Don't you hate it when your wax melts on your car seat? Or messes up your expensive boardies? Or looks like a glumpy dirty mess covering up your epic spray job? Or you're at some remote jungle spot and you've run out of Mrs Palmers and the closest to wax you're gonna find is a candle?
Thanks to the guys at RSPro, the problem is solved. Say goodbye to wax, hello Hexatraction.
After sitting for an hour in the boiling tropical sun cleaning surf wax out of the grooves in the non-skid deck of a yacht with a toothpick I was pretty much over wax in general. So that evening I sat googling to see if there was an alternative. And up popped RSPro. A Barcelona company who was making transparent deck traction. Boom! I was onto it!
My box of goodies arrived from Deon Bosman the South African RSPro rep, that included not only the Hexatraction but some cork front deck grip as well. Hexatraction are these awesome transparent grippy lil pads that you just glue onto your stick. And throw the wax away! They're super thin, but stick to your board like sh*t to a shoe.
You just stick em on where you'd normally put your wax. I use a back deck grip so I stuck em on from just above that to about 2/3rds the way up my board. Took a bit less than a pack of the stickers (for a 6ft board).
It doesn't take too long to apply (depending on your level of OCD). I'm pretty finicky about stuff so it was a 30 minute process of carefully placing and gluing the pads down. Cos obviously the more care you take sticking em on the better they gonna stick! Air bubbles are your enemy! Using a spray bottle of water and getting some moisture on the deck also helps minimize the air issue.
Your board looks as good as new with em on - so if you want your stick to look just like the day you bought it, this is the way to go. I love bright board sprays and this is the perfect way to not obscure any of your board art with cruddy wax.
The feeling of the pads is like a fine grade sandpaper, just lightly rough. Giving you good grip without that "foot stuck" feeling. I surf with booties so feel like it gives me plenty of traction. Another Millers Local, Gavin Rother, has a full deck of Hexatraction, and he surfs without booties and says he has never slipped on it at all. So it certainly does the trick either way.
I've only surfed on it with a wetsuit so far, so not sure how it'll feel on bare skin from a paddling perspective, although the RSPro peeps say it's "non-aggressive" - meaning it shouldn't chomp up your chest. Off to Indo soon so gonna get to test that aspect out.
Now prior to this I'd thought front deck grip was for air guys like Ozzie Wright. My attempted airs were more like Noah the Ark than Noa Deane, so it had never entered my mind to try some - plus am not convinced about black front deck grip - just don't dig the aesthetics. But cork? Well, that looked flipping cool.
I'd just bought my brand new eco-board shaped by The Boardroom and glassed with hemp by Brendan Basset, and the natural cloth fabric was just the perfect canvas for the RSPro cork deck grip. Time to unleash my inner Noa. Or not really.
It's a really rad grip - super duper skinny at only 1mm think, so a heap better than normal traction. Normal deck grip tends to be over-grippy and lock your feet up (and tear up your skin), whereas the cork almost feels like you're not even using grip. Your feet don't slip anywhere, but it's still easy to adjust foot placement without feeling like you're glued to the ground.
And of course cork is renewable, recyclable and energy efficient. It's the bark stripped from the cork tree and the trees can live more than 200 years. So - great grip and it's pretty darn eco-friendly too.
I'm so frothing on the hexatraction that I'm gonna be converting all my boards to it over time.
So, should you buy it?
When you consider how much wax costs these days (and factor in the bars that melt in your car or what the guys in the parking lot scam off you) then at R699 a pop for a box of the Hexatraction it actually isn't expensive at all. About the cost of 10 blocks of wax. Do the math. It makes sense to go Hexa.
The cork front deck grip is R899 a pop. Which isn't too much more expensive than traditional rubber front grips, which look iffy and chow you stukkend.
It's awesome when surfers come up with a cool product that works, then make it locally and at top quality. None of this Made in China junk (One day good. Two day good. Three day no good!). This is made in Barcelona with love. By surfers for surfers. Am super stoked to be part of #teamRSPro.
Wanna grab some for yourself? - cos you silly not to! Tune the SA rep, Deon Bosman:
email@example.com or on Facebook
If you give the surfer in your life this for Christmas they gonna love ya!
PS - got a white stick and wanna funk it up - you can get black Hexatraction too.
PPS -they also do rail protectors for SUP and surfboards, grip tape for SUP/kayak/surfski paddles
The summer doldrums continue, and the trend of small days repeated itself this week. Some lekker weather, but really not much in the way of waves. Coupla nice banks if you know where to look (both locally and down the drag) - but you gotto go find those yourselves, cos everyone hates a rent-a-crowd.
It's the time of year to be busting out the logs, the retro sticks or the foam boards. Anything to make the mini-mee days a bit more fun. Else even grab a hand-plane and do some body-surfing - as then everything is overhead! It's all about perspective!
Unfortunately another dead whale washed up on the wild side. Between Mangold's Pool and Willows. Probably a good idea to avoid surfing in the nearby area. The oil slick from the carcass attracts the finned friends as if it were the local McDonalds drive through.
Some lucky peeps grabbed the chopper flips on offer from Mangolds Pool over the weekend. Coupla hundred bucks for a quick flip, but always cool to see the coast from a birds eye view.
The NMBS Closed was held at Seals over the weekend. Least some super fun waves out that way. The results of the comp will be announced at the NMBS AGM coming up at the end of the week.
Sanccob held a Moon Walk on Friday - with the chance to watch the sun set at Cape Recife and then the full moon rise. Sanccob will be offering a full array of events coming up over the holiday period so give their Facebook page a Like and keep track of whats happening. Penguin releases, rock pool explorations, all sorts.
The big swathe of plankton continues to lurk about off our coastline, as evidenced by the green bits in the image below. Local surfer, and scientist for SAEON, gave me the link to a cool website which lets you check out live coverage of all the algae blooms along the coast. You can suss it out here:
Local logger Alfonso Peters is currently competing in the World Longboard Champs in Taiwan - looks a lot like a good day at Pipe, so he should be right at home!
Latest edition of the local EC surf mag, The Boardtalk, is out. Grab your copy at Surf Centre or Relic. First 100 copies you score a fee surf DVD and a voucher for a free block of wax.
This weekend saw the first Surfboard Swap Meet held by Loggers Union, hosted by The Relic Store. The guys had a great turnout with guys bringing all sorts of boards to sell. Everyone made a bunch of new friends and the good vibes flowed. Many boards were left at the store to sell, so if you're looking for a good deal, pop down to Relic in Lower Valley Rd, Baakens Valley, and go take a look.
Even when there no waves it helps to do something surfing-related to help with the misery of no surf. So when Sunday dawned looking like the Vaal Dam it seemed the perfect time to apply my new RSPro Hexatraction. I'd added their cork front deck grip and some Hexatraction to my new eco-board. But now was the time for a full deck of the Hexatraction - cos when you have epic boardsprays like this from Stephen van der Watt, thenn you sure don't want to go putting grubby wax all over them! You can check out my full review of the RSPro Hexatraction here - this stuff really is flipping awesome.
Of course there were the obligatory "we're so lucky to live in Africa" sunrises and sunsets. They never fail to disappoint. Although the sunrises are starting to get a wee bit too early for mere mortals. But the advent of summer and the late setting sun means at least the guys get to grab a quick after-work surf these days.
Well at least there was big surf somewhere in the world this past week - it certainly wasn;t in PE, but Nazare in Portugal dished up the good for the WSL Big Wave event , and Saffa Twiggy Baker walked away with the win.
Back in the bay it was just another mediocre summers week, with a few lil bumps n lumps to have fun on. The bumps to the north of the bay seemed to be better. The secret to surviving summer is to have really low expectations!
The hiccup with summer being back is that the critters are back. A huge swathe of bioluminence was visible in the sat photo's off Wilderness this week, and may well be making it's way eastwards towards us. The plankton often appears in summer, and it's thought that all the ash from the devastating wildfires near George recently has fueled their bloom.
So keep your eye's peeled at beaches away from the city's bright lights, as you might be able to spot the cool blue glow in the waves.
Despite the lack of quality in the surf there were still the odd thumping shorey to clear the sinuses. That's the joys of the east wind swells, lotsa peaks all over the place.
Small swell plagued the bay over the weekend, which saw the Something Good Classic have to change venues from Pipe over to the Wild Side. The shortboard division was held at Loch Ness and the loggers were out at Noordhoek. Full comp report, results and shots coming soon.
The flat sea conditions were perfect for the penguin release at Sanccob at Cape Recife though, the tuxedo-clad dudes were quite happy to make their way back out into the ocean after a period of R&R at the Sancobb "hotel".
Summer time and east swells means Humewood is often the place to be. Just remember that the lifeguards can kick out the surfers at any time, so do play nice with them - and just smile if you end up with a malibu sharing the wave with you.
Also, if there are peeps swimming don't be a mullet and ride the wave right til it's death and end up right in among them - cos of course the lifeys are gonna boot the surfers out the water then. Use some commons sense and stay clear of the bathers, and then hopefully you still get to surf.
Super stoked to get my mitts on some RSPro Hexatraction.for my new eco-stick. Had wanted to go fully eco as possible as the board was made using a recycled blank, and glassed with hemp/flax, so it made sense to look at a waxless alternative. Got some cork front traction also from RSPro, and then applied the transparent grip stickers below and above that. They both work like a bomb. Full review coming up soon!
The Port Alfred surfing community said a sad goodbye to one of their favourite locals last week. The Kowie Boardriders Club held a paddle out in honour of long-time local surfer Jannie du Preez. RIP.
The crazy Christmas season is nearly on us - so if you looking for #localislekker gifts, last week I featured Igoti cushions and stools by local logger Margot Saunders, and this week how about some local art?
JBay artist Stephen van der Watt has some awesome pieces, and can do custom work as well. So give him a shout if you keen on brightening up your space - the perfect Christmas pressie! Anything from lighthouses to line-ups, skulls to sunsets, his range is diverse. And of course his surfboard sprays are next level too. Tune him via FB at www.facebook.com/stephen.vanderwatt or email Stevosprays@yahoo.com
To end off - just some lekker summer sunrises and sunsets. Can never get enough of the African sky. Not a helluva lot on the charts this week - so start spinning those skateboard wheels.
Summer is here and it was a summers week. Coupla slides about for those who wanted to get wet, coupla lekker days to just laze on the beach. Water temp has warmed up a bit so it's even possible to get the shorty's out.
Mostly it was flat though. But even on the "look-like-the-Vaal-dam" days you can still head out for a swim with your board and maybe luck into something lil. Just have to adjust your expectations, and then there will always be something to ride. Might just involve a drive to the wild side.
Port Alfred manages to never be flat even when it's flat elsewhere. The kneelo's were stoked cos at least they had contestable surf this past weekend for the SA Kneeboard Champs. Legend Gigs Cilliers took the open men's title.
The weekend saw lekker weather to just hang at the beach. Local logger Alfonso Peters has a new lightie who he is quickly making sure gets used to some sand between the toes! Alfonso is off to the WSL 2018 World Longboard Champs in Taiwan this November, so wishing this Millers local the best of luck.
The early bird might not be getting the waves at the moment, but they are getting the worms! We're lucky to have a pretty decent size population of black oyster catchers along our shores. Despite their name they mainly feed on mussels, limpets and worms found in the intertidal zone. This means they do most of their foraging at low tide, so that's the best time to spot them along the beach. The African black oystercatcher mates for life and some pairs have been known to live together for up to 20 years. I love random facts - never know when you might need them for a Trivial Pursuit game.
CarPark John spotted with a CarPark John Ale in hand. CPJ is a local legend and has surfed in PE since anyone can remember. He has also been fortunate enough to have a beer names after him, by the Richmond Hill Brewing Company. Pop in to RHBC or the BeerShack to try a Car Park John out, and you might even bump into the man himself whilst you there.
The Something Good Surf Classic will be held on the 17 November - this coming Saturday. Everyone is welcome, plenty of various categories and divisions (long board, short board, body board, SUP and skateboard) .Lotsa prizes. More deets here:
Looks like the proposed upgrade of the water treatment plant at Cape Recife will allow for a relocation of the settling ponds out of the way of the dune field. That means that at long last the dune system that has been artificially halted just before the settling ponds will be allowed to take its natural course over the point from the wild side, and be able to reach the beach on the bay side - meaning that in about 10-15 years time (once it finally gets there) we'll have some decent feeder sand being deposited back into the bay - will sure help our beach nourishment out.
So the bays been small - but Indo has been pumping. Seals local Brad Beck scored some epic pits at G-Land last week. The goofy footer was in goofy heaven! Gonna be quite a big drop back down to earth when him and Hannah return to SA next month to get married. PE and St Francis summer surf isn't quite up to Indo standards!
Local logger Margot Saunders is making some awesome cushions and stools. The perfect Christmas gifts. So if you keen to avoid the usual socks-and-hankies-boring-as-hell presents then give Margot a shout to get your mitts on some of these.
You can check them out on www.facebook.com/imagocreation/
or email Margot on firstname.lastname@example.org
Heads up peeps. PE's first Surfboard Swap Meet, hosted by Relic - Authentic Ocean Store on 24th November from 10am. Pull in to trade, sell, barter unwanted equipment. Bring your old surf craft to trade or sell! One or plenty, new or old, long or short, retro or modern. A fun family morning out, with food and coffee served by Frederick & Sons.
Free registration to secure your trading spot.
Email: email@example.com or call 083 260 7264
Not many waves, but sunrises and sunsets still keep delivering. Just gotto be up a bit earlier to see the sunrises now though....
The huge fires along the garden route last week made their presence felt in PE - plenty of soot and ash washed up along our beaches, and the sunsets were even more fiery than normal.
Novelty waves are always fun. The Hole in the Wall in Transkei would definitely fit into the category! Needs a big swell to push through the hole, and then there can actually be pretty fun lil reforms on the beach side.
Not a whole heap of swell on the charts for this week, so it might be more beach brolleys than surfboards. But still stick to the rule s- never leave your board at home, cos who knows when you could strike a lil sneaky swell that the charts don't show.