Posts Tagged South Africa

Surfsisters interviewed Cape Town’s big wave surfer Andy Marr to find out where he dries his wetsuit and other important questions

by Holle in Surf Brother of the Month | No Comments »

Cape Town surf community

It is supposed to be breast cancer awareness month, and big wave surfer Andrew Marr, 37, is rummaging through his wardrobe for pink clothing. He finds a purple T-shirt—one of several from his sponsor O’Neill. He also finds a bracelet that states “I love boobies—keep a breast’, which he got at a big wave competition Todos Santos in 2010. The bracelet is blue, but he used to have a pink one as well. As he moves on to chopping vegetables for dinner, Surfsisters catch up with him on some important issues.

Andy Marr big wave surfing rebel session

Andy Marr - Rebel 2011 - image courtesy of Andrew Brauteseth

Surfsisters: What do you wear under your wetsuit?

Andrew Marr: Zero. Like underneath any pants really. Haven’t worn undies for years.

Surfsisters: Do you put your wetsuit in the washing machine?

Andrew Marr: I never leave it in the sun to dry. I have many wetsuits so I have the luxury to let them dry out slowly out of the sun. Never, ever put your wetsuit in the machine!

Surfsisters: How high is your tolerance for salty, crusty and dry hair? Many surfsisters know we have no time for conditioning and sun and salt water is harsh on it…

Andrew Marr: I think salty, crusty, sunburnt hair is the best thing. Absolutely beautiful.

Surfsisters: What hair products do you use?

Andrew Marr: 2 in 1 Organics. [But since the 2 in 1 is more expensive than buying shampoo and conditioner separately, he mixes his own.]

Surfsisters: As a big wave surfer, do you ever hang out in Muizenberg?

Andrew Marr: Yes, on occasion. Love to surf Muizenberg, Came jolly close to barreling the other day! Someone must have got a barrel at Muizenberg before? Is it impossible? Must be half-possible…?

Andy Marr - Big wave surfing Cape Town

Andrew Marr - Rebel session 2005

Surfsisters: In your eyes, is longboarding or shortboarding more female?

Andrew Marr: I think it’s entirely up to the individual. But a woman can look very graceful on a longboard, walking the nose and stuff with a feminine touch is lovely. Like a ballerina. But there is definitely no gender association with any type of board! Wave riding is free, and your vehicle is your choice.

Surfsisters: Where can I store my boards at your house if I happen to stay overnight?

Andrew Marr: You can take your pick! See if you can find a gap in the rack or behind the couch.

Big waves at Cape Town's surf spot Dungeons

Andrew Marr at Dungeons - Image courtesy of Andrew Brauteseth

Surfsisters: What is your take on women on surf trips, and who is in your usual crew?

Andrew Marr: Women are a lovely asset to a surf trip. I usually travel with Mickey Duffus and Simon Lowe, and there has never been a women surfer with us…. Oh, there was Maya Gabeira. We tried to tow the Breederiver mouth, but got skunked/foxed. The banks weren’t right. It made no different that she was a woman, she was just another surfer on the trip. She blended into the programme just fine.
[Andrew starts chopping some more veggies, before he realises something…] “Ah, I have been on surf trips with you!”

Surfsisters: Can girls rip?

Andrew Marr: Girls can rip!

Surfsisters: Thank you for chatting to us Andy. Give us a final sentence please.

Andrew Marr: Surfing must be one of the greatest blessings on the planet- enjoy the ride!

Got what it takes? Please contact Surfsisters to be featuring in the next issue of Surfbru of the month.

Ladies wetsuit survey – lets find the best wetsuit in town

by Holle in Blame the equipment | No Comments »

Hello Surfsister!

Wetsuit survey Cape Town surf spots

Even dogs wear wet(pet)suits in Cape Town

A very warm welcome to this survey. We would like to learn about your experience with wetsuits. Being a woman surfing in Cape Town, we all know what difference a good wetsuit makes.

We believe that there are a number of gender specific needs and insides into this topic and would like to capture the views of as many women as possible to be able to report back to you so that you can make informed decisions when buying your new wetsuit.

Potentially, we can also feed information back to the surf brands and local suppliers.

We kept the questionnaire as short as possible. The more detailed information we get, the better, so please make extensive use of the white boxes below questions for comments. If your story doesn’t fit in the questionnaire, please send an email with the subject ‘wetsuit survey’ to

So, let’s do this! The survey is anonymous >>>> GOOooooo Wetsuit survey

Thanks a lot for sharing your time with us!


P.S. Sorry guys. I know there are quite a few male Surfsisters amongst us, but this survey is for ladies only.

The smallest weekend

by Linda Nordling in Soul Food | No Comments »

Paternoster, a picture postcard fishing village north of Langebaan on the West Coast, isn’t exactly famous for its waves. But that didn’t stop a group of surfsisters from bringing our boards to a girls’ weekend away.

I am sure many fellow sisters have faced this conundrum. You have a girly weekend away with your friends to book. You want a spot that will allow you to sneak in a wave or three between wine-drinking and gossiping sessions. But your non-surfing friends have other mod cons in mind: restaurants, hikes, views, swimming-friendly seas. The list can be long.

Yoga and surfing South Africa

Surfing Yoga with the girls - by Holle Wlokas

Paternoster, north of Langebaan on the West Coast, seemed like a good compromise. Not a Mecca for surfers, although it’s not far from the legendary left at Elands Bay. And the picture-postcard village has a well-stocked convenience store and even some bars for late-night reveling.

When we got there on the Friday evening, the town itself lived up to its reputation. The house we rented had a view straight onto the beach—not bad for budget accommodation. The surf, however, left something to be desired. Now, I don’t know what Paternoster beach looks like on a big swell. Mushburgers, perhaps. But on a small swell—the sort that graced our arrival—the bay looks the Mediterranean on a flat day.

The two of us with boards (a third would join us on the Saturday) took one look at the lapping waves and stored our boards under our beds. We cooked food, and drank some wine, and then drank some more, and played board games.

The next day, dawn broke on what was—if possible—an even flatter ocean. Stiff and hot from the 1.5 hour drive up from Cape Town, I took a stroll down the beach. But the waves just went from unsurfably tiny and clean to messy and 2 foot onshore slop. A drive to the other side of town produced equally disappointing conditions. So it was back to eating, and drinking, and some yoga. Some people went swimming, sans boards though.

On the Saturday afternoon, the sixth member of our weekend away and fellow surfsister Holle Wlokas arrived. Now we were three gals with boards. The evening was blissful and the weather sunny. But the ocean was flat as a tabletop.

To wash away our surf blues, Holle and I went for a swim, and marveled at the warm temperature of the sea. It was October, and we were in bikinis on the West Coast. When does this happen? As the first set of not-even-foot high waves rolled in, we looked at each other. Maybe we should try one wave, just in case…

Weekend surf spots near Cape Town

Paternoster at low tide - by Laura Vignoli

A minute and a half later we were back on the beach with our boards. We walked out to the back, which was about waist deep, and waited for a set. When it came, we both paddled, family wave style, into the minute waves, not hoping for much… And then, sliding down the tiny faces, we realized—this is possible!!

Hearing us laughing and whooping, the others soon joined us. In the end we were five girls playing on three boards. One hadn’t even been waxed, and posed a fun challenge for all of us. We surfed any way we could in the golden sunlight, trying to keep our bodies within the confines of our bikinis, laughing for a half hour straight. Disrupting a wedding on the beach.

It’s probably the smallest waves I’ve every surfed. But the session was one of the best I’ve ever had. Because in the end, finding your stoke isn’t always about chasing the biggest waves, or the longest ride. It’s about sharing special times in the ocean with your friends.
Linda Nordling

Surfing in South Africa - Paternoster

View with tiny waves - by Holle Wlokas

We stayed at MIKANOSTER, a self-catering cottage 150m from the beach that sleeps up to 6-8 people in three bedrooms. We paid 1200R per night for six people. The drive from Cape Town to paternoster is 150 km. There are food and wine shops in Paternoster, as well as restaurants for those who don’t want to cook. The town is also known for its art galleries.

Fireworks freak out – how to calm down your pet

by Michaela Gabriel in Dos & Don'ts | 1 Comment »

Dogs and fireworks - advise Even though Guy Fawkes is not a South African celebration its a good excuse for a party. While fireworks are pleasing to the eye our pooches can get rather freaked out.

Doggy ears are much better than human ears and so a bang to us is an explosion to them.  Lots of pooches are so freaked out they climb onto your lap, tremble like leafs and pant so much you will be covered in slime in no time.

Dogs have been so traumatised by fireworks they managed to escape from homes that were seemingly impossible to break out of. Dogs are so freaked out they’ll do anything to get away from the noise or run for protection to where they assume their owners are.

Its not surprising that the noise can have long lasting effects on your dog. Common symptoms are  nervousness, aggression and self-destructive behaviour.

What can be done to minimize the freak-out:

1) Don’t leave pooch alone at home.

2) Give them a good work out before tonight’s fireworks.

3) Create a peaceful atmosphere, with the curtains closed and the volume up loudly on TV, DVD or stereo.

4) Be there for your pet but don’t encourage fearful behaviour by patting or too much attention. Don’t say anything to them as all they’ll remember is that they got rewarded for being nervous.

5) Once they have calmed down give them a treat or some attention.

For more information on how to keep your pet happy during fireworks, read the tips by dog whisperer Cesar Milan.

Dogs and Fireworks

Girl’s surf movie Blue Crush 2 released today – Linda watched and reviewed it for the sisters

by Linda Nordling in Soul Food | 1 Comment »

“My dad would freak if he saw me doing this.” So says Dana (played by Sasha Jackson, whoever that is), a late-teens surf girl from California, bouncing down a road.

Blue Crush 2, Dana Surf trip South Africa

Dana on top of an open-top truck with a variety of African women, children and livestock

Dana has flown to South Africa to honour her mother, a true South African surf sister who died when Dana was little after following her heart to the States.

Armed with photographs of her mother posing by famous breaks along the east coast—New Pier, Hole in the Wall to mention a few—Dana (herself quite the surf ace, needless to say) sets out on her “odyssey”. However, it being South Africa, she is robbed during her first paddle out in Durban and has to put her trust in a ragtag bunch of locals to realise her dream: Surfing her way down the coast to the legendary swell of J-Bay, posing in the same spots that her mother did two decades before.

Blue Crush 2 may not be the most well-crafted surf movie ever made. Unlike its prequel, it’s being released straight to video on Monday 6 June in ther US. The low budget shows in everything from the intermittently cringe-worthy acting and script to the cheap special effects. That said, the movie is replete with girls who rip. Its depiction of the country we all love may be cliché and laughable at times, nevertheless it’s a fun way to spend an evening with friends and some wine.

Dana at Hole in the wall in surf movie Blue Crush 2

Dana at Hole in the wall

What’s wrong with it?
The B-movie qualities may disappoint fans of Blue Crush, which was slick by comparison. The dialogue and acting is bad, and there are plenty of laughable scenes—the girls running into a herd of elephants during a trek on foot to a surf spot being one that instantly springs to mind.

What’s right with it?
It’s set here, and many South African actors and surfers have bit parts in it. Spotting them makes for a good distraction when the storyline gets too cheesy.

Blue Crush 2 was launched on DVD in USA today.

Watch Blue Crush 2 – official trailer