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Level: Gybing and upwards.
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It’s kind of the ultimate tool for all professional windsurfers, the surf bus, or surf van, or whatever you want to call it. Over the past ten years I’ve had two vans and both have seen me maliciously abuse their guts, stripping them out, re-fitting, trying every possible surfrack vs bed combo. The two essentials right, get the gear in, make a small coffin sized space for sleeping.
Well these last weeks I’ve had a bit of time to finally tune my van the way I wanted. I spent months building up a catalogue of inspiring images over the winter and went from wanting a modern sophisticated vehicle to actually stepping back a little and finding myself super attracted to these more wooden based fit-outs.
So it wasn’t exactly a blank canvas; a couple years before I fitted the insulation, ply-lining and carpeting. I installed a bed, far too high, but myself and a friend were carrying A LOT of gear at the time. One year ago I fitted a kitchen unit and the two rear windows. For my estimated costs scroll down.
Fitting Side Windows
First job: Tint and fit two side windows. It’s surprisingly easy, you need the following; soapy water (for applying the tint), a squeegy thing (for squeezing out the soapy water from the tint), drill, metal drill bit, electric jigsaw (or similar with metal cutting blades), sandpaper, adhesive, duck tape and those glass sucker things.
Bed Positioning and Removing Old Fittings
Next up we lowered and changed the bed position. Instead of sleeping lengthways, we will sleep across the van. I’m 188cm, the width is about 178cm, solution: to give much more room for everything else in the van I will sleep diagonally in the bed, tried and tested and it worked absolutely fine.
Next job, we stripped out the old fittings, basically this whole unit behind the driver’s seat, it stored the spare wheel, a bunch of tools and random stuff.
Installed a box, it can store up to 6 windsurf boards and sails/masts around it. I carry four boards with two surf boards, 10 sails, 6 masts and so on. Booms are on the other side along with a couple more surf boards, kites and the spare wheel. We will also put a fridge in there.
Although I was keen for a lot of wood I know it’s good to save a bit of weight where possible so we got hold of a wood vinyl and put this around the box and other bits for some detailing.
Work then began on the seating.
First up, I installed the new L shaped seating, 35cm height, later about 42cm with the cushions.
We then recycled some 30 year old fencing wood. Taking the sander to it, the wood came up super nice and we used it everywhere we could. Note the windowsill, the top of the box and you’ll see where else later.
It took some serious sanding!
Back to the seating area. There’s a top opening storage locker, which now houses the 1000w inverter and some electrics as well as tools. The whole area was carpeted to match the walls. Ah and the second compartment was built to perfectly fit my drone box, it fits perfectly. Under the corner is the leisure battery and all the wiring, accessed from behind the drivers seat. Tips for carpeting; put the carpet on the ground, coat with spray on adhesive, wait 30 seconds and press the wood onto the carpet, cut out the excess trim, jobs done.
Cushions and Curtains
We picked up some curtains from a nearby homeware shop, where we also bought a €29 kids mattress for the seat cushions. The curtains were trimmed to size, curtain wires put in place and small clips attached to each curtain and hung in place.
The cushions were cut to size with a bread knife and then hand made covers were produced by my girlfriend, #sewingskills.
My first idea was to have a table that slid out from the kit storage box but then whilst walking around the builders market/shop/thing we came across the perfect hinges. So cut up two more pieces of wood, screwed them in place and now we can have just a small coffee table or space for 2 with full legroom underneath. The hinges just swing up and gravity locks them in place. I actually leave the tables up whilst driving so they don’t rattle (I know, loads of useful info here right).
We got inspired by a shelving unit we saw in Ikea (well similar to Ikea), it had steps in the shelving and held these boxes that we now have in place. So more wood and this time using bamboo for the uprights, I measured around the boxes and secured the shelving in. It’s fastened to the bed surround, which we also fitted from the old fencing wood (same on the other side of the bed when you open the back doors). Plenty of bolts used and brackets to the wall so it will stay in place in case someone decides to drive into the back of us. NB. Bamboo is super difficult to deal with, it splits super easy, so basically ended up using a lot of bolts and cables. There are still more cables to go in.
Note: At first I wanted to use metal table legs for the uprights, super happy I didn’t as I think the bamboo looks a hundred times better.
Dropdown Film Watching Shelf
I had pretty grand images of a projector in the back with a pull down screen and so on, but it’s just not practical. The next best thing, and actually now we have tried and tested it, it’s perfect, is a drop down shelf situated at the end of the bed. I’d seen some ideas of a hanging shelf on Pinterest, but that was also impractical, so I met half way as I really wanted to use this type of rope in the van. It’s a fairly self explanatory build, I’ll let you work it out from the pics.
Actually when you start working it out, there’s quite a lot to carry in the van so we used some of the leftover wood and rope and made two more cupboards above the cab area. The cupboards fold up towards the roof to reveal an area for all our clothes/towels and a few other bits and pieces.
I forgot to get a good photo of this but I just put two hinges on each bit of wood, drilled a hole for the handle and tied the rope through it. You can see it at the back of this shot.
Other additions include a box extension lead, it’s in the corner by the window in one of the next shots (contains four sockets and 2 USB sockets). The portable speaker is ideal. A solar panel is to come as well as the fridge. I’ll fit some small pockets above the bed for the laptops and some steps up to the bed. Lastly, some 12v strip lighting around the bed area. This last paragraph may be more a to do note for me than anything else. I’ll update this article as thing are done.
Reason for the van work: it’s home from now until October. I’ll be video blogging from it all over Europe as I pick up where I left off in Cape Town. If you don’t follow the Vlogs then check them out on my youtube channel and please subscribe: youtube.com/c/AdamSims. Check a quick video walk through on the next vlog of the van.
I will travel from the UK to Germany, Austria, quick stop back in the UK, down through France and Spain to Tarifa, across to the Canary Islands, then back and all the way through Europe (Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy) to the Greek Islands where I will take the van to Naxos and on to Kos, then back North, potentially to the Arctic Circle in Norway again (like I did last year), then Holland and finally back to the UK.
Supported by: ProWind92 Fuerteventura, Patrik Diethelm, Sailloft Hamburg
– Initial build (insulation*, ply lining, carpet, flooring, roofing) – about £650 (*= three layers of insulation; layer 1 = bubble wrap, layer 2 = thin foam, layer 3 = bubble wrap)
– Bed – £20 (mostly recycled wood)
– Racking – £60 (I removed all this now)
– Electrics (leisure battery, split relay, wiring, switches, 12v cigarette lighter plug, 1000W inverter, extension cube/box, lights) – £450
– Kitchen unit (came as one piece: double gas cooker and sink with electric pump and drainage plus shelving and 12v socket) – £900 + £140 fuel to collect!
– Shelving/seating/fittings/cushions/curtains/co2 detector/battery charger/tools = £350
– Additional help/wood/tools – priceless
– Build Time – 2 weeks solid if you do it on your own.
*Photos Copyright – Adam Sims
Having spent two weeks in Namibia earlier this year I’m stoked to announce that myself and Flo Ragossnig are teaming up to offer the trip of a lifetime to this truly incredible destination with our Namibia Surfari. Having travelled there together we were both totally amazed at how untouched this place was. During our entire trip there we saw just one other windsurfer yet we scored the best windsurfing conditions we have ever experienced.
Annually this country hosts the fastest speed sailors in the world, so we figured there must be a good reason why these guys keep heading back there time and time again. I think the moment our group hit the Namibian waters earlier this year was just one of the moments when we discovered that reason. From that day onwards we didn’t look back; windsurfing in new untouched paradises, camping at some of the most iconic landmarks on Earth and seeing the stunning wildlife in its natural habitat, it really was the dream trip.
So myself and Flo are stoked to announce that we will be heading back there this coming January and we will be taking a group of Surfari seeking enthusiasts for a ten day trip of a lifetime. Currently we have space but it’s filling up quicker than we could have imagined, so if you would like to know more and want to be guided around Namibia in a your own 4×4 camping equipped Toyota Hilux pick-up truck, with a bunch of like minded windsurfers, whilst receiving top quality windsurf coaching then please CLICK HERE.
You can read more about our trip in some of the most popular windsurfing mags in the world over the next couple of months.
Enjoy the ride
What a sick event, it all started off pretty slow, my draw looked pretty hard against Yegor Popretinsky, who I had been training with in Egypt just a couple weeks before and his diversity in light winds is through the roof. I was pretty pleased that I had been practising in all conditions during the 5 weeks I spent in Dahab.
My draw for the European Tow-in championships also saw our fleet take to the water last as two other qualifications fleets got under way earlier on in the event. I have to say as well that I had another dose of bad luck but at last followed by some good luck. In my heat against Yegor I was drawn up to sail the fourth heat, so whilst I heard the competition begin I knew I had 30 minutes to get my gear ready. I visited the toilet quick, came back and was just getting my gear ready to sail upwind when I found out my heat was on the water. Heat 4 had joined heat 2 and we were sailing as heat 2, I honestly don’t know how I missed that, maybe it was a late call, maybe it was my mistake, no idea but I’m guessing my heat started around the time my wetsuit was around my ankles and I was sitting on the toilet. I did my best in the ridiculously rubbish wind but could only get planning 2/3 times and thought I’d totally flamed this event, then the luck went my way and head judge Duncan Coombes announces that our entire heat was to be re-sailed. At last, a lucky chance!
So the story continues, I’m sitting there, a little over-partied from the night before and we are about to start the tow-in qualifications, it’s only two runs and I knew what I wanted to do, a clean high double funnel should get me through I imagined. Then as I am ready with my 4.4m and 93l board the wind kicks in and the PWA announce that we are starting our heats, I’m throwing my winter wetsuit on, literally running to get my gear ready and have no idea what to use, Gollito is planning on a 4.4 in the gusts. I opt for my 4.8 but because the wind has only just picked up the water is still pretty flat so I take my 101l board, then I had the heat of my life. A bit under powered a couple of times, 5.2 would have been better, but I’m planning every run at last and managed to pass through to the next round, but that’s as far as competition got, the next heat worked out and then the wind failed us for the rest of the comp, in comes the bad luck, thannnnks world, that would have been good for my ranking.
So once again tow-in was in the limelight. I was feeling a bit apprehensive because of my result in France, it kind of makes you think expectations are higher than ever but I think this actually pushes me in the end. I played it safe, the double funnel to get through but I didn’t go as high or as fast as I had hoped, I just stalled too long, and knew before the score came in that it was too safe. Sitting in 5th it was all or nothing, out comes the double spock and to be honest I think I had another dose of luck because I would have counted it as a crash, nevertheless the crowd loved it and the judges wanted to see more, through to the final but with the lowest score. This meant I had to go first when the final began…
3pm on Sunday and everyone was signing autographs, this was supposed to be our practice session, so I got my gear and went for it. I had about 6/7 practice runs without too many people there and conditions were perfect for tow-in, light offshore wind and as flat as it gets. The result I stuck a couple double spocks in training but also crashed a couple. I got close to a spock culo and decided to try one back up move, the flaka shaka into flaka, or triple funnel, same move in the end with slightly different techniques. I tried it once and got it, so felt comfortable to have that in the bag. Opening up the competition I was pretty nervous, all eyes are on the first run, but I came flying in, the water was glassy and I sent the best double spock of my life, one handed on the second spock and a clean rig flip at the end. Pretty gay claim after but it was a more “will that do” to the judges 🙂 Following that Kiri Thode stuck a perfect double culo and everyone was just like “welcome to the final”!
I tried for the spock culo after that, I thought it was my only chance to get to the top but the landing is so hard, first one I under rotated and the second I over rotated by the tiniest bit. I watched the video back already and it was so close! Anyway I’m coming to the end of this essay, making up for my lack of updates since about this time last year I guess. I was totally stoked to make the podium, it was more than I even dreamed of for this event. I went into the final hoping to come 6/7th and ended up third! Just sick!
Enjoy the gallery, unmarked photos by Martin Reiter.
Not the best start of the year for me in terms of wind but when you can hardly get planning on one tack it kind of makes life tricky to lay down a balanced heat. Whilst I always sailed a solid starboard tack it was my port tack that was letting me down, mainly because I was counting one move out of three in each heat, both heats I planned 2/3 times in total on that tack… Nevertheless still stoked with my high scores on starboard tack and I even laid down my first ever air chachoo in competition during the single elimination.
For me I am starting to get more and more excited about the tow-in discipline, at least with this everyone gets the same conditions and the same speed into their move… As a result I was stoked to land a forward in the qualifications, which helped me pass to the final. Once in the final I wanted to try a nice burner 720 to kick things off but found myself aiming at the filming boat and was forced to take off for the move much earlier, I almost ended up sitting on the side of the boat and earning myself an infamous Waves Burger from Julien Wesh. In the end I was coming into my last run with two crashes to count, my culo didn’t go to plan and so I played it safe so as not to end up at the bottom of the fleet. I was honestly pretty surprised to hear my double funnel scored so well but also very stoked to come away with 6th place, my highest result yet.
Check out the small gallery below.
In case you missed this on Facebook or Vimeo then check out the trailer from this new video project featuring Adam Sims and Balz Müller. You’ll have to wait a little longer for the real thing which will drop sometime in December 2014.
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So, just this morning I visited one of the local schools here with my girlfriend Hanna, we got all the 6/7 year old kids out of class and showed them a few windsurfing essentials… How to rig, what the parts were and of course how to throw down a sweet shaka. It was super funny and we had them try out a harness and hook in to Hanna’s 3.3 Sailloft Quad and then got them to stand in the footstraps of the Patrik Slalom board and lean back like they were windsurfing. They each got a photo whilst trying that out (sometimes one or no-handed) and it was super cool to see their excitement and enthusiasm. For sure there are 17 new rippers for the future now and it’s certainly inspired me to do more… stay tuned.
A quick photo update of a fun session I had today. Thanks to Luca Tribondeau for standing in the cold and taking a few pics whilst he recovers from injury. Windsurfing with a few friends at a new spot for me in deep south Austria, then an after surf beer… sweet! Just 3 weeks and I’m off to Fuerte already where I will be reporting and competing at the European Speed Championships… I’ve never worn a GPS before. After that it’s the UK for my brothers wedding, then back to Fuerte for some training.
Board – 101l Patrik Freestyle
Sail – 5.6 Sailloft Quad
Fin – 16.5cm BR Fins
So it’s been a while since I updated my website, a lot has happened since whenever I last did this so I will put it in to a much better update in the next days. In the meantime, I’ve got some sails which I need to sell quick so they are going for a pretty decent price. Sizes and prices are as follows, here is an image of them.
4.0 – €220 (£200)
4.4 – €180 (£165) (used sail, needs the main panel replaced)
4.6 – €230 (£220)
4.8 – €250 (£225)
5.2 – €260 (£235)
5.6 – €270 (£240)
Whole quiver for £1200
Ok so a quick one on what’s going downnn as I noticed this evening that I haven’t updated in quite a while. Soooo..
Great event but I destroyed myself 6 days before the competition, I’m still suffering from the ligament damage at the moment. Actually if I’m honest I feel like a cripple on the water right now but just getting on with it. Practising a lot of regular stance stuff because switch sucks, that has resulted in double culos becoming fairly dialled, yep a move update claim!
Pre and post PWA Fuerte
Basically I’ve just been training full power and enjoying windsurfing and everything that surrounds it. A lot of my friends came out this year and it was awesome to catch up with them, Tim Cowen was shredding the guitar every moment he got. And living with the groms is an ‘experience’ haha! It’s a lot of fun and pushing them to send it everytime we hit the water is funny, today Nic went for his first pushloops after seeing me trying them off the smallest ‘waves’ in the world, somewhere between those centre 2 wave riders!!
Yep threw out the move claim earlier but here are a couple of videos I uploaded recently. We also did a lot of filming and these are pretty far from the best shots we have. I’ve been sessioning this tiny lagoon which is pretty much a puddle and can’t wait to release the video. We (the groms, myself and Hanna) are working on this one now. Here are the videos…
A little bit delayed but everything has been pretty up and down the last week or two since I got back from Greece, anyway with Fuerte a week away I thought it would be good to share a few windsurfing only pictures from the time I had on the islands of Paros, Naxos and Mykonos. There is far too much to write about right now, so just keep an eye on the mags for the features and hope you like the gallery. As a little note the summer wind hadn’t kicked in yet so it was 5.6 and the 99l board only for the entire trip… Enjoy the snaps courtesy of the lovely Francesca La Croce and thanks to everyone involved for such a great trip!
It’s that time of the year again when the BRidge in Vienna is working a lot and just before Russia we had some pretty sick sessions there, when I got back two days ago the first thing I did was check the forecast – the bridge is on… So after a bit of a mission to get there and back I managed to score an awesome hour and half session (damn that BR fin is working good for me right now) and it was a nice surprise when Walter from Windkrafsports turned up with the camera. Check out the images below and more over at – http://www.windkraftsport.com/photogallery.php?album_id=1084 – thanks for the shots 🙂
Last week I got back from a great event in Russia at the Aqualeto Hotel in Yeysk. For me it was the first time I’d ever been to Russia and I really had no idea what to expect when we arrived, like everyone else I just assumed we would be met by a guy in a Russian fluffy hat with a bottle vodka, although Vladimir did his best to greet us like this he was dressed in his boardies with bottles of water when he met us at the airport. Actually this couldn’t have been better as it was just way too hot! After a three hour bus transfer we arrived at the hotel where we were met with a fully prepared camera crew and all the hotel staff and organisers. Over the next 24 hours the rest of the competitors and EFPT crew arrived and we were set for competition. There are a whole stack of images from the event so I will now try to update all the highlights in images/galleries/videos.
The first highlight had to be the climbing, the hotel was fully kitted out with plenty of light wind activities, including a really nice outdoor climbing wall. So with our wait for wind we all had the chance to compete in the DIFFERENT European Free-Climbing Championships… (a.k.a a race up the wall against all the other EFPT competitors). In the end I found that I should consider a free-climbing carrier as I shot up into first place and won myself a pair of very cool DIFFERENT Sunglasses.
The second highlight was the tow-in, I quite enjoy it, it is something to do when the wind is light and it gets more and more fun as I start to land some of the harder moves. Whilst in Russia we had a lot of practice at it, from the normal flat water to being towed at a boat wake for an extra boost. To wrap it all up we then had an official competition for €1000 prize money. After the first round I was stoked to sit on the podium and in the money with the move in the video below. With Steven crashing out on his first run I was already fairly convinced I wouldn’t stay there and thought about what to do next… The top 3 all landed triple funnels so it would either have to be a better one of those or something else that I had never tried as well. After some thought at what would be easier to try I decided that out of a triple funnel, an air funnel into burner and a spock culo, that the spock culo was something different and worth a try, to be honest I’d never tried any of them and the spock culo was the move I could land the most in wind. After a fairly good try (from what I’m told) although it felt pretty uneventful, I scored the highest on technical difficulty but without the landing I equalled that of my first move and Fabrizi managed to get ahead of me by half a point so I ended up 5th. Still pretty happy with that and it leaves me wanting more.
Without realising it Fabrizi was now two up on me after he also beat me in the Poker competition on the second night where we were awarded free cocktails and medals that we couldn’t quite get around our heads, thanks for the photo Rafa… (apparently the gay spanish footballer look I was going for worked a little too well)…
With Fabrizi already two up on me I decided I had to do something about this when it came to the competition as we were head to head in our first heat. I think we’ve sailed against each other once or twice before and he had also beaten me, however, I’d practised one or two moves in the lead up to the competition and managed to land a competition heat that I was happy with. Advancing to the next round I was pretty motivated until I saw Dieter on the ladder… I knew my chances were slim but this was even more so when the wind died in our first attempt at the heat and nobody could really get planning after about 2/3 minutes. Obviously a re-sail was needed as nobody could actually do moves, again the wind was light and gusty and there was a lot of luck as to where you were when the gusts came down. So again we had to re-sail but this time after completing the full heat, but I felt like I’d not had a fair chance at all and it was the right decision. We sailed again, this time I had some time to change to a bigger sail and this time it felt like a fair heat, Dieter still won but I think that switch shaka he did in front of me kind of said it all, good work. So in the end we sailed two full heats against each other.
In the double I got pretty unlucky again, I just couldn’t find the gusts on one tack and despite pumping across the whole heat area I couldn’t get planning enough to do anything better then a sliding upwind 360, the worst flaka attempt of my life because I physically didn’t have enough speed to pop the board out the water. Anyway that heat counted for some reason and I lost out bad because I was in that point of the ladder where you lose once and you drop 4 places! Gutted! From then on the wind got worse and worse but the double was completed, just, and Steven won with some impressive moves in really no wind at all. I think EFPT Head Judge Tom Hartmann did a great job at getting the double finished and really had some hard decisions to make when it came down to the final heats, in the end everyone was impressed we finished it and for sure the judges didn’t have an easy time either, there were some really really close heats!
I really enjoyed Russia and will for sure go back next year, hopefully I can flip my tow-in result with the windsurfing result and get the 5th I wanted! We also had a lot of fun at the opening and closing ceremony as well as some pretty amusing evenings with all the competitors, I think everyone enjoyed the whole atmosphere, relaxed, fun and professional, especially when we had the press conference, was really good to do something like that. I was also pretty stoked when the hotel manager came in to my room and asked me to sign a poster so that it would become the Adam Sims room.
If you have got this far then please head on over and Like my facebook page – I plan to be using that a lot now and throwing most my updates on there so if you want to hear it first then click the link and hit LIKE – thanks 🙂 – https://www.facebook.com/AdamSimsK72
EDIT: Almost forgot to add this in, the song of the trip… well for Fabrizi anyway, great singing dude 🙂 #inspired
Did some serious shredding at West Kirby this last week. Thanks to the Liverpool Uni Massiffff for the pics and for making the cold evenings a little more manageable. Leaving for the first stop on the PWA World Tour next week, looks like it should be fun and hope my ankle can recover properly, I tweaked it out pretty hard again on Thursday, was even a little painful to drive!
So here it is, enjoy the short sharp cut, feedback welcome as I will be making a part 2 at some point…
Some thoughts about the trip:
It was a fun trip with a tough ending, I had a pretty hard time and still get affected a little bit by the hit to the head. It was a hard impact with a lot of speed although not the highest attempt at a double forward. It kind of goes to show that it is pretty easy to have quite bad accidents if you get a bit complacent with using things like helmets and impact vests, they are there to be used and I most certainly will be putting one on before I try it again.
The trip itself was really cool, we had good wind most of the time, we travelled north to Portugal and scored some great sessions in the Lagoon there. I was keen to work on my technical moves and claimed a couple of new ones for me that I hadn’t really tried, you can see it in the video… haha!
I went solo on the cutting of this video, I was keen to try out a style that some people may recognise from a video produced in the snowboarding scene, the song is also from that video but I hadn’t seen it in windsurfing before so gave it my best. I had some helpful pointers from Blacklab’s Josh Willmot which was pretty cool and I plan to make a second part in the coming weeks with footage from 2012 and the rest of the Tarifa footage. I really enjoy editing videos and plan to do a lot more of it this year, so I hope you like them…haha
Trying to restore my facebook page and kick it back into life a little, feel free to check it out and hit LIKE: www.facebook.com/adamsimsk72
Just thought I’d share a move clip that obviously can’t make the cut of the video but I figured a few people would like to see some of the conditions we had in Tarifa. It was a mixed bag, generally really nice days but we had about 4 days of cloud and rain but the wind still blew. This is shot in the lagoon, a really sweet freestyle spot that lit up in poniente winds. Aside from that I also wanted to throw up a couple cool video clips I’d seen recently, just to share the incredible shots that they captured.
First up the Culo… Low light, rain and one hell of a water droplet…
I saw this pretty epic video clip just this evening and figured it was worth a share. Truly stunning shots!
This clip is one that I’ve watched A LOT in the two months since it came out and thought it was about time to share it to those unlucky enough to have missed out.
Ok and a song… yep maybe a small copy from my friend and part-time flat buddy Max Matissek and his blog, but this is cool in a sense that I always found it hard to truly appreciate songs where I can’t make out even at least a little bit of the lyrics, but this band somehow buck that trend, it might take a couple of plays to really get it (for the UK folk) but when you do it’s awesome. One for the long drive playlist, these guys have helped me cover 1,000’s of K’s in my van as I cross Europe on my adventures.
Back to that rainy lagoon windsurf, here is a snap mid-move and a ‘hair’ shot, the weather really did put up a weak fight against how much fun our session was that day. As for the overall video, it’s getting there, it’s not packed full of the latest crazy moves but more a sense of lifestyle. It’s a pretty fun edit so far I think…
Hey and if you missed it check out the proto we were working on in Tarifa for BR Fins, complete with it’s on multi-purpose fin case… CLICK HERE
So yesterday we had a little adventure to a spot near Vienna, myself, BR and Chri made the journey to Greifindor (Greifenstein) and I figured I’d warm back into it slowly, my foot wasn’t really feeling that stable so doing too much slidy gayness was out of the question… what a shame… Anyway was a good session and happy to have hit the water but I’m most happy about the 4.6 Quad I was using and the BR fin I had a go on for the first time. It really was the perfect shape and size was really easy to use – controllable yet playful, with a sick graphic. Hopefully I will get another test tomorrow before hitting the road for the UK, I’ll make sure I report back on the fin again soon. Funniest part was probably coming in before the others and trying to get out of my wetsuit, was one of those ones with the zip across the back, after a lot of struggling I got it far enough that I could get my head out but then realised this didn’t help, in the end a granny was out strolling with her dog, obviously hadn’t noticed the sideways rain at that point, and she came over and combined with me pulling on the roof rack strap that I had attached to the zipper jobby, I was free, she then said that I should lose some weight so it’s not so tight….. ooook!
Images below were all taken by Max ‘BR’ Brinnich.
So it only took a week or so to get round to it but I recently had the pleasure of heading up to Hamburg for a visit to Sailloft’s Sailloft. It’s the second time I’ve been there so nothing new upon arrival apart from the fact that I would be sleeping literally in the Sailloft and I would be there for 48 hours. It was actually really cool as I felt like I was in a real part of windsurfings core. We all know that Germany is the biggest windsurfing nation in the world, and if you didn’t you do now, so to be at the HQ of one of the leading brands and to spend 48 hours developing brand new prototypes and really having deep discussions about why things work and what solutions we could come up with without resorting to materials that we really didn’t want to go near, was great.
The main aim for my trip was to help develop the Quad range, to see if we can do anything to it to suit the PWA freestyler as much as the weekend warrior (a very hard task seeing as it works so well at the moment). In the end we cut and stuck two prototypes ready for the next stage of testing and have a whole stack of ideas for the coming year. So the R’n’D process will continue for the next 6 months with input from all the international team riders and hopefully then be ready in time to produce a fresh new 2014 sail, for 2014.
To be honest that’s about as much as I can say right now but I’m stoked to be a part of a brand that is so pro-active and avoids cutting any corners to make a quick buck. On top of that is the Sailloft Quad+ which won the top spot in the recent German Surf Mag test. Pretty good going especially as they took the top spot for the original version of the Sailloft Quad last year.
Ha Tarifa! To sum it up – Windsurfing, Surfing, SUPing, Windsurfing, Windsurfing, Hospital, CT Scan, X-rays, Windsurfing, Hospital, X-Rays, Horses, Pony Ride, double forward to face, damn f***ing ponch, driving, driving, party, fancy dress, beer, sunsets, sunrise, warm, cold, warm, 40 hours drive, Portugal, Sagres, windsurfing, windsurfing, not necessarily in that order.
So I’m back in Austria now for a few days before heading up to Hamburg to catch up about the new Sailloft sails and discuss the plans for next years range. After that it’s UK bound for some time and to hit the road around some of the UK’s finest freestyle, wave and freeride locations with all the Patrik/Sailloft demo gear. So if you want to try any of it then get in touch and I’ll try to swing by a spot near you.
As for Tarifa, it was a really cool place to go to, I’d had it on my list for years now and it certainly met all expectations, it’s kind of a Cape Town in miniature and yet at the same time it has a very English feel to the landscape/water at this time of the year. I’m currently writing a feature with a friend of mine BR (from BR Fins) who travelled with me about heading there and a whole lot more so won’t give too much away as it should be a pretty cool one with video, plenty of pics and some text to go along with it. Perhaps a 2 part feature, we shall see.
I imagine most people are interested in me doing the classic hospital trips, well I do certainly have video footage but am working on a personal video about that soon. However, Boards kindly posted a bit of news about it not so long ago, you can see that here (boards.mpora.com/news/another-man-down) and all I can say is that I’m still getting weird feelings from my head and it is over a week later, I was told (yesterday) that it can take up to 2 weeks to for any swelling to go down and sport should be taken easy in that time, good job I hit the water on day 3 then and no wonder I keep hearing random ringing in both my ears still! Any advice on head injuries/concussion welcome, either in the comments section below or message me. Anyway that’s not all of it… I also ended up in hospital a second time after crashing a ponch. I wanted to train the ponch as it is how I busted my left foot almost two years ago now. So for most of the trip it was going ok then I figured I should see what I can add on to the end of the move, came in full power, didn’t turn off the wind enough and halfway through the move my footstrap came out (completely forgot to tighten it, new board and a couple weeks in, stupid error!). This resulted in the board stopping the move and my body continuing through it. The pain was savage and I was convinced I had broken it, however it turns out that it’s not broken but instead I’ve either torn or very much over stretched all the ligaments that connect the joints in the middle of the foot. Kind of hard to explain but there are quite a few of them there (you have 103 in total in the foot) and they are responsible for any twisting motion across the middle of the foot. I’m walking on it but pretty slowly and now focus hard on physio, to make sure it’s ready as soon as possible.
The picture below shows two very good reasons why I’m completely stoked right now – 1x new sponsor (more about NEFF here) and 1x trophy is in the house. A huge thank you to all the support and everyone that voted for me. Time to celebrate a little this weekend then Tarifa is calling, a new place for me and one I’m really looking forwards to.
There really are a bunch of different techniques to learn the move but I’m pretty sure what I’m about to explain is slightly away from the norm (well the ‘Going higher, further and sliding’ bit anyway). To me it makes a lot of sense and I think it helps give some pretty decent style points when it comes to doing the move. It’s also the right method for learning how to do backside 360’s (wave shakas). However, if you are at the real beginning then you will first need to learn the rotation, read on…
Read on here – THE SHAKA
Any questions or move requests please leave a comment or get in touch, my details are on the contact page.
So hopefully one or two people tuned in a couple days ago for the forward loop technique, if not, take a look at my last post and follow the link. I’ve now completed the Kono and once again I hope there is something in there of use. I would focus mainly on ducking the sail because you need to be able to do this everytime anyway, so that is the first ‘move’ to master. Also it will help when it comes to the culo and other moves I start uploading.
For now here is THE KONO – CLICK HERE
Any questions or move requests please leave a comment or get in touch, my details are on the contact page.
Having found a bit of free time on my hands (that probably means I’ve forgotten something important…) I’ve decided to finally get on with the moves and tips I’ve been wanting to do for a while. The idea was to make podcasts originally but I haven’t yet got a decent mic so have stepped back from that, however I hope to be able to do something whilst out in Tarifa during February. For now I hope you find these useful enough, there should be a fresh move every couple of days during the next week.
For now a nice Sunday evening read on the FORWARD LOOP – CLICK HERE.
The idea is to hopefully make a bit from donations to invest into further clips and stepping them up in the future, so if you find it insightful or helpful then please feel free to make a little contribution. Nothing is compulsory so if it’s not possibly to throw anything towards it then that’s cool but just enjoy and please leave any questions or comments. You’ll find out how to leave tips on the move page.
Super stoked to be officially announcing this now. Having had the interviews, etc… I just wanted to write a quick word of thanks to my sponsors and the people that supported and helped through 2012. In particular Patrik Diethelm and Sailloft Hamburg who both took me on board and have given me opportunities I didn’t think were possible. The two brands are fantastic, the people are fantastic and the kit is outstanding. By far the best combo is the Patrik 90 freestyle or Patrik 78 Trailer wave with the 4.4 Sailloft, can’t wait to use it again in a couple of weeks!
Check out a full interview and more on the EFPT website – www.efpt.net
Today was literally as the title explains. I finally hit the water for a session with no competition pressures, no pumping and handful of new moves I wanted to try without too many spectators.
4.4 Sailloft and my Patrik 90, fully stacked and some waist to head high ramps out back, although very onshore. The first hour was a great warm-up then this awesome little ‘trench’ that I’ve eyed up at Camber for a long time now just appeared and because of the tide it stayed for ages. It was flat inside, waist deep for port tack moves and on the way out you had a 50-100m run up to knee/waist high ramps, it was awesome!! So I was stoked to have this chance to just really go for it and well about 50% of what I wanted worked out, this is where we go to…
As is standard with trying new moves the crashes are just not ideal! I think a helmet could well be a good idea on these rare occassions, sounds a bit gay but anyone trying anything new in any sport wears them, so not such a bad idea after all. What else was bad… hmmm forgetting my screwdriver, forgetting my wetsuit/harness, forgetting my 370 mast. Let’s just say the 4.4 works well with a 400 mast but with a 370 it is exceptional!
The ripped apart hands, the karate chop to the neck by my own boom, the inability to swallow, not being able to feel my ice block like feet, the feet swelling up after the session so I couldn’t put my already oversized shoes on for half an hour.
Go faster, forget less, windsurf more.
Will I be out tomorrow
A still from some gopro footage captured about 10 days ago whilst snowboarding for the third day in my life, usually a skier, fancied a change and got converted.
Ok so the last update was a while ago, which can only mean one thing, I’ve been on a mission. Actually, it’s been a little more than that so apologies already if this is a lengthy one to catch up a little.
When you make plans for the next month/year/2 years/etc, they always seem to be some sort of progression from what the previous year has had in store. Well at least that is how it has worked for me, until this year. Don’t get me wrong, there was a plan but nothing at all like what happened. Anyway everything that happened over the first part of the year almost seems to be completely separate to the next ‘little’ project I found myself undertaking.
Having a massive interest in windsurfing kind of lead me to a chat with Sam Burnett about doing an EFPT event in the UK. Initial plans were made over a drink or two in Fuerteventura, these plans grew from one thing to the next and sure enough we found ourselves fully motivated to start up an events company and run an international competition in the UK. That said, the week passed and not much more was said of it. About two and a half months later the King of the Wind kicked off with 26 competitors and 7 females competing alongside in the Queen of the Wind. In between I’d lost about a kilo of hair, a few kilos of weight and my eyes had gone a little square. At the same time I’d had some awesome sessions on the new sail brand I signed up to (Sailloft Hamburg) and became the agent for them, complimenting Patrik Diethelm perfectly. Between that I also went to Witterings for the UKWA comp where I won the tow-in, to Weymouth for meetings with the council, to Hamburg to meet up with Team Sailloft, then Austria, down to Cornwall for the SWA Aussie Kiss event, to south France for the second stop of the EFPT, back down to Weymouth for the King of the Wind and now I’m finally at home after spending a few days ‘break’ surfing/windsurfing with some friends in Cornwall. Thank you van for just about surviving!
All in all it’s been pretty hectic but at the same time it’s awesome and I hope that 2013 will be a little more easier to deal with now everything is in place.
So with plenty of video to get through I’ve started to make a 2012 round up and will release it within a couple of weeks I imagine. In the meantime Josh Willmot is working on the last video from the King of the Wind, which I hear will be out in the next couple of days. Can’t wait to see that one!
There are plenty of images so here is a little gallery of all the happenings in the last couple of months including some cool shots on the new kit, enjoy and the next update will be very soon. I’ve got some plans for some move clips or photo sequences to discuss the higher end moves.
Lastly, a huge thanks to Sailloft and Patrik for all their support in the last months and I’m completely stoked to be riding on the best gear that is currently on the market and even more stoked to have achieved my highest international ranking as a result of the new gear – now officially 8th in Europe! Muzza style woop woop! Which, I was told, makes me the second person from the UK to ever break into the top 10 EFPT rankings since the tour started in 2003!
After two weeks in Sigri, I’m more than happy to say that I really enjoyed the spot. It’s fairly quiet so it is a more chilled out location and we were a little unlucky with the wind, especially as we now leave and it suddenly goes full power. Anyway the wind was ok and I still managed a couple 4.7 sessions but mostly on 5.2. The freestyle spot itself is pretty sick, it’s quite a short run so you are forced to do a high frequency of moves, more than normal and because of that you end up having more sessions but for less time. Then any thought of partying seems to just slip out the window as bed becomes just a bit too inviting. That said the side was certainly not let down when the EFPT were in town. Despite a lot of guys having left before the last night party, it was amazing to see how such a small group managed to really, how was it put… by Davy Scheffers… ‘turn the bar upside down’. We had a lot of fun throughout the whole event with everyone and I really hope we get to return next year. It is certainly right up there on one of my top places to go and would recommend it to a lot of people. Perhaps that is why Andraz, Davy and Youp are all staying there to get some practice in. No doubt a pretty decent video will be out in the next weeks from them.
Anyway here are a few pictures below from action of myself throughout the competition. I was pretty stoked with my result, achieving my aim of making the top 10 has given me further confidence for the future and left me with a lot of ideas about what to practice. Actually it’s what I needed after my highly disappointing result in Fuerte where I pretty much got screwed over by only taking 4.2 and 4.7 with me… good move on my part… lesson learnt! Enjoy the snaps, mainly taken by Hanna Poschinger at efpt.net
Ok so some more pictures, words and video action now…
Having been here for almost two weeks we’ve scored epic conditions for the whole time… until day 1 of the competition! Literally as soon as the PWA Slalom was meant to kick off the light wind effect known as calima has set in. The forecast looks great but the it is just too hot for the wind to come through. How long it will stay for is fairly unknown, however, a few locals have been saying that Monday looks like breeze on. So in the mean time it’s surfing time over on the other side of the island as well as catching up on a little work and going out for a beer or two. However, that said, I’ve been avoiding the organised parties put on by the event, so far, as apparently competitors who pay a huge entrance fee, who spend a lot of money to be at the event and who are generally on tight budgets have to pay to attend the pre-event parties?! Anyway I won’t go into it but I get the feeling most riders feel the same.
So a personal update goes something along the lines of this – windsurfing, eating, sleeping, windsurfing, windsurfing, eating, sleeping, repeat… It’s really been a great trip and I’ve learnt a lot in just two weeks. With no wind yesterday we hit La Pared for a couple hours surfing, the waves were surprisingly good and it was nice to take a bit of a break. Now I’m pretty keen to see the wind return though. In the meantime Josh from Blacklab put me in front of the camera and told me to speak to Paul Zeper about the event and threw in some pre-event warm up clips. So check that out over on his vimeo channel – https://vimeo.com/46119442. I think the plan is to do something similar today so we will head down later and see what we can get. Any special requests just fire a message my way.
The gallery below includes a couple sequences which I thought were cool, all the shots were taken about 5 days ago by Markus Seidel, thanks very much to him.
In terms of other sailors, I think just about everyone is here now. Two days ago it was still windy and most of the guys got out for a sail in the competition area, actually it was really hard to sail there, you would come in full power and then go to duck the sail in no wind!? Dieter Van Der Eyken was sailing well, actually he seems to be on fire in all conditions. It’s hard to really pick any other stand outs really, I mean the standard is super high so everyone is sailing well but so far it seems a lot of people are crashing moves where you least expect it.
Anyway enjoy the photo gallery and more updates soon.
Photos – Oli Stauffacher
So I’ve been here two days and it’s been crazy getting back into sailing on 4.2 completely stacked. It’s been a long time since I really had sessions like this and one thing I know for sure, I’ve missed it!! The last 48 hours have been a fast learning curve for me. I decided to really just go all out and try and learn all the latest moves that the top guys are landing, by default my other moves, just the single moves, have gone a little … wild! Both days we sailed at Matas Blancas in the morning and then I sailed at centre 1 in the afternoon. The first day Steven was out as well as Loick Spicher and a few others, and from just that one session it is obvious that EVERYONE has been training like a group of wild beasts over the winter. The moves are insane! Big double forwards, massive pushloops, air skopus, double/triple combos, one handed, no handed, just about everything you can think of… So it is all fairly inspiring to watch and then try and copy, albeit pretty savage on the body. As many of you will know, last year I couldn’t compete because I crashed hard on a pushloop just a couple days before the competition, well this first two days has cemented a bit of fear back in to my mind about ending up back at the hospital… I had a real bad one today where I was fairly unsure as to whether I had cracked a rib or two, I think I must have been sailing at about 35knots and then came to a dead stop on my boom clamp as I planted my body full speed into it! Although I have no planes to slow down on the progression, I will do my best to stay well clear of the hospital. Oh and gawwwd-damn-it those Patrik boards are working, as well as being super popular out here!
So to cut a long story short, the plan is to update every few days with pictures and perhaps even do something similar to Ben Proffitts Pozo Training Diaries if I can get round to getting the video camera out and filming, also I think a few more people need to turn up… Unfortunately I’m not as well situated to film during lunch and after my sessions but we shall see. If not then it will just be round ups similar to this.
So putting myself aside, as obviously I’m sailing like a complete hero and deserve to be number one in the world…… there are a few others who have been impressing. No one more so than Youp Schmit who I have yet to see sail but have heard that he is sailing like some crazed animal! I managed to get a whole load of pictures off Oli Stauffacher and they certainly back up the claims. Just check out the height he is getting on his pushloops! Obviously Steven Van Broeckhoven is on fire, I’ve heard of countless perfect double forwards, I saw him pushloop over a guy, well at least that was my perspective of it… and in general you can see he means serious business this year. Aside from that there are plenty others stepping it up, but I’ll leave a lot of the actual moves people are training for you all to see during the competition.
Anyway that’s enough chat for now, check out the pictures below, feel free to rate them and enjoy this beastly update.
Finally, a massive thanks to Oli Stauffacher who took all the pictures and for letting me post them, some he wanted to hold back but allowed the permission for you all to enjoy! So any feedback would be much appreciated by him no doubt, leave a comment, etc… I’m sure you know how it works!