Saturday, December 11, 2010

What’s on a Windsurfer’s letter to Santa this year?

With the onset of winter and with Christmas now just 2 weeks away it is time to have a look at the top things on a windsurfer’s letter to Santa this year. If you have a windsurfing crazed husband, wife, girlfriend, son, boyfriend, daughter or even granddad then look no further you’ll be sure to find something here that will fill them with Christmas cheer even as they gaze out the frosted window praying for Spring to arrive. If you are the crazed windsurfer yourself why not send your loved ones this link and keep your fingers crossed!

1) O'Neill Mutant Cold Water Booties
It is getting rather cold in many northern parts and layers of neoprene are always welcomed around Christmas and New Year even if like me you manage to escape the deepest an darkest days of winter by keeping near the equator. For those in the coldest regions these new booties from O’Neil are sure to keep your loved one a little warmer this winter time. With their 6/5/4mm thickness they offer a nice balance of warmth and flexibility for cold water use. The internal split-toe feature gives you better control over your board, while the sealed seams keep cold water out. The entire boot is lined with poly fleece which feels great and wicks moisture from your skin. Also features a top velcro closure to ratchet down a great fit. Sounds good to me! Available from and priced at $64.95 these are a fantastic stocking filler.

2) The World Kite and Windsurf Guide
This the first comprehensive spot guide to the kite and windsurfing regions of the world! Introducing almost 100 regions in nine continental chapters and featuring over 1,200 of the world's best spots it will have the wind enthusiast reading for hours and they’ll probably come up with some interesting family travel plans for 2011 for all the family. Available from and priced at 45 Euros.

3) Windsurfing The Movie II DVD
Christmas is traditionally a time to sit together as a family and watch festive movies, well what could be better than a Christmas movie from Poor Boys Productions? Their second instalment of their windsurfing journey is white hot right now and while it is not your traditional seasonal flick watching Levi and friends tear it up is sure to get the Christmas cheer flowing. Available from and priced 29.95 USD this is an ideal stocking filler.

4) Quatro Quad LS 2011
There are wave boards and then there are Quatros. If you want your loved one to take their wave sailing to the next level next year they’ll need the right tools for the job. Levi Siver's signature Quad wave board the Quad LS is judged by many as today’s best wave board. The Quad LS apparently represents Levi dream of an ideal wave board for all conditions. If you have seen him sail recently you’ll probably agree that he is the King of Ho’okipa so despite the hefty price tag and the difficult wrapping job (easier if you leave it in the box) it is for sure money well spent. Priced from 1800 USD for more information check out the Quatro website at

5) A New Fin or 4 from Black Project Fins
With the explosion of multi-fin’d boards there are endless opportunities to try out new set ups and 2011 is going to be a year of innovation, so why not get your wave starved loved one a set of fins so that they’ll be ahead of the game and be able to start dreaming about warmer spring time waves. Even for those lucky enough to be somewhere with warm big waves at this time of year they’ll appreciate that extra grip which might just save them that big swim. This little stocking filler comes with its a protective foam stocking of its own and is available from priced from 62USD.

6) A Plane Ticket to Cape Town, South Africa
It is true that the SAD disorder affects 8/10 windsurfers around this time of the year which is far higher than in the normal population. Seasonal Affective Disorder or winter depression sets in when the days get shorter and the potential for sailing falls. There is one way to prevent the onset of this and that is to get away from the cold and dark days so why not treat your special someone to a plane ticket to the Southern Hemisphere this winter and Cape Town could be the perfect opportunity, the water is still rather cool at this time of the year but the wind and waves are ripping right now and the seasonally depressed windsurfer in question will have a big smile on his or her face. Prices will depend on your current location, American Airlines or BA would be a good place to start.

7) PX Dominator Environmentally Friendly Board Shorts from Billabong
So these gifts ideas have had a rather cold water feel to them so far, but as much as many of us like to forget there will be those amongst us spending the holiday period on a sunny beach and with all those heavy water rinsing that they have been getting recently it is probably time for a new pair of boardies. These specific shorts from Billabong are leading the way with their environmentally friendly construction made from unwanted disposed textiles. Yep, your read right, that dirty old flannel that they were wearing to death last winter is now a pair of boardies and that has to be good for everyone. Available for various retailers and priced at around 80 USD.

8) F-Hot Go-Pro Carbon Mast Mount
It seems that every windsurfer out their worth his or her salt was experimenting with Go-Pro cameras in 2010 and I know that I am not the only one to have received one as a gift for my birthday! One problem I experienced was that the mounts from Go-Pro were not always up to the job. Step in F-Hot who in conjunctions with Dave White and a number of top windsurfers produced the Carbon Go-Pro Mast Mount which clips directly onto the mast without the need to cut the fabric and even turns to film on each tack, the end result is more action and less editing all at the perfect angle. This is a total must for all Go-Pro enthusiasts. For those looking for a cheaper option they have just also made a fibreglass version. Contact Steve at F-Hot on for more information.

9) Trickpack
The Trickpak combines both the Trickionay Book and the Trickionary DVD. Together these form the ultimate windsurfing bible, which I guess is fitting for this the most religious part of the year! I had the pleasure of reading the book last Christmas while visiting my brother in the UK, I did try to steal it but the sensors picked that up at the door upon leaving. Even if your windsurfer is a self proclaimed pro then there is still going to be something for them. The three double layer DVDs come packed with over 400 minutes of video which document over 150 moves while the accompanying book is stuffed full with step-by-step how to guides from the basics to advanced moves including 80 pages of wave technique written by John Skye and Victor Fernandez. Available from for a very reasonable 79.90 Euros.

10) The One Thing They Really Want
Wind and and warm waves! Soo keep your fingers crossed and hope that a warm front comes over, that the wind blows and that magically perfect waves arrive just on cue.

So there you have it, 10 gift ideas that will make the windsurfer in your life know just how loved he or she is at this special time of the year.

More to follow…

Monday, November 22, 2010

Kauli's Quad - The Man Himself Explains All

It is amazing that how much a picture of or a few words from Kauli can create a stir, my post "Kauli's Odd Looking Quad'' commenting on a single picture snapped by JC in Cabo Verde is so far the most read post on this blog since it's creation.

While people are rushing out to buy the latest 2011 gear manufacturers are already looking towards 2012 designs and I wonder if we'll all be riding boards like this is 12 months time?

Enlarged view of the boards that have caused such a stir!

John Skye managed to ask Kauli a few questions about his latest quad designs.

"I managed to track Kauli down and ask him what the deal was with his funky tailed boards. He says the winger keeps the tail width narrow and allows him to really turn the board off the tail when he needs to get vertical. The swallow tail he said was to keep some drive through the tail, which has a lot of rocker. For me Kauli is the master of innovation. He is thinking so far ahead of everyone and has been since I first met him nearly 10 years ago. Even then he was experimenting with really short boards and whilst people laughed at them, see if you can find any board over 8'0 now! He had an off hand comment at the beach the other day that he couldn't sleep at all because he thought of something new to try... Who knows what it is, but if it works, expect the world to be following in his footsteps shortly!"

So there you have it sounds interesting. Thanks to John for passing on these comments.

More to follow...

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Speed World Cup - The Heat is ON!

Well it all comes down to the final leg in France, with the 2010 title being chased by Bjorn Dunkerbeck, Anders Bringdal and UK's Martyn Oiger.

Martyn is currentky set to win the 2010 title but Anders is pushing hard and Bjorn is not far behind and is currently leading this event.

The green flag has been raised so we'll know within a couple of hours who will be crowed 2010 Speed World Champion. Fingers crossed for a British triumph.

Martyn Oiger, Speed World Cup, France 2010. Martyn is sponsored by Hot Sails Maui, Starboard and Black Project Fins.
More to follow...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

NO PWA Power NO Excuse

OK, so I have been looking forward to watching LIVE video and reading the TICKER on the PWA site during the event but all we seem to be getting is the excuse "Just like the past few days, there's no power or internet connection at Curral Jaoul" which to me is rather a poor excuse! Did noboddy think that maybe just maybe they would have to move location, could they not get a gererator, could they not have a mobile phone link so that the ticker at least could be updated from the main base. All seems a little odd to me! I bet there are other frustrated fans out there and that is a real shame.

For those who don't know what this is, it makes power! Answers on a postcard to the PWA!

More to follow...

Mid 1980's Quad – The Missing Link Between Windsurfing & High Fashion?

I am not a particular follower of fashion. Or so I thought. On reflection it seems that we are all a product of the fashion industry. Take my current getup as example A: I am wearing my usual uniform of cutoff cargo shorts and a faded t-shirt – a look that my wife, who is a religious Vogue devotee claims is very on trend. Apparently there is something of a nineties revival happening in the fashion industry at the moment. Having chosen today’s outfit based solely on what was clean and close when I emerged from the shower, rather than what deemed “in” by fashion editors, I am reminded of the trickle down effect. If design houses like Burberry and Prada hadn’t decided that the mimimalism of the nineties was due for a comeback, would I be wearing something different? Are my Old Navy shorts simply an economic alternative to what was seen on the fall/winter runways. Probably. This is where I admit that my clothes (and yours) were chosen for me. The conclusion: we are all a product of current (and past) trends in the fashion industry. It might sound like something from the former Soviet Union or Orwell’s 1984, but it is the fashion designers and the editors who have first glance at their creations who decide what we wear, how and when we wear it and how much we pay for it. If you can get it on the high street, rest assured that there is a far more expensive original floating around on Bond Street or in Harrods. Unless you eschew clothing altogether; or you are a designer yourself, you can thank the Matthew Williamsons and Anna Wintours of the world for whatever “look” you are currently sporting.
1980's fashion!
Fanatic 2011 or is it 1985?

So how does this relate to windsurfing? Have you looked at a magazine lately? The 2011 sails, boards and related paraphernalia seem to have gone back to the flouro colors that we all remember from the 80’s. It looks like Klepper are making a belated comeback. It is not just about colour; even some wave boards are starting to mirror their mid-80’s relatives with wide points moving forward and asymmetric board and fin combinations starting to rock the traditional boat once more. Is it just me, or has Video Killed the Radio Star been on repeat in the Fanatic design studio for the past year? They might just be onto something at Fanatic…after all, the era of excess is when people made money, took risks and lived large…what could be more fitting for board design than a throwback to the energetic 80’s? Take a look at this picture sent to me by Chris Jackson who made boards in the UK during the 80’s (and is getting back into the industry, but more of that cycle later).

Doesn't look that different to Kauli's latest designs! Although not so sure about those clear plastic fins.

While quads didn’t catch on 25 years ago, perhaps because Kauli wasn’t around to give the trend validity, some designers were way ahead of the game, or perhaps just at a different part of the cycle. Now that production techniques, equipment and sailors themselves have improved, it is interesting to see how design concepts come in and go out like the tides. These waves of creative destruction, a phrase coined by economist Shumpter, encourage producers to seek out new products and new companies try to exploit new market niches, those companies that do not innovate are left in the wilderness as new brighter and spunkier ones start to strut their stuff. By following the trends set by riders in Hawaii, Australia, South Africa or even Cornwall (which seems to be going through its own 80's revival in the industry with a number of innovators starting to get noticed), the industry is constantly evolving. While new designs are not always  better than their predecessors, over time mistakes are ironed out and we all win. 

More to follow...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

PWA Cabo Verde – First Action

The final PWA event of the year finally got going at 10.57 local time although it must be rather a frustrating day for all but one of the competitors as they wait for their chance to shine in the long man on man 30 minute heats. Thomas Traversa must be feeling rather happy with life after progressing in Heat #1, now he can sit back and relax as the others struggle to get enough wind to complete heats, while Sorlut must be wondering whether his contest is already over as it looks unlikely that the double elimination will ever get off the ground.

It is easy to see why Thomas Traversa made it through his heat, he's been enjoying the light winds, although that is not surprising his listed weight on his PWA profile is 61kg!

Heat #2 was on the water with Angulo leading Voget when the conditions worsened and the heat was cancelled. They’ll now have to stay on full alert on a short holding period until their heat is run. Those further down the order of play sailors can relax, not quite as much as Traversa but with some confidence that they will not be needed today.

More to follow…

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kauli's Odd Looking Quad

I have been following the PWA Cabo Verde event closely. I have teamed up with Skyeboy to bring you some snippets which are posted on which you might want to check out. But my post is not about that but about Kauli's interesting looking quads. Check out this picture from yesterday.

Pic Carter/PWA

Here is the enlarged version, you can clearly see the shape.

Fins are a long way forward with a strange looking tail shape, forward fins are very close to the rail. Looks like the two back fins are quite a bit bigger than the front which look like big thrusters.

I will see if I can find out some more info.

More to follow...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Speed World Cup Preview - Port Saint-Louis

You would be forgiven for thinking that the PWA Cabo Verde event is the only windsurfing contest this week but just as things are starting to heat up on the desert island (and I can’t wait to see the live video) the best and most dedicated speed sailors are making their way to the south of France to rather less glamorous industrialal town and port annex of Marseille at the mouth of the River Rhône.

The Speed World Cup which started the season back in April with the F2 Gruissan Speedweek (Gruissan France) and has taken in ranking events in France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the UK before returning to France for the final 2010 showdown which will decide who finishes the year as the world’s #1 ranked speed sailor. While GPS tracks have increased in popularity with sailors competing virtually with each other across continents it is always great to get people together and tackle the same conditions and push each other forward in more traditional competition.

The rankings are currently being led by Anders Bjorkqvist SWE with Steven Flanagan IRL not far behind. Bjorn Dunkerbeck SUI is currently ranked in 8th and I will be interested to see if he makes the journey south. With a weighting of 3.5 this event proves to be decisive and the 5000 Euro prize fund should help to temp a few more of Europe’s fastest sailors who want to end the year with a little bonus going into the expensive Christmas period.

My man on the inside Martyn Oiger currently ranked 14th will be reporting from the event. He has been training hard and after a 3rd place finish at the last event in Weymouth he is poised to challenge for the title and improve his ranking. The wind report looks good for the event which runs from the 16th through to 21st of November in the town of Port Saint-Louis, France.

Not much so far on the event website but I believe that tracks will be posted when the event kicks off.

More to follow…

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wanna Go FASTER - The Art of Speed Sailing

I certainly do! I have now competed in a couple of speed events in Maui. I even made the trip to Molokai to check out a potential speed course protected by a shallow reef but fast speeds remain extremely elusive with my best 100m speed of 33.7 knots which I set back in August. Now back in Bahrain and with the desire to record my first open water 40 knots I decided to enlist the help of a couple of friends more familar with the art of speed sailing and asked them to give me their top secrets to going fast.

Check out my full article on Wanna Go FASTER - The Art of Speed Sailing

Deep off the wind is fast but remember that you’ll need to have plenty of power, so rig big, very big. This image was generated using a real GPS speed track, the further the green line from the centre the faster the sailor was going. But be warned, go too far off the wind and your speeds will drop dramatically.

More to follow...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Weymouth International Speed Week 2010

While Weymouth turned out to be not so windy, Martyn Ogier's account of the week's action is well worth a read especially as he explains the complicated world of international speedsailing!

"The weather forecast leading up to the event was about as bad as it could be, NO WIND! As the week edged closer the forecast started to look better with a slight possibility of some light winds during the week."

Read the full article on the Black Project Fins website:

Weymouth International Speed Week 2010

More to follow...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

You Can Race!

This year my bro Andy decided that it was time to step forward and throw his wetsuit into the competitive windsurf scene for the first time and as the UK 2010 slalom season draws to a close I thought that it was about time to ask him a few questions.

Cold water training!

Check out the full article here:

 “…if you can sail out and back; then you can race!”


More to follow...

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Sunset Sessions

I knew that it was windy but didn't think that I would make it back in time for a session. We are so close to the equator that the days are quite short and with it light soon after 5am sunset today was 5:07pm. After rushing home I threw my gear in the back and rushed to the beach - so fast in fact that my gear fell out the back of the car, twice! I arrived at the beach, everyone was packing up but I quickly rigged my 5.6 and dashed out (the Bolt is proving to be really great here). The sun was just setting with the sky golden it was about as beautiful as Bahrain gets! Soon is was dark but I could just about see where I was going to stayed out for a while and had fun splashing around during my freestyle practice. Having not expected to get out on the water today I was super stocked just to get wet and wash off the day at work.

Heres hoping for some more action soon. BTW rushing back home my gear fell out the car once more, maybe I should be more careful! Luckily all that was damaged was my fin and I have plenty of new Black Project Fins on the way soon so that's not really an issue!

More to follow...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The return of Noon Island

So since arriving in Bahrain from Hawaii at the beginning of September I've hardly had the time to stop and think let alone type, but I guess that I wrote plenty over the summer so maybe it was good to have a rest from the blogging scene for a while. During my 6 week or so break I really did enjoy watching online footage from Cold Hawaii and hope that such coverage continues. More recently I have been checking out p as the winter swells start rolling in. Having left my trusty twin fin with Colin I keep seeing it pop up online (kinda makes me feel a little more connected with the island!)

It has been windless here, totally still for weeks and super hot. Yes I have kept busy, plenty of training, lots of running and even a biathlon last weekend which was somewhat fun. Trying to run between 30 and 40 km a week, keep in the gym and work on my swimming and biking. Work does seem to get in the way but I keeping active and ready as best I can.

At last the weather broke and today we were treated with a decent breaze, perfect for my 5.6 Bolt and 105 Sumo. It was great to see my buddy Carl getting some rides on his kite too. The water was perfect, about 28C with the air in the low 30's. After not being on the water in ages it felt amazing to be blasting about and chucking in some freestyle moves (I mean crashes of course!). As for the title of this post, Noon Island refers not to some deserted spot but one of the big ships that is mored just offshore where I sail here and it was great to see her again close up.

No, this isn't Noon Island!

So here's me hoping that's the longest I'll have to go without wind for a while, looks like to could be windy tomorrow too, heres hoping.

Hope all those in northern climes are not getting too cold!

More to follow...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Vintage TWIN fin

This is what I came across this morning while looking for a new slalom board. You'll see from the discription that this is a TWINZER!

In action!

Removable TWIN fins!

With a starting price of £19.99 what a bargain! According to the description it is so stable it doesn't need footstraps!  

More to follow...

Monday, September 13, 2010

F-Hot GoPro Mast Mount

Having spent many hours of my youth at the F-Hot factory which was near my childhood home in Essex it is great to see them thrust back into the limelight. I have not yet seen one of the mounts in person, it is a bit harder to get to the factory these days but I will be for sure contacting Steve and getting one of these beauties sent out. I love the idea that it rotates round the mast so that you don't have to turn the camera off it just keeps filming on the new tack.

More Windsurfing Videos

Made from carbon the mount is lighter than the camera. I would like to see more adjustment options so that you can point the camera exactlty where you want but I will have to wait to test before I can criticize in any way.

For more info check out the F-HOT website.

More to follow....

Hot Sails 2011 Wave Collection

Want to know more about the sails that I'll be riding for 2011 then check out this e-catelog which has just been released from Hot Sails.

And here's me testing out the Bolt 2011 during the summer. I was really pleased with the increased stability which helped to improve both riding and jumping.

I can't wait to get my hands on a full set of the new sails.

More to follow...

Have Starboard Gone Mad?

Watch the video then leave a comment below.

I look forward to seeing your comments!

More to follow...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cut 'n' Stitch Video

I came across this neat  video today and wanted to share it with a wider audience. With all the hype that follows the big sail brands these days it is great to see that there is a small team keeping it real in deepest darkest Cornwall.

Wanna know more check out the Ross Windsurf website.

More to follow...

Sunday, September 5, 2010


The offical JUMPFEST Results and Reflections article has now been published on, check out the full article which looks into the contest results and considers whether the US should try to mirror the UK's wave and slalom circuits.

More to follow...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Start of Something New - 60 Days of Summer Days 55

As I rode my last wave yesterday I knew in my heart that would be it for me. Today we have to pack and get ready for the long journey back to our other home on the Amwaj Islands, Bahrain. Stuffing all of our things in boxes is always a little bit traumatic but over the years I guess we have gotten used to it but that doesn’t mean it is easy. Clearly my gear feels the same way and in a final act of defiance my slalom board decided to choose today to balloon up in the sun just as I was about to remove the air plug. In the knowledge that I would not take a wrecked board with me the 125ltr Exocet clearly decided that drastic measures were needed if he was to get to stay in paradise.

The Exocet in action, before it decided to desert me! Really gutted as I was hoping to use in Bahrain to great effect! Guess I'd better get myself on ebay and see what I can pick up.

We now have a 33 hour door to door journey to enjoy and it will be Friday and Day #57 before we get back. So I must leave you now as I have some more things to pack! ... ...  As we drove to OGG I glanced at the clock and realised that exactly 15 years ago to the minute when as an 18 year old full of excitement I arrived on the island for the very first time, and I must admit that there were a few tears in my eyes. Liz reminded me that this would be the last time that we would be leaving and in 15 years time we would be able to look back and remember the last time we had to leave our precious and wonderful home.

When I get back we will have about 30 hours before we have to leave for work but the 60 Days of Summer will continue until fully complete. Fingers are already crossed that it will be windy when we arrive back in Bahrain and I will be hoping to get out on Day #58, if not it’ll be time for a long swim or paddle. Once the project is complete I will be taking a step back for a little while but will be posting whenever there is something interesting to report. I will also continue to write for so look out for some fun things there. It will not be long and I will be back with a new project, I have a few ideas so stay tuned.

More to follow…

Friday, September 3, 2010

My Inspiration Way Back When - 60 Days of Summer

I found this on YouTube and want to share. I had a VHS tape in terrible condition that had these videos and a few others. They were my initial inspiration to chase waves all the way to Hawaii.

I watched this time and time again between the ages of 5 and 18.

Robby Naish Worldchampionship Scheveningen 1983

Sylt 1983

More to follow...

South Side Ride & Head Cam Ho’okipa - 60 Days of Summer Day 54

Liz and I started the day with a 23km ride from Wailea to La Perouse and back. After so much riding on the windy north shore it was great to have less of a battle and be able to check out some different scenery for a change. It was hot and I cannot explain just how good it was to dive into the cool Pacific afterwards.

How amazing it felt to be in the cool Pacific waters after a hot ride.

On the north shore the wind was back to full strength today and it is amazing how much better small waves can look when you have some power to boost. With small waves I chose to sail maxed out and opted for a 5.0m and strapped on the head cam to shoot some stills and clips so that I could share the experience here.

Not a special moment of action, I just liked this shot.

Again nothing special about the action but love the photo. The whole point of mounting the camera to yourself or your gear is so others can see what it is like and that is one reason I like this picrure it just captures windsurfing.

Mid way through a high spock (which I didn't complete!) on the outside.

Gazing at the sun midway through a backloop.

On the way down, time to spot the landing.

The view from above, this is what it looks like when you are 20 foot up and rotating through a forward. The pic doesnt look like much but enlarge it and look a little closer.

I will edit some video soon but for now here is some unedited stuff from today's action.

Over rotated this one!

I had such a fun session with tons of jumping, a few slashes and just a few friends out.

Sailing record: 85% 45/53

On Water Record: 89% 47/53

More to follow

Windy Surf and Jumpfest Results - 60 Days of Summer Day 53

Following a few less than optimal surf missions I decided to make an attempt at catching Ho’okipa without too much wind early on. Despite being on the water by 8am the wind was already on the up and the left overs were not really epic. I caught a small bunch of waves on the 8’0” and got some exercise and was certainly much more fun than running!

I arrived later in the day of my windsurf segment and again it was far from the best session of the summer season but these are the days that you just have to work at it and get what you can, a few waves, a few jumps and it was time to call it a day.


The voting closed on Sunday night (HST) and I am pleased to announce that the winners were:

Pro Men – Graham Ezzy

Am Men – Olaf

Girls – Tamara

Funnies – Tom Hammerton

Graham's winner! Contact Jimmie if you would like to purchase a print.

A full report and more pictures will be on soon. Congrats to the winners who all now receive a mounted print of their winning shot courtesy of Jimmie Hepp, I have seen them and they look fantastic and you really should consider ordering one for yourself! I hear that Tom has a good idea of what to do with his but I will save that for another post!

Sailing record: 85% 44/52

On Water Record: 88% 46/52

More to follow...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Small Kine Surf - 60 Days of Summer Day 52

We went West side early to catch some south swell but it was extremely flat and we opted to chill out instead at Canoe Beach.

We have been here a few times recently and I really love it. Kinda want to get into one of the canoes.

It was wonderful to walk to Black Rock and swim in the calm waters in front of the hotels. A different scene is always good and I had never actually been there.

It might be tourist heaven but the sand and water here at Black Rock were truely amazing and I can't wait to go again. I also cannot believe that I have never been here before!

After a rather bigger than expected lunch at Subway I made my way back to the North Shore and Liz hung out with the family for an SUP. I had expected more from Ho’okipa but I guess there were a few left over waves but nothing special.

Mark Angulo in action. He has been sailing alot recently I wonder if the rumors about a possible return to competition in the PWA Cabo Verde are true?

I remember this moment very clearly, I was setting up for a backie and looking for a steep ramp. I thouht that I would be a little late and tried to power through, in reality I was a little later than planned, produced a few great pictures though so that must be good for something!

Sailing record: 84% 43/51

On Water Record: 88% 45/51

More to follow…

Speed Surf - 60 Days of Summer Day 51

Today it was all going to be about going as fast as possible in a somewhat straight line. It is amazing to look back at the old speed needles that people used to test the speed barrier with and I love these old pictures of the early pioneer Fred Haywood.

Fred Haywood in Weymouth, UK

It is amazing how gear and speeds have changed.

The Black Project Fins VMax Speed Challenge is run on the same course that Fred himself used to train. The course is not very flat nor very windy but the reef does provide some protection and the summer winds do provide enough puff for some respectable speeds. Check out the full results and report here. While I set a new 100m PB of 33.7 knots it was someway short of what I had expected which may be partly down to the fact that there was a decent swell which made the conditions rather tough and probably distracted me a little! At the end of the day I was far too tired to get my wave board out but I hear that there were some fun sized waves up the coast.

Tom on his 7.3m! Ever so slightly different to Fred's wing!

Me 6.0m... trying a new board, I am sure that I can go much faster!

It is rather shallow, so watch out for the coral heads.

KP enjoying the better than normal summer waves at Ho'okipa. Missed it, why do two things have to come along at once?

60 Days of Summer Update:

Sailing Record: 84% (42/50)
On Water Record: 88% (44/50)

More to follow…

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Camp One, SPEED and Jumpfest Update - 60 Days of Summer Day 50

It looked as though it would be another day of rainy sailing and I didn’t even drive all the way to Ho’okipa because I could see that there was now wind at all. I had some board repairs to do in preparation for the speed event so that kept me distracted. As the day progressed the weather settled down and for a change of scene I decided to sail between Sprecks and Camp one. It is so great to just drive 1 minute then be at the beach. As expected the small wind swell combined with the local wind waves and 20 knots meant that there was great onshore bump, jump and slash. One thing I love about summer here is that there are so many hours in the day that you can sail, in the winter you really have to be on it between 12 and 3 to get the best of the wind but I didn’t hit the water till gone 4 today and had a great time playing in the waves with massive planes flying over. Having spent so many of my teenage years sailing Camp One I always love to get out there with a few waves, I was totally alone and it was great fun.

This shot was taken back in Spring 1996 at Camo One. We spent so much time there back then as did many others.

Tomorrow is all about SPEED but the not the type that Madam Hilton would be interested in! The F2 Missile is almost ready to go and received a little paint before it was dark, just needs some grip, straps and a fin now. Luckily a big box of Black Project fin samples arrived from China yesterday and I got my hands on some in the evening, pics will follow but they look fantastic. I was immediately really impressed with the CNC quality and finish and can’t wait to stick one in my board tomorrow.

For more info on The Black Project Maui Speed Challenge check out the Maui VMax Blog.

JUMPFEST UPDATE: with just 40 hours of voting left the positions currently stand;

Pro Men: Graham Ezzy 25%

Am Men: Tom and Morgan are tied on 25%

Girls: Tamara 35%

Funnies: Tom Hammerton 33%

Tamara's leading shot... rumor has it that she'll be competing in the speed event too...

Support your favourite shot/sailor by voting each day. You can check out the action and cast your votes at Also remember that by adding your name to the comments puts your name into the hat to win a signed and mounted print from the contest.

60 Days of Summer Records:

Sailing record: 84% 41/49

On Water Record: 88% 43/49

More to follow…

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Black Project Maui Speed Challenge 2010

When: Saturday 28th August 2010
Where: Spreckelsville, Maui
Time:  11am – 3pm
Organiser: Tom Hammerton
Photohrapher: Jimmie Hepp

This weekend marks the return of the Maui VMax GPS Speed Series. Many of Hawaii’s fastest sailors are currently dusting off their speed boards and GT-31 data loggers in preparation for the first speed meeting of the year. The format is the same as in recent years with the fastest 100m runs counting towards the overall result. Last year’s Maui VMax series winner and overall fastest sailor with a speed of 38.3 knots Peter John has confirmed his attendance as has former world speed record holder Eric Beale who placed third in the series last year logging a best 100m run of 37.7 knots. The results will also count towards the HAM Speed Challenge which pits teams of sailors and kiters from The Gorge, New England & Hawaii against each other in search of the fastest 100m, nautical mile and Alpha 500 speeds.

Strap a GT-31 to your arm and see how fast you can go!

This is a FREE event if you own your own GT-31 or GT-11 data logger and for a small fee you can rent one for the day. There will be divisions for Men, Women, Wave & Under 18 so if doesn’t even matter if you don’t have speed or slalom gear you can come down and have some fun. I personally competed in my first speed event last year on my twin fin wave board and had such a great that it was the catalyst for my GPS and racing exploits this past year. The weather forecast is excellent with 20-30 knots of wind expected; this combined with a high tide should mean that the course (between Spreckelsville and Camp One) will be at its flattest and fastest during the middle of the day.

New for this year is the support of Black Project Fins, the newest fin company to come out of Hawaii who are currently putting their 2011 line of fins through a rigorous testing regime.

More to follow...

Sailing in the rain, New Prototype Fins & SPEEED - 60 Days of Summer Day 49

It is amazing that as soon as a few clouds come through and we get a few spots of rain the beach empties. Now it is true that when it rains the wind generally dies or at best is rather squally but often it gets super glassy too. Today was rather rainy, we even had rain at our house in Sprecks which is rare for summer. Driving up to Ho’okipa I could only see a solitary sailor out but with a few waves a Mama’s it looked like it could be a fun session. I was pleased to see an empty beach, a few waves and some wind and got on it as soon as I could totally undeterred by the rain. In fact I was revelling in the rain and actually enjoying the slightly unpleasant conditions, I as actually thinking of Wales and how I miss it and could see images of Horton in my head, the waves were about the same too!

Horton, South Wales, the place I used to call home... I kinda miss it some days (others less!
I had fun picking my spot and scored some decent ramps, not surprisingly that my board has more cracks but nothing too serious this time and to be honest with not many more sailing days left and the thought of new boards I don’t really care, it has served me fairly well although I think I cracked it the 2nd day I had it – sailing on a speed course! I had a really fun and productive session when many missed a day of action.

My main focus today was testing my new set of Black Project Twin Fins which I had collected only this morning from the Maui CNC factory. These ones have a more raked outline and a new foil with the wide point further back. Typical as I sailed out at full speed with virgin fins a massive turtle tried to commit suicide by fin but luckily I just managed swerve just in time. This was in fact the first real feel that I got of the new fins and they felt great. While not as fast upwind (as expected) they came alive on the small waves and I was super pleased with grip and slip on tap as required. As the day closed I heard a rumor that the Type 'R' and Type 'S' samples had arrived from China just in time for the speed weekend, I am looking forward to checking them out tomorrow.

The Black Project Speed Challenge Saturday 28th August 2010:

Confirmed entrants:
  • Erik Beale (Ex-Word Record Holder)
  • Peter John
  • Dan Ellis (PWA Racer)
  • Chris McNeil
  • Tom Hammerton (HSM Sail Designer)
  • Chris Freeman
  • + more
Time to charge yoru GPS unit and sand those fins!

More details of the event will soon be available on the MauiVMax Blog

Sailing record: 83% 40/48

On Water Record: 88% 42/48

More to follow...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

2012 Goya, Backies, Speed & More - 60 Days of Summer Days 47 & 48

By my own admission I have been taking it a little easy of late and I have been rather slack on my writing. I didn’t sail on day # 47. One reason for my lack of water activity on the north shore has been the state of my board quiver which has taken rather a beating. Thankfully after three days of sanding, filling, laminating, sanding, spraying, sanding, my wave board was ready to get back on the water and considering the amount of water that had come out I am confident that I will notice an improvement in performance! The added bonus of smashing up the Tabou was that I could fix the speed board at the same time and that is looking great. There is a speed event coming up this weekend so it will be ready for action, my personal aim is 37 knots but that will be difficult on the extremely bumpy course that we have here, the best guys are maxing out here at 40 knots but usually in the 39 area.

On Day # 47 (they are going so fast) the wind was good and with a few waves so I decided to make up some lost ground and got to Ho’okipa early for an all day stakeout. I have really been trying to improve my backloop statistics as I can crashing far too many landing and I had earmarked today; BACK, BACK, BACK and MORE BACK and when I first went out I found ramp after ramp and did just that. I tried a few ideas to improve my landings with mixed results but practice does make perfect so I need to keep at it. The second session was not as productive, the wind was a little more inconsistent and it was harder to find waves, I found myself rotating a lot but generally in the forward plane. A really fun day on the water. Almost forgot, had a good run this morning, I have been wanting to increase my distance and today I did with an 8km stretch, will look to do a 9 and a 10 later this week. Legs are now sore!

Back, back, back...

Both the Goya team and Ezzy crew were out in force testing sails today. Dave and Graham have been working with their Wave Panther III recently and I guess that a few more arrived on the boat today as they had other sailors testing out the new gear. Personally I like the look of Graham’s orange version but am not so keen on the green/blue colour scheme. Performance while they look great (as always). The Goya crew including Francisco were all sharing one all white 2012 FOUR BATTENED wave sail prototype which looked to have a very short mast and very high clew with the batten layout much like that of my HSM Bolts. So it looks like a totally different and more compact look than the 2011 Guru or Eclipse but I guess it is the earliest of days yet in the 2012 cycle.

JUMPFEST – the contest continues to get good press and voting continues. It looks like Graham is pulling away from the pack in the Pro Men while Morgan and Tom are battling it out in the Am Men. Nadia is fighting off stiff competition but it looks like she may take it. In the Funnies Bjorn has stormed into a substantial lead but I wonder if Tom will be able to catch him. Check out the action and cast your votes. Remember that you can vote once in every 24 hours and that by leaving your name in the comments section you stand the chance of winning a signed and mounted print of one of the shots of your choice.


On the Horizon:
Friday, Saturday & Sunda - SOUTH SWELL: looks like we are in for a treat so it'll be bags packed and off south for early sessions.

Saturday 28thThe Black Project Maui VMax Speed Challenge: do if you are in town dust off your speed board and GPS unit and let us see how fast you can go. There are divisions for Men, Women, Wave and Kids. There will be a number of GPS units available for loan so if you have never tried before then this could be the day. Confirmed entrants include Tom Hammerton and Dan Ellis fresh from his travels on the PWA tour.

Time to get back on the 6.0 GPS...

Sailing record: 83% (39/47)

On water record: 87% (41/47)

More to follow…