***Two videos, scroll down past the text to see ’em***
Dear readers of my blogger, if you really are reading this and the page hits aren’t just spybots and mis-directed traffic, I hope you had a belter Chrimbo and are all set for something exciting / fulfilling on New Year’s Eve.
This is a quick bloggins to serve as a reminder for me as to what we’ve been up to the last few days over Christmas, which is basically a few energetic sessions and an interesting brush with fate thanks to Smiler.
On Friday 23rd, Smiler, myself and a mystery person who I shall not disclose yet (lest my enemies sieze upon an opporunity when my back is turned! Joking – I’ll reveal all when whatever we’re up to is complete, but if it never gets completed, I’ll just go back and edit out this paragraph so no one ever knows) headed down to the ‘Naughtie But Ice’ cafe to watch over our little spot while we waited for the wind to change. Well we saw it change, from moderate onshore to banshee-wailing offshore via a squall of horizontal rain. So Friday was a write off.
Saturday the 24th, as a last gasp contingency, we kited The Cribbar. No worries about keeping that a secret, because I can report it’s the single most difficult and dangerous place I’ve ever kitesurfed by a country mile. Extremely choppy, unbelievably heavy (and terrifyingly loud!), and with huge currents of water surging around, quite literally you could say ‘here be dragons’. Smiler got into a pickle when he was pushed in by some lines of whitewater (bungalow sized, including the roof) and found himself boxed into a corner where you’d never ever want to be. Amazingly, the kite was still in the air and he body-dragged out to safety, later saying that he felt like he ‘was being guided by an unkown force’. I hope Pamela, Smiler’s wife isn’t reading this because as far as I can tell, that sort of calm is the result of an instinctive reaction from the ‘lizard brain’ which takes over when the frontal lobe (the bit that makes us human and which you could say is the most developed and sophisticated thing in the universe) has absorbed all the information and has come to the conclusion that ‘we are totally f*****.
Christmas Day and Boxing Day were carbon copies of eachother in terms of water time – some sporty close out waves in Newquay Bay. SW winds, proximity and time deemed the Bay to be a sure bet for water time. Here’s a little video below from Christmas Day; Boxing Day was actually a touch better but the files were corrupted on the memory card…bah!
This is recorded in the 120 frames per second GoPro mode, allowing me to slow it down to quarter speed without loosing the smooth playback. If you like the song, it’s Cells by Teenage Fanclub.
Today, Smiler and I paddled out to a frankly evil looking Cribbar but after I spotted one of my fins had come adrift before we had caught a wave, we had to paddle back in; it’s really not a place to sit out and wait on your own. Back ashore we swapped the guns for shortboards and headed out to a pumping North Fistral. Not many people out, rips all over the place, a sand dredging close out to dodge on the way out – it was such a good lung burner after a couple of days of stuffing our livers into a state of Fois Gras.
I took off on my first wave and snapped the leash, resulting in a testing little swim in. For some reason, and despite the fair size, the poundings from the waves didn’t seem like anything was even happening. I think the two toughening up sessions in the Bay closeouts where we were bounced off the bottom and struggled to the surface in 8ft deep of foam were paying dividends. You can’t beat solid water in a wipeout!
Here’s a little vid of Fistral today; what you are seeing is me dropping into a fleeting barrel, escaping from a guilotine lip and then diving headfirst over the board as the wave in front of me has detonated and left nowhere to go. The leash snaps almost instantly, and we watch the board’s point of view as it gets thrown all over the place on the way to the shore. I collected it after a three minute blast back in through the impact zone.
Righto, the forecast is looking good so I hope for at least one more update before the New Year, where upon we have a mountain to climb, in the real sense!