September 2015, just more than a year ago, Gonubie surfing legends Jono Bruton and Tyrell Johnson decided to dedicate one hour a week of their time to assist anyone who wanted to learn more about surfing.
Enter Salty Hour…
“The concept of Salty Hour was a simple one: sun, wind or rain, the deal was that we would be at the beach to guide beginners and first timers how to surf and ride waves for FREE,” says Jono. “Howling east wind, lightning or rain, we would be there, no excuses. The idea was that if no one pitched up for that hour we would go surfing, it was a win-win… either way we were getting our daily dose of Vitamin Sea.”
Provide surfboards and they will come…
There are usually two reasons a person wishes they could surf, but never take that first step:
- Fear of the unknown and the ocean
“As an experienced surfer, perhaps we take it for granted that we know the difference between the front and the back of a surfboard and that the sea is actually not teaming with giant squid wanting to pull you into the deep dark depths or megalodon prehistoric giant sharks wanting to nibble on your toes.
“Surfboards are expensive. What happens if I buy a surfboard and it turns out I hate surfing? Hence most garages you walk into have a dusty surfboard in the corner or hanging from the rafters, never to be used again.”
By being in the water with the person wanting to learn how to surf and making them feel comfortable by answering questions about the threat of sharks, currents, surges and which way to lie on the surfboard, the Salty Hour team eliminates the fear of the unknown.
“A good chuckle is had by all when we see a few of the ‘students’ paddling on a board back to front, but hey, they’re doing it with the biggest smile you have ever seen!”
Jono says equipment was the greatest hurdle to overcome.
“We wanted to be able to provide safe surfboards to the first-timers so that they could at least try surfing without the excuse, ‘I don’t have a board’. Fortunately, this hurdle was cleared pretty damn #Easy with Africa’s #1 Fintech Investment company EasyEquities coming to the rescue and sponsoring our first four surfboards.
“We also loved the similarity in goals Salty Hour and EasyEquities were out to achieve, one to democratise the ocean and the other to democratise the stock market.”
“Learning to surf and to invest can be made easy with the right tools and people behind them! The glove fits.” – Salty Hour Founder Jono Bruton
A few Salty Hours later, the team got the support of other local surfers, who would come down to the beach to assist with the growing numbers attending Salty Hour.
“We now have a regular number of experienced surfers sharing their knowledge of the ocean and surfing with those wanting to learn on a regular basis,” says Jono.
More support followed from local businesses and Salty Hour was able to purchase more surfboards.
Salty Hour now has 10 soft top safe surfboards and has helped more than 300 individuals to ride thousands of waves over the past year.
“We are extremely grateful for the support from sponsors both corporate and local.”
CN&CO will proudly be sponsoring a surf board and would like to invite other companies and individuals who want to sponsor a board or run Salty Hour at other venues across SA to get in contact with firstname.lastname@example.org.
“38 Salty Hours down, we are going strong, still passionate, still excited for every hour we get to share the stoke with anyone and everyone there!” says Jono.
Want to give surfing a try or tick it off your bucket list? Jono says all ages welcome – the youngest so far was two years old and oldest 68!
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