Skeleton Bay is on every committed surfer’s bucket list. So when Pat Gudauskas, Tanner Gudauskas, and Dylan Graves found themselves in South Africa for a contest, and within striking distance of the Namibian super-left, they made a mad dash at the first sign of swell.
“For me, the sickest part of the wave was the experience of running up the point to just jump out and surf,” says Pat, whose trip to Namibia was his first. “The wind was howling; it whipped across the sand and would violently tear into you. I suited up with butterflies of stoke. You couldn’t get in the water fast enough, but you wanted to make sure you had everything on and prepped so you didn’t blow it on a good one. The thought that you may only have a few opportunities in your lifetime to surf this wave added extra excitement and energy to the preparations — the feeling of unlimited potential, and infinite stoke.”
“I remember people saying it was a 2 out of 10 when we were there, and everyone seemed a little put off that it wasn’t doing its ‘thing’ like the swell prior, says Dylan. “But perspective is a funny thing. Standing back, you can’t even see the entire scene with your naked eye. My board bag didn’t show up when we flew in, so I was riding Pat’s board and a borrowed suit. I found a hood on the beach that I started rocking because the wind would rip right through any sort of rubber you had on. The more the merrier. I couldn’t give two shits about what the boys or airlines were telling me, because I had never seen a wave like that: mini-Chopes as far as the eye could see.”
“The surf was so powerful. It moves like a four-by-four. It’ll grind so hard, go below see level, eat whoever is inside, and then move down the point before doing it all over again,” added Tanner. “It’s freaky.”
From ruler-straight lines stretching into the morning mist, to blustery barrels midday, it was South Africa’s preeminent left in classic form. Presenting the B-sides Namibia edit from “Edge of Africa.”