Throw out a shaka to the latest members of the Saffa surf tribe. Welcome to Jozi, the newest region in SA Surfing. The dust has settled since the big restructure of SA Surfing, and in the process a new player has emerged. The inland surfers are finally recognised as a legitimate part of the SA surf scene.
Props to former CT and EL surfer Nathan Gernetzky for taking on the challenge of getting a Jozi surf team up and running - and ready to compete in next years SA Champs. Gonna be plenty of surf-stoked land-locked ex-coasties who are gonna be so amped to once again belong to the tribe, despite having to endure minedumps instead of shoredumps.
Nathan's call to action sum's it up perfectly...
"Calling on all board-riders and moving-mountain sliders. Coast dwelling yearners or movers and shakers who once lived at the coast and thought about getting your daily surf in before heading home. Those part of the tribe and those who miss the tribe. Those who ride on water and dream about barrels whether on a short-board, longboard, sup or bodyboard. Those who surf their desk calendars with two fingers and those walk along Jo-burg Zoo Lake ducking under branches as they throw the biggest green room over your head.
Those who toggle their laptop screens between work stuff and your old local spot surf report. Those that have shredded at Sun-city or just returned from Indo. For those that have salt in your veins. If you are a surfer living in the Gauteng/ Jozi region inbox me your details. Keen to gather your details so the tribe up here can meet for an upcoming event. (And for the tribe along the coast, forward this to someone you know who has a jar of beach sand and sea water on their desk while working in the City of Gold)"
So Nathan, why the move to start a Jozi Surf Club?
We are currently living in Bedfordview, after moving here recently from Queensbury Bay. So while we are here, my wife and I had the thought there most be so many surfers who live in Jozi and feel 'displaced' mostly by choice, but the issue is feeling that you have left your 'tribe' behind. And so we thought it'd be a good idea to start gathering fellow surfers from the region.
What's your surfing background?
Originally from CT, so surfed mostly Dunes, Kom and surrounds including all the big wave spots. I lived in Hermanus for 5 years and for the first 2 years surfed Bayview (big wave spot) on my own, until we formed a local big wave crew. Big wave's are really my thing but anything heavy and slabby gets me going.
Recently been living in EL on the Qbay side of town. Surfing there mostly and working with photo guys on a project. I got a cool double spread in this current issue of zag which was like ice-cream to a child before we moved to Jozi.
So what are the plans for the Gauteng surfers?
After a long chat with SA Surfing's Robin de Kock about opening the Jozi branch, the cherry on the top was finding out that Gauteng can surf at the SA Champs. But that wasn't the main motivation for us. We thought- let's be the catalyst to gathering this inland tribe of people. Surfer love, besides surfing, talking about surfing. Whether over social media, a meal, a beer or coffee. Anything to keep the stoke alive.
Maybe a fun/ novelty event at Sun City's Valley of the Waves later in the year too.
I have a couple of friends who I have been gathering thoughts with about this but now we are keen to have our first event in the next term and rally guys to come together from across Jozi for a surf film, conversation and food. I'm sure out of these events will flow a club which is the necessary beginnings for a province to put forward surfers for any national event.
One of my good mates here was a top bodyboarder before moving to Jozi so we are going to try and gather all surfing forms together into one body which then would have different representations.
We'd want local business involved and the various communities to be impacted by this 'movement' in Jozi. Yes I suppose it's a movement, not a static list of names on paper. Hopefully one day a future force in this city at a social/justice level, but also impacting surfing at a national level.
But all things begin with like-minded people gathering around a common vision which is built slowly with time and trust. We need both for this things to really take off.
So, if you're a land-locked surfer in Gauteng and would be keen to be part of the inland surfer renaissance and to keep the stoke alive, then shoot Nathan an email on firstname.lastname@example.org