Bonus November

By this time of year here in Sweden there could already be a respectable layer of snow in the ground and ice on the lakes, however this November has been exeptionally warm, we’ve been out a few times in the last few weeks, Jukka has been on a mission to get as many sessions in before the icey fingers of winter choke off the season. We were back at Väddö however that place is a bit of a dissapointment when travelling there from the south of stockholm, it takes such a time to get there and then its a good bit from the parking spot down to the beach. Continue reading

Nailed it in Nynäshamn

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This time round no pictures, no films, took a spontanious half day off of work as there was some good wind down at nynäshamn, VIVA said it was blowing 9.8 out at landsort 20 km to the south, I rigged the 7.2 and set out  for the open water to the SW. I’ve always had trouble getting power from this board and sail combo and had never got it planing, so I was aprehensive that it would be a good session, there was certainly enough wind, but it looks like i might have finally got to grips with it. Continue reading

Hardware update, software booty upgrade

One of the only two windsurfing stores in the Stockholm region skidsport.nu had a sale this weekend celebrating 35 years of business and giving 35% discount so I took advantage of there generosity to update some of my oldest equipment.

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I got me a new RRD alu boom, to replace my unifiber boom thats showing its age, and some 30cm NP harness lines and a new “deluxe” pull up, a new mast extention base, which annoyingly is too long to work with my 430 mast, buying it at a discount takes the edge off of it. I bought some new wetsuit booties these ones have some kind of bamboo on them that supposed to prevent them getting all stinky, they’re nicely flocked on the inside too, toasty 🙂

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Riders on the storm

Sunday 6th September turned out to be a brutal day, we travelled nearly two hours North of Stockholm to Väddö. when we arrived we were initially disappointed as the wind hadn’t picked up, checking the VIVO app we  could see that the wind was blowing to the north of us and to the south, looks like we were in the eye of the storm, while waiting other surfers turned up in anticipation.

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While waiting we went looking along the beach, the bushes were laden with berries, we munched on sea buck Thorn, blueberry and Ligon.
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Jukka tests out his rig whilst waiting

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Around 3pm the weather finally arrived, a full on never ending torrential rainstorm. Massive gusts followed by hollow wind lulls, this combined with heavy waves made even getting off the beach a challenge. To make it out passed the stony outcrop 30 meters from the start of the beach required wading out over an endless series of large submerged rocks that took out my shins one step and the next treacherously moved under foot constantly keeping me off balance whilst being battered by the incoming waves. One second the water is ankle deep the next its out of my depth.

Time after time I was mercilessly spooled up on to the beach and forced to run the stone & wave gauntlet. After the 5th attempt I managed to get a going from a waterstart and miss the rocky outcrop, once past that the gusts and lulls were brutal, so far in to the bay the wind was not strong enough to waterstart easily and then the gusts ripped through totally over powering the rig. Consequently I was forced to pull up the rig, in that swell it was not the easiest of tasks, and it really helped hone getting the sail up out of the water quickly. due to just about being able to gybe the 125L on flat waters I had no chance really in that swell, I didn’t stick any of the turns and i noticed that others were having troubles, when i took a 15 minute break it felt good to hear that more experienced guys state that they thought the conditions were difficult. Once back out on the water and past the submerged navigational hazards I had no trouble getting the board planning, I still can’t figure out how to go upwind when planning, however I can at lower speeds so I could at least keep off of the beach.

The rain never let up and at one stage was so extreme that it almost drew blood from my lip, it was being driven so hard by the winds that it caused extreme physical pain as it pummelled my exposed skin!
I got to practice my water starts once out in the steadier winds, it felt good to get the routine down, sail up flip it , grab the boom, straight up on the board just a few seconds from prone to sailing.
From this session I can see how much I’ve progressed in the last year, I wouldn’t have contemplated heading out in those conditions a year ago, and Jukka I don’t think would have let me,
All in all it was a good session, we sailed from 3pm to 7:30pm, sundown was 8pm, at the end of it I felt like I had been hit by a truck totally exhausted, it’s taken me almost a week to recuperate a lot of muscles got torn and bruised. A large part of that misery was caused by the effort in raising the sail 50 times, I really, really need to learn how to gybe the board.

Tha day ended with a rainbow 🙂
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