Spring 2001

Well, it's taken a while to get the latest report up, due to unforseen circumstances!! So there is lots to tell from this spring, and apols. 'cos some of it is a bit hazy now, so might forget a few things!...

As March rolled on with some epic forecasts from the EA (!?) the Silver Surfer continued his worthy run from feb, but as any bore surfer knows, things soon change! We also had a brief visit from Tootsie again, and with the crude warnings of F&M; blitzing the landscape, the crowds fortunately stayed away. It was the same old story though of high fresh levels, as sabrina called around for her monthly meetings, so upriver was a rarely visited location. In April, Cuts got to experience the magic carpet, and Wiz pullin off some rad stunts! By May, a dry spell finally intervened, and some fun tides were found on a lower river. And perhaps, in late May, the record books were again opened, as Wizard and Wiz Jnr, rode the wild Boats - first bore-riding father and daughter we think!?

Sadly no pics to go with this one at the moment. Just need to get hold of some software again and then will get on the case....

Saturday 10th to Tuesday 13th March

Like i said, the Silver Surfer started the session off firing, and as Funky and Toes followed by Drop Down paddled their wits out towards the approaching tide, Silver was calmy carvin up and down a beautiful three foot shoulder. The punctuality boys got a quick ride back to whence they came, and as Funky and Drop took the paddle back to Jaq's, Toes hopped off with Silver for some east side adventures. The river was flowing high with snow melt run off, but the falling pressure and westerlies must have had their effect 'cos the tide was racing 15 mins early!! Shows that gettin there early isn't always best, as Tootsie and Cuts had arrived the night before, and were still absently standing around as the tide came up towards Jaq's!!
An unfortunate omen for the Wizard too, who was still warming up the Skipper's new acquisition, as the others came hurtling down the E-land slipway. As Toes and Silver raced for the other bank to meet Sabrina, Wiz and Skipper just managed to get the prop in and speed away from the bank. Toes and Silver picked up a three foot head in mid stream, which having peaked, rapidly slid off to the far bank. As Toes stepped down near the boozer, Silver continued his fine performances heading on into the distance. Bit of a long wait when u can't find the keys though! Shit that door was open all along....!?
As the Carpet Crew sped off to ride the Whirlpool, Toes and Silver decided to go and sit in the river on the Home Straight. Why, who knows? Back down stream at Jaws, Magic, Tootsie and Drop Down were joined by the mighty Buffalo and Wiz. As the heaven's opened, the borers got a big slab pound down and sweep them up. The edging to the shoulder was won by those funky Feet. True to form!

Sunday am, and this was the biggie!! EA had said 5*, but I don't think the crowds that lined the A48 carriageway at Over bridge would have much agreement with that! Well those in the know, know where to go, apparantly? Yet it seemed the game was up!! As Silver, Drop Down, Buffalo, and Toes took there positions at Boats, a flock of boaters sitting up stream decided to head on down to join the party. And then four more surfers appeared across the eastern dunes!! Well experience appeared to pay in the end, as the riders eeled off the backing face one by one, leaving Toes and Drop to negotiate the canoes. Drop went inside (bad call!?) and Toes decide to plough outside straight through a head of two foot frothing foam. With a brief display of Mr Wiggly, a three foot shoulder was the reward. Then a quick choo-choo to the crowds and Toes stepped off onto dry land as the canoeists got inadvertently trounced on the shallows! Beware Sabrina's wrath oh feeble boaters!
Indeed, u might have noticed the Silver did not survive the line-up, and that was to be the start of the end of his perfect record!! On to E-Land and neither Toes nor Silver got a ride. The wave was great, as Wizard rode up from the bottom bend on a 4 foot shoulder. But guess, Toes and Silver were thirsty for a mouthfull of silty, river nectar instead!
On the westside of town, the toe-in team were playin shuffle on the line-up as Jaws rose around the bend. Again Feet did a perfect he's not lookin, quick paddle behind him on Buffalo. But they both put in a graceful display across Sabrina's smooth flesh, as Wizard glided up and down her foaming head. (OK, r things starting to get a bit to abstract now??) As the guys kicked out, Feet was unaware that Skipper was up to some boat bore-ing behind him, and as he sat up collision was unavoidable! Bit of a choaking there I think - if it's not fridges, or dead cows, it's boats!!!
Well, I remember an 80's pop-combo called 5*, but I sure as hell don't remember seeing a 5* bore on 11th March 2001. It's all about prevailing conditions, u see. But hey, wot we found was sure as hell fun!

Monday morning, the pressure was starting to rise, but the wind was still westerly and the tide was still racing. The river had dropped down a bit mind, and a few new banks were showing. This was Buffalo's boats! Silver did a very prompt eel, Toes chewed more water, and Wiz just cruised for while. But, up towards the mixer, Buff scored a lovely walling face and finally got the chance to put on a show for Cuts' film reel. He was hooting like the king of the prairie after that one.
Then, oh dear oh dear!! U know what's coming - from Silver Surfer to Silver Spoon. Yes, at E-Land, Silver scored the first triple spoon of the year, as he went for another drink in the deeps. The Wiz got unexpectedly caught in a double builder, as his board was dragged from under him, leaving Toes and Buff racing for the shoulder past three foot of head. When they reached mid stream, the wave again backed, but beyond the boozer, things improved again, and a quick wall gave the goofys some practice on their backhands, before the long walk back.

Tuesday was a dropping tide, accompanied by rising pressure and NW winds. Wizard had Boats alone, with another solid 3 foot display. Buff and Toes decided to try the wide channel for a longer ride. The shoulder barely maxed at a foot, but they both cruised back to the pub and the car. Jaws did it's dropping thing with a nice peeling drop-in - Toes scored the shoulder, Buff took a drink!

Saturday 7th to Tuesday 10th April

Wot is about April showers?? We had seen the river insanely high all through the winter, and now as the full moon approached, the river was actually at its highest point of the year. Newnham looked more like a river than a channel, and the river had been swallowed again by a vast lake around Alney Isle! So as Funky stood on the jetty, weary after a leash-snap experience on 6 foot Langland Point that arfo, he decided to leave ths one to the locals. So, it was left to Wiz and Toes to ride Sabrina's first evening visit of the year. With a fierce flow of fresh, they were down on the banks as fast as ferret! But as the ripple crawled round the corner, it was time to start wading back upstream. Oh ye of little face, as, with a push from the offshore breeze, the peak rolled up to a solid 4 foot and peeled across the channel with sheer grace. The wave was fast, and the surfin was radical as always as Toes and Wiz cruised in and out, stopping for a quick comment as they met in the middle. Kicking out before the mixer the guys were relieved to find the fresh outflow was totally compromising the tide on the nab side, so calm water sat before them for the paddle back. Feet's face dropped!! Evening bores means evening beers, and the ride was complemented with a snack down the Eastend and a few tangent tasters from Cuts.
Now, later that night, at that point of pass-out, Toes and Funky were awoken by the phone. It was only the Silver Surfer loitering outside Grumpy's Gaf!! Now let's see if i can get this right:
Silver Surfer (once again skoda-less!) left Bristol that arfo with his wetsuit, to catch the tide that night on Magic Feet's plank which was at Toes' van. Dreaming away about what Sabrina might deliver that night, Silver was suddenly aghast to see he was pulling into Weston-Super-Mare train station! So, a platform wait, a train back to Bristol, then one onto Gloucester, and finally Silver turned up in Glos at around 9pm. Those forest buses stop running a lot earlier than that, so he begins the long walk along the A48 and onto the A40, stopping at every pub on the way to check if the others are in there. Oh, and a pint of course. Well that's dedication, about a seven mile trek, and the others could not refuse to collect the Silver Surfer. This was a man, of comic book status, on a mission, determined to reinstate his place in Sabrina's barmy army, following the spoon incident.

So, Sunday morning, with no excuses, the alarm was set extra early, and it was a three man show on the bank. The wave was a gem, reaching upto 5 foot on the shoulder, towering up behind Toes and Silver as they chilled on the shoulder. A light offshore wind held the face up all the way into the mixer. Funky had taken the light option, still fearing those paddles, and stepped out of the soup onto the sand. Toes and Silver meanwhile got caught in a vicious tide race of around 20mph. It was just a case of digging hands into the mud on the bank, cos there were no reeds to clutch, and a haul up the bank. Silver even got sucked over a mini waterfall into a pit! A real rollercoaster ride in itself!! At E-Land the flow was more like the Amazon, and the guys clung to the reeds on the far bank to stop drifting. Wizard appeared around the corner followed by Cuts rolling film a la boat. Wiz had already surfed backwards past the Inn, and done a head stand along the Canoe Graveyard ( ed yep there's a new one 4 u all to work out!). Now he came cruisin around the bend carvin up and down a beautiful head high right hander. With the flow it happened to be one of those waves where your in it or u'll miss it. And one by one, Toes, Silver and Funky slippery eeled their way up and over the wave!! Wiz disappeared into the distance, to eventually pull off a nose ride at the end of the road on the flooded river.

STOP PRESS!! If any ya want to see some of that morning Cuts spent in the boat and hear a bit about Wiz's career, PLUS some snazzy clipets from the last year of bore surfing, then CHECK OUT LONGBOARDING UK2K!!! It's one heck of a film apparantly, and im not just sayin that cos i know the guy who made it!!??? Should be in the shops soon or u can track a copy direct from Cuts...

Now then, where was I? Oh yes, Monday morning, well punctuality played again. A bit of dilly and dally occurred as Buff discovered there was no board for Holey Feet to use - just recovered from his injuries! So as he stood back to watch, Buff, Silver and Wiz legged it down the banks towards the rising peak. Toes swiftly grabbed the Boats triple crown, by letting the current do the running for him, and drifted down onto the towering shoulder. The wave was almost identical to the previous day, and everyone was cruisin and stokin! As Wiz hopped off onto the sands, Toes raced the shoulder over the shallows, as Buff and Silver headed on into the lagoon, only to have a hurried jog back to make it onto E-Land in time.
Some quick planning and a swift pick up meant Holey had a board. One of the Wiz's former quiver, clocking in around a ton, and as brown as the river from which it was born! Once there, and while the others hung wisely upstream, Toes drifted down to get the wave on the bend. But today Sabrina was not playing ball, Toes landed himself in the flow, and eeled straight over her back! Fortunately the wave behind decided to pick him up instead, and Toes got an unconventional and choppy ride back to where the others picked up the solid head of water. Holey was stokin to be back, and afforded a few seconds on his feet before returning to the safety of prone haven! Wiz and Buff were all over the face, and Wiz put in yet another headstand. The crew had a long ride and there were a lot of smiles, well, except for the one who dropped-down too far!!

Tuesday am, and Buff, Toes and Silver decided to chill out on the channel for the wanning tide. A brisk northerly wind was blowing and the channel was as wide as ever. The wave was small, and a real case of up and down. Unwisely the crew cruised on past the Inn, along Leicester Square. Access was limited so it was essential that the guys surfed the next half mile, to get out on the only road, surrounded by closed F&M; fields. Silver, always looking for insane style, took a thumpin over the Moguls as he was flipped by a foot of foaming mush, and bravely, and safely, risked the farmer's wrath on his route back to the car. Buff and Toes safely made it to the get out, after much prone surfing through small, choppy shallows, and realised they now had a very indirect 3 mile walk along the roads and through the village to get back!! The walk was long, but hey the ride was worth it!

Monday 7th May

Well the river is always full of surprises, and, with the fresh all gone, and the level at a detrimentaly low level, a new channel had been cut out from Jaqui's leaving an island of sand in the river. With a light northerly wind and a small tide, Drop Down and Toes ventured down to Boats to assess Sabrina's form. The peak was rapidly diminished to a two foot wall off head along a newly formed flat bottom. Drop Down ran aground over the mixer and started the long paddle west. Toes meanwhile hung in there over the shallows, pushing the fin out of the sand to get into that new channel and make a controversial connection. The new channel was deep enough, but the wave just washed towards the sand, and Toes resorted to running ahead to a spit where the channels formed and hopping back on (insanity with a monster mal!!). The run was worth it, and once in the channel proper, Toes connected the shoulder, put in a sluggish turn and promptly dug the rail! This time it was a paddle race, and heading for the inside , Toes got drawn back in, surfed across a small swell, and kicked out by the Inn steps. More of an iron man race than a morning cruise with Sabrina, but the stoke was radiating!
With tides in the process of switching moons, evening was similar to morning. This time Wiz and Buffalo joined Toes. All three of them spun out in the mixer. Only one thing for it - paddle! The head slowed over the shallows, and Wiz and Toes were drawn back into the wave. Buff, left slightly behind on a shorter board, just missed the suck as Sabrina picked up speed in the deeper channel. Buff continued the paddle race for over half a mile, and never quite caught up. In the end he resorted to running, but eventually had to settle for paddling back west, slightly worse for wear! Steve eventually hopped off on the sands, and Toes connected (this time without running) and rode a variable two foot shoulder to the Inn.

A QUICK ASIDE! Congratulations to the mighty Buffalo, who did the barmy army proud last weekend in reaching the quarter finals of the Welsh Longboard Classic, fielded by the likes of Guts, Beau Young, Wingnut, Dan Harris, Sam Bleakley and a host of the best. Buff eventually came 3rd= in his quarter with Jake Keward. Good work u mighty warrior!!

Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th May

Sabrina's visit came as a bit of a surprise, but the conditions well balanced the very small tides, and on Wednesday evening, Wizard gathered up Toes and Drop Down to join him on a Boat's roller coaster. Sadly the new channel had now been well and truly filled, and the wave eventually ran aground on the east bank after a good two foot head. But it was a beautiful evening, the day had been hot, and the guys were stoked to be in the river. Toes disastrously managed to borrow one of Drop's quiver and lose the fin and gouge a hole trying to negotiate the shallows. Then for no apparant reason he started chasin up the sand to get ahead of a dwindling and sluggish 6 inch wave!?? Eventually it was time to quit, the guys relished the moment and washed it down with a few bevarages down the Eastend.
No-one made the morning tide, for some abstract reason, but that night history was made once again, as the Wizard was accompanied by Wiz Jnr, his daughter Jenny. It looked like the Wiz's magic powers have been passed on as she picked up the head with ease and cruised up past the Boats with Wiz alongside as guidance. Toes and Drop Down hung outside on a steady shoulder. Toes cruisin on Drop's old Hoby, and Drop on his repaired mal! Another nice evening of sun and surf! Well stoked....

With that the Bore Riders headed off into the sunset!! Wot a great season it has been yet again. The loss of upriver has been more than compensated for by the estuarine performances. The turn happens through June, so expectations are not high, but things are looking up for a hot Autumn. International film crews may be staking the waters late in the year, some pioneering to France around the equinox, and some great tides if the climate is favourable. Cannie wait!...

As far as the season's trophies go...Even though the Silver Surfer showed some admirable spirit and determination, while holding that Spoon, the rider of the month must be passed elsewhere. Well, with a display of dazzling magic, from head to back, a huge river mileage and clearly a natural progeny, the Bore Rider of the Month award has to pass to the Wizard. At the same time, the newly founded, Cuts memorial, Style of the Month award goes to the Buffalo for a sea style display on March Boats. Keep stokin everyone, and see u all out there soon....
PS July banks for footie??

New Year 2001 Summer 2001

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