Winter downwinding in Dublin Bay

If you have been in Europe recently you would have noticed the wintery weather with cold temperatures, snow and for us living in Ireland lots of easterly wind. This makes Dublin Bay a perfect location for downwind paddling. Downwinding is almost a separate sport in the whole of stand up paddle boarding scene and was made popular by the Hawaiians paddling from Island to Island using the trade winds which produce long ocean swells or as paddelers like to call them ‘bumps and runners’ . Similar to Hawaii the cold easterly wind travels over the Irish sea and brings this long ocean swell into Dublin Bay.

IMG_0610Keeping a low centre of gravity on the bump to increase my stability

Downwinding has one fatal consequence its all about paddling from one location to another down wind so you need to work out the logistics of getting around dropping off cars at the  finish location and then trying to get a lift to the start location. I am fortunate enough to have my Dad the dedicated driver and photographer who drives around while we have the fun of our lives gliding across the ocean.

IMG_0387Surfdock team rider Lewis Eickholt and Myself stacking the boards high

IMG_0585 Paddling upwind is not the funnest thing to do but when you start going downwind its all worth it

The combination of wind, swell and tide make every bump different and learning to read them is always a challenge. Ireland as a location for this is perfect with a unlimited supply of wind and costal waters.

IMG_4997Connor Baxter taking a air drop with all of his weigh back to keep that nose out of the water. Maui to Molokai race 2012

The forecast for the next few days looks like the prevailing southerly wind is returning and back to the standard mild winter that we have come to love. I have been looking at the charts for the west coast and it looks like another huge swell to come this weekend and lots of wind with it.