The Student Windsurfing Association

Exeter K3d Rave-X Review.

The last weekend in November will be known for its surprise record low temperatures.   People across the UK were being snowed in, schools were closed and vehicles stuck.  The obvious thing to do of course, is go play in the sea!

This weekend the SWA ventured to Exeter to participate in the first round of the K3 Designs wave series.   With a 100% carbon mast and offer of K3-d team rider status as series first prize, all was to play for and this was reflected by the complete disregard for the extreme cold conditions.

The morning forecast showed a promising north-easterly and after a lot of debate, Teignmouth was decided upon, a local east facing spot to the south of Exeter.  Upon arrival at high tide, a nice little break was forming, but the wind was lacking.   Fortunately this had been expected, the big freestyle wave boards came out and the first of the heats kicked off.

The first heat was the toughest as none of the competitors had yet been on the water at this location and so the cross-shore currents proved a challenge in the light winds. With the sandbar jacking up better waves all the time, the best of the group bobbed their way out through the choppy conditions and carefully tacked back to face the shoreline. Lining the shore were supporters from a whole host of universities, many of whom had come down for the weekend just to show their support for those brave enough to take on the baltic north-easterly breeze.
DSC_6963_800x600 Going through from the first heat were Steve Jarvis ‘SJ’ and Alex Arnold who made the best out of the condition with his larger volume board.
DSC_7047_800x600 From the second heat we saw James Goss and Pete Wood making it through.
DSC_7007_800x600 The final kicked off before James had even got back to shore from his heat to ensure we didn’t lose the finalists to hypothermia! With freshening winds the race was on to get on the plane and hunt down some waves. Alex Arnold led the pack out and the judges noted that having only started wave sailing recently Alex had suddenly stepped up his standard and was now able to compete at a decent level in tricky conditions - one to watch! The first to plane however was SJ who managed to break out through the waves and headed outback to the stronger winds. Pete and James both struggled to get out in the first half of the heat but with only minutes to go James caught a nice little wave that turned out to be one of the longest of the day. Alex had meanwhile clocked up three decent waves and SJ only two. Then when the judges thought it was all over SJ whipped a forward out the bag. Not the neatest landing but with gusty winds it was impressive nonetheless and meant he picked up the win.

Outside of the competition some of the SWA committee went freesailing without the potential K3-d mast to encourage them, since as it was so cold they decided to equip their new spartan wetsuits and put them to the ultimate test.  Needless to say, they came to the conclusion that windsurfing in the frosty -3 degrees in a spartan suit is actually warmer than spectating in ski jackets!
Upon returning to Exeter, a spot of defrosting took place before a classic visit to the university SU, also known as the 'Lemmy'.  As always,  it was an epic night and the days enthusiasm followed through to the dance floor.
The following morning after looking at the forecast for zero wind and zero degrees, as well as the reminder of Saturdays party it was decided to hold off the folly of going to the beach and initiate the prize giving. The warm confines of the Imperial Pub played host to stories of epic waves and legendary dance moves.

Congratulations to  Steve Jarvis (SJ), who not only leads the K3-d series but is the recipient of a new SILTe watch gaining points towards the ultimate prize of a K3 Mast and Team-rider deal.


Final results:

  1. Steve “SJ” Jarvis
  2. Alex Arnold
  3. James Goss
  4. Pete Wood

Kudos to all those who competed and thanks again to Exeter Uni for hosting and supplying an epic number of cups of tea...

Next up is the Rhosneiger K3d Wave, hosted by Bangor & Birmingham in February, bring on the wind and more snow. More info on Finally keep an eye out for those g’narly girls going all out competing for the the Gaastra Ladies Freestyle-Wave Series, current tour leader is Kirsty O’Callaghan, dominating the scene with her rail-riding skills.

Photography by Javier Choi and Maskey, words by Sam Box-o Burnett 

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