In isolation like me? Losing your mind wishing you were in the sea? Thinking about all of the sessions you wrote off in the past few months because 'it was too windy' or 'it was not quite big enough'? Same. But we'll get through this together. Just think of this (probably 3 week) lockdown period as a flat spell. Ignore MSW, stop checking the local webcam and dive head first into online content haha! Enjoy that surf edit you've been meaning to watch, catch up on all of the Aussie QS' that ran over the past month and get stuck into all of the extra content the mags are pumping out during this time. At least thats my plan! So I thought that during this period, not only for everyones enjoyment but to give me something to do I will be posting some throwbacks each week to some of the stuff I have got up to this past year!
First on The Lockdown Re-Wind, my most recent surfing adventure to try out The Wave, Bristols Expert session! So headed back up to Bristol a couple of weeks ago to try the new Expert setting they have released. After a few goes of the original 'Advanced' sessions, I found the novelty of surfing in a field in the middle of the west country quickly wore off and kept being left wanting more. So as soon as I saw that The Wave, Bristol had released tickets to ride a supped-up version of what was already there I jumped straight on it. The only problem was that they cost £95 an hour!?! However, after plenty of abuse courtesy of the social media massive they re-jigged the pricing and reduced the rate to £45 per session, much more realistic. So I booked on, jumped in the car and headed over.
The new settings really are the real deal
So you jump in the tank just like any other normal session but with a bit more warning from the 'host' that if you keep stacking it or break the rules then you're outta there, which naturally filled everyone with loooaads of confidence. The first few sets are pretty nice warm ups, but with a notably steeper drop than the advanced waves are. They then up this to a bigger 'turns' wave which was once again super fun and provided a slightly bigger and steeper wave to surf. Thirdly, and actually my favourite setting was the final turns setting which was according to matey boy on the side the biggest wave they could produce. I thought this setting gave a nice barrel, or allowed you to do turns, it just depended how you wanted to surf the wave. I'd love a session just on this setting.
Finally it was put onto one of the B (barrel) modes. This wave for sure is fun and provides some real power. It actually feels a lot bigger and hollower when you're in the water as opposed to looking back on photos. I would really like to try this setting turned up a few notches as a few of these waves pinched or had some crumble that made them not totally perfect. It was also really hard to get deep enough to be fully inside of the barrel but when you were able to it really was sick. Even Dad got covered up on this setting!!!
Fair play, after surfing this expert session it really did blow me away with regards to how good this wave can be. I just hope they start introducing more and more sessions with different aims, for instance a turns session or an air session and of course a barrel specific one. This would allow people to start to tune in their skills and accelerate a learning process that would be really hard to do in the sea. I just rode my normal small wave board (Puravida Superstar) as I have done in all of the sessions in the pool; I have a lot more rocker in this board than any usual groveller which seems to work well with the steep transitions of the pool. Also, pretty sure you don't need as much length or foam in your board when you're in the pool, as long as you can catch the wave then keep everything else to a minimum.
I'm looking forward to heading back to the pool once all of this craziness is over! For a more in-depth look at my trip to The Wave, check out my clip HERE
Keep yourself safe and catch you later :)