April 30, 2015 4 min read
Late 20's working for the UK's only Enviro-surf charity; I have a passion for the sea, geography and have studied Marine Policy to allow me to work in the field. All this combined means I now live in the UK surfing county that is Cornwall and have a whole host of waves right on my doorstep.
Body surfing is something I have picked up and apparently I am not bad at it! - its not hard, all that is required is a body, surf and a butt-load of stoke! I have yet to have more fun in the waves on any other craft, sure surfing is adrenalin filled and massively rewarding when you get it right - but how often is that? Body surfing, you can get it wrong, get pounded on the shore and still come out laughing! Think of it like the difference between skiing and snowboarding, how many skiers take a fall and come up laughing? Snowboarders love it!
Life is a wave, ride it, enjoy the ride and laugh your head off doing so!
Where did you grow up?
Where are you currently living now?
What are your favourite local spots?
Porthreath (high tide), Perranporth, St. Agnes, Newquay beaches
Do you have any other favourite breaks?
Few spots along the Dorset coast, nearest places I had to get in the water when I started to learn to ride waves - they are fickle and terrible waves but so much fun it doesn't matter!
I've had some great waves in the Canary Islands - the locals had no idea what the hell I was doing, but soon started to try it, great fun
What breaks are on your bucket list?
Porthleven - one of the best reefs in the UK, we'll tick it off this summer for sure!
Pipe..., But realistically anywhere warm, wedgy, barrelly, and long rides!
Have you always bodysurfed?
I didn't start surfing until I was 18, it wasn't until I was about 20 that I started to bodysurf in the shorey, but didn't take it up properly until about 3 years ago when I got a pair of fins and opened up a whole new world of fun! Then added a handplane to the mix and got super stoked!
Do you ride other surf craft?
I still surf when I can, mainly the winter months in the UK, I'll ride whatever I can, but own a pretty mixed quiver of surf boards and there always plenty of friends craft around to borrow!
How are bodysurfers viewed in your local line-up?
We are a pretty new bunch, I've only met a few other body surfers in the line up who I didn't go to the beach with! Other surfers tend to be curious and ask us about what it's like and the handplanes etc they seem to know about handplanes and bodysurfing but have never tried it or had a go. It's cool to pass on some knowledge and encourage people to give it a go. I've not had any stick from body surfing although we often go unsighted - we look too much like seals during (full suits most of the year round!) for people to get that close lol
What do you find cool and inspiring about bodysurfing?
I have never come out of a body surf annoyed that it didn't go as planned (had plenty of those days surfing...) it's so simple so fun that you can't not be inspired to get back in and amongst the waves!
I love just chucking my handplane, fins and wettie in a rucksack and taking a walk along the coast hoping to find some new waves to get into. It also makes travel easy - I've done a few trips with just carry on!
What’s inspiring you in the water right now?
It feels like bodysurfing is started to shape up in the UK, I'm keen to be a part of that and get more people in the sea. There are some amazingly talented guys and gals around the world who are so passionate about bodysurfing and are showing me new stuff you can do on a wave. I think social media is doing wonders for what was an 'underground' sport. I see short clips of people in Oz, Hawaii etc etc doing stuff I've never even consider... Of course I'm gunna try replicate them!
Where do you hope to take your bodysurfing over the next year?
Footage. Fellow ambassador Jack and I are looking at documenting bodysurfing in the UK (as best we can..) we have a load of awesome waves that we want to get into get footage of and film other guys along the way.
For me, just dedicate a bit more time to bodysurfing and being in the sea, having moved down to Cornwall last autumn I've yet to have a summer of dawnies - clocks change at the end of March, I plan to be in the water everyday before work!! (I'm super lucky, the place I have just moved into has a beach literally at the end of the road ;-D )