Thursday, 29 October 2009

JB shapes

Apparently Jake (JB) doesn't shape any more, he moved to Australia and just glasses.
Believe me, after my first session on this 6'4 Quad fish - this is a great, great shame.
Come back Jake, your country needs you !

Perfect clean 3ft wave and got my confidence back after my trip to the narrows. Stayed in for way too long and got to rip on my new JB quad fish. What a board ! Just so sad I never got one to call my own, until now.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

No limits vs Know your limits

The morning brought a great swell with which to test myself on the coast a little closer to home. As a first session, it felt heavy and the offshore winds started to hollow out the faces making it so completely different to the beach. I definitely felt on the edge of my limits, as the currents swirled around malevolent looking rocks, and the reef was continually in the back of my mind.

However after an hour or so the wind continued to pick up, and as my paddling dwindled the potential for a sail was ever improving. By the time we got back to the beach, Ed revealed that conditions were 'interesting' and despite rigging up, with what seemed to be the wrong board, I watched with fear as Ian, Ed and Dan snuck out through the gaps in the sets. As my free time was coming to a close, I sank back behind the camera and recorded some action. Dan definitely scored wave of the day, although when the sets pushed through they all looked intimidating.

Shepherds Warning

Amazing forecast this week, and looks like some the guys on half term are going to finally get a chance at some decent swell. Hoping to paddle into some new places so watch this space for reports.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Sunday bloody Sunday

Yes that's right, I missed all the action because Saturday was the day. Swell was big, in fact very big, and the wind was just a little too light for those of us who actually carry some weight. Of course Team Light Wind (you know who you are) had lots of smug grins as they raced past and generally got out past the continual pounding mush. I really struggled with my new 30'' lines (again) but can't really complain as it was still fun to get out and play.

PS - The Gruffalo rocked !

Friday, 23 October 2009

It's been a strange old week, and I really hate not participating when conditions are on. I usually find my energy is a little messed up afterwards, and feel a touch emasculated, as I have been here many times before. Hence counting down the final days in our tiny home and preparing for our move, I can't help but feel anxious for just about everything. Anxious for the job hunt, anxious for the move, anxious for the South Westerly wind tomorrow, the swell height and enduring the Gruffalo and an afternoon with screaming children. So thank you Mikey at Loose fit for sharing a coffee, your time and generally cheering me up.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

My eye...

is so sore from all the camera action yesterday. In fact I am pretty sure I have brought on a sty and in the process; almost exceeded a personal best, of over 1000 images. So I apologise right now, but I am going to have to post a few more shots.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Locals only

Punished in the shore break I thought it better to sit behind the camera for the rest of the day. Of course slashed tires, broken fins, dog crap smeared on your door handles and a gnarly set of locals is enough to prevent you from paddling in.

First Light

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Happy Birthday

Its looking like increasing swell in the coming days, and an almost perfect wind forecast for down the line wave sailing today. However something a lot more important just happens to fall today. Our newest recruit turns two, and here is my first attempt at some Dad style home movie. (Turn up the volume and enjoy Jon Hopkins)

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Later Gabe

Its with great sadness that the man known as Gabe Steptoe (legendary downhill skateboarder) returns to his native shores of the US. I haven't figured out if it is a permanent deal, but I watched as he dismantled his wood work shop and packed away some of the nicest handmade wooden skateboards I have ever seen. He has been in Westward Ho for the last three years, and quietly crafted his art, unbeknownst to many. You might have seen his Al'aia , either at Loosefit or Gulfstream in Braunton, so if you missed out check him online here...its not too late to get a handcrafted board, his surplus creations are being left with a friend to sell.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Study in Texture

Staring at the ocean for too long, means you can often ignore other neighbouring vistas. I am always drawn by the texture of the sea when a clean swell hits, but this field had me mesmerized from the line up. I felt its corduroy like texture was perhaps on a par with the lines of swell.

Johnny and the Thundercat.

After a seemingly relentless swell and a journey following its ascent, I am both physically beaten and emotionally drained. I don't think you can have that much fun and smile as much as we did over the last few days, and not experience a 'come down'. So after a slow grey day and a much weakened swell, Dan, Johnny and myself headed out to chase the sleeping giants of the river mouth. Johnny's Thundercat was ideal for swell chasing and scoring the tow into the wave. Even when the swell backed off, the odd peeler still came through and was as fun to watch as ride. Thank you !

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Moving Home

Yes, that's right we finally secured ourselves somewhere a little more permanent to live. Sadly its not the one in the picture, but it has a lot of other attributes that should make it a nice place to grow up, or perhaps stay young.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009


After a great session we strolled and enjoyed a fantastic 'summer day' in mid October. What really caught me by surprise was the wave power compared to the more refined shores of North Devon. Strangely the kids didn't seem to notice this, but were smiling nonetheless.

Toddler taming.

Despite some amazing surf over the past couple of days, my afternoon can be best described by the picture above. I was in pursuit of my wayward three year old, and trying not to blow my top during his continual tantrums.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Early bird

Snuck out for the early bird this morning, and could only make one call to spread the news of good conditions. Andy (pictured above) the newest conscript to team Excel was my only choice, due to his never failing commitment to sail. Not sure if he reciprocated by phoning the others (and I doubt it), but if not, then this is in part an apology. Swell was really comfortable head high, and the wind was just on a force five making it a really nice cross-shore session. Off to Cornwall to see if they really do have as good a wave as Devon.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Heading West

Looks like an improving forecast over the coming days, and we are heading West to stalk the swell. Standby for some photos on the return leg.

Dangerous Minds

I had the great honour to study under this man many years ago at Edinburgh University. So when I heard of his involvement with the 'Do Lectures' promoted by the surf brand Howies; I had to share. If you can spare the time and can listen with an open mind - prepare to be enlightened.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

From Monday Till Sunday

the forecast is totally lame, but more importantly its the name for this new film. Found whilst browsing Windsurf International, and you guessed it, another windsurf movie with a difference. Looks like it could be ok, but just liked the music with this trailer.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Skull Skates

is without doubt my favourite skate company. After 23 years I still ride a Skull Skates All city, have countless T shirts and have ridden on their Canadian hardwood maple for way too long. So, when I saw this flyer, albeit thousands of miles away, I really wanted to just hop on a plane and skate this. Sponsored by the same team that once boasted Christian Hosoi, it is without doubt at the core of Vancouver's skate scene and like nowhere else in the world. Drop by and check these guys out, or even better save for a flight and visit one of the multitude of skateparks in this great city (

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Kauli Seadi

When the designers start getting all retro and going back to twin, tri and more fin setups, prepare for the worst.
Now - we have 4 strap madness !!!
Haven't we been here before, next they will be adding beating straps and maybe even a retractable dagger board.
I reckon just stick to a good old single fin, and spend your money on some Ezzy Wave sails.

Back to running

A doughnut for breakfast on a big day, is not quite the breakfast of champions. After watching my fitter, older friends revel in their athleticism, I have decided to return to running (again).

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Wind swept

As I took this picture I was actually studying the horizon for the lone sail of Ed. The afore mentioned had the look of distance in his stare, and despite an invite to the heinous out back, my little body was reeling in pain from too many flat landings. It was great to see so many sails, and at times we outnumbered the kiters. Sadly it didn't blow crazy crazy, but the choice of the day seemed to be around 5m. Great to see the guys from Bristol too, and if you are looking for anywhere to sail further North, always check Mark's site - (dedicated to wind, not extreme adult networking : )

Friday, 2 October 2009

Just about broken...

the curse of no wind, after acquiring new boards. A touch of northerly gave a colder feel today, but we had amazing light and Lundy was shining. By late afternoon, wind had picked up and we scored a little recreation in the onshore westerly breeze. Ideally a 6 metre session I chanced a 5.0 and planed about half the time. It was all about being prepared for the wind tomorrow. Batten down the hatches it looks like its going to finally blow.