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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Mon, 11 September 2017

The Wawa Bodysurf Wavejam was held recently in thumping 8-10ft surf at Llandudno but the torpedo people are made of stern stuff, writes Spike.


TOP TO BOTTOM: The bodysurf takeoff can be tricky in hollow waves. Photo David Lee

Riding a wave with just your body, a wooden hand plane and swim fins is not easy at the best of times. But when waves are three times overhead and thick lips are cracking into compacted sand in a giant closeout across the whole bay, you put your body on the line, so to speak.

In these waves, surfers had to equalise when duck-diving from the power and pressure in the swirling soup. The organiser and founder of all things Wawa, Cobus Joubert, reflects the tough-hewn Afrikaans "never say die" attitude when he calls that the "perfect bodysurf wave". Perhaps some would agree, and some would not, but either way, it was a fun day out. The skies were sunny. The wind was still.

A small, chilled crowd enjoyed a safe vantage point from the grassy banks of the Llandudno Lifesaving Club to watch seven heats of eight body surfers battling the elements while enjoying fresh coffee, food (courtesy of Llandudno Lifesaving Club crew), ice-cream, and cold beer.


CRUNCH TIME: The finalists pose on the beach with organiser Cobus Joubert. Photo David Lee

Joubert used an innovative safety net by warning everyone to keep a close eye on "fellow contestants in the water with you". DaFins swim fins and Wawa wooden handslides were provided for folk who didn't have this crucial equipment.

The day culminated in a final with 11 bodysurfers. The judges were looking for the longest wave, biggest barrel, most tricks on a wave, and biggest wipe-out.

The finals consisted of Jason Love, Andre Naude, Bart Willems, Luke Slijpen, Neil Havenga, Clyde Thomas, James Taylor, Nick Baigrie, Ike Forsyth, Sean Walker, and Antony Posemann. According to Joubert, Walker, Slijpen, and Williams were standouts. Ike Forsyth walked away with a pair of Ballo glasses for the biggest drop.

Nikita Robb and Lilly Bertish deserve special mention for taking on the monster waves. Prizes were Ballo Eyewear, Vissla Caps, Hooker Wetsuit Hanger


0 #1 MRDT 2017-09-12 11:39
Damn - that looks so fun. Great pics, with some decent swell for it. We need to have one of these in KZN! Happy to help make that happen :-)
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