22 January, 2016 22 January, 2016

Board Meeting

With the Umgeni River mouth just north of Durban’s beaches, a lot of trash ends up washed out to sea and on our shores whenever there’s heavy rain. Thankfully, people like Maritz Erasmus are around to help clean up. For documenting his efforts, Maritz gains entry into our Tuffy Beach Clean-Up competition, which puts him in the running to win a brand new shred stick compliments of Firewire and Share The Stoke Foundation. Watch the video he created of the clean-up below then read the story of how he misunderstood his new offices first “board meeting.”

Good day. My name is Maritz. Originally from Pretoria but moved to Durban almost three years ago. Growing up my father used to tell me about month-long holidays at Henties Bay as a kid and how those were the best days of his life. So I probably inherited my love and curiosity for the ocean from him.

At first I would go to the beach as a pale Vaalie, splashing around in the foamies like a preschooler with the biggest grin on my face. I was scared of sharks and believed that going into the water deeper than waist height would automatically turn into a scene out of Jaws. After a few weeks at my new Job which I had moved to Durban for I got invited to a “Board Meeting”. It was before work and they said I had to dress in beach attire. I was not sure what this was all about but felt honoured to be invited to something that sounds so official and usually only stakeholders and directors normally go to.

Tuffy thumb Maritz
The clean-up commences.

I went to the beach and met my colleagues there. There were about six of us and one of the “board members” was holding two boards. I was puzzled because I had thought that this was a work meeting. He handed me the spare board and told me to strap the leash to my back foot. I skateboarded through primary and high school so at least I knew what stance I was. Reluctantly I paddled out with the rest of the board members already hearing the suspense bass line from Jaws in the back of my mind. The waves weren’t big but it was daunting none the less.

I ended up enjoying the time out at back line having chats about life and how cool it is to be able to go for surfs before work. It made me realise how many miss-conceptions I had about the ocean. Being behind the break and seeing the waves crash in front of you and just enjoying the calm of the ocean between sets, on a glassy day – it’s just an amazing place to be. It’s like every time I paddle out God is saying “step into my office”. Going out with the guys on that faithful day, changed my life.

Maritz getting off his butt and cleaning up Durbs.

The ocean is there for our enjoyment but as much as it gives joy to us we have to try and give back when ever we can. It’s a majestic culmination of elements that it is more powerful than I can ever comprehend. I have a massive respect for the the ocean and always know that no matter how prepared or fit I feel I am always at the mercy of the elements.

The Tuffy CLEAN YOUR BEACH AND WIN competition is an amazing initiative and I believe it is big step towards giving back. I really enjoyed filming and editing my video entry and I am going to make an effort to make this a habit and not just something I do in an attempt at winning a surfboard.

It is one thing to moan about other people littering and disrespecting our scenic beaches. It is a big problem around South Africa and around the world. It’s an entirely different thing to just take a refuse bag and clean up your beach. It’s almost like taking ownership of a little piece of land and taking pride in it. If more people spent less time complaining about it and more time cleaning their beach we would have pristine beaches and maybe those who litter will feel less compelled to do so.

I hope you enjoy my video entry. And thanks again for this initiative. It has inspired great creativity in me and all the different entrants before me. All for a good cause. Uniting people in there love for the ocean and surf.



1 Comment

  1. Mr.Paynter
    28 January, 2016 at 7:02 am · Reply

    Very cool entry Maritz!

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