Thursday, 22 January 2009

Big Wednesday! It’s story time…

anyone would be a bit scared wouldn't they!?

Yesterday Gwithian was hit by the biggest waves Ian Black thinks he’s ever seen there, not a statement taken lightly! As the 1 o’clock high tide dropped, by 3pm mast and a half high sets were walling up and breaking at the outside rock. I was glad of the camaraderie as we got prepared with a nervous excitement that doesn’t happen often, on a day where you’d want to think twice about going in alone. The butterflies were there, and didn’t stop! This was definitely the most memorable session I’ve had in a long while.

As I was about to launch I could just about see Blackie clearing a mast high set, and then the bigger one after it…The wind was pretty good, SSW’ly, powered up enough on 4.7/5.0. Timing and patience was everything. There were some situations I definitely didn’t want to find myself in today in the cold sea and air. But prepared and up for it this challenge was to be met. The good thing about the size was the period really was high, and although on the inside you would just be drifting much of the time there was plenty of room for a chicken gybe when you saw a 15ft face wall up ahead about to close out along the bay. Gwithian lets you out. The sets were regular enough and you could find 30-40 seconds of eerie calm around the impact zone, just some peeling at logo high to deal with, and hopefully catch a gust and tear well out the back.
I took a lot more time than usual lining up, watching Blackie take two waves, finding an exit to kick off and get back out unscathed. Planing in at one stage I watched mast and a half high sets throw just down the beach from where I was, I gybed, wondering if I really was out the back enough! The one wave I took walled up nice and smoothly. Over my shoulder I couldn’t see anything bigger; I wanted to take it all the way in anyway. There was so much more time positioning as the face gradually grew and I accelerated. Racing down into the bottom turn, it threw top to bottom just behind me. Carrying speed up into a big long face I made sure I held the carve around the top of the wall and flew back down and out of harms way as 100m of it closed out. Boom! From near silence to such a thundering noise. During the next attempts out I got caught awkwardly in a lull and let a head high throwing lip try to put the tail of my board through the top of my leg! Pretty stunned I managed to get back in, Blackie helping with my gear. I couldn’t even lift my leg! Gutted! Carrying myself up the cliff badly bruised I sat in the car watching the two of them; Steve Colesby had joined in. The rain was still relentless and the wind chilled the hands. There were no major swims and Blackie found one that connected all the way in, laying down warp speed turns one after the next. Very smooth and impressive.
They came in just before dark. Barely another soul in sight, no cameras or video, just the three of us, a memorable afternoon!

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

wavejam 5 went off last saturday!

wavejam -event 5 It went off!

Saturday 17th: We really did luck in with powerful mast high waves and strong side off wind giving rocking riding in St Ives bay.
Expect photos and articles in the next mags...

Thursday, 15 January 2009

more gwithian action

just got back and its still raining, solidly since i got up! Pretty bleak stuff but similarly to last sunday gwithian saw solid sets in 10-12ft range, today more true southerly. All the usual suspects were there and as soon as the tide dropped enough out we were. Even out the back we literally had 15-35 knts, and everything in between! Good timing allowed getting out with everyone again having a few good swims at some point, notably Ian Ross throwing up after swimming from out the back all the way to beach and kit. Hood and boots essential, hands a bit of a chill on! I timed it nicely setting up and bottom turning in front of one wall but didn't quite land the aerial back onto the wave, lots of stuff to work on as ever...

This is the most sustained period of large swell and high wind forecast i can remember. It should be a good weekend and apart from the tides being wrong Marazion could be rocking sunday. If it feels punishing here i wonder what they feel like in Ireland!
Right, back to the job hunt.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

gwithian today

got that tired and satisfied feeling going know the one you only get after a big day out going for it in solid conditons. It was great to catch up with many people i hadnt seen in a few months, everyone on the water enjoying it, 'tropical' compared to a week previous was the joke. Previous to today the forecast of 10degrees, 12ft SW swell with 30knt southerly wind was music to my ears during some harsh re-acclimatising in recent subzero UK! And though today was by no means classic it was still so good just to be out in a powerful sea...
I think everyone had a good swim or two at some point. PC Andy King in training, who'd got straight out in the morning after a night shift, made some big hits and outrageous aerial attempts, going into a pushloop off the lip, admittedly unintentionally, and some goiters landed out the back. I hit the water with Thorpy late morning who went for it with no fear, and due to the hectic condtions not making any of the first several aerials, coming down with big sections in big bailouts, followed by big swims! laying down some good turns later. It took me until the afternoon to get anything together making a few half-decent turns amongst the fray. Blackie pretty much owned it with smooth turns and precise aerials floating down with the sections, somehow seeming always to be in the right place at the right time. Timo, Hunt, Wemms and co sailed upwind towards Mexicos and scored more ordered cleaner riding. Jan seems to drive as much as anyone and be able to sail all day without tire, and picked off the occaisional decent long wall. There were many others out getting some nice waves that i havent mentioned here.
Was a nice and dry day too...tomorrow supposed to p**s it down!
Thorpy has put up a few nice shots on his site:

Saturday, 3 January 2009

happy new year's snowboarding!

Happy new year from Sainte-Foy, France! It's been great catching up with family and friends in the snow this christmas and new year, which was quite a change!

These two shots by Will Nick Moffatt Snowboarding

Some snowfall made for a fun couple of days, otherwise the snow has been good but not epic, with mostly clear blue skies! Val d'isere car park hit a chilly -13 deg C by 4pm, its a fun day trip with a huge area to ride. The current park crew in town-mostly french but a few brits- were busting out big smooth spins in the park, with style being shown on skis and board.

Nick Moffatt Teaching in Fuerteventura -And one from Fuerte coaching late November last

Current 2008 Goya kit still remaining for sale:
this 5.7 wave3d in excellent condtion, similarly 4.4 and 3.7, and 81 custom wave.
I'll be back in england 7th jan and able to post anywhere.

Get it while its hot! give me a shout
Cheers, all the best for 09, and may everyone get lots of windsurfing in!
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