Monday, 27 December 2010

Epic Session...

To top off what has been one of the best Autumn/Winter periods I can remember I scored an epic session at Hierro a few days ago. Trundling along the northtrack on my way to Punta I passed by Hierro to be greeted by the awesome sight of mast-high, perfect sets rolling into this inhospitable spot, with the added bonus in the shape of a flat channel in the middle due to the extra high tide. A couple of friends were rigging and convinced me that it was "doable", so I rigged my 4.7 and, with more than a little trepidation, ventured out for my first ever session here. All I can say is WOW!!!!! The channel made getting out fairly easy (I only had to chicken gybe once!), and you could get some decent ponches and forwards if you timed it well. Once out the back, the sets were lining up constantly and, with only myself and three friends in the water, it was non-stop- wave after perfect wave, fully over powered on 4.7 on the wave but definitely my best sail so far this winter. You can´t beat the thrill of sailing a new spot for the first time, especially when you score it so perfect and with just your friends. A day to remember, thanks to Bob for the photos...







Well, the wind has died off now perfectly coinciding with the arrival of my "xmas friends" who can only look at the photos of the last couple of weeks and pray that the wind-gods send us some similar conditions over the next couple of weeks! The forecast is for some south wind tomorrow so we may get a wee blast at Flag, then I´m hoping we´ll score La Caleta on Wednesday. Let´s hope...

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Port Taka...

Anyone who has been following my blog will know that this summer I became moderately obsessed with learning the taka at Punta. I managed to get some level of consistency in the end on starboard tack and was looking forward to trying them out with wind from the left. Anyway, I´m pleased to report that I´ve had a fair degree of success! I´d love to say that I´ve got takas on both tacks but that would imply some sort of consistency/control, so I´ll just say that I have done takas on both tacks now, haha. Still quite chuffed, though. Anyway, check out this one below caught by the camera of Emmanuelle at Punta, you may have to click on it to see it properly.
This morning I scored a super good fun session at my favourite spot again- small waves, shoulder-to-head high, but great fun starboard tack riding with just two others in the water! Epic. The "real" wind is due on Friday so that was just a wee bonus before the proper wind and waves arrive...

A Few More Pics of Last Week´s Action...


Yesterday I got the rest of the pics from last week´s sailing at Punta in the southwesterly "storm". The wind has dropped off now, giving me time to heal a broken toe, and is forecast to return with a vengeance on Friday, from the southwest again, so it´ll be back to Punta and/or La Caleta at the weekend. Enjoy the pics...








Sunday, 12 December 2010

Windy,windy,windy!


It´s been a while since I posted anything so you may suspect that there has been a bit of a wind drought over here- au contraire mes amis, we´ve had one of our best winter spells so far and it´s still blowing as I write! Last week we had a bit of a SW storm which brought 35kt winds and a good size swell. La Caleta, Hierro and Punta were the places to be with a couple of decent sessions to be had at Shooting Gallery thrown in for good measure. Photos are filtering in, here are a couple from a day at Punta on my 4.7 Ice and 86 Twin- small waves on this day but great fun with only three in the water and plenty of little ramps about. I should have some more pics up in the next couple of days so watch this space. Oh, and for those of you reading this in the snowbound UK or spanish mainland, it was a cool 30 degrees. Sorry.




Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Hammered Again!

Well, got two more days at El Martillo, great sessions indeed although the wave got smaller every day. On day 2 we managed to get a few photos so you can get an idea of the fun to be had at this great spot... no pics of Paul unfortunately, as he trashed (and lost) his sail this day and then missed the last day altogether...

















Thursday, 4 November 2010

Hammer-Time!


What a week! I´ve been out for the last five days solid- all on my 86 twin, joy! The first three days were at Punta with 6m waves making it a bit messy to say the least. I used my "local knowledge" to the max and got there early on the last two days to catch high tide when the wave reforms on the inside and cleans up (the first day was a bit hardcore at low tide when the wave tends to barrel when it reaches the outer reef!), making it a great session for jumping and riding. Check out the couple of pics that were emailed to me by an innocent bystander...
Yesterday the wind swung due east and I had an epic session in the morning at Majanicho- three people in the water, 5.3, logo-high waves and straight sideshore. Down-the-line perfection. Today the wind swung more southeast and, after watching all the monkeys trying to catch waves at Majanicho for an hour in flukey offshore wind, I was persuaded by my mate Wieberen to try a new spot called El Martillo (the hammer). Well, I was in for one of the best down-the-line waveriding sessions I´ve ever had- logo to mast-high glassy sets breaking in the middle of nowhere with peaks for aerials (if you had the balls), 25knots and beautiful sunshine. The only downside was the fact that every now and then I´d see almost dry rock in front of my wave when I dropped in on the set ones, a bit hairy but what a buzz! Typically, there was no-one taking photos so you´ll just have to take my word for it. Or you could ask Paul, who broke his UJ on his first wave and spent the best part of an hour getting aquainted with the rock formations on the inside before reaching the safety of terra firma, haha. The forecast is similar for tomorrow so we´ll be back and Paul will be armed with a new mast-foot, ready for revenge...

Saturday, 2 October 2010


This was the beautiful sight which greeted me on my arrival at Punta yesterday (well, obviously my kit wasn´t rigged ready, that was staged....). It was the day I´ve been waiting for all summer, and now I had a brand new Fanatic Twin 86 burning a hole in my van aswell so I was chomping at the bit to get amongst it. A swift phone call to Caroline and she agreed to come along with the trusty video camera to document my first session on my new wave stick! Excellent! She videoed for 40 minutes and I´m pretty stoked with what we got in such a short time...
What can I say, the board surpassed all my (high) expectations- fast and loose, great control on the wave but loose enough to slide around for takas, I LOVE it! Anyone who has been following my blog this year will know that I have been fairly obsessed by learning takas this summer. Yesterday I got more than ever before, even a couple on video, although on small waves- the best one I got, though, I disappeared behind a friend´s sail, aw shucks (check out the vid at the end). Three sails in the water and that happens, oh well, hopefully I´ll get some more video done in the near future and be able to show off my new-found taka skills, haha. For now, I leave you with this short video of Punta yesterday- my first day on my new waveboard. Enjoy....

Christening the 2011 Twin 86l at Punta. from Stephen Gibson on Vimeo.

Monday, 27 September 2010

First run out...

I stuck together some footage from the first afternoon of the clinic down in the lagoon in Sotavento to make this short movie of my first session on my new Fanatic Skate 100TE- I´m gonna have some fun on this board this coming year, yes indeedy! It´s not often you immediately feel so at home on a new board, this board feels like it was designed for me- chunky in the tail for endless sliding, flat n fast, I love it already......

PuraVidaBoardriders Fuerte Windsurf Clinic Sept 2010 from Stephen Gibson on Vimeo.

Friday, 17 September 2010

The PuraVidaBoardriders Fuerte Windsurf Clinic.


Well, as I mentioned, the PuraVidaBoardriders Windsurf Clinic has just come to an end and what a week we had! It really was an honour and a pleasure to have been involved in this venture with such a great group of people.
I picked everyone up at 12 on Wednesday and, after a brief freshen-up at the apartments, it was straight to the beach for an introductory freesailing session. We sailed at Cotillo for an hour or so, which was probably just right as some of the hardy travellers had been on the go since 4am. The wind was quite gusty but it proved a great introduction to waves for Emily and Chris who had never been in waves before and dealt with the infamously gnarly Cotillo shorebreak with ease. Back to the apartment for a bit of BBQ action and that was that. Day one and smiles all round!

Day 2, the first "proper" day of the clinic, dawned and with the forecast for lighter winds in the north, an executive decision was taken (by me!) to head south to Sotavento and we struck gold! Not only was the wind blowing a steady 20-25kts, the full moon meant that the legendary lagoon was at it´s fullest of the year, meaning we could all sail in thigh-deep warm, flat water together and work on all the different things we wanted in the same place! Imagine a 5 mile long flatwater lagoon where you can touch the bottom everywhere with a force 5-6 blowing across it, oh and 27 degrees! It´s an instructor´s paradise and we spent the next three days making the most of this incredible venue working on everything from waterstarts, short board tacks, planing carve gybes, duck gybes and even a little forward loop preparation (for later), most nights not getting back to the north til after 9pm! We only just made it back in time on the first day for our superb indian platter at Citrus, constantly ringing John on the way back to move our booking back! Cheers John. Check out the lagoon on this clip, beautiful...


videoWith three days´ hard sailing under our belts, it was time to unwind a bit and Saturday night was the perfect tonic. A slap-up meal was followed by some fairly hardcore alcohol abuse, with a couple of the guys getting back at 7am. Check out some of the photos in the slide at the end...needless to say, Sunday was a bit of a wash-out for windsurfing but everyone needed a break anyway. A special mention must go out to Simon at this point for taking hangovers to the next level, being so ill he even missed out on the free meal at La Mamma on Sunday night, cool.
The following day, Monday, and it was back down south again, this time to be greeted by rainclouds and no wind! Undaunted, we set about getting Robin and James, our two "learners" (although I think they are now way past this level...) back out on the water (they´d already mastered cruising the lagoon in force 5+, James even finding time to pose in front of the local beach beauties- check out his photo!) and, while Simon dozed off the remnants of his man-size hangover, we went through heli-tack techniques while the wind was light. The wind picked up a smidgeon in the afternoon and we hit the lagoon again (Simon had roused himself by this point) to practice our new-found heli-tacking skills for an hour or so before hitting the road back. Before we knew it, the last day had dawned and we decided to stay in the north to see if we could score some wave action. After a leisurely afternoon of sun-worshipping, snorkelling and "car-park windsurfing" the wind kicked in right at the death and we scored an hour of jumping at my favourite spot. Everybody raised the bar on this last day- Emily (who had never sailed in waves before) got straight out in good-sized waves and surfed a beauty back to the beach, which we obviously missed with the camera! Chris also was a newcomer to waves and was dealing with Punta like a seasoned veteran, we even squeezed in an impromptu forward loop session at the end- balls of steel that man! The hangover boy Simon was sailing Punta like a local- great, big floaty jumps off the inside ramps, he was ready for our much-talked-about end-of-clinic forward loop lesson when he landed in shallow water and took a big chunk out of his kneecap and his session ended there! He was the unluckiest man on the trip- he was chafed, poisoned (admittedly by alcohol consumption!), had his kit run over,and now injured, just before he was about to nail his first forward, but we still laughed all the way to the airport together the next day. Top man! Anyway, next time he´s out he´ll sail out of a forward no probs.

Well, all that remained was the last night BBQ and prizegiving (thanks to Exreme Animals Fuerteventura for the prizes) and we could almost hear the fat lady singing already- it was all over in the blink of an eye and a fantastic time was had by all. I would definitely say that everyone´s sailing had visibly improved by the end of the week and, perhaps equally importantly, we had a great time doing it.

A massive special thanks goes out to Jim and Tanya of Puravidaboardriders (http://www.puravidaboardriders.co.uk/)( http://thewaveriderswidow.wordpress.com/) for organising the whole episode- you are stars! Also, a huge thanks to the unsung hero Ian Ross of RB Sails (www.rbsails.com/ross-windsurf) , who did as much, if not more, instruction than I did and was invaluble both on and off the water (as always)- you know where I live, pass by for a cuppa anytime, mate....and of course, a great big thank you to my new sponsors Fanatic/North and Nik Baker for providing me with the pimpest and best kit on the beach, awesome.
Hopefully, this is going to be a regular occurence. I for one would love to do this a couple of times per year so watch this space, it´s gonna be much harder to book in time for the next one.....



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 gibboinfuerte@yahoo.co.uk
See ya in Fuerte?
Stephen.............