Just got my hands on a gong fatal 6.10 xtr pro. I have been riding my starboard POD for at least 3 years now and it has become second nature riding and paddling the POD. So i thought it was time i took a look at a radical short board SUP. After looking around and ruling out most of the major manufacturers as soon as i had a look at the price that they are now asking for their boards. I decided on a gongsup. I decided on the 6.10 fatal xtr and bit the bullet and ordered one. They only sell on line direct so you get your board much cheaper than you would do from a shop.
The new 6.10 fatal arrived promptly from their wear house in France. At 95l the 6.10 fatal is a good 10l less volume than the Starboard POD. I thought how hard can the drop down in size be. My first outing on the board in choppy small waves soon answered that question. Very, To start with just trying to stand on the 6.10 fatal seemed hardly possible. I soon found out that i was now back on a steep learning curve to try and get used to the 6.10 fatal. I have now had 4 sessions on the board all in small surf. The hardest thing about the board is the initial getting up on the board. I have changed my technique markedly from the starboard Pod. I will go in to more detail in my full review of the board in another article. Simply put though it is all down to keeping your centre of gravity as low as possible. I have only used the board in small slow surf so far and basically the board comes alive instantly it is on any sort of a wave. It accelerates and turns on waves that the Starboard POD would just be meandering along.
So watch this space as i will give a full unbiased review of the board once i am riding it to its potential and have ridden it in a whole mixture of different conditions and wave sizes. My first opinion is though that the Gong 6.10 Fatal is going to totally change my supping in clean waves up to head high.#
I just took the gong 6.10 and the starboard POD to north devon for a few days. We had head high and a half down to shoulder high waves. This board has now proved to me just how quick it will turn and is manageable in the white water. At the moment it seems a perfect board for chest to head high waves. It is going to be so good over the next few months trying the 6.10 out in different conditions. There is nothing like a new learning curve to get you going.
Tue 7th October, With the weather forecast today looked like it would be a great day windsurfing at camber. The wind direction was supposed to be wsw about the best direction for camber. Cross shore enough to give a good direction for wave riding. Not to far westerly though to get gusty and fluky due to the headfland to the west. Wind speed was supposed to be 20 to 25 Knots. So it looked like a perfect 4.7m session was coming up. Also with windguru giving 2.5m of swell what more could you ask for.
The day turned out quite differently though. Light westerly winds with thundery showers. That had squally winds around them. So we went to plan B a wave riding session up by the harbour arm of the river Rother. Richard with his waveski and myself got there about high water or so. There were some shoulder to head high waves to be had. I will be honest though i thought it was me on my paddleboard but there seemed no speed available when dropping down the face to get anu sort of speed out of the bottom turn. When i spoke to Richard though he was having exactly the same problem. it did improve quite a bit as the ebb tide pushed through and the rides got longer and the waves got steeper. So we shouldnt really complain.
So all in all a pleasent surprise as far as the stand up paddling goes. Not so pleasent though for the guys who had long drives down to camber on a decent forecast only to spend most of the day standing on the beach waiting for the wind to get up. The highs and lows of weather dependent sport i suppose.
Tomo is another day and the forecast is good again so lets wait and see how it pans out.
On several occasions i have been at Dungeness point when it has been blowing hard from the south. After high water when the ebb tide starts to run along the beach. It pushes up against the swell and in theory makes a wave that you could ride from where the fishing boats are to all the way down past the lifeboat station.
Today monday the 6th of October has been the first time this autumn that such a wave has had the chance to happen. Unfortunately the wind had not been blowing for that long. So it was never going to be a classic day. My thought was though it would make a good day to give it a go and to try and work out the potential for Dungeness point as a winter wave break that is right on my door step. I forgot to add you also need spring tides for this wave to work. So that when the ebb comes through it runs harder and pushes the waves up higher.
I got there about 2hrs after high water just as the water started to drop down the beach. Still a bit early as the waves were not huge just about chest to shoulder high. So prob got in the water around 2 and 3 quarters after high. i will be honest it was not a classic day. The spot certainly has potential though you add another foot or so on top and the waves should run for ages. Just like i have seen them do in the past but never been in a situation where i could try them out.
I got some shortish rides fairly close in to the beach. That extra foot would of made all the difference then hopefully they would of been working slightly further of the shore line. Wednesday the 8th is looking promising so i intend to have another try then.
This is the first post on my site. I thought i would start with a brief post about our local break (Camber Sands). I know this is not the first place that springs to mind when you are thinking about a decent beach break for surfing and suping. Camber is very popular for kite and windsurfing as it is quite often windy at Camber when other spots are struggling to get any wind. When you live though on the south east corner of the UK good breaks of any sort are in short supply for both surfing and stand up paddlesurfing.
Long range swell that has crossed the atlantic has very little chance of getting through to camber. So we look out for a specific weather pattern that is most common in the autumn and winter months. So the use of a summer wetsuit has very limited use at camber sands for surfing. So the weather pattern that we look for is a low pressure that tracks across the southern part of the UK. Which will hopefully develop some ground swell that will push all the way up the channel. Why this is happening the wind is nearly always predominantly from a south westerly direction. Which unfortunately with camber beach facing near due south, south westerly wind is to onshore to produce any sort of a clean wave.
So this is the important bit to look out for and which we look out for everytime a low pressure tracks up the channel or southern england and that is what the wind does as the low goes off in to the north sea. Ideally you will get a cold front on the back edge of the low pressure. Which will swing the wind in to a north westerly direction. This usually leaves you in a colder but sunny day. More importantly though north west wind is cross off shore and produces the cleanest waves. Camber can also be surfed if the wind only go around to due west which is cross shore. This really limits you to surfing up by the harbour arm at the entrance to the river rother. This is not all bad though as this is often the the spot that you get the longest rides at camber. With rides often long enough to get 3 or 4 bottom turns going both left and right. Dymchurch rich loves this spot.
The best time to surf camber sands or stand up paddlesurf for that fact is from high water to about 4 hours after high. I know a lot of breaks around the country get their best waves on the pushing tide. At camber though the best waves and often an extra foot to boot is after high water as the ebb tide comes through and pushes up against the swell coming up the english channel from the west. Other good places to surf at camber apart from up by the harbour arm are opposite the houses and from Broomhill sands car park. Again the best state of tide for an extra foot is after high water these spots though can all be surfed from half tide up to half tide down. You can surf over the low water although the wave height drops off significantly. If you do have to surf over the low tide then the best spot is often by the wreck of an old trawler which is easily visable at low tide and has some good sand bars around it.