Sunday, March 11, 2012

Porthtowan surf-time

We felt in need of some fresh sea air today, so took the longboard and both bellyboards to Porthtowan. The air was remarkably mild for the time of year and as this was my (Sue) first surf of the year I was hoping the sea wouldn't be too cold either. Lovely hubby lent me his Chill Cheater to wear under my summer wettie, though which gave me another 2mm of neoprene and with boots and gloves, I was fine. (Although I lost my earplugs somewhere in the car park, I didn't need them after all.)

Lots of folk on the beach walking, and some had been roped in to do a beach clean too, which they seemed quite happy to help out with.

The tide was receding still and there was a reasonable swell with plenty of waves for me to play in, while Woll paddled out to the Deep End to try his luck. I'm not a great surfer or waterwoman, so all I can say is that I had a great time riding the white water; stayed in for threequarters of an hour and still wasn't chilly. I had 'waterfall' rides which are always great fun. It's when the wave you're on catches up with a wave in front and sends you 'over the falls' as it were, exhilarating!

Eventually I hauled out and got changed. In the car park I zipped up a fellow surfer into his wettie and back at the beach I grabbed a black sack and did a little beach-cleaning (my good deeds for the day!) before Woll emerged and headed for the car, to change. His session hadn't been epic; a case of too big a board for the conditions maybe as many of the waves were just too hollow for him. He did though, get wet, get feet to board and get a few rides, which is what it's all about, isn't it?

Now, back at home, showered, fed and stoked. Roll on the next session!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Broadsword Calling... end radio silence after a winter that has seen surfing put on hold for a variety of reasons.

Some of it good. Some of it not so, although touch wood; the worst of it involving Sue's sis-in-law, does seem to at least be under control. The long term prognosis may not be ideal but at least there is a viable long term now. When we made that hasty dash up to Southmead Hospital in Bristol back in January; such things looked very unlikely. A day that will haunt ad infinitum.

Work - or more rather the glut of it - at last; has taken its toll. Though to be fair with the shorter days, the always relished 'post-work surf', isn't possible anyway. After a lousy 2011, Sue now seems to getting a steady stream of commissions which began rather bizarrely in the week running up to Christmas! But hey! beggars.... We got to see our lil grand-daughter Claire in a better frame of mind :o)

The Pirates and the emotional roller coaster that can offer both on and off the pitch (aaaaagggghhh). Particularly off where one or two individuals insist with ignoring a clear mandate to get the stadium built, and impose their own bitter and twisted mandates which only serve to delay the inevitable and spoil it for the majority. Karma will prevail.

Lack of decent winter gear also has to be named and shamed. Maybe by the time next winter hoves into view that can be rectified. In the meantime, it wasn't until three weeks ago I finally took advantage of a window of opportunity on the Saturday morning of the Italy v England international.

It was clear, crisp and bitterly cold when compared to of late. But, the gear was chucked in and the board strapped on and there was no turning back. Catching my first glimpse of the ocean confirmed there was a mellow ride-able wave; let's hope the two plus month lay off hadn't allowed too much rustiness to set in.

Suiting up into the summer wettie with the Chillcheater underneath wasn't ideal and it was obvious that the log can do with a complete overhaul on the wax front. Never mind. Ear plugs-check. Hood-check. Gloves-check; they can be put on when I get to the waters edge. Hate using the things-always make me feel as if I've got a couple of cumbersome soggy weights at the end of my arms, but they do a job. Boots-ch...hang on...where are they?........Bugger!!

Too late. I'll just have to go in and hope I don't lose too much feeling as I'm not turning back now!! As it was; the worst bit was walking from the NT car park down to the beach, as the water temperature was a good 6-8 deg C warmer than the air's. But after an hour in, the need to keep looking down as I popped up became paramount; as I had to make sure the hooves were planted right. 'Feel' had long since vanished! But I had some fun if not as fluent as when I signed off back in November. And that's the priority.

And so to yesterday evening and my first surf after work of 2012. Again; not a classic session personally, but worthwhile. The relative inflexibility with not having a purpose made winter suit hinders; but at least aids the re-honing of the body's abilities. The hood rather innocuously helps with the neck too. But at least this time the boots had been packed. Even if they had little chance to be of use on the deck.

Conditions were OK, but with the offshore breeze picking up from the get-go and darkness setting in this session was always going to have a rushed feel to it. It was most likely a case of "you should have been here earlier". The paddle out was good though and I coped well enough with the late ebb rips that meant keeping on the peak was an effort at times.

I missed the first 2-3 while I got up to speed but then nailed a banzai ride after a late late take off which set the tone for the remainder of my time in. No regrets but the warmer climes and water can't come quick enough now. So sayeth Sue more so.