Thursday, 6 March 2014

The Bluff Revisited III

Continued.

Ironically, it was competitive surfing that changed the course of Martin’s life.
“I was in my twenties when I realised surfing was a way of getting out of the downward spiral I saw all my other friends in – the drugs and the violence and the fighting. Some of those people just never got out of that. I saw surfing as an excuse to get off the Bluff in a way, and at the time there was a nice, healthy competitive scene in South Africa.”
Martin began competing on the ASP, did well, and later found himself in Europe where he was offered the job as Director of ASP Europe - a position he held for nearly 15 years after he relocated to Spain. Nowadays he is candidly trying to come to terms with his roots and “the stupid shit we did”.

“I never really took drugs, but if you didn’t take drugs or drink or fight, you didn’t fit in, so you were almost forced into that lifestyle on the Bluff,” he says. “That’s just the way it was.”

Words- Will Bendix, editor ZigZag Surfing magazine, stolen from an article in Surfers Journal.

3 comments:

  1. “I never really took drugs, but if you didn’t take drugs or drink or fight, you didn’t fit in, so you were almost forced into that lifestyle on the Bluff,” he says. “That’s just the way it was.”

    Bullshit, just another loser excuse for not trying had enough. I lived on the Bluff at the same time as you and that was NOT the normal experience. Get real

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  2. Leigh Wassermann8 March 2014 at 07:56

    Dear Anonymous, I too grew up on the Bluff in the time period in question and didn't join the the "Drug Scene". but that being said I wasn't accepted as part of any peer group that hung out at certain differing venues on the Bluff. To be accepted and join those peer groups you had to fit in and to fit in the statement, “I never really took drugs, but if you didn’t take drugs or drink or fight, you didn’t fit in, so you were almost forced into that lifestyle on the Bluff,” he says. “That’s just the way it was.” is correct!

    Staying anonymous but calling someone a loser and attacking them for not trying hard enough is really shallow! if you grew up at the time and you want to criticize someone, at least have the fortitude to use your own name!

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  3. As I have no idea who or where your normal experiences were, I unfortunately cannot reply with any kind of factuality. However I am certainly glad you did not feel any peer pressure to fit in. Just to be absolutely clear these are not my words but have been taken from a conversation a while back but I can assure you I most certainly did say them and have not been misquoted in any way.It is an article directly about the Bluff beaches of Garvies, Ansteys and Brighton and no ways refers or is meant to refer to the Bluff as a whole. Thank goodness back in the 80´s the crack, heroin and cocaine did not exist in anyway as far as I know, the drugs I refer to are Zol, Dagga, Marijuana, which later during military service morfed into more exotic mixes of medication readily available in any pharmacy.
    As for it being normal or not, I can only relate to my own personal experience, I have no idea if it was normal or not.

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