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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Thu, 27 September 2018

Cape Town has calmed to a panic after a furious four-day run of giant surf. Barry Futter gives his visceral take on a wave he had on Sunday morning down the tail of the mega-swell.


GREEN AND GREY: Mickey Duffus and Barry Futter paddle out for another one. Photo Mark Harley

You are sitting in a beautiful place about 1.5km out to sea. A 12-15 metre wall of water comes marching towards you. The guys on the outside are already scratching to get wide of it.

Despite the fear deep in your gut, you feel good and in the right position. You turn towards shore and You watch as the whole four storey building starts sucking out below youpaddle your heavy 10 foot big wave gun as hard as you can. Your back is to the wave and you go into instinct mode as you start to feel the swell sucking the energy off the ocean floor.

You give it everything you’ve got ... and then some ... as you try match the speed of this monster. Slowly at first, then with gathering momentum you feel the raw long-range ocean power start to carry you along.

You dig deep and paddle down the face before leaping to your feet. You are moving fast but there is so much speed and power in the wave that you are not actually dropping down the face. You watch as the whole four storey building starts sucking out below you. It is touch and go as it turns into a vertical wall.


A HILLY PEAK: You need to be careful you don't get caught inside at this spot. Photo Mark Harley

One wrong bump or imbalance and you are in for a world of panic with a serious beating and long hold down under water. But every fibre of your body is focussed on making it. You put every ounce of experience from 35 years in the ocean into positioning your board and your body absolutely perfectly.

The bottom drops out from underneath you. You are flying down the face at an incredible rate. Everything feels perfect. Absolutely critical, but perfect. Half way down you are aware of the gigantic lip launching out over your left shoulder, centimeters away from obliterating you!

You know its critical. Your mind is racing; you focus on positioning your rail perfectly. You’ve made the drop. You didn’t nose dive. You glance back up at the massive green wall towering above you to see a giant white waterfall chasing you down.


THURSDAY WARMUP: Futter enjoys the 'warmup' session at Sunset on Thursday. Photo Harley

But you have the speed to outrun it. You dig in your rail, bottom turn and become aware of your mates screeching, hooting and going mental in the channel! You fly past them on your magic carpet, screaming down a long green wall of perfection.

As you kick off the shoulder there is a moment of pure serenity where nothing else at all matters. You are completely in the moment. Then you feel a tingle followed by a freight train of raw adrenalin pumping through your veins, to your toes, to your fingertips and out your throat in a guttural roar!

STOKED! Its Great to be Alive!!

1ST THURSDAY: Futter takes off on Thursday. No-one was shooting on Sunday. Photo Harley

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