I may be the oldest grommet on an unfathomably long board struggling through the surf but even as a newcomer to the sport, I totally get why surfers always look so healthy and content.
There has been a resurgence of interest in surfing culture over the last decade, accompanying a global shift in the search for a simpler, more complete existence. The attraction to this lifestyle is also that access to total freedom and near-spiritual awakening requires minimal gear and only a little effort. With huge reward.
Apart from a suitable board — and a wetsuit if you are relegated to the colder Cape waters — your kit is a pair of quick-drying board shorts, which until now have usually been made by big international brands. There is, however, a growing community of niche labels like Battenwear in Brooklyn, TwoThirds in Spain and French brand Cuisse de Grenouille, that tap into the spirit of their zone. In South Africa we have brands like Island Style but the release of short film “Woza” with its wonderful soundtrack ‘Asazani' by BCUC lead me to vibrant new African label Mami Wata.
Shot over seven days in Durban and Ponto Do Ouro, “Woza” (the Zulu word for “Come”) features 22 year-old Transkei surfer Avuyile Ndamase and was directed by Argentinian duo Pato Martinez and Francisco Canton.
Based in Cape Town, Mami Wata develop, design and manufacture on the continent and tick all the right boxes when it comes to fair trade and working conditions. With hugely respected designer Peet Pienaar as a co-founder and responsible for overall brand design, expect a unique take at every point. Mami Wata (West African pidgin English literally meaning Mama Water) includes a graphic range of surf apparel, accessories and surfboards inspired by the best beaches and finest breaks in Africa. With boards made by master shaper and South African surfing champion Hugh Thompson you’re in good hands.