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Home is where the heart is

I first came to Muizenberg on holiday, when I was 16. I was a farm girl not a surfer girl, but immediately fell in love with the picturesque village and surfer’s corner, with its mountain and long beach. Walking on the beach, I watched the graceful surfers and dreamt of trying it one day. It was only the summer when I was 39, that I bought my first surf board and paddled out into the Muizenberg foamies. I never managed to stand up that summer, and thought learning to surf was just too big a dream! I did start buying surfing magazines and even had a poster of my surfing hero on my cupboard. The next summer after I turned 40, I got a new surf board for my daughter, Shani and myself. That summer we went surfing every day for 3 weeks, normally in  mushy  onshore waves. I think the whole of the Berg heard our first few waves, Woohoooooooo! We were truly hooked. I started thinking about surfing before I went to sleep at night, and loved to wake up in the morning and see my curtains being gently blown in, that meant the offshore wind had arrived 🙂

Kim's first surf at Elands

Kim’s first surf at Elands

The 2nd part of my story also started in Muizenberg. I was taking a Gap year and used to longboard the Berg every morning. One morning I bumped into Gary Van Rooyen (Gary Boss) and he asked me to come and work for him at his first  XOTB shop on the corner. I had never tried  SUP before, but loved the idea of working in a shop on the beachfront.

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Dropping in on a bomb at New Pier, Durban – South Africa

Before I knew it, I was hooked on Stand Up Paddle boarding and feeling fitter than I had ever felt. I loved the feeling of being able to paddle around on the Ocean. My first long distance race was from Fish Hoek to Muizenberg, it was long and exhausting and I finished last but was very chuffed to make it! The new thing was Downwinding and of course, Gary roped me in. We used to do the Milnerton 10 km run most weeks, and of course I always came last, I just couldn’t get it! The next 2 years I was in Durban opening our XOTB shop there and loving the warm water surfing. My first summer back in Muizenberg, my boyfriend Gary got stoked on SUP too. We have the best times surfing our home break  together.

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From Flat water to Surf – Kim finishes another epic downwind

 

Cape Town 141210 .Women Power --Kim Du Venage enjoying the heavy weather Picture Brenton Geach

Cape Town. Wahine Power – Kim Du Venage enjoying the heavy weather : Picture Brenton Geach

In 2014 I plucked up the courage to do my first Miller’s run, it was scary and I fell in a lot – but I loved it. On my second Miller’s run, conditions were perfect and Tarryn paddled the whole run with me – we flew, we screamed, we wiped out but we made good time. The next run, Gary helped me with my paddle technique and catching runs.  All of a sudden I loved Down winding!  The feeling of being out in the ocean near the Lighthouse, it’s exhilarating, dangerous,  thrilling, scary and fun all at the same time. I’ve caught some huge bus sized runs out there and survived. Thanks to our  Deep South Downwind group of guys and girls, I love being a part of it and can’t wait until our next run …

You can catch Kim on a given day, whether she is working is not, at the Muizenberg Xpression On The Beach Shop. She runs a weekly Wahine SUP Club for the ladies which has grown in numbers over the years. Now you can easily find, up to 25 ladies, screaming down the line and getting their stoke on, under the watchful eye of instructor and Wahine – Coach Kim.

At the end of the day… that’s what it’s all about. Surfing with your mates!

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Kim’s Journey : From Farm Girl to Wahine SUP Queen