In recent years the south west coast of Spain has suffered from a severe lack of swell. Sure, we had waves, but very rarely over 3ft and with long flat spells in between. We could actually see swell in the distance heading off to Morocco, but Cadiz was definitely not been the place to be if you were looking for solid surf.
This is how winter looks at Europe's southern tip.
This season however has come in strong and the reasons why are the subject of constant debate over beers and tapas at our local bar El Piñero – usually filled with a strange mix of local farmers, hippies and story telling surfers.
The last three weeks have been well above expectations with a fair amount of swell straight out of the west in combination with winds from the east, blowing through the Gibraltar Strait, known locally as Viento de Levante.
Yesterday having checked the charts, local Carlos Brage, Jim Kenen a local photographer, a bodyguard and myself cleared our schedules and made our way to the beach. We had an average surf with a slight onshore causing havoc in the lineup.
All those days of sat waiting become worth it when you're greeted by this on arrival at the beach.
We headed back to our cars and were packing up to go home as if all was lost, when out of the blue we noticed the flags had suddenly changed direction in a matter of seconds and the wind swung offshore, grooming the 5-6ft swell.
Carlos convinced me to check out a beach that could be on, so we headed there. It's one of those fickle lineups that rarely works but Carlos was adamant that it would be on. "Quillo, eso esta Pumping,” he kept saying.
We parked our cars and all we could see was barrel after barrel unloading on the shorebreak with just two other guys out. I got so excited I locked myself out of my own car. Luckily I was already changed and waxed up and all I could think of was getting one of those gems whilst Jim had already taken up his spot to shoot on the beach.
As we were paddling out we saw Antonio Ariza, a local bodyboarder get an absolute beauty – wave of the day in my opinion, though he said he'd had a few bombs earlier.
The surf was as good as it gets down south and we still couldn’t believe that there were only four of us out in the lineup. I kept glancing towards the shore, a little paranoid expecting to see about 50 guys paddling out but luckily the beach remained empty with Jim waving his arms around every now and then warning us of an approaching set.
Carlos had a few inside smokers which he made with a few claims going down and I nabbed in a few late drops and managed to make some good deep barrels, mainly on my backhand. It was one of those days where you just had to let the waves come to you. If you started paddling around like a frantic maniac looking for them you'd be left empty-handed.
All in all I would say it was one of the best days of the year. Not a drop of water out of place and sharing some great waves with just a few friends. What more can one ask for?