New born SUP

My new born daughter Molly helping daddy test Loco’s 12.6ft stand up paddle board.

New born SUPMolly and daddy – stand up paddle board testing

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Old Blue – a summer of windsurfing on a 20 year old BIC Techno

There’s no denying that modern windsurfing designs – sails and boards – will increase your enjoyment of the sport, allow you to progress quickly and mostly deliver a better overall experience. Yet this summer in the UK has seen (for the most part) super light wind on the sarf coast – particularly after the epic winter we had – meaning all of us have been riding our biggest gear.

Tez Plavenieks riding a BIC TechnoGybing Old Blue – action captured via K4 Fins GoPro harness mount

Sea breezes have been a regular occurrence here on Hayling, which is the good news, but these blows are predominantly light in weight – even when it looks windy it isn’t, requiring more ‘engine’ to plane.

Due to a variety of circumstances my big board is a 20 year old BIC Techno. After what I’ve said above you’d think why the hell am I riding such a dog?

Hayling is a funny place to windsurf – heavily tidal with a set of local effects that you need to understand to maximise your sailing time. Showing up and blowing up is a rarity, ensuring those with a considered approach will reap the best sessions – kit choice plays a massive part.

The BIC (or ‘Old Blue’ as I call it) has a very different kind of volume distribution compared to modern slalom/freeride boards. The majority of the width and thickness is located right under my feet. I can maximise any gust going with this design and pump myself onto the plane, already benefitting from a degree of natural lift. Once blasting the tail’s volume supports my weight and keeps on powering through lulls. It can be a bumpy ride if there’s a choppy sea state, buy I’d rather have early planning capability and deal with control issues later.

Up front and Old Blue has a relatively narrow and thin nose for the type of board it is. This helps when riding over chop and even gives a better platform to boost some little airs – the nose scooping upwards and projecting off ramps. Of course a BIC Techno is not the ideal jumping board but needs must when it’s a light air summer…

Hayling Island windsurfing Tez PlavenieksArty shot captured via K4 Fins GoPro harness mount

On numerous occasions, when coupled with my trusty Tushingham T4 7.5m, I’ve been able to get planning in bare minimum wind strengths – others have been on bigger rigs or not out at all. This isn’t to sound smug but further to highlight Old Blue’s early planning capabilities and how efficient it is at my home spot (for me).

When it’s onshore and bumpy the under foot volume carries good speed as you gybe onto rolling swell, increasing the chance of planing out of your turn. It also means there’s more board to push against and therefore rail it upwind – even when barely going.

You can’t fault the French and their Techno design. When the shaper mowed foam little did he know he would produce an iconic shape and something that could hold its own 20 years later. I’m not suggesting everyone should start riding ancient kit but likewise sometimes you don’t have to own the latest and greatest to ensure your enjoyment on the water.

I keep getting asked why I don’t upgrade my light wind board to something more modern and performance orientated, to which I answer: ‘Why should I?’ Having found kit that works in light airs I’m loathed to swap it – particularly when I don’t sail this type of gear that often. (Although that last statement is slightly at odds with the number of outings I’ve had on Old Blue during 2014).

My BIC Techno might look well used but Old Blue still delivers the type of performance I want for my home spot in marginal conditions and I’m happy to be the owner of a vintage design that still works all those years after it was originally conceived.

 

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SUP Mag UK – July issue

Tez Plavenieks:

Have you got your edition of July’s SUP Mag UK?

Originally posted on Tez Plavenieks:

The team and I have been beavering away for the last few months but we’re now ready to drop July’s issue of SUP Mag UK  - landing July 4. There’s bags of stand up paddle boarding goodness from our green and pleasant land including:

Beginner SUP

Rob Small interview

The story of BaySUP

And a packed Gear Shed section featuring loads of stand up goodies to drool over – plus much more. In the meantime here’s a teaser pic of what you can expect. SUP Mag UK – get some!

Stand Up Paddle Magazine UK

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Indonesia kayaking – 10 of the best paddling spots

Indo (or Indonesia) is usually more associated with surfing; but the kayaking potential is also abundant. Check out 10 of the best Indonesian kayak locations over on kyakingholidays.com – then get gone.

Indonesia kayakingPaddling in paradise – Indo kayaking adventures (pic courtesy No Roads)

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Perception Scooter review

Perception’s Scooter is a classic sit on top kayak design and Sitons.com were keen to revisit and test this popular boat. The review went live earlier today so check it out – Scootin’ around – Perception Kayaks Europe Scooter review.

Hayling Scooter test with Mike TErryMike Terry testing Perception’s Scooter

 

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SUP Mag UK – July issue

The team and I have been beavering away for the last few months but we’re now ready to drop July’s issue of SUP Mag UK  - landing July 4. There’s bags of stand up paddle boarding goodness from our green and pleasant land including:

Beginner SUP

Rob Small interview

The story of BaySUP

And a packed Gear Shed section featuring loads of stand up goodies to drool over – plus much more. In the meantime here’s a teaser pic of what you can expect. SUP Mag UK – get some!

Stand Up Paddle Magazine UK

 

Posted in stand up paddle boarding, SUP, SUP Mag UK | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The dawn patrol

Tez Plavenieks:

Summer’s here and dawnies are MUCH easier than in the off season. Whatever the time of year though it’s always worth getting up and on it if conditions are firing.

Originally posted on Tez Plavenieks:

Waking at first light, or sometimes before, to score a session before work or school is a right of passage for anyone into shredding waves. The UK’s surf breaks are dictated to by tides, as much as swell and wind, with conditions ever changing, sometimes by the hour. When a good forecast pops into view, and lines up for a session, you’ve got to be on it. If you want to score, hitting the surf as the sun raises its head above the horizon could be your only window of opportunity – the dawn patrol.

If you’ve yet to ‘do a dawnie’, or even if you’re a regular insomniac, one of my latest blog posts – the dawn patrol - may resonate or provide insight into what you can expect – particularly during the colder months.

Cornish dawnOn it from the early – the dawn patrol

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