Great waves and good internet seem mutually exclusive. So the price I'm paying for solo sessions at a super fun right point means the internet is like dial-up modem days, when it actually works. Luckily the stars aligned and it's now onshore at the same time the internet finally decides to work like it should - meaning I can get a blog post out whilst not worrying about missing any waves!
The bay's been flat as a pan for ages now, but at least the dolphins are still doing their daily rounds. A pod pulled in to the surf at Jbay yesterday to check out all the Vaalies. And not to be outdone the PE pod aired a few waves.
Opening of the Season bought the usual mayhem to the beachfront. Lekker fireworks but a helluva mess left to contend with afterwards. The municipality not too sharp at the moment with getting the clean-ups done. Be super careful on the beach these days as plenty of broken glass and bottles just waiting to chow your foot.
Summer means lotsa onshore, and that brings all the sea critters and other bits n bobs in to shore. There is plenty of seaweed lurking about at Cape Recife at the moment. Definitely a good reason to go leash-free if you surfing Cobbles. Nothing slows you down quite like a ton of seaweed caught in your leash.
Christmas is just round the corner, and shopping is easy for the surfer in your life. Anything surf related will get a big smile. Pop past your local surfshop, Surf Centre, or your local shaper, the Boardroom, and grab a new or new-to-you stick.
I highly recommend getting some RSPro Hexatraction as a Xmas pressie to yourself or the surfer in your life. This stuff rocks. Been riding it for a month now, plus a week here in the tropics, and it just kicks waxes ass flat out. Neat lil transparent bits of grip that you stick to your deck and let's you chuck away the wax. No melt on car seat issues, no stick to boardies issues, and no need to bum wax in the car park. Surf Centre has some in stock now, and if they sold out they can probably order it in quick as a flash. Chat to Gav or Chris at the shop. Cost is about a years worth of wax.
Congrats to Cape St Francis surfers Brad Beck and Hannah Bing for tying the knot. The couple who have been surf guiding round the world the past 5 years popped home to get hitched.
In the absence of surf in the bay just nip around the corner to see what's on offer. If nothing much is happening you can always do some rock pool exploring, as plenty of that on the wild side. Plus some kiff swimming gullies.
Coupla new world champs were crowned this past week. SA surfer Antony Smythe won the men's adaptive World Title and Gabe Median took out the WSL. It's Medina's second world title, and hos first Billabong Pipeline Masters win. Nice double whammy to land. Jordy Smith snagged his best ever finish at the Pipe Masters with a 3rd, and ended up the season in 5th spot.
In between all the world title race drama, King Kelly still managed to steal the show for a while with a fall-off-in-the-barrel-and-climb-back-on-board-and-exit-standing move that had everyone scratching their heads. Youtube it.
East Cape locals who did well on the WQS were JBay's Matt McGillivray (30th) and Dylan Lightfoot (98th). Both cracking the Top 100 for the year.
Besides summer meaning no surf, it also means plenty of high pressure systems and the funky clouds that accompany them. Like these streaky bacon types spotted on the beachfront last week.
The locals turned up in force to welcome back JBay's Steven Sawyer from Taiwan after he won the World Longboard Champs. Other East Cape surfers at the event included St Francis's Crystal Hulett and PE's Alfonso Peters.
Not often we get celebs in PE, so when Steve-O from Jackass fame popped in for a few waves the locals were frothing to share the line up with this legend. One even asked him to kick him in the balls in true Jackass style, but Steve-O politely declined! Him and his mates had hired boards from Surf Centre, and Steve-O so dug the Rebel minimal he rented he ended up buying it.
PE local Andy Rother has a neat gig working on a surf exploration yacht, and now finds himself in Tahiti with some sucky lil left barrels to play with. Fence training paying off.
And guess what's reared it's ugly head again. The Fish Farm!!! Making a comeback after a few years in the wilderness, the government yet again wants to try prove that fish farming in Algoa Bay is a good idea. Turns out that Algoa 1, the spot just off Pipe, is still on the cards, albeit a reduced size in the latest proposal. A new site just off of Coega has also been proposed.
So looks like we gonna have to kick up a fuss yet again to get the peeps at DAFF to realise that is just a super shit idea. Please go and register as an Interested and Affected Party (IAP) by emailing the ou's doing the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). That means they gotto officially keep you in the loop about all the public participation meetings and you can also register your disapproval of the whole shebang.
You can read the new fish farm proposal here:
Here's what to do:
Say: I want to register as an Interested and Affected Party for the SEA-BASED AQUACULTURE DEVELOPMENT ZONE ALGOA BAY, EASTERN CAPE (project 1808).
I object to the project on the following basis: write why you think it's a kak idea (saying "feck off" isn't construed as a meaningful objection, so try write something sensible in order to be taken seriously! So whether you think it's gonna look ugly, affect our water quality negatively, create pollution on our beaches, increase risk of shark attack, increase prevalence of red tide or whatever you don't like about it)
Note: add a read receipt to make sure they get it - I had to email twice before I got a response.
The success in getting the original Fish Farm proposal quashed was the mass participation of so many peeps in lodging their dismay at the idea. So same required this time. Luckily some on-the-ball readers spotted the new proposal and shot me an email about it. So let's get the objections rolling!
Public Participation meetings are scheduled for January so will give you a heads up once they are announced. Kinda looks like they were trying to sneak it all through at the end of the year when peeps on holiday in the hope that no-one will notice...but we did!
What's a week without a lekker sunset, and as usual these delivered!
Wishing everyone a lekker Christmas and New Year and hoping you all score some waves! Not sure when gonna get online again, so apologies in advance for irregular updates to the website and blog.
Hawaii went off it's 'nana. PE? Not so much. Twiggy hooked some monster sets despite "only" ending up with a 5th. Watch the highlights. It's worth it.
In the trend of Saffa's going big this past week, JBay's Steven Sawyer won the Longboard World Champs in Taiwan. Proof that nice guys can win! And that #localislekker!
Coupla ou's who are more familiar with turning for a quick single than bottom turning rented some boards form Surf Centre this week. Faf du Plessis, Ryan McLaren, Chris Morris and Heino Kuhn were in town for the cricket during the week. I reckon there were more guys in the line-up at Pipe than there were watching the game unfortunately. Giants vs the Rocks? Back in the day St George's used to get packed out for the Benson & Hedges night games.
On the other hand, someone who knows a whole lot more about whipping tail than whipping the willow is Rickey Bassett. See anyone flying down the line at Seals and doing crazy stuff? Most likely Rickey. Worth taking a seat on the fence and watching the show.
If you spotted a fancy-ass looking cruise liner in the bay it was the MS Europa paying us a short visit. The German owned ship has been voted Best Cruise Ship in the World.
Least they missed the usual howling east followed by howling west cycle that this time of year is known for. It does mean if you're watching the wind like a hawk and can time the wind switch perfectly you at least have a chance at snagging a few bowls before they're blown flat.
Hawaii also got pomped by the wind (the wind chop at the Jaws event was bigger than a good day at Pipe). The guys at the Van's World Cup at Sunset Beach have also been scoring some kegs, and JBay's Matt McGillivray is in the 4th round.
Skollie alert again. Last week a surfers car was diefed from Pipe car park. Nothing worse than coming back from your surf and staring at an empty parking bay. As usual the "car guards" where nowhere to be seen. Not too sure what options one has these days for trying to keep your cabbie safe whilst you getting a wave. Battery operated pythons on the dashboard maybe?
Cos face it, you'd also cry buckets if your car got nicked.
SAVE YA TAIL! A noteworthy head's up from shaping guru Dennis Ellis from The Boardroom SA. Deno pointed out that todays boards have leash plugs sitting much closer to the tail. Meaning most leash strings are now too long, and will thus chomp a hole through your tail if your board yanks too hard in a wipeout. Reason for this is the advent of future fins. The longer fin box meant that the leash plug was forced further back (cos both the fin box and leash plug extend quite far down into the deck of the board so can't be over each other). Fin placement is standardised so the leash plugs were just shifted back on all boards. So. Now you know! Save your tail and shorten that leash string up, and make sure the leash rail saver actually touches the rail - and isn't off the back!
The red tide is still pretty thick out towards JBay and St Francis, Whilst looking siff during the day it shows off at night. St Francis photag Clive Wright got a lekkerphotograph of a photographer taking a photograph of the bioluminescence in Cape St Francis Bay. Quite a light show.
For those lighties keen to take their surfing up a notch or two, there will be a high performance clinic at Seals during the hols. Chad du Toit (who has coached Jordy Smith amongst others) will be teaching the groms how to improve their technique and other tricks of the trade.
Always great to see old pics of the beachfront. First thing I always check for is if there was a wave - and in this case looked like Millers had a good one! Once the surf check is complete then one can suss out the rest of the shot. No Shark Rock pier yet. Taken some time in the 60's or 70's.
Not too much on the forecast this week. But pretty sure everyone should still be able to have a bit of a paddle. Luckily PE surfers have pretty realistic standards about what's gonna be on offer in the bay during the summer and adjust their expectations accordingly! Paddle out with the mind-set that you'll be stoked if you get a wave. Then be double as stoked when you get two!