Road to Waves

Road to Waves

This was the view that greeted me yesterday morning just after sunrise and it was enough to light up the dormant stoke inside of me despite the 1c ambient temperature and very light but biting NE wind.

I’m no fan of big cold waves if I’m honest and my experience of them usually leads to a session being summarised by long periods of paddling, small periods of trying to avoid clean up sets, slightly smaller spells of near drowning and a generally pretty low wave count so during a week of overhead clean swell I’ve generally been pretty happy to knuckle down and get some work done with a view to catching it when it faded to a manageable level.

So I had my eyes fixed on Sunday, 4ft @ 12 second period and just a touch of NE wind to give some texture, I was hoping for waist to chest high right hand walls at Saunton on my current stick of choice – an Ectic Concepts Mini Simmons – and that’s pretty much what I got. If I’m being picky the sets weren’t as consistent as I would have liked and not all of them opened up in that long wally Saunton way but I’d be splitting hairs and since as the sun came out to remind you it still exists in mid-winter it would be rude to do that.

Saunton Winter Swell

In truth this session would have been on the good side of mediocre if it hadn’t been for a right hander that came through late doors. I’d been in for just shy of two hours, arms starting to feel a bit noodley weighed down by saturated winter neoprene and wind starting to pick up a little…. One last wave I thought. And then as if the Atlantic knew what I’d been thinking a wedgey peak came bumbling towards me, I swivelled and gunned my arms as fast as I could noticing it start to wall up to my right, this is it. Dropping in at an angle I raced the first section rising to the top of the wave, then arcing down feeling the grip of the keel fins as the next section walled up in front of me at speed, I raced the rest of the wave in trim all the way into the shallows. This is what it’s all about……

Surf at Saunton, North Devon

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