I love the West Coast! Every time I head up there I just fall in love all over again. One of the main reasons is what I like to call the “West Coast Handshake”. For this event, myself and Stanley Badger drove up a few days early and we arrive at pretty good Elands Bay in the morning with quite the crowd on it. Have a surf, go have lunch, come back to the point and the crowd gone and an old guy from the coast in the parking lot. We have a quick chat and he says, “Enjoy the empty lineup, I am paddled out and heading home.” and he shakes my hand. We score three hours of uncrowded perfection.
This is followed by the first ever WSL event on the coast and as per usual YoYos delivers whether 2ft, 8ft, crossshore or offshore and high tide or low tide. The kids are going off, the Pros are frothing and the vibe is super chilled and everyone is smiling. (Just watch the videos I tell you!) Mike February is looking sublime, but Beyrick de Vries has a look in his eye. Funny then that both end up in the final with Beyrick just pipping Mikey. In the juniors Jordy Maree smokes the field and it is good to see the Grom smiling from ear to ear with a big victory. No huge party follows, just fire, braai and a few beers. West Coast style.
I find myself parked at one of the multitude of reefs along the coast road, one surf down already on a Monday. The waves are out there and looking pretty good. A car pulls up with a bunch of frothing surfers who have just arrived. I say hi, we chat about the event and how the waves looking. A good little set peels off down the reef. I tell them to go enjoy themselves, I am hitting the road. We shake hands and I drive off with a big smile on my face.