Friday, 30 March 2012

You need to be into your surfing, and nothing but £10 to our name!

If you come to Chile, you have to be pretty willing to surf instead of windsurf on the non windy days, as there have been a fair few. The last three days we have surfed, and it looks like today we probably will too as it is foggy again in the morning. (Matanzas gets this fog which can last all day when just inland is burning hot sunshine!) Saying that, the waves are world class, some of the fastest waves I have ever surfed, and fairly powerful. At Matanzas the other day you had to paddle hard and fast really left and takeoff super quick or the wave would have you. I tried to pull off a few as I was too late but just got sucked over with the falls.

So we surfed Matanzas yesterday which was overhead, and a couple of days before that, about head high. There is a dodgy looking rock launch which you have to time the sets and paddle out. This was pretty difficult last night as when we went the fog was so thick you couldn't see the sets! Once out it is fine, but it took me a while to get used to surfing infront of the rocks, and there are a couple of dry ones to avoid. I got pretty near last night when a set came but you can paddle past them with the current then come back up again.

We also surfed Puertecillo, which is the longest peeling left I have ever seen! I saw a guy get a wave which must have gone on for half a kilometre?! The only problem was being such a nice break it was busy, so the waves I had were the ones no-one wanted/or had fallen off. Not ideal... The spot would be amaing when no-one is there but people camp. I didn't mention the road down either, a really sketchy steep dirt track with cliff drops either side, fine if you are in a 4x4 with good brakes but I am not sure what happens if you meet someone the other way?! It reminded me of the world's most dangerous roads program on TV...

The other thing we discovered on my birthday, is that we have no money and no way of getting any out! Stef lost his debit card in the airport so that is getting cancelled, mine runs out the end of March, and despite driving to our nearest cashpoint and then one an hour away (yes an HOUR to get cash out!) neither would let us. The fuel stations don't take card either. I have never been to such a remote place, no one has cards here. So tomorrow we drive an hour to get fuel out somewhere else where we hope they take card! We are living on our 7000 chilean pesos for now, (about £10) there isn't much to spend your money on here!

The sketchy rock launch at Matanzas, (me looking a little worried!)

Pulling off before the rocks:

Perfect peeling head high lefts at Puertecillo:

Pulling off a little late and going over the falls:

Monday, 26 March 2012

Small waves and an earthquake...

Since the day in Santiago we have been in the water everyday. We went to Topocalma on Saturday, about 45 minutes away with down the line perfection. Unfortunately we were a little too excited and went pretty early, so the wind hadn't kicked in yet and the surf spot looked pretty small for our boards. We waited a little but decided we should drive back as there were no other windsurfers there and we thought we were missing out elsewhere. It turned out we should have stayed, but instead we had a fun session at Matanzas with waist to head high waves. The swell has backed off a little since when we first arrived so it has been pretty small riding, (hence the photos), but should be getting bigger from tomorrow. We had another session at Matanzas then went to Topocalma again today. It was really windy when we left but dropped as soon as we were out so we just wobbled around. I can't wait to see that place mast high as it looked perfect peeling down the line and there was no one but the three of us there.

Yesterday, there was an earthquake that measured 7.1 on the Richter scale about 100 miles away. We came in from our session and were de-rigging on the beach and felt the whole beach move, but originally we thought we were just dizzy in the heat. It only lasted about 10-15 seconds (a minute at the epi centre), but was one of the strangest feelings I have had. We packed up quickly and went up the hill to the Tsunami save zone pretty quickly, but luckily nothing happened. The locals all seemed pretty worried as the last one two years ago wiped out alot of the village. There was no damage, just some things moving around and falling over, and a few more rocks on our road to the beach.

Here are some more pictures of the latest sessions, I am looking forward to some bigger waves and some more surfing too!

Finally, the hot tub did get hot, after we put a lid on it to heat up! Next time we will stir it more though as it was freezing at the bottom and really hot at the top!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Waiting for the hot tub…

I thought it was about time I put some pictures up of our first week in Chile. We are currently waiting for our hot tub to warm up with the fire we made, but it’s taking a few hours! So after 16 hours of flying we arrived in Chile! Customs made a bit of a fuss about all our kit and we thought we had been scammed by the car company, but all turned out well and we got to Matanzas.

It was so perfect when we arrived, perfect double overhead barrels peeling left, absolutely amazing! Our house overlooks the sea, it has an all glass front with decking, BBQ, workout area, it’s incredible! We surfed the evening we arrived, so happy to be in just a suit after boots and hood in the UK. The next day we surfed Matanzas again, then went with Robby Swift to Roca Cuadrada, but haven’t had an amazing surf yet as the current where we went in was pretty strong and we haven’t done the rock launch yet as it was pretty knarly with up to double overhead barrels!

After that, it has been windy every day! We have been going to Churillos for side on jumping. I tried my custom yesterday with a 4.2 and it felt amazing! Not too small but really controlled through gybing and bottom turning and much less bouncy on chop. We should get some down the line conditions tomorrow to try it out. Today we had to be up at 5 to swap our car for Robby’s in Santiago, (long story) so we missed most of today unfortunately. Any way here are some pictures with lots more to come!

Loading up our pickup:

Peeling lines to the horizon:

Arriving at Matanzas:

Loving the Chilean wine:

Watermelon for breakfast:

Trying my new custom with K4 fins for the first time at Churillos jumping spot:


Top turn:

Saturday, 17 March 2012


Quick post as we are busy packing four kit bags...Off to Chile tonight with TAM airlines. I have my new custom 58 from Jim, which looks absolutely amazing! He has done a great job and I can't wait to ride it! A Quatro 68 Rhythm, four No Limitz masts, lots of K4 fins to test, a few Simmer sails, extensions, UJs, a 5'10'' Deviant surfboard, Go Pro etc - A LOT of kit! Can't wait! Will keep you updated with pics and video clips...

Here's the new custom! I'll get more pics on the beach:

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Glass On!

Both layers of glass on, and in the final vacuum bag... (Apologies for the small images, they are from Jim's phone!)

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

K4 and Custom CNC!

I am really happy to be riding K4 fins giving feedback to Steve Thorpe. Steve has been working really hard with a few riders to develop the fins (in a number of shapes) to innovate the concept and encourage people to try more different fin s ups to find the best for their board, style and the conditions. He provides an affordable way to do this with high performance fins that are more flexible generally than G10s, giving more drive and grip. I am very keen to experiment with the fins as a lighter rider as I think their flexiness will help a lot as I cannot provide as much force on the fins as a heavier rider, so it makes sense to vary the flex and size depending on rider weight! So I have a good set to test in Chile and will let you know the feedback. I am off in two weeks and absolutely can't wait! HERE is the link to Steve's tuning section of his site, an interesting read!

So as promised, here are some pics of my 58l custom in the making from Jim at Puravida Boardriders. It is the smallest board Jim has made to date and will be a great test of his down the line and high wind 'Rock Star' shape! My board is the very first of Jim's super accurate CNC shapes, which he hopes to develop across all the sizes. I am really looking forward to helping him in the research and development of this board, being a rarely used size. I really hope that more girls and lighter riders can make the most out of these size customs, as we have never been able to sail the right size board for our weight!

Jim has tailored the overall size, volume distribution, stance and footstrap widths to my needs for a board for higher winds and/or bigger waves, where the face may well be choppy, so that I can have (hopefully!) full control and not be afraid to bounce out in the bottom turn. So here are the pics:

Blank ready to be cut:

Shaping machine cutting the deck:

Cutting the bottom:

All shaped up ready for the top sandwich:

Bottom sandwich on: