Wow. We don't get waves like that in Bournemouth. 14feet and 11sec according to the wave buoy, which translated into mast high, solid walls of water speeding into Bournemouth Bay. From the beach it looked big. From the water it was huge.
The wind was perfectly cross-shore, gusting 20-30 knots. I rigged a 4.2 and was a little underpowered in the lulls but overpowered in the gusts. All in all, it was probably the right size.
Getting out was a challenge. First, there was the head to logo high shore dump to navigate. After making it through that, a couple of hundred yards of impact zone awaited with walls of white water to climb over. I kept hearing Jem's voice, "Speed is your friend" but the swell lines were barreling and closing out so timing the run was paramount. On one run I had a full set of six+ waves to navigate over, all over head high lines of white water. Once out the back it was calm. Warm too.
Then there was the matter of wave riding... No challenge finding a swell line! Comfortable heading in and holding position waiting until the wave started to jack up. The fun started. Drop into bottom turn, look back to hit a section time and again the only thing waiting was a chunky closing out barrel. I mainly chickened out of trying to hit it! In hindsight, I probably didn't make enough of the green wave before it closed out. If we ever get waves like that again here, I'll try to remember!
Plenty of vans stopped in the car park, but none seemed to stick around. Just two of us on the water... I wonder why? I wish I had some photos, but when I came in there was no-one else on the water and it needed that sense of scale.
Avon was probably amazing, the swell should have wrapped round, the wind cross-off and it might have peeled more than the beach front.