Sunday, April 26, 2009

St Ives Bay Open 2009

Click on immage for video of weekend

Click above for photos from the event
thanks to Pete Copp & Cedric Wynter for the photos

Saturday Morning all the competitors met at Sunset Surf Cafe for a hot cup of tea and briefing for the day.

With Gale force winds and heavy rain the first four heats ran at the Bluff before a pause to allow the tide to come in again over the bank and for the surf to improve. As the tide rushed in the surf got better and better with some fine performances include Ben Thomas getting a lovely cover up on the inside. With all the refraction off the racks at high tide there were some steep drops and bumpy rides.

Sunday saw a warm dry day with moderate cross chore wind but good surf of about 3ft. The semi and finals ran without interruption and all had some good rides.

I would like to make special thanks to John Watson for tabulating the scores when I was in the water and the guys from Desperate measures for helping out with the flags when everyone was starting to get cold and slow.

The final results are as follows:
1st Andrew Hawker
2nd Richard Berry
3rd Andy Winldman

1st Jon Mount
2nd Jordan Thomal
3rd Harry Uren
4th Dynal Petherwick

1st Tamsyn Green
2nd EmmaWyntor
3rd Nikki Bristow

1st Chris Hobson
2nd Philip Watson
3rd Andy Hambley
4th Sam Davinport

Open (Higher Performance):
1st Sam Davinport
2nd Steve Bowens
3rd Philip Watson
4th Ed Long

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Monday, June 02, 2008

3* Surf kayak coaching 13/14 April Northern Ireland

Steve surfing Brit champs, East Strand, Portrush 2008

See how it is done here (footage from the worlds best surf kayakers)

The weekend will focus on skills and knowledge to improve all around performance and a 3* assessment will take place over the weekend.

Max coaching ratio of 6-1

To book your place please e-mail:

3* Scylibus click below


0930 - meet at the watersports center (East Strand Portrush)
1030 - on water session 1
1200 - lunch
1230 - surf forecasting and equipment
1330 - on water session 2
1500 - safety & rescue skills and techniques
1600 - review and finish

0930 - meet at (East Strand Portrush)
1030 - on water session 3
1200 - lunch
1230 - rules of the road, safety and equipment
1330 - on waters session 4 (practical skills 3* assessment)
1500 - goal setting and future surf development
1600 - review course

Photos from previous courses - Click on image

Where is it?


From the South
Visitors travelling from the South of the Province should follow the main arterial A29 route via Armagh and Cookstown. Follow directional signage to Coleraine. -->

What to bring?

  • Kayak with air bags

  • Length of tape or rope from handles which extends past end of boat
  • Secure footpegs

  • Wetsuit

  • BA

  • Helmet

  • Paddle

  • Spray deck

  • Wet shoes

  • Towel

  • Warm Clothing

  • Flask hot drink

  • A sence of hummer

Campsites - Click on image

Surf report and surf cam

Thursday, May 01, 2008

St Ives Bay Contest 2008

Supported by Naish:

Next First aid @ Sea course running on: 1st June

Please e-mail me for details:

Next Surf kayak coaching weekend on 7/8th June book here:

Photos of St Ives Bay Open are posted here:

Here are a selection from the day:


This year is the third year in four that this event has run, the planned event in 2007 never run due to difficulties in gaining permission to access the beach for any competitive sports at the time of year planned to run the contest.

Wednesday evening and all the prizes have been collect, all permissions/licences received, all competition equipment is in my garage and now it just comes down to getting people to register! Surf sports are peculiar in that they are inherently difficult to get people to pre enter for, surfers tend to only want to surf when there is surf but from an organisers point of view this can be a nightmare if you have no idea of how many people you are going to have turn up and how many categories you are going to run until the day of the event if makes it very difficult to organise anything.

I have some pre-entries and make and educated guess about who might turn up, the event this year clashes with the world cup qualifier in Mundaka and so a lot of the guys are away but there seems to be a lot of new competitors asking about the contest.

It is time to get onto the blogg site and e-mail to spread the work “the event will be on” magic seaweed is giving it 4 stars and 8 foot at 12 seconds period so there will defiantly be contestable conditions. I make the decision to limit entries to each category so as to help with reorganisation of the event. The entries come in thick and fast so it looks like we are going to have a big event.

After several late night trying to work out how to run 9 categories with 25 entries in the open categories we are ready to go, lets just hope the surf is good!

Saturday morning 0630 I arrive at the beach and am welcomed by perfect surf!!! Doug from sunset surf welcomes me with a mug of tea and I get the preparations under way.

All the competitors arrive on time and after a briefing we have the first heat of the water. We start with the open round one and some great performances in surf of shoulder to head high. Throughout the day the surf never chooses to disappoint with a long period swell giving plenty to time to paddle out and some big slow sets coming through everyone was coming back to the beach with a story to tell.

The whole competition ran without a hitch and everyone managed to surf lots of heats (some competitors such as Garry Adcock managed to surf seven heats in total).

We also have a ski category which was great to judge as they probably has some of the best waves of the day and showed what an exciting and complementary sport wave skiing really is.

A special thank you to Nikki and Caroline for their tireless tabulating of results and ensuring the event did not grind to a holt. Also special mention to Naish equipment who provided the prizes. And last but by no means least the guys at sunset surf who let us use their café and a base and were so warm and welcoming throughout the day.

Also thanks to all the competitors who traveled to Gwithian and without whom the event would not have been possible.

Open Final:

1st Gary Adcock
2nd Matthew Long
3rd Nathan Eades

1st Matthew Long
2nd Gary Adcock

3rd Pete Blenkinsop

Ladies Final
1st Jenny Long
2nd Claire Eatock
Waveski Final
1st Mark Trice
2nd Nathan Eades
3d JP Eatock
Junior Final
1st Jack Horwell
2nd Sam Davenport
3rd Jordan Thomas

Masters Final
1st Garry Adcock
2nd Andy Wildman
Plastic Final
1st Ben Sellers
2nd Joe Clift
3rd Matthew Cork

St Ives Bay Open 26th April 2008

All welcome, best prizes for newcommers

Bring BCU membership number, paddle, BA, helmet (plastic surf boats can be borrowed for a small fee with prior arraingement, please contact me for details)

Briefing 8.30am at the Sunset Surf Café at Gwithian Beach.
£6 Pre Entry

For more details on surf kayaking contact

Entries received by the 19th April send to:
43 Messack Close
TR11 4SH




Check the Gwithian surfcam:

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Next First aid @ Sea course is on 1st June, please e-mail me for details:

Next surf kayak coaching weekend is on 7th & 8th June, please book here:



Thursday, April 24, 2008

Best of British

In the past there has been articles written about a new boats being launched, a rundown (usually given by a sponsored paddlers or designer) outlining the performance characteristics of the boat, but until now there has never been an attempt to make a comparison of the surf boats which are available from different manufacturers conducted by a group of individuals who are not sponsored by any kayak manufacturer.

We have conducted this test to give the general surf kayak fraternity an idea of what is available within a specific range of boats of similar size but from different manufacturers.

The sport of surf kayaking is changing, there has been a increase in emphasis on air with a great deal of talk over the past several years but very few surfers regularly managing to get there boat airborne when they want to, with improvements in design and lighter and stiffer boats being available air has become more easily attainable and as such is becoming much more common place in the surf. "With exciting new designs and new manufacturers raising the bar it has never been a better time to buy a new boat" (Peter Orton Pete Valley kayaks)

The boats tested were those British designs available at the world championships in Mundaka (Spain). The valley was not the lightest or stiffest in there range, the Mega was also not the lightest in their range and we did not spend time specifically outfitted each boat for our paddlers. We also did not test the boats with the fins in different positions which can significantly change the characteristics of each boat, however it was felt that all these variables would make the test way to complicated for what we wanted which was to make it is user friendly and simple to follow as possible.

Guest testers:
Dave Jaggs (Ex world no2 junior and kayak coach / England surf squad member)
Height - 6ft 2 Weight – 85kg

Ed Long (surf kayak coach /England surf squad member)
Height - 5ft 10 Weight – 77kg

Alex Read (England surf squad member)
Height – 5ft 8 Weight – 80kg
Steve Bowens – 5ft 11 weight 76 kg (4th World Cup 2006, also a surf kayak coach)

Dave, Ed and Alex are all from Marjon university surf kayak and part of the England surf kayak squad competing at the world surf kayak championships. .

Incidentally Ed, Dave and Alex had skived off lessons from Uni to bum around Spain surfing so if any of there lecturers are reading this don’t except any excuses about not having enough time to do there course work.

Test conditions:
Location: Bakio beach Northern Spain
Surf size: head high/3ft
Surf type: steep and fast, onshore windy.
Period: short
The Valley and Mega were also surfed by our testers on the legendary Mundaka wave, which is a steep, committed down the line barrelling left.

Valley Rush
Our rrp prices are:
£1195 - This gets you a full Kevlar/carbon boat with a Vacuum bagged foam-sandwich hull for competition levels of rigidity
£1395 - This is our full team-spec. construction, Full Epoxy, full Kevlar/carbon, vacuum bagged foam sandwich deck and hull.

Technical advisor Sean Morley
Comfort 4/5
Ski like position, Alex (shortest tester) found this boat to be a bit big for his frame, easy to get in and out of boat, block of foam for back rest comes with selection of foam for custom fitting. There were mixed views on the foam block for the backrest as some liked it and some preferred an adjustable belt fitting.

Style 4/5
Very dependent on the colour, some colours did make the boat look a little old fashioned. But some colours looked really good. Valley produces boats in both standard colour scheme and in retro style glitter, as you desire.

Down the line speed 5/5
Hold a very high line on the wave giving confidence to make the sections. There was a lot of debate over which was fastest down the line between the Rush and the Fusion and it was decide that the Rush was marginally ahead.

Carving 4/5
Holds speed and accelerates through the turn, lots of drive off the fins, Ed mentioned that there is a danger of getting caught out by flying off the back of the wave until you get used to its personality.

Slashing 3/5
This is possible but needs to be encouraged with a lot of pre rotation. With any boat design speed will come at the sacrifice of manoeuvrability, this does not mean that a fast boat will not be manoeuvrable but it will need specific techniques to be able to throw the boat around. The Rush will carve hard and produce lots of spray but it will not be as easy to throw the boat around in the pocket as the Reflex 07.

DB Fusion 77
Technical advisor Nathan Edes

The RRP for the Fusion is:
800 for glass fibre and diolen.... check spelling!
1000 for epoxy, Kevlar Carbon construction
1300 for epoxy, Vacuum Bagged, Kevlar Carbon with foam core: AND a set of Carbon Fins.

Comfort 5/5
By far the most comfortable boat prior to customised fitting all testers thought that they could spend many hours at a time in the boat, central pillar of foam is pre cut to allow more room for feet, locked in feeling to allow positive feel and easy to get into/out of, the one we tested had a moulded seat which would make it a little more difficult to customise paddleing position but it is available with a foam seat allowing a greater degree of customisation.

Style 3/5
The graphics on the latest designs help to make the boat look streamlined. Although this boat was considered to be the least aesthetically pleasing Ed reckoned that his good looks meant that any boat looks good on his shoulder. Joking apart Dave Brown has really helped the original looks of this boat with the addition of funky lines and colours.

Down the line speed 4.5/5
There was thought to be little difference the Rush and the Fusion, the Fusion has excellent directional stability giving it a “point and go” feel. The large edges allow this boat to be pumped up to speed and fly down the line. This boat also has the largest hull surface area, this combined with its speed makes it really good for floaters and moves above the wave.

Carving 5/5
Positive acceleration out of the turn, very big rails creating a great deal of grip. This boat gives you feeling of pulling lots of G’s when turning on a larger wave.

Slashing 2.5/5
This boat is designed for carving and speed as such it is a little uncomfortable in the set-up, which we were using to be slashed around. It may be that by moving the fins forward and perhaps using a smaller central fin that this characteristics would change but this would be at determent to its down the line speed.

Mega Reflex 07
Various constructions from £895

Technical advisor Darren Bason
Comfort 2/5
This boat needs more time than the others to personalise so that it is comfortable, the central foam pillar is solid and thus leaves little room for your feet. We all found this boat to be the least comfortable to sit in for long periods of time but with a personal fitting could be made to be more comfortable. It is also worth remembering that this boat is the lowest volume and as such the benefits of having a low volume boat will make the comfort task much harder for the manufacturer.

Style 5/5
This was voted as the sexiest of surf kayaks on the beach by testers. Boat comes in standard colours or in retro glitter as you wish.

Down the line speed 3.5/5
This boat is built to turn not go in a straight line. This does not mean that the boat is slow and all testers considered it to be considerably faster than all older models of surf boat of a similar size, a good example of this is when Edu had his Reflex and Neutron (bigger faster boat) sitting next to each other on the beach prior to the world championship HP finals in surf which was peaking at double overhead he picked up the Neutron to surf in these conditions.

Carving 3.5/5
This boat wants to be slashed from side to side rather than carved, this style comes from Darren Bason’s influence on the design of the boat. The boat will also carve well but does not hold the speed through a drawn out turn to the same extent as the others.

Slashing 5/5
This boat really wants to be thrown from side to side, spitting spray at your competitors.

Overall all the boats tested were very impressive in there performance, it was felt that each design was very much influenced by the style of paddling personified by the technical adviser, Darren Bason is a very busy surfer, always throughing the boat aground on the wave and using his large amount of strength to ensure he generates lots of speed on the face of the wave when he wants to make the section whereas Nathan Edes style tends to be fast and hard carving often trying to get the boat in the air and Seam Morley who comes primarily from a ski background tends to again have a fast down the line style with hard carving turns throwing spray high in the aid.

As to which boat is best, there is no answer, if you want a boat to go fast and carve hard taking it to the air there is very little in it between the DB and Valley but if you want slash and tear the wave apart then the Mega is the one for you. You might like to consider the type of break you normally surf on and what you will be using the boat for. The days of competition surf kayakers having one boat for all contests is coming to an end!

We all really enjoyed testing these boats and found it most informative to try out different boats, my advice if you are thinking of getting a new surf boat is to try out as many different types as possible (ensure you do this on a typical UK beach as all three boats tested were destroyed by either taking a lip drop into the sand on a heavy dumping beach or colliding with a Bask local committed on the legendary Mundaka wave!)

In short if you want to go fast and get air then the Valley or DB are the one for you, if you want to throw your boat around in tight turns then the Mega is hard to beat.

Thanks to the manufacturers who put there boat forward and who travel all over the country to provide demo boat for people to try at surf comps and demo weekends.