Sunday, 24 May 2009

Get High Or Die!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th of May, I staged the first ever wave event to be held at Punta Blanca in Fuerte. My main goals with this comp were to get all the local riders together for a fun weekend of windsurfing and partying, and also to get every single competitor to push their own personal limits and reach a new level of sailing. To this end I devised a system of judging whereby each heat was judged by the riders from a different heat, according to their ability, a kind of handicap system, with riders who pushed themselves the hardest progressing through to the next round. The result was phenomonal! I have never seen such radical action at Punta in my 14 years of sailing there! In absolutely perfect conditions, we had guys sailing away from their first ever forward loops after only a few attempts, guys throwing themselves into doubles at every opportunity and all done with huge smiles all round. Wow, it surpassed all my expectations!
Will impressed everyone with his suicidal double attempts (he really was determined to get high or die!) and came away with 1st prize with Victor in 2nd and big Pieter in 3rd. Really, though, I could have awarded trophies to absolutely everyone as there were so many who sailed better than I have ever seen before.
After the heats, I held two expression sessions, with 15 in each heat, resulting in a jumping frenzy with all the local island hillbillies trying their utmost to kill or maim themselves, haha. Check the video and you'll see exactly what I mean!
After all the organisation I did, you'd have thought the gods would have been smiling down on me but, oh no, 1 minute into my quarter final heat, my mast foot broke and I spent the whole heat swimming back to the beach as my fellow competitors jeered me good-naturedly from the water. With friends like these, haha...............oh, well, next year, I'll fix it so I win.............
After the expression session it was back to the UTurn in Lajares for the prizegiving, filled to the rafters, and it was there where it was evident just how successful the weekend had been. Everyone was super-stoked to have been a part of it, and not one person whinged or whined about anything, which must be a first in the history of competition!!!
All in all, a greater success than I ever dreamed possible, already planning next year's..............
Greetings from the sunshine,

Get High Or Die!!!!!!!! from Stephen Gibson on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Day 2 goes OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As forecast, the wind filled in on Sunday and the comp was a huge success!! Everyone was giving it 110% and the action was insane! I am working on the video right now and I have 1500 photos to sift through so for now you will have to content yourselves with these low-res frame grabs from my video camera. Full write-up, photos and video this week, watch this space..........................

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Get High Or Die, Day 1!!!!!!!

Well, that's day 1 over and, despite annoyingly light, gusty winds we managed to plough through the first round, leaving the quarters for today as the forecast looks much more promising. I'll leave ya with a couple of pics to show that there was still alot of good action- definitely much more to come today, though!!!!!!!!!!!!Full report and pics/video imminent.........................

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After months of waiting for the right forecast, it's finally on- the Punta Blanca "Get High Or Die" Wave Comp will take place this weekend at Punta Blanca on the northshore!
30 local sailors will fight it out on Saturday for the King of Punta title with man-on-man eliminations judged by the riders themselves to encourage a handicap-system whereby each rider will be judged according to how he or she pushes their own personal limits. On Sunday I will be running a super session with trophies for the most impressive jump, the most extreme wipeout/bail and one for the biggest chicken-out. Gonna be total carnage.
Sunday night will be an end of comp party in the U-Turn in Lajares with prizegiving and BBQ. Watch this space for photos, updates and, of course, THE video........................

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

More Clinic Success!!

Well, just said goodbye to Alan and Emmet from Ireland after another fantastic week of coaching. The wind was a little marginal this time but we managed to make the most of the conditions and even played a trump card heading south to sail 4.5s when there was a force 1 up here. Anyway, this is what Al said in a forum post....
"Just back from my week in Fuerteventura, thanks to all for the advice given.Just to share my experiences.........I took you up on your advice Oisin and booked a clinic for a week with Stephen Gibson ( I felt like I've crammed a years worth of progress into 7 days and avoided all the usual hassles with gear rental/service/transport/local knowledge. Couldn't recommend him highly enough for all sailing levels and will defo be back again. Picked up some nice gear too for a song thanks to Stephens contacts." Pretty happy, I reckon.
Also, read here what Nick, my student from two weeks ago, and an absolute beginner (until now) had to say.......
"I have just got back in from 7 days of 'flat out' fun with Fuerteventura legend Steve 'Gibbo' Gibson.
I hooked up with the man from the toon via a friend of mine for a week long , learn from scratch course. Being a total novice to the wind, although I can hold my own on a surfboard, snowboard, skis I thought it would be a nightmare to grasp wind surfing. NOT the case. Gibson explained everything in a 'canny' manor that was easy to understand and take in whilst making me feel totally at ease.
From the moment we hit the water at Waikiki beach, he was next to me or behind me talking me through, then showing me the how's, if's ,why's do's and don't do's. As part of my package all the kit was supplied. I feel there is no better way to learn than actually having the teacher out there with you talking you through everything that is going on piece by piece. He can then show you the correct way in close up as he is actually doing it.
I don't wish to give it the large one but by day 5 I was out in a good strong wind with a 5.0 up (not hooked in) screaming back and forth at speeds that felt like a ton although Gibbo reckons it was only 15mph! tacking quickly and Jibing.... Hope i have spelt it right.
The evenings were spent in Gibbo's bar .... 'Gibsons' eating cracking scran, downing beers, talking about the days fun and watching vids of the man himself whacking out a whole armory of tricks, loops and huge airs.
The highlight of my days on the water..........?
Gibson screaming out behind me, 'way ay one scoop man ', hitting a head high wave at half tilt and forward looping over my head about 10 feet away.... ! A proper giggle.
If you need to contact him to verify that I did actually have 2 scoops of chocolate ice cream get him at ". Bit bizarre, but very complimentary, haha.
And lastly, my advanced student from April, Alex's pa had this to say......."Hi All,
I can't recomend Steve's clinics highly enough. Not only for his professional instruction but in ensuring the best beach is hit for the days wind direction. Fuerta may be very windy, but it does need someone who knows the place to ensure that you end up in the right spot to make the most of the conditions - get it wrong and it may not be windy and you can spend all week chasing. Local knowledge of where to go and where not to sail when you get to the right spot can also ensure that you don't trash your kit in the first five minutes.
We've just come back from Steve's first clinic (Alex) and he has ensured that we have been able to make the best of the conditions on each day. Alex's sailing has really improved through Steve's tips and all in all its been a really good crack.
If anyone reading this is planning on going to Fuerta to improve their windsurfing or to just get some time on the water - get in touch with Steve. I promise you will not regret it. Top local knowledge and professional instruction - with video - which really helps get things dialled.
Thanks for everything Steve - Alex will be back. "
Pretty positive feedback so far, looking forward to my next one already............

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Old Dog New Tricks.

As I mentioned, I've dedicated the last two days at Punta almost entirely to learning double flakas and am finally starting to get a feel for them. Yesterday, I took the video and we filmed for an hour to see if I could get my first one on camera and the result is this short video. I edited out the 55,000,000 crashes and was left with this little bit, haha. Check out the last double on the vid, though, can't believe that's me. Stoked! There's even a cheeky little one-hander on there.....

Double flaka session!!!!! from Stephen Gibson on Vimeo.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Glass Beach Photoshoot

While I was doing the clinic with Alex at Glass Beach, a friend of mine, Serge, took a few pics.
We were training flakas but conditions were pretty good for ponches aswell (as you can probably tell from the pics!). Today, it's off to Punta in search of the elusive double flaka! Got a few yesterday, one cracker, so I'm gonna try to get some video done. Enjoy the photos and watch this space.............

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?