After a couple of days heavy soul searching as to whether to drive 400 miles to attend the National Water Sports Festival or stay local and score some all time wave sailing and SUP heart overcame head and a plan was hatched to make the most of the 8-9′ at 10 second forecast. Saturday was a windsurfing day with Steve Laddiman meeting up with Thorpy down in East Yorkshire and Joe hitting Amble for some fantastic wave sailing with the NWC Crew.
Both largely broken a full day of paddle surfing seemed like a big ask but with ever-keen Starboard UK rider Simon Dunton up with the larks and chomping at the bit a long lie and a leisurely breakfast just wasn’t going to happen! After the usual multi-spot intel-gathering mission had happened it was decided we’d all head to Embleton which wasn’t the biggest we’d seen but with cross offshore wind was certainly the cleanest spot. Joe met up with Steve and Ollie about 11am with Simon trying his luck on Beadnell’s kelp bed for an hour before joining in later on.
As we walked across the golf course in blazing hot sunshine we were greeted by 6′ fast barrelling waves, not exactly ideal for our usual arsenal of SUP moves but there would be no action-less selfies today! Getting out back would be challenging enough with wave after wave smashing down hard on the inside. Undeterred the boys were straight in their gimp suits, boards given a extra layer of wax and were soon heading for the water.
Embleton is one of the more beautiful Northumberland coastal spots. The castle ruin on the cliffs certainly makes for an inspiring back drop. It wasn’t long before Joe, Steve and Ollie had all found the best peak and were up and charging. It wasn’t a day for indecision or the consequences were punishing.
That said once the boys got dialled in confidence levels improved and survival soon turned into balls out charging. Ollie’s training ahead of Watergate was certainly evident with him throwing bucket loads of spray off the top and even throwing in a couple of front-side 360s.
Dad Steve is no slouch either and even despite the increasingly strengthening offshore wind he was still catching everything he paddled for on his 7’4” short SUP pumping down the line at warp speed before gouging hard off the bottom and losing the fins off the top sending spray skyward.
Joe was up to his usual mischief waiting for the bombs and trying to hit the lip super late or tuck in for a brief shack on his go to 8’9” Carbon Pro. This proved to be quite a painful MO so after taking a few on the head for the team he was more thoughtful with his wave selection taking a few of the smaller ones on the inside even sharing a few with Steve and Ollie.
3 hours soon passed and it was time to rehydrate and and grab a quick bite. Joe had cut his foot so decided to nip back to the van and give it a quick clean and stick on his summer suit while Ollie and Steve had some chill time.
Simon from SUP North had finished carb-loading his pasta (by hand?) and was already in and putting some nice waves together going backside then cutting back to the pocket so Ollie was keen to get out for round 2 and assert his dominance. Joe offered to work the camera for an hour or so while the other three made the most of the outgoing tide.
Ever-reliable Steve was like a man possessed probably catching as many waves as Ollie and Simon put together. Although less fussed about competing Steve can definitely throw a board around punting smack after smack off the top and offering up his body for a pounding trying to search out that illusive barrel.
With the wind dropping off the waves were getting glassier so Ollie decided to change down to his ‘small’ board. To watch him even balance on that board makes you wonder how the hell does paddle it never mind catch anything?
His fast twitch balance reset and core stability is off the chart! Even with slightly less powerful waves he was still throwing brine all over the place! Simon was getting his groove on too racing the line and going for the big smack.
Soon it was time for Joe to swap over with Steve and have a final blast before the the road was calling us back to South Shields, Saltburn and North Wales respectively. The waves were definitely dying with sets becoming further apart and the point of tide meant it had turned into a a bit of a dump-fest which is never great on a SUP.
That said the Joe, Ollie and Simon stuck with it and managing to either race the line and put in a couple of turns or summon the last ounce of testicular fortitude and hug the wall for death or glory with death being the more common outcome.
Completely beaten we all dragged ourselves back to the car park, de-gimped and packed the vans. After some post-session banter and a bit of kit and technique chat hoodies were on, keys in and the pilgrimage home commenced.
Stay tuned for the full set of snaps being drip fed on our Facebook Page and Instagram so make sure you ‘like’ or follow us for some pretty amusing out takes as well as more action Loco style!