Thursday, August 23, 2012

Windy in Wales

Last week was an exciting week with a great forecast. My new kites for 2013 had arrived and I was waiting for my 2013 Custom global surfboard which I had been expecting for a few days already. The forecast was for 35mph and big swell and it was going to be my first chance to get out on my new small kites. The difficult thing was the wind direction was a bit wierd, so no where was working completely 100% for a few days so I was in the land of indecisiveness which never bodes well with me. The evenings before the wind was due to kick I ummed and rrrrr'd making a decision then changing my mind. Based in the Lake district I new we would have no waves so I had been looking up towards Tiree, then down to North Wales, South Wales, Cornwall and Devon. I was strongly tempted with Devon as it used to be my homespot, but it seemed a long way to go just for 2 days, but settled with that.
(My homespot in Devon) The next day I changed my mind and set my mind on Rhosneigr in North Wales which is when Ian Edmundson from Expix got it touch. I've been in touch with him a few times lately so he knew I was brewing up an escape, but he was ready for the decision and I wasn't. At that same moment my phone went and had a text from a person who I have just recently met. "The forecast for the week is good. 12 foot swell weds/thurs rhosneigr but just below barmouth is a left hand point that peels forever. it only comes alive a couple of times a year and weds/thurs looks like one of them so we are heading down howling winds cross cross off. P" Well that is all I needed to make a decision! I'm in! Ian's in! Dave Ibby's in and my new pal Paul must be in else he wouldnt have texted! Sweet! We ended up meeting up by chance about half an hour from barmouth and formed a convoy the rest of the way - Paul, Mark and Martin in their high top transit, Ibby in his bling lwb T5 and me in my very short indeed renault clio - good things come in small packages.
(packing up the clio the night before) On arrival it was howling! 5m weather for sure the problem is the waves hadnt yet kicked it! It was 5m weather freestyle! It had pain or boredom written all over it depending on psych levels! We crusied the coast to find somewhere a little more exciting for swell and finally settled on Aberdovey. By this time it was late afternoon so we sessioned until late in the evening. It was 5m weather, but I had a shiny new limited addition 6m to bring out the bag so I ignored that I had a bigger size then some of the guys and unleashed some growing kitesurfing excitment. We had a great session in cross shore wind with some small and regular messy swell about, but it was a great introduction to the waveboard as I havent ridden it since December.
(Sliding back in to the way of it) That evening I shared out my flapjacks and the boys shared out their beers before pitching camp ready for the swell to kick in and a 6am start. 6am the following morning we peaked our weary heads out of the doors / tents to see a grand solid 1 foot weebling its way in! Dire! The forecast so good, so much indecision, so much thought! We weren't going to splash around in that. Meanwhile in Rhosneigr it was sure to have some swell so in a dosey 30 minute turnaround time we upsticks and drove the 2 hour winding wales roads.
(Rhosneigr View) 8.30am we pitched up to Rhossy! Only in Rhossy can it look so much like lunch time. There were vans, cars, kit everywhere. Everyone had been waiting and the swell was pumping! Windsurfers and kitesurfers alike were already on the water. 5 minutes later we were on the water too! I was happy to see it was shiny new, once used limited edition 6m weather!
(A stolen pic of from the day) The swell rolled in over head high all morning. The sun shone bright and there were many faces from my past which was nice to see! Rhosneigr was on form. I was super rusty on the waveboard, but was pleased to find myself making most of my gybes and snaking my way on some big and small waves. As the day progressed my riding did too and I began to feel my flow!
(Taking another wave) I took some good waves and a mega wipeout. My kite went down and I tumbled through. My head bent the wrong way twice and I heard it click, but I came out all in one piece and thought ocrrectly that I would probably pay that consequence the next day! I have no idea how, but my kite also survived! One wave broke over it and I resurface to see it still looking healthy, but with one more wave on the way, but like an obedient child it responded to my requests to relaunch and we were back on our feet again. The session was epic, but short lived. By lunchtime the tide had pulled back and the waves had died down. The clouds drew in and finally the heavens began to crack turning the air into wet mist! The waves slowly vanished and left us with barely a ripple, but a good session for freestyle! The wind had dropped a little so I rigged a slightly bigger kite and set about some unhooked grabs and tricks. I landed a handful of bigger tricks to and finally came off the water tired and achey around 4pm! That seems like a good day in the office!
(Enjoying the new Naish Park) I stayed over that night to wake and find another small wave, and took the waveboard again but once more it frizzled away with the tide leaving a freestyle session to be had! Aching already from top to toe I managed a few hours before heading back to the Lake District for a warm shower and a soft bed! It was a great couple of days made good largely by the waves that first morning and it was fab to have the old crew of Dave Ibby, Ian Edmundson and myself back together! Watch this space for a mag article! Im going to see if I can twist kitesurf arm to print the better images from the day! Thanks to Ian at for taking the photos. Heading to Portland this weekend in Dorset! Im running a short burst session weekend for people looking for some quick hint and tips in freestyle if you are looking for some quick hints and tips in wave riding then check out the website for some of Dom's courses.

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