My SUP revolution

Over the last few years I have got more and more into SUP, first for getting the hang of Surfing before progressing to a performance SUP surf board that performs really well in the waves but still catches everything!  Then I moved onto using a SUP for general exploring, adventures and downwinders, but this weekend  I started using my SUP as a form of transport, for which my new RED PADDLE CO 12’6 race board has made it all possible.

SUP
SUP really opens up a lot of possibilities, for both surfing and exploration you won’t really get it until you try it, but trust me it’s AWESOME.  To learn more check out SUPboarder paddle board magazine which does a good job of showing what is possible on a SUP.

I’ve always liked the idea of a race board, but the size has put me off, however with the inflatable race board I can have a fast exploration board that I can take anywhere in its handy backpack, so if I go to the beach and the surfs not great I can just pump up the red air race and get some paddling time.

Sunday was a fun day for SUP in Plymouth – scoring sunshine and fun waves at Whitsand bay followed by a truly epic bacon and brie baguette at the cliff top café was enough to keep me smiling through this week back in the office, but it’s what I achieved after my surf that really made my weekend.  Looking out to sea I suddenly thought of a cool Sunday evening challenge – maybe I should paddle board home from Whitsand across Plymouth sound and into the barbican to make the most of the amazing day…I quickly pumped up the red air 12’6 and set off home – hoping I would make it before dark.

The 12’6 cruised really well (considering its full of air) across the glassy water as the sun set, I grabbed a few pictures, but the I phone doesn’t really do it justice – an absolutely spectacular and peaceful journey home – beats queuing for the Torpoint ferry! I couldn’t really notice a difference in the 12’6 races performance vs. a hard race board, which I Was really pleased with.

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Best part had to be paddling right into the heart of the barbican area, which was alive with loads of Sunday evening live music.  I simply hopped onto the quay wall, rolled up my SUP put it in its amazing back pack and walked through town home.
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To sum up, a great experience and now I’m planning some more adventures – perhaps Scilly islands by foot or cross to France and cruise the French canals….  Now, more than ever the possibilities are endless on your SUP!

Happy paddling.

Festive Looping

I’m hoping the worst of the winter is now past – days are getting longer so life is good.

Christmas involved a fair amount of paddleboarding around the Essex marshes with my dad – we got some awesome SUP conditions.

SUP UK Xmas Day SUPboardermag.com

For a bit of a change we hit Afan in wales for some mountain biking after Christmas, and finally yesterday we got out for a windsurf at Daymer Bay in Cornwall (UK). Some great conditions and loads of people out. I managed to land 3 back loops on port tack in a row, which for me is pretty unusual! That helped make the day really good, but more so was the fact that by just going to the beach we bumped into loads of good friends and had a great post Christmas catch up. One of the best things about SUP and Windsurfing is the friends you make from it – priceless

On a final note if you want to see a  great new UK based stand up paddleboarding ( SUP ) magazine check out SUPboardermag.com  Its been hard being a super keen Paddleboarder in the UK SUP scene without a good online magazine to watch SUP videos on, but this is really filling that void. Happy days.

Its been a great 2012 and I am looking forward to an even better 2013 – Happy NEW YEAR everyone!

A picture paints a thousand words.

Been a busy bee for a while now, and since Julia Bought a niiiice new camera, heres the last 6 weeks in pictures…SUP surfing Whitsands Bay, Windsurfing Torpoint. Happy days.

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Torpoint Easter Video!

Here’s the video from the amazing Easter Bank holiday freestyle session

WILL ROGERS | FREESTYLE WINDSURFING | TORPOINT from Will Rogers on Vimeo.

Styling with the Easter Bunnies

I think most of the South and South West got an easter treat this weekend, with full power SW winds…here’s my experience

Having had 2 fun days on the SUP riding Polzeath with Reuben Ellis (check out his sick vid here.…) , I decided to stay local and get some UKWA freestyle tour training in…. so I smashed it at torpoint for 5 hours.  Absolutely broken now, but after several weeks without a solid freestyle session it feels goooooood!  Moves coming on nicely, flat water shakas, burners and loads more spinney shizzle.  Completely dialled into the Edges now, loving them.

Heres some Go Pro screen shots from the action:

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Hopefully the breeze will stay for the same again tomorrow in the SW….then who knows, but its shaping up to be an awesome summer!!!!

 

New Look Boards Annual

Just received the new boards mag through the post – its a brilliant.  loads of interesting articles about Kit, travel and getting into windsurfing.  Something for everyone!  PLUS with about 180 pages of quality writing its a must have! Fantastic Coffee table reading!

Plus its got my 5 page article on HOW to EURO ROAD TRIP – all ready for the summer.  Get involved and buy one!

Full power Kernow

Glorious sunshine, awesome swell and easterly winds were on the cards for this weekend, i decided to go for the wind and headed far west for more wind, with the comforting thought that there would be awesome waves to play in if the wind didnt show.  I wanted to fully smash the weekend, surf and sail as much as possible, because for the first week of summer im off selling stuff with work in the North East and Scotland, so no after work sessions for me this week.  I did a pretty good job, im writing this ready for bed at half 8 on Sunday evening.

SATURDAY

There was a fair ammount of FOMO on the drive down early Sat, knowing that bigbury can deliver some cracking thermal enhancement on a warm easterly, but the forecast was a bit iffy and it look sure thing in Cornwall for Praa / Mazza.  Only draw back was the BIIIIG spring tides….

Arrived at 9am at Praa to see Debbie Kennedy already out. Conditions were good on the falling tide so jumped in on 4.7, but unfortunately after just 3 or 4 waves, conditions deteriorated in terms of both wind and waves.  Beautiful spot and punchy wave that I was struggling with….all good practice though!

Julia got a few snaps, but the conditions (and my performance) didnt really give her much chance…

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Decided I would give Mazza ago, even though I knew the waves were not there, there was still wind, so worth a try – nice 15-20 knots was blowing so straight out on the Flare 91 and Edge 5.2 for a session perfect for Shaka practice and switch stance on the way in.  Lasted a few hours before the thermally enhanced wind dropped off.  Did loads of testing of the K4 ‘Bubble’ Freestyle fin in different sizes  as well as a new improved materials to see the performance differences. Plenty of people out enjoying the conditions, inclucing Scott Perry and Ric Cleworth – good to see ric loving the conditions on his first day living in Cornwall, landed his first 1 handed shaka.  Bit disappointing compared to the forecast, but all good anyway.  No photos im afraid, was gona get the go pro out but the card was full up – oops.

After a Mocha in the sun, chatting vans and other general rubbish I cruised up to Gwithian car park to see what the surf was looking like – jumped straight in and had a nice session under the cliff out of the wind before going down to Godrevy and surfing some nicely shaped waves due to the strong offshore breeze. First session out on a full set of K4 Sup fins, which worked AMAZINGLY, loads of grip and drive just what you need on a sup – I set up the Starboard 7’11 with an 18 stubby and 12cm Carves in the sides. Some nice shots below by Jules.  Was in bed by 9 in the van.  Amazing day!

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Smacking it into a floater.ImageK4’s on show!

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I did’nt make this – close though – need to work on the paddle switching shizzle..

SUNDAY

Up early for the perfect breakfast – Egg and Bacon roll + cup of tea in the Gwithian Car Park before a quick dip.  Great to start with, buut the quick out going tide seemed to muck up the waves after a few hours.  Started to get windy so I got twitchy – checked Windsurf Plymouth for any Bigbury eye balls, but looked light, so headed to Maza to be greeted with solid 20 knots.  Out again on the freestyle kit, but it only lasted about 30 mins.  Still better than nothing.  Topped off with a ice cream YUM.  Back to Gwithian as I wanted to replicate the evening before session under the cliff, but arrived and the swell was a lot smaller.  Got back on the road with a plan to head to Watergate or elsewhere, but bottled it as I decided I had surfed enough for 1 weekend.  All in all a complete cracker, loads of water time and a tan as well!

Sunday Morning driving the Starboard 7’11 with NEW K4 set up into a bottom turn- Bootiful!

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New Sponsors!

I’m really pleased to announce support from Reactive Watersports, Plymouth and Starboard / Tushingham UK .

Over the past months i’ve been testing loads of kit and found what I really like is developed just down the road!  I’m going to be sailing the Tushingham Edge, a superb freestyle and wave sail.  Its an all new design from Ken Black and doesn’t disappoint – it even looks like a rubix cube !

Along with the Edge, I will be riding the  Starboard Flare 91 and carrying on my other support from K4 fins and Spartan wetsuits.  Im super stoked with my gear set up now and have already been improving loads on it during some winter sessions. I’m really looking forward to the 2012 freestyle and wave series!

Reactive and everyone at Tushy are super helpful and i’m looking forward to helping them spread the windsurfing love as much as I can.  I’m hoping to be able to help with Demo-ing some kit at the beaches around the UK too, so follow Windsurfing Plymouth and Reactive Facebook to see where I/the gear will be.  Since headquarters are so close, i’m also really looking forward to being able to give my continual feedback to the sails and masts, to refine the design even more!

Starboard and Red Paddle SUPs are also distributed by Tushingham, and I have one of the Inflatable Red Paddle Boards in the back of the van already, which comes in handy for a river paddle wherever I am.  I’ve also had some great fun on the Starboard 7’11  recently, putting the new K4 SUP fins set up through its paces in some chunky cornish waves!

Also heres a sneak peek of the 7’7 x 27 Zane Pro Edition SUP – I WANT!

Photos by Julia Slack

Mega winter…

Plenty of winter action going on at the moment, its surprisingly mild and super windy in the UK ( well the SW…) – loving it.  Been keeping local most of the time and scoring some nice sessions at Bigbury and Torpoint, with a week of epic swell also for some SUP surfing.  Thats been working well with house work (relaying patios and making a vegi patch!!) Getting keen on the UKWA freestyle tour now so investing in some freestyle hours on the new kit (more on that soon…)

I have been doing a fair bit of writing recently for the windsurfing mags, including my Boards.mpora.com columns…. check them out here and here

One memorable session recently was Bigbury several weeks back, where I tried out the new K4 stubbies – great fun.  Its awesome to be able to play around with fins – it makes an incredible difference! K4 have made it affordable to do so on multi fin boards, so get involved!  I have even been playing around with them on my SUP’s – heres a 16 stubbie on my 7’11 SUP from a Droskyn session.

A few shots from Julia of me on the new tushingham edge at Bgbury in late Jan, plus one from the first after work Whitsands session when we got a decent south coast swell – Whitsands on it day is AMAZING!

SUPalicious!

Just been having a look through some shots of last year and it made me look forward to the spring and summer of this year, evening windsurfs and SUP sessions.  So far we have escaped any bitterly cold conditions, and its nice to know its only 2 months till March and light evenings!  Put this little collection of BSUPA images together last night, and its motivated me to now go off to paddle around the harbour in the dark on the SUP just to get a quick bit of exercise and make use of the unusually warm january evenings….happy days.

BSUPA SURF NATIONALS OCTOBER 2011

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