Fuerteventura is a brilliant summer windsurfing location, offering an incredible range of conditions and locations. Boardseeker joins local Steve Gibson, and North/ Fanatic/ ION rider Lucy Robson as she heads out for a week of sun, sea and lots of loops.
Photos: Sailboards Fuerte. Words: Lucy Robson.
Back to Fuerteventura
At the end of last year, inspired by what seemed like an endlessly long, cold winter in the UK I had already started planning my trips for the next 12 months. High on my list of priorities were waves, warmth and consistent wind. Since I also had my two year old daughter Marina to consider I also had to discount any basic camping options which may have seemed less than forgiving for a toddler and settled on a place I must have visited countless times before; my second home and the small windsurfing Mecca on the north shore of the island of Fuerteventura in the Canaries.
With an apartment organised in the centre of Corralejo, a hire car at my disposal, childcare taken care of and an amazing forecast, I was looking forward to a week of completely selfish and relentless windsurfing!
Before I had left the UK, Jim at Puravida Boardriders had immediately suggested and put me in touch with his long-time friend and team rider, Stephen Gibson who lives on the island. I had little expectation other than seeing a few pictures and realising that Gibson was a pretty hot sailor and not to underestimated! That aside, I was looking forward to meeting up with someone to sail with and point me in the right direction of the best spots.
Armed with two Go-Pros, my Fanatic 74l Quad and my favourite North Hero sails I decided that come what may I was going to have an amazing week, try and get some video footage without breaking anything and generally improve my sailing as much as possible,- and I reckon I did all three!
I would say that I am currently at a good level and my sailing is probably the best it has ever been, even more so than when I was on a long sabbatical travelling around Western Australia for a year…
Currently I am working on my wave riding (front and back-side) and forward and back loops. Im learning to keep my training focussed and really nail with consistency the moves that matter in wave competitions.
In terms of wave riding, I am trying to become more powerful and radical and am thinking about aerials, takas and 360s and generally working on achieving my own progressive style.
On some days I must have gone for more than 40 plus loops, working each time on putting all the components into place! I am definitely getting there and have lots more confidence to go higher and be more committed.
Next on the list are the BWA competitions in October this year on Tiree and at Gwithian. All I can say is that I hope to do really well!
After the BWA season is over I am planning my training for the winter, which undoubtedly will take me somewhere abroad!
Next year I hope to try my hand at the PWA…
Fuerteventura for training
Fuerteventura has got to be the best destination in the Canaries for all-round training due to the variety of conditions they get over there, both in summer and in winter. Whereas the other Canarian Islands are predominantly port-tack jumping spots in the summer, in Fuerte you can find both port and starboard, jumping and riding conditions. Local knowledge is, however, of paramount importance if you want to avoid sitting on a windless beach all day while the clued-up locals are living it up on 4.5s at a different spot.
When the wind is north to northwest, then the east coast is the place to be. In the town bay (Waikiki) you’ll find fantastic slalom /bump n jump conditions as you blast from Fuerteventura to Lobos. Flag Beach can be epic at low tide for port jumping, with good waves breaking on the offshore reef right in front of the Fanatic /North centre. Just along from Flag you’ll find the famous Glass Beach with solid down-the-line riding conditions. It can get busy here so you have to be aware of priorities! When the wind is northeast, then you have to head west to either Cotillo, which is starboard jumping and riding, or Punta Blanca, with fantastic jumping and cross-on riding.
There are other spots but the locals would kill me for writing them in here...
In winter, the whole north shore becomes a playground with breaks facing every direction so there’s always somewhere to sail in perfect conditions when it’s windy,- too many to mention.
Gibson’s take on the week.
When I answered the phone in mid-June and the ever enthusiastic Jim informed me of the impending visit of fellow Puravida/North/Fanatic teamrider Lucy Robson, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. With conditions firing over here, an incredible forecast and myself with only that week free for freesailing before beginning a busy summer of clinics, my concern was that I might end up “babysitting” someone I’d never met for the whole of my last free week. As it turns out, my fears were completely ill-founded, as I realised within two minutes of meeting Lucy in person. Lucy turned out to be one of the most dedicated, committed and talented sailors I’ve had the pleasure to spend time with, showing a passion for the sport I share myself, and for me, perhaps most importantly, with a great sense of fun. We had a great ten-day training stint, fantastic conditions and Lucy’s sailing improved a lot (as pointed out by the local sailors on more than one occasion), but also a great laugh. To me this is super important as I see so many youngsters these days come over here so hung up on “training” and “progression” that I actually think they forget to enjoy themselves! That said, Lucy gave everything in every session. I would give her a tip for forwards and she’d be straight on the water and try 40 in the next session. That sort of dedication, with her attitude, is why I believe she’ll achieve a great deal in this sport over the coming few years. I just need to teach her to stop parking her car in soft sand next...