16 August, 2016 16 August, 2016

SUP Sabotage

Despite its gentle waves, warm(ish) temps and “learner friendly” faces – Muizies is not always so mellow. For with long stretches of gentle peaks, comes crowds. And with crowds, comes turf wars. Longboarders, SUP’s, body boarders, surfers, swimmers and paddlers – any craft will stand a chance in Muizenberg’s gentle waves. And any surfer, it seems, can morph into an aquatic flank…

Melissa Volker reports from the beach on the latest SUP sabotage and sharing the sea – regardless of the shape of your board and whether you stand, kneel, lie down, wobble or slide.

Red Card for Surf Tackler – by Melissa Volker

Touch rugby on the beach is pretty cool, right? But full contact rugby in the water? Not so much.

Xpression On The Beach was hosted by the SUPSA-accredited Winter Wave Challenge at Muizenberg this past weekend. They paid for a permit, put up some flags, a couple of gazebos, set up a comfy spot for the judges, hooked up the PA system and the comp was on.

Somehow though, on Sunday, not only did the comp memo not get through to one surfer, but neither did the good upstanding citizen one.

During the Open Men’s semi-final, Dylan Frick, multiple SA representative, was tackled by a surfer in the competition area, snapping his R5k paddle.


Frick’s snapped R5k-worth paddle.

Surfers are not always thrilled by SUPs. But 99% of surfers do not behave like that, no matter their frustration. Especially at Muizenberg, where there is heaps of room, waves going left and right, shifting peaks and basically enough waves for everyone. Everyone including all the learners, tourists, surfers and stand up paddleboarders, even the odd swimmer just in his baggies.

Frick fortunately went on to the final (with another paddle) where he finished second to Tom King. The surfer meanwhile, went on to bob around at backline for what seemed as long as possible.

Legendary surf forecaster, Deon Bing commented on Twitter:

“Dylan Frick – multiple SA Team representative at sanctioned event vs diving random oke who owes him 5k.”

Cape Town surfer and shaper, Buzzy from the Board Box also commented on Twitter:

“Not cool man, no one needs to behave in that manner.”

When the surfer eventually emerged from the water to a welcoming committee on the beach, everyone stayed calm while Frick tried to reason with the guy. But reasonable didn’t appear to be the agenda.

Frick’s father, Francois, commented on Facebook that he hopes the man will come forward and do the right thing and pay for the paddle. He also added that he is “staying calm” and has no desire to “name and shame until I know how he is planning on rectifying his unfortunate predicament.”

When Mick Fanning was confronted by a shark in J-Bay, that was crazy, but not really avoidable. It’s what sharks do. This kind of attack is totally unnecessary and avoidable. It’s not what surfers do. It’s not the vibe here at Muizenberg. There’s a whole lot more Aloha in the water than that.

Meanwhile, though, the universe was kind. Frick won a R3k paddle from Coreban in a random lucky draw at the prize giving at Xpression on the Beach.

Free surfer coming in.

Free surfer coming in.

*Images Supplied By Melissa Volker


  1. guavaberry
    16 August, 2016 at 8:13 am · Reply

    Something was bound to happen in the comp area. When we drove through the car park there were over 200 surfers/SUP comp riders/ SUP’ers/longboarders/paddleskiers/groms/foreign learners and then the Muizies locals around the pavilion. With the WNW wind everybody was getting blown toward the comp area.

  2. Pierre Du Plessis
    16 August, 2016 at 9:42 am · Reply

    Surfing has changed a lot in the southern peninsula from how it was 30 years ago. We used to spread out along the False Bay coastline in the good old days. Most surfers hung out in the corner, some at the river mouth, some at Sunrise Beach and the Cemetry crowd further down. I had countless surfs in the early 90s where I parked my van at the Supertube car park and returned in the dark to find it was still there with all my stuff in it.

    Things have changed a bit since then. Because of the shark/crime problems, our surfable beach area is drasticly reduced. When the winter winds are blowing, we are restricted to Muizenberg or Witsands. Add the fact that surfing has increased in popularity in the last 20 years in Cape Town. The waters of Muizenberg are now more overloaded than ever. I have witnessed many incidents of surf rage over the last few years. Mostly minor but the tension exists. I have seen surfers of all varieties (longboard, shortboard, SUP) surf in harmony with one another. I have also seen surfers of all varieties act badly on occasion. Even though I ride a SUP myself, Ive had some issues with some other thoughtless SUP riders (mostly the traveling kite sufer crowd from Europe – The worst wave hogs )

    So its the combination of all these factors plus the behavioral / anger management issues of one lonboarder that resulted in the unfortunate incident that occurred this weekend. They say a picture is 1000 words. The message I get from that picture is one surfer taking out a lifetimes worth of frustration on a poor SUP rider. This cannot be tolerated and the law must take its course. The changes/challenges that we face in the current surfing environment by no means justify this type of behavior.

    So for most Cape Town surfers, you work your ass off weekdays 9-5 only to spend your free Sunday in good quality False Bay surf swamped with too many others and a contest. I know, life sux – get over it.

  3. Samuel
    8 May, 2018 at 3:25 pm · Reply

    Very good comment, Pierre. I really mean it. Insulting European travellers while making your point though was un-called for as much as it was unnecessary. This unfortunately makes you no better than the tackling surfer, as you too, are meaninlessly tackling other people. I guess it must be your lifetime‘s worth of frustration. And therefore you a excused. But just a bit.

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