Last Saturday 6 February 2010 will be one of those days that will be etched in everyone memory as being one of the best swells anyone has seen for a long time. It wasn’t the biggest of swells I’ve seen and definitely not the warmest of days, but it was pretty big and the shape of the waves almost perfect. The sun was out and it was on a weekend bringing everyone to the beach.
I’ve never seen so many photographers at Freshwater Bay before, and I probably shoot Freshwater Bay more than most. I have spoken to a few of the guys who started surfing back in the sixties and seventies and even they say it was a pretty epic day. Roger Backhouse said the waves breaking along the rocks at Ventnor looked like perfect barrels and Rex Haines said it was the best day he had ever seen at Freshwater Bay, and Mick Thomson said he hadn’t seen it that good it a very long time.
I was without my 500mm camera lens on that day so was forced to try and find different perspectives. I started sitting up on the cliffs near Compton Farm watching at least 3 points breaking along the white cliffs from Freshwater to Compton. We have all driven along the Military road and wondered if there might be a wave along there and some of us have even tried to surf them. But the only experience I have, is of closeouts and backing off waves. This Saturday they were perfect, I don’t know if it was the size of the waves or the sand filling in the gaps or the wind being perfect.
We all have memories like this from breaks all around the Island. I remember hunting round the East Wight looking for waves with no luck. We had already checked Whitecliff Bay and it wasn’t very good but for some reason we decided to go back there. It turned out to be one of the best surfs I had ever had at Whitecliff, head high, offshore and really fast with only two friends out. Or another session at Niton and watching Joe Truman catch one of the longest waves I have ever seen ridden at Niton. Joe took off right out the back and it seemed to go on forever, right around into the harbour.
There are so may stories like this. Please let us know of your stories of epic days past and present and if you have images or movies please let us know.