Stephen Gibson´s Fuerte Action – Video/Interview
Stephen Gibson lives full time on Fuerteventura and he lives the dream sailing or surfing almost every day. Simon Hobbs produced this excellent clip during this summer. We just had a quick chat with Stephen about his life on the remote island of Fuerteventura. Read more!
C7: You live on Fuerteventura, Corralejo, right?
Stephen Gibson: I live in Corralejo in the north of Fuerte, which has a huge array of windsurfing spots in the vicinity, including the fabled northshore. One of my favourite spots is Punta Blanca, a predominantly starboard jumping spot with pretty good riding at times. I liken it to a skatepark, with great jumping sections, chunky waves for riding on the left and even a nice flatwater section on the inside for freestyling!
C7: Is Punta Blanca better working in summer or all year long?
Stephen Gibson: It works best during the summer months when we get waves between knee- to mast-high, but in the winter and spring we get a good few NE winds with bigger swells and get some great days there on 4m sails and mast and a half!
C7: What gear you are using most at Punta?
Stephen Gibson: At Punta I tend to swap between my Fanatic Skate 99TE on the flattish, lighter wind days, and my Fanatic Quad 87TE on the blowier days with bigger waves when it gets really interesting…
C7: At which spot do you windsurf most of the days through a year?
Stephen Gibson: I definitely tend to gravitate towards Punta whenever there is northeast wind which is most of the summer and, although I sail a huge variety of spots throughout the year, the little beach at Punta Blanca is where I spend most of my days.
C7: What gearset do you use most on Fuerte´s North Shore (boardsize, sailsize, finsetup)?
Stephen Gibson: During the winter the trades die off and we get Atlantic depressions meaning wind from any direction and we are in the fortunate position here on Fuerte to have a spot for every wind and swell direction. There is always somewhere to find perfect down-the-line riding so quads and twins are the weapons of choice for most of the locals over here, although a few thrusters are starting to make an appearance. I am currently riding my Fanatic Quad 87 in everything with the stock choco fins, which handles everything the northshore can throw at me. We get everything from float and ride to 40 knot southwesterlies, so sail size obviously depends on the day in question. I prefer the versatility of four-battened wave sails and am currently loving my North Heros, they´re light in the hands and on the wave, and grunty enough to get me flying out towards the ramps at my beloved Punta!
C7: On how many days do you make it on the water during a full year?
Stephen Gibson: I´ve never actually counted how many days a year I sail but I would estimate it to be over 200. However, when it´s not windy I am normally SUPing with friends so I would estimate my total days on the water for the year to be around the 280 mark. Not bad…
C7: Can you remember a session on Fuerte´s North Shore you never will forget?
Stephen Gibson: For some reason, I have a certain affinity with pioneering sessions. I think my most memorable day´s sailing on the northshore would have to be my first day at Bristol (Shooting Gallery). I was new to the island and we had had torrential rain all the previous night. I woke up to find the wind howling west so headed off to the northtrack only to find it washed away and impassable. With the pouring rain, visiblity was down to about 50m but I could see a guy rigging at Bristol and the waves looked pretty nice so I decided to go in there. As I sailed out into the rain I soon realised that those ´nice waves were just the reformed waves from the main reef and it looked like it would be bigger than I had at first suspected. I carried on sailing out through the driving rain for what seemed like an eternity ( I´d never sailed there before so really had no idea where I was) when I saw a huge dark shape in front of me. My first thought was that I had sailed all the way across the strait to Lanzarote, but then suddenly I saw it feather on the top and realised it was a wave. I made it over that wave with probably the biggest floaty jump I´ve ever done and tacked immediately in front of the next one and surfed it back in. I reckon it was mast and a half to double mast…I took three waves in that session, totally alone (I never saw the other guy again), and sailing pretty blind before I thought it wise to head back to shore. Memorable indeed…
Watch Stephen sailing at Fuerte´s North Shore and in the South of the island: