Strike three and you're out. So says baseball. And so say the swell gods to us as the punishment continued for that good run of swell a while ago. Yet another lacklustre week in the bay as far as waves went - the 3rd in a row, although things did kick up a few notches on Friday.
Calm conditions saw heavy mist on Tuesday morning, which always begs the question: is it 6ft and cooking out there in the whiteness? Probably not, but optimism is the lifeline of every PE surfer. Would be pretty fun to actually surf in those conditions one day, if ever the stars did align and we had mist and swell coincide.
As usual up the coast delivered some fun days if you made the trek. The further west you traveled the better surf you got. Swell quality and the size of your petrocard seems to be directly proportional.
Pretty big cold front pulled through on late on Wednesday, and those that had got in the water for a paddle about in the glassy lumpy onshore surf were stoked when it blasted through late arvo and went offshore. Humewood had some good 'uns. The groundswell arrived overnight on Thursday to deliver some decent sets on Friday before the wind went onshore.
An optimist is someone who always sees the bright side of any situation — a trait that can be either encouraging or annoying, depending on your frame of mind. Winston Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Well, this dude deserved the Optimist of the Day award for sure. The wind was howling, there was tons of chop, the water was chilly and brown, with probably a viz of 6 inches....and he went out for a snorkel!
Still plenty of sealife about during the week. The big pods of dolphins continue to cruise past on a regular basis. Still lots of bait fish about close inshore, so the mobile McDonalds drive (swim) thru continues.
The dead whale is still vrotting away down the beach at Kabeljous. Be careful if you decide to go take a look, cos it's releasing some pretty gnarly gases during composition, and besides smelling kak, can actually make you sick. So don't hang about there too long. Another reason not to lurk about is that apparently dead whales can explode - due to the build up of gases in their stomachs. That would not be a lekker experience to get covered in rotten whale....
October. November. December. January. February. March. And now April. The 7th month in a row that has broken highest global temp record for that month since weather records started getting kept - about 100 years ago. El Nino certainly has delivered in terms of some crazy temperatures. Can't imagine it's going to be doing good things to the coral reefs - as higher sea temps can kill of the lil critters, causing coral bleaching. Eish.
Pumpkin shells on steroids! Paul Hosten found it out at Schoenies. The one's we normally get along our shores are the guys on the right - a Cape Urchin Parechinus Angulosus. The monster one on the left is called a Short Spined Urchin Tripneustes Angulosus. Only about 4 of them have been spotted in the last 20 years at Schoenies so it is not that common in the area. Just as well we don't get many of these guys - cos imagine they would not be fun to stand on whilst in urchin stage!
The Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders (NMBS) were pipped into 2nd spot at the SA Masters Champs at Seals buy a coupla hundred points by Border - I mean Buffalo City. Alan Byram won the over 60 division and is SA Champ. You can check out the wrap, results and shots from the event here:
There are certain things that grant one immediate kook status. One of those has to be sticking your board in the sunroof, and further compounding matters by having the wax facing upward. In it to win it? Maybe not - but at least you'll be assured of a lekker waxy back seat later. Admit it - we've all left a board in the car before and learnt how quickly wax melts....
You're standing on the beach and just spotted a fin cruising near to the line-up. How do you get the attention of the ou's in the water to give them a head's up to get their leg's up? Screaming like a banshee doesn't always work cos if the surf's biggish or the guys are sitting far out, they aren't gonna hear you no matter how loud you holler.
Waving your arms about like a spastic chicken just conveys there's an issue, but isn't necessarily interpreted as being a shark warning. You could be yelling at your grom to come in, or to tell some guy his cabbie has just been broken in to, or a whole host of other things.
Take this weekend for example. CarPark John and a few others were trading peaks on the wildside, and a crew walked down the beach after having surfed another spot further up and started waving wildy at them. John and the ou's reckoned they were just trying to tell them that the peak they'd surfed was better - and that they should move down there.
Nup. Turns out that whilst Merv was on a wave at the other peak he got dropped in on by a finned local, and after a stare down Merv decided to give the wave to him and call it quits and go home.
They finally did get the message across about the friendly fin in the area to John's crew, but it took a bit of time getting lost in translation.
So how do you specifically indicate "SHARK" to those in the line-up?
The dive sign for shark is to put your hand vertically on your forehead to resemble a fin. Which works fine when you diving and the ou you signalling to is a few metres away. But there's no ways you'll spot something like that from the line-up over 100m away.
Reckon the best bet would be to raise your board over your head and wave it about like the guys in the shot above at Ballina beach in Aus, a super sharky spot. At least anyone who's read this will know immediately what it means then if they see waving boards!
If you don't have a board? How about making a triangle shape using your arms to try mimic a fin? Also likely to get lost in translation.
Any better idea's out there?
The punishment for that good run of swell continues into it's second week. The bay was pretty dismal, although a few bucks worth of petrol woulda seen you getting wet in some fun stuff round the corner. Charts still looking rather dire for the coming week, although next Monday might see a reprieve for the bay.
For what we've been lacking in waves, the sunrises have more than made up for it. And some lekker calm weather as well. Although most peeps would happily swap it for some cold fronts and waves!
'Some really big pods of dolphins have been hanging around all week, likely due to the shoals of lil feeshies close in shore. They've been cruising the beachfront on most days, in no great rush to move on. Loads of them out in SF as well. Saw them do some blatant drop-in's on two ou's out at Anne's over the weekend.
It's actually kinda daunting having them surround you when a waves coming, cos as they're surfing the wave towards you, you have to try work out how to duck dive between em so you don't collect a dolphin headache.
Plenty of other sealife active at the moment as well. Big whale carcass washed up a few k's down from Kabeljous, with plenty of finned friends lurking close by in the hope of grabbing a quick feed. Heads up and legs up.
The ballies are starting to hit froth-mode with the Master's SA Champs coming up at Seals this week. An absolute A-list of entrants for this year's comp, so the standard of surfing will be sky-high. Just hope a bit of swell pops up so the guys get the odd decent wave and don't have to grovel in the shorey.
Nelson Mandela Bay Surfing (NMBS - the ex EP) are hosting the event, and are doing some fund-raising by raffling off a Dennis Ellis Boardroom surfboard to the value of R4000. If you'd like a shot at winning a brand-new stick, then go grab a R20 ticket from Surf Centre, the Boardroom or Streetcred Chef. Draw is on Saturday at SA Champs
In the absence of waves, surf photag Luc Hosten has had to get a bit creative. Here he does a great job of turning some wind-blown sand into a New York cityscape.
There's a new surf factory out in SF aptly called St Francis Surf, new home to shapers Greg Smith, Eric Stedmann and Isaiah boards. Pull in for a new stick.
Another big fin spotted at Ballina in Aus this week - they've had their fair share of attacks in the past year. Bunch of ou's on the beach trying to tell their mates that there's a big local in the line-up. Wonder what the universally accepted sign is for seeing a shark? No good just yelling cos often with the noise of the shore pound your yells won't carry to the line-up. I guess just flailing your arms about like mad and waving your boards about has to be the way to go?
Whilst we go through the surf doldrums in the bay, one of my fave waves in Indo was pumping all week. Life ain't fair....
Hangover week for sure. After a run of really good surf the whole of the previous week, this week was a bust instead of gangbuster. Sure, there were waves about if you took a drive, but as far as the bay went it was rather dismal. Unless you dig onshores, then you were smiling.
Monday offered up a few dribs and drabs, but as the week wore on the surf dropped and the winds grew increasingly iffy. Not a bad thing though, it meant ou's got some work done, lighties went to school, peeps attended the odd lecture. Productivity levels inversely proportional to surf. This week productivity won.
The periodic rain squalls meant the opportunity for rainbows. The Greeks and Romans thought a rainbow was the path made by Iris, the goddess of the rainbow, between heaven and earth, linking gods with humans. The iris of the eye is named after her, because of its colour. “Rainbow” in Latin is arcus iris or arcus pluvius, a “rainy arch”.
A rainbow doesn’t actually exist. Optically speaking, it is just a distorted “virtual image” of the sun. Each raindrop acts as a tiny, imperfect mirror.The light is refracted or “bent” slightly as it passes from the air into the water; and again as it bounces back into the air again. Each raindrop acts as both prism (refraction) and mirror (reflection).
Moving from pretty rainbows to ugly mugs. Duncan Scott - EP's new SA Longboard Champ in the Grand Masters division got a kiss from his board during the comp. Rail vs lip is always gonna end in lip coming second....
Unfortunately some red tide has been seen lurking around Table Bay again. Big red patches were visible suring the calm spell in the early parts of the week. Maybe there's something about red critters that make them persistent.... the EFF refuses to go away and so does the red tide.
Some really flat days midweek meant the rockpools became more interesting than the surf. Gideon Brunsden snapped this cool shot of a lil starfish at Pollock. If you're really bored one day when you find one, sit down and check him out for a while...cos you might catch him eating something, which turns out to be a rather neat undertaking. They have tiny suction cups to hold their food, and then their stomach comes outta their mouth to chow the food, and then reenters the body when they’re done eating.
Reduce, reuse, recycle is the manta we should all be living by. An Oregon surfer decided a novel use for his old board was to convert it into an outdoor shower. Gotto say the board doesn't look too buggered though, and might have been more useful staying as a surfboard instead of a shower?
Whilst we had a quiet week, the west coast of the states is still getting plenty of El Nino swell. The Wedge in Newport's been macking. Bit like Fence on steroids.
The weekend saw some pear-shaped weather. Pomping east meant plenty of growly onshore mushburgers about if they're your thing. They ain't mine. Winds fairly light and variable this week, so there should be something to surf if you wanna get wet.
What a week! Waves, glorious waves. If for some cruel twist of fate you weren't near the coast this past week, stop reading now, else you're likely to try something with a blunt knife. It really was that good. Waves every single day for an entire week. Ou's were surfed out by the end of it. Reports of only 8 guys in the water at Supers, a handful at Point. Solo sessions in the bay.
Didn't even have to drive west this week for surf, the bay dished up some decent waves on most days. Apparently Dane Cox takes the win for a behind the rock take-off at Avo's that went awry and ended in a proper thrashing. Warri Canepa reckons he's never seen a guy take such a beating and come up laughing before.
Obviously if you did drive west things were even better.
And if you drove to the end of the road they weren't too shabby either...
And if you kept driving west, well, it was a helluva lot bigger still. You know when Hout Bay gets full of foam lines that Dungeons is pretty serious.
After you've gone as far west as you can, then you turn north up the West Coast, to the now famous grinding left sand spit. That was pretty freaking good too.....
The thing about big swells that smash our coastline is that you can chase em across the Indian Ocean if you want to. Maldives lights up with what we get a few days later - and light up it did.
Always lekker to get dropped in on by a dingy. Thankfully it was a happy ending with the ou managing to avoid landing on the dude's head, but apparently it was a bit close for comfort. Sometimes the dingy dudes aren;t all that familiar with waves/lineups etc and can end up in the wrong spot at the wrong time cos some lazy guest doesn't wanna paddle the extra 10m into the lineup and wants to get dropped right on the spot.
A bit closer to home but also starting with an M. Yip, that was firing too. Such a pity that flights there cost more than getting to Indo, else reckon there'd be plenty Saffa's doing the swell chase there.
It takes about 8-10 days for a swell from here to hit Indo, so technically this shot is actually from our swell the previous week not last week, but either way, Ulu's was going gang-buster. Triple overhead screamers keeping the line-up pretty empty.
The huge surf wreaked havoc at the SA Longboard Champs at Mossel Bay, breaking over 17 boards during the course of the week. Shapers are smiling for sure.
EP (now known as NMBS) got second possie, just getting pipped by WP. We got a bunch of SA titles though, including Steve Sawyer winning the Open Mens. Check out all the results and shots here.
The big surf saw a wayward whale shark wash up at Cannon Rocks. Thankfully the locals were able to get it back out to sea after it beached itself.
The big surf also looked like it jumbled up ou's brains. Cos you gotto be not quiet right in the pip to transport your board like this. Most peeps recognised the board as Emma Smith's, but luckily she doesn't get the Kook of the Day award, as although is was her board she's sold it. Maybe when you sell a board you should also explain how to transport it?
Besides great surf, the week was also full of kiff sunrises and sunsets. So yah, if you missed this week. Be miserable.
By Clayton Truscott - ex PE local
Living in Portland has forced me to reevaluate how I measure the distance of things.
For example, I drive from Oregon to Washington 5 days a week, where I work in a different state with different tax codes, regulations and laws. It’s only 22 kilometers, but the distance is significant.
At the same time, surfing in Oregon has forced me to be prepared, which has not historically been my strong suit.
The closest thing to a ‘local break’ I’ve got is 1 hour and 35 minutes away, about as far as the drive from P.E. to Joubertina, where I did my driver’s license 15 years ago after failing it twice in Humansdorp.
I’m still not a great driver, but I like driving.
I surfed today.
This morning, I packed the car at 5 a.m.
There was a cruel wind brushing leaves down Jarrett Street and ice on the lawn outside my house. I assessed my gear and tried to figure out what was missing. Board, suit, leash, fins, booties, fin key, water, food, towels (plural), extra contact lenses, extra jersey, extra socks.
It was all there, but something felt absent. Something important.
I headed across the Fremont Bridge, towards the coastal freeway, with Downtown Portland on one side and the industrial railway yard on the other. The moon cut a smile into the sky above me, while the city lights shimmered across the Willamette River. In the distance, Mount Hood etched its profile into the red dawn, showing off its striking, snowcapped peak that always looks photoshopped onto the horizon.
In some ways, Portland reminds me of Port Elizabeth, how the industrial roots overlap current development, which seems to be a never-ending process. The city is in constant transition, preserving the old while forging ahead.
It’s important to find these common threads when you’re living in another country. That’s where surfing has been a lifeline over the last four years, adding familiarity to all the new routines and adjustments.
The first time I surfed in Oregon was in October last year, at a spot called the Cove in Seaside, a touristy hamlet 15 minutes north of Cannon Beach (which ballies might recognize from The Goonies).
It’s mostly a longboarding wave that gets really crowded when it’s good and pretty hollow with the right swell angle.
This particular day was about one and a half feet and tormented by a howling cross-shore that would have made my kiteboarding friends lose themselves. The water was brown and clumps of seaweed draped the rocky shoreline. There were three other people out, all wearing hoods, gloves, and boots. That is what being prepared for 12 degree water looks like.
I had 4/3, no booties, no hoodie, and no clue.
It was a complete change from Ocean Beach, San Diego, where Natalie and I had been living for 2 years before moving up here. One of my local breaks there was a playful spot called Avalanche, which looks nothing like its Port Elizabethan namesake.
On any given day, there’d be 20-30 people out, scattered across the rippable peaks that drain off a rock jetty. In the teeth of winter it was still about 18 degrees in the water. It was an amazing neighborhood that really holds a special place in my heart (I recently wrote a collection of stories about it.)
Compared to San Diego, the Oregon coast is an entirely different animal.
This stretch of the Pacific Northwest is characterized by harsh weather and rugged monoliths that poke out of the water like fossilized dinosaurs, paused in motion.
The constant rain makes everything green, slick and beautiful. Beyond the coast, you can hike, rock climb, snowboard, and explore a new trail or park every day of the year, and still feel like you’re only scratching the surface. Because of this, Portland is a hub for outdoor enthusiasts and weirdos who like the rain.
I love it here.
But the Oregon coast is serious.
Cape Lookout is my favorite place in Oregon. It’s about 10 minutes away from Cape Kiwanda, which is another fun beach break and point. A really cool South African man, Gary Gregg (from Durban), has a surf shop there (Moment Surf Shop), right opposite break. It’s a bit further driving there, but when the wind is light and there’s a sniff of west in the swell.
It’s a deep stretch of the Pacific that captures a lot of swell and funnels it into some incredible setups. There are too many unnamed nooks with solid, top-quality waves that people don’t surf (yet). This winter, my weekends were plagued by days where I simply didn’t have the equipment, the fitness, or the scones to head out and braves 15 foot walls of grey ice. I mind-surfed the hell out of it, if that counts for anything.
It also happens to be located on the Pacific Ring of Fire. There are tsunami evacuation route signs dotted along the narrow highways, which give you a nice apocalyptic reminder of the danger that lurks beyond the rips, the sharks, and the freezing water.
Whilst driving here, between stopping to admire another empty lineup, you’re always creating a roadmap to higher ground, making sure everyone knows what to do if the Big One strikes.
Seaside Cove is about a kilometer down the road from Oregon’s best point, Seaside Point, a punchy left that unloads across a shallow reef. It’s intense, hollow, and incredibly localized. To a point of a lunacy.
This is yet another small distance that represents a big change.
A few people have told me different horror stories that range from having their tires slashed to witnessing fistfights in the water, to seeing deranged locals casting headless chickens into the water to scare people away.
I experienced a taste of this when I asked a group of guys watching the point what the tide was doing, and was told that it was none of my fucking business.
I knew the tide was dropping; I just wanted to make conversation.
With the exception of the incident at the point, surfers in Northern Oregon are incredibly friendly, helpful, and forthcoming. There’s a growing surf community in Portland, along with a handful of board shapers and surf shops. I think it’s accepted that everyone willing to brave the conditions deserves respect. The vibe in the water is friendly and chilled, so long as you remember your manners.
Anyways, this morning I arrived at the Short Sands parking lot just after 7 and was relieved not to be the first car there.
To get to the beach, you take a 10 minute hike through an old growth forest. It’s a mesmerizing little trek, marked by mushrooms the size of couch cousins growing on tree trunks as large as houses. The forest trail ends where the sand begins, creating a natural amphitheatre of pine trees around the bay.
There were already a handful of people out and others getting ready on the beach.
There are three main peaks; a left that runs off the south wall, a split-peak in the middle, and a right-hand point that hugs the north on the north side of the bay. It’s the most popular spot around here and almost-always fun.
This particular was a fun, but challenging 4-5 feet. It had been massive all week and although the swell had dropped, there was still plenty of energy in the water. The long paddle out was a mini-marathon and every duck dive felt like getting slapped by a frozen salmon fillet.
After an hour, I came in for a bit of brekkie and was invited to stand around a fire someone had started on the beach.
I managed 3 sessions before my arms and legs stopped cooperating. Packing up and leaving to drive back home is always a bitter-sweet point in the day, but part of what makes this coastline so special is its remoteness.
I never did figure out what was missing. It was probably nothing.
I always want to be a thousand places at the same time, so it always feels like I’m missing something.
I often miss the simplicity of a session at Humewood, parking at Saddles and running down the rocky steps behind Happy Valley. Or pulling up at the harbor above Fence, and paddling out to 20 faces I know by name. Or shooting the shit with people at Pipe, while trying to figure out if a drive to the reserve is worth it.
Those are nice things to think about.
The waves I get here and memories are what sustain from week to week when I’m missing the ocean. And the same thing applies to P.E. and St. Francis (where my folks live full-time now), when I go home for visits.
No matter what you’re doing, time is always precious.
With a series of huge fronts smashing the coast over the next week, and a tropical cyclone off east Africa, there's never been a better time to chase waves up both the east and west coasts of Africa.
Little known spots from Kenya , through Tanzania up into Somalia will have firing right, and all the left points from Angola into Congo and Gabon will be going off their pips. A few lil islands off the coast under the bulge will also be pumping. And then there's the right sand points of Ghana....
The much-hyped purple blob didn't deliver. Purple wind we got. Purple waves? Nup. Sure, there was a bit of swell, but nothing like anyone had expected after what the charts led us to believe. But at least there were some waves about after the wind backed off, and it certainly was the best day of the week - which wasn't hard to achieve seeing as it'd been flat in the bay all week anyhow. Beggars can't be choosers.
If you were patient and nabbed the right spot at the right tide there were a few nuggets about. Saw Greg Saunders hook a screamer from Chomp Rock all the way through to Millers.
JBay and surrounds picked up more swell, but also not in the purple-people-eater category either. Cape Town did klap it though, with reports of big waves at Dungeons, Crayfish Factory and down the drag at Bayview in Hermanus.
Whilst there was much hype at home about the impending swell, PE local Anthony Adler was charging giants over in the Ments. On his annual pilgrimage to Kandui, Ant's first wave out at Bank Vaults didn't work out too well - getting lip-launched then pummeled. No prob for Ant, he just saddled straight back up, and his next wave the Kandui surf guide reckons was the biggest wave of the year so far. PE ballies charge! Not bad for 62 years young.
Lots of motion in the ocean at the moment. Tropical cyclone Fantala just made history as the strongest-known storm in the Indian Ocean. The mighty tempest spun itself up to 150 knots (280 km/h) on Monday - a Category 5 hurricane. Must have been plenty of right points all the along the east coast of Africa firing off their pips. Surf in Somalia anyone!?
The locals in Plett were restless this week. Bunch of ballies surf-ski'ing at Robberg this morning near Wreck Beach, and one ou's ski got smashed from behind by a shark. Knocked the poor dude outta his ski, and then the ski sank cos the back was bitten off. Guy had to hang on to his mates ski for a lift back to shore. Eish.
Shot to the Beach Manager Fernando Caine for getting the bushes on top of the dunes at Millers cut down. Plenty of dodgy dudes had taken up residence along the top of the dunes, no doubt contributing to the increase in petty crime in the area. So hopefully your cabbie should be safer at Millers carpark again now that the skollies have nowhere to hide.
Some of the local pro surfing crew are sunning themselves in Martinique - nup, not the marina near Jbay - the lekker lil island in the French West Indies. Matt, Dylan and Dale competed in the Martinique Surf Pro
Men's Qualifying Series #17, but unfortunately didn't make it past Rd 4. But hey, what's not to like about lurking in the Caribbean!?
The NMMU Madibaz surf club came up with a kiff new pop-up comp contest to get everyone frothing to hit the water. They held an hour long expression session, with prizes being awarded for Best wave, Best maneuver, Kook of the day and Stylemaster. The R20 entry fee scored you a free bar of wax and a beer - double whammy! So if you're a student at NMMU and surf, keep your eye's peeled for the next pop-up, everyone welcome.
Props to Keala Kennelly for making history by winning the 2016 WSL Big Wave Awards Tube Ride of the Year for her black hole at Chopes. First time a chick has won it. #noballsneeded
The ou's made the mission this weekend to get down to Mossel Bay for the SA Longboard Champs being held there this week. The McGregor family from Port Alfred displayed some pretty impressive packing skills to fit 2 bro's, a zillion surfboards, and other assorted necessities into their cabbie for the trip.
Things looking pretty fun for the coming week, charts are showing a few bumps. Here's hoping they don't disappear like the purple blob did.
The week started off with a bang. Really good waves on Monday, out west was cranking and even the bay had some decent one's. Warm water, light winds, could be worse ways to spend the day. Round the corner had some solid stuff as well.
Surf frothness does have it's downsides though. Amy Van Niekerk bolted down to the beach after work for a surf, and in her eagerness to get out there before the sun set, didn't pay quite the close attention required when positioning her board in the carpark next to her car - cos a mullet managed to drive over it and turn her thruster into a side single fin. Eina!!
Pretty awesome sunset on Monday evening thanks to a fire out near Walker Drive billowing some smoke into the sky. The sun was sinking behind it, turning it into a glowing fireball and throwing out some incredible light onto the dusk wave faces. One of those times you wish you had a pair of Google Glasses on to take some snaps.
From flames to furnace. Billabong have just released their new winter wetsuits, which include the Billabong Furnace Carbon Pro. Besides being lank warm and stretchy, they are also sporting a new zipperless chest closure system.
Richard Arderne sent me a classic old shot of himself as a gremmie at Millers back in the 60's. Gotto love the interesting board shape, homemade leash complete with hankie for a leash cuff, and the ill-fitting wettie. To say surf equipment has improved exponentially over the last 50 years would be an understatement...
Seabass took the win at Margaret River last week, in some solid surf. He beat Julian Wilson in the final to claim his maiden WSL win. One happy chappy. It also means the leader board for the WSL looks very different to previous years - the only "usual suspect" there is Parko at 5. Topping it is Wilko, then Seabass, Italo, Brother then Parko.
The next 5 surfers to crack an invite to the JBU Supertrial presented by RVCA have been announced. Ricky Basnett, Matthew John McGillivray, Dylan Lightfoot, Davey van Zyl and Shaun Holmes will be among those having a stab at hooking a slot into the JBay Open. Good to see the locals getting some slots. Hopefully the organisers give PE's Dylan Stone a slot too, cos he's pretty damn good out there.
Grab the latest copy of Boardtalk from a store near you. Warwick at Coffee's Up also has in stock. It's packed with R150 of free vouchers, and plenty of local surf action and news.
Super stoked to finally have got round to buying a piece of art from JBay's Stephen van der Walt (aka Stevo). His lil gallery in the Core Surf Shop is packed with a selection of brightly coloured modern wavescapes. Now just gotto suss out my picture-hanging skills.....
Start em young. Bruce Iron's lil guy already looks to have the grab rail game of daddy down pat. Just 4 years old, can't even swim yet, but looking confident as anything on that board.
Stanley Badger is doing some board magic these days, turning beaten up, yellowed out old sticks into gleaming new (almost) freshies. If you have some old sleds in need of some love, Stan's your man.
Millers local Brett Hoppe found a cool bottle of Vino whilst on a Cape Town mission last week. Turns out not only is it a sweet right point, it's also a tasty Merlot. Made by Kleine Parys Vineyards world renowned winemaker Kosie Möller, it has spicy, smoky aromas with gentle well-integrated tannins on the palate and a soft delicate finish. You wonder who the ou's are that sit in a dark lil room somewhere and come up with all the kak they write on the back of wine bottles....
Calling all skateboarders - make a plan to hitch a lift up to Cape Town for the Element Make it Count event. Cos who wouldn't want to stand a chance of winning a skate trip to Barcelona!!
Staying on the subject of cool events, Sunday sees a mass pop-up instameet taking place. The 'Colour the City’ event is a creative instameet where people can come together, socialize and explore the city. The plan is to mission the streets together, taking photographs of the city and culture with the aim to ‘Colour the City’, attendees are encouraged to bring along any colourful props, their smiles and friends. Starts at the Donkin at 3.30pm.
The week had started well, then went into the doldrums midweek, only to have Sunday throw out some good waves again. You must know it was half OK if the ou's were raving about a surf at Pipe...
Even better cos the forecast east didn't really show up as predicted, with winds staying light and glassy most of the day.
Despite some fun waves out front, this is where I would rather have been. One of our fave spots in the Maldives looking like the berries on Sunday. What makes it worse is that had planned a trip to be there right now, but was veto'd by "management" thanks to the kak exchange rate. #ZumamustfallSOIcansurf
Charts looking very promising for next weekend, with some solid long period swell meant to arrive. Here's hoping no major downgrades during the wind, and the winds don't go funky...
Not much happening in the bay cos of funky winds all week. Which meant ou's did a bit of wild-side tripping to get wet.
Kevin, Etienne, Jorg and Tony were grabbing a sneaky lunch-time surf at Beachview when they had a pretty close visit from a finned friend. Martin Hartslief was suiting up in the carpark and saw a decent-sized grey suit swim right up to the guys and then decide they didn't look like part of the food chain, so veered off and left them alone. ET had spotted it at the same time Martin did and gave the call for the ou's to baleka in. Poor Kev missed the wave and got stuck out there on his ace, but still made it in safely, although no doubt with the Jaws theme-music playing loudly in his ears!
Ari Kraak was flying his chopper to PE the next day and spotted this boytjie just off the backline at Sea View. Mighta been the same dude. Like it or not, the locals are always out there, and luckily we aren't really on the menu unless they get quizzy.
Taj Burrow announced his retirement from the World Tour at the Margies Pro. After 18 years of wearing comp jerseys the Billabong rider has decided it might be fun to go and surf without getting judged. He'll be sorely missed, as is one of the most stylish surfers about. You don't get to second spot on the tour twice (1999 and 2007) without being pretty adept on a surfboard.
A note for the diary - the 60th Anniversary of the Summerstrand Surf Lifesaving Club will be celebrated over the weekend of the 20 & 21st May 2016. This weekend is a week following the Old Grey Reunion weekend so for those of you who were at Grey, please make it a double celebration. Keep up to date with what's happening here:
A bit of summer action this week thanks to the persistent onshore winds - plenty of blue bottles made their way inshore to sting the cr*p outta anyone taking a dip or getting wet on their boards. Not often they pitch up after the summer months, but with seasonal winds not being as predictable as in the past, and the possibility of consistent easterlies still prevailing for the next while, expect to see a few more of these guys about.
Ex-Pipe local Patrick Maguire sadly passed away on Tuesday following a fatal motobike accident in Bath, UK. He was a regular at Pipe, Main Rights, Millers and Tubes (JBay). There will be a farewell surf out for Patrick sometime in the next 2 weeks depending on his ashes arrival from the UK. Will give a head's up once the date is confirmed, and all are welcome to join in saying farewell to a lekker ou.
Still digging about into PE surf history and this classic shot of King's Beach turned up, taken from the slip road that the hawkers use right next to MacArthur Baths. Bruce Matthew, who took the shot, recalls how on spring tides the waves used to wash right up onto the road.
Nearly 50 years later King's Beach is still the spot to snap photo's, here's a kiff one of logger Jamie Morris by Brad Peens. Pity the surf wasn't cooperating so that there was a lekker peeler running off in the background. But then am guessing Jamie wouldn't have been standing around posing for a pic, he'd have been out in the water.
It was the annual Ironman weekend, which saw plenty of peeps take their shot at the 4k swim, 180k ride and 42k run. Road closures for the event meant it was pretty tricky to get to the beach, and unfortunately unlike previous years there wasn't much in the way of waves to make the effort worth while. Lekker day and warm water, but wonky winds didn't do any favours to the swell that was running.
Not a helluva lot on the charts for the week, so might entail a visit to the skatepark in order to get your glide on.
But looking ahead to when the winter storms start bashing the coast Billabong have launched a rad comp where you and a mate can win a day at Dungeons, checking out all the action from the safety of the channel. The adrenaline without the prospect of copping a 20ft'r on the head! Win win situation! Plus some kiff Billabong Adventure Division gear as well. Scoot along to the Billabong website to enter.
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