Wednesday, January 11, 2012

that's why I'm so spoiled

The first ten days of January have been amazing.

On their January issue, Windnews (the Italian windsurfing magazine I work for) publishes a nice simple calendar called "la stecca del vento". For the Italian readers, the purpose is to mark the days they went windsurfing.

For me, the little squares corresponding to each day are barely big enough to write the sport(s) and spot(s) I did that day.
As you can see, I was able to average two sessions a day (most days I also worked at Hi-Tech). Most days the sessions were surfing (either laydown or standup) in the morning and windsurfing in the afternoon. Which is ideal for keep progressing in both sports and not using the body muscles only in one way.
That routine is phenomenal, but it also makes me the most spoiled surfer/windsurfer in the world.

In fact, you would now understand why I don't like strong wind forecasts:
- there's no clean waves to surf in the morning
- the waves for wave sailing are all choppy and mixed with windswell
- I don't jump
- strong winds bring lots of rain

I absolutely adore light trades forecasts (like the last 10 days) because:
- I can surf clean waves in the morning
- I can sail clean waves in the afternoon
- the weather is delightful
- my body doesn't get all stiffed up by doing only one sport

The next week, because of a low pressure about to form very close and north of the islands, there will be pretty much no wind. Even though not my favorite, I sure don't mind this kind of forecast. Which surfer doesn't like glassy waves!?

Better heal up first though, since today I had to rest for a return of that cold I had a couple of weeks ago... been pushing too much, I guess.

Back to the amazing start of 1012, I'm pretty sure you guys have seen all the photos from the big day at Jaws on Jan 4th. The amount of photos/videos available online a few hours after the action is so rich that I think I'll never go to watch Jaws again! I can focus on my own action and watch Jaws at night...
This is a nice video by Jake Miller.

Out of all those session, I do remember a couple of outstanding ones.
Jan 7 at Hookipa the conditions were just fantastic (which for me means pure slog and surf and clean glassy waves) and here's three shots that I took out of this gallery of Jimmie Hepp.
Thanks Jimmie!

I also remember the Jan 10th surf session at Hookipa.
The waves were head high to head and half and I only had 1 hour before work.
I paddled out determined to charge like if I was in a contest heat. I sat deep at Green Trees and a big double overhead set soon loomed on the horizon.
"Damn, that one looks good for where I am... I'm going!"

I caught double overhead waves at other spots before (Dumps, Kanaha, Cloudbreak and Uluwatu for example), but that wave felt like it was the most difficult drop I ever did. I paddled for it knowing (or better, thinking!) that I had very few chances to make it.
Only by mid bottom turn I started realizing that everything was going smooth and I could actually pull it off. Which I did. And that gave me goose bumps and a huge smile.

It's all in the mind you guys. That thing looked big, but doable. Nonetheless, I was scared as hell while dropping down the face of it. If I could get rid of my fear, I'd do much better. Hesitation is the cause of most wipeouts.
I really need to try to remember that.

Talking about bottom turns, here's one on the standup. Probably 45 times easier than the one I was describing (it's kanaha, it's a foot overhead, I got a paddle in my hands to balance and pivot, I got the front foot in a foot strap to help cranck the turn, I'm going way slower, I caught the wave in a way less steep section and I didn't have to get up on my feet... is that enough?).
Nonetheless another very fun session. And another way of alternating the use of my old body (now 49).

And that's when the GoPro becomes pure entertainment. Still very impressed by the clarity of these shots.

Happy surfing everyone!

Someone instead, won't surf anymore and this post is dedicated to his memory. Goodbye Fede.

PS. Nice article on Mark Raaphorst.


Andrea Pagan's Blog said...

Il link di Fede non va..

Anonymous said...

Maybe you've seen's going viral..buuuuut just in case this is a "gift" for keeping your blog open..thnks for reminding us that there is a better life out there.


Saludos desde EspaƱa

David said...

stylish!! Nice pics Giampaolo

Anonymous said...

It's a great idea to surf like you are in a heat! Lately I have only had 45 mins to surf before work, so I go out and paddle for EVERY single wave I can! Whether I'm in the right spot or not, too deep, arms tired, ect...

I catch way more waves then normally, and have a blast doing it. It really pushes my surfing.

cammar said...


as long as you're not catching waves that would be more suited for people in the lineup sitting in a better place, I agree with you.
But I do hate when people sitting too deep paddle for waves and they don't make it. That's one of my definition of kooks.
Overall, I also hate people who paddle for every wave that comes to them.
That was not what I was doing that day. I was just being more determined not to pull back on some big ones...
On the other hand, if there's no other people in the lineup in your 45 min sessions, then of course you can do whatever you want... but where is that spot?!? :)

Anonymous said...

Hahaha, sorrY, forgot to mention that nor,ally I'm alone in the morning!

Northern chile is where that place is!