Apologies for the hiatus in the weekly blogs - but was off the grid for nearly 3 months in Maldives and Indo. Lots of fun waves, no internet though!
Here's a collection of random shots from the PE coastline and surrounds taken during the holidays, wasn't much in the way of waves. Guys reckon the worst summer for surf in living memory! The decent days could be counted on one hand. Rest of the time it looked like the Vaal dam.
Let's start with Luc Hosten, snapping away along the wild side.
Holidays are the time of celebrations, and the beachfront lit up with the annual fireworks display, shots by Morne Condon.
St Francis also got into the swing of things with the Anything that Floats event on the canals, apparently about 2000 peeps participated! Shots by Chris Scott and Elzabe Boschoff.
PE was wave starved and the usual suspects down the N2 didn't fare much better, although there were some good days! A few from St Francis by Chris Scott.
JBay did manage to flip the switch a few times. Late Jan shots by Robbie Irlam.
And don't think Robbie only knows about surfing from behind the lens, he used to be a hot surfer himself back in the day - here's one from the archives of him charging Vic Bay.
Heather Nel always gets some kiff shots during her beach walks and got these over the holiday period. Least the dolphins didn't seem to mind the lack of surf.
Another regular on the beach every morning is Dave Randle, who snaps the sunrise surfers at Pipe most days. Ou's are lucky to have their own private photag.
CarPark John got himself a new stick after plenty of nagging from everyone to go longer and get a mini-mal. But after a few surfs the ballie decided he wasn't yet ready to join the long length/high volume revolution after getting dragged like a lure back to the beach after a clean up set at Pipe.
He has happily now returned back to his original board and Dave Randle is the lucky new owner of CPJ's short-lived foray into the world outside the short board. Old habits die hard!
Visiting JHB photag Leigh Reider got some lekker drone and shore shots whilst he was down in the bay for holidays. You can check his gallery here:
So that's the wrap on the summer season, back to the normal hum-drum of the new year now, so blogging returns to it's regular Monday slot from next week.
Surfing. She be a cruel master. One week feast. Followed by plenty weeks famine. That's why you gotto gorge yourself when there are waves. Cos it has to last a loooong time til they come back again. Still some tiny fun one's about if you happy to duck for cover.
Summer days mean making the effort to travel a bit further to find the waves. And to make things easier - it helps to have a longboard as well.
Not everywhere along the coastline was flat though. The Wild Coast sucks up pretty much any bump in the ocean and it had some decent lil peelers recently. Cape St Francis's Stan Badger happy to have swapped one right point for another.
Here's why it's gone flat! John Scheepers has a new board. We all know the "new board" curse. Lay your hands on that shiny new stick, and it goes flat for ages! Kinda like getting a cool battery operated car for Christmas - just without the batteries.
John has finally decided to try out a mini-mal, after much nagging and cajoling from all and sundry. So expect to see the oldest grom in the 'hood cruising past you on his yellow pocket rocket from the Boardroom.
#localislekker! And it's double as lekker when an Oos-Kaap ou makes the World Surf League big time. Congrats to JBay's Matthew John McGillivray for cracking the elite tour for next year. Like a stealth bomber he snuck up the QS ratings all year to peak in Hawaii and lay claim to his possie. Check it out here...
JBay artist and board spray maestro Stephen van der Watt is also an accomplished kneelo. Stevo kicked ass in the recent SA Kneeboard champs and as winner of the Grand Masters division is now part of the SA team going to New Zealand for the World Champs. It's gonna be Stevo's first flight - pretty good planning to make sure your first flight is halfway round the world!
No waves, No problem. Get down to the beach anyway cos the sunrises and sunsets are worth the effort.
Sustainable Sea's recently did a litter survey at Cape Recife. One of the many pieces of rubbish retrieved was this old Cadbury's Crunchie wrapper. These were last made in 2004. Hate to know what this world is gonna look like 100 years from now. One big junk pile methinks. Pack your trash peeps. And pick up other ou's trash too.
Throw back to a good day at Fence - James Jones on a screamer, and very stoked that Kody McGregor was on hand to catch the moment.
Could be a lil wave or two this week. Cross your fingers and toes.
Crikey. What a week of surf. When last did PE get day after day of cooking surf and lekker weather. A slew of south swells lit up the bay like a Christmas tree. Thanks Neptune for the early pressie.
Humewood was cooking, plenty of sand dredging enema's available for anyone who was keen. Check out the galleries from Petronel Posthumus here:
The Pier was off it's pip. I'd surfed there for the first time in years a month ago and could tell the banks had finally come back after a long hiatus. So when the south swell pulled in it went ballastic. Pretty much almost a barrel every wave. Brownie Moulang scored the pick of the bunch with many ou's saying it's the best barrel they have ever seen in PE.
A couple of novelty waves lit up along the N2 stretch to BWB. If you didn't mind the sharks (both land and water) and a serious case of typhoid, then you'd be getting 5-6ft drainers. Richard von Wildemann who snapped this shot was frothing so much he nearly fell off the dolosse.
Millers had some fun one's too. Although did get crowded at times. Unfortunately there seems to be an inverse relationship between waves and line-up etiquette. Seems the better the surf the worse the manners get. Eish
A certain secret right point was doing it's thing.
Life is all about perspective. Those lucky enough to be out getting barrels and those in a bus off to work.
Life imitates art. Or in this case wild life imitates surfer. Or vice versa. was it the chicken or the egg?
Local Schoenies photag Luc Hosten is well known for his lekker wild side scenic shots and sand in all it's wonderous forms. But he is an all round awesome photographer.
He won a photo competition this month for this excellent capture. Bird's eye view trumping fish eye view on this occasion.
Get your summer shred stick orders into the Boardroom. Deno has his shaping machine sorted out and back in action and has the new sticks flying off the shelves.
Phew, what a kiff week. Plenty of stoked surfers about in the bay. Here's hoping we don't have to wait too long for the next solid swell.
Surfing in PE made simple: Waves are good, wind is kak. Wind is good, waves are kak. That pretty much sums up last week. Some really decent swell got decimated by some pomping wind. Sure, you could try paddle out and grab a few, but it was definitely favoured effort in the effort:reward ratio.
Glance at this from afar and it looks like a dolphin jumping though the surf. Turns out it's just Jonty succumbing to the ever-present chop.
For those who prefer their chops on the braai and not on their waves, then a trip west to JBay solved all your issues. The protection from the hillock and the slight change in coastline angle meant that Supers was rather super.
And if you went even further west there were some sandy barrels to be had. There's talk about some groynes being built along this stretch of coast to try replenish the beaches. Could be an interesting project if they do it right.
As far as PE went, it was mostly Pipe or bust unless you really like hopping the chop. At one stage the chops moving along the wave face were actually breaking, so there was a 2ft wave breaking sideways on a 4ft wave. Welcome to PE.
With summer on the way it means the early morning surfers are getting more bang for their buck. The warmer temperatures also mean less likely to be the usual morning devil wind,which is a double whammy win. Winter dawnies are usually ruined by the heavy cross-shore.
Spring highs combined with the big low pressure that came past meant super high tides. Took some chunks out of the wall at Millers, and even bigger chunks out of the sand dunes. Everyone is always quick to point out that sand dunes can recover, but not if there isn't a back beach to replenish them with - as is the case at Millers. So when they get chowed, they stay chowed. The same problem at Pipe, not sand behind the dunes to feed back into them again.
Some comps coming up soon. The NMBS Closed is at the end of the month at Kitchens in JBay, and there's the Something Good Classic coming up this weekend at Pipe. Check out the shirt size option on the entry form!
Always something interesting floating past out at sea. Last week saw the heavy lift vessel Hua Xing Long en route to the USA head past Schoenies, dwarfing the pleasure craft Bam who looked to be dicing it.
Sunsets and sunrises always good in the bay. More of the same this week.
Nothing too flash on the charts this week. But with the crazy summer weather, anything could happen.
Pretty small week. A few crumbs here and there to ensure your board still got wet, but nothing to shout about. Weather still doing it's bipolar thing. Stunning to crap in about 10 minutes, and vice versa.
Thankfully the waters been really warm, so even if it's small it still seems fun cos you not freezing your pip off.
Somewhere else with warm water was cooking this week. Not known usually for it's wave size, the Maldives had some biggish one's. Pretty much a real-life wavepool. Although that new one just opened in Bristol in the UK looks damn fun - hope someone decides to build one of those in PE.
Jordy got to the finals in Portugal but got beaten in the final. However, it does mean he gets enough points to be in with a chance of the title at Pipe. Here's hoping he can pull the rabbit out the hat.
Besides the fact our waters been warm, it's also been really clear. Ideal for the spearo's who frequent the bay. This camo suited but not so camouflaged guy spotted at Humewood.
On the subject of fashion, check out the very cool homegrown threads available at Relic surf shop down in the valley. Pop in and grab yourself a Holmes Bros. shirt. Made by Saffa's for Saffa's.
Not many waves, but plenty of stunning skies. Check em out.
And one more just to really cement home the fact that we live in a beautiful corner of the world! PE sure is one schweet lil town. Just wish it had more waves! Sunsets we good on, waves not so much.
Spring weather in full effect. Howls one way, stops for 10 seconds, howls the other way. Gotto be on the ball to score a wave in between all that.
When there isn't much to go around sometimes sharing is caring. Always helps when you can drop in on your lil brother. That's the joys of family hierarchy!
Whilst there wasn't that much happening wave-wise the dolphins didn't seem too perturbed about the lack of swell and still did their daily swim past the pier. Be interesting to tag one of them to see where they actually go during a day. Mostly they come past at about 10-11am from the south direction, and then back towards Pipe again after 2pm. Hardly a day goes by when you won't see them at some stage.
Quite a bit of sand at the moment along certain stretches of the beach, making even the small days fun. Very tide-specific though, so be in it to win it.
The Coastal Water Rescue guys did some training at Hobie during the week. We're lucky to have a dedicated group of volunteers to supplement the metro services. More is better when it comes to stuff like that.
Andre Clarke has had some of his stickers printed, so if you keen to grab some Proudly PE surf stickers, or the cool Octopus or Pipe bomb one's give him a holler at email@example.com or hunt him down in the Pipe carpark if there's waves. Small size is R15 and big one's are R20. You can also buy a whole sticker pack which includes a variety of all the different stickers.
Always envy people who are early risers - best part of the day it seems, cos apparently the wind in PE also sleeps late. So if you up early you might miss it!
Life's all about perspective. Sometimes things aren't as they seem. Like for instance the wave here looks pretty fun...until you at ground level and realise it's only knee high! But hey, knee high in PE ain't such a bad day. Could always be worse. Flat or onshore spring to mind!
Always bigger round the corner. Take a drive and see what you find. Sometimes more than you bargained for.
Still hoping to find a pair of lightweight, waterproof infrared goggles, cos look what we missing during the dark hours. Plenty of fun lil lines streaming in. Know a few guys who have done night surfs under a full moon. Apparently it's a pretty common thing in the States. Heard of 20-30 guys out at Trestles at night. Imagine if that's their version of "escaping the crowds". Eish, we lucky!
The latter part of the week saw some waves about. Friday and Saturday morning were probably pick of the bunch. Good timing as a few guys decided to get in the water to grab some shots. Thanks Tristan and Vaughan! You can check out their images here:
Both JBay and Seals had some good one's. Even the "secret spot" had a few, although a bit smaller and slower than elsewhere.
Plenty of PE guys burn a few litres of fuel to head west for a surf on the weekends. JBay can be pretty localised at times, so you have to be pretty confident to rock your PE local stickers on both your cabbie and board when you surf Supers. No skin off Andre Clarke's nose though, a proudly PE local! PE surf spot stickers will be available soon for purchase. Watch this space.
Not only the East Cape getting some surf , but Taiwan is cooking too. PE local Nic Flood is getting his share of the pits.
Millers could be one of the best right points on our coast if we could just trim a bit of Cape Recipe back and open it up to some more swell. Sometimes it gives little glimpses of what it could be like. Specially when it's pint-sized swell and there's little peelers coming perfectly down the reef, and you wished you were ant-sized to be able to ride them.
Interesting article on Wavescape during the week about guys going leashless on their logs. With the advent of small summer sessions upon more guys will be longboarding so it's worth taking a read of this: https://www.wavescape.co.za/surf-news/breaking-news/wear-a-leash-man.html
Leash-free at your own quiet spot is all good, but doesn't make as much sense if you're in a crowded line-up. A number of our local loggers are very proficient and I can't say I've ever seen them lose a board. But that doesn't apply to everyone. And the hiccup is that the not-so-proficient guys want to emulate the style-meisters and then the potential for getting clipped by a runaway log becomes a possibility. So please be careful peeps.
Big surf round the corner over the weekend. With some long paddles and lots of duck-dives if you were up for a challenge.
Unfortunately the big seas had a very sad consequence. A ski boat with some fishermen was returning to Noordhoek on Saturday morning and capsized. Three of the men made it safely back to shore, but a 4th guy sadly didn't make it. RIP.
Impressive full moon saw some nice big spring tides. Always remember Len Payne teaching me the trick about spring tides and tide times about 20 years ago. Spring high is at about 4pm and spring low is about 10am. Always. Every single spring tide. Neap tides are the opposite, so 10am high and 4pm low. So now all you need to do is look at the moon to see what the tide times will be. Who needs an app!?
Sad to see marine litter dotting the shores of our coast. Ropes like these are just what tangles up whales and other marine life. Such a pity that many who use the sea to make their money have so little respect for it. Luc says this rope is near the high tide mark so could well be swept back into the sea So if anyone is feeling like a work-out, go drag this lot further up the beach.
Local kneelo Craig Seale had a close encounter at JBay when a dolphin decided to leap before it looked. And crashed into his board. Which is of course better than landing on his head! Nonetheless. A rather bruised looking stick after the unusual accident.
Lots of nice sunrises and sunsets during the week. Always good to get your dose of orange at either side of the day.
Some swell in the water this week, winds might be a bit flukey though.
You know things are slow when the highlight of the week is the fact that it rained. Super scratchy surf on offer. Usual story. If you missioned you could find a wave. But not a helluva lot in the bay.
The groms don't mind iffy conditions though and went banana's at Lower Point in Jbay for the SeaHarvest SA Junior Champs. NMBM came 4thm with our best performers being Angeloa Faulker getting a 3rd in the u18's and Joel Dace getting a 3rd in u14's. Well done to all our groms for taking part and having a blast. The overall title was won by Buffalo City. First time their groms have won the comp.
Summer time is approaching fast. Which means be happy with knee high peelers. you can find 'em around for sure. Just need to upgrade your shooter to a log and you'll be good to go. Rumour has it that CarPark John might be finally thinking about a mini-mal. Time will tell.....
Yin yang weatherwise for the week - some perfect beach days interspersed with some horrendous weather days. But that's the change of season for you. Four seasons in one day.
Some vintage shots cropped up during the week. Always cool to see what our beachfront used to look like. Sure did have a heap more sand.
Industry news for the week was that Ripcurl got bought by a camping company Kathmandu for $200 million. Hmm. Their marketing hoopla said as follows: “Rip Curl transforms Kathmandu into a highly complementary, seasonally balanced, global outdoor and action sports business."
So there goes the last of the privately owned surf brands. All gobbled up by international business. Maybe a case of Icarus trying to fly too close to the sun. Woulda been better off staying niche instead of selling to department stores. Hindsight is an exact science as they say.
One of those neither here not there weeks. A few waves, a lot of wind, the odd nice day. A real mixed bag as is per usual for early Spring.
Those that went west got some fun one's. The end of the road delivered a few good rides, although the lighties took over the point for the weekend for the Billabong Seal Point Pro Junior event. Local surfer Nathan Plomaritis was in great form in the U14 Boys Final to take the only win for the East Cape.
Sometimes you don't have to spend that much on fuel to find waves, maybe all it takes is a walk to the end of the beach. Might even hook a sneaky barrel or two for your efforts.
If only they could make a decent artificial reefs. The long stretch of Kings Beach is just crying out for something to turn the long straight-handers into rippable lil rights and lefts. The guys from Coastal Water Rescue didn't mind the flat conditions for their practice session though. The crew are all volunteers who are just a phone call away for any sea rescue or emergency situation, and are a great supplement to the municipal rescue services.
Round the corner had a few if you went looking.
But mostly the bay was flat. But flat can be pretty too. Add some long shutter speeds to your camera and it can blend it into prettiness. Humewood hasn't seen much action lately, but when it's on form it's easily the best wave in the bay.
Always lekker to have community-minded surfers. The early morning Pipe crew of Allan Bezuidenhout (owner and chef at Muse Restaurant) and Jacques Mong (Dial-a-dump) got gatvol of the mess in the carpark at Pipe so decided to make a plan. The guys bough some trash bins and have set them up in the carpark, and Jacques will arrange to have them emptied regularly.
So support surfers who support you - grab a chow at Allan's place, or if you need skip hire, tune Jacques (he specialises in mini skips - perfect for garden refuse/building rubble etc).
It was International Coastal Clean UP day on Saturday, so plenty of beach cleans along our stretch of coast. Thanks to everyone who went and did their bit. But remember every day should be a clean up day - coming back from your surf always keep a look out for some trash you can pick up and chuck away.
Unfortunately this poor guy had to be cleaned up as well. Dead seal washed up on the beach at Clubhouse over the weekend.
With the advent of spring the sun is setting a bit more to the SW than during it's winter setting position, that means not as easy to get the cool sunset pics over the back end of the pier, as now from my viewpoint it's more behind the buildings in Humewood. But sunrises don;t get obscured by anything other than where they pop up relevant to Bird Rock.
Guys were flying high at the Surf Ranch WSL event. Still like watching paint dry, but it does allow for some progressive surfing, once you get over the monotony of the bulk of the surfing. Jordy got an 8th and so slips down to 3rd in the overall leader board. Medina won and cements his spot at the top.
You don't only have to have a wave pool to fly high, can always grab your skateboard and got get some air at the Kings Beach skate park.
Another new possie for skaters to enjoy is the half pipe at Relic surf shop down in Baakens Valley. The ramp was officially opened this weekend as part of the opening function for the Cobbles Classic.
Spring doesn't look like she's ready to throw us another bone yet,charts looking stagnant. Anyone wanna burn some boards to appease the wave gods?
A scratchy week wave-wise. Some lekker weather and some fun slides, but nothing that would really shake the cobwebs off. Usual story - those that put in the miles had the biggest smiles.
The saying goes that months that end in "-er" are those that are the windy one's. And so far September is living up to that theory. Some pomping days where you were happy to hang on to the hair on your head. The kiters don't seem to mind. Reckon "must love sand" is a pre-requisite for being a kiter. Cos that walk up the dunes must be a long one.
The annual Jam Jar rally started off at Something Good. The rules are simple, your car has to be at least 30 years old, worth less than R30k and pimped out to the max. And you have to commit to being very stupid and silly and having heaps of fun. Sounds like a plan!
(Images Innova, and Dave Randle)
Sometimes the ou's stand at their cars having a puff. And sometimes a puff just drops by un-announced. Andre Clarke and local paddle-skier Jeremy were suiting up at Noordhoek, when this guy slid slowly out from behind the rear tyre. After a brief stare off he decided he didn't mind the guys on his turf, and continued slithering languidly off into the bush. The ou's heart rates were warmed up for their surf even before they hit the water.
There's another kinda snake in the car park - those that break into your darn car. Yet another break-in at Millers car park during the week. Ironically after I'd been chatting to the cars owner in the line-up and saying that altho I thought the car park was still sketchy it had been better lately - well, I guess not, as after his surf he got to his car to discover it had been broken in to!
Staying on the subject of snakes. Don't forget your line-up etiquette out there peeps. When you paddle out, take your place in the line up - not right at the top of the queue thinking the first wave that arrives is yours. And after catching your wave, slot back into line - don't paddle straight back to the top of the line-up. Don't be that d**s.
PE's infamously slack surf can have interesting consequences. Gavin Cherry got so gatvol of the pap waves that you can hardly stand on, he decided why not stop bothering to stand up in the first place. So Hein lent him a kneeboard, and after a month or so he was converted and went off to buy his own. Reckons it's heaps more fun than trying to struggle with the swak stuff - and it's also overhead most days! Life is all about perspective!
All the frothy groms chosen for the Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders team got their colours, and are all geared to go. The lighties will be surfing the SeaHarvest SA Champs to be held at Lower Point starting 25 Sept.
Our Bay is looking more and more like Durbs these days with all the huge ships anchored out near Coega Harbour. It was these mullets that brought the infamous red tide to our bay, and now they're adding to the pollution issues with oil leakages when they get fuel from the bunkering ship anchored out there. So basically our bay is like the local petrol station along this stretch of coast. Fecking stupid idea if you ask me.
Bogger all on the charts for this week - unless the east winds manage to drum up enough swell to make the wind switch on the weekend turn out to be something worthwhile.
Summer continues to unfold upon us, with the usual array of kiff sunrises and sunsets. Nature sure does like putting on a show when she's in the mood. Just play along Neptune, and don't forget the waves!