Archive | November, 2011

Does Surfing Discriminate?

30 Nov

Duel for the Jewel - 2010 Pipemasters

Tyler, Steph, Alana & Coco


When the ASP announced the women’s tour dates I thought, how could it go from a heat at Pipeline last year to no events in Hawaii 2011. Yes, Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright, Alana Blanchard and Coco Ho surfed competitively at Pipe last year. No, I am not talking about Blue Crush the movie, it actually happened.

This year, what are the women’s highlights? Steph posing naked for ESPN instead. I agree that if you’ve got it, flaunt it and I do think Alana looks super hot in her bikini bottoms, but I would much rather watch her surf.

There are barely any women’s surf videos, so I enjoy watching the girls compete. Watching the best female surfers in the world pushing their surfing to new heights is inspirational. It motivates me to go out and surf better, to challenge myself.

And what did a heat at Pipe cost the sponsors? 25 minutes and some prize money, and not a lot of prize money at that. The money put up is most likely less than a contribution to fund the listing of a range of surf branded beanie hats in the Argos catalogue.

The biggest disappointment is that the surf industry itself openly demonstrates considerable bias. This is easily illustrated by the attached chart, with women’s events having to find alternative supporters rather than industry sponsors.

Chart

The reason given that marketing budgets are being slashed during the recession, therefore women’s surfing has to take the hit is a poor excuse, and a short sighted one. An investment made now, however small grows into something much larger. It reassures a younger generation of women that their leisure pursuits are just as worthwhile, and they, of course will invest in equipment and clothing for a lifetime to perpetuate the industry.

Does surfing discriminate? Make your own mind up and let us hope the ASP Women’s World Tour will actually run for a full year in 2013.

Not So Secret Spot

20 Nov

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For those that read my earlier post referring to a secret spot with a fabled right hander, here is a picture of Tim surfing it last winter. It only works on a certain tide when the swell is coming from west to north westerly direction, and it needs to be a big swell! This was the biggest I’ve seen it. Unfortunately it is not as secret as it once was. Only 3 or 4 years ago we surfed it with a maximum of 8 or so people. This weekend there was probably nearly 40 people out.

Read ‘Em and Weep – Reading the Charts

18 Nov
Magic Seaweed

Magic Seaweed Surf Forecast Newquay

Office bound surfers are often to be found trying to surreptitiously check the surf forecast throughout the week, anticipating their release when the clock strikes 5:00 pm. The problem with these short days and long nights means we can no longer sneak a quick dip before and after work. The onus falls squarely on the weekend now.

What is worse than a chart denoting no swell and flat conditions for a surfer like me? A chart a bit like the one shown on this post. Why you ask?

I have watched all week and seen the charts looking full of friendly 3-4 foot surf. I have seen the Tweets from the smug weekday surfers, and viewed the pictures posted by the oh so helpful surf magazines. ‘Look what you’re missing’ they scream. So now it is the weekend, and I along with the other weekend warriors are amped to get wet, and Saturdays forecast is for 7-11 foot swell.

Too big for me! Cold, overhead surf is not want I want for my play time. I am happy to accept that I am a wimp. My muscles have slowly been turning to jelly whilst sat at my desk munching cake all week. The challenge is now on to find somewhere where it will still be fun.

Cornish beach breaks do not generally hold large swells particularly well, although there are exceptions. Even the sheltered spots are likely to be heavy and rammed with others who have had the same thought process as me. I do have something up my sleeve, a semi secret spot. Somewhere between Newquay and Bude lies this very Cornish spot. If the tide is right and the swell gets in, long right handers will be mine, oh yes, they will be mine.

Cornwall, Sunny Cornwall

12 Nov

In the sun, even Newquay can look like Hawaii or some other tropical paradise. If you look away from the arcades, surf shops and chippies, and use a bit of imagination it is not winter anymore. Ignore the surfers in full winter suits, pretend that you are not wearing scarf, body warmer and fleece. Turn your face to the sun and soak up that vitamin D. It is November now and we have a many long, dark days ahead.

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