Yssss, wish I could stop saying "that was a pretty quiet week" but yet again it was. Monday was the pick of the bunch with super fun lil waves coming through, albeit with long lulls in between. The rest of the week was a scratch inside the bay, but if you took a drive, even a short one, you were rewarded.
The usual array of lekker winter sunsets and sunrises made up for what we lacked in surf. Ever wondered why sunsets are better in winter? Turns out there's a valid scientific reason for it. The colors of a sunrise or sunset are based on how light is entering and traveling through the atmosphere. Dust and pollution particles in the air scatter light and reduce how much makes it to the ground, thus reducing the intensity of colors at sunrise and sunset. So when the air is crisp and clear, like it is in winter, these twilight hours will offer up more vibrant colors. The sluggish air circulation in summer means more smog and haze, and less light entering through them to turn into a kiff sunset.
PE local Jot de Lauwere is on a south Sumatran mission at the moment and lucking into some decent surf. The term "flat" in Indo usually means about 3ft, whereas in PE that would actually classify as a good days surf. In between the odd "flat" day he's been scoring some solid waves.
The old Chinese proverb goes One Picture Worth Ten Thousand Words. Can't argue with the expression on this dude's face can you. SUP's and egg-beaters are one thing, but this is a whole 'nother ballgame. Shot last week in the Maldives. Too scary for words.
Many Algoa Bat penguins became inadvertent All Black supporters last week after an oilspill in the bay. Thankfully quick action by all the relevant authorities saw Xtreme Projects get out there and neutralise much of the spill. Unfortunately still a number of birds were affected, and should you come across a dirty lil 'un then please take it to your nearest penguin possie (SAMREC in PE or Sanccob at Seals).
Johnny Bakker came back from his recent Costa Rica sojourn with the SA Surf team which went to the World Games. CarPark John is now rocking a new cap, which looks like it'll work well to keep the sun off his dial during his extended carpark kakpraat sessions.
Ex-SF and JBay local Ryan Payne was spotted slab hunting in CT last week. Him and shutterbug Ian Thurtell scored a little ridden chunky ledge that turned on in the windless conditions. Ryan's no slouch when it comes to taking on mutant looking waves, as has done plenty of wildside missions at CSF surfing seemingly unridable ledges.
Make a plan to enter the Something Good Classic this Saturday. Everyone welcome, plenty of divisions, you score a free tee and loads of lekker prizes up for grabs.
Shot to all the groms who will be representing NMBS during the Billabong SA Junior Champs at JBay in October. Really strong team, so they should stand a chance at grabbing the title. Good luck lighties!
Saw a very well-written piece by CT surfer Roxy Davis, calling a lightie out for his kak behaviour. Worth a read, cos not only mini-groms that are guilty of not respecting the line-up etiquette.
The week ended with a lekker day on Sunday - the calm before the storm. Warm enough to walk around in some boardies at last. Summer's on the way. But not before we get bliksemed a bit more by winter.
“Still writing kak?” said Johnny Paarman to me as we sat waiting for a set at Seals the other day.
“I just saw you fuck-up a take off on a two-foot wave,” I replied with a smile. “That’s worth writing about. Your hip replacement is no excuse”
“I see you’ve lost some more hair,” he replied. “On the top of your head.”
“Careful,” I replied. “There’s another two-foot set coming through, and the next one’s yours. Go over the falls on this one and you’re going to have to go in. Local rules. If you’re nervous, just tell me, ok? Can’t be wasting any more waves of the day.”
The big wave legend with a false hip caught that set wave, got to his feet and rode it all the way through with a smile on his face.
Talking about nervous, it’s time for Teahupo’o and the Billabong Pro world’s most dangerous wave event. At this stage it looks like it’s going to be fairly small throughout the event, and many people are very happy about this.
Can’t say I blame them. Being a pro surfer must be very unsettling when a Code Red swell blips on the forecast, and you need to get out there. It’ll probably be a small wave shoot-out between Filipe and Gabriel, or maybe John John and Jordy, but not Kelly and Parko.
Talking about Code Red swells, many years ago, in 1986 in fact, the Billabong Pro moved over to Waimea and it was blue, really massive and horrifying. Rob Bain paddled out for his heat in the early morning and got caught inside by what was called a forty-foot close-out set. Bainy used to puff on the odd ciggie back then, and he made it back to the beach after a few of those waves had unloaded on his head, and promptly passed out on the beach.
This caused fellow Australian surfers Gary Green and Bryce Ellis to remove themselves from the entry list, with both withdrawing because they were too shit scared to paddle out into forty foot close-outs at a wave neither had ever surfed before.
Currently on assignment in KZN, and there are no signs of 40-foot waves. No signs of 4 foot waves. It’s about one foot, and onshore, and I’m writing 400 words of kak.
Word count including this sentence and header – 400.
By Craig Jarvis
"To be, or not to be..." is the opening phrase of a soliloquy in William Shakespeare's play Hamlet. Poor 'ol Prince Hamlet contemplates death and suicide while waiting for Ophelia, the love of his life. Yah well no fine. As surfers it's a case of "To pee, or not to pee!" And that is the question....
Cos admit it, we all pee in our wetsuits. And if you say you haven't, chances are you're lying. The only ou I would believe is Ken, cos he often takes a quick slash next to the pipe at Millers before coming out for a paddle! But then hey, I guess pee'ing in your suit as a paddleskier is probably not so lekker.
Yssss, nothing beats a good pee in your suit when the water's icy. That feeling of warmth flowing up over your kidney's, aaaah. "Ag sies!" you say. Nooit. It's lekker. But the warmth is actually short-lived, and a bit of a con really.
What happens is that the warm urine opens up the blood vessels near your skin's surface and then these blood vessels think they are no longer cold and relax. So what happens is that when the warm wee gets washed away during your next duckdive or wipeout and cold water returns your blood vessels are no longer constricted, so they very quickly allow your warmth to be taken away before they realize, "Oi, it's cold again!" and constrict.
So what is it about surfing in cold water that makes us wanna pee?
It’s called Cold Water Immersion Diaresis. How it works is that when we go from a warm place (the beach) to a colder place (the sea) our body wants to save our brain and heart by gathering blood in these organs. So the veins in our arms and legs get narrower to be able to concentrate blood in the chest and central areas. This peripheral vasoconstriction is part of what’s known as the Mammalian Diving Reflex.
However, cos the body’s blood volume is now shifted into the core this puts pressure on the heart causing an increase in blood pressure. The body attempts to compensate for this increased blood pressure by relieving itself of liquid elsewhere. And guess what, the easiest and quickest way to do that is through pee’ing.
So see, there's a scientific reason why we pee in the surf!
It's not only the cold water to blame. A study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine found that the compression exerted by wearing a wettie increased urine output. Seri-aaas.
They found the amount you pee'd when wearing a suit was 2-3 greater than if you were just sitting there in your boardies. Turns out the elastic recoil tension of a nice tight-fitting wetti behaves like a compression garment on the whole body. Just like those elastic stockings your grandma uses to help with her swollen ankles!
So here we are wearing rubber suits and happily pee'ing on ourselves. Eish!
But is it really that gross? Pee is organic and it is 95% water, as well as containing urea, ammonium, phosphates, calcium, sodium, uric acid, sulfates, magnesium and potassium. In a Bear Grylls survival situation you could drink it and still live. But it's probably not the stuff you want in your ear - so if you're in a hoodie suit maybe hold back on the golden gush.
The hiccup these days is that the top-end wetsuits are so well sealed they don't flush that much, so you could be sharing your suit with ya pee long after it's cooled down. Not so lekker. For every yin there's a yang!
Pissing in your suit does come with it's challenges though. First up, it can be a bit of a health hazard, leading to a rash that is very similar to nappy rash if you end up having a marathon sesh with frequent pee's. Your suits seams can create a bit of friction damage to your skin and the ammonia in your pee goes "Yebo, I'm in" and creates a rash.
If you pee in your suit lank and don't wash it properly you have a fungus farm waiting to happen and could end up with some gnarly infections from the lurking bacteria. Rule #1 - if you pee you rinse that suit!
When you're heading in after your sesh just open up your suit at the neck and give it a good seawater flush before you hit the sand. Cold? Ya! - but at least you don't take off your wettie in the carpark and stink like a public toilet! Cos that's siff.
And whatever you do, don't pee in your suit before your sesh! Cos seeing an ou leave wet footprints on the way towards the surf is sketchy as hang!
So you're a proud urinator. But does pissing in the water attract sharks? Is that leak you've just taken like ringing the dinner bell for the finned locals? Sharks have got a serious sense of smell and can pick up odors from a mile off. But they chow fish, and urine doesn't smell like fish, so not sure if they'll come flying over to see whassup if you do pee.
We've all done our own unintentional research on this by wee'ing regularly out in the surf and the majority of us haven't been chomped yet. Touch wood.
What would probably be a wise idea is if you need to pee is save it til you in the white water after finishing riding a wave. Give your suit a quick flush in the frothy turbulent water and the wave action will help disperse it quickly and then you paddle back to the line-up and away from it, vs just letting go whilst you sitting out the back waiting for waves and it's just gonna float around you acting like a beacon.
Can pee'ing in your suit damage it? The theory is that it can chow your rubber seam seals and the neoprene, but there doesn't actually seem to be any hard evidence to support it. So the jury is out on that one.
Nonetheless you gonna have to make a plan if you don't want your suit to stink. Cos piss smells like piss! Other than giving it a seawater flush before getting out, make sure you give it a good rinse in clean water. Hot water if you can, cos this kills the buggies that can linger and cause a smell.
Every now and then give it a bit of extra love and care and wash it properly. There are commercially available "wetsuit shampoos", else just use your regular shampoo. Apparently Listerene mouthwash works well to solve the pong issue too.
So go ahead and happily pee in your suit. It's scientifically proven to be normal, it warms you up briefly, it shouldn't make you shark bait and who the hang is gonna get out mid-sesh and run into the dunes for a slash anyway!?
Bit of a slow week in the bay again this week. But as usual, if you put the k's in you could find something to surf. Sunday had looked to be a good day on the forecast, but didn't quite deliver as expected. Although in this case it wasn't the early birds, but rather the late one's that scored - with the swell jacking up a bit right before dark.
Bit of sand re-appearing at Avo's lately, hopefully the trend continues. Banks still not quite there yet, but better than a big hole at least. Sunday arvo saw a few solid one's rolling through.
The ISA World Surfing Games went down in Costa Rica this week. Unfortunately the Saffa's bowed out before the finals day, being skunked in their heats for waves. Still, all the team members did a good job of progressing pretty far in the comp before getting knocked out.
Team member Dylan Lightfoot had some kak luck when he went down with a hectic mysto virus which saw him have to go to hospital for blood tests and a drip. Thankfully he's back to full health again.
Arg, the car park skollies are back at it again. Callam Meyer had his Sunday go bad when his cabbie was stolen from the Millers car park at about 2ish whilst he was out for a surf. Anyone spotting a silver Toyota Tazz with some styling hubcabs let Callam know. Keep a look out for dodgy looking peeps hanging around the car park.
The Billabong NMMU Madibaz hosted a lekker comp over the weekend. Some fun waves and a kiff day on the beach. You can check out all the shots and results here.
Go grab the latest issue of the BoardTalk mag at Surf Centre or Summer Breeze Spar. There's R145 worth of vouchers in it for the lucky PE readers only.
Ou's get tense in CT. SUP peeps having a comp at the 'Berg and some mullet on his longboard decides he's over this whole thing and rides into the comp area and dive tackles one of the competitors, breaking his R5k carbon paddle. Ok, so you might not dig the things, but that's probably taking it too far!
Seals has been throwing up some fun banks lately. Local Grant Beck's been taking hos GoPro out for a few rides. Cos the only way to left in the EC is on a beachie.
Not too much to get excited about during the week - but if the charts hold out there's possibly something interesting on the cards for early next week. Until then -smile for the camera!
Ask anyone who lives and works up on the hills above the city centre about the lekker rights that break in the harbour mouth on a decent swell. Plenty of ou's will sit and gaze at the seemingly off-limit peelers just wondering what it would be like to surf them.
Well, back in 2003 longboarder Steve McKechnie did just that.
Steve took action instead of just wondering "what if" and arranged to surf the elusive Harbour Rights. Here's his story:
"It was rather scary as not too much is known about the sharks in the murky waters of the harbour & not to mention the daunting paddle across a big span of water, as the opening of the harbor mouth is further out than meets the eye. Even the jump off the side of the harbour wall to get into the water was something.
Basically I had a meeting with the Harbor Master & we agreed on a code of 3 ring bursts, stop & a ring for smaller vessels & continuous ringing for large Shipping Liners. I was surprised by just how big the fishing boats were when you looked up at them from sea level. Some passing fishermen in a boat yelled "Hey! Kyk hierdie damn duiker, hey wat maak jy ekse!?"
The waves were good, with no close outs, as the continual build up of sand on the far point makes it a fine point/sand bar combo break of note.
What was quite different was the view of North End from the surf line up as one is in the middle of the ocean & surfing in an area far from any coastline.
I would not recommend doing it these days as firstly it is no longer possible due to strict harbor rules, plus the possibility of ear or eye infection (I ended up with eye infection for days) and last but not least the danger of sharks & boats in the immediate area.
It was a once off surf session in really forbidden waters!"
(All above images EP Herald)
Pretty quiet week as far as surfing goes, a coupla waves about if you made the effort, whether it was driving past a boom or further out west. Big Dave's been spotted test driving his new "short" board in JBay recently. It takes a pretty high volume board to allow a big ou to plant both feet on the same side of the rail!
The swell period picked up a bit on Sunday arvo with a few fun one's rolling through. The Seal Point Boardriders picked a good day to hold their club comp with some very contestable waves on hand. Water a fair bit nippier than the bay, but waves a whole bunch better.
Sunday saw the swell jack big-time in CT. Which resulted in some good pits, as well as the prospect of getting pitted by boards it appears. Neil Bradfield capturing this shot at Kom of a rather close call. Pretty swak of the ou bailing on the duckdive and nearly axing the guy on the wave.
It was one of those "drive-and-look" kinda weeks. Nothing much on offer but ou's amped to try find something rideable to get wet on anyway. Maybe standing on the railing makes the waves seem bigger?
Barry and Greg Heasley landed with their bums in the butter after heading up to the Maldives for a sneaky surf trip, and hooking straight in to some tropical perfection and getting tubed off their pips for the first 3 days of their trip. Jealous?
I was doing a bit of remote surf guiding for them cos their local surf guide was a bit sketch. Turns out I wasn't much better! Checking the charts showed bogger-all swell for the western atolls so advised them against the trek over there. Luckily they chose to roll the dice anyway and risk it, and scored some fun 2-4ft peelers. Just goes to show you never know unless you go....and never trust the charts!
Sad news that surfing legend “Midget” Farrelly, the father of modern Australian surfing and the winner of the inaugural World Surfing Championships in 1964, passed away this week. RIP.
The SA team is over in Costa Rica for the 2016 ISA Surfing Games. Strong EC presence with SA team captain Faye Zoetmulder, Dylan Lightfoot, Matthew John McGillivray and prez Johnny Bakker. Good luck ou's!
Make your way down to Banzai Pipe on the 13th of August for the Madibaz Surf Club's annual competition in association with Billabong, who have got some lekker prizes up for grabs.
Divisions as follows:
Open Mens/Women (20-34)
Juniors Boys/Girls (u/17)
Everyone's welcome. Entry fee is R100 for everyone except valid student card holders which will pay R50 - cos everyone knows student's are poor (translated as meaning "only spend bucks on booze and everything else considered expensive")
Always something interesting happening out the window. This week's "WTF is that" moment happened during my 100th surf check of the day, and spotted a dude cruising right down the middle of Marine Drive on his skateboard. No worries about cars and all that, he was pushing 'n gliding his way his way merrily along. odd. To say the least. Although admittedly that tar is oh-so-lekker smooth. (best time to skate it car-free is the day before the Ironman and Ironman morning, as roads are closed)
The rainbow late on Voting Day proved to be a good omen for our Rainbow Nation, as the DA won victory in the NMB municipality. Here's hoping they fix a few things in our town and make it super-lekker again.
Yeeeuw, waves all week. Plenty of easterly cyclone swell around, getting in to all the nooks and crannies. Humewood was the pick of the bunch, with some good sessions at Suicides, Denvilles and Fence as well. Some serious paddling power required though thanks to the hectic sweep. Had to pay to play.
Further west and JBay and Bruce's had some excellent days as well, handing the early week northerlies better than the bay.
The big seas and big rips meant sand got stripped off the beaches big-time. Both Humewood and King's showing signs of erosion. Much the same out in SF, with the carpark at Anne's getting chowed up even more.
Tuesday morning was solid early on, although pretty chaotic. So when I saw this shot from Basil of a chick getting drenched at the pier it was pretty believable considering the size it had been, but nah, Basil had done a belated April Fool's instead.
CYOH had their 2nd Surf Off of the year, and ended up surfing the Pipe in some blustery and wet conditions. Despite the weather there was a great turn-out. Shot to Grant Beck for taking the win over Alex van Rijswijck.
If you're looking for some lekker custom fins then tune Lyell Watson at Surf Centre, he's pretty flash with a posca pen and can make any fin look rad.
Congrats to Seals local Stanley Badger for getting hitched to his good lady Helene on the weekend. This has to be the raddest wedding cake ever!
Never to young to start surfing. Here's 5 yr old mini-mini-grom Jaden Swanepoel. Might be outgunned, but doesn't look like it's bothering him in the slightest! Next gen PE surfer in the making.
Pretty good week in the bay and beyond. Hopefully winter continues it's run....
(make sure you check out Christo Zietsmann's kiff edit of Hummies on the Home Page)
"On behalf of the Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders family, we would like to congratulate Johnny Bakker on being elected as the new President for Surfing South Africa.
Johnny, your enthusiasm, dedication and commitment to the sport of Surfing is really appreciated by the district in which you reside. Since you first joined EP Surfing in 2008 you have been a hard working, hands on, loyal and a positive member of our Executive committee. For the past couple of years, you have been part of the SSA Board and we as NMB Surfriders, are proud of the work you do nationally.
You truly deserve this and we know you will continue to head SSA together with your Board of Directors and General Manager, in a successful and professional manner to ensure that Surfing continues to grow in SA.
Congratulations and Good Luck – you have made us very proud !!!!!!!"
ML - Yip, no doubting Johnny has served both EP and SA Surfing way and beyond the call of duty. Ou is dedicated beyond belief and puts plenty of hours in behind the scenes, making the missions to ensure everything runs smoothly. Well deserved appointment!
Everyone owes him a wave (or ten!)
Thursday was the day. Absolutely perfect conditions, hardly a breathe of wind, coupled with some super fun lil waves coming through. There were some lully periods, but for the most part there were really lekker waves. Just had to apply a bit of lateral thinking when the spring highs killed off the normal spots.
Not to be outdone by the waves, the sunset decided to put on it's best show of the year. Ou's reckoned they nearly rear-ended cars they were so busy checking out the spectacular display. For all the challenges of Africa, nothing can beat our sunsets.
Rincon local Gavin Rother has been having a blast on his new twin finned mini-simmons, and decided to see how it handled something a bit meatier than the usual PE lumps n bumps. Looking like it didn't mind the Car Park section at Supers at all.
On the subject of meaty - Lippie's new board is glassed and ready to go. Be afraid, be very afraid! Nothing like having Big Dave bearing down on you to part the line-up like the Red Sea. That...or stay put and get sliced in half. Ou's wondering when he's gonna get a paddle for it.....
(8ft x 26 1/4 x 4 1/4!)
Steve Sawyer had a lekker gig at the Roof Garden Bar on Wednesday night. Local longboard style-meister Dean Simpson on drums, and Chaim Simmons kicking in (showing he has tunes as well as tube-ability). Plenty of amazing local musical talent in the Eastern Cape.
Ricky Bobby had the chance to get funky on Mick Fannings home-made sled during the week. Looks like a heap of fun with those keel fins and massive channel. Probably over-clock the speedo on your Search watch for sure.
Ex-PE'ian Garth Venter snapped this shot of a rad coffee cup in West Aus. Looks like not only do they have good surf in WA, they like to stick it on their coffee as well. Nice! Donovan McLagen - reckon Urban Express should start doing cups like this!?
Weather looking laaaaaank hectic for the start of the week. Be interesting to see if it does actually klap us as badly as predicted. Weather peeps have over-called a few systems this year, so wait n see. A big front from the west bonks into a big front from the east, and may result in some cut-ff low mayhem. If the winds just play ball could be some really good waves too! East groundswell is a precious thing!
Saw this pop up on my newsfeed during the week. Jacques Ferreira snapped a classic kid's book - cos hey, how could you not want your lighties to learn their ABC's from a surfing raccoon!! Not sure if available in SA, but zip over to Fogarty's in Walmer Park and they should be able to order one for you (and grab Hagen Engler's new book whilst you there too!) Suddenly bed-time reading to the groms won't be such a schlep!
Pokeman Go has everyone's attention this week. He was even spotted at Surf Centre, Josh Kidd got to give him a pat on the head! Haven't spotted any on the beach yet - so shoot us a pic if you catch one there!
Finally got the Hilti and nails out and popped up our 2 lekker paintings by JBay surf artist Stephen van der Walt up in the lounge. Lekker to have some bright waves up, at least get to look at surf even if there isn't any out the front window!
At least winter threw us a bone this week, as Thursday didn't disappoint. Here's hoping it keeps up the good work and gives us more waves this week.
Another flattish week in the bay, with winter still in hiding somewhere. At least a decent lil swell popped up on Saturday morning so the ou's could finish the JBay Open.
As usual the swell size increased incrementally the further west you drove. Dylan Lightfoot took the opportunity to bust out some big airs, and test the shock absorption capabilities of his knee joints. Joys of being young and having bendy bones still.
Mick was no doubt stoked with the victory at Jbay, probably went a long way to putting his demons from last year's encounter to rest. Nothing like a win to erase bad memories. He seems to be surfing so much better now that the pressures off and he's just in it for the jol this year. He'll only be surfing select events during the year as is taking a bit of a year off.
Plenty of PE guy's made the mission up the coast to go watch the world's best surfers doing their thing. CarPark John and hos mate Chris were strolling back up the beach after a surf when 2 ou's came up to ask them for their picture (or was it the other way around!?) John being a Kelly fan asked the other ou who he was. Um, Mick Fanning, your current world champ, maybe!? John reckons the tshirt on the head confused him!
Bit of nostalgia during the week. Back to the glory days of surf shops in Rink Street, this time looking at Beachbreak, and how it's history from Main Street via Rink street and finally RUssel Rd & Greenacres. Neil Dorward and Chappy Adshade taking us on the trip down memory lane. Check it out here:
Some more lekker art coming outta Jbay. Stevo is doing some epic stuff with his posca pens and paint. If you have a blank spot on your wall this is the best way to fill it up for sure. Check out his gallery at the Core Surf shop, plus he does custom stuff too, so just tune him what you want.
The charts aren't looking too exciting for the coming week, so no doubt Neptune must be storing up all his energy for something pretty damn epic when he finally decides to unleash it on us!
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