Wave Breakdown: J-Bay
With Stop #6 of the ASP World Championship Tour in Jeffreys Bay scheduled to start today, its important to know exactly how the forever grinding right hander works. Jeffreys Bay, or more commonly now known as J-Bay, boasts rides up to 300 meters long, providing surfers with some of the best cold water barrels in history. Over the years we have seen legends of the sport annihilate the open walls of J-Bay, and with the 2014 World Tour proving some already great performances, everyone is sitting patiently to see what the worlds best can do at the infamous point break.
As a long point break, J-Bay is made up of a group of waves, much like the Superbank on the Gold Coast is made up of Snapper Rocks, Rainbow Bay, Greenmount and Kirra. To help guide you through this years J-Bay Open, SurfStitch have broken down the line up into its respected sections.
Boneyards: Boneyards quite simply is the top of the point at J-Bay. The wave throws out some big barrels, though it is more common to score those forever grinding right-hand barrels further down the point. Boneyards is mostly surfed when the wind is too strong for the rest of J-Bay, thus being a back up spot for the contest.
Supertubes: Supertubes or ‘Supers’ is the main spot in J-Bay and when people think of those long walls of water, they think of here. The wave draws energy from its upper reef and throws it into a line-up that seems to go on forever. The wave almost seems mechanical through this section, and this will be where the main focus will be for the 2014 J-Bay Open.
Impossibles: Though some days rides can go the whole way thorugh the point, it is not always the case. Unless the swell is 6 foot plus, dont expect any 3-5 minute rides. On smaller swells and the right tides, Impossibles starts to show its magic. The wave is around 600 meters down from the start of Supertubes and lays claim to some of the best barrels ever ridden at J-Bay. Most of the time this will be the final wave for surfers at J-Bay as it can drift surfers into a bay to exit the water.
The Point: When the swell is big enough, a final section known as ‘The Point’ can break. Though the wave is mostly sandy bottoms and not as heavy , long or fast as its upper reef buddies, The Point can still be a slow open wall for beginners or for the more experienced to throw their board around and try things they wouldn’t in the waves further up the point.
With all of that in mind, who are your picks to win the prestigious event this year? Will it be the local ripper Jordy Smith who took the contest back to back in 2011-12? Or Kelly Slater to add a 5th J-Bay title to his outstanding resume? Perhaps Gabriel Medina might give the world known backhand skills of a 1973 Mark Occhilupo a run for its money? Regardless of the winner, the J-Bay Open always turns on as it leads competitors into the back half of the competitive year, and for some, one step closer to a World Title.
Watch the official teaser for the J-Bay Open 2014 below!
*Imagery: Garth Robinson, Richard Johnson, Ryan Miller & surfermag