Dream Swell @ Freshwater Bay February 2017

After a couple of days of strong S-SE winds battering all the south west and south east spots on the Isle of Wight, making some pretty poor surfing conditions, the wind eventually swung round to NE, blowing gently offshore at my local point break, and the swell stuck around too, which is rare for here! Freshwater Bay is a great wave when it’s on but it only works in the depths of winter so all the local crew have to get it when it’s on! All the keen locals had a great session on the first day of clean groundswell with the bay working all day, most of us surfed for a good 4-5 hours to make the most of this classic day! Feeling satisfied with a great session and a forecast of more waves to come, everyone was feeling the stoke again which we had all forgot about after the worst Autumn and beginning of Winter I can remember in my 23 years of Surfing here. The next day the waves were smaller but still clean and the odd good bigger set making for a few good sessions at The Bay and Compton, but generally a bit of an anti-climax from the overhead waves of the previous day. Our luck was in though as another pulse gave us a short but sweet session the following day before the SE wind chopped it up and put an end to the glassy conditions that first light gave us! The next day the wind swung westerly but was much lighter than forecast, the swell was a bit small in the morning but by midday The Bay had a small but easily rideable wave. I got in early to get it uncrowded and had a good couple of hours with only four of us in. The swell suddenly jumped up mid afternoon and everyone else got in making a busier second half to my surf but the waves were well overhead and consistent so we all scored some good rides. Feeling stoked after a 4.5 hour surf and my fourth day in a row at The Bay I got a mega early night, as I knew the next day the wind was set to go NE again and this swell wasn’t going anywhere in a hurry! The next morning didn’t disappoint, the waves were double overhead and groomed by a gentle offshore wind, making the best conditions we’ve had for years. The swell direction really helped the waves break deep on the point and if you were fast enough, you could score long rides the whole way through to the middle of the Bay. Mega stoked and bloody freezing I got out after a 3 hour session and took some pictures, unfortunately the waves were about half the size as they were earlier in the morning but they still remind me of what was the best run of swell what we’ve had in a decade. It didn’t end here though Compton had a couple more days after this, the waves were smaller but still Shoulder high and clean, and there was even a waist high wave left when we all said goodbye to Isle of Wight surfing legend Dave Gray¬†with an amazingly well attended paddle out despite the bitterly cold conditions.

Surfers in these images are Jason Swain, Chris Mannion, Andy Tyrrell, Nick Whittle, Will Rome, Joe Barnes, Nigel Howell and Matt Harwood, and on the SUP’s are Charlie Cripwell and Chris Court.


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