New Years Resolutions

I sat deep in thought. Another year has passed me by and there are still so many things not done. Oh I’m not concerned about the garden around our cottage that’s not been tended the way it should or the shed that still remains a bit of a clutter, but more about the paddles that I haven’t completed yet and the surf breaks that remain unpaddled.

The end of the year was marked by a nice swell at the local spot and I had just spent the last little while riding some nice glassy waves with fellow paddler Steve King, or Steve…King of England as he likes to be known due to his English heritage and now I was finishing my double shot coffee and large sticky bun as is my custom after surf paddling.

I decided on the things that I want more of.
I want to wake to more mornings like this.

A clean swell and no wind in the early morning.

I want many more paddles like this with friends.

Easy take off on a green face

A nice small wave to start the day

I said go RIGHT Steve….the OTHER RIGHT

Steve finishes with a nice slide towards shore

Sometimes the waves rebuild only to finish with a steep break

Steve leans back as it’s about to give him a dunking

This one will do

Hmm….. not the best choice of waves

I want many more moments like those and probably a few less of these, although they seem to come as a set.

Bugger…..He got me again !!!

But aside from paddling my list of NY Resolutions will include;

More guitar practice for my lessons at Glenelg Guitar Studio with Leigh.
More time spent travelling the southern coastline with Robyn.
More time drinking good shiraz from Koltz Wines with Paddler Gavin.
More time doing lots of things except gardening and shed clearing.

HAPPY NEW YEAR from Ian and Robyn

When it Blows it Sucks

The winter storms have been with us for a while and now there is another wave of cold fronts lining up in the Indian Ocean ready to flog us with 30-40 knot winds so paddling has been off the fun menu for a while.

When it blows….It sucks !!!

Sometimes there is a few hours of grace between the departure of one cold front and the arrival of the next and today was that day. We managed a surf kayak along the coast in what was rather lumpy conditions, with the waves breaking in a different spot on each wave.

We were testing a new camera setup as well as a new tripod and needless to say “things went wrong”, not only with the camera. However, here’s a short clip from today.

Have a great day….the next cold front is on its’ way
Ian

 

Fast and Clean

I started my paddling career watching films of heroic paddling exploits on unknown white water rivers. In those days  the term “16mm film” was something everyone understood and many paddlers had at least an 8mm camera. They gave way to VHS tapes and DVD’s over the years and now there is an avalanche of kayaking footage on social media.

“Fast and Clean” was one of the early films available documenting the 1979 Whitewater World Titles and a great showcase for the paddlers, styles and equipment of the day. Worth a look even today if only for the fashions both on and off the water. See the link at bottom of page and find a nice comfortable chair to watch this 36 minute masterpiece. Maybe cast it to your smart TV for best viewing. There’s also a Trivia Quiz for viewers. You might also look up Director Russ Nichols to see his other works from that era.

It was an inspiration watching slalom paddlers in action and it spurred me on to paddle a couple of novice slalom competitions in Victoria, which was a mere 1600km round trip on a weekend. I think the long drive and the fact that I wasn’t any good, led me to look further afield in the kayaking realm to get my kicks. It’s probably why I started kayak surfing along our local coast and have spent much of my life sea kayaking and dabbling in other disciplines.

“Fast and Clean” it might have been then but nearly 40 years later it sort of “Slow and Grotty”. We still love the surf and take any opportunity to get out there in just about anything that floats.

So on the first day of Winter we found a rather Grotty looking wave and managed lots of slow rides. Any excuse to get out there and have some fun.

It wasn’t that big at times but Steve made the most of any wave

Steve used the small waves to find his limits

Steve found his limits a number of times. This time trying to perfect his back loop…Failed

Ian is enjoying himself or is he madly waving because he just saw a shark ?

Things happen when old paddlers get together in the surf. They play “Roller Surf”, gaining points if you can make the other paddler roll. The game begins when all are on the water and ends with the first serious injury or new drowning experience. It keeps everyone on their toes and looking over their shoulder !!

Ian scores a point on Steve

Michael reckons he’s on a winner with possible double points

Michael takes a small wave

Finds the bow disappearing

Then does a disappearing act of his own

Rodney “its my Birthday” Biggs slides another one right

Gets in a bit of a pickle

Inspects the bottom for a while

And then rolls back up with just enough breath left to blow out the candles on his Birthday cake

Well that was our first day of Winter. Hope you enjoyed yours as much.

And here’s  Fast and Clean. Thanks to Roy Farrance of Canoes Plus in Victoria who found the film for me. Roy was also the coach and organiser of those Novice Slalom events I attended, which just proves there are people older than me. Roy never slows up and is currently at the 2018 ICF Canoe Wildwater World Championships Muotathal Switzerland along with competitor Dita Pahl. Dita coaches and competes for the Canoe Plus Racing Team and is representing Australia. GO DITA 🙂

And our Trivia Quiz questions.

  1. Describe Australian Team special marching style
  2. What happened to the Australian C1 paddler
  3. Who was the now famous Kayak Educator paddling C1
  4. What river was the USA trials held on
  5. Name a K1 model being paddled
  6. Name a C1 model being paddled
  7. Name 3 paddle manufacturers you saw

Cheers and have a great Winter (or Summer if your in the other half of the world)…..Ian Pope

Desperate Friday

It’s Good Friday, first day of the Easter holidays. I wake with the dawn and peer outside to be greeted by a slight drizzle and heavy overcast skies. The forecast is for clearing weather after the last couple of days of SW winds. I’m hoping there will be a better surf today as I’m really getting DESPERATE to get wet.

I check the surf forecast which is not great, but it’s not bad either; sort of 1- 2 foot and lumpy, and being an optimist I believe it will get better. A quick text to paddler “Shorebreak Steve”, another optimist and we set up a surf paddle on the local coast.

Standing on the cliffs, the light rain has now stopped but the overcast skies remain. There is indeed a swell pushing in but the winds have left it lumpy and confused. How desperate are we ?…VERY DESPERATE. So playboats off the car, on with gear and down the track to the beach.

We had been hoping for some good waves so practice a few “Ocean Playboating” moves but more likely today will be a bit of fitness training.
We do manage to catch a few small waves in the lumpy conditions

Ian gets on a smallish wave

At least it’s good practice

Steve manages a few good rides for the morning.

It’s a little crowded at times with both of trying to make the most of each wave

Steve decides to “get out the way”

Small but sort of clean waves as the wind and tide drop

Of course you have to keep your eye on the sloppy waves otherwise you might just get a little wetter than expected

Steve is capsized by a small wave he didn’t see coming

Yep. That was refreshing !!

Yes. We are DESPERATE for a good clean surf but it seems it will have to wait until another day.

HAVE A GREAT EASTER HOLIDAY

Celebrate the Solstice

It’s the Winter Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. That day of the year when we know that things will only get better; the days will slowly get longer giving us more time to go paddling. Of course if you’re in the Northern hemisphere the only thing that you have to look forward to is the coming of the rain, sleet and snow.

Two of our “gentlemen” paddlers, Steve and myself decided to “paddle in the solstice” with a quick surf session at our local spot. Fortunately for us the surf was very gentle today which was in keeping with our character, however we certainly had a heap of fun.

You will notice that Steve and I actually put on a “shortie” wetsuit to protect ourselves from the cold, something that you northern hemisphere paddlers probably only break out in mid summer 🙂

The video is short and the surf was small, but I’m sure you will get idea.

Happy Solstice
Ian……PaddlingSouth