Another ok week, after another great weekend. Last weekend a squad of us had one of the so called sheltered ‘boring’ beachies up north to ourselves. It was like Hossegor. Clean, fast, glassy, head high walls. A dreamscape. Many on the network scored the same session elsewhere up north.
Colder surely, but the autumn swells are shaping to more than make up for that hames of a summer we had. The big swells that were on some charts have all but dissipated; it just all seems to veer up to Iceland in the next week.
The duskie from the city is still just about do-able for an hour in the water. Depends on your hunger I guess. Damn shame to see the falling light just as the autumn swells line up. How impressive to see the bags upon bags of rubbish gathered from the dunes by surfers and left for collection by the NWSC at a local break. How discouraging though to see them still lying there for weeks, rotting. And statutory authorities call the coasts precious?
Some other stuff…
Surfism – Driven Update
This is the last reminder ahead of next Thursdays film night. All info out. All media contacted. Anyone who wants Nicks superb (as usual) poster, mail me. The more out the better.
Driven – Al Mennies Big Wave Ireland Screening
Sandinos, 25 Oct. Door 9pm. £3
Al and Cotty there in person
2 Short features, Keith Harkin, DJ Mickma
Decent crowd upfert. Lou will be there on the night to film you lot for an online special. Clans Montgomery, Dowughghertay and McCann especially - no mooning. Cool. Signed “Driven”s will be on sale (Xmas pressies?), Al in full profile, good visuals, tunerage, fancy crisps, treats etc.
Barry – Local Info
Barry mails. Newish NW surfer. Keen, like us all, not to get damaged or drowned …
"I took up surfing at the start of the summer… The only difficulty we find atm, apart from standing up that is, is knowing when and where is good, and more importantly SAFE to surf. On his first day out my bro was already caught where he couldn't get to shore. More recently, we surfed an empty twilight, and surfers were a bit shook to discover where we were surfing had a few bad undercurrents. Is it possible you could include safety information/local knowledge for local beaches. … wee sketches of beaches with experienced vs beginner breaks would be a Godsend. Local knowledge is not always readily available at the beach."
My guess is - despite any amount of guides and sites that now name the lesser known NW breaks - that there is still strong feeling locally against naming breaks outside Port and Bundo. I want a quiet life, but I'm also keen that the site does as much as possible to keep people safe and informed. Especially newbies. Barry already knows the spots, but hasn’t yet got the local info to surf them safely. Do we let him just dabble about in rips like we did till he learns, or put up some sort of guide in addition to the stuff we already have up? Safety info here.
I'd appreciate views on this… Personally I don’t want to put up a spot guide, as most surfers would still agree that the "learn by going looking" ethos is better than having it all handed to you on a plate. Buts that’s probably only because that was the only option we all had. Whats the balance though? I reckon the dangerous N Donegal spots need public info signs like you see along the Causeway – that way, you see the ocean info when you arrive. Avoids the naming issues too. Perhaps there’s a role there for the NWSC re: safety signs. I am prevented from using bbc platforms for lobbying … Thoughts?
UK Pro Surf Tour @ Port
The Circle One Tour arrives at Port' later this month. Big event. Big Money. This is a new event on the tour offering 4 grand all told of prizes. That’s the biggest single pot on the tour. Its set for East, but may prob vary closer to the time. A pro womens division has also been introduced, with many of our top locals like Easkey Britton and Nicole Morgan competing. Easkey:
"I am stoked the tour is coming to Ireland this year, this will give me great opportunity to be surfing my home breaks in a competition environment and hopefully do well. The waves are of a different level here … [I hope the tours will return again] for next year.”
Blokes to include Matt Capel etc. Check the main site: www.bpsauktour.com.
NI Coastal Survey
This was an impressive development that went public this week. It’s the biggest ever survey of our ocean floor. From Donegal over to the Causeway. For the surfarists among you, there are implications. Knowing the sea bed is half the battle for knowing the waves, especially the spots that only fire occasionally in the very biggest swells. There’s talk of making sets of "beautiful hydrographic quality charts". Xmas pressy specials fer sure… Link!
Or ‘listen again’ to the piece I did on Weds with the main survey man. [About 30 mins into that show].
Martin Mc has been on it: “amazing time last weekend... a few top names were out: Mennie, Hill, Fitzgerald etc. out there in head high cleaness. Learnt a powerful amount about guts and confidence in big surf. Probably the most enjoyable surf I've had so far….”
Alan Doherty Update
I just got the latest from Alans bedside in Mt Sinai, USA. The last Surfism we did pulled about 1000 Euro together to help fund radical surgery to give the local teenager a chin. Hes just come though the second, most radical procedure, and gave it a big “thumbs up” His parents are delighted. Only one more major operation to go at the end of the year. www.friendsofalandoherty.com
Ok that’s it.
Another decent weekend in store.