One of the pioneers of South African surfing, Shorty Bronkhorst, has passed away in Humansdorp Hospital after a short illness. He was one of the original South Beach crew who lifeguarded and surfed way back in the late 1940’s.

Along with Cliff Honeysett and Bobby Burdon, Shorty was one of three South African lifeguards that hitch-hiked through Africa, fending off stone-throwing monkeys in the Congo, surfing good waves at Alexandria in Egypt until finally introducing surfing to the English Channel island of Jersey in the mid 50’s. He was an integral part of setting up the Jersey Surfboard Club in 1959 and returned to the island 10 years ago for the club’s 40th anniversary. While there he worked with Atlantic Waves surf school and inspired a whole new generation of grommets with his boundless energy, love of surfing and tales of the Skeleton coast.



Originally from Durban, Shorty moved to J-Bay 15 years ago to run the Salt Rock Lodge. He was a fixture in the water and never missed a good swell, often hanging out at ‘the office’ under the Supers boardwalk with cohorts Ant van den Heuwel and Bruce Gold. In recent years, as his health declined after his beloved wife Rose passed away, he hung up his boards, but never lost his desire to hang at the beach with his mates and his beloved dogs.
Shorty will be sorely missed by all his friends and family in J-Bay, South Africa and the rest of the world.

Rest in Peace Shorty,
Hamba Kahle Mfwetu!

Text by Garth Robinson.