IF surf stoke was a virus, an epidemic broke out at South Africa’s first adaptive surfing contest. The surf in front of the Pavilion at Muizenberg was tiny, literally about one-foot high. But the hearts of the competitors were big, partly puffed up by the thrill of surfing with comrades from around the country.
People were here to have fun, meet new people or hang out together. No tubes were grinding down the sandbar. But there were barrels of laughs, even some tears, a few hugs, but mostly just sheer stoke.
Apparently your body releases endorphins when you laugh. And a lot of people were laughing. Endorphins are released when you surf too. Everyone was getting a double dose of drug-free medication.
A few of the many local surfers who volunteered at the inaugural Triggerfish SA Adaptive Surfing Champs, which sets the country on a path to the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo, made a few ironic observations.
They commented how the humility and generosity of the human spirit on display on the beach were so different from the ugly scenes that spoiled aspects of a recent junior competition in Jeffreys Bay. There were reports of shocking behaviour from children and parents alike, with feuds devel-