Thursday, 30 July 2009

The return of Windsurfing.

I have heard quite a few tales of late, of frustrated kitesurfers selling their kit to return to the mothership. So, it seems Windsurfing is set for a resurgence. Of course, what I am really writing to say is that I have just sold my kite, in a bid for more space, and to focus on the greatest sport known to man. This blog has had more than enough material from both surfing and windsurfing in North Devon, hence its goodbye kite. Besides, the wind up here seems to fit into two categories, not windy (then go surfing), or somewhere between full storm and really windy.
Looking forward to seeing the 2010 RRD kit arriving shortly and if you need either a 2009 RRD Freestyle wave (100ltr) or RRD Wave cult (80ltr) then please get in touch.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Brighton calling

It rained, rained, then rained some more and still we had fun. Taught my eldest nephew and niece to surf today and what a rush. Paddled out tandem with Henry and we both caught a wave, whilst Eli even managed to catch her first wave and stand. Haven't had so much fun in ages, and seeing the children get the best out of the typical british summer was just great.
Good job guys.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Big Sunday

I had originally entitled this post big Monday as the forecast looked so perfect. So when I hesitated posting, in the hope that I would have the mother of all posts, the swell dropped back, wind went onshore and it all went to pot.

In retrospect Sunday was the day as it was also the inaugural flight of my 9'2. That lunch time surf was just so unexpectedly good and I kept on replaying in my mind, all afternoon. So much so, that by the time the kids had gone to bed, surfing was still on my mind and I knew it was getting bigger.
So, I managed to get down to the beach in the fading light but I could feel it had changed.

Some five hours later as I crossed the cattle grid, the waves still out of sight, you couldn't avoid the noise. Perhaps I had left things a little too late as the waves were now pushing the ridge, and making such an incredible sound. I quickly jumped off what was left of the disappearing beach, and paddled for the horizon. This time, I had switched back to my 6'3 fish which was a better choice due to its size. Duck diving through the continual whitewater, I finally reached the outside sets, only to realise that the wave height had almost doubled(from earlier). As I collected myself for a moment, I just turned back towards the beach and took the next one in.

What a day, and I am still sort of recovering two days later.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Darin Carmichael

It's not often you get insight into someone's life like D.C. and his blog is definitely worth reading. Like so many friends in British Columbia, he is quite an inspiration - whether he is putting out fires, surfing some remote spot, or getting up to mischief that I best remember him for.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Happy Birthday Laura !

Recently discovered the work of artist Tom wood, and after falling in love with his map redistributions, found the perfect gift. To see this in person is quite an amazing thing.

Friday, 24 July 2009

At last my 9'2

Summer is here and so is the latest addition to the quiver. Rosa demonstrates her love for Mike's latest creation.

Locals only

I have been wanting to surf a special little spot for sometime now, but not only do the locals take a hardline on incomers, but these guys were policing the walk in.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Schools out for summer..

and I am babysitting. Nice south westerly breeze is providing some great cross onshore sailing. Was planning to head down to the ridge to just say 'hi' to the guys, but Hec opted for some rock pooling instead.
I might not have sailed, but what a great day.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Tri fin swallow tail resurgence

Unlike the surf industry, the Windsurf industry is still a fast moving R&D fuelled environment. As a team rider for Seasprite sports, I change my kit yearly so that I can keep up with the latest changes in the windsurf world. Its an amazing opportunity each year, but it also takes a shift of mind set to move away from what you have loved and trusted from the previous year. 2010 looks to be a real big change year as we see the return of thrusters, quads and more to the world of windsurf. I think it was c. late 1989 when I last rode boards like this ! Not sure what I will be riding on next, but the most important thing is to remember application. I still reckon we live in one of the the world's best windsurfing locations, but UK boards need to have a variety of attributes, and again each specific spot has its own issues/needs. Enjoy the photo of what looks to be one of RRD's more radical creations (photo courtesy of God save the Wind).

Monday, 20 July 2009


is actually in September, and this is July pretending its November. Intentionally I opted for the comfort option and had full wetsuit and rash vest for extra warmth - not once feeling too hot. So, after this little session I broke my month long stint of no alcohol, and I guess I felt I earned it.
That first pint did taste great though.
When I shot these pictures of Dan in the chaos, the rain was pretty much horizontal and the wind had driven everyone off the beach. Even the lifeguards were sheltering in the cabin, waiting for the day to end. What a day : )

Friday, 17 July 2009

North by North West

Today, Winds were super consistent and pretty strong, I am guessing somwhere around a Force six.

Dan sailed too early for most of us, and the rain seemed to delay play till after lunch. However, as I write this now, its still cranking and the trees are still swaying back and forth. Whole sections of the burrows had flooded due to the Autumn like conditions, and it was nice to spend some time with the guys and see smiling faces in such attrocious weather.

Have attached a shot of Andrew (I think) who was bravely out back on his lonesome, before the crew arrived. In fact if you are straining to see him - double click to enlarge - its worthy of a view !

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Its raining again...

and I absolutely love it. For so many years I worshipped the sun, and always found it hard to aclimitise when moving back to England. But now, I find the only way to make peace with this country is to embrace each and every raindrop.
Ok, if you are confined to suit wearing and having to jump from building to building to avoid spoiling your nice clothes this isn't so great. But generally if you don't have to care too much about your appearance, then bring on the rain.

So it is with great pleasure, that I am able to share a little secret with you. To really combine two loves almost to the point of obsession, what I really like is surfing when it rains. Its the peanut butter and jam combination, that just compliments each other so well.
I just love how the rain falls on the sea and seems to flatten out any imperfections in the approaching swell. I think in part this is because I would always rather be outside than stuck inside when its raining.
However, I also seem to feel happier when waiting for the sets in the rain. Its this total immersion, that reminds me taking a shower and both surfing at the same time.

Fish Fun

I managed to pick up the most amazing little twin fin fish shaped by Tris at Homeblown. I really bought it because the price was so good, and it had some vaguely familiar spray work on it. Of course, by the time I got it home I recognized the artwork as Banksy and so the mystery began. Has Banksy ever sprayed surfboards or was this just an hommage to the artist ?
The latter is probably the case, but it does present a question of how much value this little gem should go for.
With the last few days of swell, I have had so much fun, and I owe it all to 6'3/21/3.
Thank you little friend, and to anyone who might be interested please contact me for this keel fin delight.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Monday, 13 July 2009

Down the line...and I missed it.

Today has seen both amazing windsurf and surf conditions. Caught up with the Weston crew, and they managed to score some really sweet cross-off down the line wave sailing. Looked really nice from the ridge, but my phone was on red alert, and it was just one of those days that business took precedence (more on that to follow).
Hopefully get out for a post dinner session in the rain, oh how I love the rain.


Apologies for header title...but what a week to look forward to.
I was literally just checking the forecast, after a bumpy session today, which has left me still turbo charged. I managed to sneak out for a second time on a lovely Homeblown Retro twin fin. Sadly due to the onshore wind, faces were a bit blown out and crumbly, but the residual swell was great. Whilst the wave rides were short the take-off felt so steep, and I was literally buzzing. Each time I came back in for a breather, I couldn't help but paddle out again for more punishment. The 6'3 in question turned out to be shaped by the infamous Tris from St. Agnes complete with Banksy sprays. I am sure they must be some sort of tribute to the artist and not an original, but it did make me think perhaps this really was too much of a bargain.

Anyway please note the weeks forecast below, which ironically is when I am due to pick up my longboard !

Advanced Forecast Options
Wave Swell Period Wind Temp

Mon 13/07 4 ft 4.5ft 8secs 15mph 19c
Tue 14/07 4 ft 7.5ft 11secs 16mph 17c
Wed 15/07 4 ft 8.5ft 9secs 17mph 17c
Thu 16/07 2 ft 3.5ft 8secs 7mph 20c
Fri 17/07 2 ft 2.5ft 11secs 18mph 15c

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Gettin' some

I am not really a fan of boats with engines, the smell of petrol on water makes me feel sick, and the people who drive them, seem to have little regard for other water users. However whether you approve or disapprove of these guys, jumping the swell, they looked to be having so much fun. They finally went in, after landing the boat tail first on the engine.

Friday, 10 July 2009

An old friend

Caught up with an old friend who came to stay.
No wind, no waves, and little else to do than go for some big walks.
Laura left us to our own devices and I slipped out of Dad role if only for a few hours.
Despite his slight build, he is a one man eating machine, and his temper; the stuff of legends - hope to see you again when its windy.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Great new blog.

Trolling the net, I stumbled across a great little site called God Save the Wind.
I am not quite sure how this guy manages to be so current, but it seems to span the whole windsurf industry, I have even seen some 2010 stuff.

In the meantime, for those of you who don't windsurf or can't be bothered to check it out, I have copied this youtube segment, to demonstrate that windsurf is still evolving at a phenomenal rate. Most people don't get to see this at their local spot, which is why i find it all the more inspiring.

Many thanks to God save the wind for your great site, I feel totally charged to go out and rip. Vive la planche a voile !

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Still blowin'

The Westerly is still here, and it's been another great day of sailing, although I did manage to stop and get some shots. The picture above is Andrew demoing the RRD Freestyle wave 100, and he seemed to be enjoying himself. It amazes me, that a modern 2009 sail a full meter less than some of the older kit, was actually the fastest on the water.

Monday, 6 July 2009

The Westerly

Good things always seem to happen when the westerly blows, or perhaps it just feels like that after a really good windsurf. The wind cranked from the west today and the seas churned up some heavy duty swell. I think waves were approaching mast high once you got out back.
So after a couple hours chasing around in the raging seas, I finally returned to the job at hand; house hunting (again). Dragging my feet, as I am quite settled in our little place, Laura had other plans.
By the time we reached the house, I was still in a state of endorphin rush, and not quite with the program. So it was a real surprise to discover not only views but access to a perfect break at the bottom of the garden !

Unfortunately this creates a whole new set of issues, but most importantly is how can we possibly afford it ! I haven't figured this one yet, needless to say if we did actually play the lottery, this place would be sold.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

New board

I popped in to see Mike at Atlantic and he declared that my 9'2 was in full swing.
So managed to get a few photos before the graphics go on.
Hopefully ready by the end of next week,I literally can't wait.
Will of course post up some shots when it is complete.

Friday, 3 July 2009


It's my own fault for ignoring my instincts, but after five weeks of no wind, its starting to hurt.
With a sunny day contrary to the BBC forecast, the South Westerly breeze also seemed to be increasing. Normally, I make up my own mind whether its a sailable day, but when there has been a wind drought, the margin for error increases dramatically. Hence, with a heightened sense of wind-lust, I misinterpretted the general-public observation of 'oh its windy', and 'no its really windy' as being reliable.

Against my better judgement, I dropped everything to go for a windsurf. But, deep down I knew it was going to be iffy, and purposefully texted no-one. Nothing worse than rallying the troops and getting caught out; kind of leaves you in the hotseat.

Ignoring all the signs that suggested it was merely a gentle breeze, I did the walk of shame. As I climbed the pebble ridge, my heart sank as I realised it wasn't going to happen. I think this is when Laura snapped me at my moment of realisation.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Old things worth sharing.

Dusting off the backup drive this morning, I sifted through some old photos and found these. Thought I might post up these shots from Tarifa (Andalucia), and share with you the wonder of looking from one continent to another. Guess around about this time I was listening to Sufjan Stevens, which miraculously played on iTunes as I sorted through. The genius of iTunes Genius !