Gower time

Oh dear, Ian Clingan has been let loose on the blog. Small children, parents, pets, goldfish and hamsters beware.

Well, the emails went round about Friday, who was flexible enough to get out for the first session of the year on the Gower?? Working in France last week I had booked the only convenient flights home that by coincidence allowed for a late afternoon trip to the beach if it was on.
The French Air Traffic Controllers were on strike and blew my plans out of the water, leaving Fester, Ben, Rich and Dave the only four with the flexibility to enjoy some Horton windsurf magic.
My trip was RIB, van, SNCF, taxi-hotel and flight cancellation, walk, new flight, wrong return town, tube, bus, bus, back to my van and the drive home 24hrs later!!!!
So flat water SUPing on Saturday was the call of the day. An hour with no wobbles or swims was great on my third go-yes this winter has driven me to madness and I am changing in the van and going paddling as my latest way to get out of the house.......Oxwich (where there has been an impressive landslide on the point since my last trip in December) and Three Cliffs bay offered a great backdrop on a still sunny morning and then a great place to hanging in the van as the day slipped by.
Inspired by the photographic proof you guys are getting into waves on these beasts of boards I was thinking ahead and planning Sunday and some attempted waves!
An early rise for the ‘Baby Ride’ as Matt calls his 0800 Sunday downhill session on his bike, joined by me traversing up the hill on my bike as he pushes his straight up Kilvey and meets me at the top. His big bike’s impossible to ride up and masses of body armour and full face helmet keep him warm! Me needing to spin the pedals to work of the good living and keep me warm in my normal kit.
So Solenne (my French wife-and the reason I have to be understanding of the strike......) is surprised when I wash the bike, put the washer on and reach for a dry wetsuit to go to the beach. But yes, I needed to prove to myself that this SUPing isn’t as easy as it looks.....and some windblown chop, dumping Caswell waves and lack of a clue what to do proved that alright.
I got a few though, working on the step backwards and into my surf stance (bum out and what do I do with this paddle....), leash quickly onto my leg and not ankle (good tip Solenne). Nearly 10 waves in an hour and I would have had plenty more if my hanging in the line up and take offs were better!
I can think of loads of spots and days this SUPing could be good as I sit in the airport at 0800 on a Monday morning on my way to Ireland to work, wishing we had won the game this weekend and wondering when I will next windsurf!!!!!!!!!!