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Tarifa Part 1 - Slalom with Tom Malina

Tarifa is well known as a European Mecca of windsurfing. Typical strong Levante winds, sun and nice temperatures over the summer with decent swell and Poniente wind over the winter. But the last couple years especially during the winter months Tarifa has become a good training ground for the top slalom sailors to prepare themselves for the upcoming season. There are many reasons why we meet up at this place, here are just some of them.

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The other reason why I like it here and for sure this does not only apply to me, is that there are always friends from the tour with whom you can train and test. Ben van der Steen and Ludo Jossin are locals and it is always good to sail with them. For example this spring when the PWA tour is behind the corner you could see us lining up on the water ready for practising starts or laying out some buoys for gybing with guys like Gonzalo Costa Hoevel, Marco Lang, Kurosh Kiani, Antoine Questel, Dennis Little and many more. We are all coming to Tarifa because it offers wind almost every day, nice temperatures most of the time over 15C, sun and in winter some nice waves as well. For testing our gear and for effective training we need various conditions and this is the right place.

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Now to talk about the wind directions, Poniente is the west wind which works during the winter and spring most days. It is blowing from the Atlantic ocean with a strength from 3-5bft and it often brings good waves or big chop as well. Nice conditions for testing our big or medium boards and bigger sails from 9.5 to 7.0. With Poniente we usually sail at Arte Vida hotel sometimes at Valdevagueros or when is the wind direction is more from north we go to Kite beach. I don’t like those kind of conditions so much particularly when it is super choppy but on the other hand this is the best practise for competitions you can get. (Editors note: Confused about all these spot names? Tune in next week when we will have a map of all the locations).

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As I mentioned before there can be a couple days for good wave sailing as well. It is always nice to swith off the slalom routine and enjoy some wave riding or jumping. Depends on the wind direction we normally sail in Bolognia or Los Canos de Meca when is Levante or Arte Vida and Zahara when Poniente. We are also enjoying surfing days when there is no wind at all and believe me it can be really sick! (Editors note: More on this in our wave part to this series).

Well that’s why we love to go to Tarifa. There is not many days when there is nothing to do and if it happens you are just chilling and looking forward for the next windy day, catching up on a few emails or visiting friends.

Tom Malina (CZE109) is sponsored by - Fanatic/Simmer, O’Neill, SVS, Identity, Sika, TBG, Surfcentrum Šeba.

Find out more on Tom and follow his progress on the PWA Tour this year over at - www.tom-malina.com