Sunday, February 04, 2007

Big Wave Day!!!

Emma York, Justin Bufton and myself just had a incredible couple of days down in Capetown. The swell was forecasted to be 4.5m, but the wind wasn’t due to kick in until the evening, so the first day we cruised down from Langebaan in time to catch up with some friends before the wind kicked in. The swell was rolling in over head high preparing for the onslaught forecasted the following day. It was time to test my new Naish 5’5” surfboard. I’ve never used a surfboard before – aside from a couple of runs at my home beach and so it didn’t quite dawn on me that there was no speedy get away from a big wave at my surfboard skill ability. With the sun setting and the waves increasing riding a surfboard was defiantely challenging. Riding out over the waves was far more smooth and relaxing then heading out with a twin tip, but I nearly got taken down by a couple of big waves which I couldn’t turn around from quick enough. I ended up actually on them, but I guess its one way of learning how to ride bigger waves… thrown in at the deep end and all that! On top of this I also needed a new technique of gybing the board. With the sun getting lower and the sharks getting hungrier the board shooting off in random directions in my futile attempts to gybe leaving me body dragging like a shark tempting delicacy wasn’t what I had in mind for today’s challenges. Instead I learned a new technique of carving round to toeside, taking the back foot out the strap and placing it by the back strap. After this quickly put the back foot by the front foot and plonk my ass on the back strap. There was no board buggering off in this technique. From here its just a quick re-shuffle and minimum water dunking before your off and riding back in the opposite direction! No sharks gonna eat me and style in comparison of Kate Moss on the catwalk!!!???
Riding the surfboard was definitely something I’d like to do more of but it was time to get the twin tip out and mix in a bit of freestyle!

Day 2 the wind wasn’t forecasted until later afternoon, so after a fry up to rectify the state of my body after drinking far too much the night before we headed to my favourite place in the world Llandudno found on the peninsula in the direction of Cape point. This beach is a cove found at the bottom of a mountainous region. Its my dream place to live one day. The houses are built into the side of the mountain and they over look the sea. The waves roll in here double what you find in Capetown and you can climb over and onto some huge rocks jetting out both sides of the cove to get yourself in line with the breaking wave. The place is mesmerising – dramatic in every sense of the word. You watch the waves roll in, listen to the boom as they break and watch the spray crash up over the rocks. There are hardly any people about and its just you amongst the elements. I could have stayed in place all day but a quick sms ‘getting windy hurry back’ soon placed me back in reality. It was time to take on the swells first hand.

On arrival back to capetown the waves had picked up from the day before! The bigger sets were rolling in triple over head high and there were kites out back but no people to be seen. They were little blips behind the swell. The surfboard was going to stay in the car. I had no way enough experience to take it out in this… in fact I doubted my ability to even go out on my twin tip, but I couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by – even if I just went for a couple of runs!

This session probably involved the hardest concentration I’ve had to use in a long time – short of trying to keep this entry to a minimum (far too much to write about on such an amazing couple of days). There were plenty of times that I couldn’t make it out back and would have to head back in again before trying again. In fact sometimes it would take 3 attempts to make it out back. The wind was good for my 8m, but on the inside it was light and I would be working it to its maximum to have enough power and out back I’d be lit to the hind teeth. I had many awesome feelings – jumping over some big sets, catching one wave bigger then I have ever before (but not one of the bigger waves of this day) but nothing beats one particular wve- The best feeling of the day had to be coming back in towards the beach mid set. Behind the biggest wave of my kitesurfing history began to form. It grew larger and larger until it peaked. I watched over my shoulder as it held in place for a short moment. Time slowed down for me incaptivated by its proximity and size. I felt safe because the water was totally flat between the set and the wind was semi stable. I knew I could just ride in front. It formed, peaked and then broke right behind me leaving a wall of white water to chase me into the beach some more. Until that point I was having a great time on the water, but I was tense and nervous. Even though I wasn’t riding the wave this was the wave of the day for me and it made the session the most memorable of the trip… so far! 2 hours from hitting the water I came in tired and exhausted from adrenalin overload ready to sleep the 120km’s back to my house!

For the next few days I will be back on the freestlye case, but 5m swell forecasted on Friday!!!!

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