Featured pic: Jame Jagger
In content pic: BSP Media
If you’re one who enjoys XXL forecasts, whether that be wind, waves or both, what is it that makes you want this kind of thing more than ‘normal’ folks? We hate to stereotype and pigeon hole but ferocious winds and massive waves aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Yet some thrive on this type of scenario. And we’re not just talking about those who charge Nazare or Pe’ahi. This can apply to ‘real world riders’ as well.
Just take the recent forecast we’ve had, which featured big winds and a solid swell. It wasn’t nuclear by any stretch. At least, not how things can go. Yet it was still more than enough many. And we still saw plenty of shredders stepping up and charging – in particular the windsurfing crowd.
As much as anything it comes down to experience and a steady build up of this over time. Nobody is going to head out, after only a handful of sessions, and do battle with Mother Nature when she’s in one of her moods. Nope, that’d be foolhardy. Instead countless hours of practice will have been put in, each run increasing experience and muscle memory so riders know how to handle themselves. It’s also as much to do with those big bails and wipeouts, which can teach a lot…
If you come in from a fulfilling sesh having stomped all your moves and smashed it then great. But sometimes eating dust is what makes us better in the brine. We’re not suggesting everyone head out and purposely put themselves in harm’s way. That would also be a daft idea. But if you do end up in a predicament that requires you to think fast and get yourself unstuck then it’s knowledge you can’t buy or be taught.
You can, of course, put in place some necessary building blocks. Such as trying to keep yourself fit for purpose and NOT celebrating a forecast like this the night before by getting off your face. Being sharp, on it and in tune will keep you ripping – save the celebrations until after.
So is this likely to be a sign of things to come this autumn/winter? Well, there were predictions by those in the know that we’re on for an El Nino season just before autumn kicked off. If evidence from the past suggests anything a typical EN pattern will see windy weather with a fair few storms hitting our shores. Towards the end of winter there could be a sting in the tail with a cold snap to finish. Only time will tell whether this comes to fruition so watch this space. In the meantime if you’re heading for some salty fun have a good ‘un – we salute you!