Big Scary Windsurf Session in Wales

I’ve just got back from an adrenalin packed windsurf session here in Wales. I posted a session log on Forces-of-Nature as usual, but as it was such a mad session thought I’d share it here as well.

Woohoo, what a session. Went out with my big wave board and 4.5m sail and soon realised that it was a lot bigger out there than it looked from the beach!

The first run wasn’t too bad, some nice big jumps and then managed to sail out the back and have a good blast over the swell before gybing and sailing back in amongst some pretty big lumps of water. But then it just seemed to get bigger and bigger. I’m not sure why, but it was dead on high tide so that may have had something to do with it.

On about my 5th run out it was easily the biggest I’ve ever sailed in, way over mast high and not only were they huge but they had become snarling monsters that seemed intent on punishing me. At one point I had been sailing out, well powered for ages but still wasn’t out beyond the breaking waves. I was at least half a mile out to sea and still surrounded by big waves and walls of whitewater with nowhere to run to and nowhere to hide.

Then I thought it was all over as a huge waved reared up in front of me, pitched and exploded into a wall of white-water. I had no option but to hit it flat out and try to sail up and over it despite the fact that it was mast high. I hit the whitewater head on, sailed vertically up it and managed to pop out onto the top. By this staged I’d lost some momentum and it had me. I was travelling backwards on top of the white-water in its grip, pumping frantically to try to get going and not get sucked backwards over the falls. Somehow I made it, but there was another wave in front of me.

Still in the straps I pumped as hard as I could, pushed with my front foot and tried to get going again, back on the plane and the next wave was jacking up. Thankfully it hadn’t broken yet and I managed to sail up its face (I’ve never sailed so far uphill before) and just about managed to punch out over the top of it as the lip pitched forwards behind me. There were still more waves beyond it so once again it was back onto the plane and keep sailing out until eventually there was a break in the waves and I could gybe and head back to the beach.

By now I was miles out to sea and down towards the estuary. It was about now that I decided that maybe enough was (more than) enough. If I came off here and got parted from my kit or broke something then it was going to take me hours to get home. I was out on my own with no-one else around so maybe the sensible option was to sail back to the beach and call it a day.

I did of course ride some of the waves on the way back in just to show them that they may have beaten me into submission today but they hadn’t completely beaten me.

Only a short session, but a full on, scary, adenalin rush of a session!

4 Responses

  1. Avatar forComment Author Alan says:

    Someone on the Boards forum liked it too. They re-posted it there and said:

    That’s a fantastic write up. Just reading that gave me the fear, even when sat at my desk in the office. Being out on your own in those conditions sounds seriously hairy.

  2. Avatar forComment Author Annette Strauch says:

    I saw surfers on Aberdyfi beach and in the water last Sunday. They were surfing in these strong winds, too. Wow!

  3. Avatar forComment Author Mark Humphreys says:

    Excellent write up… Although it does sound a little dangerous out there on your own. Aren’t you supposed to operate a buddy system when doing such things?


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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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