20 April, 2017 20 April, 2017

Sean Thompson: Finding Jbay

Cape Town photographer, Sean Thompson shares his gallery of images from a trip to J-Bay over the Easter weekend of waves. His history with JBay, and more accurately, Supertubes, is a short one that took a long time as Sean spent years thinking that the beginner spot, Kitchen Windows, was the infamous Supertubes. 

“Some stories should be told and others left under-wraps,” says Sean. “My story of finding J-Bay is one that should be left untold but what the hell – if one can’t laugh at oneself then who can you laugh at? My first real trip there was about ten years ago when I breezed in and breezed out whilst en route on a business trip to P.E. My destination, the Billabong factory shop and hopefully some scorching surf too. After emptying my wallet at the till point I shot across the road and down to the beach. The surf was pretty average – no peeling lines that I had seen in images over the years. I never even bothered taking photos with my small Sony camera.”

We all love J-Bay!

“I started visiting St. Francis Bay annually in the mid 2000’s to partake in a their showcase golfing festival – The Calamari Classic – and each year I would hit the bumpy dirt road that split St Francis from J-Bay and check into the factory shop followed by same trip to what I thought was the mecca of SA surfing. Each trip delivered the same result – no peeling waves and not much to write home about. The turning point was 2014, I had bought a proper camera by then and had thrown myself into my new hobby – surf photography – and with this came a mandatory trip to the J-Bay Open. On arriving I was quick to find out that I had never seen Supers fire because I had in actual fact been going to Kitchen Windows and walking up the beach toward Aston Bay!”

Warren Dean was a standout in the sessions.

“I have subsequently discovered Supers  Boneyards, Point, Magnas etc. and have developed a true love for the spot. There were a lot of top surfers travelling for the contests down the coast, here are some images from 2 weeks ago…”

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