Saturday, 11 January 2014
This is England. No surf here, move along please. I haven’t been on a surf trip at home for years, obviously I surf when I’m home I just don’t really make the effort to go anywhere apart from my local beach. Priority’s change and it just hasn’t been high on my list so it’s probably been about 5-6 years since I’ve been on a proper UK mission and I to be honest I’d forgot what I was missing.
I went for a little drive before Christmas and a few days later I came back with a new hunger to spend more time searching for waves at home. England pumps……. Well sometimes.
Friday, 8 November 2013
Am I famous now? Some strangers did ask to have their photo taken with me the other day, it was a little confusing as the language/commination thing wasn’t going great bearing in mind I struggle to speak English let alone Portuguese, so I tried to take the camera off the woman and take a photo of her and her husband. We had a little wrestle with the camera but she just wouldn’t let go, as she stared me in the eye it all became clear that she actually wanted me in the photo not me to take it. Little bit embarrassing being so bloody famous.
What does famous even mean? Does it mean I won’t be able to wear my red stripy t-shirt for weeks at a time and I’ll get served in Billy Budds village pub? I hope not. So it has been a bizarre old week with all these interviews, TV time and Facebook LIKES, who would have thought just a wave would do that, I’m stoked and can’t believe how lucky I am. But it is only November, the winter's only just begun, can’t wait for the next swell.
Tuesday, 29 October 2013
It’s kind of hard to sleep when all the doors and windows in the house are shaking; it took me a few minutes to work it out, as outside there wasn’t a breath of wind. The strange thing was it was incessant, not just a one off rattle or shake. A continuous noise, a constant reminder that in the morning I would possibly see the biggest waves I’ve ever seen. Bizarrely though I slept really well.
With a small window of opportunity everything was pretty much prepped days in advance, what boards were working, safety, flotation, all we had to do was put the skis in the water and head out. We’ve surfed here so many times now it was just another day. As we left the harbour at first light and my first glimpse of the waves the reality hit, it was huge. At first I wasn’t even sure about surfing; my mission was to put Garrett on the biggest wave possible.
Some opportunities only come once and when I had a chance to grab the rope I wasn’t going to let it pass, I’ve been wanting this so much for years and I feel truly lucky to be in this situation. The waves were dangerous, giant, fast and incredibly hard to read, I didn’t want to make any mistakes or take any silly risks but I also wanted to try and get to the bottom of one of these waves and try and actually surf it (which is surprisingly hard to do believe it or not,) rather than just hop down the shoulder.
I got a couple fun ones like this shot from Jose Pinto above. Thanks to Garrett for the tow and inspiration, Hugo Vau who drove safety and all the crew I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with and made me feel so welcome.
Thank you Nazare, you have the biggest, scariest most beautiful waves I’ve ever seen.
Saturday, 26 October 2013
How much fun are head high beach break barrels, it’s been so long I’d pretty much forgotten. It’s not like we don’t have good beach break waves at home because we do its just never that good for that long and its usually really really busy.
So after a couple weeks of being in Nazare, going over the falls, snapping boards and falling off a lot I managed to get my shit together and hook up a few times with water photographer Helio. We didn’t get any gold so to speak but just had a lot of fun.
Thursday, 3 October 2013
Does anyone even read these old school blogs anymore or is it just me and the fact that I haven’t written anything for months. It’s not that I haven’t been surfing or though to be honest I haven’t surfed anything to write about over summer apart from the obvious, it’s just trying to find the time.
The good news is over the next 6 months I intend on having a lot more time, not just to write blogs that no one reads on the internet. But time to travel and surf some of the biggest, heaviest waves I can possibly find across Europe. I’m currently warming up in Portugal and have already scared myself senseless in the shore break at Nazare yesterday, I seem to forget how heavy and deadly that place is every year or maybe it’s just my brain trying to block it out.
So here’s to the North Atlantic winter, let's hope she’s a good one.
Wednesday, 12 June 2013
After watching this short clip above and feeling incredibly lucky and a little bit emotional I wanted to give a bit of support to Mision Mexico , not that I can do much but just by making people aware of the charity helps I suppose.
So please check out the Mexican Wave fundraising initiative and see if you can get involved. I'm going to be giving a surf lesson with the help from Ticket to Ride to 6 Trustess of the Misión México (UK) Board - none of whom surf, which could be interesting so they can experience what the kids experience when they surf this is going to be followed by a showing of Somewhere near Tapachula documentary at 2pm, 30th June at Seiners Arms, Perranporth beachfront in Cornwall so if your in the area please come and show your support too.
Friday, 31 May 2013
Oh my goodness, little bit embarrassing that I haven't blogged for so long. People of The Internet must have been wondering where an earth I've been.
Mainly Devon is the answer but I did briefly visit hot London for the day and ate a Chinese in that China town place and also went to Amsterdam and had a Mr Whippie. God I love those ice creams, sometimes just too much.
Wednesday, 20 March 2013
Just been on the internet, you know it seems pretty hard to escape it these days as it’s everywhere and that but I came across this video and I love it, in fact I’ve watched it numerous times just hoping and wishing that one day I will be a true dagger master.
I have been practicing though, and on occasions over the past 2 years something has flipped in my brain and I am one. As I start uncontrollably humping things, Chairs, tables, mic stands and sometimes even the odd stranger’s leg. Nothing is safe as I go at it like a jack hammer. I might add the strangers are generally male as the only female I like to dry hump like a jack hammer is Katie, which is understandable.
The pinnacle of my daggering career is going to be when I too have the ability to involve a small step ladder, I’m working on it but there might be some health and safety issues. There always is.
Friday, 1 March 2013
‘There will always be another big swell’ is what I tell myself when I miss big waves the same as I tell myself ‘you can’t be everywhere at once’ when I make a bad call concluding in me missing the best or biggest waves. I find myself getting so wrapped up and focused on the Atlantic winter swells I can’t see the wood for the trees so to speak, I need and want to make the most of every swell as I won’t have the luxury of jetting half way across the world in the summer to get my fix. It doesn’t help living in Devon either, because there’s definitely no big waves here so it’s great to leave but always greater to come home to my family.
So this is my Atlantic winter retrospective and a few of the waves I surfed from a few key sessions. It was a pretty epic winter for me and the first real time I’ve spent chasing big swells out of Ireland with a lot of time put in at Nazare, a session at Belharra as well as the old faithful Mullaghmore and a big wave paddle comp at Punta Galea in the Basque Country. Hope you like it.
Monday, 14 January 2013
As you can see Al and myself are having a lovely time on the beach watching the waves and looking for the jet ski even though the sun isn’t shining. Things haven’t gone quite to plan since I left home but we seem to be dealing with whatever comes our way, as you do.
However it was quite stress full getting here due to a small scenario of getting the dates wrong when I booked my plane tickets but after a small panic attack at the Easy Jet desk at Gatwick as they insisted the flight to Lisbon was full, I managed to buy a last minute ticket online. Isn’t the internet just brilliant sometimes.
Being really well looked after by the Nazare Qualifica crew here as usual and Celeste has been cooking us up some treats and the Policia Maritima have even requested to see us tomorrow morning, which is something to look forward too. Maybe they want an autograph of some kind?
Forgot to mention earlier but I can’t seem to find a flight home tomorrow as they are all fully booked back to London so will possibly have to fly back via Dublin but I promise to try and make it back for Monday and the meeting with the bank manager. Hopefully on the way back we’ll crack the windscreen on the hire car and have to pay the excess, get robbed at the Aer Lingus check in desk because our board bags are over 15kg then when I’m teetering on the edge of completely losing it, as I’m going through security I’ll get loads of hassle about the diving weight in my hand luggage and they’ll insist even though it’s not a sharp or a liquid and I’ve travelled with it in my hand luggage for the past 4 years it’s not allowed on the plane so I have to throw it away.
Can’t wait to see you all.