In March this year Rein Hagenaars and Wendy van Rijn from Kanoshop in the Netherlands came down for a visit in South Africa. They first stopped in Cape Town, then drove up to Jeffery’s Bay and back stopping along the way for more surf action and then finally back to Cape Town. I managed to hook up with them and get a few sessions in.

Getting great waves is always tricky and obviously everything depends on the weather. Both locally and much further away that causes the swell in the first place. We had some luck and some bad luck but in the end we scored some waves and on one session Rein managed to surf the biggest waves of his life. The swell was massive at 5.6 metres and with a bit of NW wind blowing we decided to hit Karmers. A spot like Witsand would have been a nice cross shore but perhaps too big and also a far drive. I remember time being of the essence that day. Karmers was really huge and I took video footage facing backwards that day from my helmet. The faces of the waves were between 3 and 3.5m but if you look on the video you’ll probably think I am liar. But no matter, we had fun anyway and scored some epic waves and some monster beatings. Rein really enjoys getting beaten so he was in his element, excuse the pun. Wendy also braved the waves and managed to surf a few powerful beasts. Whenever people come to Cape Town they’re always surprised by the power of the waves, for their size. I’ve had two people surf here now from much further up the coast and they both said the same.

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Rein Hagenaars C1’ing his Fluid Element no problem at Melkbosstrand! Melkbos_30_March_2010_023_E1 copy

Rein heading out over a wave. Melkbos_30_March_2010_033_E1_CR copy

Rein wanting to get barrelled but this was simply too small.  Melkbos_30_March_2010_038_E1_CR copy

Happy days in South Africa. Melkbos_30_March_2010_039_E1 copyAnother Melkbos barrel.

Adrian 1 copyAdrian Tregoning (left) and Rein Hagenaars (right) at another session at Melkbos. Photo by Wendy van Rijn.

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More action shots of Rein at Melkbos. Melkbos_30_March_2010_071_E1 copy Melkbos_30_March_2010_087_E1 copy Melkbos_30_March_2010_088_E1 copy

Lovely little barrels at Melkbos. Melkbos_30_March_2010_093_E1_CR copy

Kyle Phillips scoring a sweet barrel at Melkbos. Melkbos_30_March_2010_100_E1 copyKyle Phillips on the left while Rein scores a sweet wave on the right.   

Adrian 3 copyAdrian Tregoning at Melkbos on another day. Photo by Wendy van Rijn.

IMG_7906_E1We had a lekker braai at my house the one day. From left: Wendy, Rein and Adrian. Good times!!!

Another session we had was at Melkbos (I think we had two separate ones there) where I took photos from the icy water. That’s always tricky business but I managed to get a few shots even though the waves weren’t as big as we hoped. But because they were fairly hollow there was enough power to beat the crap out of Rein so he was all smiles! What is interesting is that Rein loves to paddle all kayaks, like canoes. So he is a C1 paddler which is something very unusual for South African paddlers. Even worldwide, the sport is not that big. To educate you further, the only difference between kayaking and canoeing is that in kayaking you use a paddle with two blades, and in canoeing you use a paddle with one blade. Usually you are kneeling while canoeing and in Reins case he is. They sit on their knees, which greatly raises their centre of gravity and gives you a different view. C1’ing the Element is no doubt extremely difficult but Rein charges it and makes it looking quite easy. I was impressed. In South Africa, everyone calls kayaking those long, fibreglass kayaks, canoes. They call it canoeing. And it is nothing of the sort. How stupid?! But anyway, that’s the way it is. Rein also paddles all his other boats as C1’s and even creeks like that. He wanted me to try the Element of his C1 style but never managed to sell me on the idea.

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It was a real pleasure to meet Wendy and Rein and to be honest I’ve never met a Dutch person I didn’t like. Perhaps it’s because they’re somewhat similar to South Africans, even if only a little. After all, it was the Dutch that colonised South Africa all those years ago. I’m looking forward to the next time we meet and I’m sure next year we will. In the meantime, I’ll keep making them jealous by mailing them photos of the sick waves we get down here in Cape Town! I love my country, I love Cape Town… Bonus photos below…

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Photography by: Adrian Tregoning. Unless otherwise stated.
Words by: Adrian Tregoning.


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Charl van Rensburg getting shacked at Melkbos on a solid day! Melkbos_8_May_2010_091_E1_CR copy

Charl van Rensburg at Melkbos. Melkbos_30_April_2010_002_E1 copy

Melkbos point can also cook. But beware… A wipe out can send you smashing onto the reef.  Melkbos_30_April_2010_013_E1_CR copy

Near to Melkbos is this ‘secret’ spot which sometimes works nicely. Melkbos_30_April_2010_024_E1_CR copyAfrican black oystercatcher - in danger of extinction, less than 5000 birds in the world.

A1_E1_CRP_BBAdrian Tregoning bodyboarding at Melkbos. Photo by Charl van Rensburg (taken with a GoPro)

Melkbos 22 June 2010_002Adrian Tregoning at Melkbos on a big day (video still)

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Further along the coast is a spot called Caves. On two different occasions I got shots of dolphins there!!! Waves_14_May_2010_027_E1_CREL copyDerde Steen on an ugly, messy day.

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Craig Rivett surfing at Betty’s Bay. I will feature these articles in a separate article.  Caves_26_June_2010_016_E1_CR copy

Caves. Caves_26_June_2010_030_E1 copyCaves again. Caves_26_June_2010_034_E1 copyLooking across the beautiful bay above Caves. Over and out, hope you enjoyed the extra photos!!!