Diary   2017 - 1

 

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01 January  Sagres  2017..
Tonel. I stayed ashore observing the surfers having fun. The small black is a surfer taking a wave.
 
03 January  Sagres  Surf day 1087
Marthinal. First time I surf there ever. Strong SE wind. Big peak at mid beach with many surfers. I have been told of a smaller wave to be found down the beach. I found it. And it was ok.
 
04 January Sagres Surf day 1088
Mareta. Nice big mellow swell. Just as I like it. I was using the blue soft top long board. It is 9 feet 2 inch. Not a bad board for winter use.
Later we went to Amado. It was biggish and steep waves as it was now low water. From the outside I could not see how the breaking waves developed. Then I stayed further in and selected the small unbroken waves, that gave a bit of "wall". That  worked well. A tip to remember.
I had that tip from a Hawaii surfer that was working as a teacher on a surf school on Fuerteventura.
 
05 January Sagres Surf day 1089
Zavial. One of those days when Tonel is too big. West coast too big Beliche too small. Then it  was time to try Zavial. Luckily it was not close out even if it was near low water. We had a nice day there. Sunny and mild with almost no wind. I was using blue long board.
 
06 January Sagres Surf day 1090
Zavial. It should have been an easy day , but arriving at the beach , the sun was hidden behing clouds, and a cold wind. We kept searching.
At Castelejo there were many surfers, but too rough for us. Then back to Zavial. Not to bad actually, but not as good as yesterday. Sunny most of the time.
 
07 January 2017 Sagres Surf day 1091
Beliche. A sunny day, but the East wind did reach the beach, so it was not sun tanning weather.
The swell was as usual quite steep and I had several missed take off where I was falling down in front of the wave. Not a good idea with a 9 feet long board, but nothing happened. I did however also have some very good take off. I have decided to use this board more during the winter.
It paddles well, which is nice as there is more rip than during the summer.
Tonel looked good as well
 
09 January Sagres Surf day 1092
Tonel. With 10 foot long board. Catching many waves. They were 3-4 feet. The other surfers looked a bit envious. Sunny , some wind.
Leaving the beach heading home.
 
12 January 2017 Sagres Surf day 1093
Tonel with 9.2 feet long board. The wave forecast was 0.8 to 1.1 in the surfing zone, but I think bigger. I was sitting inside and catching smaller unbroken waves. A bit tense, so soon tired. I better start getting some aerobic exercise. Sunny and mild, outside the wind, which was weak anyway.
 
14 January Zavial Surf day 1094
First I checked Salema, but no swell. Then Zavial. Big, too big. Surfed one wave and board nose dived. The rest of the time I surfed white water. Tonel too big. Beliche ok at high water, but many people because it is saturday
Sunny. Wind chilly.
 
16 January Sagres Surf Day 1095
Tonel .About 3 feet. First take off a perfect pearl and I landed in front of the board. Then I got the hang of it, angling  a little paddling for  the wave, turning more while gliding, if needed.
Some waves I just did lying on belly on board. If I felt i had the wave in a controlled manner, I would pop up
Only paddling lightly if wave steep.
Funny enough, I was waiting for the biggest waves, and thought I could manage. Sunny
 
17 January Sagres Surf day 1096
Tonel. I was the only one there. Waves very small. That suited me fine, as I had a few things to try out. With a long board in a shore break where I only have a wall for a short time , it is necessary to turn along the wall fast. The trick is after the board start to glide down the wave and as I am lifting the upper body to do the pop up, I press down the rail to the side I want to turn. Maybe take a little pause, of some seconds and study the wave. I do not want to go along a wave that is breaking heavily, because if I fall the board can be thrown at me by the wave, and the last thing i want, is to be hit by a long board flying through the air.
It worked well and I was riding the wall a few times and had a thrilling speed. Using 9.2 long board 14/16/17.
Sunny and 19 deg. Some wind.
 
18 January Sagres Surf day 1097
Mareta. Nice waves. And sunny. Time to concentrate how to turn along the unbroken wave. I managed quite well using a little pressing on the rail to the side I wanted to turn. Actually, on the video, I ended up turning into the wave. The reason was also that the breaking wave was close to the beach.
I had several waves where i concentrated to catch them at the right point, and then turn along the wave.
The right way of doing  the turn , I guess is to pop up fast and turn. However I never land the same way with my feet, so it takes too long time to get over this little extra step that I can not get rid of. This leads to me often falling uncontrolled, sometimes in front of the board. The little press on the rail, give me a second or two to evaluate how the wave is developing , and if  there are any other surfers taking off. So I think for my own safety , and others,  I will continue this way, and see where it takes me.  Video
 
28 January Sagres Surf day 1098
The fat winter swell is here. I have been looking at it for some days now. I do not like it a lot. It is very powerful. Eventually I gave it a try with 9.2 feet soft board. I managed quite well, actually. Quess I have improved a bit since last year. Also I now better now, what waves you do not want to paddle for.
 
29 January Sagres Surf day 1099
Testing mouth bracket for GoPro camera. Video
 
01 February 2017 Sagres Surf day 1100
Mareta. fat swell, but I managed quite well. Managed to look up during take off. About time . It only took 10 years. Sunny and nice weather.
 
13 February Sagres Surf day 1101
It has been  almost 2 weeks. We have had some cold spells and lots of high swell. Rain as well. I got the bicycle out to get some exercise that  way.
Today I was back. At Mareta. Unfortunately i got the timing wrong. It was terrible close out. later during the day I saw beautiful big swell. ideal for longboarding.
Anyway the sun is back. Nice and mild weather. Spring is around the corner.
A fast point break for the brave.
You can see the little dot of a surfer. That is a 5 feet point break. And no crowd. The current was vicious.
 
16 February Sagres Surf day 1102
Tonel. Very good swell. Long period. Slow moving and fat winter swell. Almost too big for me, also because of the rocks in the area. But it was a thrill.  Video   Video Youtube
 
20 Feb 2017 Sagres Surf day 1103
Mareta. I start to remember what I do during takeoff. Also I do not use so much force. Everything under control.
 
21 Feb 2017 Sagres Surf day 1104
Mareta. Great swell from SE. Up to 6 feet.  Video Youtube
 
07 April Mallorca Surf day 1105
Sa Marina. Very bumpy. Did not stand on board long time. New wetsuit 4-3 Billabong. Nice and warm, but neck opening too tight.
 
15 April Mallorca Surf day 1106
Sa Marina . Small waves I managed to catch 7. New 9 inch fin, that work very well
Two photos above are from Sa Marina. We have had some very good weather during april.
 
16 April Mallorca Surf day 1107
Sa Marina. Very good swell. Up to 6 feet. I am sitting far out from the beach to get the biggest waves. Those waves used to scare me before. They do look big, but energy is low. About 300 KJ.
 
19 April Mallorca Surf day 1108
Very windy and choppy big waves. I was seeking some shelter at Playa de Muro. There I found good conditions if I paddled very far out and then waited for the occasional big wave.
I have been down with back pain for some days. Not from surfing but from lifting. Gus, my excellent Physiotherapist, fixed me in one session, pretty amazing.
 
03 and 06 May Sagres Portugal Surf day 1110
Both day at Mareta with 9.2 feet soft top. Easy days. Got a bit tangled up in fishing lines the last day. It is a bit of a mess when swimmers , surfers and fishermen wants to be at the same spot at the same time.
 
07  May Sagres Portugal Surf day 1111
Beliche. I nice sunny day with weak wind.  Most of the surfers went to Tonel, so it was reasonable quiet. Also I got the tide about right.
I made 2 important observations. Something that I have been told again and again, but never taken enough time to consider.
1. When a possible good wave is approaching, I started to paddle in good time. Just easy strokes to get the board moving, and I concentrated to get the wave early.
2. I paddled with a slight angle, just enough so I could see the approaching wave over my shoulder, turning my head. Then in the last moment I corrected the angle to get the wave the best way.
I was catching a lot of wave, could be 20. Quite a joy.
 
08  May Sagres Portugal Surf day 1112
Mareta. Very nice swell, so it was getting crowded. A bit of patience pay off. The first and maybe second wave of a set , I was passing on to the wave hungry and the local surfers. When they were paddling out, I had the lineup for myself, or together with some new bee surfers. They paddle with a lot of energy, but most often do not catch the wave.
 
11  May Sagres Portugal Surf day 1113
Mareta. Biggish, but bumpy swell. There is a lot of Westerly and South Westerly swell at the moment.
 
12  May Sagres Portugal Surf day 1114
Cleaner waves today. Pretty crowded with beginner surfers. Sunny.
 
13  May Sagres Portugal Surf day 1115
Tonel. Waves a bit too big for me. And I was caught in a rib current. I feel that I have a better balance after I do my short 5 min exercise program 3 times a day.
 
14  May Sagres Portugal Surf day 1116
Tonel. Got taken by rip  again. Learned a few tricks how to get out of current using the rock island. Later 2 long boarders turned up. They were good.
Long boarder cross stepping.
 
01 Jun Oyambre Spain North Coast Surf day 1117
Surf class with www.surfnsoul.com  You should thing I knew all the stuff. But I just learned that I had a  big fault in my Take Off. It was corrected and I felt the difference immediately.
02 Jun Oyambre Spain North Coast Surf day 1118
Great swell. I was doing good.
 
03 June Oyambre Spain North coast Surf day 1119
Swell 5 feet, but today windy and rain, so I did not last long
Nice swell
The beach at San Vicente
Surf vans lined up. It is Satyrday.
 
05 June St Girons France Surf day 1120
Swell looked good...At a distance. Once I got out with the board it was far to big.
 
07 June St Girons France Surf day 1121
Still too big waves, so I surfed white water.
 
08 June St Girons France Surf day 1122
Now the waves are good, but still big. It takes a little white water to get started. But then off you go.
 
09 June St Girons France Surf day 1123
3 to 4 feet clean waves and 10 km biking.
 
10 June St Girons France Surf day 1124
Big waves, but in the afternoon we give it a try. Scary because it takes all my energy to get out. I get 2 long rides. The last one takes me all way to the shore, where I stay. Strong rip as well.
 
13 June St Girons France Surf day 1125
Check waves at hi water 08.00 hr, Much to big for me. Eat breakfast and shower. Then around 11.00 hr I am ready. I do not make it through the white water. Drift along the edge of it. Some places small clean waves can be found, but current is strong. This is having the benefit that I can check a long stretch of white water barrier..

At 5.00 next surf 5 feet waves. The usual problems to get in and out. Waves with less power, but I was catching a few nice ones.
 
14 June St Girons France Surf day 1126
1.st surf. Waves are smaller and water was low over the sandbar, so no good. Then I found that where the rip is going out, there was lots of nice small clean waves. I was doing a little nose riding. One arm in the side.

2.nd surf in the evening. I would say that that was max size for me. very nice. The problem is not to surf bigger waves, but the paddling out. Turtle rolling, Keeping the position at the line up. It drain me from energy. And I have this feeling that it is not too smart paddling in 6 feet swell low on energy. Also it is not easy to get the last way onto the beach.
I have started to use a helmet. That way when I turtle roll, I can pull the board towards the helmet and water can not come between me and the board, and rip the board away.

That was the end of a good deal of surfing in St Girons. It is nice surfing with company.
On the way back to Sagres I was visiting North Shore at Nazare. No surf. I think swell first start to break at 2 to 3 meters.
 
21 June Sagres Surf day 1127
Tonel. A very nice surf. I am back with the 10 feet long board. It works very well in smaller waves. I was catching the most waves, and riding the longest. Weather is cool and overcast during the morning, nice for most of Iberian Peninsula is wrapped  into a heat wave.
 
22 June Sagres Surf day 1128
Tonel. Waves a bit smaller than yesterday. I am still using the 10 feet long board.
 
27 June Sagres Surf day 1129
Amado. Long time since than I was here. Waves very small. Only just big enough to surf . It is getting hotter. Unless you are right at the beach. There the temperature is very pleasant.
 
28June Sagres Surf day 1130
Cordoama. Long time since I was there. Not busy. Semi overcast. Very bumpy. I was catching a few waves. Found that the 10 feet board is too big and heavy for me.Difficult to control. I will start to use the 9.2 board again. It is high season and there are many swimmers in front of the beach. I would not like to hurt any of them.
 
29 June Sagres Surf day 1131
First I drove to Codoama. It was blown out and rather big waves. I then took Tonel. It was just surf able. The tide was falling, but I got an hour in the water.
Even if it was only 9 o'clock, there were already many surfers out. I found a quiet spot. However it did not last long. 2 young beginners had got themselves some glass long boards. And they did not have any control over where the boards were going. One big wave sent a board flying, and just gave me a little touch in the back of the head. I was trying to get away and surfed into the other surfer. It was a mess.
Luckily I decides yesterday to change my long board for e soft board. From now on I will try to go to the beach very  early. And bring my surf helmet.
 
01 July Sagres Surf day 1132
Tonel. Very nice waves. Not many surfers. I had one very good take off, you feel when it is right. I need to concentrate more in technic and less raw power, as is I have a lot of that.
I am surfing with 9.2 soft top. 25 deg c lots of sun.
 
02 July Sagres Surf day 1133
Tonel . Swell quite good for long board. I need to concentrate more on quality.  
 
03 July Sagres Surf day 1134
Surf Tonel in the morning. To small swell, but I managed to catch a few. I notised I am grapping the rail.
 
08 July Sagres Surf day 1135
Tonel. Just swell enough for good rides. Overcast.
 
12 July Sagres Surf day 1136
Tonel during afternoon. Very windy
 
13 July Sagres Surf day 1137
Surf Tonel during afternoon. Very good.
 
14 July Sagres Surf day 1138
Surf early morning. Too windy.
 
15 July Sagres Surf day 1139
Surf Tonel during morning. I should have been there earlier. Tide very much down.
 
26 July Sagres Surf day 1140
Surf Tonel during evening . Pretty good.  Start of low carb No gluten diet.
 
27 July Sagres Surf day 1141
Surf Tonel
 
28 July Sagres Surf day 1142
Surfing Amado 8.30 in the morning. Not a lot of people . Waves not to great .
Tonel 29 July at low water
 
31 July Sagres Surf day 1143
Surf Tonel during morning. Not to early, so quite a few people already there. I was surprised how easy it was for me to pop up and ride the waves. Is that the new diet playing a game?
Let me get there more early tomorrow!
 
1 and 2 August Sagres Surf day 1145
Again Tonel. Only small waves and windy. But I was getting a few waves, and today a good omelet and coffee in the beach bar.
 04 August Tonel at low water.
 
6 August and 7  August Surf Day 1147
For some time I have had a little pain in Ischia nerve ( think ) . I thought I would invent a pop up that is more easy. I call it " left knee first " Did some video to see what I am doing. Looking at the video I notice that the horizon in the background seem very steady, which  mean the board is not rocking.
Video full length     video pop up in slow motion
 
8 August Surf day 1148
Tonel at high water. Big clean up set were there. I was the only one in. It took some waiting, but i did managed some waves. I was worried about coming back to the beach, Which can be a bit tricky at high water. Then I got a perfect wave. Surfed straight to the beach, jumped off in knee-deep water , grabbed the board under the arm, walked a few steps and was on dry land.
Earlier the day I walked to the light house and back. That loosened the muscles  quite a bit. I think I need to doo that more.
Getting ready
 
9 August Surf day 1149
Tonel. I arrived at low water and had to wait. So I walked the beach 2 times back and forth to warm up. Eventually the water level was right and the bigger waves started to arrive. It was very windy however. I was getting several, half breaking waves. Good speed. I had polished the board before. That helped i am sure. I was doing a sort of grab rail, and it worked well. It was actually too bumpy to stand up.

I was in the water a long time. The sun has been shining every day for weeks. The wind strong from North, cooling us. At night it is about 17 deg. I have a bit of heating on in the evening. The Portuguese Northerly is here.
 
10-11-12-16-17-18  August 2017 Surf day 1155
Surfing Tonel. Windy  days. Some days 35 - 40 knots. So bumpy conditions. During the period I started to use other pop up. Better for bumpy conditions where everything is developing fast. I was using  some pretty hopeless waves at times. It is crowded with surf school, but I manage quite well to avoid to loose my board.
 
20 August Surf Day  1156
Tonel. No wind. Good waves. Tons of people.
For some weeks I have been working on a different pop up. Or actually a grab rail. The " correct " way of doing it is beyond my ability. Most likely due to high age. So this is what I do.
I start with moving the left knee forward and place it on the board. If it is very bumpy or the wave is fast and steep, I will sort of sit on the leg. The left hand I place in front  of  the knee. Then I grab the rail with the right hand.
I had a good chance to try it out today as the waves were getting hollow fast. It worked. I was the only one catching the waves for a while.
If it turns out that there is a ride able section it is easy to get to a stance from this position.
I am also using a big nose rider single fin. That makes the board very stable.

video   Safe Mode Pop Up
 
23 August 2 Sept Surf day 1157
I am having fun with my Safe Mode pop up. Catching more wave than before, because I do not need to be frightened to be having a bad fall from pop up. Most of the other surfers are on vacation. And they can not figure out how this old man with a beaten up long board  can catch that many waves.

Then I am packing to make a camping trip along the coast of Portugal and Spain North coast.
 
10 11 12 13 Sept Surf day  1161
The first day I was surfing at San Vicente beach. Big waves and big crowd, so it was not so funny.
The 3 following days I was surfing Pajarito Amarillo at Ayambre. A lot better.
First 2 days up to 6 feet hollow waves. I was doing my safe mode pop up, and managed to get many waves.
The last day waves some smaller and it was endless catching these good waves. The wall did not last long, but it was a good clean take off.
San Vicente with Oyambre in back ground
Playa Parajita Amarillo.
San Vicente with Picos de Europa in the back ground.
 
29 Sept to 14 Oct Mareta, Tonel, Amado. 9 surfdays. 1170 Days
It is very crowded on all the beaches. Mainly holidaymakers and surfschools.I was getting the habit to go to the beach only if surf is reasonable good.
Then I started to translate the book Surf Therapie, by doctor Guillaume Barucq. It states that you should go  3 to 5 days a week and exersize in the surf zone, with or without surfboard. 30 to 60 effective minutes. If you cannot surf, swim, if you cannot swim , walk along the beach.
Now I go also on days where surf is difficuls. Just surfing white water if waves are to big or too steep. Aiming to get 5 days a week.
Video
15  17 Oct. Mareta. Surfdays 1172
15. Biggish waves, difficult to get out, High water, Waves breaking close to shore.
17. Clean waves almost not breaking. I was the only on that caught any wave. I think.
 
18. Oct. Tonel.  Surfday 1173
2 meter. Energy 1200 KJ. I normally would stay ashore, but thought I would give a try. Found a bit of shelter behind the Island and got some wave. As I gained confidence I moved to the center of the beach. As it was high water I thought that I easily would pass over the rock. A big wave was lifting the board, but also sucking the water from in front of the wave. And there  the rock surfaced.
 
19 and 20 Oct. Beliche.  Surfday 1175
The Duke surfboard is in the water for the first time in a long time. Take cover photo to surf book. Publish book.
 
22  Oct.  Salema.  Surfday 1176
I was there 2 hours after low water. Only had a few waves, but waves good quality. I need to be there at low water. Tonel 3 meter.
 
23 Oct. Tonel.  Surfday 1177
Big. Only use easy popup. Then I was doing good.
  
23 24 25 26 27 Mareta Oct.  Surfday 1182
In general pretty big. Some set close to 2 meter. In those cases I use easy popup, and it work well. I did not have falls during take off, apart for 1 in mellow wave, so I could easily hold on to the board. I am sitting where I get the biggest waves. And I make sure to be rested and take a couple of deep breath, before I paddle for a wave.
The weather has been great for a long time now. The water is warm. Even the evenings mild
 
Photo from 27.10.2017 
 
28 and 29 Oct. Tonel. Surfay 1184
Waves are getting smaller, and a bit crowded. Sun and mild. Smaller waves tomorrow. Time to get the big board in the water.
 
29 Oct. Mareta. Surfday 1185
Nice big swell. I was sitting where I could catch the biggest waves. And overworked myself. Result a back pain afterwards. Used 10 feet board. I think it is too big and heavy for me.
 
06 Nov. Tonel. Surfday 1186 
Ready to surf again, I thing. Big swell, so I was only surfing white water. Sun. 20 Deg. Still a little back pain.
 
Photo 06 Nov during afternoon and high water. 
 
08 Nov. Salema. Surfday 1187
Salema very small. I was there 1 hr. after lw. Su/ 16 secrf-forcast for Tonel. 2.3 meter. 2874 KJ.
 
10 Nov. Mareta. Surfday 1188.
Smallish waves. Manny surfers. Sun and mild weather. I was using 9.2 and catching most waves.
 
11 Nov. Tonel. Surfday 1189
It was lw. so I had to sit way out. It worked. I was surfing some pretty big waves. Once I was catching wave, the crowd came over. But they had problem catching the waves. Mainly because they hesitate. I can use Easypopup,  if I find myself on a "vertical" wall. Therefore I can go for it 100 %. And get the wave.
 
12 Nov. Tonel. Surfday 1190
Low water again. Sitting far out. Catch a few bumpy ones. Only a few Russians besides me. Sun and 18 deg. Fresh wind. Use 9.2 board.
 
15 Nov. Tonel. Surfday 1191
I started at high water, which I thought was wrong. But as water falling , waves were getting better ( from flat ). 3 hours after waves starting to close out. Now many surfers.
 
16 Nov. Tonel. Surfday 1192
A high water start, or 1 hour after. Some very big set coming in. One surf instructor warned me, and said to watch out for the big sets. It turned out to be quite fun actually. Some waves broken already, some not. Most  surfers sitting further towards the shore, so difficult to get a good line. For some of the biggest waves I used Easypopup, so I could hit the brake, if I was getting close to other surfers.
 
 
17 Nov. Tonel. Surfday 1193
Smaller waves, but some sets still biggish. Sun. No wind and 19 deg.
 
 
18 Nov. Tonel. Surfday 1194
Still smaller. And high water. Took a little while for swell to arrive. Then it was OK. I surfed at the far end of the beach. A little noseriding. 20 deg. Sun. No wind.
 
 
19 Nov. Tonel. Surfday 1195
Small waves. Surfed onto shallow water, fell and bumped head a little into the sand bottom. No smart.
 
 
21 Nov. Mareta. Surfday 1196
The last days I have been doing some stretching. Holding the stretch 45 seconds, as I read an article, that older people should hold stretch longer. Also looked for some surf specific stretching. I do more often pop up in one sweep, and that is a bit demanding for the back. And as i have had a bit of pain often during the year I will try this type of stretching. First time in the bed before i get up. You should think the muscles are relaxed after a good sleep, but they are not at all. The 45 second is new to me. I do not force it, just a gentle stretch.
My impression so far is good.
Waves at Mareta windy and not good at all.
 
22 Nov. Tonel.Surf day 1197
I forgot my booties. I have been using booties for years. I thought I would try without. It worked great. If you want to walk a bit on your long board, do not use booties.
I talked to some English people. He was about my age, surfing most of his life. She just published her first book.
During the afternoon the sets were becoming quite big, but at mid tide there was a good secondary wave developing. Good for trying to make a hang 5, which I did not manage to do.
 
25 of Nov.  It has been an interesting year. 110 Surf days so far during the year.
A video clip from sun setting at Beliche.  Video