Tuesday, 2 October 2012
Great Western beach, Newquay, taken with my mobile. On a hot sunny day, which this wasn't, you could probably imagine you were somewhere exotic, rather than a windswept seaside town in England! Look at those lovely lines! I was in there, slightly further to the west at Towan, not long before...
Anyway, after a boring but thankfully incident-free drive, I arrived yesterday. I'm staying in a nice surf hostel, Goofys, on Headland Road, which is a nice hostel, comfortable, clean and not horribly expensive (the digital tv in the room could do with a new remote as the existing one is knackered, meaning I have to endure the ads, rather than pressing mute) but they could do with having a bit more parking; my car is parked in another road and I am hoping it won't get bashed or broken into. Headland Rd has changed a lot since I was here last. Gone are some of the surf hostels, such as Fistral Backpackers, not just the businesses but the entire buildings have been demolished and in their place are posh apartments, no doubt only affordable to rich bastards looking for a second home (coming from the Isle of Wight, second homes are a sore topic!) because there's no way these are affordable homes.
The wind has been strengthening and, as I type, it sounds like a full gale out there, but this didn't affect the surfing. Fistral was too big and closed out, as the wind was onshore, but we went to Towan Beach by the harbour. Due to the angle of this location,the wind was cross-shore/offshore.
The instructor from ESF was a South African, named Shaun, who was a nice guy. We went though where I was going wrong which, after 14 years, amounts to two things: not being fast enough and, paradoxically, rushing things. I either got to my feet and promptly wiped out as I was rushing things or, when I slowed down, the wave was over. My balance is also questionable but that will come.
Shaun did also say that I had a good standard of fitness, which is rare among beginners/returnees my age and over, good upper body strength and determination and, with practise, I will be quite good. I am on the right track with swimming sessions two or three time a week and doing exercises at home.
Out again tomorrow, hopefully. As I said, it's blowing a gale at the moment so I am hoping that's died down by morning. It should do, according to the forecast.
I had been looking for a decent pair of casual shoes, the sort that are like soft deck shoes, only more substantial (like Vans) while I was here, and the surf shops are good places as any to look. Unfortunately I was having trouble finding a decent pair that fit. I am a size 6 and while this is a common size in women's shoes why do we get no choice other than purple, baby blue or pink, ffs?! I HATE girly colours and had to resort to looking among the men's shoes only to find that their sizes began at 7. Jeez, how annoying. The companies should take note as I know I am not the only one who feels like this, quite a lot of other women hate the lack of choice in colours and styles - not only to we have to endure pastel colours in the pink to purple range, a lot of clothes for women are too figure-hugging or revealing, as well. No, I don't 'bat for the other side', I am just fed up with stereotyping. The surf mags are just as bad for stereotyping, showing women, usually the blonde, long-haired, svelte type, in nothing but bikinis.
Anyway, back on topic, and off my soap-box, I eventually found a nice pair at Quiksilver's Fistral Beach shop, in my size, a nice sober colour, with no revolting pinks, purples or baby blues to be found and, even better, reduced in the sale to £29! Stoked. :-)