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Byron Loker

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Death in Venice part II

Dalebrook tidal pool in Kalk Bay

HEAVY WATER: The hardest thing I have ever done in my life happened during that winter, and it was to get out of bed just a handful of times and walk down the Main Road to the Dalebrook tidal pool, dive into the ice-cold water and swim a few lengths and then sit for a time with Hans and talk to him about the fight for my life.

Click here for Death in Venice part I

For Hans Soltau: 05 05 1945 — 09 09 2015.

“You are fighting for your life,” Hans reminded me, “And my job is to corrupt your thinking. Let me tell me you something that might surprise you—do what is evil. You don’t have to do what you think you have to do, or what you think other people want you to do. Do what is evil.”

» read more

Man killed by motorist on Malibongwe Drive and a lesson in citizen journalism

A man estimated to be in his early twenties was killed on Sunday at approximately three PM on Malibongwe Drive in Muldersdrift, just north of Johannesburg. According to an eye-witness, the man was struck by a silver Hyundai containing four occupants while attempting to cross the busy road—popular with motorists making weekend trips to resorts in the Hartbeesport Dam area.

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Board members

Pierre de Villiers

SUNSET INDUSTRY: Scarborough-based Pierre de Villiers is known for his eclectic but thoroughly big-wave tested surfboard shapes. Photo BYRON LOKER

Published in The Times newspaper, Oct 7, 2015

As a surfer of limited means (which many of us tend to be for some reason), I have always had a rather fraught relationship with the tools of the trade, so to speak. When it comes to the acquisition of “new” surfboards, I usually scour the second-hand surf-shops and Cash Converters of the neighbourhood where I happen to find myself resident and fetch up the cheapest, most serviceable-looking shape I can find—beggars can’t be choosers, as they say. » read more

Death in Venice part I

Then there was the time while I was living in the English Professor’s home in Kalk Bay and wondering what to do with my life, that I got Depression really badly and nearly died. I had stopped taking the medication a year previously because I thought I was fine and cured and would be OK, but, as it turns out, I wasn’t.

At the worst time of it I couldn’t get out of bed for four days, except to take a piss. Eventually, I knew I had to get up and go outside and try to do something to stay alive when I couldn’t even get up to take a piss anymore. I still had the job then where I would work on the Internet all day copying and pasting things, so I could work from home most days of the week and not get out of bed on those days, and not manage to eat anything. » read more

Fish out of water: the Jo’burg surf report


Still getting to travel to coastal regions and maintain some sort of status as a surfer. PHOTO: DANIEL GREBE/INSTAGRAM

One of the perks of my new so-called career as a project manager based in Hell, aka Johannesburg, is that I am still getting to travel to coastal regions and maintain some sort of status as a surfer. (Some of the other perks being the colourful assortment of ulcers, cancers and nervous conditions I am accumulating in the soft tissues of my body.) » read more

Shadowman: A Jo’burg-set superhero TV pilot pitch

So I’m thinking about having a go at creating a Saffrican surperhero TV or Web series, and thought it might be fun to share some ideas here. Below is a draft of a pilot. It’s very much genre formulaic, modelled off a screenplay that I found on, optioned from American writer James Thornton and added a little local flavour. I’d very much welcome feedback, suggestions, storyline ideas, a million dollars to make the pilot, what have you. Anybody reckon I could give Mr. Blomkamp a run for the big bucks?



DOWNLOAD (PDF) –> Shadowman (working title) a screenplay by JE Thornton & Byron Loker 


Under construction

267 (2)If, on your travels through your nearest shopping mall, you happen to meet the eye (wide open, bloodshot, murderous gleam) of an individual—five day stubble, unkempt hair, clothes apparently slept-in for a week—clutching a claw-hammer and swearing violently into an iPhone held together by sticky tape, you would get very good odds with the nearest bookie that somewhere nearby a chain store is being built or renovated and the person you avoided further eye contact with is a project manager.

Project management is not all bad as a career choice, though. For one thing, it’s a wonderful way to get to travel on a corporate expense account. In the first year of my relocated-to-Johannesburg, rookie project management career, I have gotten to go surfing in Angola, Jeffrey’s Bay, Vic Bay, False Bay, Elands Bay and Swakopmund, Namibia. Adventures all in their own right, but for now I’ll focus on the last of these destinations. » read more

Eddie would go

GHANA GO: Finding surfing deep in Africa is a hit and miss afair. PHOTO: John Callahan/Surfexplore

GHANA GO THERE: Finding surfing deep in Africa is a hit and miss affair. Image by: John Callahan/Surfexplore

Featured by —’surfing’s definitive online community’.

Now that my friend Kev has quit the cocaine and the film industry and the women of loose morals, he works for another of our best friends, Los the Boss, in Johannesburg, project managing the building of things like fast food chicken restaurants and stores in malls for flat screen TVs and mobile phone consortia. (I too work for Los the Boss now but that’s a different story).

There is absolutely no surf in Johannesburg but quite often Kev has to head up north into other African countries where those above types of companies are making more money because South Africa is going down the toilet. Recently Kev went to Ghana where there is surf and when he came back I was there to meet him at the airport. ‘So, I’ve got a story for you,’ he says when we are in the car. » read more

Pride of place


I just wonder if the nearest Coricraft will have a semi-big wave gun rack with a space or two for a bottle of Kentucky Straight

I just wonder if the nearest Coricraft will have a semi-big wave gun rack with a space or two for a bottle of Kentucky Straight

I recently relocated from Kalk Bay to Johannesburg, in chase of the dollar instead of the dawnie surf for a season or two. Sometimes that happens to people, (they love to write letters to Zigzag surf magazine about their sorry plight). The mighty dollars ain’t exactly rolling through the door, yet, but I have managed to move into a so-called townhouse in the suburbs, where I find myself in need of something known as furniture (if one spends most of one’s life chasing dawn surfs, one tends to land up not owning much of it). » read more

How the war ended for Jonathan

Jonathan and I became friends during the time I was renting the downstairs apartment up on Boyes Drive. Jonathan is good friends with the landlord who was the chairman of a bank and lives in Johannesburg and comes to Cape Town only occasionally on holidays. Mostly it was Jonathan who came on holidays while I was living in the downstairs flat, especially at Christmastime, and he would occupy the main house upstairs where he would take his tea out on the balcony and notice me when I went about my comings and goings on the stairs.

“Look,” he would say, “if it isn’t Lord Byron the poet! How is Byron the poet?”

“Ha, ha,” I would say, “I’m fine thanks. But I’m not much of a poet, you know.” Jonathan would laugh and sometimes he would invite me up for tea, or supper, and so we became friends like that. » read more