Monday, 8 September 2008

moved to Fuerteventura!

Nick Moffatt Windsurfing

The time came to trade in the lush green landscapes of Bath and Cornwall for a harsh sandy rock- fuerteventura, isles de canarias…


While of course there are some things I’ll miss, as expected its felt good since day one.
I love it out here and was very happy to be offered a job for extreme holidays, with whom I’m mostly coaching and running the windsurfing, as well as teaching surfing. It’s a great vibe, fantastic to be doing my favourite job and coaching/teaching in the water again. Around work we play hard! There are many spots to sail and surf, and as you'd expect the very skillful team have vast knowledge and experience, as do many other locals and ex-pats who I'll also be learning from and pushing myself with. So over the coming months/year or so we shall see if I can raise my level to where I hope it can get to! I’ve been so busy since arriving I’ve not had a chance to stop and think til now, with peak summer winding down and this day off I deliberately did none of the jobs I’d been meaning to do, just went for a run and swim after a marginal session at Cotillo….

It was such a nice change from 14 months solid in neoprene... I had fully forgotten what being in boardies felt like! Memories of all those harsh winter days back home evaporated as I stepped onto the beach in the hot dry Saharan air and into the warm clear turquoise water.
We’ve had consistent wind for decent planing conditions and plenty of sporadic strong wind days, mainly N E’lies, so punta blanca and cotillo have been the spots, with occasional N-NW to play on the east coast. Full power cross-on starboard tack felt so alien after most of my time in sideshore port tack in cornwall. It was good to nail a couple of ok stalled forwards and break the tail out on the decent waves peeling in. The impression the island had made on me 5 years ago on a 3 week trip came back in full force, logo high cotillo shorebreak giving everyone out something to think about while trying to ride full speed to finish in inch deap water. One guy - a local born and bred, Jaume - amidst a few punishings trying some outrageous airs and goiters pulled a wave 360 in the pocket and back in greeted by cheers from the beach...

Nick Moffatt Windsurfing
I had only thought about freestyle again for not more than a few days this year gone but its been fun getting back into it full-on out here during periods of small swell. There’s been Sotavento a couple of times lit on 4.4s. I was pretty happy to find my feet again especially with the ankle recovering, and nailed some better air flakas, and got my first clean switch and clew-first switch spocks-Finally! Still badly need to get on the ponch mission though. Handily these moves and more are thrown down day in day out not just during the world cup, but by a few of the local guys and instructors there too. Corky’s new bar has been firing. Amidst the big nights I’ve been developing tactics already for avoiding too many shots…
There are so many good places to eat- to mention only a couple, Sean's bbq at Cafe Lounge, Plaza, Gibsons-great food served with great craic-must be the northerness. There are many great restuarants and bars off the tourist strip to explore.
Corky, Will Ward, Ben, Steve Gibson, and others i've met so far are so positive on the water you cant help get into the go for it vibe especially on the really good days. John Skye who’s spent a lot of time here in the past was out for short trip- it was good to see some big moves landed at Punta as well as one superbly controlled double forward bail out!
Some of the SWA team have been living it up on a holiday trip going hard on the water and having fun.
We’ll see how much wind September brings and already I’m look forward to getting fully into surfing here All the windsurfers are getting excited for some special wavesailing days ahead with new powerful swells and more varied wind directions.

Thanks to Hugo Valente for these photos, as well as out-surfing most in the water he's shot several cover shots on surf mags around Europe over the years

Nick Moffatt Windsurfing through the waves Nick Moffatt teaching from the beach

-a group of advanced windsurfers i had during my first week did very well learning improved wave skills in testing conditions. Well done fellas! and more forward loops!
(cant remember if he made this one?)

Nick Moffatt front Loop, maybeBALANCING ACT

Its 4 months since I tore medial knee and ankle ligaments and I’m still working hard on getting it back to 100% It hasn’t stopped me sailing at all -and at the time after injury I wasn’t missing any uk sailing really, while we had a brief premature summer spell!- but lately I have to say a huge thanks to Jules, one of my group a week ago who is a highly experienced chiropractor and got right to the root problems I’ve developed: lower back, shoulders, ankles, feet…its all linked of course! She’s giving me ongoing help with my training programme, I’m almost into full swing with it, ‘hard to find the time’ doesn’t cut is an excuse does it!

Eat, sleep, windsurf, surf, coaching, driving, organising, and socialising… all in a hard days work! But sometimes you just don’t want to drink you know? ‘No, you have to/of course you want to, here you go!’ Cue: a beer is thrust in my hand followed by round of Jagermeisters…

After physio work in England, with some advice better than other's, I now understand exactly what’s going on, why certain rehab and training levels are right and the importance of striking the right balance between windsurfing and non windsurfing activity during this time. If i find any spare time I may try and take up tennis again, not since I was 16?! Also maintaining/improving core stability, general fitness -surfing is good plus some running/swimming, and crucially foot pro-preoception; for me, balancing on one leg at a time 30 seconds eyes open /closed x 5 mins each foot. When I get better at this (ie. stop flailing around like a drunk) I’ll be moving onto a wobble board. All of this is good for anyone whose shot foot/ankle ligaments - eg. trying a lot of freestyle -and is not so young and bendy anymore- and need to build up more of all the little muscle regions around the joint to control and protect it…I John and his Angelsthink the group enjoyed me being cracked on beach a lot more than I did! All good... They were a great group of beginners, now fully hooked!
And guys I don’t think your singing to top gun album in the jeep will ever be bettered!

-Jon and his angels!

No comments:

//Google Analytics Code