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SKA Trip October 2017



Some classic waves were found by seven  SKA members as they searched the coastline at the bottom end of Yorke Peninsula.  Secret spots were surfed, waves were shared and marsh flies were swallowed.  What a great weekend, except for the marsh flies.


It was an early rise for the boys who lived down south, but an early arrival at Yorke Peninsula was worth it.  After checking out a number of spots in the  Daly Heads area, where manageable waves were about, the swell size, wind direction and strength, suggested Tressies may be the better option.  No one out at Tressies and some good sets coming through made the President's call an easy one.  After the long walk over, three went out and Dave manned the camera.  Freddie and Smoothy dominated the sets getting equal share of the waves and occasionally sharing a wave.


While all this was going on the two boys, one from the north and one from Robe started their journey to the bottom end of YP.  Gun, who was driving had to turn of his music and listen to Froggy telling him his thoughts on everything for the whole 3 hour trip, unfortunately there was plenty left for the way back.  When they finally made it to Tressies, the boys from the south had their fill and were heading back to the cars.  North and south met half way on the walk and exchanged pleasantries.  The usual story, " You should have been here earlier, the wind was lighter and the surf was better".  There were still plenty of waves about and Froggy and Gun had it to themselves.  The peak was shifting and the occasional long spells between sets meant a number of times they were caught out of position and had to take a few on the head, which is not easy at Tressies.  But it was a fun session and everybody had some good waves.


The boys from the south surfed secret spot G which required some skilled four wheel driving to reach.  According to Freddie he had the skills and Stuart, the local member who joined them, was not so skilled and needed Freddie's help.  But they got to the surf and some good waves which the four shared while Dave manned the camera.  Stuart got some clean rides and rode them like a local.  Bunny showed some speed.  Freddie was perfecting his late take-offs and Smoothy was all over the waves, as you would, if you were State Champion and the President.


The accommodation for the weekend was first class, with the Pressie and Freddie getting rooms to them selves.  Dave worked out how to kick Bunny out of his room  and finished up having a room to himself, while Bunny crashed in the lounge room,  Froggy and Gun shared the fourth bedroom without too much drama.  After an early start it was an early night.


Saturday morning it was up at 6 am and off to check Pondie.  There was good surf, but with 14 in the water and about 8 getting ready to go out it was off to check some secret spots.  North and south were separated again.  North went to Secret Spot Y (short for YMCA)  and south went to Secret spot G.  North had Secret spot Y to themselves (I guess that's because its a secret spot) and scored plenty of waves.  Secret spot G wasn't doing it for the boys form the South, so it was back to Tressies, where they shared some sizable waves with about six stand-up surfers.  Freddie, Stuart and Smoothy caught some big waves and thankfully Dave got it on film. (read as sensor chip, in this digital age).


We all got together again late afternoon, but the wind had come up from the west and ruined any chances of a late afternoon surf.  Some had Nanna naps ( we won't say who , but it must be hard being the President and having to make all the decisions), some went for a walk and taking bird photos (feathered type) and Freddie visited injured local member Sneaky J, later joined by Gun and Froggy.  That night a counter meal at the local pub filled an empty spot in their stomachs.


Sunday morning, the wind was lighter but still from the west.  The swell was smaller, but there was still plenty about.  Unfortunately the onshore conditions weren't that inviting.  After checking out a few spots it was decided to start the long drive back.  The boys from the south headed straight back, while the boys from the north checked out the east side of YP for future reference.


It was a great weekend with some excellent waves, maybe a little windy.  As always the company was good and the accommodation was excellent.  Thanks to Paul for organising that.  This was the last trip for the year, so a big thank you to the Committee for their planning and organisation throughout the year.


Story by Gun and Photos by Dave Manley







A Winter's Tale



Storms, gale force winds, lightning, heavy rain, cancelled ferry crossings, we had it all, but more importantly we had surf.  There were windows of opportunity, early mornings when the wind strength eased and the surf became manageable.  A surf session every day, including two on Friday completed another adventure on KI.  I have been on the past eight trips and have never been disappointed. 


Friday was an early start with the small but quality SKA crew booked on the 6 am ferry to KI.  After a reasonably calm trip across we were on our way to P-Bay, with a red sunrise at our backs.  P-Bay was clean around the 2-3 ft. mark but no regular banks to tempt us.  Flourcast Bay was our next stop and it was a similar story, but it was great to watch a pod of dolphins, with numbers too many to count, surfing the waves.  It was decided to head to our accommodation and unload, then check out the Point.



At the point a firm off-shore wind and small 2-3 ft. waves greeted us.  Before the Prezzie could make the call, I was into my wetsuit and on the way out.  The others followed.  Although the first out, I had to let the President have the first wave and every other wave.  The club president Paul or Smoothy as we know him, was on a mission.  He caught most of the waves, many long "car-park" rides, while the rest of us struggled a bit.  I felt I was making up the number as both Dave and Yanni scored long rides including a number of "car-park" rides.  Every now and then a sneaker, 4-5ft., set would come through and clean us up, except Paul who more than likely would be on it.  We had the session to ourselves and it was great, everybody got plenty or rides with only four of us in the water.


As the wind strengthened it was back to the accommodation to claim beds and have a 'Nanna's nap'.  The wind started dropping in strength about mid-afternoon, so it was back to the point to see what the surf was doing.  The swell size was the same, but the wind was lighter.  The Prezzie made the call to go out, but we were all a little hesitant putting on cold and wet, wetsuits.  Three of us braved the cold wetsuits and hit the surf.  Paul continued with this habit of catching the best waves and riding them further.  Dave and I started getting more waves.  The clean-up sets were less frequent and the session turned out to be the best session for all of us that day.  Everybody had "car-park" rides except me.  I was still waiting for my first with two sessions already under my belt.


The highlight of this session was the seals swimming amongst us.  Seals are starting to take-over the point and in every session we had seals, but in this session they were in large numbers and swimming around us while we were waiting for waves.  People pay huge dollars to experience this.  I had a larger seal swim around me and upside down under my board, keeping an eye on me.  Others were jumping in the air near us.  It was a good feeling being this close to wild nature.  Good waves and friendly wildlife topped off this session.


After a quiet night, listening to the wise words of the President, which put us all to sleep, we woke to a relatively calm morning.  Saturday's weather forecast was terrible, ferry cancellations, gusty winds, hail, thunder storms, and yet we were greeted with clear blue skies and a light off-shore wind.  It was out to the point to check the surf.  Slightly bigger than the day before with locals already going out.  It was an easy call for the President, but only he and Yanni went out to join local Kneelo Steve and a number of local stand-up surfers.  I decided to man the camera and Dave kept me company.  Waves were harder to get for our boys as the locals had the spot wired taking off deep and making it.


Paul and Yanni managed to get a number of waves before the rain.  Paul continued with his "car-park" rides and as the photos show he did it easy.  Yanni got a welcome out on his first wave that dumped him to the bottom, but to his credit he got a few good rides in a session that was becoming crowded.


Saturday afternoon was spent waiting for the weather to clear, hoping for an evening session.  Strong winds and rain put an end to that.  Yanni and I checked the point, while Dave and Paul went in the opposite direction checking another spot.  Both spots were blown-out by the wind, so back to the house watching an out of date and heavily scratched surfing DVD, while Dave practiced his culinary skills.


A huge storm was predicted for Sunday.  We were booked on the 7pm ferry and Paul did a quick check if the Ferry was running.  It was not and had not been running since Friday pm.  We were on the island for another day.  Paul booked us in the 1.30pm ferry on Monday and secured our accommodation for another night, which they kindly gave us for free.  Thank you Loverings.


With the wind firm but not looking too bad it was out to the point to check out the surf.  The waves were larger, a little more scary, but manageable and no one out.  Paul made the call and we were out.  Yanni wisely sat this one out.  Dodging a few of the bigger set we made it out back and as had been happening all weekend Paul got the biggest and best waves.  I finally got a few that took me to the car park and so did Dave.  We were joined by a couple of locals who were taking off deep on some of the larger clean up sets that were nudging 6ft.  Out in the water watching them drop down the faces, if they didn't have wetsuits and the water wasn't that cold you would have thought you were in Hawaii.  The waves looked that good.  Paul had some ripper drops that he made and some super long rides.  I didn't see Dave's rides but I know he got some long ones and I had my first, second and third best rides for the weekend in this session.  It was the best session of the weekend for surf.



After an hour and half into the session, and with one of the locals and Dave already in, it started getting a little dark.  Lightning started flashing across the sky and the sea went calm.  Next thing a huge clean-up set came through with the local catching the first wave, which clean up Paul and I.  The rest of the set washed us further in, but we still tried to paddle out, not knowing that the waves and the now increasing gale force, south westerly, wind was dragging us down to the rocks just before the $100 special.  Paul managed to catch the tail end of a wave and avoid the rocks, while I was getting ever closer to the rocks and wondering how I was going to avoid them.  The water was a mass of white water and the cross-onshore wind dragged me closer to the rocks.  A little worried (understatement), the adrenalin kicked in and I paddled frantically against the wind away from the rocks and soon found the calm of the bay and the shore line.  In the howling rain and satisfying a nature call on the beach, I had my wetsuit half off and felt on a high walking back to the car in the cold, wind and rain.  The predicted storm had hit.


The hint of south in the wind and eager to have a second session thoughts went towards the possibility of a wave at Stokes bay.  After a quick lunch we were on our way to north side of the island.  The SKA Search had begun.  On the way we noticed a Wedge-tailed Eagle, "Eddie the Eagle", that couldn't fly just of the edge of the road.  Wet wings and the bad weather may have grounded him.  I did run after it with my camera and managed to get one photo from a distance.  Then it was on to Stokes.


Unfortunately the wind had too much west in it and Stokes was a mass of white-water.  Plenty of waves if the wind had been off-shore.  Emu bay was the next call, but that had only small waves which were not tempting.


Time to do the tourist thing, so it was off to Kingscote.  A visit to the KI Spirit distillery warmed up the inners of two of our crew and then it was back to Kingscote for a look around.  With our food supplies at camp depleted it was off to the pub to watch the showdown and a meal. The highlight of the showdown was watching the antics of the bar tender a die-hard Port Adelaide supporter who was getting stirred by Crows supporters at the bar.  It was more entertaining than the football.


Monday morning the wind was still onshore at the Point and because we had an early ferry back a visit to Stokes was not an option.  The President, aware of my bird photography hobby, recommended a nature walk near American River to look for Glossy Cockatoos.  No Cockatoos but a great walk.  Then it was on to the ferry and home.


Another fantastic trip to KI over.  It would have been great if more members were there.  Hammer was going to join us but got stuck on the mainland when the Ferry stopped running.  Unfortunately a number of members were overseas or interstate, planning weddings and doing other things.  The four that attended couldn't ask for more only less; less wind and less rain.


Thanks to Paul for organising this and his efforts in securing a ride home.  A lot of work goes on in getting us to the island and in securing accommodation.  It is greatly appreciated.  Looking forward to next year.


Story and Photos by The Gun




Way Out West 2017



John & Gayle were enjoying their annual 3 month trip, fishing, surfing & exploring the West Coast.  Freddie & Deb spent 2 weeks in the Lincoln/Coffin Bay area where Freddie scored good waves in the National Park.  Deb flew home & Freddie headed west to meet up with John & Gayle.


We contacted fellow SKA member Grant and were invited around to his place for coffee.  John counselled Freddie the "coffee guru" not to criticise Grant's coffee as the club could ill afford to lose a valued member.  No problems as the coffee was up to scratch.  Had a good chat with Grant and met his wife & family.


Travelled onto our final destination and found an excellent camp site, remote, deserted, drop toilet near-by, good fishing & surf out front, wild horses, camels & goats for company.  (Oh & mice!!!).


Grant and his mate arrived at camp next day to take us surfing and after an extensive search we settled on a nice left hander breaking down the side of a reef.  Freddie was frothing and first out, John last, his ageing body complaining of the long paddle out.  All scored plenty of waves, John a few too many over the falls.  Next day, same location, we were surprised to find a couple from Newcastle had parked their caravan right in our "spot" and asked if he could surf with us as he wasn't game to surf there alone.  Rest of the time we surfed by ourselves.


Five straight days of swell & offshores, our routine became - breaky, coffee ( Freddie had a portable state of the art coffee machine), boys headed off for a surf while Gayle fished for tea.  In the afternoon we collected wood for the campfire, John decided this was hard work so devised a method of towing stumps too heavy to lift back to camp.  At night happy hour by the campfire then Freddie's camp oven came to the fore and many a gourmet meal was cooked over the fire.


Freddie's 4x4 capabilities were much appreciated from saving John's van being shaken to pieces to exploring the 20kms of beach and rugged coastline.


The swell finally dropped, the wind turned & the mice became more friendly so Freddie hit the beaches and 4x4 tracks back to the bitumen and home while John & Gayle hit the dirt and resumed their leisurely journey back down the coast.  If this is retirement then Freddie can't wait.


Surfing trips are by nature often exaggerated and words are only words unless backed up with photographic evidence, so enjoy the words & photos.


John & Freddie














Report of 2-3ft light E

Reality 1ft Moderate W

Six Kneelos, their families and friends headed over to the Yorke Peninsula for the first club trip of the year. Mad Dog, Postie, David B. and Patrick loaded seven boards on the roof of the mighty Land Rover.  Freddy went over with his daughter and her partner.  Hammer was already on his way over with the Moana SLSC end of season trip.

After an early morning pick up the Land Rover was buzzing with anticipation as all reports pointed towards 2-3ft and offshore winds.  After a quick stopover at Port Wakefield for a breakfast of Iced Coffee and a Chiko roll we arrived at Lizards.  Hammer had beaten us there by about 30 minutes and we were greeted by small surf and a moderate onshore wind.  After watching seven other people join Hammer in the water a call was put in to Freddy to see where he was.

Freddy had just finished setting up the Shangri-La of campers and said he going to check a secret spot which was only accessible by 4WD.  With all of us keen to get the Land Rover in low range, we followed Freddy along sandy tracks which weaved behind sand hills.  All was going well until the climb over the last sand hill where Freddy's Hilux became bogged.  Without PB's courier to save the day we resorted in lowering tyre pressures and trying again.  On the second attempt he made it, and the Land Rover quickly followed.  Over the sand hills we were greeted with ....... a clean 0.5ft surf.  Deflated we slowly made our way back through the sand hills.

The tour of Yorkes then commenced, checking West Cape, Pondie, Ethel's, and Chinaman's, all of which were completely flat.  Four disheartened kneelos headed back to their accommodation.  The evening was spent with Dave B solving puzzles on his tablet, Postie browsing the web for potential relations and Mad Dog and Pat watching the football.


Report 2-3ft NE-NW

Reality 0.5ft Strong NW

After a disheartening Friday, everyone was late to rise and look for a surf.  After checking Chi's, the swell appeared to have decreased and the wind had come up to a strong NW.  The decision was made to check the secret spot from the day before (walking in from the adjacent beach) this provided non-inspiring surf so the rest of the morning was spent exploring the area around Corny Point.  The decision was finally made to have a rest at the house then head out for another look in the afternoon.  However, after three episodes of Dooms Day Preppers the day was getting away so we settled for a walk around the township of Marion Bay and tea at the pub.  The evening was again spent with Dave B. solving puzzles on his tablet, Postie browsing the web for potential relations and Mad Dog and Pat watching the football.


Report 3-4ft NNW-NW

Reality 2-3ft NE

The swell was due to increase and winds decrease, so the car was packed and we watched the sunrise at Chi's.  The swell however looked like the last few days so disheartened we headed to lizards for a last-ditch attempt at any surf before heading home with our tails between our legs.  We were greeted by Hammer hurrying to get his boards off the roof off his car and a 2-3ft offshore surf.  Mad Dog opted to take photos so Hammer, Postie, Dave B. and Pat scrambled out into the surf to make the most of it.  Everyone had their fair share of waves with the four kneelos splitting themselves over two breaks.  Hammer and Dave B. tearing apart the right with a fast take-off and steep face. Postie and Pat sharing a consistent left with ramping take-off and whackable lips. 


The photos show that everyone got some good waves and did some great surfing.  After a couple of hours in the sea the Land Rover crew headed home leaving a wave hungry Hammer looking for somewhere else to surf.  Freddy decided to hang around for the swell picking up the following day, and hopefully he scored some good surf.

After a slow start to the weekend we came home with a few waves under our belts and the knowledge of a few more secret spots.  Thanks to all the guys that headed over and made this trip enjoyable also a huge thanks to Mad Dog for taking the photos.


Story by Patrick Langlands

Photos by Dave "Mad Dog" Manley






Two smashed boards and a set of fins sacrificed to King Neptune, all before a wave was ridden, was not quite what we expected on such a beautiful day on K.I./p>


Clear skies, warm weather and a a light off-shore wind had 11 SKA members hungry for waves when they stepped foot on Kangaroo Island (KI).  After a few phone calls and reports of small swells, a secret location and swell magnet along the south coast was suggested.  It was a long drive with the last 10 km being a winding dirt track with heavy overgrowth reaching out and scratching the duco off our clean cars.  But that was soon forgotten as a vista off clean lines greeted our smiling faces.  To keep the name of the location quiet, I will call it spot B (Spot A was already taken). 


It was a rush down the cliff to be the first in the water, with Freddie leading the charge, closely followed by Craig and Smithy.  I manned the Camera and from my high advantage point, I watched the boys contemplating where to paddle out.  The high tide and waves washing over the rocks meant that you had to wait for the lulls before you dared to jump in the water.  After a fair wait Freddie finally managed to get out with Craig just behind him.  Smithy tried further down and jumped off a rock only to hit another rock as the wave receded.  Minus three fins he had to head back for the beach.  Smoothy, el Presidente, ran further out on the rocks only to be hit by a wave that sent him sliding back on the rocks, soon followed by a second wave, while he wad still on his backside.  Needless to say a big gash in the side of his board  stopped him in his tracks and had him heading back to the beach.  All this before a wave was even ridden.


Postie who had been watching this carnage decide on a different route out, in the opposite direction and a longer paddle, using a rip between a number of rock ledges.  It was a better choice, but he miscalculated the strength of the rip that washed him against one of the rock ledges smashing in a rail on his board.  Three boards down and still no wave ridden.


Freddie finally got the first wave while the rest were in damage mode.  Mad Dog to the rescue.  Dave Manley (aka Mad Dog) loaned the President his spare board so he could have a surf, scrambled up the cliff to the cars to get a set his spare set of fins for Smithy so he could get into the surf and being a genuinely nice guy.  Must be running for President next year??  Postie who had a spare board in the car, did not ask Mad Dog to get it for him, but decided to sit the session out.




Finally everybody was out and the waves as you can see in the photos were worth the hassle.  Clearly Smoothy and Pinebox had it wired scoring most of the waves.  The strong current had the crew drifting east, away from the take-off spot.  The long lulls between sets made it difficult to be in the right spot all the time and a few got caught by the clean-up sets. Hammer and Pat had some good late take-off and got their share of waves.  Freddie and Smithy got caught behind a few too many times while Craig was last seen drifting down the beach.  Smoothy got the only tube of the session, while Pinebox had the wave of, not only the session, but for the whole weekend.  Getting in was a little easier, but no-one was up for a second session with only a few hours of daylight left. What a good start for the first day of the trip!


The journey back seemed to be quick and it wasn't long before we were as SKA headquarters on KI.  An open fire, BBQ and some quiet ales and a lot of talk (bragging) of the days surf filled the night.  There was one incident in the water, involving the current and past President, that was discussed in depth but soon squashed by the current president.  Gone but not forgotten.


Froggy, who had been working (so he calls it) on KI all week and could not surf with us on Friday, decided to call into SKA Headquarters Saturday morning and, in his usual charming manner, woke everybody up at 6am.  The weather on Saturday was similar to Friday.  Back to Spot B.  The surf looked the same as the day before only the tide was lower making it easier to get out.


I was the first out having sat out the day before to take photos.  Board and fins in tact, I made it out back only to find it difficult to stay in the take-off spot with the current sweeping you down the beach.  I did manage a few take-off and a ride or two before going over the falls a few times.  Not everybody came out at the left hander.  A few of the crew walked down the beach and surfed a right hander, which produced some longer rides.  Of the ones in the water with me, I saw some great rides by Dave and Smoothy.  Froggy and Pat were taking it on the head on the inside, but getting some nice sections on the smaller waves. 


Those that surfed the right further down the beach stated that the surf was great with a fast hollow wave while the tide was low, but this deteriorated as the tide came in.  I did get word that Smithy got some good rides that Mad Dog had digitally captured. 


A few of the crew ventured out for a second session, with the highlight being a bomb caught by Mad Dog who cheered so loud when he made it that the seal that was surfing with them hightailed out of sight never to be seen again.  Mad Dog was smiling for the rest of the weekend.




After the second session it was decide to check out another spot further west.  It was another long drive through scrub and a long walk to a beautiful secluded beach with ride-able surf.  A spot to keep in mind, however the long walk may mean it well never be ridden.


After a fuel stop at Penneshaw, it was back to SKA headquarters and pasta for dinner.  A few of the boys watched the Olympics opening ceremony, while Pinebox grizzled all night because he could not watch the footy.  Stiff PB you are no longer the President!!!


The last day dawned with the wind a little stronger, but still perfect weather.  Keen to try a different spot the boys decided that Spot X would be a goer.  After a longer drive than the day before and a walk up the beach to Spot X, it was wait for the locals to come in or find another spot.  Three waited, three walked down the beach to Spot Y while two decided to wait at a small right hander before spot X, now known as spot W (for weak).  Mad Dog and myself manned the cameras.  I covered spots W and X, while Mad Dog covered Spot Y.  The boys at Spot X had some fun waves sharing the surf with a Seal who was intent in showing off a rather large fish he caught and sharing waves with them.  The boys at Spot W, left the crappy wave for Spot X and got a few good rides.  The boys at Spot Y were rather coy about the wave but apparently it was better than Spot X.  One to keep in mind for the future.


Time was running out and it was back to Penneshaw for the Ferry ride home.  It was a rather bumpy ride home on the Ferry, turning a few of the boys green.


Another great trip to KI.  Thanks to the Committee for organising it and a special thanks to Road Runner, who did a lot of the work and could not go. 


Looking  forward to next year's trip.


Story by Gun and Photos by Gun and Dave Manley