Check out our road trip up the West Coast of South Africa where we found some amazing surf at Elands Bay :)
Stay tuned for Part 3 - Kitesurfing the Doctor. Coming soon
On Sunday 15th December 2013 it all came together for myself, Lee ‘Pasty’ Harvey and Neal Gent to Kitesurf the notorious Cribbar located off Towan Headland, Newquay, Cornwall.
The Cribbar which is known as being England’s biggest wave is a fickle spot needing a large, long period swell and a low tide before it even starts to show its teeth. With its location off the headland out in the Atlantic making it really affected by the wind, the Cribbar only has a rideable wave a handful of times a year at best. Add into this the fact that we need the right direction and strength wind to be able to kitesurf out there and it drastically reduces the number of days so much so that I have been waiting for 4 years to tackle the beast.
The day before this Neal actually windsurfed the Cribbar along with Ross Williams but due to the wind being on it all day it was a bit bumpy and they both took a few beatings. Thankfully the wind swung SE and dropped right off overnight, so much so that when we arrived at Little Fistral car park it was blowing dead offshore about 10mph. Steve Thorpe was already rigging his windsurf kit convinced it was going to start blowing soon and sure enough by the time we had walked out along the headland to check the wave, the wind had started to swing cross off and pick up a lot. We looked round to see Steve swimming his kit out off the old lifeboat station, so Genty and I quickly ran back to the van to drive round to North Fistral to launch off the beach while Ross and Jan Sleigh decided to wait for a bit more wind before rigging their sails. Standing at the beach looking out at double overhead close outs crashing onto Fistral it was hard to know what size kites to use to be safe enough to get out of trouble but not too powered to be able to ride the wave. Neal chose to use his RRD 7m Religion while I went for my trusty 6m North Rebel, both of us were strapless using 6ft JP Surfboards with Inlayz.
By the time we launched around 9 am, it was pretty windy and with the tide on low we timed it perfectly. I scooted out through the huge rip in front of Fistral rocks with Neal right behind me, who unfortunately was just too close in for a huge set and took a couple of beating s before making it out the back and start riding down to the reef. Getting into the line up it took a while to get my bearings and work out how deep you could get without getting taken out by the 20ft+ waves. As the Cribbar is really a right it was not ideal down the line conditions, but we will probably never get a huge swell with NE wind. The answer was to try and backdoor the section and smash a few turns without getting too deep and washed onto the razor sharp rocks below the headland where your only escape would be swimming around the corner and around one mile to Newquay harbour. Everyone had some amazing size waves with us all hooting and hollering each other in and shouting go deeper boy. The photos really don’t do the size justice as they are taken from 300ft up on the top of Towan Headland, next time we will hopefully have a boat or ski as support and media vessel!
An Awesome session shared by just us on the kites with 3 windsurf friends and a fair size crowd on the Headland.
Big thanks to JNP Events for taking the pics, Neal Gent for being my wingman and also the first person to Kite and Windsurf the Cribbar. Bring on the next time!
Lee ‘Pasty’ Harvey
Check out Part 1 of my 7 week trip to Cape Town. Part 2 coming next week followed by Part 3 early March.
Thanks to my sponsors - North kiteboarding, O'Neill wetsuits, Inlayz, Freeriders and Pasty Adventures.
Also thanks to Cape Town Kite Club for letting me stay at such an awesome place.
We are really excited to be going back to Dakhla, one of our favorite places in the World to Kitesurf.
For 2014 we have sorted out a really great deal with our friends at Kite Morocco staying at the new Dakhla Spirit Surf House.
Strictly limited to 6 people per coaching session. (i.e 6 for wave, 6 for freeride).
Private room and beginner packages available, details on request.
Flights are currently around £300-£330, for the 1st - 12th we recommend using Royal Air Maroc, Gatwick - Dakhla
and for the 1st - 8th we recommend using the RAM Heathrow - Dakhla flight which we have found cheapest with Edreams.
Due to the need for an overnight stop in Casablanca on the return leg we recommend staying at the nearby Relax Airport Hotel (formally Atlas Hotel) which has a free shuttle outside the airport and costs around £60 for the night including breakfast.
Places are strictly limited to a max of 6 for Wave coaching and 6 for Freeride. Please don't hesitate to contact with any questions or queries. We have been to Dakhla many times so can help out with most things!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book, this is a one off special deal and probably your last chance to visit Dakhla for under £1000!
More info on the website http://www.pastyadventures.co.uk/dakhla.html
I look forward to you joining me on a Pasty Adventure in 2014
Lee 'Pasty' Harvey
Having an amazing time out here in Cape Town so far. Only had 2 days without kiting in two weeks and scored some super fun surf. Really excited to be on board for the new Progression kitesurf wave coaching video series, due for release later this year. Check out this first test clip from a pumping session at Witsands the other day-
Currently I'm competing in the South African Kitesurf Tour event at Big Bay. Yesterday we had waves and I made it to the semis where I faced my friend and 3 time SA Champ, Luke McGillewie which I unfortunately lost as the waves disappeared and Luke is super good on his frontside in the close out waves of Big Bay. Ours was the last heat of the day due to no more waves and today is small so looks like freestyle which im not entering. Tomorrow is planned for Big Air and Slalom which im hoping to do well followed by the Wave final and double elim on monday which is forecast to be pumping, so I still have a chance of taking top spot :)
Stay up to date with all the news and you can check out all the pics from the trip out here on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/PastyAdventures
What an amazing run of swell and wind we have had in Cornwall since the 10th December. After a pretty lackluster autumn, it really has made up for it with there being only two days I haven't been in the water, and that was because it was simply too big and windy! The crazy thing is, that there is no sign of it stopping with next week forecast 31ft 17 seconds! Problem is now all the sand has been washed away and most of the beachies are big closeout death pits, if only we had some quality reef set ups to handle the size!
Tomorrow I am flying to Cape Town, can't wait as I've not been to the Cape of Good Fun since 2004 and am really in need of some sunshine. Add to that, the forecast is looking amazing for monday on with the Cape Doctor blowing and a decent swell!
Big thanks to Cornwall and the Santa Storms for keeping me sane over this strange time for me, JNP Events and Ansum Pics for some amazing shots, My sponsors- North Kiteboarding, O'Neill wetsuits, Freeriders for all the support this year and of course JP and Inlayz for making the best surfboards you can get!
Be sure to check out the mags in January for a full write up along with some amazing pics!
Hope to see plenty of you in Cape Town or on my Dakhla coaching holiday in march. Stay safe and I wish you an amazing 2014 :)
After four years of waiting, yesterday it finally all came together to Kitesurf the Cribbar, Cornwall's notorious big wave spot located off Towan Headland, Newquay.
Neal Gent and myself, Lee 'Pasty' Harvey were Kitesurfing using normal surfboards with no straps while Steve Thorp, Ross Williams and Jan Sleigh were Windsurfing. More pics and full write up coming soon!
Join BKSA coach and 2013 British Kitesurfing Champion, Lee ‘Pasty’ Harvey in the kitesurf paradise of Dakhla this March. Pasty Adventures have teamed up with Kite Morocco to offer an amazing 11 night package staying at the new Dakhla Spirit surf house. The package includes- 11 nights shared room, 3 meals a day, transfers, 7 days coaching and more from only £675pp.
For this year we are not including flights as there are so many options to get to Dakhla. At the moment you can fly with Royal Air Maroc for only £313 meaning you get 11 nights in Dakhla for under £1000. Limited space so be quick!
For more info see the website www.pastyadventures.co.uk/dakhla
Last weekend 2nd - 3rd Nov, I traveled up to Porthcawl in Wales to run a kitesurf wave clinic organised by Blast Kiteboarding and local legend Marc Rowley.
Despite being blown off the water saturday afternoon, we had some great conditions (especially on my dawnie at the point!) and everyone learnt lots.
For a full write up & pics check out Marc's blog -
Pretty pleased with the feedback (see below) and Marc is already talking about another one in Wales in the spring. If you would like a Wave Clinic at you spot please get in touch.
My next planned clinic is in Cape Town mid Jan 2014. Details TBC
Or join me on a Pasty Adventures coaching holiday to Dakhla, Morocco in March. Freeride on the lagoon week 1, waves on the point week 2. Come for 1 week, 2 weeks or mix it up and have 1 week of coaching plus however many days you want on holiday in this kitesurf oasis.
Details on the website http://www.pastyadventures.co.uk/dakhla.html
Thanks to Marc & Sarah for organising the Wales Clinic. See you again soon ;)
A fantastic weekend.
I've been kitesurfing for 8 years.
And waveriding for I reckon 6 years.
The point is Lee has been doing it for twice as long and has been pushing the boundaries of waveriding in the UK since the start.
To listen to Lee during the hurricane was pure gold dust. I learnt more in that 3 hours than in 3 years of getting yanked around at Llangennith.
Got some bad old habits that require some attention, but I know what to work on now.
Good to here that Lee will return and I'll look forward to that.
Book early to avoid disappointment. Think it might be oversubscribed.
Thanks to Lee, Marc and Sarah.
Awesome weekend with a great bunch. I've only been using a surf board for a few weeks and have learned so much. Theory was explained in simple terms and demonstrated by Lee so well, he made everything look so simple, if only it was. I realise now that using a surf board strapless or with, is something that will take time and perseverance so if you see me in the water rather than on it you know what I'm up to. I would definitely do another clinic with Lee and recommend it to anyone looking to improve their riding.. Also thanks to Blast for setting it up and for the beach commentary whilst Lee was doing his thing in the waves..
Lee was great, he took us from the position of an absolute beginner at wave riding (me) through to the technical aspects of board shape and even fin selection - a side of wave riding I didn't even know existed!
So sorry I couldn't attend both days, but just from yesterday I found lots of knowledge and inspiration to work on.
Thanks To Blast for organising a great event.
After missing the last two years due to being away competing on the KSP World Tour, I am super pleased to have won the men’s open and become British Kitesurfing Wave Champion for 2013. Massive thanks to all of my family, friends and sponsors for their continued support. I could not have done it without you!
Read on for how it went down.
The Perfect Forecast
With a huge low pressure system approaching and storm force winds forecast to hit Western Scotland on Sunday 15th, I quickly changed my ferry ticket to Saturday morning and took the day off from fishing to drive to Oban on Friday. The plan was to get there in time for a beer and have a nice sleep, so I left at 9.20 am as soon as I could get some Philps pasties for the journey. Well the traffic gods had other ideas and I didn’t get to Oban until 2.30 am. The plus side was that as soon as I arrived in Scotland all the signs on the motorway were giving out ‘Warning High Winds Sun/Mon’. Sweet I was heading in the right direction!
The ferry from Oban to Tiree takes 4 hours and the first part is really scenic as you travel down the Sound of Mull. Upon arriving in Tiree I headed straight to the beach along with 2012 Champ George Noble, runner up Stubbie and a few others with Ian Edmondson from ExPix to check out what was on offer. We found a smallish wave at Balephuil and a gentle cross on breeze in glorious sunshine with a surprisingly nice warm temperature. Most jumped in for a SUP but I waited and sure enough the wind filled in for a fun evening session alone on the 12m Dice. A good start to the trip and with a forecast 18ft 14 sec swell and 40-60 mph winds the next day, while the locals battened down the hatches we all headed to bed.
The van started rocking overnight and we awoke Sunday to a very different Tiree. Cold, grey wet and very windy, first we checked Balephuil but found a huge confused mess so headed to get some inside info from Seb the French local. Looking right out at Crossapol from his house most of us quickly jumped in for a windy 2ft cross off session on 5-6m kites. Some huge hail squalls blew most away but there were some small fun waves to be had. After a couple hours and many hail stones to the head, the wind started to turn slightly more offshore, so I came in and grabbed Ian to go find some size as by now it was meant to be pumping!
Sure enough back at Balephuil it was now cross shore and huge. I jumped in again on my Rebel 6m with the new 6’2 Pro surfboard from North. Among the chop left over from the morning I found some nice sections in the double overhead surf with the wind going from 40-60 mph in the hail squalls, it was pretty crazy out there but a lot of fun and what I had come all this way for. Unlucky for some who were coming on the ferry, as it got all the way to Tiree but couldn’t get into dock so had to turn around and go the 4 hours back!
Monday and after a very noisy night, we found it howling again but more NW so we headed straight back to Balephuil. This was the day, clean double overhead waves blowing cross off and windier than the day before, less gusty and even the odd bit of sun. With a couple windsurfers out along with a couple local guys on Twin Tips you could see exactly how big it was, over mast high but closing out.
I decided to wait for a couple of hours until the tide came in and the wave started breaking on the bank I rode the day before. Using the 5m Dice my wait paid off and I had an amazing 3 hour session mostly by myself until the ferry got in and I was joined by Jon Ellman Brown and Marc Rowley. That evening we all had to go to the Scarnish Hotel (only pub) for registration and meet with everyone who were talking about their day and what it would be like for the comp the coming week and a planned three whole rounds of competition for everyone. A little bit of concern was that two of the judges for the event were freestyle riders, Robin Snuggs and Craig Smith (primary role as beach marshal) who knew virtually nothing about waves. We left them busy watching videos trying to find out what we meant by a re-entry and off the lip.
Tuesday morning and the call was made via Facebook for a 9 am meet at Balephuil. Arriving at the beach, it was the biggest case of ‘You should have been here yesterday’ you could possibly get, still howling but with waves of less than a foot. As per usual the call was made for Ladies first followed by seniors then Open Men. For once however the Ladies scored the best waves of the day, as with the dropping tide the waves got even smaller with it howling cross offshore! I was pleased to make it to the final as it really was a lottery in the tiny surf with Jon winning and Stubbie second and me third for Round 1 with us all using 6-7m kites in over 40knts of breeze.
Wednesday morning it was back to Balephuil for Round 2 with the same running order and the swell forecast to increase, we were all hoping that today the men would get the better conditions as it was super small to start with. As the tide pushed in during the afternoon, the waves started to increase as we started the first men’s heats. Unfortunately during heat 5 around 4pm, a huge black cloud came over and totally killed the wind. After waiting for 20 mins the race crew called it off for the day and everyone packed up. Half an hour after this the wind kicked right back in and with the swell picking up near the high tide I had an amazing session by myself on the 8m Rebel in clean head high waves until sunset. It was then back to check the forecast as contest director, Rich Gowers was calling a possible day off the next day.
Thursday and the forecast had changed considerably with windguru giving 30 mph and 4-6ft by lunchtime. It was back to Balephuil again but unfortunately the wind never came in as we seemed to be right in the eye of the storm and at 4.30pm we all packed up and went for a surf.
Friday and the wind had switched to the south so it was a different location and we headed to Balevullin for some left hand waves. Arriving to small waves again with the dropping tide we continued with the men’s from before with everyone using 12-9m kites. Stubbie and myself made it to the final again, this time with 2012 Champ George Noble who was much happier on his frontside. George took the win with me in second and Stubbie third in very poor shaped 1-2 ft waves.
The race crew then cracked straight on and started another round of the seniors and women with all the locals saying it was going to get really good later as the tide came in. Hopefully the men would finally get some decent waves for round 3?
Sure enough as the tide started to come up, the waves started to increase and by the time we started the 3rd full round of men it was 3-4ft lefthanders with occasionally bigger sets. With the wind pretty gusty coming over the hill we were riding 7-9m kites and with finally some good shaped waves the level of riding noticeably increased with no easy heats. I made it to the final again along with Jon Ellman Brown and newcomer Jordan Scott who took out George in the heat before with some nice turns riding switch stance. A great final heat with the biggest waves of the contest, I almost got the win dropping in on the wave behind Jordan on the biggest set of the day. Unfortunately after my first turn the wave disappeared while Jordan’s reeled all the way to the beach. This gave Jordan the win for round 3 followed by myself second and Jon in third.
On my wave in after the heat had finished, I managed to pull a perfect 360 straight into another turn and was super happy coming up the beach. With the race crew announcing Jon had come 3rd, I realised the title was finally mine and erupted in joy.
With no wind forecast for Saturday most competitors headed to the pub for food and drinks to celebrate a great week. A super friendly bunch of locals made sure we all had a great time with the local police man even giving some a lift home, including Jon’s dog.
Saturday and it was surfing day for most, with a lot of driving checking spots we ended up again at Balevullin for some fun waves if not a bit closey before heading back to the hotel for prizegiving and the Islands top band. A great end to a great week with myself winning the Open men’s, Wales Marc Rowley the seniors and Tiree local Helen Thompson the ladies, proving that the Celtic nations really do rule the waves! Big thanks to all the judges who did a great job, British Kitesports, Kiteworld, Blast, Tiree Kitesurf Academy and the people of Tiree for a great event.
Thanks to my sponsors-
North Kiteboarding for making the best kites and kiteboards by far.
JP Surfboards & Inlayz for the greatest surf and kite crossover boards I’ve ever had.
O’Neill wetsuits UK for sorting me some suits at last minute.
Freeriders Surfshop for their continued support with all the essential bits.
Pasty Adventures for paying for me to get to the comp.
Thanks to Ian from ExPix, Marc from Blast & Leigh from Evolution boardsports for use of the pics.
To look at all the pics from the event go to www.expix.co.uk where you can purchase if you want.
Lee ‘Pasty’ Harvey
Join me on a Kitesurfing Coaching Holiday this winter in Cape Verde, Cape Town or Dakhla, Morocco.
See the website for details http://www.pastyadventures.co.uk/holidays.html