s t n e t n o c 08.
THE INSIDE TRACK Craig Jarvis 10.
SURF NEWS 15.
PHOTO FEATURE: The Rights of Natal Photography by Dave Lindemann. 21.
SUMMERTIDE: VIDEO By Nick Christy 26.
SHAPING JORDY By Jazz Kuschke
LETS FEED JBAY 38.
FREE SCRUBBER: VIDEO
Presented by Rip Curl 40.
PROTECT THE WEST COAST
By Miles Masterson 51.
From Addington to Mavericks
The Stevan Rice interview 62.
Breath hold course presented by Mark Visser
Surfing The Alps
At Alaïa Bay
The page where we dish out the heat.
Editor: Craig Jarvis. firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0823764443 Design: Terri Hutchings email@example.com Contributing photographers: Dave Lindemann, Antony Fox/Red Bull Content Pool, Alan Van Gysen, Eric Burden, Kody McGregor Editorial contributions: Miles Masterson, Jazz Kuschke.
SUNRISE SWELLS, BIG MONDAY, JULY 2020 © DAVE LINDEMANN
r a c k r new publication, t e d i s n i the f ou sue one o
to is ne. Welcome s Surfing Magazi ter Gangbus
eople consume media in so many different ways, and this is our format. Hope you dig it. You can read it on your phone or tablet or desktop or whatever. You can download the ISSUU app, you can register, and you can subscribe. You can follow. The magazine is free, but you can donate. The only people who would consider donating these days are the boomers, every other generation expect their media for free. So, free it is. Inside, we have trouble brewing on the West Coast, with big wave surfer Mikey Schlebach in the thick of it all. Legend surf journalist Miles Masterson examines. Jordy and MFeb chose the East Coast, and scored some incredible waves at some faraway spots that exist behind 08
the magic waterfall. We can’t say where, but if you know, you know. Photographer Dave Lindemann gives us a glimpse of what has been happening around Durban an the South Coast with his image showcase, ‘The Rights Of Natal.’
Addington’s Stevan Rice has come a long way, from South Beach, to paddling into a bomb at Tinley Manor, to spending a couple of seasons at Mavericks and getting shouted into the wave of his life by our multiple big wave world champion Twiggy Baker. We chat. We also check out the Alaia Bay wave pool and its connection to South Africa, and we examine Australian big wave surfer Mark Visser’s Ocean Warrior underwater courses that you can actually do online. And a few people get burnt on the last page. That’s about it. Craig Jarvis
s w e N f r Su Groms Killing It In Hawaii One of the most significant downsides to travelling to Hawaii is that it is literally on the opposite side of the world to South Africa. Depending on layovers and connecting flights, it can take as much as 60 hours to get there from South Africa. When you arrive, you literally don’t know your arse from your elbow because you are so jet-lagged and so constipated from aeroplane food that you can barely walk. It’s not ideal. The two Lukes, Thompson and Slijpen, rewrote the record books, taking a full month to get there. We’ll tell you 10
all about their travel nightmare in the next issue. In the meantime, they are on The Rock with James Ribbink, who has been there for three months already and judging by all three Instagram accounts, the boys are killing it. Check out @jamesribbink @luke.thompsson and @ lukeslijpen on Insta to check the boy’s clips.
Dutchie Joins WSL Africa WSL Africa recently announced that Dutchie Louw has been onboarded as their Events Manager for the upcoming season. While the original contest dates are out the window, the WSL Africa tour will kick off a bit later this year. When he’s not making boards for some of the best
JOSIAS JACOBUS ‘DUTCHIE’ LOUW: Team WSL Africa surfers in the country, Dutchie could be found behind the mic. He was the regular commentator at surf events up and down the coast, usually partnered with his good mate Kai Linder. Not sure if he will be able to talk so much kak on the mic going forward, as he will have hands full, with the flurry of events set up all needing his attention. “Whether it’s making a surfboard or providing opportunities for
surfers, I have always given my best, as surfing has given me everything,” said Dutchie. “It’s a dream come true to work for the elite World Surf League and looking forward to representing Africa. The stoke is real!”
Reza Joins Surfing South Africa Cape Town surfer Reza De Nicker has joined Surfing South Africa as the new Administrative Manager and 11
is already hard at work in his new role. “I’m really stoked to be working with Surfing South Africa. It’s great to be involved with surfing again, from grassroots contests like Grom Games,” said Reza. “This is where it all started, coaching the WP grom team years ago with Josh Salie. Surfing has given so
much, and it’s good to be able to give some back.” The best thing about Dutchie and Reza getting involved and working with our surfers and at our surf events, is that they are both very dedicated and stoked surfers, the kind of ous we need behind our sport.
REZA DE NICKER: TEAM SURFING SOUTH AFRICA
© OLIVIA ANDERSON
ALL OUR ADS ARE CLICKABLE SO PLEASE SUPPORT OUR ADVERTISERS BY CLICKING ANY ADS THAT INTEREST YOU. THERE ARE BIG SUMMER SALES, SIGN-UP DISCOUNTS AND OTHER SPECIALS. SOME OF OUR EDITORIAL IS ALSO CLICKABLE AND WILL TAKE YOU THROUGH TO ANOTHER DIMENSION...
Rip Curl E-Pro The Rip Curl E-Pro will be on again this year, and there will be an announcement soon as to dates for submitting clips, and dates for the heats to begin. We hope to have the same great team as last year and look forward to some more fun moments. The Surf Web Series has had a big year globally, with events run in Chile, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Australia and Europe. Last year Dale Staples and Sophie Bell took the lion’s share of the prize money in a closely contested event. https://www.surfwebseries.com/
The Age Of Collaborations In this first issue, we’re stoked to say that we will be doing all sorts of collabs going forward. We have hooked up with Spike and the crew at Wavescape and Louis, Sean and the new team at Boardtalk Magazine. We have lekker working relationships with Johnny and Robin and the crew at Surfing South Africa, and Colin and Dutchie and the WSL Africa team. If you have anything you want to be published, or you have some ideas, a photo or a gripe, or just want to hit us up with the news of a contest or anything, feel free to hit us back. Editor: firstname.lastname@example.org Designer: design@ oceanpeakdesign.co.za Complaints: mywave@ thesurfpunks.co.za 13
L A T A N F O S T H G I THE R PHOTO
F E AT U R
nn. Lindema e v a D y yb otograph
t has been an epic season of waves in Durban, and local photographer Dave Lindemann was there to capture much if it. He reveals a few of his favourite shots from the last few months in this showcase of the rights of Natal. All photos by Dave Lindemann - follow him on Instagram @davelindemann_photography
KZN Winter perfection, ‘nuff said.
The love for the ocean runs deep in the Ribbink family. Chloe Ribbink pushing the limits.
BIG MONDAY JULY 2020:
Mike Watkinds on a screamer.
CHAD DETOIT, POOLSIDE:
Chad Du Toit about to be backwashed at the pool.
BEYOND THE CITY: During lockdown there were
perfect banks popping up all over the show. Waves that we just sat and watched. For much of that time we couldn’t even have a beer or a durrie while we watched.
JAMIE WHITTLE OLD SCHOOL:
Pre lock down perfection. March 2020, two days before the world changed as we knew it. Jamie Whittle threading the needle.
ELTON CUTHBERT IN DEEP:
No place like home. Elton Cuthbert going deep in his back yard.
LOCK DOWN SUNRISE:
Lockdown level 4. Three hours of freedom gave me the opportunity to capture this timeless image.
MATTY KRUGER, POOLSIDE: The Pool Master.
Matt Kruger getting some much needed shade.
isty P Nick Chr
e d i t r e Summ
ODFREY G K C I N S H A N DE C I F N O M SI IN THE RIPPING
Backhand versus forehand... on some of the funnest waves in the Eastern Cape. Captured just a few days after the beaches were opened.
OVERHEAD - GAV ROBERTS AT SCOTTIES:
A legend and a master at his home break, Gavin Roberts showing no fear.
STANDING TALL - DAVEY VAN ZYL: A stand out
wherever he surfs, Dave Van Zyl standing tall.
NEW PIER: First cyclone session at New Pier, February 21st, 2021. Ntokozo ’Surprise’ Maphumulo putting it on the line.
RESTRICTIONS: Durban showing off some empty kegs during lockdown.
© ANT FOX/REDBULLCONTENTPOOL
y d r o J g Shapin
WITH G N I P P I SURF TR Y ND JORD A B E F M schke u By Jazz K
For itinerant professional surfers Jordy Smith and Michael February, the proverbial ‘silver lining’ on the cloud that shrouded, was a spitting barrel in an uncrowded lineup... On home soil.
any spitting barrels. Each. Too many to count in fact.
Unable to travel internationally, Jordy and the man known as ‘MFeb’ took full advantage as soon as lockdown restrictions were lifted locally, to load up Jordy’s Jeep Wrangler and go surf tripping. The duo’s timing turned out to be 26
perfect, and they scored some of the best spots in South Africa in what was one of the best winters for waves in recent memory. Now, MFeb and Jordy had never done a trip together because of their busy schedules and Jordy’s plan was to ‘take a few feathers out of MFeb’s stylish cap.’ You see, February did his time on the competitive circuit and ticked the Championship Tour box in 2018. After not re-qualifying for the 2019 CT, he smoothly shed the contest singlet for good. He then carved a niche as the poster boy for smooth lines, alternative craft and one-footed Judo
floaters. Jordy wanted to tap into those vibes. The boys started their journey up in Durban, where Jordy grew up. From there they made their way southwest down the East Coast stopping at some known (and other much-lesser-known) spots along the way, connecting with various surfers as they went. Then, via the famed right-hand pointbreak of Jeffreys Bay with which Jordy has such a close connection,
© ANT FOX/REDBULLCONTENTPOOL
and the Southern Cape (known as the Eden District) they ended up in the clear, icy barrels of Cape Town. An epic journey of well over 1,000 miles (1,600km). “I don’t think it could have come at a better time,” Jordy says. “On tour, your mindset stays in that © ANT FOX/REDBULLCONTENTPOOL
Mikey as far as his style goes I mean, it’s just really effortless. It’s easy on the eye. He’s very pleasing to watch. I think he’s an old soul as far as a surfer goes. Jordy
© ANT FOX/REDBULLCONTENTPOOL
competitive zone the entire year. This year – with everything that’s happened – it’s allowed me to break away from that and just really relax. That’s really been refreshing.” While the underlying theme is about the coast and people who ‘shaped’ Jordy’s career, it is also very much about the alternative surfboard shapes Mikey chooses to ride. For Jordy, fully focused on 28
performance the entire year, it was an eye-opener to a different angle on approaching waves. And, it got him just more amped to surf. © ANT FOX/REDBULLCONTENTPOOL
© ANT FOX/REDBULLCONTENTPOOL
© ANT FOX/REDBULLCONTENTPOOL
© ANT FOX/REDBULLCONTENTPOOL
© ANT FOX/REDBULLCONTENTPOOL
“I think the more I free surf, and the more I score those excellent days, the more I grow, and I fall even more in love with surfing.” says Jordy. “I often think to myself: ‘Is that even possible?’ But I do!
© ANT FOX/REDBULLCONTENTPOOL
I just continue to get that excitement of where you’re just chomping at the bit to be able to get on that next swell. To drive all hours of the night just for that single wave you know, it’s the greatest high ever.”
d e e F s ’ t Le J B ay EDING E F S R E SURF
J B AY
Surfers are behind the ongoing feeding scheme in Jeffrey’s Bay.
hen the first lockdown hit, two surfers started off the Let’s Feed JBay scheme to help those who were locked down without any way of earning money and buying food. WQS surfer Dylan Lightfoot and “Chokka” Trahms started it off. They started doing the hard yards of collecting food donations from farmers and those suppliers who had a surplus. This food was delivered to those people who were not getting anything from the government or their employers. 34
They were soon joined by others wanting to help, including former World Longboard Champion Steve Sawyer, Remi Peterson and Toby Schroeder, to name a few. When the hard lockdown ended and the surfers restarted their lives, the Let’s Feed JBay project ended up in the lap of Louisa Lightfoot. This is where Cheron Kraak joined her long-time friend in a bid to secure further funding and to keep feeding JBay. The town of JBay has not done well during the pandemic. Businesses have suffered, trading has been slow, and unemployment has been front of mind. While the hard lockdown is over, the closure of
beaches and the alcohol ban during the holiday season has left irreversible damage. To help those in need, Cheron and Louisa worked tirelessly, reaching out to the local and global surfing community that has enjoyed the waves and the town of JBay. People like Kelly Slater and John John Florence, Paul Naude and Gordon Merchant, Sir Grevil Mitch-
ell, Pat O’Connel and Damien Fahrenfort, organisations like the World Surf League and Boardriders, everyone helped. The next fundraising campaign is being spearheaded by multiple world surfing champion Mick Fanning. The same surfer who was bumped off his board by a Great White shark at Supers is doing a multi-tiered giveaway to raise more funds to feed JBay.
So far, the initiative has already distributed more than 10 tons of highly nutritious corn soya porridge to the community. While at first, the feeding scheme had gone beyond JBay to outlying villages and districts, it is now focused on feeding those in JBay. The irony of it all is that the surfers were getting fines and warnings for going surfing, and at times picked up by police vans and taken down to the station to be charged. Yet the JBay surfer’s 36
unseen face was that of selfless people, working as hard as they could, for no reward. With Cheron reaching out to her global network of friends and Louisa working tirelessly on the ground, they were feeding members of the JBay community. These were members that could not work or earn money to buy food. The corn/soya porridge was distributed to the feeding kitchens, old age homes, and schools, any place that might have hungry people. It is still being
distributed, and there is still a need for further distribution. Even though the surfers were looked at askance and reprimanded for going into the ocean to catch a few waves, they continued on resolutely. Managed by Cheron and Louisa, the surfing community continued with the excellent work initiated all that time ago.
we had then, the point to be made is that the surfers are keeping the town of JBay alive. They deserve some recognition and also deserve some thanks.
It seems a lifetime ago that Cyril announced the first hard lockdown. While we might have more freedom now than
SUPERS © KODY MCGREGOR
R E B B U R FREE SC
CURREN M O T G S TA R R I N M L I F W A NE
A fun, quirky video of Tom Curren in Mexico surfing perfect right-hand points during lockdown. It’s a cool perspective of the popular surfing genius.
e h T t c e P r ot t s a o C W est rson
Maste By Miles
Cape Town big wave surfer Mike Schlebach forms environmental NPO to fight beach mining on the Cape West Coast
he Cape West Coast. For most surfers, it conjures up visions of epic thick lipped barrels crashing onto shallow sandbars or kelp infested reefs in ice cold water, as the semi-desert scrub shimmers in the heat beyond. A pristine playground, wild and untouched. However, a significant threat to this rugged surfing nirvana has 40
emerged of late, one that may have repercussions on the ecology of a hauntingly beautiful part of our coast for decades to come: mining. Well-known Cape Town big wave charger Mike Schlebach discovered this the hard way on a recent surf trip. While diamond diving has long been a presence north of Hondeklipbaai, Mike learned that these operations, which mine for a range of valuable minerals in sandy areas including diamonds – but also rutile, ilmenite, zircon, and monazite etc – have spread much further south, towards the Olifants River, just up the coast from Elands Bay.
Grant “Twiggy” Baker on a perfect West Coast wave where camping is still allowed. IMAGE BY ANTHONY FOX
The plan was to go and camp on the beach where I knew I could find a few good waves to ride and take a much needed break, recalls Mike. “I knew there were a few mines in the area starting with De Punt and then the Tormin mine a short way up north. I’d also heard that there had just been an extension granted to the Tormin mine (run by Australian
company MSR) which was now allowed to mine 10 pristine beaches just north of its existing operation.” Mike’s curiosity as to the extent of this mining piqued when he tried to drive to a stretch of coast he had once surfed in the area – but now found his access blocked by mining company rentacops. “I was told that I needed a permit to visit this area which I knew to be public land. 41
Security also told me that I could not stay overnight, which is wrong. I pushed back and got ‘permission’ to camp overnight on public land. The next day, I took a drive north to find the Tormin mine along the beach and could see new roads, trucks and diggers, all hard at work digging up this pristine piece of coastline”. Returning to Cape Town, Mike began researching
Overview of activities on Beach 10 of the Tormin mine extension run by MSR.
these mines and did not like what he found. For one, mining in these nearshore zones can result in imbalances in sediments, cliff collapses and the deposition of terrestrial material into the water column that can affect filter feeders and other pelagic species, undermining the fishing industry. The whole area is a biodiversity hotspot with the largest concentration of succulent plants in the world.
A gaping wound left by De Beers near Hondeklipbaai. IMAGE BY ALAN VAN GYSEN.
Cold, nutrient rich waters upwelling along the West Coast fuel high rates of phytoplankton growth that sustain the highly productive Benguela ecosystem. These interconnected ecosystems are a haven for marine life such as whales, dolphins, seals, fish, birds, land-mammals, reptiles, plant and unique insect and invertebrate habitats, which are all now under threat. 44
Beach mining is allowed between the low-water mark and the dunes although A 10m buffer area from the toe of the dune to the start of mining is required. This means the beaches and any marine life that lives in or on them will likely be destroyed. As Mike found out, the potential curbing of the right of access to these areas by
mining firms also inhibits recreational and tourism-related activities, such as surfing, hiking, trail running, mountain biking, rock angling and diving etc. The loss of archaeological and cultural sites and fossils is another arguably even more important issue. “These mines destroy middens and other areas of significance that desperately need to be protected,” he adds.
The Olifants River estuary, the second most important estuary in SA, is the site of a prospecting application by Australian mining company MSR. IMAGE BY ERIC BURDEN.
These mines are required to rehabilitate the coastal areas once they are finished mining, yet many don’t. Rehabilitation requirements include the relocation of topsoil and plant translocation, among other restoration processes. But as this is poorly enforced, in the past some mining companies have left these beaches in a shocking state. There also seems to be a marked lack
A perfect West Coast wave where camping is still allowed. IMAGE BY ANTHONY FOX.
of oversight over the whole coastal mining industry as a whole, which has been exacerbated further by lack of access to the region recently, due to Covid-19 restrictions and beach closures. “The Tormin mine extension should never have been allowed and alas it does not end there,” says Mike. ”The South African government is greenlighting companies to mine on vast areas along the West Coast with very little pushback and consideration
for anything other than some short-term jobs and some cash in the bank. What is alarming is that the environment minister Barbara Creecy is supporting these mining activities and did not stand up and protect our coast as required of the minister charged with looking after our natural resources and heritage.” Mike became so incensed that he decided to do something about it. Together with like-minded individuals – including 47
world big wave surfing champion and regular visitor Grant ‘Twiggy’ Baker – he formed a not-for-profit company, Protect The West Coast (PTWC). The organisation is also supported by several surfers and non-surfers alike, including business professionals, journalists, legal experts and grassroots eco-activists and volunteers. In its short existence, PTWC has already successfully issued appeals for donations and petition signatures and offered guidance for individuals to lodge formal appeals against proposed mines or mine extensions, such as the Tormin mine. Through information and activism, PTWC is on a mission to reveal what up until now has been hidden from view in order to prevent these mining companies from further degrading a precious, biodiverse region and to preserve it for future generations. “The general public does not have a clue what is going on up the West Coast – for 48
many years now it has been a case of ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ and this must change if we are to protect and save our land from what will become an environmental and ecological disaster,” says Mike.
For more information… https://www.protectthewestcoast.org/ https://www.change. org/p/minister-of-deffprotect-the-west-coastof-south-africa Follow https://www.instagram. com/protectthewestcoast/ https://www.facebook. com/Protect-the-WestCoast-101792228456638 Email email@example.com
n o t g n i d F r o m A d c ks i r e v a M to NTERVI I E C I R VA N THE STE
he surf has been gangbusters all season at Mavericks, and one of the surfers who was standing out, on every swell, was Stevan Rice from Durban. Originally from Addington, Stevan has come a long way. After the early years at 101, the family
moved up to Ballito, and Chris Coates took the young surfer under his wing. This culminated in Chris paddling Stevan out at maxing Tinley during the Mr Price Pro 2009, and he caught one wave, out of pure fear, in front of the whole contest. Jump forward 12 years, and Stevan has matured into a full-on Mavericks charger. He was
WITH A FEW SEASONS UNDER THE BELT, STEVE HAS A REPUTATION FOR TAKING OFF DEEP. IMAGE © BY DAVID GRANT.
there during the recent season that long time Mavericks local and resident Grant Washburn reckons was the best season since they started surfing out there.
Gangbusters: So, good
times out at Mavericks for the season?
Stevan Rice: It has been pretty incredible. I had my 27th birthday here, on the dock at Pillar Point Harbour, with a bunch of Mavs guys and the rescue
team guys. It was pretty special.
GB: How did you end up at Half Moon Bay?
SR: I have been sailing professionally for the past 8 years, working out of the Caribbean. Unfortunately, COVID shut that down, so I have been delivering some boats to the United States’ East Coast. I made some money to go to Mexico and spend the summer there. Over the years, I’ve been going to
TAKING THE DROP AT MAVERICKS IS A CHALLENGE, EVERY SINGLE TIME. IMAGE © BY FRED POMPERMAYER
It was pretty mind altering being on an adrenalin bender for that long.
IMAGE © BY FRED POMPERMAYER
Hawaii, Portugal, Indo and a few seasons at home and been coming to Mavs for a few years.
GB: I heard it was the season to end all seasons.
SR: So I have been
hanging with Jason Stark and Ben Andrews, who I ended up commercially fishing with. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been the best crab season, so the money has been thin. Still, to answer your question, the waves were absolutely pumping for 6 weeks non-
stop. It was offshore for 35 days in a row, and we were getting two Mavs swells every week and surfing Mavs up to 5 days a week. It was pretty mind-altering being on an adrenalin bender for that long. Luckily I had my 9’9 Lyle Carlson, which turned out to be a magic stick.
GB: What were the high-
lights for you over the season?
SR: My highlight of the season was my wave on December 8.
ON DECEMBER 8, STEVE CAUGHT THE WAVE HE HAD BEEN VISUALISING FOR YEARS. IMAGE © BY GREG THOMPSON
I have been visualizing something like this for the past couple of years. Having Twig call me into it was a pretty good feeling. The drop just kept on going. I remember going over the second ledge halfway down the wave, and there were these ribs halfway up the face. It was all pretty crazy. I’m glad I made it to the bottom. Twig was there, surfing and watching.
“Steve had an epic season, and it was great to see another South African doing well at Mavericks,” said Twig of Stevan’s performance. “He’s working the crab boats and doing what he needs to be able to spend the season surfing Mave- ricks. True dedication to the art.”
WHEN IT WAS BIG, STEVE WAS OUT THERE, LOOKING FOR THE BOMBS. IMAGE © BY TODD TURNER 55
He’s working the crab boats and doing what he needs to be able to spend the season surfing Mavericks.
STEVE IMPRESSED THE MAVS LOCALS THIS SEASON. IMAGES © BY FRED POMPERMAYER
GB: Did you have any
GB: Put your season
SR: No, nothing real-
SR: I arrived on the
ly. I did get a bit of concussion at the end of the season, and I have been treated for that here in Half Moon Bay with a hyperbaric oxygen tank. My treatment was sponsored by a non-profit called One Hit Away - https:// www.onehitaway.org/ which was super-cool. They sponsored 30 dives, and you need 40 dives to have a full recovery, so I’m nearly there.
into a nutshell.
27th, the Thanksgiving swell, and got skunked. I hooked up with another South African surfer Indi Rooken Smith, who wanted his first Mavs session, so we made that happen. After that, I went back to my job in Florida and saw the forecast, back-to-back swells, and I knew that I couldn’t get time off. So I pulled the plug, quit my job and came back to Mavs.
IMAGE © BY MARCO ARELLANO
TWO MEN ENTER, ONE MAN LEAVES. STEVE, AND A SHOULDER-HOPPING STAND UP PADDLE BOARDER. IMAGE © BY GAUTHER DAMIEN
I arrived on December 2, and December 3 was the first day of pumping surf. We all got a couple of good waves and got into the swing of things. Then December 8 came, and I caught the wave I have wanted for a few years now. Mavs gave me the gift of catching a bomb from the outside ledge. I think there have been more people sent to space than have caught 58
a wave from the outside ledge at Mavs. Mavericks local, and long-time friend of many South African big wave surfers through the Red Bull Big Wave Africa connection, Grant Washburn, was on hand during the whole season, surfing with Stevan and Twiggy and the rest of the crew.
“How can the South Africans keep coming over and stabbing such steep pits? It’s a freakish hot spot of extremists, or maybe some unusual magnetic field has mutated the surfers of SA into frothing beasts? Quiet, polite okes like Steve Rice and Andy Marr come to visit, pull on a hoody and turn into some kind of superhero.” Twig is still rocking, of course, but Steve had an incredible run during the biggest and
best stretch of Mave ricks we’ve ever seen. Like 5 seasons of epic days packed into 2 months, and he managed to be in the spot for some of the finest moments. There aren’t that many people that can get comfortable in heavy Mavericks, and Steve seemed to have a natural fit. The casual ‘just another day at the pier’ is not easy to keep when a 50-foot slab of ocean ploughs into the coast, but when he sees a huge set, his eyes light up.”
IMAGE © BY FRED POMPERMAYER
R O I R R A OCEAN W T IC BREA T S I L A E ST R THE MO FOR SURFERS COURSE
PRESENTED BY MARK VISSER
If you’re looking for a way to increase your confidence in the water, be less afraid of gnarly situations.
o learn how to relax and hold your breath longer and more effectively, then The Ocean Warrior online courses might be just what you’re looking for. If you’re surfing out of
your comfort zone, or plan to do so this winter, this will definitely help. Presented by Mark Visser, The Ocean Warrior Beginner Course and the Ocean Warrior Course 2.0 are programs designed to increase your breath-hold and confidence in the water. The courses include training sessions to keep calm and in control in stressful surf scenarios, breath-hold techniques and essential underwater survival techniques. It also has
sessions on how to conserve oxygen and avoid muscle tension so that you can stay underwater longer and much more. Stay relaxed, conserve energy, retain oxygen and become an underwater ninja. If you’re on holiday, or at home and have some time on your hands, why not spend some of that time upgrading your breath-hold techniques and learn some of the skills of the best ocean men and women in
the world. It’ll see you hit the water with new-found confidence and attitude when the next swell comes marching in. Last winter was epic, but we could well be in for more of the same this winter in Africa.
e h T g n i f Su r Al p s A B AY AT A L A Ï
It’s an unusual concept to embrace – surfing in the landlocked country of Switzerland. The hashtag that goes with the idea #surfthealps – also piques the curiosity.
It is based on the Wavegarden Cove model, much like Urbnsurf in Melbourne in Australia. It is one of the wave pools that can pump out up to 1,000 waves an hour, making it a very effective method of getting many people surfing a stack of waves in a short time.
he Alaïa Bay facility will be opening in Sion in South African surfer Switzerland soon. It will blow minds Mark Fessler - who has been a part of the surf in the country.
industry for a long time - is one of the larnies at Alaïa Bay. He has the title Director Of Surfing. Excellent work when you can get it; it entails going surfing a lot, testing the wave, and making sure that the whole wave riding experience and the equipment etc., makes for a good jol. Mark, or Frenchy as he is known by his friends, is a proud Scottburgh boy, and he owned surf shops there called Surf-
ers Paradise. Former KZN O’Neill agent, as well as the founder of Skulls surf club in Scottburgh. In 1996 Frenchy, who possessed a Swiss passport, was approached by the Swiss Surf Association, who asked him to surf. He obliged, and the Swiss relationship started. He surfed in 4 ISA World Games and European Championships and now works for the only wave pool in Switzerland. It all fits together nicely, actually. 67
Anyway, the pool is a 46 module Wavegarden Cove. It is the pool with the notorious Beast Mode when the dial gets up to eleven. This is what everyone wants to surf and to get going on, but the other levels – advanced, expert and pro – all look really good, and all throw a few barrels and some meaty sections. The Alaïa Bay facility founder is a 25-yearold Swiss surfer called Adam Bonvin, who fell in love with surfing when he was young.
When he was 18 and on a trip to Hossegor, the Alaïa Bay idea came to him. He is a driven young man and has been working for 7 years to see this dream come to fruition. There is a restaurant, a massive retail space, a shaping bay, and a hotel alongside the waves. It does the one thing that the Swiss economy has challenged before. It provides for a summer economy in the tourism sector geared around the slopes and winter.
Not that it is only summer, as you can surf there through the winter months, and there is talk of competition during these months. There are also floodlights to
enable you to be able to surf in the evenings. All in all, it looks like a cool concept, opening soon.
E H E R E W. W E G A T H E P T T H E H E AT DISH OU The beach ban’s end days saw some craziness going down in Durban, with some shouting and screaming in charge offices, outside surf shops and from piers, etc.
group of well known surfers went out on a well publicised surf mission from a boat in the harbour to try and make themselves more well-known. They scored a couple of fun waves in the process. They were, however, enthusiastically greeted by cops afterwards. Everyone agreed to disagree and defend their rights. Then the surfers sent photos to the newspapers and posted to Facebook and Instagram about how cool and underground the mission was. 72
This resulted in another well-known surfer doing some follow-up shouting in a police station and at a surf shop the next day. The beach ban madness had well and truly set in, and everyone wanted to be more well known. As things started reaching a crescendo of virtue signalling in Surf City, the beach ban was lifted, and this shit just wasn’t important anymore.
Our WSL insider told us that JBay probs will not happen at this stage, and Brazil is also a no-go. According to our operative on the inside, the Surf Ranch Pro is on, and the Outerknown Pro is on, seeing as they are both owned by Slater, who apparently makes many critical WSL decisions. Still, the WSL calendar is changing rapidly, as the WSL management changes and adjusts as regulations and lockdowns change worldwide. Their attempt to have an event at the wonderful right-hand point-break of Lennox Head was cancelled by the local crew. Instead, the new events were moved to Newcastle, Narrabeen and Rottnest Island, and one at Margie’s. All the event choppings and changings was apparently too much for Pat O’Connell, and he resigned as commissioner.
In South Africa, many people have made it clear that they are not amped to have the vaccine, and that’s fine, personal choice. The problem is that many countries might soon require visitors to have vax and negative ‘rona test certificates on entry. So you might have to get it done at some stage if you want to go to Indo or Fiji when commercial travel opens again. Makes the anti-vax decision a bit more challenging. Unless you’re totally happy living and surfing your home break, like Big Bay or Addington or Pipe, to name a few, and don’t want to ever travel again. Calling it Pipe will soon not be allowed anyway. After Port Elizabeth was renamed Gqeberha. The good people at the Millers Local website https://www.facebook. com/millerslocalPE decided to take matters into their own hands. They started renaming the surf spots in
GQeberha. They started off with Fence, and with a prize of a R100 Surf Centre voucher and a 4-pack of Richmond Hill Beer, the name search was on. Julian Bray was the winner, with his imaginative Qdolos name - dolosse with a click ekse. Darryl Garner came in second with the brilliant iFenci. Check out the Millers Local FB page to enter the next naming contest. Gqeberha surfer Dave Lipshitz picked up many fines for surfing through
the beach ban in the Eastern Cape. He picked up a substantial R2000 fine for ‘serving’ one fine afternoon at Seals, but this was thrown out of court because no one knew what the fuck he had done wrong and if ‘serving’ was actually a crime.