Mon, 20 June 2011

The weekend saw False Bay heave heavy water in a winter wonderland. Kalk Bay Reef was the centre of attention as the ferocious left hander downloaded over the very shallow reef. Ian Thurtell joined the throngs for the next 48 hours of surf photography heaven.


Friday 18 June 2011

So I had been watching the charts for about a week and noticed that the storm that would hit the cape would have a second swell that built up from the south...and so it arrived!

On Fri I showed up with the reef breaking at a solid 4-5ft, it was just after the low tide so most people were waiting for the tide to push...BUT, the swell also decided to arrive with the tide, hand in hand! At around 2pm the horizon was being blocked out by the sets, and the amount of water moving was intense.

There were about 20 photogs on the beach and another 10 or so in the Brass Bell, so to get a different angle I decided to swim out with my housing. Shooting fisheye probably would have been a death sentence the amount of water moving towards the reef, so i shot with a 50mm. The channel was closing out frequently so I was dodging some 8ft sets while trying to get the shot. Some amazing waves came through but as usual most of the best ones were unridden! It was probably the meanest swell in about 3 years to hit Kalk Bay.

Saturday 19 June 2011

The swell had dropped overnight but had cleaned up and the brown frothy water from the day before had gone and had been replaced with a clear mix of blue and green...

I decided to shoot fisheye as the waves were hitting the reef nice and square with amazing consistency. Shooting fisheye requires me to get as close to the riders as possible, with the results often giving the viewer a amazing perspective.

The swell was a more SE direction which meant the waves ran across the reef perfectly. The crowd was intense with quite abit of dropping in going down but the vibe was very relaxed and some insane rides were had by the local crew.

It was one of the best and consistent days Kalk Bay has had in recent memory, but this didn’t make it any less heavy. Long time reef local, Tristan Gardner found out the hard way. After snagging many perfect bombs he got pitched over the falls in the sitting position and slammed into the shallow reef below. The force of the impact crushed his T12 vertebra, effectively breaking his back. After being helped out of the water and rushed to hospital, the initial prognosis is good, he will be out of action for a long time, but by what his doctor can only describe as a miracle it seems he won’t be paralyzed from the waist down and after much therapy will make a full recovery.

From all of us at Wavescape, we wish Tristan a speedy recovery and hope to be trading waves with him soon again out at the reef. Big up brother, get well soon.

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