Monday, 14 December 2009

I´ve just finished sticking together some footage that we got during the summer when I was teaching at the lagoons, messing around on the "big stuff". Apart from meeting some great people this year, my clinics have also helped me rediscover the joy of just windsurfing, something that is easily forgotten in the quest for progression and the search for ideal conditions. Some of my best days this year were spent on big boards in light winds with good friends just having fun, exactly what windsurfing is all about.
Although the title of this video is "light-wind freestyle", the majority of it was actually shot in a force 5, a bit on the windy side for light-wind freestyling, but great fun. Thanks to Nick for the videoing (wellaye), the legendary Mick Coffey for the background sailing, and Daisy the waterbulldog for her four-legged freestyle antics, and especially thanks to everyone who came on my clinics this year- hopefully you all had as much fun as I did, see you next year!
Enjoy the video.............

Light Wind Freestyle Summer 2009 from Stephen Gibson on Vimeo.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

It´s not windsurfing but...............

Another week of light winds but I had a great week riding flatland with my two good friends from Germany, Steavy and Ollo. We always have a blast when they come over and this visit was no exception, still trying to shake off Friday´s hangover. Anyway, check out these pics of our night session, snapped by Gregor- tricky to ride in the dark but great for photos.......

Friday, 27 November 2009

Virtual Windsurfing anyone?

I took the opportunity of strapping on a helmetcam (thanks, Marcus!) during last weeks storm and shot some video of the action at Punta, while I was trying out the new Twinser 82l and my new Combat Waves. This video was shot entirely with the camera "up top" to hopefully give you the same feeling I have while I´m out there having fun. Hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it...................

2010 Kit First Impressions from Stephen Gibson on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Still windy!!!!!!

Yeah, the wind´s still blowin hard and Punta has had huge waves every day. Not the greatest sailing conditions as the swell gets a bit messy there at low tide when it´s so big but still great fun for jumping if you can manage to keep out of trouble! I have borrowed a helmetcam from a mate and have done a couple of hours of filming over the past couple of days. Faceshredder Kev was there yesterday and took some photos while I was stunting with the camera on and here they are. I´ll be editing the helmetcam footage over the next few days as the wind is forecast to drop for a week or so now.............................

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Punta today, wind at last!!!!!!!!!!!

At last some wind and a chance to try out he new kit! Punta was howlin northeast when I arrived at 11.30, but the wind swung east, not ideal for jumping but pretty good for riding. I have to say that the new Twinser Wave 82 rocks! Check out a couple of pics from today´s session........................

Tuesday, 3 November 2009


Still no wind to speak of, which was just as well on Sunday as I was suffering with a hefty halloween hangover which would have made sailing a trifle tricky! We had a great night in Corky´s Bar, loads of people in full fancy dress as always, and too much tequila but, hey, you´re only young(ish) once!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Combat time!!!

The good news is my 2010 sails have arrived. The bad news is that the long wind drought on Fuerte continues. Still not a breath of wind, great for the surfers but frustrating as hell for us. The forecast is bleak with another 7 days of nada!

I did manage to get out last night at 6pm for a quick session on Lobos which was fun but certainly not epic, still, nice to get wet on something smaller than 200 litres for a change.

Can´t wait to test out the new sails, they look amazing and, by all accounts, are. They are very light but look superbly strong with tons of reinforcing in the critical zones so should last great (forever if the wind stays like this).

Monday, 19 October 2009

Finished it at last...............

Yeeha, I finally finished editing the headcam movie and here it is. We shot the footage over two weeks at the beginning of August when my good friend Oisin was over. The original plan was to make a joint video but we really have been too busy (me windsurfing and him stuck in a boat/windsurfing!), so we split the honours and Oisin is busy working away on his as we speak. The footage was mainly shot in Punta with 5m sails and head-high waves, with a few days on flat water and 4.5s in Sotavento (while all the local waveheads were waiting in total calm for wind in the north! That´s 15 years of local knowledge, haha), great stuff. All in all, superb fun shooting the footage and, as always, supermotivating and inspiring to spend two weeks sailing with the Irish legend, Oisin. Also, educational as I never realised the full variety of facial expressions I pulled while sailing. Enjoy...................

Headcam action, August 2009. from Stephen Gibson on Vimeo.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

The Isle Of Tranquility.

It´s been a while since I posted anything, mainly because there has been zero wind now for 5 weeks or so! In that time, I have sailed 2 half-hour sessions at Punta and that´s it. Thankfully, I´ve been superbusy with windsurf classes and clinics and have been sailing, albeit in light winds, almost every day so at least I´m getting out there. I have been messing around on the big boards trying to learn some new lightwind freestyle tricks (inspired by young Stefan and Tuempelsurfer!) and have had some great fun days spinning and falling in, haha. I´ve even got the dog into it- Daisy loves a spin round the lagoons now.....Sometimes it´s good to remind ourselves that it´s all supposed to be pure fun and sailing in a pair of shorts in the blazing sun on a longboard with some friends is still windsurfing and really can be great fun. I will do some video soon (if the wind doesn´t pick up!) so you can have a laugh................I also have just finished editing my "summer" video, the helmet cam movie which should be on here by tomorrow or Tuesday so check it out!!!!!

Friday, 18 September 2009

Who says you can´t teach an old dog new tricks?.............................

Monday, 14 September 2009

Boys n toys..............

Well, they´re here at last, the 2010 JP boards have arrived!!!!!!!! This is my quiver of boards for the coming season. This year I will be using the 98 litre Freestyle Pro and the 84 litre Twinser Wave Pro. I have already had one session on the 98l and was amazed! It planes alot earlier than my freestyle board from last year (partly due to the fact that last year I was using the slightly heavier construction), even with my small (17cm) fin. The main thing I noticed when sailing was that the volume distribution seems to have been shifted slightly aft, making the tail more buoyant than last year- brilliant for heavier guys like myself. My manouevres were nice and clean and more controlled than before, even after just 15 minutes on the board! The other difference is the new deck shape, contoured to fit your feet! The ride was amazingly comfortable, and landings from big shakas, which can sometimes be a touch on the heavy side(!?), were much lighter and less of an impact! All in all, first impressions are fantastic- I was expecting to be blown away by this board as my last year´s board was the best freestyle board I had ever set foot on and I knew the Pro model would be even better, but it has already surpassed my expectations! Can´t wait to get out there again!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Well, the blog has been fairly quiet but I haven´t! The summer trades are tailing off now but I´m still pretty busy with clinics, alot of beginners´courses at the lagoons in Cotillo too!
Last week was an intermediate (chophop and carve gybe) clinic with Stephen Keane from Dublin. The wind was looking flukey in the north so we (I) made the executive decision to head down to Sotavento for strong wind and flat water. When we arrived on the first day I was surprised to see perfect head-high rollers breaking all along the sandy beach with 25kts! Perfect for wavesailing (and ponches- see vid)......................

Mast tip ponch from Stephen Gibson on Vimeo.

.............but not so perfect for our carve gybe clinic! In the end, it worked perfectly as an introduction to wavesailing for Stephen, who quickly got to grips with the conditions (amazingly so as he had never sailed in waves before and the conditions were tricky to say the least), growing noticeably in confidence over the next few days.

To cap off a fantasic week he sailed out of his first ever planing carve gybe on the last day and did his first (pretty high) chophop! I´d say he´s still smiling now, back in rainy Ireland, haha!

Friday, 21 August 2009

A short taster............

As I may have already mentioned, Oisin is busy at home now editing the hours of footage we got using the GoPro HeroCam. In the meantime, here is a short clip to give you an idea................................

Saturday, 15 August 2009

As promised, a few pics of the action from last week at Punta..............

Friday, 14 August 2009

The Last Two Weeks!!!!!!!

Well, that´s it, Oisin is on his way back to Ireland and I´m knackered! We managed to sail every day except the last one and once again Oisin motivated and inspired me as he always does!
We have hours of video taken from all angles on the GoPro helmet cam and it is now up to Oisin to edit it all into a movie, good luck mate.
I will post up a load of photos over the next couple of days but for now here is a short clip of vid that was taken on one of the last days at Punta. Oisin convinced me that I could do one-handed shakas so I went out and punished myself for the camera (Will was most amused by the variety of splendid crashes that ensued!), and after a few disastrous first attempts I started to get closer and closer to landing one, which I eventually did, landing a clean, dry one when Oisin was doing a panoramic sweep of the bay with the video camera. Typical! Anyway, I got a couple of shady ones on video and the next day landed quite a few dry when we weren´t filming. Check out the bit of vid below and watch this space for when I eventually get a decent one on camera..................

First day of one handed attempts....... from Stephen Gibson on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Another week with Alex.

Just had another fantastic week with young Alex Mitchell, he's been three times now and I have to say he is learning and improving at a phenomenal rate! Once again we were blessed with perfect winds- 6 days from 6 with 3 days at Punta concentrating on freestyle and jumping and then 3 days in the south for high wind freestyle.
At Punta we had great allround conditions sailing on 4.5s and 5s with 2-3m waves and Alex is getting closer and closer to that elusive first backloop! His forwards are now supersmooth (he learnt those in his first clinic!) and he's even landing planing and looking like he may even be ready to launch himself into doubles soon!
At Sotavento we wanted to clean up his spocks, make them more fluid and consistent. By the end of the third day he was getting about 4 from 5, compared to the 1 from 10 he was getting when he arrived. I then made him concentrate on one-handers and 540s which he very quickly learnt and became consistent at. Moving quickly on we switched to ponch training on the last day (he had never tried one but can flaka fairly consistently now (clinic no.2!), and he managed to pull one on his second try! He got some great ponches after that and, although he is yet to sail away cleanly, can now consider it another trick in his bag! Well done once again that lad- definitely a name to watch out for in the (very near) future............
I apologise for the lack of pics and vid but we were far too busy sailing, haha. Got my good friend and fellow JP/Neil Pryde teamrider Oisin Van Gelderen here at the moment, though and we are getting some amazing stuff on the GoPro helmetcam so watch this space..............

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Photo round up of the last week's action....

Grubby anyone?

This past week I have had a one-on-one clinic with Markus who came to learn grubbies and polish up his forward technique. We were once again blessed with ideal conditions (although it was even a bit too windy a couple of days at Punta!). Markus made great progress with the grubby, so nearly sliding his way out of a perfect one on his second last day! He will nail it in days when he gets back to Germany, I'm sure.
He learnt forwards only recently and was landing pretty wet so wanted to get his landings better. We spent two full days working on his rotation and trying to get a more lateral spin, which worked a treat and by the end of the week he was sailing away dry with a huge grin on his face- I love this job, haha.............

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

A lesson to us all............

Katie Mcanena just spent a week over here to learn to loop and she has chronicled her success in a short vid shot at Punta. Check it out- she was incredibly motivated and learnt very quickly after a minimum of instruction. I had to point out only the tiniest of details and she took it straight on board, ignoring the painful first few wipeouts and progressing superquickly! By the end her rotation was really sweet and she was evn stalling them- what a legend! Let this be a lesson to you all- if you can commit yourself like Katie did, you can achieve a huge amount in a very short space of time............

Katie McAnena looping in Fuerte! from Katie McAnena on Vimeo.

The same week, I had my good friend Kev Bambra over from the UK. We had some pretty good conditions for the whole week (see Katie's vid!) and Kev was in pieces by the end, haha, check out his hands in this photo!!!!!!!! Kev is a drummer with up-and-coming new hardcore band Faceshredder and garage punk legends The Coyote Men and has a busy schedule of gigs when he gets back home- ouch!!!!!!!!!

On the topic of injuries, my good friend, young shredder Stefan Ploum (Kauli), who has been on the island since February honing his skills (and improving very quickly, incidentally), broke his foot in two places a couple of days ago crashing a big forward and will now have to return home to his native Holland for an operation,cutting short his stay by six weeks or so and missing the summer trades. Bummer. He'll be back soon, though, and hopefully he'll have a video for me to post up soon (he's got alot of time on his hands now!). Best of luck, mate, see you soon.........

Welcome to the site!
Aswell as regular features and news updates from Fuerte, I am going to be using this site to promote my windsurfing clinics.
After 15 years on the island,having competed in the PWA freestyle world cup and now representing Fanatic Boards and North Sails, I have decided to give something back to the sport which has given me so much over the years.
My aim is to provide clinics "tailor-made"for each individual, with a strong emphasis on practical in-the-water instruction, backed up by on-the-beach tuition and video analysis. The consistent conditions here in Fuerte make learning so much easier and, perhaps equally important, more fun than the typically inconsistent, cold UK - why not come over for a week and improve your windsurfing by a year!!!

I can help with any manoeuvres from carve-gybe through to advanced jumping and freestyle, just email me with your wish list and we'll take it from there! Over the next few months, I am going to be video-chronicling manoeuvres which you can check out on the right in my tricktionary sections. This will give you some idea of the things we can work on, or, if you can't make it over here, you may find them useful to help understand and break down a manoeuvre you would like to learn (hopefully, the slow-mo will help in this respect!).Just click on the trick and scroll down..........
Anyway, keep checking it out as I have loads more in my bag of tricks and will be updating as and when I get the footage.
If you're interested, e-mail me on
See ya in Fuerte?