Kelly Slater joins conga line of legendary tuberiders at a wave brokered to the world by a computer nerd in 2008!
One of the most beautiful things about Kelly Slater is, even at fifty-one and with twenty mill or so in his purse, his pursuit of barrels is as relentless as it was thirty years previous.
And yesterday, continuing into today and with a spike in the swell expected tomorrow, Slater’s vast suntanned presence has overshadowed a stacked crew of the world’s most accomplished tuberiders including vlogger Nathan Florence, little bro Ivan, Jamie O’Brien, Craig Anderson, Harry Bryant, Balaram Stack, Brett Barley, Benji Brand and WSL commentator Strider Wasilewski at Donkey Bay in Namibia.
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The story of Donkey Bay aka The Namibian Rickshaw is pretty wild:
The joint was fiercely protected by a cadre of locals and South African surfers until it was brokered to the world by a magazine and a computer nerd in 2008.
The Google Earth challenge was a Surfing magazine initiative to shoot a little out of the box, readers using the then new Google Earth tech to discover secret waves.
Deal was, you tell the mag, they let you join a photo shoot to the joint.
Brian Gable, an IT specialist, was a runner-up to the contest in 2007 (a wave in Western Sahara was chosen though no trip was made).
His loss drove him nuts.
“From that moment, I committed to nothing else. Logging some serious late-night hours online, I focused on studying the country, the terrain and bathymetry, the people, the marine life, weather-patterns, the cost, travel, logistics, etc. I corresponded with locals halfway around the world. Obsessed and possessed, I selfishly put personal and professional duties aside and spent my days formulating the ultimate package for the ultimate magazine surf trip. To me, it wasn’t just a free adventure for myself. It was a chance to prove that the gem I found not only stood up to every other world-class setup, but was on the very short list at the top. Then, on Wednesday, Sep 19, 2007 at 10:03 AM, I got the call. First prize, the Indians take the pennant, the whole freakin’ enchilada!”
Skeleton Bay, of course, is now a photo studio, many pro’s and so on.
Better than snorting crystal blow, as old-timers used to say.
Watch how it was discovered here!