Posted by: smithdavid | September 8, 2013

Days Like This

Even though I haven’t driven down to the sea, I’m certain that it’s going to be pretty small this morning. There was not much of a wave when I was in yeserday evening.

But I phone Andre anyway, I fly to Cape Town tonight and I want one last lesson.

Ja, come around…’ he says, ‘it might even be a little big over here, but should be good…’

I slide Christine into Phoenix and then I’m off to Nahoon.

Now we’re suited up and walking from the Nahoon car park, along the beach to the southern end, where the wave is coaxed to break by the reef.

‘We’ll take the rip in,’ says Andre. ‘I usually don’t tell guys to do this in lessons but you’ll be okay…’

down towards the reef...

down towards the reef…

Once we’re in the water Andre points out the rocks with which I should align myself. I lay down onto Christine, begin paddling. My arms ache, it’s been fourteen days in a row of surfing. I was hoping that at this stage my body would be used to the strain but I’m feeling a little drained.

There are two sets of waves to paddle through, the rip does make it easirer but I’m out of breath before long. Eventually I’m out back, sitting up on Christine.

Andre looks up. ‘We better go out a little farther, that next set may smash us…’ I begin paddling again.

We get over the oncoming set before they break, my arms straining. There are 5 or so others in the line up, I sit up again, watch as one or two take solid five-foot-face waves.

‘Right, let’s get you set up on this one…’ says Andre. I turn and Andre gets ready to give me an extra push. ‘Nah, we’re too early…’ he says and pulls me back.

someone gives it air at nahoon reef...

someone gives it air at nahoon reef…

On the third wave I get set again. ‘Ja, this should be good…’ he shouts and I paddle hard. The wave pulls at Christine and I get up unsteadily, never quite getting set. I see the sheer face and if I was only a little closer to the lip I’d probably make a thirlling drop. But the wave leaves me behind and I fall over.

I paddle back to Andre, dissapointed.

‘I shoulda made that one,’ I say.

He smiles, shakes his head. ‘It goes that way sometimes…’

I miss another wave, then get up on one and as I’m about to make the drop fall off again. It’s like I’m only just starting.

Andre lines one up and takes it. He has a relaxed, calm posture as he rides along the lip.

‘Sorry, couldn’t resist…’ he says, grinning when he returns.

I miss a few more waves.

‘Don’t worry about it,’ says Andre, ‘you sometimes have days like this…’

We wait for a while, the others in the line up seem to be taking waves at will. ‘I’ve got to get in for another lesson, come and say cheers before you go…’ says Andre and takes a wave in.

I paddle a little closer to shore, to where the waves seem to be reforming and where there will be no one else going for them. The first waves comes and I turn and paddle. I feel it pull and I’m up, the lip curling over just in fornt of me. Why couldn’t I do this half an hour ago, I wonder.

There are for or five more like it, four or five great rides.

Eventuallly I take one in, thinking of my flight later and of packing.

‘I saw you get up on a few there, lekker…’ says Andre when I pass him on the beach. ‘See you next year…’

‘Maybe sooner…’ I say, thinking of how I have to move back so that I can surf.



  1. Dave,

    I took a break from my blog etc. but now checking back in.

    I have finally begun to seriously return to surfing. I was an okay surfer as a boy but it’s been a long, long time. I bought an 8 foot, soft top, “pop out” very cheap and waxed it up and off I go. Been catching some waves and getting some rides- actually I’m doing a lot better than I thought I’d do.

    When I get decent again, I’ll invest in a good board but for now this is all good.

    Thanks for the inspiration.


    • glad to see you back, tom. and glad you’ve gone back to surfing. it makes me happier than anything else i’ve ever done. keep at it…dave

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