My counting of surf days got to #98 in 2016, two days short of a 100. Would have been a nice round number, I could have driven insanely far for a few days of windblown surf just to get it but I stopped toying with that idea after seeing a short video of this south of Italy spot on Instagram. Not worth it. So, Happy New Year everybody and tons of waves in 2017!
The fist surf in 2017 came quickly, with west coast of Italy promising waves, mild temperatures, not that cold water and we all had a day off because of the holidays – it was no-brainer. One car, 4 people, 6 hours of surfing. It wasn’t your typical epic Levanto with sun and glassy waves but the corner of the bay was sheltered from the southwest winds and pretty good. Never say no to a surf trip :).
The next Italy drive a week later was much more sketchy. Northern winds in winter mean cold temperatures and all the journalists spilling out articles about polar cold, polar air, polar this and polar that hitting us this weekend…well, it wasn’t very encouraging. I don’t think they mentioned any temp number higher than -15C (5F). But since the last winter when they came out with articles about how you should get dressed before going out (no shit!?) when temperatures dropped down to -7C (19F) which is like the normal winter temperature around here I am not sure if anyone takes them seriously. Direction – west coast of the Adriatic sea in hope of scoring windless Jamaica like the last time.
Friday we weren’t that lucky. The only place sheltered from the winds was the XXL long pier of Ravenna. The waves were shitty, it was maybe two degrees above zero, windy, people were walking around in down jackets and the whole setup was not very encouraging. Nobody in the water, just three stubborn Slovenians changing into wetsuits in the parking lot (thats us!:) ). If we drew some attention while changing then when we walked the pier and jumped into the cold Adriatic sea it seemed like the new world surfing champ was in town and going surfing. Everybody stopped and stared. The long Diga Sud pier is a popular walkway in Ravenna and it’s always full of people. The moment we jumped into the water everybody stopped and turned towards the sea to watch us. I must say that none of us look like John John and even if we did what are the chances of him surfing here, even though some are predicting that John John Florence will be next to drop pro-surf for free-surf and he will then have lots of time to visit stupid and “exotic” locations like Ravenna was that day. Anyway…I’m not sure why people were looking at us haha. Btw, it was cold as fuck and the only thing worth mentioning about the Friday surf is the warm soup we ate afterwards in a rented apartment while crossing fingers for no wind the next morning.
Next morning it was windless, -3C (26F) air, 7-9C (46F) water and Jamaica was on! It was going to be the coldest surf session of my life…but it wasn’t. Either the lack of wind or the Rip curl heated vest did their thing haha and it wasn’t that bad. And the waves were pretty sick, glassy rights with steep walls and if I would know how I could squeeze myself into a few tiny barrels. So we kept paddling for more for 2 and a half hours. Stoked! Still I hope the next “swell” comes from south wind…
Diga Sud, Jamaica, 6.-7.1.2017