I had such a great time and great waves in J-Bay in March and April, but statistically speaking, the most consistent ground-swell-season in J-Bay is from June to August. So I went back there and stayed there for 6 weeks.
The below is what I did and what happened to me during my second visit in J-Bay:
There was a Japanese surfer staying at Ubuntu when I checked in. His name was Takuro from Chiba prefecture and it was my very first time to see him then, but he somehow looked quite familiar to me and there was a reason why.
In September 2011, I was in El Salvador and I met Japanese bodyborder Kyoko then (refer to the related article for more details). She was backpacking around the world and her travel blog featured Takuro a lot as they travelled together from El Salvador to Panama, while I went to Guatemala and Mexico afterwards.
Takuro was such a nice easy-going guy who loved surfing as well as playing guitar.
On this night, he made Okonomi-yaki (a Japanese pancake) for every guest and staff member at Ubuntu. I was a little skeptic about how good it could be in the beginning, assuming no proper ingredients here in J-Bay, but it actually turned out to be very very good and everyone in the house enjoyed it.
The photo below shows the one he made for me. Gochiso-sama, Takuro!
@ 2012/06/07 (Thu)
I caught the longest right-hander wave ever in my life today. Here is what happened:
A few bombs appeared out of nowhere after I patiently waited on the busy outside line-up of SuperTubes. I caught one of them, made a deep bottom-turn and saw a big wall of water in front of me. It was a little intimidating to me and made me just want to race it as fast as I could. The wave eventually led me all the way to Tubes.
Later in the afternoon I looked at Google Map to see how long my ride was. It was approximately 800m in total. So Stoked!
@ 2012/06/12 (Tue)
Very luckily, there were only eight guys in the water this afternoon. It was a hassle-free session for me and I got a barrel then.
Funnily enough, it was max 4ft on sets when I paddled out around 3pm, but an hour later it picked up to 6 to 7ft on sets.
J-Bay's conditions seem to constantly change by minutes, hours and days.
@ 2012/06/13 (Wed)
It was quite hectic on the line-up of SuperTubes this morning as set-waves were more than double overhead and breaking widely.
I got the wrong timing to paddle out from the keyhole. As a result, I was ruthlessly pounded by several set-waves. And when I was finally able to take a deep breath in, I realized that I was washed away to Salad Bowl, about 600m down from where I paddled out....
On my way back to SuperTubes from Salad Bowl, another big set came through and I just didn't take it seriously then. I duck-dove the first wave and I didn't push down my board hard enough. Thus, the GoPro mount-kit attached to the upper deck of my blue Al Merrick 6'1 smashed my forehead. The photo below shows what I got then. Nature can be so unforgiving at times.
@ 2012/06/20 (Wed)
I got out to SuperTubes around 9am this morning and came back in around 14:30pm. Without a doubt this is the longest single surf-session I've ever had in my life!
In fact, waves weren't really good when I paddled out. It was very inconsistent then. However, as tides started coming in later on, it suddenly went firing at SuperTubes and it just became better and better with only a handful of guys out there.
I was super exhausted and walking back to Ubuntu like a zombie in the end, but I was over the moon.
The photos below show a segment of my ride today. These were taken by South African surfer Buzz. Shot Buzz!
One more thing to note here: just before I was about to paddle out to SuperTubes this morning, one surfer came and asked me if I were surfing at Gurupuk Inside in Lombok in 2010.
I said to him "Yeahhh, but how did you know?". "I was there too. I remember you!", he said.
His name is David from Cape Town and he told me that he was in Lombok with his wife then. What a small world! And I was actually even more surprised about David's good memory.
@ 2012/06/24 (Sun)
I got out to SuperTubes around 10am this morning. The wind was offshore (as always) and waves were about 4ft on sets. There were about 10 guys on the outside and 10 more guys around the inside section (it was a Sunday crowd). Despite the number of guys in the water, we had no hassle and no drama because most waves this morning were sectioning and the crowd spread out.
After I caught several Okay waves, I sat between the outside and the inside section when a big set suddenly came through. Everyone started paddling frantically towards it.
Two guys on the furthest outside caught one for each and then the next wave appeared to be even much bigger than the previous two. It definitely looked makable to me. So I dashed to the take-off spot and took off, though at one moment I thought that the wave might be too wide and would close out on me. The fact was, it didn't close out. I made a bottom-turn and let myself into the glassy wall of water with a small exit clearly visible in front of me. A few seconds in the barrel and I came out of it with a big grin on my face.
The photo below is the cheese cake at my favourite cafe Nina's after today's session. A treat for myself!
@ 2012/06/29 (Fri)
Another barrel to be had today. This time I got it at Boneyards.
It was sunny this morning and waves were about 4ft on sets with light offshore winds. The barrel formed on the second wave I caught. I did quite a late take-off, yet the wave didn't suck me over and peeled off nicely above my head. As a shining arch of water appeared before my eyes, I felt like I was blessed by this divine wave. Breathtakingly beautiful.
@ 2012/06/30 (Sat)
The worst session ever today! And the worst of the worst was that I ended up staying in the water for almost 5 hours, waiting hopelessly for one more set-waves to come to me. But they never did. Good waves were always taken by greedy locals....
As today's set-waves came every 20 minutes or so, it was super slow and crowded. Completely opposite to what I got yesterday, not always a good thing comes to me :(
@ 2012/07/01 (Sun)
Funny! Nothing like yesterday as I had a good 4-hour session today with my SpitFire. It was about 4ft on sets with occasional bombs and no wind until 11am. Hahaha!
The biggest surprise was that I ran into Whip at SuperTubes this morning. He is a Delta Airlines pilot and I met him last December in N'Gor, Senegal. Such a small world!