Skeleton Bay Officially Back and Heavier than Ever

International tube hounds Koa Brett Barley, Oliver Kurtz and Cory Lopez visited Walvis Bay last week and made most of the excellent surfing conditions at Skeleton Bay. Among the locals Skeleton Bay is known as Donkey Bay and offers high Adrenalin surf waves during winter months when the seas are naturally high and windy conditions creating perfect wave conditions.

With peak intensity and large and long-lived 40-45-knot winds with pockets hitting 50 knots and seas of 35 feet has developed in the South Central Atlantic and slowly slid east under South Africa. Surf-line videographer Travis Kuhl-man joined a trio of East Coast Pros – on a strike mission to Skeleton Bay, Namibia with arguably the longest, fastest left-hand barrel on Earth.
“Namibia is such a trippy place, but it’s a lot easier than people might think. Once you’re there, it’s really convenient, with lot of sick rental properties being built. But while access is easy, the wave at Skeleton Bay is anything but. It looks so easy in the footage: just stick the drop, arm bar the barrel and chill. But it’s a lot harder than that” says Kuhlman.
Once the swell peaked on Tuesday, July 30th, any concerns about the bank being imperfect were dismissed.You could still look from the top of the point to the bottom, and vice versa, and it was clearly as straight as ever.
International surfers like Koa Smith, Benji Brand and Brett Barley were mixing it up with newcomers like William Aliotti and many more — making impossibly long tubes from start to finish, confirming that Skeleton Bay is officially back, and still the best and heaviest wave on Earth.
“I’ve waited a long time to come back, and watched many swell maps during that time. I’m glad I came for this one. The ocean was alive and the swells was solid and the sets were nonstop. We came. We scored. Mission complete” says Cory Lopez.
Oliver Kurtz said“Even if you’re in the spot, the sets are so below-sea-level, something as simple as making it to your feet is a huge accomplishment. Brett got held down for 12 seconds on one. Tim Bisso dislocated his shoulder. People were getting dealt with.”
Regular footers have their work cut out for them at Skeleton Bay, an unknown Australian first-timer made a case for the unsponsored charger award.
The goal was pretty much the same as every other surf trip in the past, to see swell and pull triggers, score waves and get photos and videos and social media content and return home with that maniacal, thousand-yard stare and deal with the residual envy from friends.
“Lots of surfers rolling into the coastal town: Koa Smith, Benji Brand, Anthony Walsh, Aritz Aranburu, Will Skudin, Andrew Jacobson, Jake Kelley and some Irish and Spanish pros was recognize,” Kuhlman said.
“There were a handful of good barrels made, but conditions were tough. Benji Brand, Anthony Walsh and Koa Smith probably got the best waves of the day, but they weren’t connecting all the way through. There seemed to be three different take-offs/barrel sections” Kuhlman added.
Brett Barley said “It was really fast and shutting down, and the wind was bad most of the day. It got good in the evening, and a few guys got crazy ones, but only on small sections of the point. Nothing went the whole way. My longest barrel was two seconds”.
Taj Burrow finally made the long haul over to Skeleton Bay, and he was utterly blown away. “It’s the fastest I’ve ever gone on my backhand” Burrow said. All Photo’s contributed by Alan Van Gysen and Brett Barley.

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