With the women returning to JBay, Kelly Slater’s comeback and the World Title races wide open, has there ever been a more exciting time for the world’s best surfers to be tackling the world’s best wave?
It’s unlikely that some of the Earth’s earliest Homo sapiens who dwelled in the caves at Klasies River or the plains of the Kabeljous River, on the outskirts of Jeffreys Bay, ever surfed.
Their fossilized remains, dated around 125,000 years old, didn’t include any crude single fins made from flint. If they’d ever seen the wave, they surely would have prioritized surfing over, say, inventing rope or making clothes from tanned hides.
It wasn’t until the early 1960s that the early South African longboard pioneers discovered the end section of the wave, now known as the Point.
However, as time progressed and surfboards became shorter and more maneuverable, the focus soon moved up to the aptly named Supertubes.
This is the barreling 300 meter section that you have mostly seen in videos and photos, and which is the home of the Corona Open JBay.
Jeffreys Bay is universally known as one of, if not, the best wave in the world.
More than that, it serves as a benchmark for every other surf spot on the planet. This wave (or series of interlinking waves) has everything any surfer could ever need, with the possible exception of warm water.
When a six-to-eight foot swell is being airbrushed by a light southwest wind, the premier section of the break, known as Supertubes for good reason, throws up some of the most perfect, powerful tubes on the planet.
Six-wave sets roll in, each one a mirror image of the last, with incredible tubes the norm. It’s also a known scientific fact that you will never travel as fast on a surfboard as on a six-foot wave at Supers.
The Corona Open JBay takes place from 2 – 16 July and forms part of the annual JBay Winterfest, a multi sports event that attracts tens of thousands of people to Jeffreys Bay every July.