SURFING: The rest of January - Summer winds, Bummer winds

Hello everybody on SurfHive. It is Jasper the surfing-musician dad from Cape Town in South Africa. Last time I posted it was because I actually got a decent surf in at a place that handles big swell and strong winds! How did the rest of January go?

Well I have been busy - I had to travel inland for work, so I only got two opportunities to surf quickly, and neither were ideal! Hahaha!

Same old shallow reef - small enough for a mini-mal!

There was a stretch of days where the swell in Cape Town got very small. This is quite unusual, even in summer. I managed to sneak out for a work lunch with my friend Spike (on the bodyboard in the shots below). We had to wait for the tide to start pushing just a little something into False Bay, by which time the wind was coming up and making things a bit choppy. To add some novelty, I took my 7'6 mini-mal out to this shallow reef - which is not something I have done before! I usually only use this board at the beginner's beach nearby, which has a very flat bottom contour allowing for long, but quite flat, waves lacking in power... I figure now that I am officially a dad (my daughter is already 18 months - time is flying!) I am allowed to own a mini-mal! Hahaha!

It was still lower tide than I usually come here, so the reef was shallow and the kelp heads (thick seaweed) were sticking out more than usual!

A weekend getaway to a nearby beautiful coastal town.

Last weekend we managed to get away and spend the night at a holiday house that my wife's family has in a small coastal town about 2 hours away. This is a very beautiful place with stunning beaches and folded mountains in the background.

The problem is that the prevailing summer winds are definitely onshore here...

Nevertheless you usually wait for high tide so that the rip current that takes you to the end of the rocks takes you closer to the back line and you don't have to do much extra work. Luckily last weekend the high tide coincided with the morning when the onshore wind was weakest...

Unfortunately the waves at the back were bouncy and tended to close out as you can see in the sequence of shots that follow...


Ah... still the breaking water drops flying makes for quite an interesting picture...

I then realized that these close-outs would usually reform again on the inside to make for ridable waves that required a lot less energy to get to... from the end of the rip current - adjacent to the last rocks you see in this picture. This is why I need to practice surfing new spots often, so I can learn these tricks to save energy and catch lots of waves!

We are now into February! If you remember, I made a New Year's resolution to surf at least one new spot every month! I managed to find two spots up the coast on holiday for January, but where will I find a new spot to try in February?

I have another new goal for surfing as well... If the waves are relatively safe, I must wipe-out at least three times! This might sound like a strange goal... but I realize that I am playing it safe, not catching waves where I doubt I can make the take-off, and not trying enough turns and maneuvers because I am afraid of failure and "wasting the wave"... but this is stopping me improving and having the most fun possible when I pull off something (relatively) impressive!

So going forward, more new spots! If I do surf spots I am used to, and are relatively safe... then I must wipe-out more by trying new things!

In fact, that approach should be carried over to the rest of my life too! Haha


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