This has definitely been the best summer I’ve ever known, even better than the hazy childhood one of 1984 with my fluorescent socks and beloved BMX bike with mag wheels and pads. My mate Smiler reckons his dad predicted it would be thus; he’s a farmer and like his dad has been keeping records – in Smiler’s words – ‘since time began’. Smiler’s dad noticed that the weather pattern for the first half of this year was nigh on identical to that of 1976: a cold, bitter winter with snow flurries into May, and a hideous June and early July before all heavens broke loose.
Based purely on empirical evidence, Newquay, or visitors to it, seem to have responded well and the beaches have been packed all summer long with loads of families and a merciful lack of the ‘dick heads’ that usually drag the place down and make most of us wish that strict border patrols, or at least a cull, could be implemented. Since mid-July I haven’t really stopped running surfing, SUP and the odd kitesurfing lesson. Day in day out, it’s been great to see a load of people really keen to get into the sports rather than just killing time by way of doing an ‘activity’.
The bloggerino has been left to thrive on neglect these last few weeks, but in the background I have been building up to an exciting Autumnal adventure to somewhere a little bit away from the usual haunts. As well as teaching every day, I’ve been getting plenty of recreational sessions in, and this time, the SUP is clearly the weapon of choice. I got my first SUP a few years ago and used it a bit, but after going surfing everyday for six months and not taking it in once, I sold it. Kate, the missus, has the exact same model of board and I’ve been using it in the small summer swells and it’s a lot more addictive this time round. Maybe because we’ve been doing so much on flat water it’s sharpened the act up a bit in waves and made it more productive.
These are some photos from the other night at Watergate Bay. A wobbly sort of evening thanks to a brisk northerly blowing for a couple of days before, but plenty of peaks to get into with the SUP. It was the perfect ‘unwinding’ session after a very hectic weekend of teaching, and just the thing to get fired up again before meeting the next clients the following day.
Reb and I are off to the National Watersports Festival this weekend, I’m presenting the Ocean Rodeo Soul drysuit alongside a new ultra drysuit they’ve created – I’ll leak photos when it arrives by FedEx soon. I’m doing a talk / workshop for kiters at the festival, it’s meant to be about waveriding but I’ll probably inject an element of exploration / downwind kitersurfing into it as a) there won’t be any waves to refer to on Hayling Island and b) I’ve done the wave chat a few times now and want to do something that I find a bit more interesting.