Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Freestyle and waves in SA

Capetown is exhausting, but as we all know there is no better feeling then getting home at the end of the day with tired aching muscles and a stomach burning for a good feed. The wind continues to be relentless and in just over a month there has now been just two days with no wind. Most days are howling, but generally you can ride in the mornings on a small kite but not be completely over-powered. Once things begin to get too strong Tony Handley (also Naish rider) and I have been missioning it up the coast to Shark Bay where the water is flat and the wind less strong. Ian Edmondson has been with us for many of the trips but he has been largely filming so that we can learn from the mistakes that we are making in the handle passes that we are both trying to learn.

Two days we had an amazing day in the waves. The forecast on windguru was for 4.5m’s and so I thought it was high time to push myself a bit further on the strapless surfboard. Again we made a downwinder of several kilometres and it was really great, but certainly my most challenging session for a long time and extreme levels of concentration. I only caught one wave of any size and typically the photographer wasn’t watching… understandable really because there were a handful of other guys who were killing it and riding some monsters. Anyhow our most downwind beach really was a challenge. The waves were pretty big much much bigger then overhead and making out back strapless was down to fine timing. Sometimes I would have to sit on the beach and wait for a lull in the sets before heading out back. It really was difficult, but such fun.

After a determined effort Alex and Tony had come in from their session after riding some good waves, but I wasn’t ready to give it up, so I grabbed my twin tip from the back of Ian’s car. Now I know that wave riding should be on a directional, but I am learning and it was pure joy to get a board that I am 100% confident on in these waves. Still you had to time it right to make it out back, but there were certainly far more opportunities. When riding the twin tip im far more manoeuvrable then on the surfboard at the moment, so if I came in riding a smaller wave it was easy enough to turn around head out back a bit further and come back on a bigger one of the set. I found myself close to some pretty sizable waves.

By the time I came in I was absolutely buzzing. The swell was big and adrenalin pumping, I had been up close and personal with some of the larger waves and I had been in amongst (and hopefully not in the way of) some awesome wave riders catching some beauties. This day was outstanding and inspiring! Tomorrow the forecast is for 4.9m’s so it should be another cracker. I shall try to be braver with my surfboard because these pictures would blatantly be up a calibre and hell – it feels cool!!!

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