South African Surfer
1946--2003 & still surfing (what a life)
I arrived in Israel for the first time in 1966 on my way to California & Hawaii.
I never thought there was surf in Israel,or the Mediterranean for that Matter. I stayed at a beachfront hotel that relatives had arranged for me. I hadnt been there for 10 minutes & saw some guys surfing at Frischman beach in tel aviv. I got quite excited & ran down to the beach to see if I could borrow a surfboard & try & surf the small waves.
I met the chief lifeguard who was hiring out surfboards (really obsolute looking) & not what I was used to but to have a surf on my first day in Israel felt really great. I managed to surf a few waves, & in those days the boards were pretty long & I was doing a few bottom turns & walking the board & really had a good time in the very warm water. On returnig the board, Topsy Kansepolsky, who was the chief lifeguard gave me my money back for the hire of the board, & offered me to use any of his boards everyday for free.Both he & some of the surfers were very impressed with my "surf bumps on my knees & feet)
He then introduced me to a surfer who could speak better English Mike Mersand who was a good surfer & coffee maker, had the best coffee house in Tel Aviv. On that trip I realised that Israel had a lot of talented surfers, but the equipment was very poor, so I promised to send over some decent wax & surfing magazines, which I did.
Three years later I was back & this time I brought a modern (the latest ) surfboard & a Boogie board with me, although having a tough time at the customs to clear it, the customs did not have any idea what a surfboard was! On all of my subsequent trips to Israel I experienced always a few days of good waves, & even some pretty big days as well. I remember days when bathing was banned because of the big surf, but as always there were a few surfers out, I could always rely on Mike Mersand to be there.
There are so many good surf spots in Israel, & the surfers are very friendly &very hungry for surf news.