Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Worst Wipeout of 2009/10.

Which one is the worst wipeout? If you can't see the clip properly then click here.

1) Grant Baker
2) Shane Dorian
3) Dan Griffith
4) Ryan Hipwood
5) Brooke Phillips

 Make sure you keep an eye out for the second entries into the world of pain!

Have a vote on the side.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Kelly Slater won Bells in 1994 his board was 17 and a quarter inches was all about being narrow, heavily rockered and short. In fact you couldn't really get a board that was wider then 18 and three quarters wide. This killed the joy of surfing for many surfers I'm sure, and no one suffered more than the big guys. Boards were hard to come buy some combatants became seperatists and were lost to the Longboarders, other's took up goat boats and some the couch. Heavy times.

 Board shaping seems to be going through its own enlightenment after some pretty draconian years, as if the Virgin Queen herself had released the shaper from his planer and let the volume flow. No one is happier than the bigger guys out there. As I destroyed yet another surf magazine in toilet breaks at work, I could actually envisage myself riding most of the boards.

The left hand board is the Robber, a twinner (two big twin fins and a small pilot) and the right hand board the Dumpster Diver.

 Two events seem pivotal to me. Firstly the closing of Clark Foam the provider of over 80% of the world's blanks simply shut over night and also destroyed some of the most highly regarded templates. This led to epoxy, Firewires, Salmon Core, Surftecs, Resin8's and many more scrambling to fill the void in the market. Different properties led to new characteristics, paddling power, trim, movement of the wide point, gentler rockers, flex...the list goes on. Not only did the core materials begin to change but the way they were constucted and set up also changed. Parabolic stringers, the quad revolution etc.

Left:  A parabolic stringer round the edges believed to have increased flex properties.

Below is the board that Kelly Slater finished runner up at the Pipe Masters at in 2009, or rather the Backdoor fest. He was the only competitor to be riding a quad, a parabolic and was the only competitor going short and fat at a time when most were going longer and thinner. It worked well too.

The other pivotal event in surfboard design has been the approach taken by Pro surfers on the WCT, the use of the 6ft X 18 1/2, 2 1/2 give or take has dominated or strangled pro surfing since the early 1990's. It is only in the last 2 seasons that on occasion more free minded surfers like Dane Reynolds, Kelly Slater, and Rob Machado have used alternative boards to success. Dane Reynolds although famous for demolishing a french beach break on a spurned twin fin he found in a second hand rack,is now credited with starting a movement to shorter and fatter boards that are not fishes. The Dumpster Diver being his incarnation of the future of surfing, may be the most likely rebirth of a divine kind in my life, certainly the way he demolished snapper rocks on the gold coast opened a window previously painted shut. Rob Machado has more quirky boards up his sleeve than he has things living in his fro, I've always fancied a look around his board warehouse and Slater himself seems to have gone board tastic as he's the only guy on the World Tour who actually shapes boards he rides. While Taj Burrows rides the same board everywhere.

Left is some of Slater's quiver for Oz. The Asymmetric board on the far side is something else.
All this spells diversity for me and you, more choice, more options, more foam and more things to burn your hard earned wonger on. I'm packing a few thrusters still, but my sawn off quad fish is what's floating me around Cornwall at present. Things are getting completely out of handnot just with the SUP and Alaia brigade but the other day a guy drew his batman tail out of his car, it was actually a tail in the style of the batman'll be a while for them to catch on though. This enlightenment will only benefit the regular Joe are my own feelings and hopefully things like demo boards will become more common place.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Video reviews: Peel the Peruvian project and Sofia the movie.

Peruvian book writing has temporarily ground to yet another halt. Losing your battery pack does that pretty quickly.

Peel: gives a fairly accurate prediction as to what you can expect to find in a months fortnight around Peru. To be honest the waves look great and you can expect to find waves as good if not better on the trip. Bruce Brown's (Of Endless Summer fame) son is involved in production and it seems gross exaggeration swims freely in the Brown gene pool. The commentary on San Galian made me feel dismal that it has evaded me yet the coverage of Talara was right on. Most waves in Peru are covered.

 Conc: If your interested in Peru and surfing or thinking about a trip to Peru..I'd give it a go. The music is cracking. 4 out of 5

Sofia: It's not really a surfing movie at all. There is very little action involved and its a story of character of Miss Mulanovich as well as Peruvian history. The El Comercio journalist has the job of my dreams I think. It's completely subtitled. It's earnestly naive and raw, I quite like it and you could show this to your chick who doesn't surf and she'll think more of you for it! Hoorah!

Conc: Interesting in a vaguely cultured way,but she did drop in on Inkawaves a lot so 3 out of 5.

Heart attack material.

Here in the blessedly beautiful region of West Penwith, we have finally been graced with a lovely clean ground swell. No one was keener than I to indulge.

6.30 am I got a dawny in before work. No hat, no gloves, no boots, freezing cold but sunny and beautiful. I skipped through work and by 3.15 I was on my way to the G-spot for a second serving.

 When I pulled up the waves were bigger and well overhead on the sets, the sun was shining, the birds tweating and all was well in the world. I quickly ascertained the fact that most surfers were still at work and the three guys out were surfing the wrong side of the bay and entered the luscious lefts as quickly as you can say "It's all for you.".

 I had some of the best waves I've had in a very long time and dodged a few double overhead closeouts adeptly. I was thinkking of nothing except the impending set wave when 30 yards from me, I saw something which almost stopped my heart dead. It looked like this:

About a metre straight out of the water and nearly as long at the base I saw this fin swimming slowly at me in that slightly zig zagging style that erradicates dolphins pretty quickly from the equation. For the largest shock my body has experienced in the glance of an eye it remains unparrelled.

It was it turns out a basking shark, which I confess to having seen in Cornwall many times before, but not for over two years and normally in warmer water. The thing was easily 7 metres and possibly 9. It was impressive and after I got use to it I didn't mind him around too much, he didn't seem to bothered by me or the waves.

Now a basking shark is the second largest non extinct shark and is a filter feeder, but you look at that bad boy from water level and see it feels.

Basking Shark mouth shut.

Great White shark mouth shut.

Water level view....fancy deciding which one it is? (It's a couple of baskers by the way.)

This is a basker with its filter mouth open, it could fit you in by accident.

Basking Shark fab facts:       Second in size only to a Whale Shark
                                           Found in all temperate seas.
                                           A filter feeder ( feeding mostly on plankton)
                                           8 to 14 degree water temperature.
                                           Can be seen on the surface or down as deep as 1000 metres.
                                            12.3 metres is the longest recorded specimen.
                                            They travel in sex segregated groups (keeping the rows about directions down.)
                                            They take over a year to pop a sprog.
                                          There chilled out.

 You know those flowriders don't worry about what type of shark  is in the deep end.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Swiss Ball Fitness for surfers.

I'm in love with my swiss ball I have all sorts of routines going. In the summer I use it in the garden and have a glorified circuit going.  Our picnic bench doubles as a dip bench, walls are great for wall sits you'll be amazed to know and benches rock for hamstring stretches. But without doubt a yoga matt and a swiss ball could just about cover all stretches and strengthening postures. 

The guys at sports injury clinic seem to have a great website with some solid examples of exercises for all basic muscle groups.I've been using that as the basis of my routines and then adding some other beauties along the way for  a bit of variety.

So if you fancy it get a ball but get the right size,  had one too small for ages and it was a hindrance. There all available at amazon. Below is a size guide.

4’8” to 5’5” (140 – 165cm) 22 inches (55cm) Medium
5’5” to 6’0” (165 – 185cm) 26 inches (65cm) Large
6’0” to 6’5” (185 – 195cm) 30 inches (75cm) Extra Large

Whilst its easy to find free and good routines on the net for swiss balls, what I've found is that when my back hurts, there are two great stretches I can do on my ball, that really alleviate pressure in the lower lumber.
The top back bend cretes space at the front of the lower lumber so its ideal if you've been surfing too much as it is the reverse stretch of paddling.

The forward lean I adapt so that my knees are on the ground too, so your body is curved over like a "C" shape. This creates space at the rear of the lower lumber, if you've had any compressions in your spine, this exercise will work at promoting space between the vertebrae.


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Surfing in Britain.

Secretly I've always thought that belly boarding is far more dignified than bodyboarding. It has tradition and style, I even fancy some of the threads...people don't know what old skool really is.

There's a historical stir for surfing in Kernow at present, originally I'd put it down to a wave drought of epic was winter last time I saw a wave.

 English Jews of the 1920's who'd be surfing Cornwall on their belly boards, apparently by 1929 they'd seen some pretty grainy footage of Australians surfing standing up instead of prone and knocked themselves up a board or two. They gunned it down from the base in Hove with their new shred sticks wrapped in cloth and hacked buckets out of fistral beach.

Some old dear in Cambridgeshire found the video footage knocking around in her attic and the good old boys down at the British Surfing Museum lovingly restored it.

 Eventually the jewish surfing community decided that stopping Europe's number one anti Semitist was more important and whilst away fighting the Bosh bastards, someone nicked the boards out of their back garden....(just like my Bic, when I was in the USA last month).....a tragic lose to our surfing heritage.

 What puzzled me more was that Peru started surfing in the 1940's on the back of Carlos Drogny's return from Hawaii, Australia started surfing in 1915 with the visit of Duke Kahanamoku and California in 1885 with Hawaiian princes bringing their presence to bare. That suggests to me that Britain was one of the first surfing nations, and kicks France's claims of surfing first in Europe into the garlic patch, not only that, but I put it thus: Britain was the first surfing nation of the modern era that used deduction and innovation instead of a mentoring system to develop wave riding as we know it. No one came here and showed us what to do.

Excuse my slight xenophobic over tones: I'm trying to fit in with the new Tory led government which has begin to lead our nation.

I'm led to believe that a book and film will be available soon regarding this foray into British surfing history.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

180 Degree South,Surf Movie.

Picasso's Guernika wouldn't be a masterpiece if  it wasn't for Franco's loathing of the Basques and a surf movie wouldn't be any kop if it didn't have its slant. Well I saw that Chris Malloy has a new surf film out and it follows the traveller to and creator of Patagonia. At 25 quid a pop one can be forgiven for not owning too many but my surf life wouldn't be complete without having seen the likes of "Sipping Jet Streams", so here's a clip from a new release.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cornish Flowrider

Man things are getting desperate round here, Greg's taken some pro's to Essex looking for some waves, you're more likely to score waves in the Sahara, I've decided to sell my soul a little and see if I can't get up to Wadebridge for a go on the new Flowrider. It even has special rates for cornish residents.....I'll see what I can do for footage.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Spinal Surfer Rules!

Well my fantasy surf life has taken on new proportions recently. Without a wave worthy of notein 6 weeks in gets prettyhard stumping up material. However thankfully my fantasy surf team is nails! Yes my boys are ranked 206th out of over 11000, I'm particularly proud of subbing in Jadson Andre, Kelly (No surname required) and Owen Wright for the last eventat Santa Catarina in Brasil, as that was number 1, 2, and 3. So my mission is to get to the top 10 and secure myself a trip to Tahiti to watch the event next year. Sounds tricky I know but those odds seem shorter than the last job I applied for so we'll have to see.

Jadson Andre can surf! just checkout the vidxeo above, the guy does 2 or 3 air reverses most waves. Now despite what I've already said, I'm not really a fan of competitive surfing I find it repetitve and ugly. I like the stylish aspects of watching great surfers surf. The guys underneath seem to have the right idea. Yet as I said no ripples over here...hard times.