Monday, August 29, 2011

Belly session

We managed about an hour and a half in choppy but weak surf on Saturday. We had wanted to surf Friday but with the sewage alert we thought it prudent to give it a miss and let the pollution disperse. We also surfed well away from the yukky area.

The breeze was relentless and onshore, threatening to chill bits that weren't immersed. Woll took his bellyboard into the surf, leaving his longboard at was that kind of day. I bellied on my decorated board, Gladys and got a nice little ride along a wave face, witnessed by Woll! (The best one I've had yet) That sort of wave though was few and far-between. Woll got some good long rides despite the floppy conditions.

Due to the cool wind not too many holidaymakers were in the water, which was good for us. With the World Bellyboard Champs coming up next weekend, we need plenty of practice (not that we're in danger of winning any prizes, mind!) but the swell is dropping till later in the week so maybe our next opportunity will come on Friday Evening, after work.

Friday, August 26, 2011

STOP PRESS-Another sewage alert at Gwithian/Godrevy

This is the sight today at our local break, between Gwithian and Godrevy. The brown in the sea is raw sewage, flushed into the sea via the river. It's a Combined Sewage Overflow. To quote the DEFRA site:
CSO spills contain rainwater and dilute untreated sewage, and are an important safety valve for the sewage system in storm conditions, helping to prevent flooding in homes and businesses. CSOs can spill into the sea, streams or rivers above beaches and in some cases close to bathing waters. 

Swim in it (would you want to?) and you risk contracting a number of nasty ailments such as hepatitis. The pollution could take 12 hours to disperse.  This needs to be addressed by the Water Authorities, but at least in this instance we were alerted to the pollution before we headed down to the beach, by the Surfers Against Sewage text alert service.

These alerts are only available for a small number of beaches at present and have been run this year on a trial basis by a DEFRA-led partnership called the Cleaner Seas Forum which includes SAS. There is a short survey available to fill in if you were lucky enough to receive any of these texts relating to beaches that you use. Please do take the few minutes to fill this in so that DEFRA can gauge how useful these texts have been and whether to extend the service nationwide. The link to the survey is below. Thank you. And thank you SAS for giving us the warning!


Beach life

Saw this little beauty a while ago at WidemouthBay. Dinky, eh?

And another happy bather captured drying off after a session.

There are some more little sketches from the seaside at my arty blog Studio Window.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ocean Dump

Wasn't planning to head beachwards after work anyway, but was alarmed to receive my first ever text alert from Surfers Against Sewage about a sewage discharge at Godrevy this morning at 8.19.

The all clear was given at 15.48 but with the caveat of allowing 12 hours for conditions to stabilise.

Knowing that there is a CSO (Combined Sewer Overflow) nearby at Reskadinnick that releases it's cargo into the Red River after heavy rainfall; and, having inadvertantly paddled across said stream to get onto the beach a bit quicker when there has been raw sewage gently flowing seawards; you kinda become aware of the risks.

It may have been due to the works that were being carried out over Sunday/Monday betwixt Gwithian village and the beach; noting as Suz and me did of South West Water's presence. Either way it's not a pleasant by product.

If you want to be warned of future episodes then this link may be the heads up you're looking for . I can now vouch that it works!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Cliches abound... the old adage about "what a difference a day makes" once again showed it's face.

Yesterday I was as "sick as a parrot" after a fruitless session in very do-able waves. Today was at the opposite end of the scale in far cleaner conditions, if perhaps just a tad smaller. There was a lot less of the white stuff about as well.

Result! OK it took 3-4 take off attempts before hooking up the first ride. But from then on I was "over the moon".

A couple of standouts too. The first, having spotted a likely set rolling in I got myself positioned as sweet as, and went for the third one coming through. Just as jacked up and began to peel over my right shoulder. A couple of strokes and I gambled with an early pop-up. Instinctively I stepped a couple of paces further forward and launched into the most satisfying trim.

The second was not too dissimilar only this time having pulled a couple of directional changes I rode in while "on top of my game", so as not to finish by going "off the boil".

Suz meanwhile had the usual excellent session with plenty of 'layered' waterfall rides. Two 'happy bunnies' this time, therefore ambled back up the ramp to return to the car in the Godrevy lay-by just before the headland; lapping up the evening sunshine and savouring the moment.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Not perfect conditions but certainly something more than we've had as Godrevy showed a clean if ruffled head high wave to play with at low tide onwards.

Oh least the weather was glorious for this early evening venture into the Atlantic. And my paddling and eskimo rolls were up to scratch; because s0d all else was.

Not a ride or even a sniff of getting feet onto the deck as I struggled to get into any kind of rhythm. Throw in a few nailings whenever I did go for one and you can get the drift of where the disappointment hails from.

TBH my mind wasn't on it, as recent concerns in the real world just seem to be denting the confidence at the moment.

That won't last of course as we're made of sterner stuff than many, but; it is bound to affect things in all sorts of scenarios at times. I could get all political on the economic situation and point at certain aspects that remind me so much of the late 80's early 90's; but I will not let history repeat itself as to what Suz n me went through then. Over my dead body! Next!!

Ben shows off his Belly

Ben proudly shows off his newly acquired Traditional Surfing Co belly board, which we got for his 21st.

His discovery of the joys of surfing prone on a piece of wood; without fins, leash or the comfort of having a rest on between sets; came when down here with his wife Emma on their last visit to Kernow back in July.

He like me, has always preferred surfing in the old style on his longboard. His mantra being something on the lines of "let it glide". Over the last year or so though, it is fair to say that he has got out of practice and it showed early on on this particular trip.

Not to be outdone though, and after an aborted paddle out in conditions not that long ago he'd have stroked; Suz's board was commandeered "just to see", so to speak. The rest as they say was history and, after a couple of more sessions; including a 'boys only' stint in some messy stuff a couple of evenings before they were due to return to Lincs; the seed was sown.

Emz too is keen to try one out as soon as; although there is the small matter of delivering our first grandchild first. Even the soon to be arriving Claire Tamsin has been earmarked for a board of her own in the fullness of time. I'm sure she'll take to the water like the proverbial duck. Given the influence that will surround her!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


A bit of coverage further afield of our entry into the World 'Bellies' on September 4th on our beloved Cornish Pirates website today. Fetching pix of us in our Pirates' shirts proudly showing off our Traditional Surfing Company wooden boards.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Log's On

The need to get back on the Log just got the better of me as the need to 'smack a few lips' in these frustrating times ended any chance of 'which board' decision making. Well it has been 11 days!!!

Conditions weren't brilliant as expected with a light NW turning a declining swell a bit messy. But, with little much to come for a few days, beggars etc...

Twas fun tho and a nice little rhythmn continued right from the paddle out-swivel immediately-nice left to kick off nicely; to riding one in on the stroke of high tide and surely the best of it. How times have changed and the immeasuarble increase in water time has helped my game come along.

Had to feel for Suz tho'...her session, as short as it turned out to be, wasn't 'up there with the best'. But with a mellower feeling who gave a stuff???

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Warp Speed

With the NW breeze picking up a bit since we bounded the hound this morning, there seemed little point in subjecting the log to a pounding in the white water this afternoon. Much wiser to get some more quality time with the Bomb with only 3 weeks to 'competition time' me thunked.

And so it transpired. By the time we arrived at Godrevy not long after low water had passed, it was clear that with the amount of white stuff churning up the low tide sand; the right choice had been made.

Throw in a marked contrast in weather since 24 hours previous and a lot more water moving about, and the chance to explore the board's boundaries further was obvious.

Oddly I took a little longer to get hooked up, but once that minor detail was overcome the rides came in thick and fast. Too fast at times perhaps as the amount of flex I was experiencing was alarming and exciting in equal measure. On one occasion as I shifted further up to the nose after taking a particularly sketchy drop; the nose appeared to bend under itself and signal imminent catastrophe. Luckily it countered as quickly and limited the drama to an instant pearl and dismount!

Post surf there was a distinct twisted warp to the board which happily began to return to it's original level self as the sun dried it from it's dipping. Will give it another linseed coat as a precaution during the week.

Nothing however detracted from another excellent session, which needs further note having witnessed a chap riding a 50+ year old board with a marked rocker. 'Hilly' too needs a mention with her 'ansome blue board which graced the water as we entered.

Championship board launched...

...after a space shuttle type delay on Wednesday prevented the inaugral ducking of the Bomb.

Quite how Helston could become so snarled up after 6pm was mind numbing; but with more than a couple of drivers with brains disengaged, the problem was being exaggerated!! The extra hour to a normally 20 minute max journey time did little to put me in a ideal mindset so the planned trip to the beach was shelved.

Until yesterday afternoon.

Any quandry over whether the log would get an outing instead (for the first time in over a week!) were quickly dispelled as anticipated conditions prevailed. A messy onshore wave was apparent as soon as the lighthouse came into view, and the scene was set for an hour an half of Spring Tide fun for Suz and self.

Right from the get go too, the dynamics of the Bomb became apparent as the faster, zippier rides kicked straight in from the first take. In balance, and on first impression for sure, the catching of the wave was a bit more difficult, as Suz found out when we briefly swapped rides. But the quality of the take and it's easier manouevrability more than compensated.

This baby is gonna rock!

Looks as if we're going to head down again later too. Expect more words, although the log will be taken down as insurance.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Every cloud....

Had to forego the chance to surf at Porthcurno this evening after Gav had texted that it was 'on' for some hollow belly board action; which frustrated.

But, on arriving home, and having been teased during the day by Suz about the Bomb I was greeted with this.

It'll get a coat of linseed early tomorrow and be ready for active duty from Wednesday on. Some pleasant consolation at least.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Woll's Bomb joins the Quiver!

Chocks away!!

My 'belly' has been collected from Gavin at the Surf Action Surf Fair in Sennen yesterday. It's a customised version of a Traditional Surfing Co da Bomb, and I can't wait for Sue to add her 'touch' to it before the beast gets a blooding in time for the World Belly Board Championships on Sept 4th.

Tis going to be fun to have an option to the longboard when the waves are not quite there for it. Even more fun to be truthful, to be surfing with Suz more often.

But what happens if...when...I get some fins and Gav' calls to let me know 'Leven is firing....

Watch this space as the boundaries of the ply threaten to be pushed to new limits ;o) !!