Boys and their toys   2 comments

Surf Kayaking – Porthcawl – 12th February 2011

I was supposed to be going to Scotland this weekend (and last) for some ski-touring in the Cairngorms. The weather forecast looked pretty poor and its a long way to drive from Hereford to sit and watch it rain so decided to bail out. Fortunately the forecast on Magic Seaweed looked good so I thought it was time for the first surf of the year and the chance to play with my new Go Pro HD Helmet Hero camera. It’s a small camcorder that you can fit to a head/chest harness or to a helmet or to a surf-board or boat and comes with a waterproof shell. I’ve had it a couple of weeks and been dying to give it a go. I’ll post a full review when I’ve had a few goes with it and I can do it justice.

I was heading for Rest Bay a couple of miles NW of Porthcawl on the South Wales coast near Port Talbot. I tried it out last year and it’s a really nice spot with some great waves (although the water is a bit murky). There is a limestone pavement right on the beach and extremely sharp rocks they are too. The tide comes in right up to the rocks making surfing an edgy business at high tide. When I got there the tide was indeed full in and there was a surf competition in full flow. Combined with the fact the waves looked huge and scary I decided to give the main beach at Porthcawl a try.

Porthcawl main beach

Porthcawl main beach

A good decision. The waves were much more manageable, big enough to give some sport without being so big they would capsize me or make it tough to get past the breaking waves. Despite it being near the town the beach was quiet with only a few other surfers out and no-one else on a kayak. It was a lovely sunny afternoon so it was time to get kitted up and hit the waves

I have to admit I was a little nervous using the new camcorder for the first time. Is it as waterproof as the makers claim? Will I lose it in the waves? How big a  clown do I look with a small camera stuck on top of my helmet. Shouldn’t have worried. The camera is indeed 100% waterproof and the adhesive that sticks the fittings to helmet is bomb-proof. Had a great time catching some lovely clean waves and playing with the camera. The water is pretty cold this time of year but apart from numb feet I was never cold, not even sitting on the beach taking a well earned rest. After the grim weather of late it was great to get back into the outdoors on such a lovely spring day. I’ve got the surfing bug bad again now so I’ll be watching the forecasts with keen eyes. J, D and L thought it would be too cold to come with me but they would have been fine and there were quite a few families enjoying this fine day.

When I got home I was well pleased with my film-making efforts. Apart from positioning the camera pointing a bit too high the results are great and the HD picture amazing on my TV. It will need some practice to get the angles right and using the alternative fixing methods (on the front of the boat, chest harness) but I’m really looking forward to capturing my efforts. I hoping to try and do some clever stuff with the video clips, putting soundtracks on etc but in the meantime I’ve posted a short clip up on YouTube:

I’ll put up some more footage in the next few weeks as I earn my video editing spurs

Later Dudes!


Posted February 13, 2011 by surfnslide in Kayaking, Surf Kayaking

Tagged with , , , ,

2 responses to “Boys and their toys

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  1. Boys and their toys indeed!
    Like the film, but may have to unsubscribe if you insist on making me feel jealous.


  2. I still pine for the Brittany kayak holiday, The Mick McManus look and the legendary “Its alright boys, I’ll take this one..” from GM. Fond memories


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