At almost 54, I convinced myself to try windsurfing in Cala Pischina waves, in Sardinia. And I understood why this is an addictive spot.
Windsurfing, report: Baptism in Cala Pischina, Sardinia - 08/07/2023
Well done Paolo Prete, a friend from Rome, who pissed me off so much that in the end he convinced me to ride at Pischina, the famous and most radical wave spots of the island.
Monday 7 August 2023. Fourth consecutive day of mistral.... The sea is still rough, but the wind is no longer as strong as in recent days. At Pischina, yesterday, almost double mast sets and gusts at 50 knots ....
Today, it's challenging with a few sets mast high, and the wind is between 15 and 20 knots, a bit light inside. Side - side on direction. I pass by Pischina at 7.30. I also go to Marina delle Rose, another spot I like.
Pischina is challenging, but doable. Paolo definitely convinces me with his enthusiasm.
For safety, I decide to rig the new Goya Banzai X Pro 22/23 5.3. I want to have power when going out. Low clew ring.
Paolo kindly gives me lots of advice about the spot, which is strewn with rocks..... I go out swimming, and when I'm downwind of the last rocks of the narrow exit channel from the beach, I lift the sail, and taking advantage of a gust I do the waterstart. And I find myself off Cala Pischina. I could glide, but the direction of the wind would take me in front of the giant waves in front of Bomba Point.... which seems far away when you are at the beach, and then magically comes closer when you are in the water....
I'm a good boy, and ride floating on the water. Then, I tack. I am upwind and properly positioned. And in fact in front of the reef upwind I find myself immediately descending a good mountain of water... Upwind I have another very good rider who caught the same wave as me. I respect his right of way and when he starts with the bottom, I do the same, even if I could wait for the wave to get steeper, and get a little more upwind.
First waveriding at Cala Pischina and I immediately appreciate the quality of the wave which is high, steep and pushes. I understand that it pushes well in the second wave, where I make some mistakes due to lack of knowledge of the spot ....
The wave I caught is big. I do two bottoms and two cut backs, but the wave is still steep.... it breaks and I wait for the foam to dissolve to maneuver and instead it catches me and makes me fall. Later, seeing the more expert ones, I understand that I should have ridden close-hauled after the last cut back and headed to the small exit beach area. Starting from there is not too problematic.
Instead, I try to start again in front of the rocky reef downwind of the small beach. But, there, the wind is absent, and I can't get up on the board. I make the second mistake, and instead of letting myself drift downwind, like another skilled boy who ended up in the same area as me, I try to go to the shore among the rocks. I am lucky. I remedy only a few scratches on the hands and a small cut in the sail mast sleeve.... Baptized immediately by Pischina!
Going to rocks in Pischina is frequent and happens to many. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.... And here we help each other to come out....
I meditate on the fact that if you are not sponsored, to enjoy waveriding, especially in certain spots, it is better not to have too perfect equipment. Otherwise, then, you don't have the courage and the desire to take risks, and you don't enjoy the spot to the fullest.... Like a guy with dreadlocks enjoying Pischina with an old long Drops board, probably a single fin....
I take a break, talk to Paolo, take some photos and videos (Paolo shows the great work done by his coach Colin Dixon). In the water, you see remarkable things....riders catching the waves in the steepest section and dancing with the board on its wall at will, almost disappearing in its hollow. A guy with a KA Sail strikes me particularly for the fluidity of his waveriding. And also the one with the Neil Pryde, finished in the reef area downwind with me, rides really well. Pischina is a real gym..... I'd say a world-class spot.
I talk to Sebastian, a French boy from Toulouse, who has just disembarked from the ferry with his family, who asks for advice.... to me.... Later he will come out of the water radiant and very satisfied with having tried Pischina, which he says is similar to Djunchidu in Corsica. Nice start to the holiday! Sardinia welcomed him well.
Then, I realize that the wind, instead of decreasing as expected, holds and even has a slight reinforcement.
I decide to go back and I do well. I catch a few more good waves (two more bottoms!). Too bad that the GoPro has a low battery, and has turned off almost immediately.
Other waves escape under my board, partly because the wind is a bit weak in the inside, and it doesn't help to always maintain enough speed; partly because I'm on the brakes a bit and I don't always throw myself fast from the wave crest. After about another 40 minutes, I decide to think about returning. I take the right wave and let it take me to the beach. We would have to stay in the water for a while longer. The conditions are nice and the spot has become crowded. But for this first time that's okay. Pischina deserves respect, and here I still have a lot to learn.
Thank you Pischina. Thanks Paolo.
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