Unless you’re blessed with consistent down the line conditions, for most of us wave sailing is about generating speed in less than ideal wind and surf. For the men and women of the PWA it’s no different when they have to compete in light and onshore conditions and this year’s PWA Wave World Cup event in El Medano, Tenerife was a prime example. John Carter went beachside in El Medano to ask the pros their tips for generating speed in typical ‘real world’ conditions, while Finn Mullen speaks to the designers of JP boards and Goya sails for their insight into the design parameters for speed generation.
Words John Carter, Finn Mullen, Ben Proffitt, Dany Bruch, Adam Lewis, Robby Swift, Ricardo Campello, Jaeger Stone, Victor Fernandez, Sarah-Quita Offringa, Philip Koester, Iballa Moreno, Marcilio Browne, Werner Gnigler, Jason Diffin. // Photos John Carter, Thorsten Indra
I have a big Stubby for the lightest conditions which is my favourite. Here you need speed because the wave has no power. My Stubby is a custom 94 litre which is the same as the 99 litre production board, just scaled down. It is the perfect size for my weight. I was also using a new prototype from Duotone which is much lighter. We might release it next year. I had a 4.5m and 5.0m prototype for this competition. I talked to Raoul, to ask if I could use it in the contest and he told me yes of course. It is lighter and generates a lot of power and I can get more lift on my jumps. I can use almost one size smaller than normal.
In Tenerife you need to be in the most powerful part of the wave especially at high tide when it is a bit mushier. If you are too deep you will only get one hit when the wave closes out and that is it. Then you are stuck. It is still fun, but just trickier in onshore conditions. Tenerife can be windy also but the tactics are still similar.
“ You need to be in the most powerful part of the wave.”