Eish, some ou's thought the recent article on Kook Season was a bit harsh, and that it was promoting aggressiveness in the water. Apologies if anyone felt that it was, as that wasn't the intention. The idea was to get across that there are rules to a lineup, and if these are abided by it means everyone can have a kiff surf without ou's getting dinged in the head by flying boards. I've removed it to prevent any further offence.
But harsh words or not, there's no getting around the fact that we have an issue with summer crowds and it needs solving. Warm water and lekker weather draw everyone down to the beach, which includes a healthy mix of peeps who ain't surfed before.
As we all know PE isn't blessed with a big selection of spots in the bay that get regular surf, which means places like the Pipe suffer from some serious crowd pressure at times. More people in the water, the same amount of mediocre waves, and it doesn't take much for tensions to flare. The recipients more often than not being the kooks, and often for good reason - they've mucked up.
But here's the thing, the majority of the time they're utterly clueless as to what they've done wrong. So kakking on them doesn't actually achieve anything, other than clearing the cobwebs outta your lungs. Hard as it might be when the ou's just tossed his board in front of you or got in the way and stuffed up the set wave you've just waited 20 minutes for and you want to vloek him stukkend.....breathe, count to 10, breathe again if you have to, and try in the nicest possible way to explain to him why you're less than happy with what just happened. We've just posted up some Surf Code basics for newbies on the site - so you can even tell him to go have a read!
Anyhow, not losing your cool isn't actually as hard as you think! And hopefully now that the offender has had the error of his ways pointed out to him he won't make the same mistake again.
This doesn't mean that it's open season for the kooks to run amok in the line-up, not at all. Beginners also need to know their are some rules of the road which they have to abide by - this is what creates order out of chaos and keeps everyone out in the line-up safe and able to have a fun surf.
Let's face it, until you can stand and have some sort of control over your board you represent a danger to both yourself and others. You have to accept that, and take responsibility for it. Dinging an ou's board cos you tossed yours means you pay the bill. Dinging an ou's head is going to work out even more expensive! Mom's & pops dropping your lighties off at the beach to learn - don't just dump and run - you have a responsibility to teach them the basic etiquette of the water.
One of the most important things for beginners to learn is to stay out the way. Which might mean it's better to start off learning at less crowded spots like Kings or Denville's til you have this whole standing and steering gig sorted. Do you reckon you could drive a Ferrari in an F1 race the day after getting your drivers license? I highly doubt it. So same with your surfboard, learn the ropes first before you venture out at the more popular spots. It would be irresponsible to do otherwise.
It's not lekker to have a kak vibe in the water, as after all the general idea of having a surf is to enjoy it and catch some waves. So try exercise a bit more patience with the kooks if you can - the quicker you explain the finer points of surf etiquette to them the quicker they learn, the less they get in the way, the happier everyone is.
Group hug anyone!?