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.....

Rising Star!

Not too long ago, about 18 months or so, I had the pleasure of teaching a wee youngster by the name of Alex Mitchell for a week (mainly forwards as I recall). The post is still on my blog in the archive. Not long after, Alex returned, staying in my house with myself and Caroline and I helped push him on towards much more advanced manouevres (flaka, ponch, spock 540 etc). Well, this year I met up with Alex in July down in Sotavento and sailed with him inbetween classes, and was very impressed with his progress since we had last sailed together. He was down there for a full month training and had wind pretty much every day. Anyway, the end result is that he went back to the UK and kicked ass in the freestyle nationals! Well done, Alex. I wish him every success for the future- you´ll never meet a more grounded, friendly young lad and he deserves to be hugely successful.
Check him out here http://www.boardseekermag.com/features/windsurfers/alex-mitchell-144.html

Thursday, 16 September 2010

New Beginnings...


As you may or may not have noticed by the new background on the blog, I am glad to announce that I have now joined the Fanatic/ North/Ion team! I unveiled the new kit (and christened it) during the PuraVidaBoardriders group clinic which finished yesterday and was a huge success. I am absolutely delighted to be a part of the Fanatic set-up and am looking forward very much to the coming year, after having had the most amazing week with my new kit and some of the best students ever. I will be writng more about the clinic (and my new kit) when I have sifted through the million photos we took during last week... for now, check out the new toys, mmmm.





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.............