Every year that surfers maniacally wind down into the final month it’s the same old story; “bru, where the waves at?” Luckily for us, and traditionally speaking, there’s a history of unheralded and heartwarmingly fun swells that ho-ho into town. Alright, alright that’s the only Christmas reference we’ll make, promise. This time of year is a time of looking back and reflecting on the wins and losses, the tubes and the wipeouts and the general hits and misses we all go through in life. COVER IMAGE: GREG EWING From the perspective of the Striped horse Challenge, this year of the 2018 edition has been one helluva rewarding experience. The rides, the vibes, the beat downs and the general participation and support of all the surfers and the sponsors is a damn fine example of the quality and love that resides within the colourful SA surf culture and community. As you well know, we’re steaming into our final month, and we’re crowning the SHC18 champs for the year at our annual beer swilling, rabble-rousing, surf-stoked awards event. Yes, it’s going to be awesome. So far, we’re sitting with one monstrous entry from the Bromdawg himself. This ride epitomises the “Charge Hard” battle cry of the SHC; we strongly suggest you click the magic button and get a load of this delicious eye butter. While we’ve got your attention; there are currently no entries for the beatings category! Grab a mate, your lady (or man) and find a shorey to play in. How does Striped Horse beer, Bos ice tea and hurricane Throughout this event; we’ve noticed a few pretty rad aspects emerging. Let’s unpack. 1. The working mans shot at every surfer’s dream This is an open party, and everyone’s invited, whether you’re a weekend warrior, a coastal road tripper or a no work-no worrier. Your motivation? The golden ticket to Hawaii. Mecca. The 9-mile miracle of the North Shore awaits your frothed out arrival. The place of all your wet and salty dreams. This is the island of cobalt waters, spitting barrels, palm trees and enough women in bikinis to melt your face off. You, yes YOU, can win this thing. 2. South Africans shred Just last year there was a lot of criticism slung about regarding the state of South African surfing. There was a lull between sets, and the crop cream of the past and the future was not yet, well, creamy. But, all that has changed and rather rapidly at that. Without going into the widely publicised success story of MFeb and the strongest contingent of World Tour aspirants currently representing on the North Shore, its the foundational level of surfing we’re seeing through the monthly entries of the SHC that is blowing our minds. Not just talent but BALLS. I mean, these guys deserve a beer for merely looking at these waves never mind attempting to make the takeoff.