A Chat with Craig Butcher

Chia Kougianos caught up with one of Durban’s finest surfers to talk life, travelling and sourcing the perfect wave…

With nothing but a smouldering sunrise or sunset to offset the backdrop of the fearless wave riders, they begin their quest for the ultimate surf. Craig has toured across the globe surfing the waters from the place he calls home in Durban on the East Coast to the giant breaks of Hawaii and Indonesia to the West Coast of Australia. He enthuses that his favourite waves can be found right in his home town of Umhlanga Rocks, Westbrook, New Pier and Mozambique.

His love for the sea and water sports began at an early age, where at 11 he became a nipper and soon went on to compete in surf competitions. This saw him travel all over the world competing amongst some of the world’s best rated surfers.

“Those years spent competing on the surfing circuits were really fun and without a dull moment. Most of the surfers competing together are a tight knit bunch and since most of the competitions run alongside big festivals and parties, we were really living life to the fullest. I made some great friends and met really interesting people along the way.” says Craig.

And along with great waves and great friendships come memorable moments and Craig laughs as he thinks back to some of the experiences that took place while on tour overseas. “When I was young and fairly clueless I would land up in all sorts of weird and wonderful situations. I once got lost after a night out in France and ended up sleeping in the judges’ tower, using the competition branding as blankets. Needless to say, I wasn’t very popular when the officials arrived to prepare for the day’s proceedings.”

Using his extensive knowledge of the waves and love for water sports Craig and his brother Ryan began the Hurricane Surf brand which manufactures and distributes quality surf lifestyle products. They soon opened a retail store and have since developed the brand extensively.  Craig now is working on expanding to Europe and Australia as well as the US with the focus being on France for the time being. Check out their website at http://www.hurricanesurf.net for more info on what the Butcher brothers are up to and the products they have in store.

The quest for the ideal wave whilst risking life and limb amidst some of the world’s most unforgiving seas may still come as a surprise to those less keen for the danger element but for SA’s Craig Butcher it just adds to the adventure. He has even gone a step further and tried his hand at shark diving at Aliwal Shoal along the South Coast.

“The whole experience does leave you pretty breathless I will admit” Craig says with a laugh.

And with the whole experience being executed sans le cage, a bucket of chum and with nothing but a snorkel, mask and a pair of fins to combat the likes of Tiger Sharks lying in wait in the warm currents of the Mozambique Coast it’s no wonder…

A Few Fun Facts

1)      Favourite Waves:  Ponta do Ouro (Mozambique), Jeffrey’s Bay, Desert Point (Indonesia)

2)      Favourite Surfer:  Tom Curren

3)      Favourite Hotspot:  Umhlanga Village

4)      Party Drink:  Captain Morgan and Coke

5)      Secret Celeb Crush:   Alyssa Milano

6)      Can’t Leave Home Without:  I-Phone

7)      Favourite Movie:   Revenge of the Pink Panther   

8)      Favourite Holiday Destination:  Indonesia

9)      Most Used Saying/Quote:   ‘Fair enough’

10)   The Last Song I Sang Out Loud:   Bush – Glycerine

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