It's the Easter Hols, at least it is for school kids, i'm still working with no time off for good behaviour! Living in an area that makes much of it's income from tourism, this weekend tends to mark the beginning of the season. I often think of it being when "the people switch" gets thrown since the contrast can be so dramatic. Winter can be fairly sleepy with little traffic and few people around, especially in places like Woolacombe. As soon as easter comes, so do the throngs of families jaywalking through the village, the traffic queues to get through Braunton, the lack of parking spaces to sneak a few waves at combesgate, the bobbing foam flotsma clogging the line-up.
With dry weather and small swell forecast, it's likely this year will be no exception. Time to dust off a big log and a bigger dose of patience!
This could be the most photographed seat in North Devon. I don't think ive ever actually sat in it. I'm usually in too much of a rush to get my wetsuit on, especially when the view looks like this!
Winter hasn't been kind to the sand below though. At low tide there's a big lagoon that needs to be waded through or paddled across to reach the breakers. It's rippy too and two weeks ago BGA and i watched some learners (in a lesson i might add) get blown off the sewer pipe and need to be rescued. The helicopter got called but thankfully wasn't needed.
The next day i watched two kids get swept out in the rip at hightide saunton and need to be paddled back in, one on a supermarket bodyboard, one on a shortboard. Scary for them and lucky that those in the water noticed! Saunton is usually really safe but the winters storms have changed the sand somewhat and it's not fully back to normal yet! With the holiday crowds around, please keep your eyes open, especially on the beaches with no flags!
On the subject of Sea Pea's, Gulfstream have a really professional looking new website up here. I know i'm slightly biased but i genuinely think they are consistently producing some of the best boards in the country right now and have been for a few years! There are some great little video's of Jools explaining the different shapes on there too. I particularly enjoyed watching the Sea Pea one (somewhat predictably!). I've got a real kick out of introducing jools to the mini simmons idea and seeing how much excitement and enthusiasm its brought him. That comes across really well in the video.
On the same page, i got chatting to someone in the water the other day who was riding a seapea. I played the dumb but interested surfer and didn't declare my interest. It was really cool to hear how much this guy was loving the shape and how much of an eye opener this little oblong from left field had been. In fact he had bought one based on his friends positive experiences.
If you've read this blog regularly you'll know i've been extolling the virtues of the mini simmons platform in UK waters for a few years. People are getting it now!
Not sure I ever posted this before since it predates this blog. Filmed by Ben Haworths dad in 20 minutes as the sun went down in Woolacombe, I think in 2007 ish. The board is one of the original few Gulfstream Saunton Foils and was my favourite board for quite a few years!
So i just got my first film developed from my Lomo Konstructor . Like all toy camera's the first few rolls are all about working out the idiosyncrasies and there are always hits and misses. On the whole i'm pretty pleased though.
Seems a lifetime ago in some ways but it's only 6 or 7 years since I made a surf film with my mate Ross. Things have changed a lot since then and I think the internet has made the business model we used a little obsolete while the advent of go-pro HD cameras and cheaper more powerful editing software has raised the bar significantly.
Anyone that knows my family will know that my girls dont really travel light. Although they love camping it's definately the making camp for a while and getting it comfortable type rather than the fast and light feral missions we are all supposed to lust after as surfers. Of course i'm all for sleeping in a tree and drinking rainwater - actually i'm not, i like being comfy too! Hence the embarassingly large tent for three people!
Actually we got it online half price and we didnt really realise quite how big it was when we ordered it! 36 guy ropes, it's the opposite of feral!
Anyway, this pic kinda harks back to posts i've made in the past, namely that a "workable travel quiver" for me is definately a fish and a log. In this case it's a 9'4 if6was9 and a 5'8 larry mabile fish but there are a few variations on the theme. Of course the only thing you can't pack - (the kitchen sink will fit if you pack well ;-) is waves and as this trip proved, it doesnt matter what boads you've got if it goes flat afer 3 days!!