You’d think that there’d be little chance of surfing in Torbay, as it faces east, up the channel and away from Atlantic swells, up to Calais – well more precisely to Le Touquet. That’s up to 200 kilometres of fetch when the winds blow in with an east component (NE, E, SE), which means – my friend – waves! Some directions are of course better than others – east and south-east are best. Even strong southerly swells can refract into the Bay sometimes. And it doesn’t take much to start the wave trains a’ rollin’, 10 mph and upwards. ‘Force 3′, I think is the term used at the Yacht Club? And when combined with dropping winds, or better still, for the winds to swing around to westerly, and become light and offshore, then it can produce some smooth, classic conditions.
Here’s one I took by the pier in Paignton.
So the trick, I’ve found, is to spot the days: use the weather sites and plan ahead to dash out for that quick surf. Windguru.com is great for guessing ahead of time, booking a day off, throwing a sickie, loading that board into the car (see our site for the link). But invaluable to see what’s actually there, even at night, is the wave buoy out in the Bay, part of a network along our coast.
A metre on the graph translates to a metre of arriving waves. This year it’s regularly touched over 2 metres, 6-8 ft! Check out the channelcoast.org website.
The data shows whether swells are rising or dropping away, the wave period, direction and all other manner of geeky stuff … Love it!
With a high-five and a rainbow over my shoulder I returned to sail the Teign Estuary, in the shadow of Dartmoor, socked in by cloud but allowing me that rare ray of sunshine. I wondered why I’d been away for so long!
Rich from ‘Wave 8′ is up and running, and testing their new boards in Christmas sunshine. All enquiries are welcome, just drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org for sales enquiries. Also keep an eye out, here, for details of their Saturday morning paddle club and taster sessions – coming soon.
Local, Torbay start-up, SUP retailer WAVE8 is hoping to have their new line of SUPs with accessories ready to order by Christmas. Here are some exciting pics, leaked from the factory floor, North Pole.
The boards are 10’6″ x 30 x 4.5, weighing 11 kg. They are constructed from EPS core with a wooden stringer, covered by 2 layers of 6oz fibreglass and epoxy. These are designed to be all round boards for the flat as well as waves.
WAVE8’s aim is to offer a complete support package to their customers, including adjustable carbon paddles, board bags, eva decks and a leash (all you need to get started). They also intend to provide (where required) a getting to know your WAVE8 SUP board by offering a Saturday morning free learning session.
All enquiries to Richard, at email@example.com
Torbay Surfing wishes them all the best and can’t wait to see the boards in the waves.
The winds have swung round to the north and temperatures have tumbled; but there’s still clean winter waves to be had (hopefully without the wind) all winter long! Here’s two, cold inspired, beautiful films to tempt you into the water. Stay safe and wrapped in 5-6 mm …
Danny’s finally got the Torbaysurfing webcam up and running. It’s experimental, not just a click and remote button affair. Encrypted access only – each user requiring ‘flight training’ before being let loose to check out the surf!
Summer’s almost here! Okay it’s officially spring, but these days that may be as good as it gets. So it’s time to take stock of what equipment is left after the harsh winter. Personally I snapped my only purchased paddle, flinging me back at a ‘wood and carbon’ one that I made three years ago. And you know what? it was just as good – light, buoyant to push off of, particularly when requiring balance on low volume SUP’s. But I think I can do better!
So here’s a recipe for an all wood paddle using what I’ve learnt from two previous builds. The shaft uses a denser wood, as do the external laminates of the paddle face for strength and resistance to wear. In the comparison image with my wood/carbon paddle you’ll see I’ve put some tape on the old paddle, to better protect the wood and board. Given this paddle is three year’s old – it’s done well, delivering thousands of strokes. And that’s what’s useful about these self-made paddles, you can repair knocks, splits and scratches. I’ve recently re-varnished my old paddle after a particularly punishing day in the surf. Now it’s as good as new.
The latest paddle will have increased rake with the same 23 cm width across the face – a higher gear that sacrifices usefulness over distance, for quick acceleration in waves. I’m going to plane in a dihedral face for more power, to help scoop, grip and thrust. Oo! That’s a first for me, thanks to the boffins of ‘R & D’ at the million pound firms of the North Shore.
Essentially, you will need waterproof glue to clamp sections of wood together for the blade. They need to be deeper at the trailing edge, so you can plane in ‘rake’. That way, for each paddle stroke the blade remains vertical in the water for the longest, possible time. This particular paddle is going to get a light coat of fibreglass, for a thinner blade and to assist with overall lightness.
Once the blank is made (See image) the rest is just planing … and paddling. I’ll post an image of the finished article
Storm after storm have left the sea milky-brown like Horlicks; the Combined Sewage Outflows must have been pumping – or burst. Yet a lull in the south westerlies left smooth swell refracting around Berry Head, with the sun out, it was too tempting in the rare and light winds, and the low tide, to catch a milky-brown one.
It’s a road trip we want to do – the west coast of Fance. Here’s a little taster from Gong SUP.
Southerly winds shutting off for Monday – hoping they’ll leave some perfect, low-tide swell for preston and livermead.