Turtle Morris - in the UK
Turtle's son, Jamie (also a well-known PE longboarder) sent us an update as to what Turtle's been up to in the UK.
Turtle Morris: by James Morris
My old man Turtle is as many people know a Longboard surfing legend in the Eastern Cape and Southern Africa.
He started surfing at the age of around 11yrs and used to live close to Millers Point in P.E. He told me that he used to sit and watch the guys surfing at Millers and when they lost their boards (as there were no leashes back then) he would quickly grab one and ride the foamies whilst they swam in to get it back.
He then got his first heavy tank of a board which his dad bought him and rigged up a trolly/trailer thing for him to cart the board down to the beach as it was too heavy to carry or get his arms around.
He got his “famous” nickname “Turtle” from his surfing mates after he was forced to wear a old green army or construction helmet by his dad after a surfing accident at Millers. He was paddling over a wave whilst someone was riding it and kicked their heavy longboard out towards him instead of away from him, as an attempt to avoid riding into him. Obviously it didn’t go as planned and the board shot out into my dad’s cheek bone which got crushed.
After get it fixed up he was not allowed back into the water unless he wore a helmet to protect his head. After wearing the helmet and coming out of the water after a session at The Fence (I think it was) his friends on the beach watching the surf would see this green helmet walking up the incline of the beach at Fence and its looked like a Turtle coming up the sand until they saw the rest of my dad coming up the beach…….and hence the nickname “Turtle” which has stuck to him ever since.
Turtle is living in London and has been now for over 7 years! He is not enjoying it there but due to financial reasons (His Surf shop closing down in PE) had to try his options over in the UK. He hasn’t been in the water at Millers or anywhere else for that matter in SA for over 7 years. He did though go for wave in Newquay Cornwall UK whilst he was having his chemotherapy…..he said the waves are actually pretty good there but the water is dam cold.
He had a major blow about 2 years ago when he got diagnosed with lung cancer (Those that know him probably will remember him with a cigarette and a beer in his hands whilst checking out the surf and yip it was probably the smoking that did it). He went for treatment (radio and chemo therapy) and responded well and is in complete remission and has been for about a year now! So please keep praying for him allJ
I’m not sure when he will be coming back to South Africa but I’m sure he would love to soon. I miss hanging out in the water with him and always enjoyed watching him surf, he taught me how to ride a longboard with style.
Keep SurfingJ James