15 July, 2015 15 July, 2015

The Curse of the Star Wetsuit – by Christof Goosen

Looking to keep himself warm in the icy Atlantic, Christof Goosen dropped by his local surf shop to pick up some rubber. ‘The Curse of the Star Wetsuit’ is his entry into Write To Surf – Zag’s surf journo competition with epic prizes by Billabong up for grabs (see details below).




The room is damp, dark and dingy. There are surfboards covered in tribal patterns lining the walls and the air is thick with the smell of wax and expensive boardies. The shop attendant in front of me is a hot little hippie lady. She rocks the ‘trance party surfer girl with flowers in her hair’ look quite well, but I’m not here to flirt, I’m looking for a wetsuit.

“How about this one?” I ask, pointing at one that looks like it should suit my mad skills.

“This one is hand-stitched in the fiery climates of some third world Asian country. It is made of an advanced polymer that gives you unrivalled stretch and performance. The super seal technology prevents excess water from penetrating, thus defending you against cold conditions.”

What does she think she’s selling me, battle armour?

“Ja, ja, how much is it?” I ask. She has eyes as blue as a Dunes barrel and skin as light brown as the sand I eat when I’m trying to ride Dunes barrels.

“R3800,” she replies.

3800?! What am I buying, a space suit?! I scan the wetsuit rack. Polymers, super stretch, “advanced” this, “advanced” that. I just want rubber. I spot a hideous looking blue suit. It’s tucked in right at the back of the rack.


“And this one?” I lean towards it, but the fly little floral lady grabs me.

“That’s nothing,” she says. She has me in a tight hold now. I feel her boobs pressed against me. They are lekker boobs. I think she likes me, but I really need a wetsuit and the waves are lekker today; more lekker than her lekker boobs. I push her aside (carefully, because I think I still have a shot with her) and pull out the wetsuit.

It is ugly hey. Like, uglier than onshore Muizies. Uglier than a kook carve. Uglier than anything I’ve ever seen. It’s got this weird star on the front with a circle around it.

“How much will I have to pay for this?”

The beautiful little beach lady gets a waxy look in her eyes. She stares into the distance, a cloud descends over the shop and the windows start shaking. The room grows darker and colder. Crap, the wind must be picking up, this babe is gonna make me miss the waves.

“Your payment will involve no money,” she says in a deep crackling voice. “Your payment will be the curse of the pentagram wetsuit. Five years of bumbling take-offs, bogging rails on bottom turns, and bad style.”


How does she know how I surf? And what’s a pentagram? Wait…free wetsuit? Hell yeah!

“So it’s free?!”

“You will pay for it eventually.”

Eventually? What does she mean “pay” eventually? Wait..she totally wants me to ask her out for drinks.

“Hey, uh…so do you wanna go for drinks sometime?” I ask. Her eyes lose their waxy glaze, and she returns from whatever weird-ass out of body trip she was having.

“It is done. The choice has been made. Five years it will be so,” she says. Then she turns around, walks into a room at the back of the shop and closes the door behind her. Yeah, the choice has been made, but five years? I think that’s a little optimistic on her part, I mean, she seems nice, but I’m just looking for some fun.

I wait a little bit. Maybe she is cleaning herself up; I’m sure she wants to make a good impression on our first date. I wait a little bit more. Crap, I was so excited to get on this babe that I forgot why I was here. Screw this, I’m out. I leave the shop amped on my new suit. This surf is gonna be epic.


(Later That Day)

This surf has been epic. EPIC. Deep barrels and long blue walls – for everyone except me.

I just can’t get the take off. I’ve got sand in my ears and I swear I have sand shaking around in my skull. I’m no Dunes local, but after I fell on my fifth take off ous stopped letting me get anything. Then I managed to hustle a little one and tried a big carve, but I lost too much speed on my bottom turn and then my turn was really…

“Kak bru. Your style is so kak!” I turn around and there is a young local (12 year-olds think they’re locals nowadays) staring at me.

“Huh!” Who is this punk-ass little shit?

“Ja bru, watching you surf makes me feel physically ill. Like, your style is like chemo, it makes me wanna chunder, except it doesn’t cure cancer. In fact, your style is like cancer and chemo together. It’s like cancemo. Chemancer…” This little kid is cramping my style, so I paddle away.

“Chemomancer. Cancechemo…” he carries on while I paddle away. Little shit, my style is dope. And this wetsuit is so warm.


(One Year Later)

I take off, lose my balance a bit, shuffle my feet around, do a sharp bottom turn, but I bog the rail a bit so that I’m coming into the section really badly timed. I hit it, but I just kinda…I dunno. It feels…

Kak lelik!” I hear someone shout in a thick Afrikaans accent. I pull off the wave and there is an old local (80 year-olds think they surf like gods nowadays) staring at me.

“Young man, your forehand snap is without a shadow of a doubt the most inherently vile thing I have witnessed since the atrocities of apartheid. You should resign yourself to bodyboarding my poor fellow,” he says.

Who is this old fart and why does he think my epic snap was so bad? Must be his bad eyesight, 90 year-olds don’t see properly. This guy is cramping my style. I paddle away.

I find myself a quiet patch of water and think about how it has been a year of bad surfing for me. I haven’t improved, in fact, I’ve been consistently average. All of this despite the fact that I’ve been able to spend hours in the water because of my wetsuit, which is surprisingly warm. Something is off. I mean, I’m still super good and I rip like a pro – that 100 year-old loser doesn’t know what he’s talking about – but I used to surf much better. Something changed, but what? I look down. A startling realisation dawns on me.

This board. This board is not right, it hasn’t kept up with my progression. Maybe I’ll go buy another one tomorrow; see if I can get a nice cheap one from the sexy little surfer lady.

Click here to check out all the published stories from our Write To Surf competition.


Send your stories to calvin@zigzag.co.za. One submission will be selected every six weeks to appear in Zigzag magazine. The selected submission will also receive a hamper from Billabong. At the end of the year, we will select and send one aspirant journalist from the competition on an all expenses paid assignment for a major feature in Zigzag. Zigzag retains the right to use any work submitted for the Zag Surf Journo competition on zigzag.co.za as outlined in the rules and terms of the competition. Zigzag reserves the right not to award a published winner in the magazine every six weeks, depending on the quality of entries. Zigzag is not obligated to run any and all entries submitted, either online or in print. Zigzag retains the right to edit all work submitted for brevity and / or clarity. Please note: Prize hampers will only be delivered within South Africa.

The Billabong prize hamper includes: 1 x Billabong Wetsuit; 1 x Billabong Hoodie; 1 x Billabong Cap; 1 x Von Zipper Sunnies; 2 x Da Kine traction pads.


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