Surfing the early days. (1975 -1980)
It took a few years after that first day in Ballito before I started surfing with my friends Wade and Paw Paw. We would go down to South Beach where the waves were smaller and a lot easier to surf, I had been given an amazing new purple Lightning Bolt channel bottom single fin and it was my absolute pride and joy.
South Beach, 1975.
We lived on the Bluff and the waves there were way too heavy for us at first and the older locals were also a wild bunch and they scared the hell out of us. So the first few years we would go into “Town” early in the morning and learn to surf by ourselves. My Mom and Bruce lived in town pretty near the beach so it made things really easy. We would get a lift into town spend the morning at south beach, surfing and just hanging out by ourselves.
The Bluff and Town.
They were amazing times, there was no danger the beaches were safe and we had everything you could possibly ask for. Soccer was still my main sport and surfing was just a pastime really, we lived on the beach and surfing was just something you did. Sport in those days was just that, sport. There was virtually no professional sport of any kind at all and believe it or not any kind of organized sport on Sunday was not allowed by the Nationalist government.
Not for a second did I ever think that surfing would become such an important part of life.
I never set out with that goal in mind, it just kind of fell into place, one step at a time. Looking back I sometimes feel it was destined to be. My uncle “ Harry Hot Dog” was one of South Africa`s pioneer surfers and a surfing living legend. Bruce was one of the main men at the Bay of Plenty, the spawning ground of South African surfing talent and last but by far the most important piece in this equation was I lived just a few hundred metres from Garvies Beach on the Bluff. One of the most localized beaches in Africa and one of the best beach breaks in the world.