Shew. The last few months have been a ride, that’s for sure. I’ve been on the road to Durban and Cape St. Francis where I have run hollow wood surfboard courses for stoked surfers, building some beautiful boards and making new friends along the way. There’s been a stack of custom orders. Export licence bureaucracy dealings. A case of flu that wouldn’t go away that caused havoc with delivery times. A torn hamstring that’s seen me hobbling around like an old man. Less surfing than is normal for this time of year, given that it’s the middle of winter in Cape Town.
I first visited Cape St. Francis as a stoked grom many years ago and was taken in by it’s mellow vibe and decent, uncrowded waves (compared to the scrum of J-Bay up the road, that is). On my latest visit, I was pleased to find that nothing much has changed. It’s a surf town through and through, and everyone seems to have some sort of connection to the ocean. Everything is within a few minutes of everything else. The week I spent there saw two big cold fronts smash through, with strong winds, heavy rains and big swell. Being from Cape Town I’m used to the cold, but the wind chill factor on a dawn patrol at an Eastern Cape point is enough to send you sprinting for a hot shower, that’s for sure.
On a Friday evening, I sat in my car with heater running watching a famous and rarely surfed point show signs of life as it broke into a 35 knot south-wester that was accompanied by heavy rain squalls. It’s a spot that’s been on my radar for a long time and I’ve been wanting to surf it on a solid swell. It looked like it was going to be on the next morning and dodgy hamstring or not, I was going to be out there at first light. Off to bed.
When I awoke in the morning the wind had dropped and conditions looked good. Wetsuit on in the bedroom and grabbed my 8′.6″ hollow wood gun. But as soon as I got into the parking lot and saw the ocean I knew it wasn’t going to happen. You can see when the ocean is surging on a big swell and it had been doing that on the Friday evening, but by the morning it had settled down. There was still big swell marching past out to sea, but it wasn’t going to turn on for that special place. That’s just the way it goes sometimes.
A busy two months is out of the way and my dream of establishing hollow wood surfboard courses in other parts of the country has liftoff! Thanks so much to all who participated. There’ll be more courses in Cape St. Francis and Durban later in the year so email me on firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Now for some winter, please! Enjoy yours!