Sessions

posted by Gary

Reading the various reports from Sunday, most seemed to have mixed days. This was certainly the case for me. Similar to yesterday, the forecast was best in the morning on the dropping tide. I'd arranged to meet Nick, Kyle and Kathy for the day but staying locally in Camborne, I was easily the first one to arrive at the beach. To say it was disappointing would be an understatement. No wind and no waves. Surely this couldn't be the case. The best forecast of the Autumn so far had to deliver something... Didn't it? Eventually a squall came through bringing some wind, rain like you wouldn't believe and some hail for good measure. The small number of people on the water enjoyed a good twenty minutes before it ended. I rigged up, carrying my kit down the waterfall the goat track had become and tried to make the best of the leftovers. It didn't last long and I was soon back on the cliff-top, getting changed out of my wetsuit and heading for a warm drink. Another hour later and we decided to give it another go. By now, there was just enough wind for float and ride. When I say just enough, that's exactly what I mean. Time it wrongly in a lull and there wasn't enough to remain upright let alone beach start. We battled on until around 11.30, when the fans finally switched on. The session that followed was one of the best sessions for the year. The beach was rammed, with up to fifty sails on the water, but there seemed to be enough waves to go round. It was also great to see people respecting the rights of way and letting waves pass if someone was already on it. The waves were head high, there was just enough wind to get planing on the way out and it was perfectly cross-off on the way back in. In the hours that followed, I had so many good waves I can't remember them all. It goes without saying that I had a few good swims too but nothing too drastic! Turn after turn down the line towards Godrevy, head back out and repeat. Gunning down the line at full speed into a carving bottom turn is a feeling like no other. All the frustration and disappointment of Saturday and Sunday morning disappeared in that first wave ride back in. The rest of the day was pure joy. My only regret was not taking the GoPro down to the beach, but there was no way I was going back to the van when the conditions were that good!

posted by Gary

The weekend forecast was amazing. On the beach it was a different story. Instead of 20 knots cross-shore first thing Saturday morning, we had just enough for float and ride. Heading down the goat track with the 92L Quad and a 5.2, I prepared to make the most of the shoulder high waves. I did for about an hour until an unfortunate catapult destroyed my hasty mid-week repair and put the board out of action for the weekend. By the time that I'd swapped boards, the squall had passed and the wind dropped. Leaving my kit rigged on the beach, I went off to buy some lunch and generally potter around trying to kill some time. Fortunately, in the afternoon, the wind returned. It was as gusty as it could be and the waves had all but disappeared, but it was great to be out in the sunshine. Look at the pics - there's barely a cloud in the sky!

posted by Gary

I had planned an early getaway to the South West for the weekend, but for one reason and another I couldn't leave until the afternoon. This meant it highly likely I'd miss the best of the conditions traveling down although I later heard that Constantine was logo high. Anyway, with the predicted South Easterly and a chance of swell, I opted to sail locally at KBay and drive down later in the day. I met up with half a dozen friendly faces in the car park, but not much wind. Timo left to do some work, but the rest of us rigged up and headed out. The wind picked up almost immediately and I planed off the rocks and headed up wind to Yellows. With a super low tide, there wasn't much of the swell showing but a few decent waves came through. On the best one I got five top and bottom turns in. Sweet.

posted by Gary

I missed the morning port-tack session, but made it across to Kimmeridge for the afternoon as the wind turned. It was light, gusty and hard work but there were plenty classic moments to make the effort worthwhile. It didn't start so well for me though, a failed loop on the outskirts of the bay destroyed the nose on my larger board. I swapped board, but this made it harder getting going. Fortunately, as the wind turned round to the West the ledges lit up. It doesn't get better than the incredible Jurassic scenery with amazing clear blue skies.

posted by Gary

I'm a big fan of early mornings, especially when the wind forecast is good. Even better today, as I popped my head through the curtains the clouds were rushing across the sky. Quickly hopping into action, I crept out of the house trying not to wake the little one. It really was a case of the early bird gets the worm - the first hour, from 0730 to 0830, was by far the best part of the session. After that the wind continued to drop and it became harder and harder to get going. To be honest, I was expecting the wind to pick up rather than drop during the session and put the GoPro on in the hope of catching the action. The low dawn light has meant a slow shutter speed on the camera and it turns out I quite like the effect! Guess I'll have more shots like this winter creeps up on us.

posted by Gary

We don't get a lot of Easterlies but when we do they're usually hard to predict and often gusty. Certain spots really come to life, and Bigbury is one of them. So much so that I contemplated driving across. Unfortunately, wind and swell didn't quite align on the forecasts - the wind was better on Friday whereas the swell would be best on the Saturday. Rod's pictures from Saturday look so close to an awesome day but frustrating at the same time. This end of Bournemouth Bay can also be fun, the wind waves have a longer fetch than a Westerly but it does need to be blowing for a few hours or even days to be at it's best. The wind was gusty but enough to get going. perfect conditions for the Goya 95L. This board is quickly becoming a favourite and an awesome partner for the 83L RRD Quad. I need to test it in some proper waves at Kimmeridge but it excels on days like this. Quick to get going yet still manoeuvrable enough to make the most of the conditions. It's definitely my ability that limits things and not the conditions. Speaking of which I got a fair few proper rinsings.

posted by Gary

When a small low pressure system is forecast to track across the South West, it’s always a gamble to predict where it will land. I’d planned on going to Southbourne, but at the last minute I changed my mind and headed west to Kimmeridge. Turned out to be the right call, when I arrived it was honking 4.2 weather and only increased during the afternoon. Even Rod changed down to a 4.2 at one point. Even in conditions like this, KBay manages to deliver acres of flat water between the waves in a way nowhere else round here does. I’d set my sights on landing a forward, but in the end i only left with more bruises. The South Westerly wind didn’t swing round to the West leaving it almost perfectly onshore. The ramps were there but I was so focussed on bearing the board downwind that I kept forgetting to sheet the sail in. Like this. Not good. And it hurts. The rest of the pics are airborne ones which was the flavour of the day.

posted by Gary

I couldn't make up my mind where to sail today. Thinking about ramps, I thought about Kimmeridge, Southbourne, Avon Beach but ended up at the usual Branksome Dene! Started on a 4.7 before the wind nuked and then quickly changed down to a 4.2. The loops are still improving, although it's still a case of sheet in harder and throw the rig more. But, I almost made it round and on camera. Bit more height (or a quicker rotation) and I'd be there... Luckily, there's more wind on the way to give it a go. [video:https://vimeo.com/74577066]

posted by Gary

The wind was light and gusty, but I managed an hour of blasting around Bournemouth bay. The water was almost mirror flat and for most of the time I was under-powered, but I did manage one loop attempt. At 92L, the Goya Quad is a perfect light wind board - it feels so much smaller than my old 110L FSW, but has enough volume to safely float home if needed... Anyway, back to the loop. With a 5.8 sail set to minimum outhaul, I wasn't sure what to expect. But the result was almost identical to my last attempt. Thanks to the go-pro, I've been able to knock out a photoshop compare to Joe (who can loop): Take off doesn't look too bad, although my back hand should be further back and closer to the boom clip. There could also be a bit more 'throw'... This is the bit that needs more work. It's clear I'm just not sheeting in enough. If I can get the back hand further back I'll have more leverage to sheet in so that's what I need to work on next. Hopefully, there's going to be plenty of opportunity to practice if Autumn delivers.

posted by Gary

The wind didn't really get up today, but there was a fair wave showing itself at low tide. Enough to tempt me to carry my kit down to The Bench and potter out for an an hour or so. Four windsurfers shared the waves with a couple of surfers and body-boarders. It also gave me chance to try out the new 95 Quad. The conditions were almost exactly those that I'd got this board for, float and ride, and it did the job fantastically. Looking forward to getting out on it in slightly windier conditions.