Mon, 27 April 2020

To make up for our shameful lack of coverage on East London surfers keeping fit in the Covid-19 lockdown, here's a Slumtown extravaganza by Spike namesake Nick Pike.


EASTERNS: Slummies surfers are sadly isolated from their surf spots. Photo Michael Tarr /Unsplash

Half the reason that so many of us love surfing is because it is God’s answer to Ritalin. You could say that for many of us, the ocean is our drug of choice, a performance and mood-enhancing substance filled with endorphins, serotonin and dopamine. In the Bible, they would call it "life in abundance".

So what are the East London Waxfeet people doing in lock down to stay fit and sane? I did a quick survey and it would appear that surfers are a creative lot when looking for their energy fix and getting ready for when we will get out of jail free.


HALF PIPE: Design and build runs deep in the Stratford family, especially Grandad. Photo supplied

The Stratford family

Andrew Stratford and his sons, under the watchful eye of their architect grandad Al, have built a half pipe skateboard ramp out of plywood.

So far the boys have been taking some time getting into the groove. They're crashing like lemmings but will soon get it right. If that does not work, dad got them boxing gloves and they can punch the bag ... or each other.


PADDLE BATTLE: Allen Harris has jury rigged a bungy attached to his surfboard. Photo supplied

Allen Harris

Allen Harris is all over the map like a taxi taking chicken runs in rush hour traffic. Starting the day with manual labour, he is digging, laying foundations, building brick walls and making rain tank stands, and then laying all the plumbing himself.

“I have got calluses’’ he says. Then it's on to yoga, gardening, and paddling a tethered surfboard in his pool, followed by a training circuit. The last straw was when Allen watched a training video from his friend Bryce Du Preez.

The “Chris Heria - 7 minute fat burning routine” has been watched almost 10 million times but this one took its toll. After seven minutes, Allen’s wife Charlene gave him some sugar water and he had to go and take a little nap.


BROLLY BARRELLED: Wayne Monk shows off his sublime skills on the balance board. Photo supplied

Philip-MalherbeWayne Monk

Wayne Monk has a balance board, a drastically reduced beer intake and took some silly photos to raise funds for charity.

Greg Emslie

Greg Emslie was raised by a chartered accountant dad so he has more of a spreadsheet approach: A free app on the internet called Tabata Timer is Greg's go to. Thirty seconds on and a 15 second rest. Greg has 24 activities and super circuit steps in between each activity. If that is not enough, there are 2km and 5km garden run options and a tethered surfboard for paddling in the family pool. Along with son and daughter - and healthy eating - Greg and family are in strapping good health.

Paul Cat Stephen

Paul Cat Stephen has gone the manual labour route and has dabbled in a brick and mortar retaining wall and a new braai, and says: “Allen Harris is cheating, he has a concrete mixer!”

Philip Malherbe

Philip Malherbe is a yoga boffin and runs loops in the garden. He has flexibility that many younger surfers can only aspire to (See image above).

Tyrell Johnson

Tyrell Johnson is just doing the basics he says “Push-ups, crunches, squats and a balance board”.



FLEXIBLE TIMETABLE: Yoga buffs, mom and daughter Bonnie and Gemma Hanafey. Photo Supplied

Bonnie and Gemma Hanafey

Mother and daughter Bonnie and Gemma Hanafey use yoga, pilates and a good diet to keep the lockdown blues at bay. Brothers Mitch and Bryce Du Preez are young and strong as bricks. It is Bryce that shared the Chris Heria youtube video that nearly killed Allen Harris in seven minutes flat.

I must admit, the jump squats at the end of the Heria video had me finished but my son Daniel did fine. I am mixing in a floor routine and garden loops as well. Bryce’s sister Aimee does yoga, pilates and mixes it up with on line dance classes from Charene Harris.


QUIVERING: The Gernetsky clan show off the tools and toys of their trade. Photo Supplied

Team Gernetsky

Nathan Gernetsky and his crew out at Queensbury Bay run loops round the house (They live on a big property) and then they pack all their surf kit on the front lawn and look at it and dream about their next surf. “Boys” Nathan says to his kids “I’d love for us to go surfing. I know we can see the waves and probably no one would know. But we are not doing this for ourselves. We are doing this as a show of love for our country. Love means sacrifice. And one day we will be able to surf again”.

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