WANTED – A cure for my hunchback lefts!



Mooched up the road to Watergate on Saturday Night and met up with Ritch and Matt. Judging from the sea of knackered faces the waves were well worth having and the BSUPA finale had waves!!! Looks like a good time was had by all who entered. I caught some of the results on the SUPGlobal forum through some form of live feed. Impressive.

Sunday saw a reasonably early start, the tide was half way off high and dropping, wind was offshore and light. The chart was giving three and a half feet. I don’t know how people measure their waves but I would say it was head high and pitching fairly fast. The lower the tide got the less workable the waves became. I stuck with it until 11.00am when the close-outs were just a bit too frequent to be fun.  My last wave was shaping up to be a reasonable left, my back hand, where I rode it high and proud, hanging on just too long. The lip rolled the wave side rail of my Naish up and over from under my feet. I landed squarely on the rail and was tumbled nicely over the falls catching my arse on the fins. Through the stinging I thought

‘Please not my new suit.’

followed by

‘Surely one ass is enough for anybody, I don’t need another.’

It was fine. How you can get a scrape on the skin yet not mark the suit I have no idea.  I decided that was my cue to give it up for the morning. I think that’s the differnce between good surfers and average ones. Decent surfers seem to be able to make the most out of all conditions and look good doing it. Whereas I need everything to be right to look average.

Text that afternoon from Gavin –

‘Green light for 5pm’.

Excellent. High tide with a strong swell and clean as a pin. Pete’s has to be one of my favourite waves anywhere. A strong punchy swell offering big walls that were shared by a couple of  mals, three or four short boarders (including Gavin on his Linden quad) and me on the Naish.  Loads of waves and a good vibe. We surfed until dark. Brilliant.

One thing that I know I need to sort out are my lefts. Going right I can make a passable imitation of a surfer. I can paddle in, set the board on it’s rail, crank up a reasonable bottom turn and work the face top to bottom hard enough to leave me feeling gooey but gasping for air, before occasionally popping neatly out the back still on my feet, and paddling smugly back to repeat the process. But, my lefts STINK! Jeez will someone please tell me how to do something with a backhand wave. Currently my left repertoire consists entirely of –

Paddling in. Fine.
Hard bottom turn . MMmn sort of ok.
Geriatric hunched over, semi constipated stance with a pained expression. Perfect.
Stand tall and statuesque pretending to be ‘on the nose’. Sorted.
Crouchy kneely thing. Fine.

But anything over than setting the board up for a variation on a cruise down the line and I’m stuffed.  Gav has suggested switching my paddle from my beach-side grip (causing  my left shoulder to drop and lead forward, to trailing it wave-side, thus widening my shoulders and possibly offering a little more control. Sounds plausible, but I would welcome any more tips to improve my backhand.


With forecasts showing up to 14′ at 14 seconds we had expected to see the bay totally out of control. Surprisingly although big it looked really do-able although the strong offshore wind would have been a pain. Peaks were well defined with decent lefts and rights running right through and across the bay. It did look very grey and was bloody cold standing there and watching for a few minutes. There were about a dozen or so out. Fair play.



Can’t help it – even though they are lousy pics – some waves create serious trouser tension

Apologies for the lame snapshots – they were the best of a bad bunch – if Shane’s turn out better I’ll pinch some of his.

So it’s off to France Saturday night – I’ll bore you with holiday snaps when I get back.