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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa
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Tue, 20 December 2016

Your man is a surfer and you're about to go on holiday? Hold it! Here are nine crucial tips to ensure your break stays fun-filled, sun-kissed and stress-free, writes Melissa Volker.


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MAN IN BLACK: Hope is at hand from an old pro. Photo Supplied


So you're going away with a man in black? Okay, it's a slightly musty black, there are pads on the knees, and there's a zip with long string? Snap. Me too! Whether you're a rookie or a keeper, here are NINE things you need to know about going on holiday with a surfer:

1. Earplugs. No, no. Not for the surf. For the packing experience. You might not want to hear what he has to say when you bring out your bags. It's called board-space rivalry. You're competing with his quiver. But, don't panic, stand your ground. He will give in because you're more cuddly than a hard piece of fibre glass.

2. You want to go on a date night with surf prince charming while you're away? Channel your inner fairy godmother and sneak in a few of his nice clothes. Because he is only going to pack a spare pair of boardies, a couple of questionable T-shirts and a rashie. His slops will likely be on, so bar a few tightie-whities, that's it. His holiday wardrobe will barely fill the void left by his board bag.

3. Same goes for his toiletry bag. He might have thrown some Island Tribe in with the Mr Zogs, but anything else is up to you. His toothbrush is always nice if you're going to join him on those dawn patrols and would prefer to keep your head inside the close confines of the car on the ride down to the beach.

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JOIN THEM: If you can't beat them, become a surfer yourself. Photo Supplied


4. If you're a keeper and have pushed out his baby, get extra strength earplugs and dig deep for patience and determination. He might have assumed that it would just be the baby in its car seat. He won't immediately accept that the pram, the camp cot, the baby sling, the nappies and the bottle sterilizer are just as essential as his wetsuit, booties, longboard, shortboard, kiteboard, kites, stand up paddle board, paddle and/or golf clubs and mountain bike. (For the lay days)

5. In fact, the gift that keeps on giving (to yourself, your hottie AND world peace) is a trailer. Buy one as soon as you have come up for air after those first baby weeks. It might actually be more essential than the pram.

6. *Insider Pro Tip* The best way to avoid spending the whole holiday (and the rest of your life) on the beach looking after the baby, is to learn to surf yourself. Only the ultimate wave hog would deprive you of a 50/50 split. (And you're smarter than that in your man choices, right?) Mr Bethany Hamilton leads the way in Surf Daddy 101. Did you see footage of him watching their baby while she charged at the Fiji Pro? Now there's a Prince Charming In Real Life (IRL).

7. If your babies are bigger, your hottie might have adapted to his environment. He might now be at peace with that Karet sticker instead of Billabong. But those babies have grown up to be groms, so while the pram might be redundant, it doesn't mean he can tie down his surfboards with impunity. He needs to make room for theirs. And their wetsuits, skateboards, bikinis, zinc, lipgloss and sun hats.

8. Pack him an enormous towel and a beach umbrella (again, with your ear plugs in). Plenty of surfers don't like the beach. It's merely the route to the ultimate destination, not a stop off point. An alarming number are steadfast in their refusal to play beach bats or frisbee. So while you take your turn on enjoying some salty slides, he will need a sand and sun-free zone to watch the children, break up fights, hand out snacks and maybe even wipe a bum. In comparison, the impact zone can be a veritable paradise.

9. Give that man a Bells (or a Beer). Because if your man selection is as good as your wave selection, apart from a bit of moaning (which you won’t hear, because earplugs) he will carry YOUR boards, load them on the car, tie them down, rinse them off and hang up your wetsuit. (All after watching the groms from under that umbrella.) And on the days when the groms are with Gran, and you get a rare opportunity to surf together, you will cheer each other on and share the stoke. And isn’t that what holidays are all about?

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