Still on my mission to track down old shots of our beachfront and surfing from back in the day. My quest led me to Dr Peter Schwartz, who has the most incredible collection of shots of PE's beachfront from the 70's onwards, plus a quite few from the museum archives There's so many good 'un's that I'll be putting them up on a beach per beach basis. So let's start with Hummies...
Thanks for sharing your collection Peter, stoked!
Back in 1902 - before the had the concrete pylons
Pre-car days - just loving the carriage on the beach!
Humewood was THE beach to swim at back in the day. Packed in 1926!
Humewood was pretty much the end of the road - literally. The tar road stopped at the beach.
The bathing pavilion. To the southern end of the beach as we know it today. Pay your bucks, get changed into your cossie in your own lil room!
Bathing Pavilion from the road side
Bathing Pavilion from the beach. High tide used to wash up under it.
A view from where Brookes Hill is today
The famous ropes. Apparently there so you could swim out and dangle on 'em for a rest. Think chicks bathing cossies were kinda heavy in those days!
Anyone shed light on what this building was? On the site of where the curios sellers are today opposite Brookes.
Check the ship pulled up onto the slipway in the background
Learnt something from this pic - didn't know the breakwater used to extend the whole way round. Today only the portion parallel to the road remains.
The original car park with slipway extending into it
The lifesaving tower at the end of the breakwater. Fell into disrepair in the late 70's I think, and was just demolished
This photo was taken by Jonty Hansford from the tower. 1976
Jonty recalls the beach having a lot more sand back in the 70's, with ropes being really close to shore at low tide. It made surfing at high tide a bit of a lotto though. Apparently you just suddenly heard this whooshing sound coming toward you - and you knew it meant it was the rope slicing through the face of the wave. Plenty guys apgot axed by that rope! Musta been funny to see, but not so funny if you were the one getting guillotined! Rumour has it that Barry Heasley was one of the unlucky one's!
Turtle Morris remembers seeing some dude hung out to dry on it - he'd bailed on the wave, and his board ended up on the other side of the rope to him - so he was left dangling by his leash!
Ah, those musta been the days!Dig to see more vintage pics - check out the Vintage section here.
PE surfers Joe van der Linden and Etienne Venter, together with their band The Brothers, are launching their new album Black & White at the Little Theater on Friday 31 May. Pull in for an absolutely stomping evening with the bro's.
Book your tickets here
. Even better - add the words "Millers Local" before you write your name when booking....and you get a FREE CD at the door! Kiff!!http://www.exbo.co.za/seats/
The show starts at 8pm, bring ya dancing shoes....cos these ou's ROCK!
*one entry per person. You must live in the Eastern Cape (else how're you gonna get to the show!) Entries close Monday 27th May. Winner is decided by random draw.
Cool sh*t just turns up randomly sometimes. I'd bummed a board from Greg Smith a while ago when my electricity went out and I couldn't get into my garage. I dug the board so much I ordered one. Popped round last week to see how the shaping was coming on. Got chatting and ended up discovering Greg had a box full of Jonty Hansford's old surf photo's. Bingo. Another kiff walk down memory lane.....
Avo's Oct 1981
Avo's. May 1979
The ropes at Humewood
Humewood Oct 76. No Shark Rock Pier yet.
Humewood Oct 76
Avo's full moon sesh. 9 June 1976.
Millers March 1976. Check how small the pine tree was!
A secret on the wildside. 1977.
Denvils. March 1976
Jonty at Avo's. March 1981
Yrrr, there were some blerrie big waves that unloaded on the reef at Teahupoo in the last coupla days. Like the type that'll smash you into lil itsy bitsy pieces of fish food if you get caught inside. The ou's are calling it bigger than the Code Red swell of a few years back. I dunno. But either way it was just bloody mental. Check it out...
Eina, see you managed to do some free cosmetic surgery on yourself! What happened?
Yeh. I was Stand Up Paddle boarding and I finally got the hang of it! I just caught a wave and was paddling back to the lineup and paddled over a wave and I kind of lost my balance and bent down and as I did that, the wave hit the paddle and the arm of it klapped me straight in the bek! Boom, no front teeth, haha!!
So instead of a body slam you managed a bek-slam?
Yes. Straight into my bek and I instantly felt with my tongue I had no teeth.
How bad is the damage? Are you gonna have to go to the dentist to get pretty again?
Well, my two front teeth were chipped off. Dentist gave me a fee for sure. I was looking like a kaap pearlie.
Thinking about maybe a lekker lil gold filling or not!?
Ya I was reckoning, easier to go pack for the pearlies.
OK, out with it – what were you doing out there on a SUP to start with!?
Let’s just say Muizemberg is not a real wave, and I need to get fit.
Had you managed any rides before the tooth-smashing incident – or did this happen on wave 1?
Haha! I had had four waves and I could’ve been a little cocky?!
Was this your first time on a SUP….or are you gonna admit to paddle pushing previously?
First time riding waves and surfing. Yes, I have paddled in flat water like a kook.
So, after close encounters of the toothy kind, will you be giving it another bash?
Ha! I am not going to lie, I went the next day and it is super fun. You get super fit and I will catch all your waves! Nah, it’s really fun but make sure you only do it when no-one else is out!
So there you have it all aspiring SUP riders...karma will get you when you pick up the paddle, haha!
The new Kings Beach skatepark is a rad addition to the beachfront. Every time I drive past it there's ou's using it, which is kiff. Weekends look like organised chaos with all the various discipline vying for space. Bikers, skaters, inliners, and the odd toddler on their push-bikes!
Check out Richard Pearce's shots from the weekend....
Some good waves this week. Put in a few 6-8 hour days. Sore ribs, bit of rash....all worth the effort. Thankfully no arc eye's yet - as brough my Oakley Water Jackets with. Takes a bit of getting used to surfing with shades on, and learning to live with a few water drops in your vision all the time, but more than happy not to burn the sh*te outta my eye's. Look like a lekker Vaalie kook with em on, but that's the price to pay!
Surfed a rare left that only lights up in an unusual wind direction. Perfect peeling lefts down a long point. Jeesh, I so wish I didn't suck so bad on my backhand, cos you could get super long rides if you could pump a bit to make the odd section every 100m or so. Even being useless still got 100m rides. Nice flat reef too, so face plants went unpunished. Just us and 2 friendly locals.
Wind switched up again, so back to our favourite spot. Perfect waves for 2 days. Head high to overhead sheet glass perfection. Most of the time just the 2 of us, with just 2 sessions with another 4 peeps. Surfed so much didn't have time to take any shots. Eish.
Caught a few fish trolling between surf spots. Garth picked up a kiff grouper that weighed in at nearly 12kg's. Plenty of dog tuna, and a few red snapper. Freezer is full again. Yebo. Glad to know I'll never starve if my husband has a fishing rod handy!
Waste is a huge problem on the islands, as there's no garbage collection - meaning the islands have to dispose of their own waste. Unfortunately this means a lot of it gets dumped in the sea (and then washed back up onto another island!), although some is burnt too. The locals on this island came up with an ingenious way to use all the plastic cola bottles. They cut em up, painted em, and pieced em together to build a fence for the pre-primary school. Reduce, reuse, recycle! Lekker!
Missed the lunar eclipse cos was early hours of the morning, but snapped a shot of the moon rising instead. Moon phase plays an important part of surfing here, as tides often govern when you can surf a spot - or how much paddling you'll be doing. Many spots are just too dangerous on the low tide, unless the swells really big and you can surf further out on the reef. The tides create some serious currents in and out of the reef passes too, so you can find yourself paddling your meilie off and getting nowhere fast! You only have to try surfing on the wrong stage of the tide just once to learn that lesson! Think of the worst rip you've ever been caught in....and triple it!
Last week here coming up. Charts are slow to start with, then pick up into some good looking surf. Just holding thumbs the winds play ball.....
Bye bye beads, hello gooey mess
Ou's like Brazilian wax jobs. And now they like Brazilian wax too. Can't show you a pic of Brazilian wax job as this is a PG site, but can show you some Brazilian wax. Enter Fu.
Fu wax has been getting itself some serious attention for a while now, so let's take a look at why the pro's are going ape about it.
When Taj Burrow arrived in Sydney from the Billabong Pro Brazil a coupla years back, his excess baggage charge featured a lot more than just fond memories of Rio and a runner-up trophy. It held upward of 20 kilos of a wax that he reckons is so good that he’ll never go back to traditional wax.
Taj was turned onto the wax by Kolohe Andino, who heard about it from Nat Young. Kolohe wasn;t convinced about it til Brazilian surfer Wiggoly Dantos stayed with him for a contest at Trestles. Wig said he should try it. The results were mind-blowing.
“Oh my gosh! I’ve just fallen in love. It was just goo’ing everywhere,” remembers Kolohe. “It was the like traction you get when you’re wearing booties.”
Can a wax really be this good? “No one ever believes at first,” says Kolohe. “Taj texted from Brazil and was, like, ‘Where do I get this wax? I need that shit!’ It was like it was drugs or something. You have to have it.”
Taj, like almost every other pro surfer on tour, used Sex Wax (Quick Humps) almost exclusively but has made the change to Fu.
There’s been relatively little change in wax over the last century. Surfboard traction began with sand-infused varnish, continued to paraffin-based wax in the ’40s, and with the invention of the traction pad in the ’80s became more specialized, stickier, and temperature-specific. But today’s progression in surfing is calling for an evolution in wax.
Meet Fuad Mansur, the namesake and creator. He and his brothers released their first wax in 1970, but the tipping point was in ’87 when a melting-point accident in the wax lab created a product that finally held up in cooler water. Fuad was so taken by his new formula on his first test in cold temps that he surfed past dark and left the water with a mild case of hypothermia. After two days of hospitalization, he returned to Brazil and coined that Fu Wax is “adherence taken seriously.”
Younger sibling Tuca Mansur said he and his brothers are honored by the hype. “We are a family in the wax world and it’s amazing that a little company from Brazil has made such a ripple effect in the U.S. market,” said Tuca. “Imitation or impersonation is the biggest form of flattery, so we feel pretty special knowing we’ve helped change the landscape.” Converts to Fu Wax are telling him they’re landing maneuvers they never have in the past. Martin Potter told him it was cheating, like surfing with foot straps.
Gone are the methodically groomed bumps, ditched instead for the new hot, stringy mess of these hyper-tack waxes, which stick to the bottom of your feet as well as they do to your fingertips, board bags, wetsuits, and chest hair. The import pressure from South America has kicked the U.S. market into gear, entering the game on the heels of the first change to wax in a while.
Sex Wax continues the innuendo with their new Dream Cream, infamous for an obscene level of stickiness. “These formulas are a radical departure from the surf wax characteristics that we have become accustomed to over the last several decades,” said Fred “Zog” Herzog, Sex Wax founder. The company actually warns that Dream Cream may be too sticky for some. “You are going to get incredible traction in the water, but you are going to have to deal with what could aptly be described as a mess waiting to happen.”
Look ma...no hands
These waxes all carry the “topcoat” label, meaning they’re meant to be applied light and sparingly over a good basecoat or worn down bumps. Its biggest potential is in the contest sphere, where wax only needs to last a heat. “There appears to be a real need for enhanced traction when it comes to high-performance, competitive surfing,” said Zog. “It remain to be seen whether or not this translates into a significant demand on the part of the general surfing public.”
The way pros surf these days, they definitely need it. Sometimes all that’s left on the board while they’re spinning through the air is one big toe somewhere on the deck.
But for the average Jo surfer? Is that extra traction worth turning your wetsuit or boardies into a gummy mess?
Landed in the Maldives on Thursday. Nice to swap winter for 28C water and palm trees. Bit of pesky weird wind directions to start with, but more than happy to grab a few waves - albeit not perfect perfection quite yet.
Hard to bemoan chilling on a boat with just the two of you and chugging between tropical islands. Did our usual hightail out of the crowded North Male surf zone. Nothing much appealing about having to share waves with frothing Brazzo's, crazed Israelis and clueless Euro's. Nup, much rather spend a few days on the boat heading out into the far quieter central atolls. My idea of the perfect surf trip is to surf with less people than I do at home.
Just waiting for the reel to scream...
The weird winds have also seemed to scare the fish away, so at this stage it's fish 1, us 0. Despite a fresh new Shimano 30 just waiting for something to tug on it's line and pop it's cherry. I reckon we have enough fishing tackle with us to start a small fishing shop. I stopped counting at 40 rapala's and about 10 squid, and countless other small lures and jigs. Let's just say there isn't much space for clothes in the luggage bag...
Gotto love the 21st century. Sitting in the middle of the Indian Ocean, and still managed to find an internet site broadcasting the Super 15 rugby. Settled in to watch the Kings vs Bulls game...and then promptly wished we hadn't found the website! Gored by the Bulls. Eish.
Check out wiziwig.tv if you need to watch rugger (or any other live sport) when you don't have access to TV. Best of all...it's free.
We always travel on the same boat, and have become good mates with the crew over the years. This year we decided to get them into the water a bit to share in the stoke that is surfing. Popped a new bodyboard into the boardbag, and brought it over for them. Waited til it got fairly small this arvo to get them out on it. No good trying to drown the captain or the chef at the start of the trip! They had a blast, and are now fully fledged surf rats.
Chef Areef makes a mean lasagna...and can also boogie pretty good too
Tomorrow we head off to a seldom surfed spot that requires a pretty rare set of wind/swell combinations to light up, and it looks like we might just be in some luck. Only challenge is it's a left, and I have a pretty horrendous backhand thanks to surfing right points all my life. It's known to throw up some picture perfect barrels on it's day....so not only will I be going the wrong way, I have a sneaking feeling I might have to avoid face-planting into the reef on my barrel avoidance maneuvers. Pig-dog into eat-shit in quick succession! Let's wait and see....
Heading here tomorrow
Every sunrise and sunset over here is pretty much A-grade
Remember yesterday when you heard that a man, South-African in nationality and iron in will, had been plucked outta the ocean after falling overboard and floating on his back for 28 hours?
His name is Brett Archibald. You also heard that the ship who found him was the Barrenjoey. You might’ve then discovered that the gentleman captaining said Barrenjoey was Australian Tony ‘Doris’ Eltherington. This is the name of a man who helped spearhead a rescue op and, along with a proactive fleet, tirelessly trawled kilometres of ocean without giving up a squeak of that pretty little thing called hope. Stab shoot though a gap in island-chain reception to light up Doris’ phone in the haze of post-rescue glory.
Stab: How long did you search for?
Doris: I got the call at 12:30pm, and it was 6:55am the following day when we found him. I collected the guy at 6:55 and I cracked a Bintang at 7:02.
What did you know?
There wasn’t a great deal of information going around at all. The weather was absolutely deplorable. We were anchored up in Tua Pejat, and the vessel involved, that Brett had been on, had been anchored there. One of my legendary Indonesian crew went in and saw the Harbour Master to clear our boat in, ’cause you need clearance in and out of the Mentawais. And he came flying back to me, going “Cap! A guy’s fallen off the side of Naga Laut!” I just went, “There’s a man out there dying, let’s fucking go.” I rang everyone I could and everyone just went, “We’re coming, we’re coming.” Martin (Daly) deployed Trader III, everyone just got going. We jumped in the Binda Laut, Johnny (McGroder)’s dinghy with the twin 175s, with the doctors and a few of the boys from Western Australia, and hammered it out into 35-40 knot winds, on a course that I had half an idea about. We got out there and it was fucking horrendously horrible. I think I missed Brett by about a mile, because of the weather, going by my feelings on the track and looking at my plotter.
Must’ve been tough going out there.
I hammered it around til about 5:30pm and it was absolutely horrendous. The usual safety procedure is to look after yourself before you become another victim. I didn’t like what I was looking at in the tin boat. We had to run down wind to get back to the island, we were about 20 miles out to sea. It’s like being off Sydney or the Gold Coast in a 30-knot southerly. Whitewater and shit everywhere, trying to go sideways against this stuff and getting the shit kicked out of us. We went back to the boat and I stormed up and down all night smoking cigarettes. I couldn’t sleep. We deployed at 4am. We knew his last known location and, using our wits, calculated which way to go. We had a boat five miles further out and we were gonna go parallel up the coast on a NNW course, keeping in contact while the other boats tried to catch up to help. We wanted to get all boats in a line, with a mile between each other running parallel on our rough estimate of where this man should be. I had text messages and phone calls going until the signal ran out. I had the HF radios going full blast trying to co-ordinate. Then I went, fuck, I need a second. I went upstairs to have a ciggie and get off the radio for a second. Something happened up there. I’ve just lost one of my best friends, my ex-fleet manager, and I reckon he helped me. We got him buried that day. And I reckon he called out and gave us some help. I dunno, I just lay the boat about 18 degrees further north, and went, this guy’s gotta be in this sector. Now, I’ve just done four months’ oil and gas work, and you learn to look to the horizon and then come back to the boat, so you don’t look over the water, you’ve gotta scan up and down. I went to the crew upstairs and said, “Here’s the binoculars, boys.” I’d no sooner done two steps and my deckie went, “Cap! There he is!” My heart fell through my ass, mate. I was crying and yelling over the radio, “We’ve got him!” We hammered it and pulled up to him, threw life rings, surfboards, water, all my guests who are these top guys from WA dived over and grabbed him, hugged him, supported him, brought him back up. And we downloaded him with the doctors, that whole process.
What did he say?
Brett reckons he was in the water 27 hours. Sharks circling him. He reckons he was gonna die eight times, but he didn’t. He was thinking about his kids and wife. And fucking seagulls, trying to land on his baldy head, trying to pluck his eyes out. He reckons the seagulls saved his life ’cause he had to keep fighting the fuckers and he was trying to grab hold of one to rip its head off and drink its blood. He reckons they kept him alive ’cause he was thinking, “Fuck, I’m not gonna get my eyes plucked out.” Anyway. Got him. All good mate. He told me he’d been chronically sea sick and had diarrhoea. Obviously he went and ate in a Padang restaurant. He was chronically ill, spewed and shit and all that stuff three times, and the fourth time he went up he reckons he fainted. He must have come outta the air-con, been extremely ill, and he said to me that he doesn’t remember falling, but he certainly remembers the water on his face when he wasn’t on the boat anymore.
Did you backtrack over the same area much?
Certainly. But soon I went, “Nup, this ain’t happening.” Something in my heart and instinct said fuck it, I’m turning this boat 18 or 20 degrees further north. With the tide, and the wind the night before, I was going, this guy’s gotta be in this sector. If he’s still alive. I was hoping I wasn’t gonna pick up a corpse.
Did you lose hope at any point and think you were gonna just find a body?
No fucken way, mate. Not when I got the text message off Johnny going, “Brett Archibald, 51, cyclist, fit, father of two,” etc. When you get the father of two young kids, you know the guy’s got a lot more strength. The kids give you strength ’cause you wanna see them again. And once I heard he was a fit fella, I knew there was hope. And because the water’s so warm up here, like, it’s 28 to 30 celsius, you’ll last a month, you won’t die of hypothermia like you would off Sydney or Tassie, where you’re gonna go in about an hour or three.
What made you keep at it?
I’ve got three kids and three grandkids, mate. I know how he would’ve felt. It could’ve been one of us. We’re Aussies, we’re tough little vegemites. We don’t give up. I had no intention of giving up at all. – Elliot Struck