Tag Archives: summer

The Return of South Coast Frustration

“Clean waist-high waves- get in there!” was the call on twitter from a couple of surf shops and a local surfer or two on a sunny weekend last month. Normally I do take twitter surf reports with a pinch of salt as one man’s “Flat” is another man’s “Fun log sesh” however waist high meant that surely there was something rideable. Clean’ish surf? In June, on the channel coast of the UK!? This is rare indeed. I hurriedly packed up the car, managing to dig out my summer suit which hadn’t seen any use since last October and headed for the most local spot to me, just inside the Dorset border with Hampshire. Once I arrived I remembered why I used to get so frustrated when trying to surf as much as possible round here. This was the scene;

The local. Waist high? Not really. Only one peak working too and predictably, it was mobbed.
The local. Waist high? Not really. Only one peak working too and predictably, it was mobbed.

This spot is pretty exposed so it was making the best of what little swell that was plodding in. It’s a pretty fickle place too, so despite a mile or so of sand there was only one peak working and it was like gold to the wave starved crew. There were about seven people out there vying for this little A frame roller, all on SUPs or beastly logs. There were also two Dutch guys getting suited up outside their camper van which was parked just along from my motor. You’ve come all the way from Holland to surf here?!

I stood and watched for a while, is it worth getting in? With that sand-bar already struggling to serve the guys that were out there I was thinking these Dutch boys will surely push it to breaking point… I’m already contemplating getting back in the car and heading home. Maybe I should go out on the bike or something? But wait, this one looks like it could be good?! Ah… it’s fattened up… it’s tiny actually. Hold up. Is that another peak down there? Oh no, that’s closing out. I scan around back to a groyne that produces a nice right every now and then, it’s probably the best peak on this beach on the average type of day, when the tide’s not too full. Alas, it’s not breaking. Even though there’s one guy out there willing it to.

Even this guy's super enthusiastic approach can't change the fact that this wave is not breaking.
Even this guy’s super enthusiastic approach can’t change the fact that this wave is not breaking.

I decide I can’t be bothered to battle it out on the crowded little A Frame, I’m maybe undergunned for it with just a 7’6 mini mal anyway. The SUPers will trample all over me. It’s not worth the parking fee for maybe a few party waves that last all of four seconds is it? Dejected I fire up the car and leave the sea behind.. that’s an hour wasted. Is all of this worth it? Should I just save surfing for the guaranteed nailed on days or trips to more wave rich coasts even? Am I just a grumpy bastard and should I have just got involved in the melle of 9 surfers to a wave?

These are the questions that haunt a south coast surfer.

Summer with the Otta

Been having some real fun on the Otta the last week or so, a session on the above day in particular sticks in the mind. It doesn’t look much in the photo but then you don’t need much to have a blast on these types of boards. It was a warm day and the swell was producing some real ramp shaped waves almost custom made for the Otta’s smooth belly into single concave.

Summer fun at Westward Ho!
Summer fun at Westward Ho!

The bellied nose and S-Deck feel like they really help get you into waves with not much effort needed before you can feel the board racing down the face. It’s really responsive too, lean back and twitch your heel and you can get it on a rail quickly, lean forward and your accelerating again….! It’s great fun and I’m so glad I stumbled down the Simmonsy route a while back because it’s made surfing days like this one something to remember rather than a frustration from not having a board with foam in all the right places. The great irony is that I’ve discovered a board ideal for my old local, Bournemouth Pier, seems it took me moving to Devon to discover it.

Crooky on the Hot Pepperjelly

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Summer in Bude

The waves have returned this week after a flat spell which drenched us in sunshine for most of the month. It’s done wonders for the water temp, I surfed this wedgey little swell in my 3/2 and it’s probably the warmest I’ve felt out in the water in the UK.

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Had some short but sweet rides on my 5’7 in Bude’s semi-closeout ramps, it’s good to have a dip to wash the cobwebs off! Going to take the Otta for a run out tomorrow I think.

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You Need a Longboard Mate…

WP_20130604There’s been some great logging sessions to be had in the sunshine these past few days, the weather has been largely cloudless and hot which is very welcome indeed. In previous years I may have bemoaned the fact the waves were tiny and not worth a dip but I’ve recently discovered why every guy with a big mini-mal or longboard in their quiver says “You need a longboard mate…” or equivalent….
I used to think that longboards were probably just their thing and I wasn’t interested in surfing something that looked so difficult to manoeuvre, maybe I also was caught up in the longboards are for old men bollocks. Anyway, all I know is having a big board on days when it’s knee-high and sunny is a blast! To be honest the waves on Sunday were weak but they were glassy and if you found a good bank there were some real fun ones to be had. I like big boards. There, I said it.