A windy, sharky session in South Africa with Brendon Gibbens and Jordy Smith
All words and photos by Alan Van Gysen Friday’s session was a typical Cape Town summer’s day: 30 degrees on the pearly white sand but only nine degrees in the frigid Atlantic water, thanks to the upwelling from the near gale-force SE wind that dominates most of summer. But this Cape beachie doesn’t mind the […]
All words and photos by Alan Van Gysen
Friday’s session was a typical Cape Town summer’s day: 30 degrees on the pearly white sand but only nine degrees in the frigid Atlantic water, thanks to the upwelling from the near gale-force SE wind that dominates most of summer. But this Cape beachie doesn’t mind the strong offshore. In fact, it thrives off it, needing both the offshore to open up the barrel and to deposit the sand which makes these amazing A-frame banks up and down the beach. The Puerto Escondido/Hossegor of the Cape!
But it’s still Africa, and still wild. Within 20 minutes of Brendon Gibbens and I paddling out, Jordy (Smith), who has a house not far off, came up; “I just saw a shark. Couldn’t see how big, or what kind, but I’m going in.” Typical. A day of NW onshore wind the previous day, now followed by a strong offshore producing a rich pocket of nutritious brown water filled with sea life. I was just thinking this when bam!, a good sized fish swam right into me. Into the “safety” of my chest and arms literally before motoring off. Running from something bigger? Fortunately I didn’t have to find out. It’s the kind of day you usually avoid. Those brown, ominous days. Jordy said goodbye as he caught one in, having his fill and quitting while he was ahead. But the rest of the hardened local crew hadn’t seen anything just yet and weren’t about to walk away from six-to-eight-foot, wind-groomed kegs. So Brendon and friends opted to stay in and catch a few more. And catch them they did. Burying the concern deep within their psyche. Praise The Lord, no one else saw anything scary, and we all made it to the dry sand in one piece. But it’s something Cape surfers have to continually push out of their minds.
“I just saw a shark,” said Jordy 20 minutes into his sesh. “Couldn’t see how big, or what kind, but I’m going in.”
Brendon in the mix – ain’t the ruggedness of the wind and landscape and sandy water just so South Africa!
What’s above, worth the risk of what’s beneath?
Watching your pal get tubbed is a good way to spend the paddle back out (and take your mind off other things in the lineup).
BG’s good pal, Cameron Gouws.
Jordy did manage to roll up some green before he saw a session-ender.
Water in the wind.
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