November Issue 2012 SURFING Magazine

posted by / Magazine / September 16, 2012


November Issue 2012 SURFING Magazine

Remember the “Kony 2012” campaign? That San Diego filmmaker who made the viral video in an attempt to convince the US government to “save the day” and capture Joseph Kony, a Ugandan warlord? And remember the Sudanese genocide? Remember blood diamonds? Remember AIDS?

Aside from the occasional safari gone right, it seems that all the news that comes out of the 54 countries that constitute Africa is about war, famine, poverty and corruption. It is painted as “The Dark Continent.” It is, as far as we know, the scariest place on earth.

I almost moved there a few years ago. I was at the tail end of a six-month trip through the continent, staying on South Africa’s east coast and feeling quite at home. I’d found friends, a girl, a million waves and a handful of lions. Africa was paradise. But I was out of money, so I flew home with intentions to work, save and return indefinitely. Then I met a better girl and started work at this fine publication.

But to this day, I remember Africa fondly. I remember empty, white-sand beachbreaks. Penguins swimming through Cape Town lineups. Five-second tubes at Jeffrey’s that carry you for 75 yards, offshores howling. And the non-surf stuff that makes Africa, Africa. Water buckets carried on heads, hips swaying. The waiting for buses; an unhurried pace of life. Elephants. Thatched roofs, beads and baobab trees.

Despite all the shit that you hear in the media — a lot of which, sadly, is true — Africa is the best place in the world to be a surfer. Looking only at South Africa, you’ve got two coasts that face two different oceans that constantly usher swell toward the Rainbow Nation. Outside of the cities, there are almost no crowds. I asked Saffa Damien Fahrenfort what he thought to be South Africa’s surfing population. “I’d be surprised if there were 10,000,” he said. Back here in California there’s about a million, and fewer waves to support ‘em. And if Jeffrey’s Bay, Cave Rock and Elands aren’t enough to make you believers, rewatch the Africa section in Dane Reynolds’ First Chapter. South Coast perfection.

And that’s just one nation on a continent that has more than 20 countries that cop swell — only a third of which have been decently explored. What other gems are hidden along the coasts of Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Mauritania and Nigeria? Few trickle into our collective consciousness, but Craig Anderson enjoyed one during the month he spent in Africa this summer (see “Abalone Romance,” pg. 66). A summer spent exploring. Visiting family. Going right at J-Bay and left in a more uncharted region of the continent. Going left forever. Compiling minutes of barrel time each session. Dancing on a desert mirage. I’ve stared at these waves enough this month that, even though I’ve never been there, they’ve begun to seep into my African flashbacks. Or perhaps, with any luck, African flashforwards. –Taylor Paul

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  • SirShredAlot

    dont know what was better Bruce’s barrels or those fun bags…

  • James Cavalier

    Sick Video! who edited it and what program did they use?

  • Craig

    After reading your article Mexican Nightmare I was a little surprised that no details were given as to the location of the incident. I was one of the surfers who stayed in that house just prior to the incident and feel quite lucky we were not victimized. Prior to our trip we were assured by the owner of the home that the area was totally safe and that the cartels were making sure American travelers were left alone. While we had a great time and nothing negative happened, we were dismayed to find out after the fact that there had in fact been some problems before we went. Being purposely misled regarding the safety for travelers in the area may be understandable when a home owner has a financial incentive to promote their rental, I think Surfing Magazine writers as journalists have some responsibility to inform your readership where this happened and in essence issue a warning about the area.

    The writer did a good job creating an interesting and entertaining read, he may have failed in his responsibility as a journalist by missing an opportunity to help inform the surfing community of an area probably better avoided until things settle down. Hopefully no other surfers will be terrorized or worse because they weren’t warned specifically regarding Troncones and the surrounding area.