Beach Protest in Durban


Media Release
Durban Surf Protest

Photo from Facebook post


Surf Protest with a Difference 06h00am-08h30am

Released by Ray de Vries
A professional surfer, Beyrick de Vries, a street child and a lawyer will be amongst the protesters who will be in the surf this morning from 06h00 at New Pier on Durban beachfront.
The surfers are protesting against the inane beach ban that prohibits them from practicing their sport – the law prohibits them from crossing the beach to get into the water to surf.
The group left Durban harbour earlier this morning to get to New Pier on Surf City’s Golden Mile.
They will surf close to the shore but will not put a toe on the beach so as not to break any of the senseless restrictions.
Durban attorney, Grantham Taylor, has been tasked to accompany the surfers to help in case of wrongful arrest.
The protestors will be back in the harbour at Wilsons Wharf at 09h00 for interviews and pic opportunities.
Released by Ray de Vries of Ray de Vries Media, Marketing and Sponsorship. For further info please contact Ray 0828844881

Surfing South Africa motivates for relaxing surfig restrictions

The Board of Surfing South Africa has submitted a motivation to the authorities to request that the current regulations preventing surfers from accessing the ocean, be relaxed or amended to enable all surfers to surf legally.

The motivation addresses recreational and competitive surfers,, coaches and surf schools. The economic impact that beach closure is mentioned but not detailed as this is beyond SSA’s current scope.

CAll to lift surfing restrictions

Our proposals, if accepted, would be most successful if all athletes, surfing structures and surf related businesses form co – operative relationships. These are outlined in the statement but until we receive a positive response, there is no point in providing comprehensive detail.

The authorities may not accept our proposed plan or they may request/suggest amendments which could lead to changes in the strategy.

Our proposal takes into account the adjusted Lockdown 3 amendments gazetted on 11 January.

SSA understands and supports the National priority at this time, which is to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 second wave. With this in mind, we request that all surfers and ocean users comply with the current regulations.

SSA does not believe that the changes we are proposing will in any way increase the risk of spreading Covid-19, provided the protocols we have recommended are complied with by the ocean users themselves.

SSA has very limited resources and we request that the surfing community appreciate that we cannot respond to individual requests for information on the current situation.

We will provide further updates as and when relevant information is to hand. This information will be communicated on social media and to the district surfing bodies as well as the disciplines that are part of SSA. We request that districts and disciplines distribute this information to their members accordingly.

Surfing South Africa appreciates the co – operation of our surfers and fellow ocean users at this time.

Surfing South Africa is the recognized governing body for the sport of surfing in South Africa and is a member of the SASCOC.

Media Release

Khule Ngubane’s Back To The Roots Skate Event


Khule Ngubane © Luke Patterson

Durban – Much heralded South African skateboarder Khule Ngubane was host to a Back To The Roots Skate Event on the weekend. Taking place at Durban’s beachfront skate park, it was very well attended, and a fun event for all. Khule’s reasons for holding the event was to simply have a good day at the park and to get skaters involved. He succeeded in doing all of these things, and more.

“I started the Back To The Roots events in 2018 as a means to uplift my skateboarding community,” said Khule. “It also serves to expose skateboarding to underprivileged communities. I ran an event in Chesterville township in Durban and in Alexander township in Johannesburg last year.”

Khule is a popular and well-known skater and personality, with a large following on both social media and at events like this. He displayed his skills on the board during the event, and handled the mic with equal talent, cheering competitors on while having as much fun as everyone who was there.

“Pursuing skateboarding as a career was a hard and challenging experience for me,” said Khule. “I had to hide my skateboard from my family and deal with kids teasing me for choosing a predominantly white sport. So  I wanted to create a safe haven, to make it easier for the next generation that’s interested in skateboarding by sharing my story.”

Siba Booi © Luke Patterson

The sport of skateboarding, much like all sports in South Africa, has suffered under lockdown. This was Khule’s way of giving back to the sport and thanking all of those who have supported him. Our country’s skaters can finally get back out there and spend time in the park, and Khule brought them together. “I was impressed by everybody at the event,’ said Khule.

Ezra Vosloo in action © Luke Patterson

The weather was superb, and the skating was insane. Khule handed out 8 complete decks to deserving entrants and had numerous other giveaways and prizes throughout this core skateboarding day. “When it comes to the talent we have the potential in South Africa,” said Khule. “but due to the lack of support we don’t have the facilities to nurture our kids.”

Keegan Linda © Luke Patterson

There were girls in the event, and they were unafraid and charging. A full contingent of groms was in attendance and having a go, as well as the hardcore skaters emerging from the woodwork. After the long winter, the riders were all keen to showcase their skills and get a call-out from Khule on the mic. 

This grassroots event, and skateboarding in general, surpasses age, race and gender. It’s all about skateboarders having fun and pushing their limits. “We really want to spread more awareness at a government level, to have a budget to build more skateparks and do skate clinics in the future,” said Khule. “Skateboarding is an Olympic sport. People need to understand that the kids aren’t just playing with a skateboard. They could be representing our country on the highest athlete platform in the world.”


For more on Khule –


Complimentary high-resolution images are available for media outlets on request.    


Distributed by Truth Collective

Big Wave Surfer Frank Solomon Opens Parley Ocean School with Parley for the Oceans and Sentinel Ocean Alliance

Hout Bay, Cape Town, South Africa. Sentinel Ocean Alliance founded by Frank Solomon in 2017 to create ocean-based opportunities and environmental education for the youth of South Africa, is pleased to announce the partnership with Parley for the Oceans for the opening of a new Parley Ocean School.

Parley Ocean School, Hout Bay

Parley Ocean School, Hout Bay ©Nick Muzik

“We started with the Waves for Change program here in Hout Bay,” said Solomon. “It started off with a few kids, and now we have 5 or 6 permanent employees, and a couple of hundred kids a week kids doing the program.”

Parley Ocean School takes an immersive approach to environmental education with the goal of inspiring marine conservation and empowering its next generation of leaders: Ocean Guardians. Parley Ocean School youth programs simplify complex marine threats through engaging materials developed with a global network of educators.

Frank Solomon

Frank Solomon © Nick Muzik

“Parley is committed to inspire, educate, and empower the next generation of Ocean Guardians. We are grateful for the partnership with Sentinel Ocean Alliance, and the strong network of community in Cape Town that will create a true impact with our Ocean School,” said Mike Long – Director of Operations, Parley for the Oceans. “By providing access to the tools and equipment necessary to learn and immerse these future leaders of our planet, and the skills and inspiration to act on their learnings, to help them use their power to create change.”

There was more to do, though. “Before long we embarked on establishing the Hout Bay Life Saving Club,” said Solomon, chatting about the early development of the Sentinel Ocean Alliance. “The club went on to win an award as the Best Development Club in the Western Cape and created 10 jobs for people who were previously unemployed.” 

The Parley Ocean School would then be the third step in educating the youth on ocean-based opportunities and environmental education.

“After these first two programs, they would come up the stairs to the Parley Ocean School and learn more about the ocean and why we need to protect it,” said Solomon.

Where it all goes down, Hout Bay. ©Nick Muzik

Where it all goes down, Hout Bay. ©Nick Muzik


“Some of the people who go through the Waves For Change program and go onto possibly become lifeguards still don’t understand pollution and waste management and looking after the environment. This is the central pillar of the Parley Ocean School.”

“The Parley Ocean School in Hout Bay is a critical step as Parley continues its programs and initiatives throughout South Africa.” – Mike Long, Director of Operations, Parley for the Oceans

Solomon has his eyes set further than just those people graduating from his learn to surf and lifeguard academy.        

“It’s not just for surfers and lifeguards though,” said Solomon.

“I am going to approach local restaurants and offer to get their staff to go through a program as well. This will help them also understand more about pollution and littering and what these things do the environment.”

The main Sentinel Ocean Alliance site is on Hout Bay Beach, on the Chapman’s Peak side. There are two containers and the Parley Ocean School will be the third forty-foot container.  

“There are a lot of opportunities in the ocean economy,” said Solomon. “If you’re not from an ocean environment, maybe from Hangberg or from a different township, you might not know how to access the ocean economy. The biggest hurdle we have found thus far is actually swimming. So the school is firstly teaching every kid to swim, to give them a possible entry into the ocean economy.’ 

In Solomon’s world, an ideal situation pans out something like this. A young kid, from a township, joins the Sentinel Ocean Alliance as a nipper, around 5 to 7 years old. He or she learns to swim with the Sentinel Ocean Alliance, then enters the Waves For Change program and learns to surf and gains confidence in the ocean.

They could then become lifeguards, and get a job as a lifeguard anywhere in the world. At Waves For Change, they can become a surf instructor. This person could then go on to get classes at the Parley Ocean School to learn further about the ocean and the environment from the school. This whole program is all about that kid.”  

The Parley Ocean School is set to open by the end of November.

For more information on the Sentinel Ocean Alliance and the Parley Ocean School please visit:

Eli Beukes Wins Second Round Of The Monster Combo

Eli BeukesIn another exciting round of competition, it was Kommetjie surfer Eli Beukes who took Round 2 of the Monster Combo. Eli’s crazy wave sees him win a R2,000 Pollywog gift voucher and an entry into the final, with a chance to win R20 000 cash and his spot on an international surf trip with Matt Bromley and the Zag and Monster teams. 

The Monster Combo Round 2 Local Hero Award goes to Forrest Hair from Vic Bay for some inspired surfing at his home break. He takes home a custom Channel Islands Surfboard, a Billabong Wetsuit and a case of Monster Energy for his efforts.

Forrest Hare

Here’s how the round 2 votes played out:

Monster – Eli Beukes – 100% commitment to the full rote, stomping it cleanly, and without hesitation or readjusting, smashed the close-out section. A close second is the absolute annihilation of a wave by DVZ, and we love seeing the barrel into man-carves by Luke Thompson and Ducky Staples.

Matt Bromley – Eli Beukes – With his mental full rotation air to close out manoeuvre. He used a crazy air reverse to project over the section, kept his speed, and finished pretty strong. It was fantastic innovation and speed.

Luke Thompson’s mental combo wave, with the end combo of a big carve to fin throw reverse, came in a close second (as well as his barrel with that seamless transition to power layback snap).

Zag – Eli Beukes for the win. Short, sharp, progressive, no wasted movements, massive full rotation air above the lip, clean landing straight into a fully committed, critical close-out lip smash. 7 seconds of glory. Ring the bell.

For more on the Monster Combo –

Distributed by Truth Collective

The John Whitmore Book Project

South African author, Miles Masterson, has interviewed more than 120 watersports legends over the past decade, including Americans filmmaker Bruce Brown and surfing and sailing innovator Hobie Alter, and 1977 surfing world champion, South Africa’s Shaun Tomson. 

The John Whitmore Book Project

John ‘The Oom’ Whitmore with the ‘The Endless Summer 2’ crew and cast, Cape St Francis, 1992. Image includes John Whitmore (bottom right), surfers Robert ‘Wingnut’ Weaver and Pat O’Connell (US), Shaun Tomson and Sharon Ngcobo (SA), as well as filmmakers Bruce Brown and son Dana Brown, and other local and international cast and crew. Image courtesy Gary Haselau (centre top).

Miles has also conducted extensive research, poring over family albums and scrapbooks, as well as visited national libraries and archives. All this in a quest to tell the incredible life story of one of South African surfing’s founding fathers, John ‘The Oom’ Whitmore (1929-2001), who also brought Hobie Catting and bodyboarding to the country in the 1970s.

Writing now almost complete, Miles has launched a crowdfunding campaign to get the book published. “John’s life is a cracking tale of surf discovery, entrepreneurial success and athletic achievement,” Miles says. “The goal has always been to create an entertaining read while preserving a classic slice of South African sporting history. Hopefully, with our crowdfunding campaign, we can now make that a reality.”

Why John Whitmore?

Whitmore’s influential life still resonates at home and globally. Also known as ‘The Doyen’, John was the first to shape fibreglass surfboards in Cape Town and founded SA’s first surfing brand in the 1950s. John gained Springbok colours for local surfers and managed three SA surfing teams at International Surfing Federation (ISF) world surfing contests in the 1960s and 1970s. 

The John Whitmore Book Project

John ‘The Oom’ Whitmore with the first full Springbok surfing team bound for the 1966 ISF World Championships in San Diego. (L to R): Donald Paarman, Robert MacWade, John Whitmore (manager), Margaret Smith, Marlene Webb, George Thomopoulos (captain), Errol Hickman, Cornel Barnett. Image: Whitmore Family Collection.

ohn’s efforts as a water sports administrator led to South Africa becoming a respected global powerhouse in surfing, Hobie Catting and bodyboarding, eventually resulting in several world champs, including 1977 IPS World Surfing Champion Shaun Tomson, and 1978 Hobie 16 World Champions Mick and Colin Whitehead. John also helped to establish their supporting industries, which thrive to this day.

But it was a chance encounter in 1960 with a travelling American surfer, Dick Metz, that originally put John in contact with the epicentre of Californian surf culture. Metz convinced his close friend, Bruce Brown, to visit South Africa and – directed there by Whitmore – he discovered ‘the perfect wave’ at ‘Bruce’s Beauties’ in Cape St. Francis, an epochal moment in surf history that was captured in the global smash hit movie, ‘The Endless Summer’. 

The John Whitmore Book Project

John meeting American filmmaker of ‘The Endless Summer’ fame, Bruce Brown, along with 60s US surf stars Robert August and Mike Hynson, in Cape Town in 1963. John steered Brown towards Cape St Francis, where he stumbled on the surf spot now known as ‘Bruce’s Beauties’, a discovery that made ‘The Endless Summer’ a worldwide box office hit. Image: Robert Price / Whitmore Family Collection.

The John Whitmore Book Project

The John Whitmore Book Project documents these and many other untold stories in an engrossing narrative. With the manuscript now mostly complete, the team behind the project is embarking on a fundraising campaign via South African crowdfunding platform Thundafund. The goal? To publish Whitmore’s biography in early 2021.

The crowdfunding campaign offers several premium products for backers, from limited run soft- and hardcover books including never-seen-before photographs, one-of-a-kind stickers and t-shirts, to two exclusive premier reward tiers, ‘The Oom’ Signature Series and ‘The Doyen’ Custom Collection, the latter tiers available to a total of only 60 backers. 

Supporters of these premier tiers will have their names published in the book, and will also receive limited edition Whitmore prints and a map of SA marking the key locations of John’s life. ‘The Doyen’ Custom Collection will also come with the book in a wooden box, feature a roll-up wall map and an exclusive collector’s item: a model replica of 1960s Whitmore longboard.

Says Miles, “We hope that the surfing and Hobie Catting communities will rally behind our effort and play a part in chronicling and preserving The Oom’s considerable legacy for future generations.” 

Crowdfunding link: