Welcome to the site!
Aswell as regular features and news updates from Fuerte, I am going to be using this site to promote my windsurfing clinics.
After 15 years on the island,having competed in the PWA freestyle world cup and now representing Fanatic Boards and North Sails, I have decided to give something back to the sport which has given me so much over the years.
My aim is to provide clinics "tailor-made"for each individual, with a strong emphasis on practical in-the-water instruction, backed up by on-the-beach tuition and video analysis. The consistent conditions here in Fuerte make learning so much easier and, perhaps equally important, more fun than the typically inconsistent, cold UK - why not come over for a week and improve your windsurfing by a year!!!

I can help with any manoeuvres from carve-gybe through to advanced jumping and freestyle, just email me with your wish list and we'll take it from there! Over the next few months, I am going to be video-chronicling manoeuvres which you can check out on the right in my tricktionary sections. This will give you some idea of the things we can work on, or, if you can't make it over here, you may find them useful to help understand and break down a manoeuvre you would like to learn (hopefully, the slow-mo will help in this respect!).Just click on the trick and scroll down..........
Anyway, keep checking it out as I have loads more in my bag of tricks and will be updating as and when I get the footage.
If you're interested, e-mail me on gibboinfuerte@yahoo.co.uk
See ya in Fuerte?
Stephen.............

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Rocky Point rainbows (video)


On Saturday the wind reappeared and the remnants of the huge storm swell were still just about coming in to Rocky Point. It was blustery with the occasional torrential downpour, which made rigging not so much fun, but it was pure bliss once I got in the water. Perfectly powered on 5.0 (except in the squalls) with head high waves peeling downwind along the reef it was fantastic for both riding and jumping and we all had an absolute ball. It was a bit like being back in the UK but loads warmer :) .To cap it all off we sailed under a beautiful rainbow for about half an hour after a front pushed through - Maui eat your heart out, haha. Anyway, I'd stuck the (borrowed, thanks Basti) GoPro on my mast to try and get some pics and ended up with the following footage which I edited together with my new van music...

Rocky Point 22/11/14 from Stephen Gibson on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

More storm pics.

I just got sent these photos from our session at el Hierro, seems there were photographers hiding in all the bushes! I think these were taken towards the end of the session as it looks like the wind is getting pretty wild in a couple of them. The first two were taken just as I left and give you a good idea how windy it got...










Monday, 24 November 2014

Storm's a brewin'...

Last weekend saw the Canaries on 'orange alert' for an approaching Atlantic storm and it hit us, in a disappointingly mellow fashion, on Saturday. I say mellow but it rained really heavily for a couple of days and the wind did actually get up to a very strong 60 mph just after I finished sailing at el Hierro. In fact, it picked up to that while I was derigging and I've still got some of the Saharan dirt in my ears. Probably. Anyway, to cut a short story even shorter, we rocked up to the northshore on the morning of the predicted storm and  had a quick look at La Caleta, which was small and a tad too offshore then had a spy at el Hierro, a renowned surf break which can occasionally produce the goods in a WSW or ENE and were fairly inspired by the conditions there. Last time I sailed there it was massive and I was overpowered on 4.0, but this time was nice little head-high sets and wind for 5.0 (in the beginning at least). Great, fun session with the wind and waves building all the time until, like I said, it fully kicked in while I was derigging to the point where I could only see about 2 metres on the track on the drive home. Wish I'd taken a photo actually. Luckily for me, however, a friend of mine Gwenael Marche was on hand to get some nice pics of the sailing before all meteorological hell broke loose and we retreated to the shelter of our little house to hide from the fury of the ensuing storm...






 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

A different view...

On that last windy day at Punta a good friend of mine Wieberen (Bert for short) took out a GoPro and shot some slightly different footage. Inspired by recent online documentation of surfers using a new-fangled 'mouth mount' he went out with his precious camera grasped firmly between his teeth and attempted to follow a few of the boys around at close quarters and film us. It has to have been more fun for us than it was for him, sailing for an hour without swallowing and spending the entire session with a chin covered in drool but he did get some shots of us in action. One of the main problems with third person GoPro shooting is the need to be super close in order for the footage to be anything but a speck on the horizon but he got as close as he dared and just about got away with it. In true Gibson tradition of never wasting any footage whatsoever, I edited the 3 clips into a short vid so you can get an on-the-water perspective of the action that day (although it will almost certainly lose all its quality when I upload it onto here)and also took some snapshots to flog that horse completely to death...






Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Flash in the pan.

Well, the wind did indeed come but for a very quick, one day special. I woke up to the sound of wind howling round the house one morning, sailed and then awoke the very next day to utter calm again! Never mind, it was nice to get out on the windsurf kit again after such a long rest and, although I was very rusty to say the least, I enjoyed the session powered up on my 4.0 North Hero and 89 quad. The tide was quite low so the waves were a touch on the messy side but we still managed to get a few jumps, mainly on the smaller reforms on the inside. The wind was super strong which meant that Lucy didn't have a small enough sail so she sat on the rocks and took a few snaps until the relentless wind got the better of her and she was forced to seek shelter in the van. Here they are...









Friday, 31 October 2014

Winter has begun...

Can't believe I forgot to post this photo! Like I said in the last post we had a big swell a couple of weeks ago and one afternoon the wind got up from the SW (only to about 10-12 knots) and it was enough to tempt a few sailors out along the northshore. Most people launched from and sailed at La Caleta but a couple of the boys headed along to Acid Drop and caught a few bombs along there- this is a great snap of Marcel heading back out after a ride. Pretty awesome...

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Bit too much calm before the storm...

My blog has been incredibly quiet of late and that's mainly because there really has been zero wind in the Canaries for a very long time now. The last time I windsurfed was back at the beginning of August, but since then it's been non-stop SUP perfection almost every day! I've done a few SUP wave clinics but mostly just been out enjoying myself in glassy waves and soaring temperatures- it's still not cool enough for a wetsuit yet although that is likely to change this weekend when the forecasted wind kicks in so it'll be on with the shorty and off to Punta for some incredible jumping action if I can remember how to do it! Looking forward to busting out the windsurf kit again, some of it is still brand new in the packets as I haven't had the chance to use everything since I picked it up in August. It's supposed to get windy on Sunday with some decent swell so fingers crossed...

The SUPing has been awesome so far this autumn though so I'm not complaining too much. We had a monster swell a couple of weeks ago so had some big days at Rocky Point and loads of good days at an unusually uncrowded Majanicho (that won't last). We also got a lend of a GoPro (thanks Basti) so I should be able to start putting up the odd pic again now and then, which is useful as I don't really like to post on here without photos. Speaking of which, here are a few GoPro pics from one of my morning Majanicho sessions a few days ago- glassy, head high waves and not too many out, although you still get the odd idiot with negative attitude- check out the blatant drop-in pic- that guy has been out most days with me but is sooo cool he can't speak or smile and would appear to have a total misunderstanding of surf etiquette, (and current hairstyle fashion come to mention it). Anyway, he seems to enjoy himself paddling around glaring at strangers and dropping in on people then telling them to 'use their eyes' so who am I to argue. Glad that's off my chest, check out the pics...






Sunday, 14 September 2014

Quad fin set-up.

    I frequently have people picking my brains at the beach about many technical aspects but a recurring theme is definitely fin set-ups so I thought it might be helpful to explain how I set up my quad for different conditions. I spoke at length a while back to windsurfing legend and pioneering board shaper Jurgen Honscheid about quads and he is absolutely convinced that quads are not merely a fashion statement and that they will remain a major, if not the major, design in the future of many different types of windsurf board (interestingly he believes that they are not restricted to only wave use!). He is in the envious position of being able to make two identical boards and test different fin set-ups in them and he told me the results of these tests proved to him that the quad is surely the most versatile fin system on today's market, although he also stated that there is still a great deal to learn about different fin combinations and how they affect the performance of the board.

     Anyway, in an effort to keep things simple I will now show you the way I set up my Fanatic Quad 89 for onshore and cross-off wavesailing. Firstly, for cross-on wavesailing I move my front fins back and my centre fins forward, pushing the fins closer together under the back strap. This makes my board turn in a tighter arc, particularly at slightly lower speeds, so I can ride a wave without outrunning it which is important in cross-on. It also has the effect of making the board more slidey, which is also great for onshore cutbacks and takas etc. The drawback of having the fins set up in this way is that the board might be harder to control in a turn at very high speed, not really an issue though in these conditions. Check out the pics below of my cross-on set-up...

     Next, my set-up for cross to cross-off down-the-line waveriding. Here I move my centre fins almost to the back of the slot and my side fins almost to the front, creating a much bigger gap between the fins. This has the effect of making the board carve in a slightly longer arc but with far greater control and grip than with the above set-up. The board will be much more controllable during a high speed bottom turn and also have much better grip in the cutback, with less tendency to slide out although you will still be able to create a tail slide using more back foot pressure. Here are some pics of my cross shore set-up...

   These small changes will definitely make a very noticeable difference to your board's handling in different conditions and I recommend you try them out and see what you think, but remember that every board is different so you may have to play around a little (or get a Fanatic ;) ) and also that, according to one of the best shapers in the world 'we still only understand a tiny fraction of what this fin set-up is capable of'...

Monday, 1 September 2014

My Great Northumbrian Windsurf Adventure.

          After the disappointment of Tenerife it was off to the UK to visit my family and also to pick up my new 2015 Fanatic /North kit! As I was picking up two boards and two sails I thought I may as well take a wetsuit and harness back with me on the off-chance that there was some wind during my 10 day stay. How glad was I that I did as the forecast for the first weekend showed strong NW winds for the NE of England! I hadn't sailed 'back home for over 15 years and couldn't wait to see all the boys again and sail the places I used to back in the day. In the end we sailed at Bamburgh, a place I actually had never sailed before, although I had sailed the estuary (mouth of Budle) a few times just before I left for Fuerte in 1995. What a place! The WNW wind was cross-off port tack on the first day with fun little waves rolling in and it was a joy to get some down-the-line against the impressive backdrops of Bamburgh Castle on one side and Lindisfarne at the other, although I must admit I struggled a tad with the cold!
         On Sunday the wind increased but the waves dropped and I was overpowered all day on 4.5 but still had a great session mainly because more people turned up and I caught up with a lot of old friends and made some new ones too. There's a great bunch of guys sailing up there with a real community spirit and it really was fantastic to be a part of it- took me right back...when I sail here I mostly turn up, sail then shoot off (late) to work so the craic on the beach there was most enjoyable with all the lads 'giving me tips' and generally taking the p**s (you know who you are).
          On the Monday the wind swung cross-on and the waves increased to mast-high making it very challenging to get through the break but I had another amazing session with Fuerte regular Alan Pickersgill and a seal!
          All in all an unexpectedly cracking windsurf adventure, which I hope to repeat next year! I'd like to thank all the boys up there for their help and for making me feel so welcome, Fanatic /North/ Maui Ultra Fins for my amazing new gear and an extra big thank you to Ben Oliver for sitting on cold, windswept beaches for three whole days with his broken leg in a cage and taking some amazing photos of the sailing!