Wow. What a splendid day of action. Sun blazing down. Wind a light offshore. Waves reeling endlessly down the point. Ultimate perfection. The first surfers to colonise Seal Point, they colonised it because of days like these. They arrived to find a gently rolling Point Break, paradise.
A country filled with waves like Seal Point is (one of) the reasons our boys & girls have to fight harder on the QS. When the waves get grovely, they just can’t do it. But who can blame ’em. Who’s going to surf onshore slop when it’s offshore and pumping on the morrow. Anyway, enough of that. The day started off slow with some fairly average performances, especially considering the fantastic conditions. But as the sun rose, heating the earth and everything in it, the performances followed suit.
Here’s who got us frothed on day 2.
Nathan Plomaratis – Nate the Great
Isn’t great when someone new excels. When you find a dark horse. When the reigning world champ gets knocked in a fight, he was always meant to win – and a new champion’s born. Let yesterday’s news be yesterday’s news. Today is a new day with a new hero. Now we’re not saying Nate the Great is the new kid on the block, Nate’s been around town a while now. In fact, he lives in St Franny. But damn did he turn heads.
Nate the Great surfed stylishly. He surfed with flair. He looked comfortable. Cosy. At home. Nate managed the lineup like he was in his kitchen wearing pyjamas. Opening the fridge, drinking orange juice from the bottle, reclining on the couch, enjoying Stranger Things on Netflix. Nate had seen and surfed this day a thousand times before. He knew exactly which waves to go on. Nate surfing was explosive. Searing carves. Driving into the foam. Increasing his speed as he drove those carves round.
St Franny used to spout a hoard of excellent surfers. Bursting at the seams with talent. The Godfreys, the Paynes, the Staples – all from St Franny. This is the first sighting of the new generation of surfers arising from St Francis.
Bryce Du Preez & the value of hard work
One of my favourite surfers is Dion Agius. You know Dion? Most people think Dion has a terrible style. I don’t. Dion’s style is gritty, raw, determined. It speaks of a man that has worked hard. That has pushed himself to be better. To innovate. To try new things. Dion has used every ounce of his ability to get the most out of his free surfing career. He’s directed movies, designed clothing ranges for Globe, designed shoes, started a sunglasses brand featured in the best surf movies of our generation as well as directed some of the best surf movies of our generation. Hard work has seen Dion become one of the most well recognised free surfers on planet and have a prosperous, long career.
Like Dion, Bryce started surfing late. Also, like Dion, Bryce has worked hard at his trade. Losing isn’t easy and for long periods Bryce lost. But every loss Bryce pushed harder to achieve. Now after many years and much hard work and time spent surfing Bryce, is one of the most dangerous competitors in the U18 division. His surfing is strong, powerful and confident. Bryce surfs with vision, he knows how he wants to surf and practices to surf the way he envisions. Today, on his 8.50, he did the best two-turn combo of the day, a huge man-sized down carve straight into open face slash. It was beautiful. Gorgeous. And wreaked of a man who’d worked hard for his keep.
Zoe Vs Ceara
There’s this wonderful story in the old testament of the Bible about how God raised the Philistines to keep the Israelites on the straight and narrow. Israel had some kings that dedicated their lives to following truth and others that decided they would rather do their own thing. When Israel encountered a wayward king, suddenly there the Philistines would be – knocking on the door, ready for war. The funny thing about the Philistines is that for many years scientists didn’t know where the Philistines originated from and so they were called the Sea People.
Just when we thought Zoe Steyn was about to run away with the U16 division, when we thought there was nobody to challenge her mighty reign, there out of nowhere came Ceara Knight. Now Ceara might not have come from nowhere, but she’s certainly one of the most improved surfers over the last two years. Today Zoe surfed against Ceara and although both girls didn’t surf their best, there were hints of absolute glory. Both girls attack the lip, with confidence and poise.
Much like the Philistines and Israel, both girls need each. They need to keep each other on their toes.
David Emslie – Toe, son of foot
If Greg is the foot, then his son must be the toe. Toe, son of Foot (As said by Capitain Kai). There something highly enjoyable about watching the U12 boys surf. They surf with reckless abandon. Unconcerned by results. Inconsiderate of the bigger picture. Concerned only with the now. And it’s a joy to witness. The future, what’s that?
We loved watching David surf. Unlike his father who’s surfing is refined and polished, David’s surfing is dirty and gritty. Like a baseball player swinging for a home run, David, swings for the hills, he applies himself to belting the lip as hard as possible. And when he connects correctly, it’s a damn pleasure.
Dan Emslie – The man
We can’t mention Day 2 without mentioning Dan “the man” Emslie. We wrote about him yesterday, but damn, Dan was on Jah Rastafari Fire! On the slow-rolling point that is Seals, it is especially easy for your surfing to become monotonous. And although you may be executing excellent turns, the same open face carve ad nauseam gets frustrating. But Dan, doesn’t fall into that trap that Seals sets up for its users. No, Sir Dan is an extremely creative surfer. Every turn is different from the last. Down carves, fins free, tail slides, Dan’s an artist on the wave and highly entertaining at that. What he lacks in wave selection he certainly makes up for in hi-fi surfing.
Dan is surfing in both the U16 and U18 boys divisions and he’s still in the draw in both divisions. Maybe tomorrow he’ll end up with a victory in at least one if not two divisions. Come on!