Category Archives: Surfboarding

Edges of Sanity

Edges Of Sanity. from Finisterre on Vimeo.

This is well worth a watch with a cuppa. Encapsulates the experience of surfing in the UK well I think. It’s mostly a cold and damp pursuit but the glimmers of joy had on the good sessions make it so worth it. Can’t believe they got Charles Dance to do the narration either, his voice brings it all together. Liking the look of some of the single fins being handled in the vid too. I need to get down the beach, not sure if I can still surf!

For Sale: Ectic Concepts Chubster Mini Simmons

Unfortunately living where I do means I’m not getting in the sea too much these days and having a quiver which includes 2 x mini simmons (this one and one I made myself) doesn’t make a lot of sense. So rather than sell something I made with my very own hands I’m selling my beloved Ectic Concepts Chubster, even though of the two boards it’s actually the one I prefer! But I can’t sell a board I’ve made myself now can I?

Here are the dims; 5’2 x 23 x 3. The short length might put some people off but if you’re a reasonable surfer (I’m not even that) you really will have no trouble surfing this thing. It’s light, has tonnes of volume for it’s length but has nice 50/50 rails which mean it’s still pretty responsive. In this way it’s not a full on conventional simmons with rails that are up in the front and down in the tail but I’ve found this does make it a really versatile board and you can have some real fun on it in thigh-high right up to head high. Board comes with the wooden style FCS Keel fins with 3 tabs that are actually over £80’s worth on their own! I’m looking for £190 for it. Here’s some piccies spanning my ownership of it and I’ll add some more over the weekend when I’ve had a chance to clean the wax off it.

Vito Van at Sandymere

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If you’re interested give me a shout in the comments below. Cheers.

The Return of South Coast Frustration

“Clean waist-high waves- get in there!” was the call on twitter from a couple of surf shops and a local surfer or two on a sunny weekend last month. Normally I do take twitter surf reports with a pinch of salt as one man’s “Flat” is another man’s “Fun log sesh” however waist high meant that surely there was something rideable. Clean’ish surf? In June, on the channel coast of the UK!? This is rare indeed. I hurriedly packed up the car, managing to dig out my summer suit which hadn’t seen any use since last October and headed for the most local spot to me, just inside the Dorset border with Hampshire. Once I arrived I remembered why I used to get so frustrated when trying to surf as much as possible round here. This was the scene;

The local. Waist high? Not really. Only one peak working too and predictably, it was mobbed.
The local. Waist high? Not really. Only one peak working too and predictably, it was mobbed.

This spot is pretty exposed so it was making the best of what little swell that was plodding in. It’s a pretty fickle place too, so despite a mile or so of sand there was only one peak working and it was like gold to the wave starved crew. There were about seven people out there vying for this little A frame roller, all on SUPs or beastly logs. There were also two Dutch guys getting suited up outside their camper van which was parked just along from my motor. You’ve come all the way from Holland to surf here?!

I stood and watched for a while, is it worth getting in? With that sand-bar already struggling to serve the guys that were out there I was thinking these Dutch boys will surely push it to breaking point… I’m already contemplating getting back in the car and heading home. Maybe I should go out on the bike or something? But wait, this one looks like it could be good?! Ah… it’s fattened up… it’s tiny actually. Hold up. Is that another peak down there? Oh no, that’s closing out. I scan around back to a groyne that produces a nice right every now and then, it’s probably the best peak on this beach on the average type of day, when the tide’s not too full. Alas, it’s not breaking. Even though there’s one guy out there willing it to.

Even this guy's super enthusiastic approach can't change the fact that this wave is not breaking.
Even this guy’s super enthusiastic approach can’t change the fact that this wave is not breaking.

I decide I can’t be bothered to battle it out on the crowded little A Frame, I’m maybe undergunned for it with just a 7’6 mini mal anyway. The SUPers will trample all over me. It’s not worth the parking fee for maybe a few party waves that last all of four seconds is it? Dejected I fire up the car and leave the sea behind.. that’s an hour wasted. Is all of this worth it? Should I just save surfing for the guaranteed nailed on days or trips to more wave rich coasts even? Am I just a grumpy bastard and should I have just got involved in the melle of 9 surfers to a wave?

These are the questions that haunt a south coast surfer.

Growing – Fergal Smith’s Quiver

More people should be watching these, if you haven’t subscribed already get on over to the Tube and do it. This little series follows one of my favourite surfers to watch, Fergal Smith, as he settles into a simple life at home in Ireland. This clip is the best so far, I absolutely love the mellow piano tune and Ireland’s waves. Fergal’s quiver is quite tasty too. Look out for the looooong left at 3:31, the drone footage really makes you realise how good a wave that is, great shape to it, I have to admit, I don’t fancy the paddle much though.

Warm Water, Glassy Waves…. Enjoyed

My favourite, clean glassy peelers.
My favourite, clean glassy peelers.

Had an amazingly fun session the other day at the local. The water’s still nice and warm and there wasn’t a breath of wind which meant the chest high swell was super glassy. It was hitting the banks at Sandymere just right too as some of the better ones peeled for 50 yards or so. I got one absolute stormer of a right on the Cre8tion Hot Pepperjelly. I did nothing special on the wave (I’m not special), just raced the sections, rising and falling in tune with the shape of the wall. It felt amazing. The sort of connection with the wave that keeps you turning up at the beach, waiting for the next ride.


Summer with the Otta

Been having some real fun on the Otta the last week or so, a session on the above day in particular sticks in the mind. It doesn’t look much in the photo but then you don’t need much to have a blast on these types of boards. It was a warm day and the swell was producing some real ramp shaped waves almost custom made for the Otta’s smooth belly into single concave.

Summer fun at Westward Ho!
Summer fun at Westward Ho!

The bellied nose and S-Deck feel like they really help get you into waves with not much effort needed before you can feel the board racing down the face. It’s really responsive too, lean back and twitch your heel and you can get it on a rail quickly, lean forward and your accelerating again….! It’s great fun and I’m so glad I stumbled down the Simmonsy route a while back because it’s made surfing days like this one something to remember rather than a frustration from not having a board with foam in all the right places. The great irony is that I’ve discovered a board ideal for my old local, Bournemouth Pier, seems it took me moving to Devon to discover it.

Crooky on the Hot Pepperjelly

Summer in Bude

The waves have returned this week after a flat spell which drenched us in sunshine for most of the month. It’s done wonders for the water temp, I surfed this wedgey little swell in my 3/2 and it’s probably the warmest I’ve felt out in the water in the UK.

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Had some short but sweet rides on my 5’7 in Bude’s semi-closeout ramps, it’s good to have a dip to wash the cobwebs off! Going to take the Otta for a run out tomorrow I think.

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