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Surfing: Scottburgh

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Surfing: Scottburgh
Submitted by capdog on Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - 09:25

Here's the pilot of a new series I want to start, something along the lines of a "Surf Spot Review" article. In each episode, myself and some of my more adventurous mates will be scouting and documenting cool surf spots up and down the coast. It's more for us than you really, because we're the ones who will be having all the fun, and you only get to read about it.

But maybe it'll be the inspiration you need to get out there and try one of the hundreds of great breaks that can be found in close proximity to the city. Maybe we'll convince everyone to piss off to other places, so I can finally have New Pier all to myself. Here's hoping.

The timing sucks of course, now that it's Autumn and the winds are howling, but despite this surfing can still be a year-round activity in these parts, and many a summer has dished up a decent swell. The other point is that we won't be looking to report on only amazing surf; as far as I'm concerned information is just as valuable whether the conditions are good or bad.

This is not meant to be a surf conditions reporting tool, like ShareSurf, which provides up-to-date pictures; but rather a more philosophical, detailed look at a spot with a bit of multimedia thrown in the mix. So here it is, a small sample of what may be in store, depending on how quickly I get bored of this idea:

Scottburgh



Use the controls to zoom in, and the mouse to pan around. Click on the markers and lines for more info.

That's 'Scottburgh', not 'Scottsburg' as Google Maps would have you believe. Approximately 50km South of Durban lies this quaint little town that is frozen solid in the 1970's, complete with a miniature railway, tidal pool and klein-dorpie vibe.

The main swimming area is positioned in a small bay that is sheltered by a rocky point. The boats launch just to the North of that, and tend to come precariously close to surfers as they speed past the breakers.

We arrived mid-morning on Saturday 25th August, after spending a bit of time investigating other spots on the way down from Durbs. For some reason the wind had affected all of them, but Scottburgh was looking quite resilient and certain sets even quite beckoning. There were a couple of people out, about seven or eight, and we figured that although that seemed like a lot, it would still be worth a ride.

The easiest way to get to the waves is often the most dubious; as the rock jump undoubtedly proves. You can't get too close to the edge of the rocks, in case a big wave comes along and sweeps you clean off your feet. So instead you have to judge when you think the last wave of the set is coming in, then jump out onto your board and hope like hell that the water doesn't recede before you paddle out past the point of no return.

Ok, so that's a bit dramatic, but if you're used to sandy beaches or jumping off a pier then you can expect to be at least mildly freaked out by razor-sharp barnacles hiding just beneath a layer of white foam.

On this particular Saturday the 3ft right wave was running fairly cleanly from the rocks towards the North. It would start to break in a shallow bowl section immediately next to the rocks, and with a number of people jostling for a turn, it proved to be a case of 'he who is closest to the danger wins the wave'. The good surfers who were used to the steep take-off were easily lapping that advantage up (i.e. not me).

The guys were getting some fantastic rides, lasting all the way to the beach. Obviously at some point the word got out, and every local surfer for miles hurriedly made their way down to the water. Within half an hour, there were about 30 people all hanging out in the take-off zone, but within arms length of each other. Trying to dodge crowds is not exactly our cup of tea, so we took it as the cue to bail.

I will therefore have to suggest that if you want to get any decent rides at Scottburgh Main, midday on Saturday is not the time to be there. Try early on a weekday rather, if you have the luxury of that choice.

The beach has a great little restaurant centre, with a Wimpy poised perfectly on the edge, giving diners a panoramic view of the surf. It also makes a tasty set of bacon and eggs. There's nothing like the immediate satisfaction of a post-surf chow, especially when it's a Saturday and the hangover is just starting to kick in.

Have you surfed Scottburgh before? What did you think? If you have any suggestions or think you know the perfect conditions to hit it, then please leave a comment!

I'll be taking my camera with me on future missions and hopefully I'll be able to post some videos and high-res pictures. The question then remains: where should we go next? So many awesome spots, so little time to surf them all...



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Subject:  Scottburgh
Author:  SteveTuna
Date:  28 August, 2007 - 11:04

I had the pleasure of surfing this wave on the morning in question... what a great set-up. There were a few guys but nothing crazy for a saturday morning.

I recommend that everyone has a little "scroll" around the map. You will see just how many points there are nearby with great waves. I of course wont tell you which ones but lets just say that they are pretty nearby and just as good as Scotties.


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Subject:  We will have to pay them a
capdog's picture
Author:  capdog
Date:  28 August, 2007 - 11:21

We will have to pay them a visit sometime soon!


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Subject:  other points?
Author:  chrisso
Date:  29 August, 2007 - 07:01

Pipe?

C'mon man, fess up..


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Subject:  surf breaks
Author:  chrisso
Date:  29 August, 2007 - 06:46

Cool idea man

Yah Scottys for me is the best break on the South Coast up until Southbroom. It also breaks right further into the Bay if the point crowd get too much. The only problem with Scotty's is that Caravan Park, and the point at Caravan Park called Pipe doesn't seem to work as it used to. We used to score that place breaking at 4-5 feet for about 150m, a really rolling easy takeoff into a long face, adn then it hits the inside section and just goes BOOM!!

As with all South Coast breaks, wind tends to stuff things up. The bathing area side is fairly sheltered from a westerly tho, so if the rest of the coast is blown out, it is still worth checking out on a small swell. Otherwise yah, light west or no wind with a good groundswell running and it goes ballistic. Biggest I have ridden it is 6 - 7 feet, the place could probably handle bigger, although I would probably be watching at that point!

Another break to add to your list: Coffee Bay, Transkei. I surfed it last week while on holiday there. If you are staying at the backpackers you walk either around the Coffee Bay headland, or along the gravel road and then around the lagoon. Absolutely beautiful place to surf. No-one else was surfing any of the three days I surfed, and there are no shark nets, so felt a little bit hairy but I got used to it!

Got some fun waves but didn't score big time. There is a right point along the edge of the Bay. In the middle of the Bay there is a good left, apparently excellent on high tide, got to be careful of the current tho. The paddle can be hectic, and this place is pretty fickle, but on the right day wheeww could be on.


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