Lions Who Hunt in Elephant Land
THE CAPE OF STORMS DIDN’T GET THE NAME FOR FREE.
The Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula is an intimidating place. When the depressions on the maps of the Roaring Forties start turning deep purple, the first place of contact on the Dark Continent is usually this area.
Industrial strength waves, that have built their extreme velocity over thousands of miles of open ocean, break on ominous reefs in deep water, a long way from trecherous shores.
This usually happens on sketchy overcast days, when the rain is horizontal and the North Westerlies are burning cold. When wetsuits are thick and ice-cream headaches are commonplace. These will be the days that yield the bounty for a select few.
There are others who, like this small cabal of local and ‘fly-in’ chargers, will constantly have their collective eye on these purple patches. Deep sea buoy data readouts and trusted weather reports will set off a chain of deliberate and well considered preparations that could be the difference between exhilaration and possible annihilation.
Way beyond the clutter of work-a-day surfing, way past the canned video clips dished out liberally on-line, stand these Lions of South African surfing.
There’s a deep sense of being and purpose that the group emulate. Here these attributes are so admirably portrayed by Grant Scholtz.
Some who pioneered this pursuit, like Jonathan Paarman, nowadays leave the hunting to the younger pack.
To this day, those legendary stories of his teenage days surfing Sunset, long before anyone ever thought of any other route out there but paddling, are still told around fireplaces.
In days gone by, their boards would be described as elephant guns. Nowhere is the moniker more apt than here.
ALL PHOTOS BY GRANT SCHOLTZ, WORDS BY PAT FLANAGAN