I recently returned from a “winter escape” to South Africa. I took off on Nov 27, which was a little bit after the snowy icy cold winter had taken over. And after having tasted this nasty winter it was soooo good get down to the warmth and continue windsurfing on a daily basis.
Jumping at Sunset
walking up at Platboom beach
I normally don’t take off this early for my winter training, as December usually also offers good times on the ocean at home (NOT, this year though!!!) The trip was planned very last moment and actually the main reason it happened was because I had started giving private lessons in the autumn for Danish windsurfer Claus Bøgild. With the harsh winter suddenly invading Denmark and making it impossible to windsurf comfortably, Claus suggested we make a trip down to the warmth to continue the instructing and with all my expenses paid for! Off course I accepted! Must say this is one of the better assignments I have had! I really enjoy the private instruction concept. The intensity of the training gives a really steep learning curve. And on top of that, Claus is a really cool guy, and we had a great time. Along with us came Claus’s wife and little daughter and we also had good company from a common friend, and keen windsurfer Morten Steen. I had arranged a super nice apartment for us, 8 storage up right at the ocean where we could see every ripple of the sea! There was actually sea view from every room, except the toilet! So we could constantly stay updated on the weather and never missed a gust of wind! We were blessed with plenty of wind during our stay, almost everyday in fact and some days with good waves too.
Claus and Morten having a good time at Sunset
GoPro angle at Platboom. Love the green water color down there!
Another GoPro shot from Platboom and a watershot from Sunset
In the past I’ve gone to SA in the high season period of January and February and then the spots are really busy and some days you can hardly find a parking place. I was curious to what it was like this early in the season, and it turned out many of the spots were quite empty and there were plenty of waves for everybody, so that was quite a luxury! Still there was good company on the water, with several familiar faces that was good to see again!
Young and upcoming danish riders, Jens Pedersen and Christopher Friis ripping it up!
Walking up the beach at Yzerfontain in good spirits and sunset shot from the water.
Frontloop number 10341 on this trip!
Now back in Klitmøller I’m almost in doubt if I should have returned home for Xmas. The winter is the worst I have ever experienced up here. The ocean is starting to freeze up, something that I never seen before in this area. Yesterday when I was going SUPing I had to pass an ice edge in some places 50-100 meters wide! I think I need to start organizing the next winter escape!!!
Christian Gøbel, FYM maestro have put together this little short film with me wave sailing in Middles (Cold Hawaii)
We had a few clips from the past year sitting on the hard drives, that we figured we put into action. Not a lot, but a few nice ones, including some 120 fps RED ONE clips that Adam Thulin shot. I was pretty stoked getting some wave 360’s when we had the RED rolling!
Here’s the last in a long row of product videos we did for JP Australia’s new board collection. This one is for the new generation VII Slalom boards. Robby Swift did the filming and we did the editing here in Klitmøller.
I often talk with people that are surprised to hear about how often we are on the water up here in Klitmøller. They almost don’t believe me, when I tell that we are on the water almost every day in the high season. This is what I love about living up here its nonstop action! Off course there are times that are not so good, but when you are also into Slalom/speed, SUP and surfing like I am, there’s almost always action to be found somewhere in the area. Let me take you through what the last week was like up here. That was a pretty average week for this time of year.
This day was a little tricky, there was a lot of wind south of us, actually a storm low-pressure system, but they didn’t predict that much up here. HOWEVER, it turned into a great day, the forecast got it wrong, and it was an absolutely joyfully sideoff session in Middles sailing with 4,2 and my small 68 JP Twinser Quad.
These days were the worst predicted all year, on this day the forecast couldn’t get any better! They called for plenty of wind and massive waves with a great side offshore wind direction for Middles.. I was hyping myself up all morning for a heavy wave session, packing plenty of food so I could last the whole day. But boy, were we disappointed when we arrived. Not anything like they had announced. After a lot of waiting it actually got all right with 2-meter waves and decent down the line conditions. It wasn’t so windy, so after a while windsurfing I decided to go surfing instead. This day reminded me what is was like going to beach 20 years ago with very dodgy weather forecasts that never got it right. Despite this big miss by the weather service, nowadays the forecasts actually almost always gets it’s right.
Waking up in the morning I actually thought, this would be day I would finally have to take the bike out and for a change do some land exercise. But nope, there was a nice swell running in a light offshore breeze cleaning out all the chops and it was a fantastic day for SUP. This is what I absolutely love about this area, the ability to suck in some swell even on days that look hopeless in the forecast!
This wasn’t the most exciting day in Middles, but there were some wind and waves making it for an all right light wind wave session. Any day on the water is a good day! Also Christian and I had fun making some water shots.
This was another day without any wind and not really any waves forecasted either. However there were some waves in the morning, but I was simply to tired to go, day after day on the water had taken a toll on my body. I thought the waves were just “leftovers” from the day before and would quickly be gone anyways. So I decided it would be a resting day and I would get something done in the office. However, by mid day I was surprised to see the waves still rolling in, and since I was feeling pretty powered up again, I went out and took advantage of some clean peeling waves on a beautiful sunny day at my favourite SUP spot in Bunkers.
The wind had swung around to North East, normally a wind direction that provides fine conditions. But this time of year, it also brings cold weather. There’s was plenty of wind for some slalom sailing, but with a temperature of just 3 degrees, I figured I take that long due resting day!
The wind was still in NE and gusting up to 20 M/sec. Perfect for speed sailing down south in the area of Krik. Unfortunately the wind died off just as I got there, but still enough to go on the speed needle with a 6,2. It was only 2 degrees, and this was the coldest session so far.
With the wind forecasted to stay in North East as far forward as you can see it doesn’t look good for improvements for the cold wheather! If it’s stays like this we are going to get the same heavy winter conditions as last year. Bugger! I love those mild winters where the wind stays in the westerly corner, however even with wintery conditions there will be plenty of good surfing and SUP action, where it’s easier to stay warm than with windsurfing. But thoughts are starting to wander towards warmer destinations now!
Thanks to Christian for taking pictures!
I believe it’s well about time that I update this blog!!! I will take a look back on what’s happened the past few months. It’s not an easy task though, as this autumn has been very busy and I almost don’t know where to begin. But let me begin with the fact it has been quite a windy autumn, and I have had tons of good days on the water, including some very memorable sessions. Like in the shots below from Agger. This spot doesn’t work very often, but it’s amazing when it does. You’ll have several turns on big faces without anything remotely looking like chop!
Luckily some of the good winds also coincidence with the biggest events we have ever had in Denmark, Waterz and PWA Cold Hawaii. For Waterz, we could have done without all the rain though since we were doing the event filming. But hey, it was windy! And a great event! J
Here’s the film we did on Waterz:
After that it was straight into PWA Cold Hawaii, and I’m never going to forget the sensation I felt when I came down to the beach and saw all the flags, tents, and a full fleet of PWA sailors. A World Cup right in my backyard! I used to dream about this all the time. Unbelievable!
It was really fun competing on world cup level again after a 6 year break. I actually did advance one heat (against Antxon Otaegui) and I got real close in my next one. After the event I really felt like doing some more World Cup events!
The pictures above are from the last big event of the year we had in Klitmøller, the Danish Championships. We had plenty of wind, in fact the first day of competition had to be postponed due to too much wind!!! On the following day we caught the end of the strong low pressure, and competed in quickly descending winds. I never tried anything like it, in a few hours I sailed with almost all my sails, except my 4,5. That was a lot of rigging in a short time! Unfortunately the efforts didn’t quite cut it to defend my title from last year. I ended in 3’rd place
Recently I’ve had some good coverage. Here’s a couple of the best:
TV2 Nord. (Scroll down to “World Cup Surfing”.. Note it’s in Danish..)
Thanks for pictures to:
PWA John Carter, Christian Gøbel, Ida O. Jacobsen and Simon Lauritsen