Was it just good luck or good karma, or was huey (the god of surf) in a good mood because we were paying homage to all the surfers who came before us?
Whatever it was, we’ve had a great run of swell to coincide with the opening of the ‘Wight Surf History’ exhibition, and its been great to be at the beaches sharing good waves with everyone and seeing just how many people had heard about it and were going to see the show.
We only got the go ahead to hold the exhibition on the tuesday and the swell arrived on the wednesday morning! Freshwater Bay at first light with the snow still on the hills from the week before. Solid swell on the at times too, some 4-5ft on the best sets and a decent bit of power too (nothing like the power of some of the recent bigger days though)
Sadly the sea wall produced a lot of backwash on the first morning and it was by no means a classic day at the bay, seemed to me that the long-boarders Will Rome and Alan Reed probably had the best of the bumpy conditions, although there was plenty of rides to be shared in the smaller crowd than recent days.
Thursday saw a dramatic increase in quality as Compton bay delivered some lovely long rides on the occasionally overhead set waves in the fresh offshore winds which also kept the temperature and probably the crowds down, no pics at all from thursday as i surfed so much it was all i could do to drag myself back to the car and home for a long hot shower.
Bit windy on the Friday so no surfing out west, and just as well really as it was the first day of the exhibition, and we were still framing and hanging the show after the official start time (but not because we were lazy, the frames had only arrives at 4pm thursday afternoon and paul worked into the small hours!)
Sunday brought another good pulse of swell on the day for the private view, and conditions cleaned up nicely into the afternoon at Compton as the sun came out and the onshore wind dropped off, it almost felt warm and spring-like being out there as i grabbed a cheeky hour on the way home from indoor cricket and before the party guests started arriving.
Monday after the show party, and more good waves to wash away a few hangovers (pacey & paul) although paul to his shame made some excuses and missed out on some really nice head high glassy waves late morning at Compton again
All three good days at Compton the swell size (nothing more than a proper 4ft really) period and direction somehow combined to give long rides with hardly any of the normal Compton close-outs you can get with solid winter swells
Photography was a challenge for most of the time though, shooting at high ISO and slow shutter speeds to get enough light in meant the results aren’t stunning, most of the shots here only really work at low-res and in B&W and needed a bit of exposure adjustment, curves and levels in photoshop, but some times it’s about the waves and not the pictures, and there really was some nice waves out there in the last week so no complaints here.
If you haven’t had a chance to see the exhibition yet, its on till the 31st of January, and as well as the new stuff from me and paul, there is a ‘history board’ with a few shots from the old days, and things are looking promising for the project as a whole with lots of people coming up with stories, photos and hopefully videos of surfing over the years, check out the wight surf history website for details and developments