São Tomé Dreaming…

São Tomé Dreaming…

TO ME … TO YOU

Tapping São Tomé’s deep roots with William Aliotti and Beyrick de Vries (links to Insty profiles)
Words by Will Bendix  | Photos by Greg Ewing | Video Dane Staples

We’re rolling down the spine of an ancient volcano, tumbling down to the sea. Outside the window it’s the colour of deep earth, the colour of an island that’s been turned inside out, exposing its fertile guts and dark green belly. Giant palm fronds high five the car as we twist around the jungle track with 50 Cent and Lucky Dube riding shotgun. Lucky’s crooning right now, telling us, ‘Good things come to those, who go out and make them happen.’
Clearly Lucky never tried finding a road to the beach on the west coast of São Tomé.
‘I think it’s here,’ says John Micheletti. ‘The bay we saw on the map.’ He’s pointing out the window but all we can see is the same thick ribbon of jungle that’s hemmed us in for the past hour as we’ve unsuccessfully tried to poke the nose of the Toyota Prada towards the beach. John turns off the road into a narrow trail that cuts into the bush. Branches claw the doors as he nudges the car further down the footpath, barely wide enough for two people to walk side by side.
‘I don’t think this is a road,’ quips Beyrick de Vries from the backseat. There’s a hollow thud as the chassis connects a hump of rock, followed by a grinding sound that slows the car down, but it’s impossible to turn around. John pushes harder on the accelerator. The car breaks free and is catapulted into a clearing. Ahead of us lies the beach where impossibly tall palms dip down to the shoreline. Beyond that, an onshore breeze licks the back of a wedging beachbreak.
‘Ramps!’ shouts Beyrick, and we start taking the boards off the roof.

***
São Tomé is located off the west coast of Africa in the Gulf of Guinea, a dark speck that rises abruptly from the sea. Along with its smaller twin, Príncipe, the islands form part of the Cameroon Line, a 900-mile chain of volcanoes that stretch from the hinterlands of Nigeria into the depths of the Atlantic Ocean.
The entire island is in fact a volcano, formed by hot spot that has steadily bubbled up lava from the Earth’s mantle over millennia. The same type of volcanic activity forged the islands of Hawaii and has imbued São Tomé with its dark soil and wrinkled coastline. A coastline that, for the most part, remains unexplored.
The exception is along the east coast, where our eclectic crew had convened like the start of a bad joke: William Aliotti, a Frenchman raised in the Caribbean Islands, Beyrick de Vries from South Africa and John Micheletti from Nigeria. We were hardly the first surfers to visit this former Portuguese colony, however.

Back in 2001, Sam George and Randy Rarick had made their way here with legendary photographer John Callahan. George wrote that he thought they were pioneering the fun right point breaks they found, until he was joined in the water by a gaggle of São Toméan kids, riding boards fashioned from wood. It was a startling discovery.
São Tomé is isolated, lying 200 miles from the mainland, yet here was a wave-riding culture that George hypothesised had evolved independently of the Polynesians’ influence. He claimed the island holds definitive proof that surfing is an authentic African tradition. Proof like the board 12-year-old Jardel Félix holds under his arm when we meet him on the first day of our trip.

The board is four foot long with thin, pinched rails and a rolled bottom deck that ends in a sharp squaretail. The wide nose is rounded and mostly symmetrical, except for a kink on the left rail where the axe used to carve it had splintered the solid piece of wood.
‘Este é meu tambua,’ says Jardel proudly. This is my board.
It’s late afternoon and the tropical sun has unclenched its boiling fist. The air is warm but pleasant. We are still wet from surfing a zippy point break in front of the village of Santana where a group of kids on a flotilla of surf craft had joined us, riding the snapped halves of a thruster, an old bodyboard and even a block of Styrofoam. But mostly they were on tambuas, the rough-hewn boards made from the acacia tree.
We had heard about São Tomé’s homegrown surf scene and expected to find these local surfers in the water. We had not expected to find them busting airs.
Unlike the young kids on the inside, Jéjé Camblé was riding a fresh 6’0 Chili. Every time he did a big turn or hucked a frontside reverse, the small pack erupted in cheers. His face stretched into a broad grin when he paddled up to us and introduced himself in Portuguese.
Jéjé later tells us that he started surfing on a tambua after seeing an expat named Peter riding waves outside his village. ‘When I saw surfing for the first time I thought it was some kind of magic,’ he says. ‘Like walking on water.’
He soon discovered São Tomé had its own wave riders and, with their help, carved his own board. He started bellyboarding the whitewash, then catching open faces. Before long he was at backline.
‘For a long time I thought our generation were the first ones to surf using wooden boards in São Tomé’,’ says the 17-year old. ‘But then I started asking the adults. One of them told me no, we were surfing these boards long ago, when I was seven. Then I asked a man who was 50, and he said the same. He said when they were kids, they were surfing with wooden boards already. Then I asked my grandmother, she is 77, and she said back in the days when she was my age, younger people surfed with wooden boards. They rode waves just for fun.’
Aside from a trickle of tourists, São Tomé remains largely cut off from the outside world. Swathes of the island have no electricity and the economy relies on fishing and cash crops. The few scraps of modern surf equipment come by way of the occasional airline pilot who surfs and a handful of Portuguese expats. But São Tomé is the landing point for a deep-sea fibre optic cable linking Africa to Europe, and has excellent connectivity.
The following morning we spot the Santana crew hanging out on the wall of an old whitewashed church that sits on the water’s edge. They aren’t drawn there solely by their piousness. The wall offers the perfect vantage point to check the waves and pick up free Wi-Fi signal from the church. With thumbs scrolling, they sit glued to their phones, connected to their heroes around the world courtesy of the good Lord.
‘If I want to train my rail, I watch Tom Curren, or Mick Fanning,’ says Jéjé , looking up from his phone. ‘If I want to progress in surf, I watch videos of Julian Wilson and Gabriel Medina. If I want to be inspired, I watch Andy Irons.’
He pronounces Irons’ name with reverence, his Portuguese accent drawing the syllables out in a long shhh.

***
From Santana the road hugs the coastline heading south, giving way to impenetrable bays that we circumnavigate by driving inland. We had scoured the same coastline on Google Earth before arriving, marking off potential setups, logging GPS co-ordinates. But on the ground, amongst the crush of thick foliage, we are quickly disorientated.
John takes command, matching up the maps with his phone GPS, guiding the car west along the twisting dirt roads until we find a path to the beach or can drive no further. Then we get out and hike.
‘Are you kidding me?’ says Beyrick at the end of a sortie on foot. The band of dense bush we have just trekked through gives way to a crescent shaped bay. To our left is a rocky outcrop where a blowhole shoots plumes of water into the air as swells hit the headland, then refract into a left bowl. The wind is onshore but the waves are surprisingly well formed and powerful.
‘This reminds me so much of the setups in Costa Rica,’ says William out in the lineup, in-between sky-high punts. ‘Except there’s nobody here.’
That night back in Santana we tell Joao, a Portuguese expat who occasionally guides visiting surfers around the island, that we found the wave at the blowhole. He looks at us quizzically and shrugs, ‘I don’t know this wave.’

The next day we’re loading the car when William asks, ‘Who’s got music?’ But our iPhones are useless on the Prada’s old sound system, a frontloader and tape deck combo. Instead we make our way to the market where we find bootlegged copies of 50 Cent and Lucky Dube amongst piles of fruit and fish. The duo become the soundtrack to which we navigate São Tomé’s hidden coast, finding our way to beaches and bays where we are unsure if we are the first to ride these waves on our modern tambuas. We wonder what the punchy wedges would do in the dry season offshores and contemplate the slabs we’d heard about further north. But mostly we just surf and hunt fish along the reefs. Reefs that are dark and rich like the jungle, forged from the same volcanic basalt that the island is built upon.

***
‘I’m the diamond in the dirt, that ain’t been found,’ Fiddy spits out the speakers as we climb higher into the interior. The sea has gone flat so we are making our way inland, cutting deep into the belly of the island, throwing faux gangsta shakas as we go.
Eventually we reach Pico Cão Grande, the highest peak on the island. The needle of rock twisting into the sky was formed when a volcanic plug exploded abruptly, hinting at the powerful forces bubbling just beneath the surface. On the way back to the coast John points out the cacao plants that grow along the sides of the road, their bulging orange pods dangling on thin stalks.
Cacao makes up 95 per cent of São Tomé’s exports, a throwback from its colonial past when it was cultivated on large plantations that remain dotted around the island. The seeds are plucked from the pod and shipped around the world where they are processed into chocolate and other delights. But here in the jungle, the plants grow wild and free.

***
When the swell rises again we head to Radiation Point north of Santana, where George and Rarick found the loping righthander that would come to define São Tomé’s surf potential. The tarred road disintegrates the closer we get, until we are bumping along a rutted track where wooden clapboard houses lie squashed against one another, piled up in a settlement that runs down to the sea. The bad road forces us to drive slowly, a few miles an hour. A stream of kids run out the houses as we pass by, pushing their homemade skateboards behind the car.
When we come to a stop they gather round, showing us the boards. The deck of the ‘rolling car’ or trote is a block of wood joined to trucks made from smoothed-out branches. Old wheel bearings have been fitted onto each end of the branch, which has to be carefully selected: too thin, and the branch will snap or the makeshift wheels will wiggle off. Too thick, and the wheels won’t be able to turn around on the wooden trucks.
The kids squeal with laughter as Beyrick and William give the boards a go, jerking stiffly from side to side down the road. ‘Oleo, oleo!’ shouts a tiny boy, no older than eight. He whips a small plastic bottle out his shorts and grabs one of the boards, squeezing a few drops of used motor oil onto the bearings, then flips it over and skates expertly round in circles, the steel wheels hammering the ground loudly.
Radiation Point gets its name from the towering radio beacon that dominates the peninsula and sits perched on undeveloped government land. We duck under a dilapidated fence and make the 20-minute walk through tall yellow grass the colour of wheat, catching glimpses of the wave until we get to the shoreline.
‘No, no!’ shouts one of the local surfers as we start walking over the rocks to paddle out. He points down to a fat clump of urchins wedged between the boulders, then motions for us to follow him to a gully where we slip easily into deeper water.
A handful of São Toméan surfers are at backline, riding hand-me-down surfboards, some with no fins that they still manage to rip gracefully. The wave runs for a hundred meters from the outside to the inside, a mellow pocket that accommodates noserides as much as big turns, much like an African version of Malibu.
‘How good is this?’ says John, sweeping his hand to indicate the waves, the bay, the entire island.

***
Back in the water in Santana, Jéjé tells us surfers from his village and Radiation Point rarely surf together. The long hour-and-a-half walk between the two spots makes it difficult. None of them has a car. But when one of them does make the trek, the local surfers are stoked to see each other.
‘There are not many surfers in São Tomé,’ he says. ‘Modern surfing is just beginning here. We see each other, we learn together.’
A set rolls in and Beyrick takes off, races down the line and launches a frontside air. Jéjé lets out a loud whoop before stroking into the next wave and attempts a huge alley-oop, almost landing it but he comes unstuck in the flats.
The kids on the inside go wild as they watch this tit-for-tat unfold, then go back to bellyboarding the reforms. But one of them starts nudging further up the point, eyes fixed on Jéjé and Beyrick. His little arms are paddling hard, legs kicking off the back of his wooden tambua, as the past and the present draw closer.

Originally published in Carve issue 175.

2017 Surfer’s Airline Baggage Fees Guide

2017 Surfer’s Airline Baggage Fees Guide

surfers airline baggage fees

2017 AIRLINE SURFBOARD BAGGAGE FEES & RULES

Travelling with your surfboard is getting harder year on year but as long as you do your homework it should be trouble free. Support the airlines that support surfers then everyone should be happy.

Here’s the current state of surfboard / sports equipment fees as of the start of 2017.

EU law doesn’t allow bags over 32kg, due to it snapping baggage handlers spines off, so make sure you’re always under weight for your chosen carrier. Most European routes limit you to 20kg and further afield 23kg. But sporting goods, if you’re paying extra, sometimes allow you more. Make sure you always double check the regulations and if in doubt call the airline before booking.

Here are the main airlines that us surfers will encounter flying from the UK and Ireland seeing as that’s our turf.

Speak to friends, get their recommendations, the main takeaway is be super careful when dealing with US carriers and of course Iberia they’re to avoided like the plague.

Travel with surfer friendly flyers, the days of free board carriage are all but done but those that are happy to take boards for a transparent fee like Easyjet etc are to be admired, while they still allow us at least.
Add your recent taking boards on board comments on the FB post and we’ll add the best ones here as they come in.

Compiled by Sharpy All info correct as of 2/1/17

AER LINGUS
Ireland’s national carrier and a good option for hopping further afield as Dublin is a decent hub for the US.
Max weight: 23kg
Max length international: 2.77m/110in
Max length regional: 2.05m/80in
Fee: To North America part of standard baggage allowance.
Other destinations €40 per leg.

AIR ALASKA
If you fancy exploring in the US these guys take two boards in a bag.
Max length: 115in unless on a diddy plane in which case total dimensions: 115in
Max weight: 23kg
Fee: $75

AIR ASIA
Air Asia are a budget carrier based out of Kuala Lumpur and they’re great for connecting to Indo and onwards from Malaysia.
Pre-book board bags as way cheaper and you’re limited to 20kg if you just check in without pre-booking. They’re sticklers for fees but their excess weight fees are real world not crazy. Must be in a boardbag.
Max length: 2.77m/109in
Max weight: 32kg
Pre-book fees per leg: 30kg:£16

AIR CALIN
New Caledonia’s carrier is groovy when it comes to boards, letting you take a 23kg boardbag in addition to your 23kg hold bag. Good work fellas.
Max dimensions: 3m
Max weight: 23kg

AIR CANADA
Amenable to surfers and good way to connect to Hawaii or Central America without having to suffer through US custom queues. Not to mention the mysto cold water Canadian coasts. Board bag counts as one of your checked bags. You can pre-register when booking.
Max length: 80in
Max weight: 23kg
Fee: $6.50 Canadian Dollars per leg handling charge. Not always enforced in our experience.

AIR FRANCE
Free as your checked luggage item (except for Economy Mini and Basic fare tickets).
Max length: 3m
Max weight: 23kg
Fees: €65 to €125 depending on route, mainly the Americas. So slightly confusing all round.
Reader comments: Peg Leg Rik, Paul Phelan and many others strongly urge you avoid Air France at all costs.

AIR NEW ZEALAND
Historically along with Virgin one of the legends of international surfer travel. Board bags no bother as long as in regulation and you can pre-book a board bag as an extra hold bag.
Max length: 2m
Max weight:23kg

AIR TAHITI NUI
For those of you fancying a pop at Teahupo’o or some other Tahitian dreams you might be worth checking Air France. Baggage rules a bit restrictive. Unless you’re going to hit Tea-ah-poo-poo on your 5’8”. Bags between 1.8 and 2m need to be sent as cargo. Board bags over 2m not accepted due to ickle planes.
Max length: 1.8m/70in
Max weight: 25kg
Reader comments: Board bags up to 2.5m ok according to Paul Lenfant

AMERICAN AIRLINES
The American airlines that are left have taken real anti-surfer stance which is pretty ironic considering the Californian roots of most of the world’s idea of surf culture. Anyhoose. AA at least don’t outright ban them like some other carriers but one to be avoided if possible.
Max length: 126in combined dimensions
Max weight: 32kg
Fee: $150USD

AVIANCA
You can take a triple board bag in addition to your hold bag with Colombia’s national carrier.
Max dimensions: 3.7m
Max weight: 32kg
Fee: $125-100 depending on destination

AZORES AIRLINES
Additional 10kg allowance for boards.

BRITISH AIRWAYS
Board bag considered checked baggage as long as it’s in weight. But watch out for the tiny length restriction.
Max dimensions: 1.9m/75in
Max weight: 23kg

DELTA
Allow max two boards in a bag and charge you for it. Like most US carriers best avoided.
Max length: 115in
Max weight: 32kg
Fee: $100-$150 depending on route

EASYJET
Our preferred European budget airline makes it easy to pre-book a board bag and extra hold bags if needed. They take canoes and windsurfers also so bag size rarely an issue. Never had an issue so far and they’ve got the Euro surf destinations down. One sports equipment per person. 6 max per booking.
Max weight: 32kg
Fee: £70 return

EMIRATES
One of the main carriers from Europe to wave rich wonders of Asia features modern planes and a stop off in pleasurable, if not a tad pricey, Dubai. Board bag goes as part of your checked allowance.
Max dimensions: 118in
Max weight: 23kg

ETIHAD
A relatively new player that’s also surfer friendly. Board bag is part of your checked allowance.
Max length: 3m
Max weight: 23kg

FLYBE
A handy UK airline for getting around our islands and across to Ireland. Not the biggest planes but good fares and for SW surfers having a hub at Exeter is a treat. Leave a bit of time to pay the bag fee at the airport.
Max length: Depends on plane, between 1.67m and 3m.
Max weight: 20kg
Fee: £30 per leg payable at the airport

GARUDA INDONESIA
Free boardbag in addition to your hold bag. Good work fellas. This is how it should be.
Max weight: 23kg
Max length: 3m

HAWAIIAN
Boards included in the baggage allowance. Limit of two per bag. Which seems a bit mental.
Max length: 115in
Max weight: 23kg
Fee: Inter island $35, Hawaii to US $100. Price varies from free to NZ/Oz to $150 per leg depending on destination.

IBERIA
There’s no bones about it, in the last few decades of surf travel Iberia undoubtedly top the list when it comes to horror stories about fees. Seems they’ve changed to allow boards as part of checked baggage allowance for long haul. One board limit. Fees apply for extra bags. €45 for short/medium haul.
Max length: 3.5m
Max weight: 23kg
Fee: €45 per leg

ICELAND AIR
Book in advance to ensure carriage and there’s an each way fee for ‘medium’ sports equipment depending on route.
Max length: 2.5m
Max weight: 23kg
Fee: UK to Iceland: £57

KLM
KLM let you take a board bag as part of your allowance. If you want a case as well then you can pay for an extra bag. On European routes you just prebook the standard hold baggage fee. If you want a hold bag and a board bag it’s €68 each way.
Max length: 118in
Max weight: 23kg

LATAM CHILE
No stress with Chile’s national carrier either your bag goes as your allowance as long as it follows the rules. Handy in a county so long that internal flights are pretty essential unless you really love 30 hour road trips.
Max dimensions: 3m
Max weight: 23kg

LUFTHANSA
Not an airline we’ve used but like KLM they can be good value and hopping to their European hubs not a bother. Well. It wouldn’t be if they didn’t charge for boards.
Max length: 2m
Max weight: 32kg
Fee: €100

MALAYASIAN
Carried as part of free checked allowance and Malaysian have an awesome free checked allowance of two 30kg bags which makes them a very worthwhile option. Prices are good too. Hook up with Air Asia from KL and you’re sweet for Indo.
Max length: 2.5m
Max weight: 30kg

NORWEGIAN
Europe’s award winning budget carrier is a growing player and has a modern fleet and good prices, especially to the US. Boards are paid up at booking time.
Max weight: 25kg
Max length: 2.5m
Fee: short haul £33 – 38 GBP (online) 43 – 52 GBP (airport). Long haul £47 GBP (online) 52 GBP (airport).All items are charged per item, each way.

QANTAS
As you’d expect from Australia’s main airline they take boards for free. As with all the big players keep inside the rules or you’ll get stung excess.
Max length: 2.7m/109in
Max weight: 32kg

QATAR
Another of the Middle Eastern airlines that are your ticket to the joys of Sri Lanka, the Maldives and beyond. Doha is a pretty functional but sparse airport but their prices tend to be good and free board carriage as part of your checked allowance. But double check if you’re taking a hold bag too.
Max dimensions: 118in
Max weight: 30kg

RYANAIR
Ryanair always get their pound of flesh but they’ve committed to being more human and simplifying charges. Their fares are also ridiculously cheap. But when you add the board fees then there’s not much budget left about it.
Max length: Standard board bags always go with no problem. Hard to find a specific length on their site.
Max weight: 20kg
Fee: £50 each way for ‘Large sports equipment’

SAS
Let you take a boardbag as your free checked bag. Additional bag fee if you want an extra hold bag. Thanks Paul Milner for the tip.

SINGAPORE AIRLINES
Flying to Singapore is a joy, it’s one of the world’s leading airports and not a bad place for a layover. Singapore airlines run a new fleet of them fancy double decker Airbuses so you can really travel in style. Board bags are part of your checked allowance also.
Max length: 2m
Max weight: 32kg

SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS
A tricky one with SAA, board bags under two metres go as a free additional bag. Over two must go as cargo. So make sure you get your small print sorted if venturing to J-Bay.
Max length: 2m
Max weight: 23kg

SOUTHWEST
Another US airline you’ll only encounter if you fly code share to the US.
Max length: 80in
Max weight: 32kg
Fee: $75 each way

SRI LANKAN
Your go to outfit for Sri Lanka or the Maldives are understandably cool with boards. Hell they used to sponsor surf events too! Nice weight limit too.
Max length: 118in
Max weight: 30kg

TAP PORTUGAL
The main carrier to Portugal that isn’t budget will actually take longboards which is a rare treat these days. Pity about the fees.
Max weight: 32kg
Fees: Up to 2m €50 over 2m €100 per leg!

THAI AIRWAYS
Perplexing rules but it ain’t good. Doesn’t count as your free baggage and only one board allowed.
Max length: 109in
Max weight: 30kg
Fee: $100 if under 2m $200 if over!

THOMAS COOK
The British package holiday operator has their own planes on some routes, like the Caribbean, and don’t mind you taking a sled for a fee. But generous weight and no stress on longer boards. (2016 info from Tom Shep).
Max length: Longboard
Max weight: 32kg

UNITED
With a fee scheme like this it’s a surprise any surfer would book with United. Two hundred bucks each way?!? You guys are loco.
Max length: 115in
Max weight: 32kg
Fee: $150 each way in US airspace and $200 each way international?!?

VIRGIN
Board bag goes as part of your checked allowance. But the new length allowance is daft. If you want to take a hold bag and board bag then it’s £65.
Max length: 75in
Max weight: 23kg
Readers comments: Be warned, they told Joel Gray they won’t take boards at all on any route. As with all if in doubt get it in writing like we did!

IMG_1446

BOARD BAG GUIDE

If there is one thing that sucks more than anything it’s arriving on your surf trip, opening your board bag and finding dings or worse… I had one snapped in three by Air France once. The tail was literally cut. Never seen anything like it. No explanation, no compensation. No idea how they managed it.
Luckily these days most airlines are on the ball, and board bags are better than ever, but there are still a few tips that will help you protect your quiver. One thing at the airport if the board doesn’t go down the oversized belt but goes into one of those trolleys make sure you see it being wheeled away. They can occasionally be forgotten…

1. Put your biggest board on the bottom wax side up. Stack the others the same way and try and align the rockers.
2. Most board bags have internal separators or a day bag. The day bag comes in handy the other end so if you don’t have one get one. If you need extra padding between boards use a towel, rashes, boardies, or wetsuits.
3. You can use pipe insulating foam to add extra protection along the rails from the nose and tail. Just grab a decent length, cut it down the middle to fit the length of your rail (or tail) and whack it on both sides. If you don’t have this pack the tail with boots, reef boots, or your wetty. (Heaviest items at the tail if you have a wheeled bag). For the nose use any other boardies, T-shirts, clothes you have. If you a worried about them getting damp, put them in a plastic bag first. You can reduce you hold luggage like this so maybe save some coin.
4. Wax, wax combs and the like I put in a string bag and place down the tail (on the wheels) for more protection, or tuck in the bottom corners of the bag.
5. If you have fixed fins get some polystyrene blocks. Cut to the same size as your tail and put slits where the fins are. Use masking tape to secure.
6. If you are really scared get a little extra bubble wrap for packing for exposed deck/bottom and nose and tail areas. You shouldn’t really need it with these bags, but there are always horror stories.
7. Be careful with leashes. Don’t let them run free. You’d be amazed the pressure ding you can get if a leash is stuck between two of your sleds for the duration of a flight.

* Always
• Double check airline bag policy and book your boards before you get to the airport.
• Check your bag weight and airline limits (overall dimensions and weight) – luggage scales are cheap or balance on your bathroom ones at a push.
• Get there well early so your board goes on first and the check in staff are in a good mood.
• Pack a solar activating ding kit. Great innovation. Even ding repair guys use them.
• Take a plastic bin bag, wetsuit or dry bag. Always good if you have last minute surf and need to pack wet things!
• Duct tape. Always useful.

Flat Day Fun

Flat Day Fun

Madison-Kit-Kayak-2

Sevylor’s inflatable Madison Kayak Kit is ready when you are and lends itself to hours of adrenaline-filled fun or fitness on the water this summer. The Madison kayak’s inflatable, ultra-stable design is easily transportable and includes a pump and two comfortable paddles making sure you’re ready to hit the water in an instant.

The taller mesh back seats will allow you and a guest to feel more supported and comfortable while on the lake and the removable seats mean you can also take a solo ride. The boston valves allow for easy inflation and deflation at the water’s edge, while the manometer (included) indicates when you have inflated it to the correct pressure.

The Madison kayak’s flat bottom construction with double I-beam floor, removable fin and welded directional strakes provide excellent manoeuvrability. While the strong PVC coating on the base guarantees extra durability even if you steer into rocks and sharp banks.

Thanks to features like moulded handles, a drainage system, a handy carry bag and new comfortable seats, this kayak offers hours of endless fun and fitness on the water.

At the end of the adventure the Madison Kayak is easy to deflate and compact to transport and store in its carry bag.

To find out more about Sevylor’s Madison Kit Kayak go here: CLICK HERE

Madison-Kit-Kayak-1

Fun On The Water with Madison Kayak

Fun On The Water with Madison Kayak

Getting out on the water has never been easier with Sevylor’s Madison Kayak

Sevylor’s inflatable Madison Kayak Kit is ready when you are and lends itself to hours of adrenaline-filled fun or fitness on the water this summer. The 2 person Madison kayak combines an extraordinary mix of maneuverability, stability and comfort. Thanks to its features like moulded handles, the improved carry bag and new comfortable seats, this kayak offers endless fun on the water. The kit includes foot pump and paddles. It’s easy to deflate and compact to transport and store in its carry bag. 

sevylor-madison-kayak-kit

Its combination of easy inflation and comfy, positionable seating means you’ll be out on the water in no time, and it’s so easy to use that you won’t want to get back on land. It’s simple to transport (it comes with its own carry bag and paddle grips that double as carry handles) and quick to set up – it comes with a foot pump, and the ‘Easy Inflation System’ makes it fuss-free. A practical floor guide helps you position the seating, whether it’s for one or two people.

This kit includes all you need to get started – the kayak, two paddles, foot pump, Easy Inflation Manometer, removable fin, repair kit, and owners manual.

  • Sevy-Strong™ Tarpaulin – very tough, prevents leakage
  • Wide shape makes it stable in the water
  • Easy Inflation System: simultaneous inflation of all 3 chambers
  • Easy Inflation Manometer: check pressure easily during inflation
  • Front and rear spray decks, highly effective drainage system
  • 2 fabric covered seats with a tall mesh back and base
  • Removable seats – easily turn the kayak into a 1-person boat
  • Removable fin and welded-on directional strake makes it very easy to manoeuvre
  • Moulded side handles double up as paddle holders
  • Carry bag for easy transportation

sevylor-madison-kayak-kit2

Included: improved carry bag, Easy Inflation Manometer, removable fin, repair kit, owners manual, two paddles and foot pump

Max load: 200kg
Size (inflated): 327 x 93cm
Weight: 15.6kg

If you like what you see go to http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/sevylor-madison-kayak-kit-p366886?gclid=CK7vlKnE680CFTMo0wodmGgP1g&gclsrc=aw.ds

For more info go to www.sevylor-europe.com

Surfers Paradise, Croyde Bay

Open 22nd July – 4th September 2016!

60 seconds. That’s all it takes to reach the water from the Surfer’s Paradise, Croyde. You can literally roll out of bed, zip up the wetsuit, and hit the surf in about a minute.

Croyde Bay is a designated ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ in North Devon, one of Britain’s best short break locations, recently awarded a prestigious Seaside Award for 2016 by keeping Britain Tidy!

Campsite

The village of Croyde is famed for its quaint thatched cottages and old world charm, offering a great selection of pubs, cafes, restaurants and shops. Just along the Bay you’ll find some of the best surfing this side of the Atlantic. Mind you, it’s not just great for surfing, it’s also pretty good for beach volleyball and just chilling out in general!

The clear waters and golden sands of Croyde Bay keep surfers from around the world coming back time and time again to stay at our campsite on Britain’s Gold Coast.

Now you can pre-book pitches at Surfer’s Paradise, but hurry! We’re only open for 6 weeks during July, August and September, so reserve your place by the waves and enjoy summer with friends surfing in Croyde Bay!

Call 0344 335 3677 or visit surfparadise.co.uk to book now!

SurfGirl

Surfer

Top Tips

Croyde works on all tides but it’s best at low tide when it can get extremely hollow.
• It works best when the winds are from the SE-NE and on a southerly swell. However it gets  rippy at low tide so it’s best avoided by beginners then who should head to Saunton for a more mellow surf.

• On it’s day Croyde is one of the best beach breaks in the UK, have fun!

CroydeBay ChillwithFriends Couple Action

INDIA: EMPTY LINEUPS, NO SHORTAGE OF SURF

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With thousands of miles of coastline and dozens of fun breaks it’s a wonder why India is still overlooked as a surf destination. Allow Sam Bleakley to introduce you…

By Sam Bleakley from The Longboard Travel Guide
With a population of 1.2 billion, India is the second most populous nation on the planet. It boats 4,700 miles of coastline, pretty much every type of landscape under the sun and culturally-speaking, it has to be one of the most kaleidoscopic places on the planet. Holy cows, Hindu deities, Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism and industrial post-modernism all have voices here – transient life and the permanently sacred tangle in a symbol war that multiplies on the eye. Pomp and poverty intermingle, sweat and thirst are inevitable, strict religious codes meet free will and stunning scenery, while elephants hold up the traffic. In Hindi, tomorrow and yesterday are the same, ‘cul’; and so are hello and goodbye, ‘namaste’. This tells you everything you need to know about travel – stay in the moment. And surf travel is a great way to experience the present of India.

I recently spent a month working at a surf and yoga retreat called Soul & Surf in Kerala, running longboard workshops on a quiver of Firewire boards. While the waves were not the biggest, the swell periods were long, providing a lot of power and some impressive shorebreaks. Both the east and west coasts of this vast sub-continent receive consistent swell from the Indian Ocean, as do two well-placed archipelagos: the Andaman Islands and the Lakshadweep Islands. The local surf culture is vibrant and growing fast, with clubs, grassroots surf brands, young rippers and the Surfing Federation of India (SFI) organising surf instructor courses through the ISA (International Surfing Association).

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Sam Styling. Photo Peter Chamberlain
www.dtlphotography.com

Indian surfers have a lot to celebrate. Turns out that even the word ‘surf’ has a link to India: over time, the mixing of dialects and languages through trade with India gave rise to a unique ‘pidgin’ language. The Portuguese coined the word ‘surf’ in the late 1600s, from the Sanskrit ‘suffe’ meaning ‘the coastline’. This intermingling that cultures and traders shared along the Indian coastline led to a common ground in the form of the beach – where cultural habits had to be re-invented in the name of exchange.

It also turns out that an engraving by John Hassell (copied from a sketch by Charles Gold – who served with the Royal Artillery and was stationed at Madras on India’s southeast coast in the late 1700s) entitled ‘Cattamarans’ and printed in London in 1800 (the original stored at the Australian National Maritime Museum) is currently the earliest known image of stand-up wave riding! One Indian fisherman rides a three-log catamaran, parallel stance, holding a paddle. Two men are further out on a second wave. A ‘masula’, a local surf boat with a crew of six, is heading over the third wave, transporting freight for the ships of the East India Company awaiting off-shore. Although the earliest illustration of a surfboard being paddled was sketched in Hawaii, it was not until the 1830s that illustrations of stand-up rides began to appear from the Pacific. ‘Catamaran’ was the anglicized version of ‘kaIfu-mar-am’, meaning ‘tied logs’, widespread on the Tamil coast of south India and still in use in the surf zone for fishing today.

A good selection of India’s best breaks can be found along the southwest-facing shores of the states of Karnataka and Kerala, as well as Tamil Nadu on the southern tip. Most of the spots on the southwest-facing coast are beach breaks, best during the dry season (November to April) when you can usually score clean dawn patrols. Mahé, Varkala and Kovalam (Lighthouse Beach) are three of the better bets on this stretch. The southwest monsoon (May to October) brings bigger swells and southwest winds; a good time to head to the opposite coast, where you’ll find more beach breaks and a decent right point at Manapad.

The huge landmass of Sri Lanka prevents many southwest swells reaching far up the east coast, but southeast swells are regular during the monsoon season, periodically lighting up the region of northeast Tamil Nadu and Andra Pradesh. July and August are usually the best months. About 50 miles south of the city of Chennai, Mahabalipuram Shore Temple is a sand-bottom right point which peels for 100 yards alongside a 1,400-year-old Vishnu temple. On a solid swell, Mahabalipuram offers powerful, sand-sucking tubes at low tide, and softer waves at high. Beach cottages are available to rent and there’s a friendly nascent local scene. Just north of the industrial city of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, on a clean southeast swell, Lawson’s Bay and Mangamari offer very long right points, generally ridden only by local fishermen returning to shore in their wooden boats, loaded with tuna.
The Lakshadweep Islands, 250 miles off the southwest coast of the mainland, are a string of coral atolls which are part of the same undersea mountain range as the Maldives. They’re some of the most exotic and beautiful islands you’ll ever see, with flawless white beaches, swaying palms and giant turtles wallowing just a few yards offshore. The Lakshadweeps have yet to be fully explored by surfers and many new spots are sure to be found, although permits are required for travel here.

India’s other offshore territory is the Andaman Islands situated on the far side of the Bay of Bengal, northwest of Indonesia. In 1998 photographer John Callahan became the first to document a surf trip here with Sam George, Chris Malloy and Jack Johnson, following a gruelling 70 hour dive-boat charter from Thailand, riddled with visa hassles. The trip appears in the film Thicker Than Water (1999). Callahan has since made two more projects in the Andaman and the Nicobar Islands (strictly off-limits to any non-Indian passport holders). “I’m probably the only human on earth, Indian nationals included, who has been from the top of North Andaman Island to Indira Point at the southern tip of Great Nicobar Island,” he says. Today you can fly direct to the Andamans from India, as tourism has taken a foothold. A small number of charter boats offer trips to Little Andaman Island, home to a number of quality Indo-style reefs. The best of these is Kumari Point, a speedy righthand reef-point which will peel for 200 yards on a big south swell, with sizzling tube sections. But it’s a fickle spot, fully dependent on early season southwest monsoon swells (April or May).
Namaste.