Hanstholm, in Denmark, one of the spots of mythical Cold Hawaii, today gave us a very fun waveriding session, with quality waves, and also with pleasant weather conditions.
Windsurfing, report: Hanstholm, Denmark (Cold Hawaii), 19/08/2021
Taking advantage of the holiday with my family in Denmark, I managed to score a nice session in Halsthom. This stretch of the North Sea coast is known as Cold Hawaii, due to the waveriding conditions that often characterize the spots, the most famous of which is undoubtedly Klitmøller.
The forecast showed three days of full west wind.
Therefore, the best spot, which offers sideshore wind conditions with West, is Hanstholm, resulting in Klitmøller too onshore. I play the wild card with my family on Thursday 19th. Wake up at 6.00 (Danish houses have ineffective shutters) and from Silkeborg I get into the car at 7.00, together with the Danes who go to work. The Danish countryside is pleasant, and the road crosses the scenic Limfjord several times. Finally, there is a beautiful sun that brightens the atmosphere.
Shortly after 9.00, I'm on the spot. Suddenly all the "colleagues" windsurfers materialize, mainly from Germany. I scour the spot properly, since it is the first time that I go out here. I examine upwind part of the spot, near the breakwater and the fish factory, and the one further downwind, called "Middles". The waves are high (2-3 meters near the shore, in the best sets) and much smoother and more spaced in the windward part, and I decide to go out here, although the pebble beach is more uncomfortable. Soon, I will publish a detailed review of the spot. I have read the "Kite and windsurfing guide", to get info about the spot, but it says very little. I also ask some advice from a local Danish boy, in particular for the presence of submerged rocks. So, I decide for the Ezzy Elite 4.2 2019, which I rig with the Goya Superskinny boom, and the Tabou Pocket 94 2016, which I prepare as a thruster, with the trusty k4 fins (Scorcher and Stubby). Having come here from Italy by car with my family, I had to choose only one board to bring, and the choice fell upon the Pocket 94, which is really versatile, and which, once again, performed great. Wetsuit 5/4 to be on the safe side, but a 4/3 would be enough (water at about 18 degrees). I'm also wearing a neoprene cap, out of caution, but that wouldn't be necessary either.
At about 10.00, I enter the water.
The wind is mostly side off. Near the shore, in the inside, it is a bit more unstable, as often happens. The high coast covers the beach a little. You have to watch out for some nastier breaking waves on bigger sets. In the water, there are 4-5 other windsurfers. The rest of the fleet will arrive later.
The first 10 minutes in the water, I'm a bit stuck. The muscles need to warm up, but above all I'm more concerned with understanding the spot, than concentrating on driving the board. Trains of huge waves (3-4 meters) arrive from the open sea, from the west, overcome the tip of the breakwaters, and veer towards the south, very tidy and easy to see. Today, the conditions are perfect for waveriding, but also for jumping, as high as you want ....
After the first 10 minutes of warm-up, I start running .... I start making turns and jibes, and jumping, even though it's port tack here, which is not my favorite side. But most of all, I start reading the waves and surfing them. Being the wind side off, after some initial hesitation on the first few rides, I let myself go downwind in some very fun down the line. The wind is, however, a little too strong at times, and it is not easy for me to control the speed of the bottom, so as not to go too far from the lip, in front of the wave. I should also be a bit more radical, to go up towards the lip, bringing the sail outside the bottom curve, and the body inside, in switch stance.
But, anyway, I'm starting to get more and more savvy in my waveriding sessions. Waveriding requires good physical training, and I'm not in top shape. Anyway, in the first hour I give my best.
More or less after an hour of riding, I take off a very high jump, really higher than the previous ones, on a pretty steep wave. The higher you go, the more the wind gets really strong, and that's why at a certain point, it tears my sail away. I wear surf shoes, which I hate, because near the shore there are some really sharp rocks on the bottom. Although I widened the straps well, before going out, my back foot remains stuck in the strap. The wind abruptly lays the sail in the air, which makes the board rotate downwind, and I feel a crack .... All this, at a height of 4-5 meters. Who knows that the photographers stationed on the shore have not immortalized the scene. I land in the water from the jump, and first of all, I check the condition of the foot. I understand that it is not broken, but I am also aware, that, till it's warm it will not hurt too much, but then .... Anyway, I am in a position to continue the session, and so I go on riding and enjoying myself. After an hour, however, I decide to go back to the beach to have some rest, and take some pictures.
Too bad, that my wife is waiting for me in Silkeborg! How much I regret my trips alone around the world, to enjoy windsurfing, during which I can do what I want!
I return to the water after a while, to do another half hour, and catch some other good waves, even if I manage to go and "check" closely, the small pier, downwind to the beach, which is the only danger of the spot. Thanks to experience, I only come out with a small scratch on the boom grip. The wind now has turned slightly from N, and is now from WNW (side and no longer side off). It has also dropped slightly in intensity, especially near the shore, making it more treacherous to overcome the first breaking waves. One of these, in a wind lull, wiped me out and took me to the pier.
Much better, in terms of wind quality, the first part of the session.
Then, I get out of the water to go back to my family. I unrig calmly, and eat a sandwich, under a warm and pleasant sun (19 °C). Not Cold Hawaii! The spot has become incredibly crowded now, and many also ride "Middles" now. Before returning to my family, I also decide to go and explore the legendary Klitmoller. Today, the spot is mostly good for kiters, although a bump and jump windsurfing session would also be possible (but the wind, side on the beach, is onshore on the wave).
Klitmoller, unlike Hanstholm, which is a playground in the water but offers very little at the beach, is a beautiful place, with a very pleasant atmosphere in the village, and by the sea. It has beautiful cottages, and several bars, as well as surfing and windsurfing schools by the sea.
Who knows, maybe one day, in my wandering around the seas of the world, I will be able to ride here too.
Click here, for the slidegallery of the day.
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The video of the session