Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thursday 26th November

Great session at Lancing in WSW wind (just ever so slightly cross-off). Wind was a bit up and down at first but it was nice to get out on the 78 and a 'huge' 5.0. Although the waves were reasonable size (shoulder-head) with a gusty wind and a rip I thought the extra float and looseness of the 78 was a better choice. And so it was. Had a few tips from Guy about linking the two sections of the wave and got some sweet rides, chucked quite a bit of spray and some very satisfying late re-entries bumping and sliding around in the whitewater.

Absolultely cream-crackered now, putting the kit in the shed for a few days.

Tuesday 24th November

'Disappointing' waves after the last few sessions, but in comparison to usual, still not bad. Well-powered 4.2, with a decent angle on it, meant that you could sail much less conservatively than eg Monday. Even got a few aerials. However one attempt coincided with a gust and the subsequent crash meant a dead arm, gratitude to Gath, and the end of the session.

Plenty more wind and waves on the way though.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday 23rd November

Bonkers windy session at Pagham. Decent waves in the head to half-mast region but ridiculously windy, gusting F9. With 4.2 as a smallest sail was well overpowered, but still managed to get some decent long rides in. Up the near spit there were some nice clean, almost bowly (for the S Coast) sections, if you got a lull when one of these came through pure joy to smack it into the middle of next week. If it coincided with a gust it smacked you, or you got blown out the back. Really good fun, perhaps a bit surprisingly, as I thought I had grown out of silly conditions :)

Friday 20th November

Some decent headhigh+ waves at Pagham in a flukey cross-off wind that faded away as we sailed. Scored some sweet clean waves, even if at the end I was having to take off really late and so not really in a position to do much with it. Only took the small board when clearly a bit more float was needed...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday 19th November

A bit onshore but great fun at Pagham with some reasonable mid-sized waves to bash. Sailed on the push with 4.2 and was stacked at first, but underpowered by lunchtime. Really sunny, mild, nice people about - excellent session.

Lee from LAR was ripping on his new Quatro Tempo - I want one.

Same again tomorrow please!

Monday 15th November

Cracking sail at Littlehampton. Went to Paghama at first but it was a bit offshore and choppy - got better later apparently.

Went to LA instead, rigged 4.2 but then some bigger guys on 4.5s came in in a lull, rigged 5.0 instead. Got mullered in the shorebreak, then got out and wind came up honking. Good fun at first if a bit choppy and hectic, then tide dropeed the required amount and and it cleaned up and with a WSW wind had some great clean riding. Eventually the wind came a bit more onshore which made riding the short period waves frontside a bit harder as they were alwas behind you, but still loads of fun.

Thursday 12th November

After a week in the Alpes-Maritime cycling and eating cheese and drinking wine I returned to find October style low pressure in charge of the weather and the forecast looking mild and windy FOR WEEKS :)

This session was a quick warm-up at Shoreham on 5.0 and 78, bit of a rip running and SSW very onshore there, but some fun backside riding.

Forecast for loads of wind and accompanying swell.

Bring it on!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Saturday 24th October

What a rubbish Autumn it's been - six weeks without a sail. It has been possible to sail on a few days which have coincided with me doing other things, and if you were prepared to drive 3 hours to Kent to sail in a NEly. But those days are long behind me.

Hit the water feeling very rusty, but was reasonably powered on 5.0 and 78 and was psyched enough to go for a forward first ramp I hit. It was probably the worst attempt I have done :) I was really scratching around for ramps and gusts to coincide but managed another 4 attempts. The first three were equally as bad as the first, but for the final one I scissored the board quite well and then just failed to sheet, or sheeter so feebly it didnt add anything to the rotation.

I really have to work out a way of sailing where I can hit a ramp with my hand far enough back down the boom that I can sheet hard enough to get some rotation.

The next time I go sailing, whenever that is :( high pressure now back in charge.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Friday 4th September

After getting put off making the trip to K-Bay then spent most of the morning driving along the S Coast looking for somewhere worth launching.

Eventually ended up at Hove, downwind of Hot Pipes, at the beach referred to as Buff Point. Was mid-tide and flat but windy and it looked like a small wave might form as the tide dropped. Sure enough it did, so had a fun couple of hours blasting around then committing crimes against wavesailing.

Gareth of the Shorekipa Chronicles took some pics, fortunately I managed to avoid shorebreak humiliation.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Thursday 11th June

Flat grooveriding session at Avon. My last session for a month as next day i came off my bike and knocked myself out cold for 10 minutes and separated my shoulder. Got back on the bike quick enough, but only now have I got my sailing mojo back.

Broke my helmet in 2 places, glad I was wearing it!!

Thursday August 13th

Flat, warm blasting and gybing session at Avon. Decided to give the artificial reef a miss - not a good wind/wave angle and v shallow.

Monday 13th July

Fun windy windswell session at LA.

Thurs 3rd Sept

Goodbye Summer - hello Autumn. First proper windy-wavey session for ages. Decent rideable windswell at LA - boom to headhigh. Maxed on 4.7 and 78. Wicked fun. Ant and Nik Baker showed up as well as Jamie Hawkins and Mat Pearch. Nik Baker in particular was ripping the shorebreak to bits, one-handed airs, 360s and all sorts of classy moves all much faster and more critical than anyone else. Although Jamie landed only the second fully planing hair dry killer loop i have ever seen.

Some pics:

(the backy is my brother Chris)

Here's a quick video Chris filmed on a coffee break:

Weds 2nd Sept

More chop bothering at Goring this time. Windier and sunnier and less rainy than expected so good. Went for a couple of forwards, sheeted in hard enough for once but had taken off to close to wind so ripped out of straps. At least I have some idea why it is going wrong now when it inevitably does.

Starting to get excited about going sailing again now..

(Got a set of the old non-absorbent Da Kine Core Contours on the Guerrilla 78 from Worthing Watersports - first real outing for them after a serious nose repair on the Guerilla - lovely - why cant all footstraps be that comfy, light, simple?)

Weds 26th August

Bit of mid-tide chop bothering at Pagham. Broke my mast in innocuous circumstances. After doing not much noticed it had just cracked. Replaced it with an Amex Taper from LAR (leeboy went back to shop to get it for me, top man).

Sails set nice on it, and sail perfectly well. Looks like it is a bit better made, more heavy duth than the Naish.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday 15th July

A game of three halves at Niton. First half was sailing maxed out with a 5m in overhead+ breaking chop, you could bottom turn but then it wasnt clear if you should be top turning on the section in front or behind you. Still managed to avoid munchings, swimmings and trips to the rocks.

Second half things cleaned up a bit, wind dropped to sensible 5.0 and we started getting some decent turns in, also some faster swell seemed to come in so you didnt need to turn as tight to hit the wave on your top turn. Overcooked it on one and had a decent swim as a result, then a long trip downwind in the rip before I could get going. Wind dropped a bit so came in for a bit to eat and a drink and to think about using a bigger board.

As we were drinking, the incoming tide slackened right off and things started to look much much cleaner with swell coming in in lines. By now there were quite a few surfers out in the lee of the cliff and the sets were properly overhead. But it was high tide the tricky keyhole launch was looking like russian roulette. Somehow, more by luck than judgement, I managed to get out on my 78 and had some real clean wave joy in the bonus third half, never masses of turns linked, but with things so smooth some really nice critical take-offs and smacks. We were sailing quite close to the surfers, if they knew how surfers should behave they would probably have been pissed off, but that wouldnt be very Isle of Wight. They did have a good laugh when my mate took off a bit deep and ended up on the rocks though.

Anyway, great fun, and a massive two of us out. I love sailing there; heading out is like sailing into a Turner painting, coming back a Constable.

Noticed one of the surfers had a quad when he put his board in his truck, then noticed they all did. When did that happen?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Friday 22nd May

Second instalment of the looping coaching with Ant.

Went back to my Mach 10 blasting habits, but was finding it difficult to jolly along as the wind was a bit marginal for 5.4 and waveboard so was having to hang off the rig to get going, and that really puts in the wrong body position for looping. Which (apparently) is much easier from an upright front-footed stance.

Spent a bit more time practising the sheeting in - which i finally get - back hand has to go waaaaaay down the boom - right at the end of the main arm for me and then you really have to yank it - it is not like being sheeted in when sailing along. If you do that then you get a nice floaty catapult and dont hit the water nearly so hard as if you had been a bit half-arsed sheeting in.

Managed two observed attempts before the wind dropped, got everything right, but didnt sheet in on one so a bit of a splat, the other fully rotated, but left board behind as took off too close to the wind.

Next time...

(Didnt I say that last time?)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Monday 18th May

Went for a looping coaching session with Ant Baker. Decided during session 8th May that I was doing something fundamentally wrong and sure if within 15s of us leaving the beach Ant pointed out that blasting out at World Cup slalom speed was no way to go about it.

Some adjustments to my rig, and after introducing a generally more relaxed vibe to my sailing and it all seemed a lot less scary. After a fair bit of sailing one-handed, to get used to sheeting out and getting my weight more on the front foot, and quite a bit of chop-hopping really off the wind, we were ready to have a crack.

First go, take off and initiation all perfect according to Ant, forgot to sheet in, head hit mast and split ear open :)

Fortunately one of the guys I was with, Gareth, lives on the beach and his wife is a nurse so she cleaned it up and put some steri-strips on. Didn't hurt at the time (although it did a bit the next day) and I was still psyched for it, but it just wasn't sensible.

Anyway, it feels really close now. Ant, being a gentleman, says the session is unfinished and is to be continued next time it is windy...

Friday 15th May

Drove to Goring in nice sunny F5/6, one run out, wind dies, hang around a bit. pack up. Blows its nuts off!!!

How many times this year. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Friday 8th May

At last - a decent SWly!!

Stacked on the 4.7 and Guerrilla 71 at Littlehampton. Had lunch with my brother at East Beach Cafe, then a great session maxed out with waist hight waves. A bit too onshore and windy for many loop attempts, managed about 4 or 5 slightly pathetic ones, but loads of big jumps and some great chop bothering, both frontside and backside.

Love the tail on the 71, it breaks out in a much more controllable way and you can really feel it slicing the wave and chucking loads of spray.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Wednesday 6th May

Dropped in at Avon on the way home from uni. Looked 5.8-6.0 windy but didnt have anything bigger than my 5.4 but it was sunny so went out anyway. Bit gusty and couldnt make any ground upwind but went for a few wymaroo/loopy things.

Eventually rod turned up and with the improvements in his looping articulated a way of throwing the rig that meant I finally got how to do it one move rather than a sequence of 3 that I never quite get right.

Went for a few and finally feel like I have got the idea - also at Avon it is much easier to hit a ramp, even a tiddler broad and this makes it so much easier/less scary.

Had to come in after dinging the nose of my board but psyched for it now and want to find some slightly bigger ramps with a decent bit of wind...

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Monday 27th April

Splash and dash at Sea Lane Cafe Goring. Well powered on 4.7 and 71 with some Ok backside waves considering there was no groundswell. Had to rush off for tooth extraction but wind died when I had to leave anyway. Wind at last!!!! 6 or 7 weeks without a decent blast on the waveboard at this time of year is dreadful.

Hopefully the European Summer Monsoon will be a good one to make up for it this year!

Saturday 25th April

Turned up at Pagham to find nice 5.4 weather, rigged up, wind dropped. GRRRRRR. Really bad current coming out the harbour mouth in the hour or two immediately following high tide now. Needs the tide to drop sufficiently for the bar to be exposed for the waves to be any good on the drop. Fine on the push.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Monday 9th March

Sailed at West Wittering for first time for years. WNW wind with tide on the way out, got one decent wave before the tide coming out of Chichester harbour made sailing frustrating, plenty of turns but nothing really satisfying and quite a big of bogging and not planing despite plenty of wind. Forced myself into a couple of loop attempts and at least its getting warmer :)

Basically reminded myself why Bracklesham is better then West Witts once the tide has turned...

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

3rd March 2009

First session for weeks. Noone about at Pagham so went to Goring. Had forgotten to fix my Guerrilla 78 despite the lay-off so had to take the 71. When I got to the beach, it wasn't windy enough so went to the local shop Worthing Watersports in search of footstrap screws.

When I got back to the Caff the wind had come up to a SSW F5/6 and after a bit of chat and faffing rigged up and went out and had a good fun 90 minutes in pretty onshore conditions but with some decent waist-boom high peaks to do backside aeriels off.

Friday, January 23, 2009

23rd January 2009

After recent frustrating sessions it was great to get out in a solid F6/7 WNW. Some reasonable small waves, but they were a bit slow or coming in at a funny angle so even though the wind was pretty sideshore for Bracks they were still a way behind you as you turned. In the end worked out that your first top turn had to be quite shallow so you could took a high line on your next ones to keep your speed. Good fun, still a bit chilly, glad I had the gloves and hood!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

22nd January 2009

Wind blew through again overnight, then picked up a bit tempting me to beach but I got there just as the front went over and the wind dropped to just about a F4. AAAAAAGHH!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

19th January 2009

Pagham this time, same story as the 18th. I got there in time for one decent wave in a dying Wly which is too offshore to be sailing on your tod in this cold. They guys there had a really good hour in a F5-6 SWly with boom-high waves. Curses!!

18th January 2009

A decent blow went through overnight and left some reasonable windswell with a lame F4/5 WSWly. We went to Littlehampton and got there after the best of the wind had blown through. As it was sunny went out for a bit of float and ride, but with no real guts to the waves, it wasn't a lot of fun. As the tide came in, the combination of rip, light wind and overhead shorebreak made launching and beaching amusing, and I got spat up the beach in front of a gaggle of grannies.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

January 12th 2009

First sail of the year after a terrible December and it was a really cold one at Pagham. Sea at 3-4C :( Having clocked how cold the sea had become during a cold December was hoping to have gloves and thermal vest sorted from LAR in time but for various reasons didn't. Paid the prices and now have them. Waves were pretty good, overhead on the sets and clean, sailing on the 4.7 on the 71, but once the tide turned was getting bogged by the current in the lee of the spit where they were cleanest and steepest. Wind was a bit onshore making it difficult to string to together long fast rides, but by going frontside/backside you could get some good smacks in.

Realised it had been a lot of fun once I thawed out.