Posted: April 19, 2011 by
It’s almost Easter time, and that can mean only one thing: it’s Bells time. Stop number 2 of this year’s 11 stops on the ASP’s surf tour has officially opened for business.
The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach in Torquay, Victoria, Australia is running from 19th to 30th April, later than usual, as the event is always run when Easter occurs. Expectations are high this year, as it is the 50 year anniversary of the event and everyone would love to win it.
Bells is the world’s longest running surf contest, and it holds a special place in the hearts of Australian surfers. It takes a brilliant competition performance to win Bells and to lift the infamous trophy and ring its bell.
This year the contest is waiting for the beginning of the southern hemisphere’s autumn/winter swells to push in. The conditions can be cold and changeable, but there is nothing like seeing Bells going off. The beach and the surrounding cliff curve around to form a natural amphitheater that has been well used over the decades for the contest’s spectators.
Bells itself is a right hand point break- perfect for most of the regular footers on tour, and a bit of challenge for the goofy footers. However, the reason surfers love it so much is because the ride offers the chance to really carve and hack into the wave faces, especially on the big days. Wave faces can reach up to 18ft with the right conditions.
So the all important question is: who is going to be taking the 50th year anniversary title. As always, defending champion Kelly Slater is looking pretty good in the runnings. He took the first event of the year over at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast, and of course- won his 10th world title last year. He’s a living legend who doesn’t seem to be loosing any motivation to win.
However, close eye needs to be kept on last year’s runner up- Aussie Mick Fanning. With already x2 World Title Championships under his belt, he’s hungry for a great result here to get him back on course, after he was knocked out of the Gold Coast contest early. Another Aussie surfer to watch will be Taj Burrow as he came second to Kelly at the Quiky Pro. Taj won the Quiksilver event last year, whereas Slater took Bells. So maybe this year it will be a reversal?
For the ladies the pressure is on Hawaiian Carissa Moore who won at the Gold Coast. Everyone is watching to see if defending world title holder Stephanie Gilmore can make a recovery from her slow start to the year, or whether Moore has the spark needed to continue her world title campaign.
To check out all the action as it happens, go online to live.ripcurl.com
- just be prepared for some late nights with the time difference.
Posted: April 13, 2011 by
We all know that for the majority of the year the idea of hitting the surf in just a rash vest and boardshorts would be suicidal. However, when it comes to Spring/Summer surf holidays in Portugal
, the water temperatures can actually warrant investing in a rashy and boardies. So here a a few tips to help you choose your items for your next warm water surf holiday
Long Sleeves vs Short Sleeves
- It’s really important to think about how long you will in the water for when you are choosing your rash vest. Most rashies will be the equivalent to a SPF 50, but they are a short sleeve or sleeveless design your arms will need some very good sun factor on to help prevent burning.
- When choosing your rash vest, think about whether you will be using it under your wetsuit the rest of the year. It is really important to think about how comfortable it will be under your suit, and whether there are any seams that may irritate you anywhere when you paddle.
Guys and Girls Boardshorts
- One of the most important factors to consider when choosing your boardshorts is how secure they are. Wetsuits don’t go anywhere in a wipeout, but boardshorts can. Powerful waves can easily strip you of your clothing, so your boardies need to be snug, as water will expand them slightly, and the waist needs to be a mixture of velcro, a tie and possibly elasticated (for the girls). All basic advice, but can save you a lot of embarrassment in the water.
- For the guys- longer length is better unless you are going for the 50s look, and for girls, often the shorter, running short look, is more flattering.
Posted: April 11, 2011 by
There are few things better in life than enjoying the gorgeous Spring weather after an Arctic winter. All the sunshine and world surf contests have inspired us to choose our favourite Spring surf destinations. It’s time to get planning and book ourselves a surf holiday to make the most of the season. Here are our top 3 picks:
- 1 La Concha Surf Camp Fuerteventura
Few places combine brilliant weather and warm waters with an option of either deep relaxation or fiesta, but somehow the Canarian island of Fuerteventura provides it all. The La Concha
Surf Camp,is only 5 minutes away from town and a minute from the ocean by foot. Days are filled with surf lessons in the warmest water in Europe (wetsuit optional), then evenings are spent relaxing at the Surf Camp or taking part in a yoga class at La Concha itself. You will always come back deeply refreshed. Ideal for solo travellers in your own bungalow for €490 or sharing with a friend for €724. Prices include 7 night accommodation, 5 days of surf lessons, all equipment & airport transfers.
- 2 Ecolodges, Ericiera, Portugal
Quite simply one of the best places you will ever stay in. Only 35 minutes drive from Lisbon, the fishing town of Ericeira has over 20 surf breaks around it, so the hardest decision we all have to make each day is ‘where do I want to surf today?’. For beginners Foz do Lizandro beach is perfect, or for easy access just run down to the beach of Praia do Sul . Of course if any of us fancy more of a challenge, then a small drive up the coastline to world class surf contest site of Ribeira d'Ilhas will be in order. We are running an Ecolodges special
up to May 14th that includes 7 nights accommodation, 5 days of surf lessons, all equipment and lunch at Na Onda café on the beach each day all for just €339 per person - perfect for groups of friends, couples or families.
- 3 Casa Offshore, Lagos, Portugal
With some of the warmest waters in Portugal, Lagos is still something of a well kept secret amongst surfers. Lagos has a lot of character with its cobblestone streets and excellent cafes and restaurants, and of course- with the good weather, it’s all about enjoying it all after our surf sessions. We have a 20% discount for stays at Casa Offshore
for April and May. 7 nights accommodation, 5 days of surf lessons (2 sessions per day), all equipment and Breakfast & Lunch for only €315. Ideal for solos, couples or groups.
Posted: April 08, 2011 by
Imagine surfing a wave for 7 miles- it would have to be a dream, right? Amazingly this is entirely possible when natural tidal conditions come together with certain rivers in the world, creating something called a tidal bore. Surfers around the world have been seeking out these river waves since the 1950s, and have even discovered standing river waves whilst they were at it. So how does it all work?
There are two types of river wave, the tidal bore and standing waves. The tidal bore can provide miles of continuous wave, when a Spring tidal push combines with the sudden narrowing of a large river mouth, creating a flood surge upstream.
One of the most popular examples of this is if found on the River Severn, Gloucester, UK. Each Spring hundreds of surfers travel to take part in the riding of the bore, and attempting to set world records for the longest ride. An unofficial ride of 7.6 miles has been claimed by Steve King (UK), but generally the bore generates rides of a couple of miles for most surfers.
The other type of very popular river surfing is the standing wave. This type of wave is stationary, as it is created by either a depression in the river or a rock that forces the water up to produce a wave. The sport has been around since the 1970s when surfers in Munich discovered that Eisbach River, Germany had a perfect standing wave. Since then standing waves have been both found or made around the globe, and there are even schools teaching people how to river surf.
For an idea of just how good river surfing can be, take a look at this video of surfers making the most of the tidal bore on the Araguari River in Brazil.
Posted: April 07, 2011 by
Time to start getting the essential Spring wardrobe items together for that all important surf holiday
away. It’s all about combining retro styles with brights this season, so we thought we would do the hard work for you and pick out some favourites from the highstreet and surf brands. Happy shopping.
- Quiksilver Women Story Dress
We are loving Quiksilver’s new Women’s line. It is like Roxy has grown up, visited the 70s and got inspiration from her mothers vintage wardrobe. Luckily for us Quiksilver know how to work with pattern, so the beloved maxi dresses of last year are back and ready to go.
Keeping with the retro theme, Billabong have created t-shirts with a difference. Using funky artists to design eclectic prints is the theme for Spring, and brings in some well welcomed variation to t-shirt designs.
An oldie but a goodie. You can’t beat a pair of faded denim shorts to chuck on with almost anything. Perfect for the beach or going out on holiday, H&M have put together a good collection of basics to compliment even the craziest of ensembles.
- O’Neill Benue River Jacket
For those rare duller days, or simply because you fancy something bright, O’Neill has brought out some good strong colours. Block colours are a big trend this Spring, so combining the warmth of a jacket for evenings at the beach with the bright blue is simple, but genius.
- Volcom Tie-Dye Inspired Bikini
Just when you thought tie-dye had been left in the 60s, here it is reinvented. Volcom has done a great job of using tie-dye techniques with a modern twist to create interesting bikini prints for Spring. Time to do some pic-n-mix.