The cult of surf­board cool

Fish Fry cel­e­brates craft, sus­tain­abil­ity of true eco-friendly surf­ing

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

90 per­cent of all blanks made in Amer­ica, and a sig­nif­i­cant chunk of the global mar­ket. There were real fears of a pro­duc­tion catas­tro­phe.

His nick­name, Grubby, was a per­fect fit. He was cofounder of the polyurethane foam board – which is dirty work. The sud­den col­lapse of his busi­ness forced the world to re­think surf­boards.

In­evitably, other foam com­pa­nies sprang up.

Com­peti­tors ramped up pro­duc­tion. But the push to find al­ter­na­tive ma­te­ri­als, such as dif­fer­ent woods, or less en­vi­ron­men­tally sen­si­tive plas­tics or carbon de­riv­a­tives, grew into an in­ter­na­tional move­ment.

To­day, wooden surf­boards and the use of the fin­less ala­ias and other an­cient Hawai­ian craft, has grown rapidly, in par­al­lel I guess to the growth of the hip­ster de­mo­graphic, rep­re­sented by roll-up pants, sin­gle- speed bi­cy­cles and gluten-free quiche.

You’re cool if you own a wooden surf­board or learn how to make your own. This weekend two events cel­e­brate the cult of surf­board cool.

The Wavescape Fish Fry cel­e­brates the craft side of surf­board mak­ing, with lo­cal board mak­ers such as WaWa and Bur­nett Wooden Surf­boards putting their boards on dis­play at the Blue Bird Garage in Muizen­berg, and in the case of Bur­nett, demon­strat­ing the much more gru­elling ( in labour and cost) process of go­ing from raw wood to the pol­ished work of art that you can go surf­ing with.

The Fish is a surf­board shape, and the Fish Fry – a global con­cept – was orig­i­nally a used surf­board mar­ket.

How­ever, the Cape Town ver­sion adds some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent. Dur­ing the af­ter­noon at the Blue Bird Garage in Muizen­berg, the board mar­ket will take place, but as dusk ap­proaches, the WWF’s South African Sus­tain­able Seafood Ini­tia­tive (SASSI) brings in two Ul­ti­mate Braai Mas­ter teams to com­pete against each other us­ing only sus­tain­able seafood.

Surfers – who know their fish boards from the edi­ble kind – will judge the two teams, Rust and Dust (run­ners up of Sea­son One) and Smoke, Sweat & Tears, who re­cently were culled from Sea­son Two. Pro­ceeds of the event go to the Waves For Change pro­gramme.

The party con­tin­ues later with a band and mu­sic by Cather­ine Gren­fell from 5fm.

In a sign that the arty, crafty side of surf­ing is grow­ing, another event takes place in Kom­metjie tomorrow with sim­i­lar aims.

The first an­nual Kom­metjie Boardswop at the Pri­mary School Hall sees a used surf­board and skate­board swop, fol­lowed by tarp surf­ing, mu­sic by Far­ryl Purkiss and other artis­tic en­deav­ours, in­clud­ing a Switch­foot movie pre­miere.

Funds from this event go to­wards get­ting lo­cal surfers to the 2014 world surf­ing cham­pi­onships.

Even surfers can be hip­sters.


THE SUP set con­gre­gates this Thurs­day, De­cem­ber 5, at the Water­front Canals for a char­ity Standup Pad­dle event hosted by Ocean­rid­ers, Core­ban and SUP Cape Town. Bring R25 and a wrapped present (stat­ing “boy” or “girl”) for a child in need at Red Cross Hos­pi­tal this Christ­mas. Pad­dle starts at 6.15pm – a 1.5km fun pad­dle to the One & Only Ho­tel and back. Boerie rolls and re­fresh­ments on sale and prizes to be won.

Art Boards

ELEVEN surf­boards have gone on dis­play at Su­perette in Wood­stock where they will hang un­til Wed­nes­day De­cem­ber 4 when they will be auc­tioned by co­me­dian Rob van Vu­uren. Brett Mur­ray, Roger Ballen, Mikhael Subotzky, Alice Edy and Manuela Gray are among the artists whose work will be sold to aid ocean char­i­ties. One board has been wrapped in cat­tle hide to make it look like a Zulu shield. Conn Ber­tish calls his board “a cul­tural weapon”. See www.wavescape­fes­ti­

Weather Tip

STIFF south­east­ers blow this weekend. To­day there is a lot of south in the wind, which gusts to near gale- force. Tomorrow it blows in more of a straight SE di­rec­tion, mak­ing it more off-shore for the west side of the penin­sula. It blows a steady 25 knots, so a lit­tle less se­vere than the Cape Doc­tor to­day.

The swell looks good on both days, with solid 4’ lines build­ing to 5’ or more by this evening, with 4-5’ surf con­tin­u­ing on the beach breaks tomorrow.

@WWF­SASSI the sus­tain­able seafood peo­ple will help you make the right choice about whether the seafood you con­sume is listed as sus­tain­able. Send ad­ven­ture news to: Spike is the founder of Twit­ter: @spike_wavescape Face­book: WavescapeSA

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