3 September, 2015 3 September, 2015

Time – by Gordon Vice

How far are you willing to go to gain acceptance? This is the question Sam asks Big Gee in ‘Time’, which is Gordon Vice’s entry into Write To Surf – Zag’s surf journo competition with epic prizes by Billabong up for grabs (see details below).


TIME – by Gordon Vice


“I can’t believe my eyes! Did I just see that?” Big Gee yelled (Big Gee was prone to a bit of hysteria from time to time).

“Did the Bru’s just call that ou onto a set wave? That same ou we saw with that kak old board? What’s the story?” (Big Gee was also big on the idea that everything happens for a reason, and that there is always a back story).

Sam recognised him straight off the bat when he pulled into the car park in his dad’s car. It was Corrie. If there was any doubt it was dispelled when he pulled his board out of the hatch-back’s boot. That old Wedge winged pintail with the glassed-on plywood singlefin was like Corrie’s signature, a board clearly from a different era, a different time. His style as a surfer was because of that board. The lines he drew on that thing could never be replicated on the boards ridden now.


Sam looked quickly away, not wanting Corrie to make eye contact with him…not yet. Not until he was sure. What Corrie did next, what the Bru’s did next would confirm, or deny, in Sam’s heart what he had suspected for all this time. Sam did not want to miss that encounter. He scooped up his board and trotted down the beach and into the shorebreak. As Sam paddled out he cast his thoughts back to the last time he saw Corrie…

The groms were in awe, and some justifiable fear, of the Bru’s back then. There was an aura of danger, of risk, of lawlessness about them that was irresistible. Like moths to flames are irresistible. It was what made parents ban the lighties from hanging out with them. “Don’t even get into their kombi if they offer you a lift on the hottest day. You walk home, my boy,” they’d say. Good luck with that – Sam and the other surf rats were always at the Bru’s house/surfboard factory.


Corrie was one of the older surfers who weren’t quite part of the Bru’s inner crew. It seemed he was always trying to work his way in though; like if you saw Corrie in a new pair of blue and green baggies, you knew, without seeing, that one of the Bru’s had started wearing the same pair. Maybe it was because Corrie’s dad was a cop, and the Bru’s couldn’t quite trust him to keep quiet. The Bru’s were not overtly criminal, nor were they squeaky clean. Put it this way – you knew they were capable of something; you wouldn’t be surprised if they were caught or arrested. So when it happened we all jumped to the conclusion that one of the Bru’s had done it: one of the inner circle was found dead. Rumours about secret compartments cut out of surfboards, filled with dope and shipped overseas, drug money and no honour among thieves. No one knew for sure.

The groms hung around the Bru’s house hoping to find out. Sam noticed Corrie would arrive early at the house and stay all day, leaving late in the afternoon, a set look of determination on his usually sunny face. Then the police showed up and surrounded the house before two of them went in. They came out minutes later leading Corrie away in hand cuffs. It made no sense. Corrie wasn’t one of ‘them’, how could he be a drug runner? As they were dumping Corrie into the back of the van he caught Sam’s eye and shook his head – a movement so slight that Sam almost didn’t see it.

Sam was relieved when Corrie was given a prison sentence for manslaughter, not murder. They couldn’t find motive or malice and concluded an accident, a tragic mistake. The Bru’s would have battled to prove their innocence because their lives were so intertwined in each other’s. But Corrie was an outsider…


“So at the bottom of the steps I just stopped walking, bent over and let one go on Larry’s legs! Suddenly I hear this high pitched scream! Not Larry’s legs? I turn around and it’s doctor Lavetry’s wife squealing “Sies! He just poeped on me!”” Big Gee cackled as he told the story, not for the first time, as we paddled over a small swell. Further out sat the Bru’s, still a tight-knit bunch all these years later. Corrie paddled past Sam and Big Gee and over to the Bru’s. Just then a wave popped and after a slight pause, Corrie spun around and dug in. He was up after a rather wobbly two-stage pop up and tearing down the line. His outstretched arms and rigid stance betrayed the fact that he hadn’t surfed for a long, long time. As he reached them and glided by he looked straight at Sam and the intervening years compressed into that split second. In that moment the truth passed between them. Sam knew, by the look on Corrie’s face, the broad grin of victory, the light dancing in Corrie’s eyes, that what Corrie had done had been what Sam had known all along.

Sam’s thoughts of long ago were shattered by his surf buddy’s shouted question, “Did I just see that?”

Sam turned to Big Gee, and with a grin that mirrored Corrie’s, asked his own question, “How far are you willing to go to gain acceptance?”

Opinions expressed in Write To Surf entries are not necessarily those of Zigzag.
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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