Friday, 30 December 2011

First time down-the-line...

Got my little mate Hobbsy here for the festive season and we scored a great little sail at El Martillo yesterday. He wants to learn forwards and also get some decent frontside waveriding in as he doesn´t get the conditions much at home. Well, the conditions were ideal for his first attempt- head high in the sets and straight sideshore! He sailed excellent, nice style and will improve as the week progresses looking at the forecast- well done! Today looks like Punta for forwards, then Jim and the posse from Pura Vida get here and the forecast is amazing so fingers crossed for an unforgettable new year windsurf bonanza!!!!!!!!
Check out Hobbsy´s first waveriding experience here....

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Merry Christmas...





Christmas has been and gone- absolutely knackered now having been working in Rock Island Bar every night while the owners are away and SUPing every day. The swell has been small but good fun at El Martillo. Loving my new 8´10 Fanatic Allwave, starting to get the hang of turning it a bit more now, it´s so manoueverable compared to the 10ft board I had previously. Got some decent pics from yesterday and a bit of Gopro footage from Boxing Day (I´ll be making a video eventually with all the footage I get over the next couple of weeks). Check it out below. The wind is coming back big-time in the next couple of days and I´ve got a good friend over with all his "digital media devices" so we should have loads of action to post up very soon.... watch this space. Til then, Merry Christmas!!!!













Thursday, 22 December 2011

Majanicho...



At last some wind at Majanicho! Despite being a "legendary" spot, Majanicho is predominantly a lightwind "float n ride" type of place (better on the SUP normally!) and the last couple of years have been incredibly un-epic there due to super-light winds so I have been searching out alternative, windier places to sail in east/southeast winds. This week, however, we had a real cool session there with pretty strong wind for a change and nice clean, fun-sized waves. Not too busy either, which is quite unusual. I sailed for a good two hours straight and left the water knackered but happy to at last have scored a good blast at what can be one of Fuerte´s best waveriding spots when the wind decides to play ball. Thanks to the injured Victor for these photos...















Thursday, 8 December 2011

Still windy....


And it just keeps coming! The eastwind is still here for another couple of days- it´s 8am and I´m just heading out the door to hopefully score El Martillo again. Swell is perfect 3m, and the wind should be picking up as we speak. Swinging NE on Saturday morning so back to Punta. Wow! I´ve had my new SUP for almost 3 weeks now and haven´t been able to use it as it´s been too windy every day- oh, well....

Monday, 5 December 2011

Pic Of The Bunch- Air Chacho.

We got the wind which was promised on Saturday and got a pretty decent sail in at Punta with mast high waves and 5m sail. Again, we took to the water with the camera (1 hour shifts, me and Victor), and got some cool photos which I am sifting through as we speak- so far, this is my favourite shot, an air chacho, would have been perfect if the sky hadn´t been so grey. Still a great photo though...


Saturday, 3 December 2011

Those easterly breezes...



We got our first run of easterlies yesterday and the day before, which meant that everyone and their dog scrambled to Majanicho. The first day was too light for me so I went SUPing instead, but yesterday was windy so I managed a short session. I had stuff to do in the morning so arrived at 12, just in time to get 20 minutes in the dying wind. Majanicho is pretty much a lightwind riding-only spot (it gets nice and windy there maybe twice every winter), and it tends to blow from early morning til mid-day so I wasn´t too surprised to miss it. Oh, well, good fun nevertheless. Sailed at Punta today on 5m, messy but good crack, and it looks as though the wind is turning east again tomorrow for the rest of the week so it´ll be back to Majanicho or, most likely, out with the SUP again- wicked. Here´s a couple of pics taken from the beach yesterday...

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Fancy some warm water????

If you fancy getting away from it all (with or without the family), I am once again running my hugely successful Easter Clinic in conjunction with Puravida from March 31st 2012. The last two trips have been awesome and places are limited, so if you are interested I suggest you get in touch with Jim at http://www.puravidaboardriders.co.uk/ asap. You can see reports on the previous clinics in older posts in this here blog of mine. In the meantime, check out the promo vid- the windsurfing part was shot a few days ago at Punta. Shorts in November- this could be you at Easter!!!!!




More Windsurfing Videos

Saturday, 26 November 2011

GoPro taka.

Got some half-decent footage from the last couple of days at Punta, the wind was fairly light but great fun on my Fanatic Skate. Check out this taka...




More Windsurfing Videos

Friday, 25 November 2011

A Little Bit Of Action...




Don´t confuse my lack of posting for a lack of activity, I´ve been pretty busy this last while. Had a couple of guys over for tuition and been full-on SUP and windsurfing inbetween. This past week has been windy, although I must admit the forecast has failed to deliver every day and I have been on my 99 Skate and 5.3 at Punta in pretty big waves and lightish winds. Nevertheless, we got a couple of photos, and with wind forecast for the next couple of days I´m
still hoping to get some better ones....





Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Pura Vida!!!!

I recently came across this wicked video of Jim from http://www.puravidaboardriders.co.uk/ sailing a reef break near his home in Wales. Jim is basically the mastermind and driving force behind my Easter Windsurf Clinics, one of the most enthusiastic windsurfers I´ve ever met (and I´ve met quite a few!), and a real nice guy to boot. The passion he has injected into his local windsurfing scene has rekindled the sailing community around there, and is now spreading further afield due to his involvement in many of Britain´s top windsurfing competitions and events.
Anyway, enough trumpet-blowing. I wanted to put his video on here as it encapsulates everything I believe to be the very essence of our beloved sport- a guy out on the ocean, having the time of his life! That to me, is what it´s all about, check out his video- awesome...




More Windsurfing Videos

Monday, 24 October 2011

Six and a half weeks...




No, that´s not the title of a remake movie starring Kim Basinger, it´s the amount of time that has passed pretty much windless over here! Okay, I may have had a couple of days at Punta in September (can´t really remember!), but, basically, while the UK has been being battered by strong winds for the past couple of months, we´ve been becalmed over here. That´s the reason my blog has been awfully quiet (not laziness), I´m always reluctant to post up without pics or video, and even more so when I have nothing to tell.....

Anyway, although there´s been no wind to speak of, it has been epic SUP weather most days and I´ve been out almost every day at different spots along the northshore and scored two incredible sessions at Rocky Point in the biggest waves I´ve been out in to date (on my SUP). Two days ago, I woke up to total glass (again) and headed off along the northtrack to Majanicho. It being a weekend, it was jampacked with paddlers and surfers, so my mate Wieberen and myself went to a spot we´ve looked at a few times but never tried. With some good 3m+ sets coming through, it looked great from the rocks so we decided to have a look. When we paddled out, it was bigger than it looked from the shore (always the case) and there were some semi-dry rocks popping their little heads out in front of the breaking section, despite the reef being about 500m offshore (you can just about make them out behind me in the last photo!). After the first couple of tentative waves, we got into the swing of the place and had an awesome session. Wieberen´s girlfriend is pregnant and could go into labour at any time, so he took his telephone out with him in a waterproof bag, and we used it to take a few pics on the peak. The quality´s not the best as they were taken through the plastic, but you get an idea of what it was like out there in our "secret spot"........

Anyway, looks like there might be some wind on the way so I may be getting the windsurf kit back out in the next couple of days. In the meantime, check out the SUP pics.....



















Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Freestyle Heros?

I got down to Punta early doors yesterday morning, to catch low-tide and try out my new North Heros and Fanatic Skate 100 before anyone else arrived. I´ve struggled to enlist anybody to do photos or video of my new kit up until now so decided to try and video myself.... I wedged my camcorder in the rocks upwind of the flat water section on the inside and tried to guess more or less where I´d be coming in, set it rolling and hoped for the best. Conditions were fantastic- superflat water on the inside (it´s about a foot deep where I´m sailing there) and perfectly powered up on my new 5.3. The sails are really light in the hands yet much more powerful bottom-end to get me up and running, I think I´m going to enjoy these babies this year.
I videoed for 40 minutes then the battery ran out, but I managed to get a few things on there (note: I may have new kit, but I don´t have new tricks, haha)- check out the suicidal snorkellers in the footage; 25 miles of unspoilt coastline along the northshore and they decide the only place to catch octopus is exactly where the one, lone windsurfer is. Funnily enough, they decided to try their luck further downwind after I´d slalomed through them a couple of times....
When I finished with the video camera, I changed boards to my 93 Twin and had an epic sail in the waves. Great for jumping, I landed some nice backies which is good after a pretty bad summer patch where I seemed to have lost most of my jumps, and nice for riding, too, got my takas dialled again- wicked. All in all, a good solid day´s sailing, 4 hours in the water, no injuries and some nice stunts in the bag- mustn´t grumble.
Anyway, here´s the best of the footage I got, enjoy, and check out the swimmers- crazy!!!!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Is it 2012 already?





It is for me! After almost a month of travelling around and mainly partying (naughty), I finally arrived back on Fuerte with my new 2012 kit. It looks amazing and sails even better. I did a four-day clinic in Sotavento with Mark and Sidoney and put the new 100 Skate through it´s paces and was superhappy with it- very quick and, with more volume in the tail and under the straps than its predecessor, very forgiving in freestyle manouevres, making those double rotations that bit easier. It was also my first time out on the new four-batten North Heros. As promised they are much more powerful bottom-end than the Ices I used last year and incredibly light in the hands, perfect for a heavier sailor like myself who sails alot in marginal conditions. All in all, I couldn´t be happier with my new kit and the clinic was a massive success with both Mark and Sidoney planing around in both straps for the first time ever! Well done to you both, there´s a whole new world of fun waiting for you now...
Yesterday I got my new 93 Twin out at Punta for the first time and am equally happy with that new toy. The extra volume is ideal for me (last year I had the 86 which was great when the wind was up but I struggled a bit in lighter winds and often reverted to my freestyle board), and it still turns great on the wave. These new multi-fin boards really do sail like smaller boards than their volume suggests and make it possible to have a floatier board which can still be thrown around in waves- I can´t wait to get it out at El Martillo this autumn....

Monday, 8 August 2011

Accidental Video.

Just so you know, I´m now selling all my 2011 kit. If anyone is interested, drop me an email and I´ll give you the prices.I have: Fanatic 100 Skate TE.Fanatic 86 Twin TE.North Sails Ice 5.7/5.3/4.7.


Had a great day teaching forwards at Flag yesterday- first time I´ve sailed there for ages as I normally steer clear now due to the number of out-of-control k***surfers who have pretty much ruined the spot for everyone, themselves included. Anyway, managed to slalom through the eedjits and get a few decent jumps and got my mate Paul looping onto his back (albeit without the board!)- one more session and he´ll be sailing away, no sweat.


Also, check out this random bit of video from my last day at Punta, caught by accident on Oisin´s GoPro as he was getting in the water...isn´t Punta beautiful, I love it.

video

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Low-tide...



At last, I scored a low-tide freestyle/wave session at Punta! After a windy, but busy summer, Ifinally had time to roll down the northtrack and arrive at Punta alone to coincide with my favourite tide-time. Magical- the wind seemed to freshen as I put my toe in the water, and after a few runs alone to "warm up" (it´s 25 degrees), I was joined by two friends and had probably my most fun session of the entire summer so far.


My sailing finally seems to be coming back together after my long lay-off due to injury and a full summer spent coaching- I nailed some pretty high shakas, nice backloops, forwards, double flakas, flakas on the wave, and a couple of takas amongst other things. I had a bit of a smile on my face afterwards as I have had a disappointing summer from a sailing-level point of view (I have been sailing pretty average to poor mostly). It was nice to sail a bit more like I was last year again, pity it took all summer, haha.


Anyway, off to Flag today to teach port-tack forwards with someone who has an axe to grind with the forward loop from last year- I´ll keep you posted...

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Still Windy...



I´ve had alot of sailing this summer, albeit mainly in a teaching role, so it was good to get out the last few days and just freesail for a bit. Sunday was especially good- it´s been a long time since I´ve sailed at Glass with so much wind, and there was a small wave to ride aswell which made it doubly fun. A bit hairy out there, especially for myself, Oisin and Will, who were looking for ramps to jump on the way out (awesome ponch conditions!) and had to dodge the out-of-control hordes who were congregating at the corner of the reef. Great fun, thanks to Jerry Bligh for these couple of shots taken from the point...

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Taka and Vulcan sequences.

My good friend Chuckster took about 5000 photos during a recent clinic (report to follow very soon, as soon as Phil has written it, hint hint), and he spent hours and hours photoshopping these two sequences for me while he really should have been working. Check out his backloop sequence at the bottom. Thanks Chucky...






Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Get High Or Die II- The Sequel!!!!!!!!!





Wow, it´s been a hectic month! I´ve had clinics every day since the start of July so haven´t had any time at all to post on my blog- I apologise sincerely(ish). Over the next week or so, I will try to catch up on all the stuff I´ve been up to in July with pics etc, but first let me tell you about my comp in Punta- the Get High Or Die II.




After last year´s success everyone was psyched to do another one so we organised it last May and have been waiting for a windy weekend ever since!!!!! After the longest waiting period in competition history, the wind finally arrived on a Saturday and it was a goer!!!! With a full complement of 30 plus riders, this year´s event took on a truly international flavour when Irish windsurfing champion/legend Oisin Van Gelderen booked a last minute flight to join in the festivities.


Arriving at Punta early in the morning, conditions looked pretty awesome already as Oisin and myself set up the competiton area and when the first heat hit the water it was immediately obvious that the level at Punta has improved dramatically from the last event with everyone boosting huge airs. It turned into a stalled forward frenzy as friends faced each other in heats determined to out-stall each other. Notable performers were Machel, Jaume, Ilya and, of course Yannick with his clean doubles. Others who impressed were diminutive Victor Moncloa who wowed the spectators with a huge variety of cleanly-landed aerial moves, Paul O´Loughlin who sails twice a year but always goes BIG, Oisin with some pretty close double attempts and Ben (captain cannonball) with huge pushies and. of course, fantastic crashes.


The wind stayed with us all day and we manged to complete a full round of competition plus three expression sessions. The idea of the Get High is to bring together all the "local" riders and get them to push their own personal limits and also, and perhaps even more importantly, to have a real fun day together and I think we achieved this once again- the atmosphere was fantastic all day (and night) long.
When we finally wrapped up the flags at 6.30 it was off to the U Turn for the BBQ and prizegiving where the carnival atmosphere continued.... the winners were as follows:
WAVE COMP.

1st place Yannick Anton

2nd place Ilya Escario

3rd place Jaume Coll


EXPRESSION SESSION.

Most radical air Yannick Anton (double forward)

Highest air Victor Moncloa (back loop)

Sickest wipeout Ben Oliver (double pushloop to backsplat to semi-unconsciousness)

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who made this event possible; Extreme Animals for the amazing event T Shirts (and their patience). Wilagre Clothing for their prize donations. Gilbert Bara for the photography. Big Pieter for the car stickers that I see everywhere on the island now. The legendary Eric Gibson for the unique trophies. Bouke and Peggy for the use of the U Turn for the prizegiving. Captain Cannonball for motivating the lazy locals, and everyone who took part and made it what it was supposed to be- a fun day with friends....thank you all, til next year.

I struggled a little for decent video footage, most of the best sfuff (doubles, Ben´s wipeout etc) were missed but I stuck it all together anyway so you can get an idea of the good times we had that day. Enjoy...

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

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



Well, it all happened on Saturday- we finally (after a record-breaking wait of 18 months) ran the "2010" Get High Or Die comp in Punta! It went off!!!! I will write a report when I get the video done, in the meantime you can check out the photos of the event here... www.picasaweb.google.com/100420044561704498288 .

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

And so it begins...

Summer is officially here! The wind has kicked in properly, we´ve had some outstanding sailing this last week all over the north of the island and it looks set to continue for the foreseeable future. Good news for Patricia, who is here for a few weeks and is spending a week with me for an "introduction to wavesailing"! It´s been quite an introduction so far, logo-high Punta on 4.7 and mast-high Puerto Lajas down-the-line heaven on 4.2! She has dealt with everything the conditions have thrown at her so far (taking a day off today because of bleeding hands, though) and her confidence in big waves has improved no end. No pictures, I´m afraid, as I´ve been right by her side the whole time, but I´ll try and get some in the next few days.
With the forecast looking pretty epic for Punta at the weekend, there´s a good chance I may hold the Get High Or Die II on Saturday or Sunday, so be prepared for the carnage which will certainly ensue... check out the vid of last year´s event and watch this space.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Rest n Recuperation.

It´s been fairly windless since my last post (there were a couple of half-decent days), which is good news for my ongoing shoulder injury. The past week has been glorious weather, calm and hot, and there has been a great swell, quite unusual for this time of year. I´ve been out on the SUP every day this week in some fanatastic conditions at Majanicho and Rocky Point. The wind is supposed to pick up now so I think it´s time to hang up the SUP for summer. On the last day of no wind, I tried to do some video by balancing the camera on the dashboard while I was out and hoping it caught some of the rides- the results were not too bad, although the quality is poor as we were quite far out and I had to zoom on maximum and guess where I´d be. It was probably the worst day of the week, pretty choppy and a bit of wind, and I felt a bit out of control but here´s the footage...

.....wicked fun. Looks like I should be getting some windsurfing again soon, pray the shoulder holds out...

Friday, 20 May 2011

Vulcanville!
















Two weeks ago (yeah, two weeks before I got the chance to sit down and write it up on my computer, what a slacker) I spent a few days with Ville from sunny Finland! He can only sail there for 6 months of the year, due to the ice and lack of sunlight, so he came over to our warmer climes to try and crack the vulcan and open the door to more freestyle moves. He has struggled with the manouevre for quite a while now so the challenge was to re-program him, get rid of his old (bad)habits, and send him on his way to vulcan-success!


As usual, the wind didn´t want to play along with our finely-laid plans and we ended up having only one real good vulcan-training session from the four days we had together (very atypical for the time of year, especially down in Sotavento). However, we made great progress in that one day and he gave it 110% all day so that, by twilight, his technique had changed drastically and he was starting to slide instead of the magnificent head-plants he was wooing us with earlier.
He got better and better as the day went on until fatigue stopped play, and we headed home safe in the knowledge that he would be sailing out of his first vulcan the very next day........
.....unless, of course we arrived at Centre 2 and there were head-high waves rolling in along the entire length of the beach, which is (obviously) precisely what happened. Yep, conditions were totally un-ideal for vulcans, but, fortunately, they proved perfect for an introduction to wavesailing- perfect for learning to bottom turn and cutback, something which Ville admits he was leaving for the distant future. In the end, despite the disappointment of not finishing our vulcan project, he had a great sail as we blasted along waves together, and probably learnt as much on this day as any other. He was grinning like a cheshire cat when we finally trudged back to the centre to give his gear back after a four-hour waveathon!

He has since reported (from tropical Finland) that he is now right on the verge of sailing away from his first vulcan!

I managed to get a couple of stunts in myself on the last day, before my shoulder pain made sailing impossible again. I´m now planning to take a total break until my next classes in June to give the arm a chance to recover properly, instead of sailing around injured and under- achieving big-time. Hopefully, a few weeks of rest (and SUP) will sort it out and I may still be able to salvage something from this year freesailing-wise. Here are a couple of pics from the Sunday, taken by the lovely Kati...



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