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Byron Loker

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Black cat

So I Iost one of my four temporary charges–three black cats and a black dog–for a day and it was a short trip from there to despair and searching of the soul and such matters. I got to thinking about how I should be somewhere else, in my own home (with my own dog) and not wearing someone else’s for a week like a sorry hermit crab, talking to someone else’s beloved pets like a crazy man–they just stare back in what looks like alarm and then bolt and hide for as long as they’re hungry–and to hell with cats anyway, who just want to run away for good as soon as they find the gap to a better life.


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Charlie’s good food

I drove a ski-boat down to Alexandria, Minnesota for something called “winterization”, listening all the way to the country music stations popping up from town to town: Tim McGraw singing how he’ll always be, and another man singing them pantyhose ain’t stayin’ on for long if the DJ puts Bon Jovi on.


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VIDEO & PRESS RELEASE: First ever Joburg surfing team scores at SA Interclub Championships


The Joburg Boardriders, South Africa's first ever landlocked surf team. From left to right: Nathan Gernetzky, Shane Rielly (manager) , Shane Warren, Byron Loker, Kevin Trevaskis, Tasha Mentasti and Dominic Barnardt (photographer).

The Joburg Boardriders, South Africa’s first ever landlocked surf team. From left to right: Nathan Gernetzky, Shane Rielly (manager), Shane Warren, Byron Loker, Kevin Trevaskis, Tasha Mentasti and Dominic Barnardt (photographer).


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Hailing from the “mining town” of Johannesburg, aka “the big smoke”, the Joburgboardriders Club became the first ever landlocked team in South Africa to compete in a national surfing event—the 2016 Billabong SA Interclub Surfing Championships—held this past weekend near Cape St. Francis, site of the legendary Bruce’s Beauties break.

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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. (more…)

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Fish out of water


Eastern Cape surfers don’t know how good they’ve got it… one of the most memorable sessions of my life—banging, six foot, chunky runners down the point, eight guys out—at the crown jewel spot in Slummies, Nahoon Reef.

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.) (more…)

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Daylight robbery

Tik kop. The roll of film that I processed after the return of my camera turned up three frames that showed a remarkable grasp by the thief and or his accomplices of F-stop and exposure; composition not so much.

A few weeks before I left to go and try to live in the United States for reasons not very clear to me or anyone else, I made what I thought very likely at the time my last trip to Elands Bay, a beloved place to me. A small crew we were that trip: two old mates, wives (two) and children (three). We camped, as we always have since our very first trip there in 1988, at the camp-ground down on the beach, in front of the hotel. We pitched our tents, made our camp-fires, drank beer, told our stories to the children, and settled in for the night, spirits buoyed by the nearby rumblings of surf. (more…)

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The reef

There is no doubt on Earth about J-Bay, the wave. But with J-Bay, the place, I have always had a rather ambivalent relationship. It may have something to do with the architecture: those “luxury boutique hotels” that blight the point while brick monstrosities hulk seaward, the coast buffered only by soulless strip malls replicating someplace like Indiana or Bloubergstrand. It definitely has nothing to do with the people.

A few years back, I decided to head up during the Billabong Pro. I wanted to meet Kelly Slater and give him a copy of my then newly published book before it sank without a trace – as most newly published books do in South Africa.

Read the full story on, “the planet’s largest network of thinking surfers”.

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