Big and Bouncy – Yet Another Miller’s Run Video…

Thursday, 28 March 2019 14:52 | Written by 
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Roman Rock Lighthouse - the iconic Miller's Run landmark Roman Rock Lighthouse - the iconic Miller's Run landmark Credits: Rob Mousley

Oh, dear me,” I thought. Or words to that effect. Rumbly Bay (encouragingly named for the way the boulders crash together when big swells hit the shoreline) hardly ever closes out – but the wave that was roaring towards me looked as though it just might break across the entire mouth of the bay...

My buddy John Blacklaws and I had launched in a lull between sets off the concrete ramp at Miller’s Point. Last week, I hesitated while launching a double and experienced a proper pummeling, being knocked flying by a sequence of waves, narrowly escaping injury and just avoiding seriously damaging the ski.

This time it looked as though we’d timed it right, except… that wave. Fortunately, it didn’t break; I soared over it, landed with a splash and looked up to see the next one coming. On the video you can see how my leisurely pace instantly accelerated – my heart rate leapt up to 155bpm as I sprinted out to meet it.

Big Bouncy Millers

"Oh dear...!"

No problem, over that one and the next and we were out in open water, heading for Bakoven Rock and the beginning of my 26th Miller’s Run for the year.

Big Bouncy Millers

Just before the rock, another massive swell jacked up...

Not another Miller’s!

Yep, another Miller’s. But here’s the thing. Miller’s Runs are never the same… They follow the same general theme of course and that’s usually:

  • Smaller, more confused waves and gentler wind for the first 3-4km.
  • Half way to Roman Rock lighthouse, the waves and wind straighten up and you start to put longer sequences together.
  • Going past the lighthouse, the refracted waves make for a roller coaster ride as you surf over the side-on chop.
  • The best section, from the lighthouse to the entrance of Fish Hoek bay: cleaner, faster rides.
  • The last kilometer into the beach, often my slowest. I find this section the most challenging in terms of keeping my average speed up.

But more often than not, something will be different – sometimes the wind ricochets off the mountain at Miller’s Point, creating wicked offshore cross-wind and waves for the first section; sometimes the chop is so confused it’s impossible to put a sequence of any length at all. And then sometimes, you hit nirvana – 30kt all the way, with long, clean swell with huge flat faces that you accelerate onto and ride for what seems like minutes at a time.

That’s rare though.

Big and Bouncy

Today it was the classic run, just with bigger, bouncier swell than usual.

True to form, the first 2-3km were slow. I’d accelerate onto a face but would be unable to find a way around the one in front. The runs were short, and I spent half my time floundering at low speed, scrabbling to get onto the next one.


Nearing the half-way mark, and finding longer runs and better sequences, I aimed the boat (and the camera) at the lighthouse and passed close to it – I surfed a wave through the maelstrom at the base of Roman Rock and laughed with the sheer pleasure of it.

Big Bouncy Millers

We don't try for max speed, but sometimes you can't help it!  

From there, home, I worked the runs, trying to do the downwind dance of riding the crest of the wave, accelerating to bounce the shoulder of the wave in front and generally doing my best to keep my average speed up.

For a change the last kilometer into Fish Hoek bay was fast – I took a wide line and it seemed to pay off…  and on the very last wave, I held the boat straight, into the sand… 

Big Bouncy Millers

Riding the last wave into the beach

This stuff never gets tired.


Here's a 5min clip of the run...


Speed 15.2km/h 27.1km/h
Heart Rate 152bpm 163bpm
Calories 744
Elapsed Time 46:37

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