Tag Archives: surf

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.

Saunton Rollers

A few really fun little waves at Saunton yesterday, the weather was terrible with a lot of rain and wind pushing around the air however the waves were waist and a bit high on the sets (photo is not a set wave!) and most of them were really peeling down the line giving some fairly long right handers. Feel like I’m getting a lot better at surfing pro-actively now rather than just reacting to the wave face I’m now looking for sections more and making more premeditated carves – looking forward to some more clean waves now to continue improving and by the looks of the forecast I shouldn’t have to wait long!

Wild, Winterry Widemouth

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This was Widemouth Bay yesterday – dark, misty, moody and damp, sums up North Cornwall quite well I think! Waves were big and thumping in, difficult to judge size but the bigger sets were getting on towards double overhead on the face I reckon but the swell was lumpy and disorganised hence no-one out, may have been a few spots down the coast handling the swell a little better though.

Putsborough Mission & Thermos Flasks

This was Puts a week or so back – just before the big snows came through. I’d never surfed here before despite the fact it is a decent option when the wind is hammering through with a bit of south in it which seems to have been unerringly often in spells this Autumn/Winter.

Even though I had a trip to Munich the next day for which I hadn’t yet packed (typical of me) a mate suggested there might be a few fun ones coming through at high tide and it could be worth squeezing a surf in so I got myself down there for first thing in the morning. As it happens he was right, there were a few fun ones to be had but the session will mostly be remembered not for the waves but for the piping hot water I poured down my back after the session giving myself an absolute neck scolding of the highest level in an attempt to warm myself up…!

Recounting the story makes me sound like a complete and total buffoon and perhaps I am; let me explain; I’d read that the air temps were likely to be down at zero or close to it for this wintery dawn time session and heavy snow was on the horizon. When I woke, in the total darkness of a winter morning, it was fricking cold as forecast – I remembered I had a thermos flask and thought what a mighty good idea it would be to fill it with hot water to enable a nice warm shower after a cold surf! Great plan. It was also a great plan to not make a luke warm brew from the hot tap but the boiling juice from a kettle, applying the logic that my thermos isn’t so good and loses a fair bit of heat over a couple of hours. Fast forward to getting out of my freezing suit after a few waist to chest high waves with only a handful of others out and the first dustings of snow are beginning to fall – cue the thermos… I throw a tester of kettle water onto the leg of my wetsuit and my reasonably numb hands… “Ummm… doesn’t feel too hot”… so I go for an overhead pour down the back of the suit… Big mistake!! After a small delay I can feel the water’s too bloody hot and the back of my neck goes from cold to feeling like it’s on fire over the next half hour… Never again! So lesson learned – if you are going to use a thermos of hot water just make sure it’s luke warm – leave that kettle alone.

Luckily the burn didn’t prevent me making it to Munich although I did have to sit on the plane with a bandage hanging out of the top of my TShirt…. My friends were telling people it was because I was a leper – I didn’t mind too much, it provided us with a little bit more personal space on the plane.