Sunday, December 7, 2014

What Goes Around, Comes Around.

Cagoules and canvas back-packs are back in; I'll bet that not many of them get worn whilst ice-climbing Ben Nevis these days, though.  This short film was produced for National Geographic by Yvon Chouinard (he of Patagonia fame) back in 1976, featuring famed Scottish climber John Cunningham.  Take 8 minutes sat in front of your screen and, whilst you probably won't end up wishing that you were John wearing a small avalanche on your head half way up a frozen gulley, you'll certainly wish you were outside getting some cold air in your lungs.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Slyding Sunrise to Sunset

This past Saturday saw the finless clans of the British surf community converge on Lusty Glaze beach to compete in this year's Approaching Lines Slyder Cup, presented by the good folks at Reef.  With it being just a few weeks shy of the winter solstice, the "Friction Affliction Winter Convention" filled the few short hours of daylight and extended the magical golden hour to cover what felt like half of the heats contested.  Huey co-operated and sent some solid lumps shoreward for the duration of the day, testing all competitors waterman skills as well as their abilities to ride waves with no traction.  Here's a selection of my shots from sun-up to sun-down that sum up a great day of wave sliding.

At first light the surf looked fun.  An hour later it had jumped in size by about four feet as a westerly swell filled in, providing big, cold and bumpy conditions for the bodysurfers.

Swasssshhhhh zone stand-off.  Crabbing my way half-way up a rock face and balancing my camera on my knees doesn't get quite the same results as a tripod, it would seem.

There was a lot of water moving around the small bay as the bodysurfers competed at high tide, with wash-through sets leaving the "smaller" inside waves as the only consistent options.

Wooden surfboard shaper James Otter preparing to swim out with a handplane produced using offcuts from one of his surfboards. 

I'm pretty sure that Rich Pope was entered into every category.  Here he takes on an outside bomb on a 4'x1' bent plywood bellyboard before going on to win the air mat category and take second place overall.

The Otter Surfboards demostration station - showing what goes on at a bodysurfing "build-your-own" workshop experience day.

Jimbo Bennet returned to defend his title, drifting all over the place on an albacore with control and grace - here delaying the drop with a mid-face tail slide.

Pat from Surfboard Art Wales made the trip down and caught some screamers in the paipo category, switching between prone and kneeling and causing the judges to quickly glance at the scoring system.

Sarah Bentley, deserved winner of the "Most Stylish Human" award for making drop like this time and time again on a surfboard with no fins.

The twilight expression session saw all manner of wave-sliding craft in the line-up, including Ross Curwen and his trusty tray.

The mat finalists making walk to the waters edge at low tide, and considering how they might paddle a large, buoyant, bag of air out through shifty overhead surf.

Contenders ready!  The finless finalists.

Jimbo Bennet using nothing but rail to stick a drop that most surfers would be stoked on if they had a few fins in their board.

Finless friends, congratulating each other on a well surfed day and demonstrating the camaraderie that exists between the tribes.

Event Director Chris Nelson with Wooden Surfboard maker James Otter, watching the sun set on the last minutes of the grand final and a day of great surfing.