Surfer Dudes at Jeffreys Bay
Surfers, I’ve always felt, often are rather cliché. Perhaps this is harsh as not all surfers are. But often, you can tell just by looking at someone, or talking to them about non-surf related things, when someone is a surfer. Now this is not a negative thing at all. It’s merely an observation. After leaving Hogsback Claire and I went to Jeffreys Bay – or J’Bay as the local surfers call it – back on the coast. This surf town is supposed to be home to some of the best surfing in South Africa so naturally Claire and I spent two days there and didn’t go in the water once not even to paddle. I do sort of wish that we’d gone surfing now that we’ve left, however, at the time it was pretty cold and I was still having headaches. They are the excuses that I am sticking with anyway.
We stayed at a cool backpackers that was a few minutes walk from the ‘Supertubes’ – the best surf beach in the bay. The backpackers was owned by a surfer dude called Antonio and staffed by other surfer dudes who were his mates. The atmosphere was extremely friendly. Surfer dudes are often very very friendly. Most of the guests at the place were also surfers including one old surfer dude who must have been in his late fifties. In the morning we woke up and were contemplating going in for a swim. Claire asked this old surfer if the water was warm. His reply was simply ‘we only talk about the waves here’. When Claire told me this I said that she should have asked him if the waves were warm.
During our stay we went to a nice place by the beach for some beers and food called Nina’s. It was a great bar, with an amazing selection of craft beers on tap. I opted for a really nice local larger and Claire chose to have four small glasses, sampling each one on offer. We then ate a gigantic meal and slowly slipped into a food coma. After we’d eaten the long haired surfer dude waiter came over and asked us ‘Are you stoked?’. He didn’t say ‘did you enjoy the meal?’ or ‘how was your food?’ he went in with ‘are you stoked?’ Brilliant. Classic surfer.
One of the surfers who was hanging around at our backpackers – I can’t tell if he worked there or not – was incredibly friendly but was also the perfect caricature of a surfer. He reminded me of the surfer dude sea turtle in Finding Nemo, but with a South African accent. He wore a beanie hat over his bright blonde, shoulder length hair. There was a table tennis table in the backpackers and I watched him play against Luke, the English guy who worked at the lodge. The surfer dude was very good at table tennis, but was terrible at keeping score. They would play for ten seconds, he would score a point and look up at Luke and go ‘what’s the score?’. Luke would reply and the pair would play on. Then, fifteen seconds later after the next point was scored the surfer dude would look up at Luke and say ‘what’s the score?’. Again, Luke would reply and they would continue playing. I can honestly say that I watched these guys play two entire games of table tennis and the surfer dude repeated his question after literally every point had been scored.
We spent two nights in Jeffreys Bay, spending our only full day hanging out on the beach watching the surfers and in cafes eating, drinking coffee and reading. After our time at the bay came to an end we then set off to our next destination – Nature’s Valley.