Wave Magnet Torbay

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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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’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.

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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!

Here’s the link for Torbay –

http://www.channelcoast.org/data_management/real_time_data/charts/?chart=85

Happy surfing! :)

Surfing in North Devon – the guardian

“As a clean three foot swell hits the world class surfing beaches of Woolacombe, Saunton and Croyde, Alastair Sawday heads to North Devon to look at areas vibrant and ever growing surf culture through the eyes of the men that make it happen. He spends time at the local point break with Andrew Cotton, the Devon lifegaurd, boy turned big wave hero. He visits the Gulf Stream Surfboards factor and talks to founder Julian ‘Jools’ Matthews and spends some time with surfing historian Peter Robinson”.

Portrait of a surfer

A beautiful video filmed on location in West Cornwall, Swami’s short film profiles multiple British and European longboard champion Sam Bleakley: surfer, explorer and writer.

An insightful glimpse into a surfer’s state of mind, travel wonder lust and the ultimate draw back home.

BrushBoarding at GoExpo 2010

“BrushBoarding is a revolutionary new Multi-board sport X-training activity that can be enjoyed by all ages and abilities.
The Brush ramp is safe and environmentally friendly, and enhances key skills and fitness needed for all board sports-without needing to get wet!
BrushBoarding builds core strength and fitness while improving balance and co-ordination, in an exciting and innovative way – no room for boardem!”