Like an omen of good fortune BP gave me the wind reading at 30+ knots and then told me he wasn't going to go out as he didn't have a small enough fin. As a bonafide living legend, with enough windsurf stories of his exploits to write a book on, I wasn't going to give him too hard a time if he didn't want to sail.
So, sheepishly I unfurled the 4.0 for what was going to be a solo session, and just after three quarters of an hour, my arms and legs had had enough. In fact, 45 mins of constant battle with winds and a large storm swell, had me wishing for the warmth of the truck, and to settle back behind the lens and film someone else. Just as I started to head in Paul and Andy arrived to pick up where I left off, what a day !
Thursday, 29 December 2011
Wednesday, 28 December 2011
West north-west ensured both sides of the bay scored it today. Heard from the Sauntonians, that they were all dialled on 4.2's meanwhile we sailed on similar sizes also scoring blue skies, and much reduced swell. Just enough angle and surprisingly well groomed waves, that almost made me think; travelling away at this time of year is a real shame.
Monday, 26 December 2011
Saturday, 24 December 2011
During the darkest hours of North Devon's darkest days, there is still a light that burns bright. Matt, Paul and myself just about made it to the ridge, only to be buffeted back by the wind which had now veered north north-westerly. Temperatures had also dropped to around 6 degrees but with windchill it felt more like sub zero. So as we huddled round debating whether to go out into the 3.3 m swell reading, a vote was called and we agreed a 'no sail'.
On these rare occasions, the only comfort, was to accept Paul's generous offer of a mince pie, with a whisky chaser.
Wednesday, 21 December 2011
and Thank you ! I had the most amazing feeling today, as Laura called me at work to say a rather large parcel had arrived. Out of the blue, a large 'longboard' shaped package was delivered to the house. Tris (from Homeblown) and the gang had decided to send me a rather beautiful hand finished Tris longboard, complete with Blue stringer and high gloss. Whilst it is an incredibly generous gift, it is the thought behind it that caught me off guard, and brings a small tear to my eye. I have always enjoyed my time with Homeblown, but it makes it all the more special, when you feel like someone appreciates your effort. Its been a couple of years since we first got together, and I am so glad to say that they now provide over 80% of surf blanks to the British surf industry. Tris thanks for giving me the opportunity, I am very proud to call you friends.
Thursday, 15 December 2011
Despite a ridiculous forecast, and wave heights that seemed to have knackered the bouy readings, we managed to score a pretty fun session. Ok, we were pinned to the shoreline by the onshore winds but the sun definitely brought a smile or two out. In fact the only real challenge in the balmy temps (7 degrees) was the enormous tidal surge, which was so powerful it could actually kill all your board speed. That said, a 4.5 m Ezzy and the Wave cult 75 ltr managed to do the trick.
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
It's about this time of year, that I really cherish the shelter of a warm office. Getting a contract through the windy time isn't always ideal, as I seem to often miss the wind during the dark months and short days. Meanwhile for most of the crew here, its business as usual. Filling their boots in true winter style, and charging through mast high sets, seemingly a daily occurrence. Each night I return home, I skim through the emails to see what I missed, and just hope the wind stays till my next day off. However what I really struggle with, is listening to the lashing wind and driving rain. Somehow it seems to be calling me, telling me what I am missing. Last night was not really any different from the last couple weeks, but as the wind whipped round the tower, I thought the storm could finally be winning. The house perched high on a cliff , makes you appreciate how exposed the spot really is. Unfortunately giving no shelter or respite from the storm, as it tracks unimpeded off the Atlantic. Wind and rain seem to be able to find their way in to almost any crack and even our latest building project seems to have fallen prey to the torrential rains. If the house hadn't stood for so many centuries, I think the gale which attempted to raise it last night, might have succeeded.
Thursday, 8 December 2011
Sunday, 27 November 2011
Really special sunrise this morning, as I managed to contain myself not to sail from first light. I waited till eight, and then started to get ready for the beach, rigging a 4.5m to blast out through the North Westerly. Most people were still nursing a hangover from Dan's, so it was to be a s solo soul session, playing and sliding in the chunky cross onshore conditions. Felt a little out of control at times, but by 9.30 the wind was already backing off, and I had Bear walking duties to get on with. That said, I couldn't stop laughing tonight, when I saw this little clip, as I can really appreciate frantic dog walks with my very own version of Fenton.
Friday, 25 November 2011
Saturday, 19 November 2011
Friday, 18 November 2011
Last day of freedom, as the new job will no doubt devour any water time. Alex joined me on a trip up to Woolacoombe to see the boys at Gulfstream, the fabulously camp Uncle Skel (a chance meeting providing diet for his whats hot blog), and finally a long overdue intro with Tom of ' A Board, some wax and a leash'.
What was simply planned as a trip to Woolacoombe, then evolved into a surf at Putts, and then onto Croyde, Saunton and eventually home. For me, despite the slow fat wave of Saunton, it still holds such beauty at the far end of the bay, and had far less people than Puttsborough. Definitely a worthy trade off, when you consider the amount of actual waves you can catch when the weekend hits.
Tuesday, 15 November 2011
Seems like a lot has happened in just a few short days. Most pointedly, the swell has all but gone, and a new system is only 24 hours away. Definitely excited about getting in the water and being fit for this, but also all the more important as my winter work kicks in from Monday. Nothing like a few more restrictions on my water time, to make one savour it all the more.
Tasty treats abound our fields and countryside this time of year, but please please please take caution when picking. I swapped stories with a friendly neighbour today, and it still seems that even the most professional mycologists make mistakes. In one extreme example an unfortunate guy poisoned his whole family, after cooking with his prized specimens.
Saturday, 12 November 2011
Backyard looked pretty special in the late afternoon glow. Small size wave, but just about perfect for me in the setting sun. That said, I was wrapped up warm and behind the lens, as a week of work and wind blown surfs has caught up with me. Currently trying to limit this stinker of a cold before it loiters into something worse.
Thursday, 10 November 2011
Wednesday, 9 November 2011
Just clicked on the webcam to see what had happened to this mornings surprisingly bountiful surf. Didn't really score the best of it, as I was horrified to see Keith SUP'ing in a shorty and making a fairly good job of it out back. After the initial shock, I weakly paddled in to some clean waves, and just hope my cold hasn't turned into a chest infection.
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
Saturday, 5 November 2011
Jim Box always puts together a good video, but I love this clip as the guys expression changes. He realises the wave is about to close out, and his final grimace as he just lets go, reminds me of a pounding I took a week or so ago. Whilst surfing might have been a better option here, not to mention less costly, there is something very satisfying of raking the rig back and bottom turning.
Friday, 4 November 2011
Thursday, 3 November 2011
Tuesday, 1 November 2011
Saturday, 29 October 2011
Andy and Dan were first down and in amongst it. Swell looked ideal from far away and then it was definitely bigger as I ventured out back. After a mission out, I sat back on the 90 ltr Wave Freestyle, and played around with my newly shaped 22cm fin (as per the shed grinder) scoring a fun little session. Best of all though was the changing light, as the sky changed from bright sunlight to deep overcast.
Friday, 28 October 2011
Its been a hurried week of birthday parties, property crisis, DIY, endless clearing up and the odd cheeky surf session. All in all a good week but I feel pretty drained and am trying to avoid the atlantic dampness that seems to set into your bones with the approaches of winter. The perma-rain seems to be testing the bounds of both building and ones constitution, ensuring every little sniffle turns into a full blown cough, cold or in Laura's case a chest infection. So its the rare parting of clouds, and sunsets like this, that seems to lift ones spirits through the dark months ahead.
Monday, 24 October 2011
Friday, 21 October 2011
Justin Seedhouse dropped by to show me his latest creation in the form of a parabolic stringer, quad fin, rounded pin tail (in epoxy) with the most amazing green (marbled bowling ball style) resin tint. His shapes have always been enjoyed by those who ride them, but recent changes to his workshop, means that he now glasses and finishes the boards himself, to ensure quality of finish. From what I saw of this board, and at under £300 for a custom, the finish and quality was certainly on a par with the larger quality establishments like Gulfstream.
Tuesday, 18 October 2011
9am straight after the school run seemed a bit like hard work, particularly after a number of work commitments to catch up on. So we left it a little later and sailed just after high tide with wind pretty much onshore. It did veer occasionally to the North West, but it was still fun for a couple hours, and ideal conditions to try some new moves in. Also great to see the Weston crew, who aren't scared to make the most of a little onshore (regards to Spencer and hope the calf muscle injury repairs soon).
Monday, 17 October 2011
Saturday, 15 October 2011
Friday, 14 October 2011
Seem to have lost the GoPro Wrist housing, so if you see anything at the burrows, please get in touch. Nice head high wave (although I think Luke got the best of it), and complimented by a light offshore breeze, and even sun. Water is still warm, but it won't be long before the big chill down.
Monday, 10 October 2011
Another day of driving wind and rain, and the memory of gentle summer rain and drizzly evenings a fading memory. Fortunately I did manage to escape from work for a short while, and good to sail with all the reprobates, along with the alleged wounded, who looked on fine form. Most notably D-Lo pulled out the cleanest, most text book forward loop that I have seen to date. Its only a matter of time before he is committing to big air, and doing huge end over end loops. The great thing was, he did it just in front of me, and I was so stoked for him, and inspired at the same time. Really fun when your friends are pushing the limits, so thanks for keeping me motivated, my windsurfing buzz came right back today.
Thursday, 6 October 2011
Its been a great couple of days, with cross shore and good size swell yesterday. Today was also super fun, playing in chunky onshore, and enjoying some space between the sets. The Wave Cult single fin is still very throw around, and despite reading all the press on multi fins, I am so dialled on this little board right now. Blue skies and a little cooler today, but only lasted an hour as work commitments called. Forecast is set to continue till Monday, and the house is taking a pounding from the weather, still with no roof. The sound from the tarps flapping in the wind is horrendous.
Tuesday, 4 October 2011
If 6 Was 9 has been quiet for a long time, so when I found this on their blog I got really excited. I think its a quad fin mini simmons variant , and how Dane rides it, kind of sums up the feeling of how it feels to ride one.
Monday, 3 October 2011
Really had no plans to surf sunday, as the swell was all but gone. But a chance meeting with Jack and a promise to try out the Mini simmons proved a nice little dawn session, even dragging Henry out for the early morning paddle. Little H (nephew) was on fire paddling into some of his best waves, and found a new confidence on the 7'2 Seedhouse (pin tail with some serious references to MP from the 70's) . Stoked just to be paddling alongside.
Friday, 30 September 2011
Tuesday, 27 September 2011
Managed to get another convert to the Mini simmons today. Instead of the funky looking and hard to grapple Diplock, Alex enjoyed my own handcrafted version, and it was a delight to see someone quadruple their wave count on far from a sizeable wave. Weather has really snapped back warm again, bright blue skies and a joy to paddle out in the perfectly groomed micro sets.