Wednesday, 6 March 2013

9 Year Project. Puravida Custom.

Back in the day of single finned boards, I remember regularly ploughing my way through a perfect line up knee deep on a 74 litre wave board waiting for the looming clean up set on the horizon to engulf me. I also remember discussing my predicament with a young Jim Brookes who was fresh back from a spell learning his trade amongst the likes of Witchcraft out in fuerteventura. We were both of similar build so faced similar issues with having enough float to get out back yet still have a board perform on the faster waves that we get in our neck of the woods. There were literally no boards that were combining floatation with performance at the time.
Roll on 9 years and between us we have sailed, measured and discussed the vast majority of larger production wave boards out there. Ill admit I couldn't tell you what works for what design wise, just what i like from a design. Jim however analysed and absorbed it all and set about building prototypes that have finally evolved into the Puravida Rockstar 90 I got to sail in typically fun, gusty, cross off, head to logo Newgale a few weeks back.

It's clear to see that the Rockstar 90 has had a craftsman's hand put to it. The finish is immaculate. Jims own CAD system dictates to the CNC machinery forming crisp clinical lines. Rocker,  outline and bottom shape all flow like I'd pictured. Custom paint job, custom straps, sanded back to carbon hull, pre offset front fins and a dragon to fly the homelands flag to complete the visual decadence. 

A 9 year project in the making. All the background work that's gone in, late nights talking ideas in the pub, many a swapped email. 

The anticipation for water time with the board was immense. I could see Jim picking off some beltas on it so was keen to get a few for myself.

Picking up the wind line outside the break first thing that struck me is that its unbelievably fast for a waveboard. Like a rocket about the break, electric under foot. Very direct in feel. A fact that unnerved me a little, in my experience few boards combine speed and the ability to turn hard off the rail. It's a difficult marriage.The Rockstar combines the two attributes seamlessly.

Pulling into the first wave I took the first turn to feel my feet. Its quite clear that its the type of board that excels in good conditions, a board for sailing good waves with cross shore winds. A light foot isn't the right key for unlocking the drive this board can deliver. I pushed it down the line and it returned all I could give it. Fast hooking turns. The type of board that generates its own speed on the wave. It handles speed effortlessly and turns as a 75 litre board would. It would be easy to forget your riding a 90 litre machine. To me that poses the question whether i would even need a smaller board.

As I hiked back up wind a smile was thick across my face. To see an idea evolve and grow into something that not only works but excels in every way is pretty special. Puravida Custom Boards have grown into the promise they always offered with this board. 

Hats off. Top job.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

3 Before Lunch.

3 Before Lunch..

Id of preferred '112 Allday' but my battery died after the first 3 so '3 Before Lunch' it is.

Monday, 31 December 2012

12 Months Deep.. 2012..

Late in 2011 i thought id have a crack at documenting all the Windsurfing and Surf that me and the rest of the Southwest Wales crew were getting done. A year in and 15 or so posts latter and im pretty happy with where its at. So cheers for taking the time to look through it.

The original plan was to keep track of sessions but i lost count by May.. So as a rough guess id say its up around 130 days sailing and 120 or so surfing. From those days i thought id choose some that have stuck in my mind as some form of end of year round up.

1. Mid Wales Reefs.. November..

This place went mental mid November. As good as wavesailing gets. Its a fickle beast but the 1 in 20 ratio i seem to get at this spot gets paid off ten fold when it works. As the crowd thinned out and the tide pulled back the waves got longer and longer till exhaustion was the only limiting factor.

2. Freshwater West.. All year...

I moved to the village next to this beach for one reason. The surf has been good all year but 3 days in October were probably the high light. This day and the days either side served up the best 3 days surf ive ever had. Light offshore 7 foot at 18 seconds and wall to wall sun.. It was the end to an incredible run of conditions.

Have that..

3. British Wave Tour.. 

The standard on the British Tour is crazy these days. Half the fleet are World Cup regulars so 12th overall for the first year in the Pro division is more than i was expecting. Wales, Ireland and Cornwall all offered up something different but the Ireland leg was a standout. 6 days from 6 in the water either surfing or on the windsurf. Love the place.

Alf getting the overall in Ams 2012.

Proffit flying high.

Ireland Surf.

Thanks to Stenna for the trip and tour around the ship.
4. Surfers Ear Op.. June..

Ive suffered with bad ears for the last 12 years. It got to a point where deafness was starting to be an issue so i finally got them drilled out before my wife killed me. 

5. Aquatic Allies.

A huge thanks to Jim and Tanya at Puravida Boardriders, Simmer, No Limitz Masts, K4 fins and Patagonia.

Stenna also deserve a huge pat on the back for supporting the Tour and for hooking me Alf and Captain Cox up.. Thanks..

A good year.. 

Ive got something a little different planned for the blog in 2013 so should be an interesting one i hope.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Good As It Gets...

4 points of interest....

1.. You know its good when you pull a muscle claiming a wave. That's how good it was the other day.

The Puravida band wagon was rolling west on what I thought was a dubious forecast for this particular spot as its incredibly swell sensitive. Turns out that captain Brookes nailed this one spot on.

Probably the best day ive had there since i first stumbled across it 8 years back. Logo to mast and breaking from the out side bombie to the main point. The last one I had went all the way through to the beach. That's along way and a long time to be making turns. The longest wave I've ever had. I'd tell you how long it was but it would sound like bullshit so I won't.

Dej Serra is quickly becoming a standout. Fully committed under any size section. Some big hits out there fella. The whole crew were on fire all morning Jim Brookes, Jony Price, Pete Bird all had some screamers, it was like a conveyer belt of perfect walls. Classic watching every one ripping as you sailed back out the channel.

Epic day.


Ross Williams at Whitesands.

Last week this man took a pretty average day at Whitesands and smashed it to pieces. One of the most impressive shows of waveriding I've ever seen.


Simmer windsurf boards.

Every now and then a board comes out that takes the imagination of the windsurfing public, the first Mistral twinzers, Starboard evo 74 etc.

It took me 3 months to wrestle the Simmers boards out of Jim Puravida's hands. I can see why.

The Quantum 95l performs like no other 95 l wave board of any manufactures 2012/13 line up. Fact, I've used them all. I sailed it in the British Champs down in Cornwall a few weeks back in pretty dire conditions. It holds speed and hooks off the top harder than you could believe for a board of this size. I sailed it against what thought were the top performing 90 ish wave boards at Whitesands last week too, it's in a different class.

Stand-out, classic in the making.


K4 Asymmetric Ezzy Line..

They just work better. I don't know why the board manufactures don't put more toe in as standard, it seems crazy after using these pre offset K4's. Noticeably better in a quad and essential for the majority of the tri fins I've used..

Top job..

Monday, 22 October 2012

6 Hours Of That...

Unbelievable spell of conditions died out with this...

Pic . Billy Webber.

Hands down the best waves I've had all year... Incredible day...

Friday, 19 October 2012

Consumed By An Ocean..

Funny old autumn so far.

The only true standout was this little session below..

That eventually turned into a touch off 20 foot.. 20 foot a 9 seconds = 20 foot chop. The entire Fresh bay was a close out but the odd gap was there so I sailed it anyhow.

60 minutes of chicken gybes, out running sections and frustration delivered me to a gap. Sets were breaking so far out it was pretty unsailable so I thought better of it. Still being a mile out and still feeling like its the inside is a pretty strange feeling at this spot. It felt like sailing in valleys of liquid.

The quality of riding these days isn't what it's about for me, it's just being the feeling of being enveloped by an ocean. Sadly I came a little too enveloped by it an ended up with a epic swim and a trashed rig. 

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Monday, 3 September 2012