Ex-Graemian opens surf school

Grocott's Mail - - SPORT - By STEPHEN PEN­NEY

Af­ter com­plet­ing his In­ter­na­tional Surf As­so­ci­a­tion (ISA) level one in­struc­tor course, Old Graemian Cuan Macgre­gor of­fi­cially opened the Shaka Surf School in Port Al­fred.

This makes Cuan the only coach along the Sun­shine Coast with an in­ter­na­tional qual­i­fi­ca­tion. While Cuan and his fa­ther David have run a surf school dur­ing pre­vi­ous De­cem­ber hol­i­days, David said: “We de­cided to turn our life­long love of surf­ing into a per­ma­nent all-year-round busi­ness so we can spread the stoke of surf­ing far and wide.”

The surf school has also re­ceived sup­port from Bil­l­abong South Africa “through their out­reach pro­grammes,” said David, who is the founder and men­tor of Shaka Surf school.

The fa­ther and son have formed a partn­er­ship “to try get others into surf­ing”.

Surf­ing runs deep in the Macgre­gor family, af­ter David’s grand­fa­ther first took up the sport in 1927. “My dad and un­cles all fol­lowed as did my­self and my cousins”.

Cuan and his younger brother Kye are fourth gen­er­a­tion surfers and all three are for­mer South African long board surf­ing cham­pi­ons.

Kye is cur­rently surf­ing the ju­nior pro­fes­sional cir­cuit and is spon­sored by Bil­l­abong and GS­tar surf­boards. Kye is cur­rently coached by Cuan and his fa­ther David, who also coach up­com­ing young surfer An­drew Laverge.

Cuan says the name Shaka comes from Hawaii and is a com­mon greet­ing sign in that cul­ture where the thumb and pinky finger are raised in a ges­ture of friendly in­tent.

While the surf school has been run­ning for 10 years, it has been re­branded to Shaka Surf School just this year, and “the re­sponse has been awe­some”, said David.

David has been in­volved in lo­cal de­vel­op­ment surf­ing for 20 years and has pro­duced two surfers who made the provin­cial team and one na­tional team surfer. “We are cur­rently men­tor­ing An­drew Laverge and have plans to nur­ture the next gen­er­a­tion of town­ship surfers af­ter the sea­son has past,” said David.

“One of my great­est joys in life is spend­ing time on the beach teach­ing peo­ple to surf,” said David who added that all equip­ment is supplied by the school, in­clud­ing surf­boards and wet­suits. “In­struc­tors go into the wa­ter when they are giv­ing les­sons. Dif­fer­ent rates are in place rang­ing from oneon-one les­sons to group ses­sions”, said David.

“Be­sides begin­ner les­sons, we also hope to pro­vide ad­vanced coach­ing and work with schools in Gra­ham­stown and Port Al­fred tak­ing young peo­ple surf­ing,” said David.

“You are never too young or too old to surf.

“Kye started at three and the old­est per­son I got into surf­ing only took up the sport when he was 60. He still surfs six years later and is more stoked than any young­ster I know,” said David.

Shaka Surf School will have daily les­sons dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son at East Beach and les­sons can be ar­ranged through­out the year by call­ing David on 082 335 4764 or Cuan, 083 501 8955, or visit the Shaka Surf School Face­book page for more in­for­ma­tion. sport@gro­cotts.co.za

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