The Corona Open J-Bay's official waiting period started Wednesday, and while no heats have run so far, that doesn't mean that Jeffreys Bay hasn't seen its fair share of action -- both in and out of the lineup. There are about a million ways to keep busy in and around the area; here are some of the pros' approaches to a lay day in South Africa.
No Event Doesn't Mean No Surf at All
Let's be clear, J-Bay is one of the most iconic waves, rightfully labeled the best righthand point break in the world. And while conditions have not been all-time -- and the Surfline forecast shows promising big surf ahead -- there have been fun waves since everyone arrived. The lineup stays busy from dawn to dusk and the locals, tourists and pros have all locked in some rail and tube time at Supertubes.
Jordy Smith is among the favorite surfers in the event. Not only does he have local fervor as a homegrown star, but he's coming in hot off a win at the QS10,000 Ballito Pro and is already two-time winner in J-Bay. With a World Title likely on his mind (he's currently World No. 3) and expectations high, he's already gotten a head start in the freesurfs.
Soak Up that African Vibe
The organization bought what used to be a buffalo-hunting site and turned it into a conservation area where all sorts of animals will roam freely in a secure environment. Mick and Tyler joined the Wild Ark crew to visit the South African Wildlife College and learn about anti-poaching squads' trained dogs, among other things.
Sebastian Zietz also turned to the wildlife and spent some time with the big cats.
Hit the Green while the Green Room Awaits
Most of the Top 34 happen to be golfers (whether occasional or committed), and in J-Bay they have full access to a nearby course. Julian Wilson's certainly not the first surfer to hit the course this week, but he'll definitely be remembered as he shot a hole in one on Tuesday.
Quality Time with the Fam
Others are happily stepping back momentarily from the craziness of the tour and enjoying a quiet retreat in South Africa before the event starts. Joel Parkinson 's choice of delight was visiting a winery near Cape Town for a change of scenery.
Bungee Is All the Rage at J-Bay
About an hour's drive away is the Bloukrans bridge bungee, the highest in the world from a bridge that sits 216 meters above the valley. Most surfers have made their way to the bridge in the past, Jack Freestone seems to be their latest visitor. Question is, did he jump?