SA cops in the board-taking biz at J-Bay. | Photo: Mike Ruthnum

South African police threaten Jeffreys Bay surfers with jail-time, confiscate boards, issue fines, arrest man checking surf with son under tough new COVID-19 lockdown laws: “They drove in fully armed and in bullet-proof riot gear!”

"Then five cops walked down to the Point and chased everyone out of the water. Merry Christmas!"

Wild times in South Africa if examining or riding waves is your game. 

At Jeffreys Bay, a man was arrested for checking the surf with his fourteen-year-old son and, on the beach, two surfers were busted, had their boards confiscated and were threatened with jail time. 

“Then five cops walked down to the Point and chased everyone out of the water. Merry Christmas,” says BeachGrit reader Garth Robinson, owner of 

The man arrested for surf checking is Johan Rossouw, Robinson’s neighbour .

“He was just looking at the surf while sitting on a neck (bench) in the car park at Point beach J-Bay, probably the most consistent rideable wave in South Africa,” says Robinson. “They issued him with two fines. He reported the situation to the Internal Investigations Unit of the South African Police Services (the cops didn’t realise they were arresting a retired police man). He has handed in his statements and and filled out J88 forms to go along with his photos of bruising sustained when being forced into the cop van in front of his kids… the cops are on an almighty power trip here at the moment. They drove in fully armed and in bulletproof riot gear to chase tourists and locals as if they are criminals while they are abiding by the law. 

Cop tries to stop man’s son from filming daddy’s arrest.

“The residents of Jeffreys Bay are outraged at what has taken place in our once tranquil surfing village, and we want to world to know about how the cops have zero clue as to how to enforce the draconian laws we have found ourselves under here. 

“Due to our beaches and parks being closed we are forced into closed spaces like shops, malls and made to be in closer contact with others, whereas beaches and the sea offers us safe space to exercise and avoid infection. This country is using the State of Emergency as a cover to make South Africa just another socialist jackboot dictatorship.”

A marked turnaround, of course, from nine months ago when a vacationing American doctor ignored lockdown and enjoyed epic Supers solo thereby provoking an outpouring of hate from locals. 

The only thing keeping this guy safe was social distancing, wrote our correspondent. 

“I got my ass handed to me through WhatsApp and through the community,” said Joseph Hardeman. 

Beleaguered surfers stagger under new damning categorization: “You all are part of the mediocre white man industrial complex!”

The burdens we bear.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that white men are giant bummers, responsible for the dour state of the world, generally toxic and uncool. Oof. Seeing that the majority of surfers are white men all of these lessons apply to us and now, also, a whole new categorization. The “mediocre white man industrial complex.”

The term, first presented in Ijeoma Oluo’s new book Mediocre, describes how white male mediocrity has become both the United States and surfing’s core ideology. The author defines white male mediocrity as “this idea that white men deserve political power and wealth and safety and security and waves just because they’re white men.”

White male mediocrity protects the belief that white men are perceived as stronger and more successful than women and people of color regardless of skill or achievements, she says. “It’s a system that protects mediocrity, that sets [mediocrity] as the goal. And the idea that anything would ask for more of our systems — let alone the people within these systems — becomes a threat to the status quo and to our systems of power.”


It makes me think about my mediocre surfing and, likely, your mediocre surfing and how we’re bolstering the mediocre white man industrial complex every time we paddle out.

I need to work on doing less mediocre cutbacks. Like, actually bend my knees and stuff.

Paddling now. I’ll report on progress soon.

JOB's old house, with Pipe frontage.

North Shore fire sale: Pipe house made iconic by Jamie O’Brien hits the market with expectations around $5.5 million, almost half its 2018 price; joins rumoured sale of both Volcom houses!

"Home to this year's Billabong Pipeline Masters and the Volcom Pipe Pro – RIGHT IN YOUR BACK YARD! This is a one of a kind property!"

Hot on the rumour that both Volcom Pipe houses have been quietly listed for sale, is the confirmed listing of the Pipe house Jamie O’Brien made famous at 59-369 Ke Nui Road for $5.5 million.

The old joint, which was built in 1945 and remodelled ten years later, is actually two studios nailed together. Jamie used to live in the oceanfront half, daddy Mick and pals in the back of the place.

The owner has been trying to sell the house for the past four years for ten-mill, but has now cut the price by half.

Four beds, two baths, sixteen hundred square feet.

From the listing,

Directly fronting the legendary Pipeline surf break on the North Shore of Oahu. During the winter months you will be treated to stunning views of arguably the best surf break in the world! Home to this year’s Billabong Pipeline Masters and the Volcom Pipe Pro – RIGHT IN YOUR BACK YARD! This is a one of a kind property! Direct ocean frontage perched above and overlooking one of the most incredible beaches in the world! During the summer the waters are calm and clear, the sand is clean and soft. Wonderful swimming, beachcombing, and sunning! The expansive summer sand fronting this property provides incredible privacy. The North Shore of Oahu has a spirit or mana. It is not just a location, it is a lifestyle. Come – Become.. Bring your architect and contractor to explore the possibilities!

Obvs, I hit up Jamie, the flame haired king of Pipeline and currently the most popular surfer in the world, for his view on the matter.

Jamie moved out of the joint a few years back when he bought his own place behind the Lopez house

“Shitty,” he said. “I wish the owner would give me an inside deal.”

JOB said he doubted the five-mill price would be hit ’cause it was a knockdown and predicts three-and-a-half mill will be enough to convince the owner to toss you the keys.

Rumor: Both of the iconic Volcom homes, fronting the Banzai Pipeline, quietly on the block for $3.5m and $2.5m respectively!

Volcom has owned the “party” house since 2000 and the “Gerry” house since 2008 They are most well-known for featuring in the Christmas classic “Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell.”

They say that you can’t put a price on peace of mind but you can, apparently, on a piece of surf history and a surprisingly low price to boot.

A hot rumor has floated over the coconut wireless, flighting for airtime with the holiday classic Mele Kalikimaka, that not one but both of Volcom’s Pipe fronting homes are quietly on the block as pocket listings. The classic “party” house, featuring a dungeon and porch-front house held aloft by cinder block and the next door “Gerry” house (sometimes called the “Yago” house) where Bruce Irons once ruled from a third story penthouse.

Both come with large black and white “stones.”

Volcom has owned the “party” house since 2000 and the “Gerry” house since 2008 They are most well-known for featuring in the Christmas classic “Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell.”

Also for being “the proving grounds.”

Much to learn here.


But doesn’t $3.5m and $2.5m respectively seem ridiculously cheap? Like, so cheap that I’m a tiny bit reticent in advertising because I could imagine being almost able to afford if I had made vastly better choices in life?

Well, BeachGrit is aiming for big things this coming year and maybe just maybe those big things include being “the proving grounds.”

You’re invited, of course, and we will paddle out to Pipe, together, and show everyone how it’s done.


Great White forces closure of popular Australian beach on one of state’s hottest Christmas Eves ever and less than two weeks after second-biggest Great White on record was caught and tagged just offshore!

"An abnormally high number of sharks."

A bumper season for Great Whites in Australia, to be sure. 

Just two weeks after the second-biggest Great White ever recorded in Western Australia waters forced the closure of Cottesloe, another Great White has put swimmers and surfers at the same beach back on the sand.

The White was three-hundred feet offshore when it was spotted at three forty-five, prompting the now familiar sounds of klaxons and megaphones and the scene of swimmers exiting the water, with haste. 

Forty-five minutes later, the White had disappeared and the beach was reopened although swimmers were especially tentative, few willing to venture into depths beyond their waists. 

Two weeks ago, Peter Godfrey from the Department of Fisheries had told 9News, “It’s very rare to have such a big White shark so close to the metropolitan area.” 

Fisheries catch “mammoth” Great White.

And, Surf Life Saving WA had warned of an “abnormally high number of sharks.”

The “mammoth” Great White swimming so close to a popular beach, it said, was “not an isolated incident.”

For generations, pretty Cottesloe Beach, seven miles (11 km) from the centre of Perth, was known for its dreamy grass terraces and even dreamier afternoons in its hotels’ beer gardens, a tangled sea of brown bodies and loose lips. 

Then, in 2000, one year after Great Whites became protected by law, a swimmer, Ken Crew, was attacked and killed by a fifteen-foot Great White in waist-deep water and in front of other swimmers, early morning joggers and cafe diners. He bled out in the arms of a Catholic priest on the beach. 

Also on Christmas Eve, Bunker Bay, an awesomely pretty crescent of white sand and green water almost at the tip of  Cape Naturaliste, a little north of Margaret River, the same joint that hosted an attack on a surfer by a “freakishly big Great White” in July, was closed due to a lingering Great White

Great White stocks appear to be abundant, at least anecdotally.