12 August, 2015 12 August, 2015

Welcome to Jozi Surf Club

Throw out a shaka to the latest members of the Saffa surf tribe. Welcome to Jozi, the newest region in SA Surfing.


Former Cape Town and East London locals, Nathan Gernetzky and Shane Rielly are now taking on the challenge of getting the Joburg Boardriders Club up and running. Nathan’s call to action sum’s it up well…

Calling on all board-riders and moving-mountain sliders, coast-dwelling yearners or movers-and-shakers, who once lived at the coast and thought about getting your daily surf in before heading home. Those part of the tribe and those who miss the tribe. Those who ride on water and dream about barrels, whether on a short-board, longboard, SUP or bodyboard. Those who surf their desk calendars with two fingers, and those who walk along Jozi’s Zoo Lake ducking under branches as they throw the biggest green room over your head. Those who toggle their laptop screens between work stuff and your old local spot surf report. Those that have shredded at Sun City or just returned from Indo. For those that have salt in your veins. If you are a surfer living in the Gauteng/Jozi region, inbox me your details. We’re keen to gather your details so that the tribe up here can meet for an upcoming event (and for the tribe along the coast, forward this to someone you know who has a jar of beach sand and sea water on their desk while working in the City of Gold).


So Nathan, why the move to start a Jozi Surf Club?
We are currently living in Bedfordview, having moved here recently from Queensbury Bay. So while we are here, my wife and I had the thought that there must be so many surfers who live in Jozi who feel ‘displaced’ – mostly by choice. But the issue is feeling that you have left your ‘tribe’ behind, and so we thought it would be a good idea to start gathering fellow surfers from the region.

How have you been going about that?
I have a couple of friends who I have been gathering thoughts with about this and we’re now keen to have our first event, so have started to rally guys to come together from across Jozi for a surf film, some conversation and food. I’m sure out of these events will flow a club – which is the necessary beginnings for a province to put forward surfers for any national event. One of my good mates here was a top bodyboarder before moving to Jozi, so we are going to try and gather all surfing forms together into one body, which then would have different representations.

Along with Nathan, Shane Rielly (pictured) is looking to gather the Jozi tribe.

Tell us about your surfing background before you headed to Joburg?
I’m originally from Cape Town, so surfed mostly Dunes, Kom and surrounds – including all the big wave spots. I lived in Hermanus for five years and for the first two I surfed Bayview (big wave spot) on my own, until we formed a local big wave crew. Big waves are really my thing, but anything heavy and slabby gets me going. Recently I was living in East London on the Q-Bay side of town, and was surfing there mostly and working with photo guys on a project. I got a cool double page spread in a recent issue of Zag, which was like ice-cream to a child before we moved to Jozi.

Nathan got barrelled on his 5’6″ straight over two pages of Zigzag 39.5.

And what do you see in the future for Joburg Boardriders?
We’d want local business involved and the various communities to be impacted by this ‘movement’ in Jozi. Yes, I suppose it’s a movement and not a static list of names on paper. Hopefully one day a future force in this city at a social/justice level, but also impacting surfing at a national level. But all things begin with like-minded people gathering around a common vision – which is built slowly with time and trust. We need both for this club to really take off.

Weekend missions to Mozam are more fun with a crew. Join the Joburg Boardriders

Find Joburg Boardriders Club on Facebook, or e-mail Nathan on 223company@gmail.com for more details. They’re having their first gathering on 29 August, so get in touch with the brus.

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