Jun 132016
 
DurbanCourseMay2016

Three of the four guys on the Durban course with the boards that they built.

At 4am on a Saturday morning two weeks ago, my car jam-packed with everything needed to run a wooden surfboard course for four guys, I set out from Cape Town to make the 1,700km drive to Durban.

Plan A had been to take a slow drive up the East Coast over several days, stopping along the way to surf. Vic Bay. Seals. J-Bay. Plan A didn’t even get off the table due to work commitments, family and the like. Plan B kicked in: pack the hell up and brave the deep Karoo road to Durban via Bloemfontein. It’s not often that I venture away from the sea. Only in emergencies.

I was thrilled to be travelling to Durban, however, to share the stoke of wooden surfboard building.¬†When I first started offering courses, there were a few guys from Durban who got in touch asking me to hold a course in South Africa’s surf capital. Why not? Surfing is so much about the crazy things; taking a chance on a surf trip, daring a late drop, not knowing what is going to happen and how things are going to work out. And this trip had the feel of a crazy surf trip, even through I was in the middle of the Karoo.

Durban was lush. Rolling green hills, thick green forests and sparkling ocean. For winter, it’s like a warm bath during the day, with a shot from the cold water tap in the morning and evening.¬†Shorts and a t-shirt.

Meeting Sean, Pat, Jason and Sam on the Monday morning I knew we were going to have a great week. Everyone, including myself was wide-eyed keen as we began building the four boards for the week, a longboard and three fish. I love watching guys put their boards together and see their appreciation for the shape they’re making grow, and their sense of ownership over what they’re doing unfold. It’s a real privilege.

I hadn’t planned to surf, but the crew took pity on me and Sean took me down to the beach for a baggie session just before I began the long drive home. What a treat. Warm water, golden beaches, hills covered in greenery, clear water. The stoke from that surf got me all the way to land-locked Bethlehem on the drive home, 500km from Durban in the Free State. That only left 1200km to drive the next day.

  One Response to “Durban wooden surfboard adventures”

  1. Pat, you do yourself an injustice. Your passion and dedication to the wood and the process was awesome, and the course was as epic as I had hoped it would be!!! I cannot wait to join you in your Cape Town workshop for a Slaapstad experience. Thanks for making the 1700km trip up and giving of your time and expertise.

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