Surfboard's Epic Journey Proves that Even Surfboards Like to Travel to Namibia

PUBLISHED 21 NOV 2018   

Odd Persson and his surf buddy Dougal Paterson were surfing the renowned big wave break, Sunset Reef, off Kommetjie, Cape Town when disaster struck. After a dramatic wipeout, Persson injured his back, leaving him in the impact zone with no feeling in his legs. Paterson raced to his rescue, ditching both of their surfboards so that he could swim his injured friend ashore in a lifesaver's hold.

While Persson was recovering from his injuries, they put the word out about their missing big wave boards, hoping they would wash ashore somewhere locally so that they could be reunited.

Three weeks later Paterson's board washed ashore 450 kilometers away in the West Coast National Park near Honderklip Bay. His board had Paterson's name and telephone number written onto it, which enabled the people who located it to contact him, hoping there might be a good tale behind their find.


But Persson's board remained elusive, presumably lost at sea. Another month or two went by, then out of the blue Persson got a call that his board had been recovered on a remote stretch of coastline in the Namib-Naukluft Park, located 140 kilometers south of Walvis Bay in Namibia.   Encompassing an area of 49,768 square kilometers, The Namib-Naukluft is Africa's largest game park, and the fourth largest game park in the world. The board had been lost at sea for eleven weeks, and had travelled 1,650 kilometers from Kommetjie, Cape Town in neighbouring South Africa before landing on the shores of Namibia.

According to Paterson, "The guy who found it had sent an email to one of Odd's Swedish sponsors after googling the information he got from a sticker on the board."  The email message simply read: "Do you know anything about this surfboard?"

Miraculously, Persson has made a full recovery. But his accident serves as a sobering reminder of the dangers of big wave surfing. Persson is grateful his surfing buddies were there to come to his aid, otherwise he might have been swept out to sea with his surfboard. Instead, he is planning a surf trip to Namibia where he will be reunited with his errant surfboard.