With over 60 sessions under their belt, Salty Hour founders Jono Bruton and Tyrell Johnson‘s original concept of dedicating an hour of their time to sharing the stoke of surfing with anyone and everyone who wanted to learn was established in Gonubie, East London in 2015 has grown far beyond what they ever expected to be possible. The wave of influence moved across the coast into Cape Town under the passionate wings of Brett Sanderson, an East London ex-pat now living in Cape Town and a surfer with too many years of experience to count and has recently crashed onto the shores of Port Elizabeth.
Dead Reckoning, has been an integral part of the Salty Hour journey and Salty Hour has found it’s home through the lifestyle brand which promotes charitable behaviour through community enablement.
A special mention to all the Salty Hour sponsors including: Easy Equities, Dead Reckoning, Ocean and Earth Surf, Star Centre, Sanook Cafe and Countonali Construction Services for all the support and for ensuring that Salty Hour is a recurrent success.
While there are many surf schools around the country, these are often costly and usually are for people who want to take their surfing seriously. Expectations are also high and, most of the time, the fun is lost in the whole exchange. Salty Hour tries its best to provide the equipment needed for surfing for the hour that it is run. This is often done by either corporate sponsorships or surfboards of the surfers who partake in assisting. All you need to do is take to the beaches with your friends and family and challenge yourself with learning a new skill, which may infact become a lifelong passion.
The ethos of Salty Hour is to keep the sessions as informal as possible, to just be there for anyone who has wanted to try surfing but has no idea where to start. We provide that Salty companionship, to be in the water with them, to give a tip or two on how to overcome the challenges, whether it be simply just standing for the first time or even fear of the ocean. Pioneer of big wave surfing Buzzy Trent once said, “Waves are not measured in feet and inches, they are measured in increments of fear.” This quote is part of his incredible legacy. It’s not the waves that can bring you down (even though, literally, they’re the ones that knock you off your board), it’s your own fear that can hinder your surfing. Fear the waves, but never let fear guide your board. With the encouragement of the Salty hour companionship team, every individual that steps in the water is challenged to face their fear, with encouragement and support, making the task that much less daunting.
As Jono says, “We are not surf instructors. We are surfers with years of experience that would like to share our knowledge freely with others. We do not accept any kind of reimbursement for our time, we simply want participants to firstly respect the ocean, respect the lifestyle of surfing and also to be courteous in listening and learning from the surfers who give up an hour of their time to help and assist.”
The safety and precaution of the surfers is imperative to the Salty Hour team. On some occasions Salty Hour has been cancelled due to the conditions of the beaches and the water. Safety always comes first and the lifeguards must be obeyed. Every now and then, yoga sessions are offered on the beachfront for all to channel their minds and bodies.
Some of the Salty Hour sessions have been run by local legends such as Mervyn Goddard and Dennis Ellis who took some time to give back to the surf community. It is combined efforts like these that make Salty Hour that much more powerful!
Despite some chilly water conditions, beach closures, and extremely tiresome legs, Salty Hour has seen numerous novice surfers stand for the first time, and has also assisted multiple individuals to overcome their fears by even stepping foot into the water. No fear is ever too small nor is a goal ever unachievable. All it takes is a combination of focus, encouragement, support and a little bit of fun. With all that combined, before you know it, you’ll be riding the wave!
“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” – John Kabat-Zinn
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