© 2022 - Filmed and edited by Jbay TV.

EXCLUSIVE: Watch JBay's Three Day Swell Bender

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The second swell of the season had several highlights on the forecast. The most important was that last week looked like a multiple-day swell, from Wednesday through. However, there was an unusual mid-afternoon surge on the third day, indicating that the swell was going to, at the very least, stay steady over the whole window. 

There were still plenty of people arriving for this incoming swell, probably much to do with the fact that it was only the second decent looking push of the year. Last month, the terrible flooding in Durban meant that many of those beaches were still unsurfable and closed. Even if they were open, the risk of surfing these waters was high. Hence, many surfers from Durban were heading to JBay for every swell to ensure they were getting a decent weekly wave count. 

Live cam! JBay

Morning hues.

Morning hues.

© 2022 - Mike Ruthnam.

But on the day, not as many turned up as everyone thought. This could result from constantly upgraded fuel prices, making many surfers think twice before a big journey.

Currently sitting at R24.17 for a litre of 95 petrol, it was only R9.18 ten-years-ago. The return trip from Cape Town to JBay has become more expensive than many can afford. There were more vehicles from the George/Southern Cape area and cars from East London.  

The first waves of the swell came streaking in from the west. The wind was blowing a literal gale. The horizon was a series of soldiers marching from the west and going straight past Cape St Francis, sticking out in the ocean. There was no wrap, no swell bending into the little bays. It was all storming straight past, heading for JBay and Gqerberha (Port Elizabeth).

Adin Masencamp.

Adin Masencamp.

© 2022 - Mike Ruthnam.

It hit JBay fast, smashing the point with those streaking winds, but it quickly got to a tidy 4-6 foot at Supers. Some people don't know how to surf when the wind gets that strong, but the JBay locals do, and do it with style and poise. The key is to stay low and hang back in the pocket. Warren Dean spent most of his time in the barrel and was probably the least affected by the wind. Former longboarding World Champion Steven Sawyer was hanging at the base of the waves on his backhand, hardly going near the lip and carving mid-face on his backhand. 

Fellow goofy-footer and WSL Challenger Series surfer Joshe Faulkner was following suit. He was carving some power turns off the face with plenty of spray as the wind whipped all moving water into a frenzy.

The swell pushed into the afternoon, and some solid clean-up sets would periodically wash through, partially cleaning up the lineup every time. Jame Ribbink was one of the surfers who had flown in from Durban to escape the broken town beaches. He was one of the standouts on the first swell day, getting some great barrels across the car park and throwing some power carves as the wind continued to scream. 

Jono McGillivray, yeah, Matt's bro.

Jono McGillivray, yeah, Matt's bro.

© 2022 - Mike Ruthnam.

Others to join the throng were two east coast powerhouse surfers and long-time friends, Sean Holmes and David Pfaff. Both originally from Victoria Bay, Sean and David are standouts at Supers. Sean has the reputation as one of the fiercest wildcards to ever surf in a CT event at JBay. Sean had Andy Irons's number at Supers, eliminating him from two events in a row and nearly beating him for the hat-trick.

Making the quick trek from his home at The Wilderness, David hooked into his fair share of bombs. "After missing the opening swell of the year, I was super eager to get the next one. At first, I was a little concerned as the swell height was only 4.5m at the peak, but what did give me comfort was the angle was near perfect, and the period was around 16 seconds," said Pfaff. "However, what the ocean delivered exceeded my expectations. The swell was far stronger and bigger than expected. It came early, which is rare, and the consistency was incredible."

David Pfaff.

David Pfaff.

© 2022 - Mike Ruthnam.

Pfaff was cognisant of the ripping that was going down. "The level of surfing was very high," said Pfaff. “The young guns that impressed me were Eli Buekes, Adin Masencamp, Joshe Faulkner and James Ribbink. I'd never seen Eli surf before this swell and was blown away with some of his waves."

Mikey February made an appearance as well. Easily one of the most recognisable surfers in the water, MFeb showed his usual flair and stylish quirks. MFeb does most of his surfing these days on twinnies, and his stylish carves combined with some interesting grooves on the Supers faces made him one of the standouts of the swell.  

Adin Masenamp said: "There was definitely a lot of energy behind both of the swells, making for some interesting wash throughs as well but when you got on the right wave it was as good as JBay gets, allowing you to draw the lines you want on its open canvas."

"I feel as though when you're in JBay for a couple days, by the end of the trip all of the waves you get become a bit of a blur in your memory," added Eli Beukes.

Eli, eyeing up the paddle out...

Eli, eyeing up the paddle out...

© 2022 - Mike Ruthnam.

...smashed it.

...smashed it.

© 2022 - Mike Ruthnam.

The popular Zoe Steyn was another goofy-footer showing confidence with her performance. One of South Africa's top female talents and a Challenger Series competitor, Steyn has been groomed on the powerful Nahoon Reef lineup in East London and coached by Greg Emslie. She surfs with style and precision. Steyn has a powerful backhand hack, has notched up a few 10-point rides on her backhand in her competitive career, and showed her class and prowess at Supers throughout the swell. 

Zoe Steyn.

Zoe Steyn.

© 2022 - Mike Ruthnam.

After recently competing in the Women's Challenger Series Boost Mobile Gold Coast Pro, Steyn put the crowds into perspective. "It was an amazing swell," said Steyn." There were pumping waves for here days, and coming from Snapper, it felt unbelievably uncrowded. There's no better feeling than high lining down a perfect Supers wall. A bunch of guys were absolutely ripping out there. A few standouts were Mikey February, Steven Sawyer, Adin Masencamp and Eli Beukes."

The third day of the swell showed a surprising afternoon push. The swell was perfectly lined up, and there were some clean barrels across the Carpark Section. 

Further west, a few guys ventured out at Bruces Beauties on the height of the swell. There were a few flashes of promise and a few sets stacked up a Killers. It was short-lived however, they were on the wrong side of the tide, and there was about an hour of fun before it disappeared on the rocks.  

Meanwhile, down the coast a big wave session was going off at Sunset Reef.

Yeah, that's 13-year-old Levi Kolnick...

Yeah, that's 13-year-old Levi Kolnick...

© 2022 - Ian Thurtell.

"It was wild out there," said big wave charger Matt Bromley. "I was riding an 8'2" which was pretty low volume compared to the other surfers on their 9ft rhino chasers. It was a rogue setup, like, a poorman's Shipstern's with a clamp at the end. On Wednesday, that swell was solid, lots of lumps, ledges and some big barrels.

Sam Warren.

Sam Warren.

© 2022 - Ian Thurtell.

...and all smiles after.

...and all smiles after.

© 2022 - Ian Thurtell.

"Jake Elkington, Sam Button and Sam Warren were sending it with some mad beatings and air drops. I actually got one of the worst beatings of my life."

Bromley! Before beating.

Bromley! Before beating.

© 2022 - Grant Scholtz.

"It was epic," added Jake. "It's not often waves that size are so clean and perfect. I was worried I was undergunned on a 7'6" bit it held up and allowed me to take off under the lip. Crazy to get that run of swell at home."

James Lowe.

James Lowe.

© 2022 - Grant Scholtz.

Jake Elkington arrived last, was writing exams but still managed to bag a few.

Jake Elkington arrived last, was writing exams but still managed to bag a few.

© 2022 - Grant Scholtz.

Mike Sclebush.

Mike Sclebush.

© 2022 - Grant Scholtz.

© 2022 - Ian Thurtell.