Surfing life

As a sport and lifestyle, it is not noted for its medical benefits. But an addiction clinic in Cape Town has taken up surfing as part of its rehabilitation programme.

The Tabankulu Recovery Centre says that surfing offers a challenge for patients who may otherwise revert to bad habits. “People who have been using drugs for a long time need to fill their time and surfing offers that,” Hugh Robinson, the British director and owner, said.

“The biggest task for a recovering addict is finding new enthusiasm for life. Surfing gives that - it gets the juices going, new excitement and passion.”

Among those on the course is Catherine Pike, 22, from Fleet, Hampshire. “I’m attracted to dysfunctional men and become reliant on them,” she said. “It affected work, my studies - I tried to go to college three times - and my eating. I dropped friends and just became obsessed with boyfriends to the detriment of anything else.”

She has attended the clinic since May and had never surfed before. “There’s something spiritual about surfing. Being out in the ocean gives you time to think and reflect. Some days are worse than others, but when you get out there it clears your mind.”

Her surf teacher is Lenny Stolk, who was an alcoholic and drug abuser for more than 30 years. Mr Stolk, 53, regularly smoked marijuana, heroin and crack until he collapsed one night.

“I went to rehab but wasn’t interested. Then, one and a half weeks in, I just had a ‘vision’ - call it what you like - and I gave up.” Seven years ago he turned to surfing, set up LJs Surf Clinic and contacted the Tabankulu centre, which agreed to use him as part of a rehabilitation programme that also includes gardening, cooking and shopping.

“It’s easy to say no and go back to drugs and drinking, but learning to surf gives you a real sense of achievement, which is important,” he said.

Tabankulu attracts patients from around the world to its three centres. Most are from Britain and Africa but it has clients from Sweden, the Netherlands and the Ukraine. The nine-month course costs £10,000 and the surf treatment is gaining in popularity; at present 20 people - the centre has room for 50 - take part.

“I was a bit sceptical about learning to surf but Lenny is a good teacher and has given me the confidence,” said A. D. Sabeh, 36, a Ghanaian drink and drug addict who lost his right leg in a police shooting six years ago and had started taking drugs at 13. “It takes my mind off drugs and my treatment.”

Source: The Times

Kustom Airstrike

Californians Ryan Carlson and Bobby Martinez have spearheaded an American assault on world surfing’s richest single-manoeuvre prize purse.

Aerial master Carlson and the resurgent World Championship Tour surfer Martinez have led the US raid on the US$50,000 Kustom Air Strike event, which overnight drew 10 new high quality entries from around the world.

Carlson launched into a must-be-seen-to-be-believed Kerrupt flip, while Martinez lays down a wildly smooth forehand aerial reverse.

But the Americans weren’t the only ones who came out firing, with West Australian flyer Jay Davies – a standout performer in a new Rusty DVD called Changes – landing what must be one of the craziest alley oops ever captured on film.

“Four weeks into the event Mitch Coleborn’s entry landed in our inbox. His flip was the best we had ever seen and the global surfing community was stunned. We heard from all corners of the planet that Mitch had sealed the deal with that flip, and that with six months still to run in the contest no one could top him. Many thought it was unbeatable,” said Kustom’s General Manager Harry Truscott.

“Another month into the event and the entries keep pouring in. We’ve got some real contenders, and a screen full of punts that are absolutely mind blowing. But, I don’t think we’ve seen the winning entry yet.

“The Kustom Airstrike set out to redefine surfing. Whoever ends up taking home the US$50,000 winners prize will have produced something previously believed impossible. That’s what we are really looking for.”

The new entries, along with scores of others that have poured Kustom Air Strike headquarters, have been posted on the event website.

Kustom Air Strike is open to all surfers, both amateurs and professional anywhere in the world, and is a quest to produce the most innovative and inspired aerial manoeuvre in surfing’s history.

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Pe’ahi World Cup Tow-In Surfing Championship

The Association of Professional Towsurfers (APT) is proud to announce that Mormaii, a Brazilian based surf clothing and product company has signed on as the Title Sponsor of the Mormaii Pe’ahi World Cup Tow-In Surfing Championship.

This will be the last event of the 2008/2009 series and with this event, the APT will crown its second annual World Champion tow-in surfing team.

“We are gaining momentum with the APT World Tour and believe the support we have from the athletes has been crucial to our success” says APT Founder and President Eric Akiskalian.

Eric went further to say, “We are blessed by an incredible sponsor in Mormaii and we have a solid Event Director in ‘Handsome Bugga’ Rodney Kilborn, APT’s Vice President who has directed tow-in events at Pe’ahi in 1997 and in 2002.”

APT Invite List:
1. Koby Abberton / Ryan Hipwood - AUS
2. Danilo Couto / Rodrigo Resende - BRA
3. Evarldo 'Pato' Texeira / Yuri Soledad - BRA/HI
4. Sylvio Mancusi / Edilson Assuncau - BRA
5. Diego Medina / Critobal Gonzales - CHI
6. Grant 'Twiggy' Baker / Greg Long - SA/CA
7. Jamie Mitchell / James Watson - AUS
8. Scott Chandler / Chuck Patterson - CA
9. Carlos Burle / Eraldo Gueiros - BRA
10. Alastair Mennie / Andrew Cotton - IRE
11. Tyler Fox / Shane Desmond - CA
12. Makua Rothman / Ikaika Kalama - HI
13. Mike Parsons / Brad Gerlach - CA
14. Garrett McNamara / Kealii Mamala - HI
15. Jamie Sterling / Mark Visser - HI
16. Sion Milosky / Dustin Barca - HI
17. Myles Padaka / Felipe Espiritu - HI
18. Archie Kalepa / Buzzy Kerbox - HI
19. Ross Clark Jones / Tony Ray - AUS
20. Ian Walsh / Shane Dorian - HI
21. Jamie O'Brian / Troy Alotis - HI
22. Kaleo Amadeo /  Nalu Wallace - HI
23. Anthony Tashnick / Darryl 'Flea' Virostko - CA
24. Wild Card

(in alphabetical order by first partner name)
Cambell Ferrell / Doug Young - HI/NZ
Carlos ‘Coco’ Nogales / TBD – MEX
Dan Morre / Mark Anderson – HI
Dylan Longbottom / Laurie Towner - AUS
Ed Guzman / Juao Jabour- CA/BRA
Kalani Chapman / Ezira Sitt – HI
Ollie Richardson / Dan Hasselschwert - OR
Peter Mel/ Ryan Augenstein – CA
Ramon Navarro / Christian Merrello - CHI
Russell Smith / Tyler Smith - CA
Titus Kinimaka / Kalani Vierra - HI
Zach Wormhoudt / Jake Wormhoudt – CA