UV rays.
Put your sunscreen on at least 20 minutes before you paddle out. So soon as you pull into the carpark put that on first, before you start messing about with wetties and boards and wax etc.It actually takes your skin this long to react to the sunblock and get the full effect, allowing your skin to absorb most of the lotion. A bonus is you won’t get as much runoff in your eyes.
Here's some good face sunscreens I've tested out you can get at your local Dischem, chemist or Surf Centre.
Win a tube of Bronzinc
Clarke Little, Hawaiian uber-lensman, should have been called Clarke Kent (aka Superman) cos of how he manages to survive epic thrashings. He puts himself in the craziest situations...all to get the shot. Cos his shots sell. And rightly so, they're awesome. But the process of getting them means this guy must have sand up cavities you probably don't want sand. He stands right in the path of oncoming mutants as they detonate in the shorepound, and smiles whilst he's doing it. Respect. Bet he must just laugh in the face of closeout barrels!
True to the "effort-reward" ratio, this ou puts in major effort, but then reaps major reward, in the form of mind blowing shots that peeps around the world pay good money for. Check out some of his pics below....and another crazy vid at the end. Wish I was as fearless as this guy! Beatings mean nothing to him!
I met up with Jean, site manager for Newport Plant Hire, to have a quick chat about the new skate park being built at King’s Beach.
So Jean, the question on everyone’s lips is when will this be ready to skate!?
We’re just starting to lay the concrete on the ramps, which should take about a week, and then get started with laying the rest of the surface concrete. We hope to finish before builder’s shutdown on the 15th Dec.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s ready to skate from then. It’s really important that the concrete cures for the right length of time before anyone skates it, else it can get damaged.
So how long does it need to cure?
Ideally about 28 days from when it’s laid. After that it should be rock hard. If you skate it too early you run the risk of damaging the concrete surface as it has not hardened enough to take any abrasive action, which means it can break down more easily and you end up with a wearing surface that will powder and eventually be uneven and covered in chips and holes etc. We’re also going to be putting on a hardener over the concrete, this will help keep the surface smooth, and protect it. So a tentative date for when it should be ready to skate is mid January all going well.
So what all do we have going on in the park?
It’s a street park design. There are banks running length-wise down either side of the park. In the middle we have a fun box with ledges and a rail running over it. There’s a few “love-bumps” scattered around as well; transitions all over, and in the NE corner we have stairs and 2 rails. It’s got a slight fall-off from east to west, which means the water should drain off it pretty well. There’ll be a staircase joining the bowl and the park.
Who designed the park?
Allen from Rampin SA designed the park. He’s been a skate park designer for the last 20 years, and has put something together here that’ll stay relevant for a long time to come.
ML bumped into Allen the park designer on-site – he said it was pretty cool to be standing in his drawing, and see it all come to life. He also mentioned he thought the current bowl could be tweaked a bit to get it running nicely – so let’s hope the Madiba Bay Development Agency springs for a few gorilla’s to get that sorted as well!
So there we have it, a pretty insane looking skate park is underway. But please ou’s, DON’T be tempted to try skate it before it’s officially opened. Cos all that you’ll be doing is stuffing up the concrete meaning you’ll have a lumpy bumpy damaged park in future. Not clever! Be patient, and before you know it, it’ll be good to go.
Newport Plant Hire is owned by local surfer Emile Zoetmulder, and his son, local ripper Donovan, works with his pop in the business. Lekker to have some surfers building something rad! Nice one guys!
Thanks to Marius Bosch for the 3D graphics of the park.
Local booger girl Pamela Bowren is flying the local flag in Venezuela at the ISA world bodyboarding championships at Playa Parguita in Margarita Island. The event starts Sunday 25 Nov and runs until 2 Dec. It will be live streamed and updated on following website: www.isawbc.com. So go check it out and cheer on Pam and the SA team.
ML had a quick chat to Pam to find out what was going down on the other side of the pond...
"Generally awesome accommodation where we are staying and the weather is extremely hot here! 29/30 degrees every day and very humid. Waves are not the best at all - PE style waves although they do have some when it gets a little bigger. Food is interesting and all in Spanish. Our protein source is mince with potatoes/pasta/rice. Epenyadas are local food here -similar to a samoosa, but they are amazing. Beer is cheap and piña coladas go down well along the beach. Very chilled vibe and atmosphere here and it's a pity they waves aren't great!"
Heard you just landed a killer job at Billabong – what exactly are you gonna be doing?
I was extremely blessed to land the job as NATIONAL TEAM AND EVENTS MANAGER for GSM looking after brands, BILLABONG, ELEMENT, VONZIPPER, NIXON, KUSTOM, DAKINE, XCEL, SECTOR 9, PLANB, PALMERS, DOT DASH. The job is basically looking after all athletes across all sporting codes and also handling all events that fit into one of the above brands. Also a lot of “Board meetings” ha-ha
How did it come about? Must be nice to go from repping product to repping peeps!
Every surfer dreams of being a professional surfer at least one time as a kid, the older you get the more reality becomes a realm! I have always enjoyed surfing, never been at that level to even consider been a pro surfer, not even a question “I am gypsy after all”! So for me it was a case of “Ok – how do I make money doing what millions love” and I’ve been chatting with GSM Marketing Manager, Chad D’Arcy, for some time and eventually the opportunity came up. Chad and I already had a cool working and personal relationship through Red Bull and Cyoh Surf Club and so here I am. As for repping peeps, NahhhJ that’s not me, young and old everyone is the same to me on equal terms, “the game of respect is the winning hand” so for me respect is earned not expected!
So how big is the team you’ll be managing? Is it just local EC or national?
Pretty big hay!, we looking at 11 International brands over the entire South Africa and every sporting code (mostly Surf, Skate, Snow, Wake, Downhill Skate, BMX) also we have loads of brand ambassadors in the arts and culture scene and celebrities and industry role players, so the scope is massive when you add all the numbers up! Scary actually, but really cool to see how diverse our brands are and how they can individually fit into so many different dimensions. Very cool, but a lot of work and individual focusJ
What all does being a team manager entail?
Athletes, sporting events, contracts, flights, late nights, a lot of surfing!! (I might turn pro after all ha-ha), admin, email, budget, individual focus, networking. It’s almost like every athlete/brand ambassador is a “small business” the amount of time you put in is the end return on investment. Handling it all with a personal touch and dealing with human emotions, that is the hard part. It’s a challenge to channel your energy effectively, but you learn and the reward of seeing your athlete do well at an event with your support is so rewarding.
Great to have a PE guy in the mix – hopefully it’ll mean a bit more exposure for PE surfers who have always been overlooked in favour of their Jbay and Seals counterparts.
If someone rips and has that hunger for success, I am in hay! Blue/pink/purple/black/white, I am in! Could not care if you from XzXhovwerto’iiert townJ
Heard one of your first signings has been local lighties Alex Van Rijswijck. What does your sponsorship of him entail?
If I tell you, I am afraid I might cross a road, step onto a pink snail and the goooo from the snail gets stuck on my left side foot forcing me to slide into a donkey cart, this bouncing me into the road and a car hitting me so before that happens! I can’t discuss the details of Alex’s contract, but this is a kid that I saw growing as a surfer through the Cyoh Surf Offs. Then I watched him at the SA surfing championships recently, and I was certain that with the correct guidance, this is a kid that could and will go as far as he allows himself too. Dennis Ellis has been good to Alex and Paul and been sponsoring them for a while and Dennis spotted Alex’s talent a while ago.
I was not going to take a back seat and so put Alex on VonZipper, Dakine, Kustom, Xcel to assist with costs (not having to buy these surf goods) and his dad Willem can rather put this cash into Alex’s coaching career. Respect to Willem who puts so much time and focus into both Alex and Pauls surfing. A great father figure to all!!!
And a massive shout out to Alex and Paul who have only been surfing for 2 ½ years and already leaving most oaks behind in their tracks!!! Well done groms, you oaks are ripping and a great future ahead of you, Cyoh Surf Club and myself are right behind you all the way. VonZipper, Dakine, Kustom, Xcel and The Boardroom has your back grom all the way…now go do it!!!
And then there’s the whole events side too. Is that just local – or will it be any GSM event in SA that you’ll be coordinating?
A lot of events on a national scale, and local scale. I just got back from a surf event on Sunday in Cape Town and on the Saturday night was at the Cosmopolitan magazine year end party! So a diverse dynamic of events from all walks of life. Like I said, our brand portfolio really can fit into so many events different shapes and sizes.
Some up and coming events I will be doing from a Billabong side over the next year
Besides the local and regional surf events, Chad and I are putting primary focus on “Billabong Roots Surfing” …so Surf clubs and school surfing. This is the place we want to be as this is where it all starts. I look at Cyoh Surf Club and West Coast Board riders, as well as J-Bay board riders and NMMU, how GSM has supported these roots of surfing and what these clubs have done blows me away. So Billabong want to spread the love and take it back to the roots and grom/junior surfing as these kids are the future of South African surfing.
Don’t suppose you can give us any inside skinny on the Billabong Pro next year – any chance of it squeaking back as a WCT event?
Things are looking positive and if things are as positive as they sound then the following year even more positiveJ Stay tuned!
So will you be staying in Jbay now….or live in PE and commute?
I am a PE boy hay! Live in PE, work in J-Bay and holiday/weekend getaway flat in Seals. I want nothing more, best of all three worlds!!!
Nice one Josh, we all wish you the best for your new job – you’ll own it!
Thanks Millers local, massive thanks for all you do for the local surfing community… you rock!!!
Let's face it. PE ou's are nothing if not inventive. When faced with yet another flat week the boys decided to take matters into their own hands and create a bit of entertainment for themselves.
If you drove past Humewood last night and thought you saw some guys braaing on top of one of the pylons it wasn't a bad batch of pips that was skewing your vision - it was legit.
Here's Dieter's take on what went down....
"Yesterday was such a classic day so we thought we would use the opportunity to explore the pillers. So we built ladders, got a kayak, popped in the MASTER piece (the braai) and set sail! I felt like a kid at a circus, I was so exited for this little venture! Must say that it brought it great satisfaction. It was absolutely perfect conditions for this great expedition. After the braai, swimming back to the beach in the dark was a challenge that definitely tested our swimming skills to the max! The oaks in the wetties shot a muscle cracker to wrap it up. Boys will be kids forever!"
Now THAT's a flipping lekker idea ou's! We applaud you for conquering the highest peak along the beach!! Respect! By the bucket load! Extreme braaing PE style. Who needs to climb Everest if you can scale the pillars!!
This landed in my inbox this morning...
"Dear Sir, Have a nice day !It is Diana from Horizon Surfing Products Factory in China, I contact you for the potential business opportunity for surfing accessories products. Please check the attached of our hot sell products info for your reference, please let me know your product need, then we can offer the best price for you! We can also send samples to you for testing. So please let me know your valuable comments soon , our factory is located in Shenzhen, and we also sincerely invite you to visit our factory if you come to China. Thanks for your time again !"
The mail then went on to offer me leahses (otherwise known as leashes)....of the straight or coiled variety - meaning surfing or bodyboarding. They were doing a big push on all things SUP (so very not good!)
Yip, pretty much everything surf related you buy comes outta China. Even surfboards - although they're the pop-out variety so maybe they don't count? But almost every boardbag, leash, and deckpad come from the People's Republic. Most of your boardies and surf T's as well. We like the fact that they're cheap, and tend to ignore possible human rights infringements associated with their production. Outta sight, outta mind.
With a population of over 1.3 billion peeps, they sure have enough ou's to work those factories. What could prove interesting is the move to flip the coin - not only have the Chinese make all things surfing, but to become surfers themselves. The ASP is starting to actively promote surfing in China, and is hosting contests there. Of course the surf brands think this is a good way to grow market share - another billion surfers to buy your stuff. The hiccup is that those billion are also going to be competing for waves. In future it might not be the Brazilians who hold the "travel in packs, take over the waves" moniker, but the Chinese.
Which of course is terribly myopic from our side, cos someone somewhere along the line introduced surfing to our country, for which we're eternally thankful. But surfing is probably one of the most selfish sports around, period. As much as we love it, we still like to have more waves to ourselves...and the prospect of having to absorb a mass of Chinese surfers into our line-ups is a bit daunting! Might be one of those typical cases of 10 years from now someone goes "maybe this was a kak idea" when JBay has 500 surfers stretched along the point. One plus is that if anyone can come up with a cheap wave pool it'll be the Chinese!
As far as all our surf kit coming from the land of the dragon? Personally I'm all for local is lekker versus mass produced Chinese stuff, but it's hard for our guys to be cost-competitive against the manufacturing power of the east. Still, if you can afford to, pay the extra coin and buy local if you can....and if you can find it.
Nothing sucks coconuts than unpacking your boardbags as you arrive on your surf holiday, only to find that the airline baggage handlers have worked their magic on your boards. Cracked rails, bust nose, dings through your deck....you name it, they can do it. Doesn't matter if you have a fancy-ass coffin bag, and even go the extra mile to put a bit more padding round each board inside it....these ou's are tenacious, they'll still work out a way of ruining your board...and your holiday.
I normally use air-conditioning tubing around my rails, and then high density foam for the top and bottom deck, all held in place with masking tape. It works, but it's a major shclep. As well as adding a bit of extra weight.
When I was missioning about to find foam for my surf racks in the garage I came across Sondor, and decided to see if they might also be able to help out with creating a lightweight board cover. Something super light, yet strong, that was made to size and I could just pop a board into, and then into the coffin bag.
Gary from Sondor came up with a sweet solution. Hardly weighs 300g, and strong as. Turns out it's quite a mission for his guys to cut the foam and glue it all together, which means extra labour costs - so he suggests that surfers just measure up their boards and work out how much foam they'll need - then just give him a yell to order, and then make it up themselves.
Pretty easy summer project - here goes:
Check out Sondor for all your foam needs. www.sondor.co.za . Map and contact deets at the end of the article.
You’d reckon it was dead simple to say how big the surf was hey?! I mean, you look out to sea, some ou is on a wave, it's 3ft over his head, the ou is 6ft....so that's a 9ft wave right? Maybe not!
I wish wave size was collective - cos then I rode 6ft in the bay today! Four 6 inch waves at Fence, and eight 6 inch waves at Millers - that's 6ft in total right!? If only.......
The way in which surfers measure wave height varies depending on who you ask. In general there's 2 approaches: Face height - which refers to the height of the wave from the bottom to the top as it breaks; or Swell size - which is a measure of the swell in general and not specifically at a particular break. Option 2 gets a bit tricky cos a 6ft swell is going to produce a bigger wave on a shallow slab than a sloping beach for instance.
Hawaiians of course have their famous Hawaii-size scale, where they measure a wave from "the back". The ‘Hawaiian Scale’ theoretically measures the wave from the back but in practice is more a matter of dividing the face height in half. So a head-high wave would be around 3ft Hawaiian style - of course! Thus the bay would always be flat by Hawaiian standards. Oh wait - at the moment it's flat by our standards too!
There might be another reason why Hawaiians tend to undercall the wave size - they just scared to call it bigger than their bro's think it is and be seen to be exaggerating - something manly about calling it small! Not often men like to under-estimate size. A classic example of this was from the "Eddie Would Go" big wave comp a while ago, when the judges were asked how big it was. After a long silence one of the judges said "Overhead!" (the Eddie is only held when Waimea reaches 20ft+!)
So then how do you measure Chopes using the Hawaii size scale - it doesn't have a back! It can be double overhead on the face and barely have a back. How do you call that?! "Oh, I reckon it's like 2ft out there..."??
Seeing as we don't get much Hawaiian size stuff in the bay it's probably the most accurate to just call it on the face height - cos then most peeps can relate to what you're talking about without having to do any convoluted maths calculations. Or just going with an even safer call of saying the wave height as a function of which level of the anatomy the breaking lip is at - so waist high, chest high, shoulder high etc. Of course a bit of discrepancy comes in depending on who's riding the wave - cos chest high on Matt Elliot (6ft6) and on a grom (4ft) are gonna be two different things.
At this stage it's been flat for so long I'd settle for knee high.....Matt size.