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On Countdown…

13 Aug

Day 2 of my official maternity leave, and whilst in this strange limbo I have started to think about surfing again. I’ve not been for a surf for nearly 6 months now, and I am beginning to wonder what my chances are of juggling a newborn, breast feeding and Autumn swells are. If I am to believe the horror stories from other parents, my chances are slim to none. Will I even want to go surfing?

My husband is keen for me to get back in the water. He has coped well with the hormonal highs and lows from his ever expanding and whining wife, but alas neither of us know the reality of what will happen to our lives in no less than two weeks (or maybe a month if I go overdue). Will we ever surf together again or will we always be trying to squeeze in sessions, swapping over baby duties with a pit stop turnaround in the rare windows of swell?

So, whilst on countdown to the start of one the biggest life changing events possible, is this the beginning of the end, or simply the start of a new way of life? I will have to wait and see…

Alternative Hobbies After 4 Weeks of Onshores

7 Jan

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I’ve almost given up on surfing…

Karl Mackie – Surf Culture Exhibition Review

11 Dec

Karl Mackie, soul surfer and artist, held his first solo exhibition in Newquay at the weekend. Very much a product of his environment, and influenced by the renaissance in analogue photography, Karl showcased surf art combined with classic British seaside imagery.

The venue, Cafe Irie in Newquay, itself an embodiment of travel and surf culture within Newquay, was well suited to the subject presented.

The exhibits ranged from Lomography to a somewhat unconventional hand shaped surfboard. The purpose of which was to provide the artist with as much pleasure from the process of creating the board as from the function. Also featured was the Hand Plane Art Project. Karl started to produce wooden hand planes several years ago, whenever the swell meant it would be more fun planing (a form of body surfing) than surfing. A change of direction earlier this year lead Karl to turn them into art pieces. Karl sent his hand planes around the world to a number of artists and asked them to carve, paint, draw or tattoo whatever they wished onto the hand planes. The result is a collective work, each hand plane as unique as the individual artist, and reflecting a unified love and respect of the Sea. For example, Chris Del Moro, pro surfer and active member of Surfers for Cetaceans submitted a piece to highlight the wider responsibility of surfers as caretakers of the oceans. This is a project that has grown organically, and will hopefully continue to grow.

I have known Karl for many years as a work colleague, and understand the challenges of balancing subsistence in Cornwall with the need for personal fulfilment. I found the exhibition inspirational for the creativity Karl has demonstrated through making opportunities’ for himself.

Karl’s exhibition runs until the end of February 2012.

Not So Secret Spot

20 Nov

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For those that read my earlier post referring to a secret spot with a fabled right hander, here is a picture of Tim surfing it last winter. It only works on a certain tide when the swell is coming from west to north westerly direction, and it needs to be a big swell! This was the biggest I’ve seen it. Unfortunately it is not as secret as it once was. Only 3 or 4 years ago we surfed it with a maximum of 8 or so people. This weekend there was probably nearly 40 people out.

Cornwall, Sunny Cornwall

12 Nov

In the sun, even Newquay can look like Hawaii or some other tropical paradise. If you look away from the arcades, surf shops and chippies, and use a bit of imagination it is not winter anymore. Ignore the surfers in full winter suits, pretend that you are not wearing scarf, body warmer and fleece. Turn your face to the sun and soak up that vitamin D. It is November now and we have a many long, dark days ahead.

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Surfing – good for your mind, body and…bank balance?

29 Oct

Happy in France

I spent yesterday morning in the Trafford Centre, Manchester. Being half term and pay-day for a lot of people it was rammed. For those that haven’t been, it is pretty impressive as shopping centres go, engineered to help you part with your money in as much comfort as possible.

These days, the only time I generally visit these places is when out and about for work. Why else would I be lured away from Cornwall to experience the delights of the Centre, Milton Keynes, Cribbs Causeway and Westfields? There was a time when these types of places would have been my destination for the weekend like they are for a large percentage of the population.

Before I discovered surfing, I got my thrills from going shopping. Instead of a testing paddle out, I battled with other shoppers to find a decent parking space. Now, I get excited by the changing seasons with the promise of hurricane swells, or warmer water or fewer people. Before, the seasons simply marked the latest sales. The adrenaline rush came not from pushing my limits in overhead surf, but from pushing the limit of a nearly maxed out credit card. Would the purchase go through or would I have the embarrassment of my card being declined? I am now undecided about which board to use, not which credit card to use. It is true, I had a problem. With nothing else to do at the weekend, I shopped for my kicks. It was an expensive habit which I have very nearly paid off.

Surfing may be free but the accoutrements of surfing are not cheap. I have had to make my £200 winter wetsuit last for almost three years, and although boards have been big investments, the pleasure and excitement I get from surfing has been well worth it. I have not racked up huge debts through surfing (although a fair spent bit has been spent on travelling). Shopping, and being away from the sea is now very much a chore.

With thanks to my sponsor (and Husband) for supporting my surf habit for the past 6 years!

European Premier of New Globe Surf Movie

9 Oct


The European premier of Globe’s new Surf Movie, Year Zero was celebrated in style, with a free party and screening held at a secret location in the forest in Seignosse, near Le Penon.

The event was a collaboration between Globe, Desillusion Magazine and Rockstar Energy Drinks and advertised as ‘The Death of Cool’.

The invite was open to all ‘folks, hippies and kooks’ that had been lucky enough to find the details of the event through the Twittersphere. ‘Suivez les fleches rouges’, or ‘follow the red arrows’ were the only clues to the venue.

Stepping into a clearing in the forest, the view was that of an old skool rave. Vibrations from a heavy dub step bass line coursed through my body, whilst dancers on podiums and fire breathers welcomed new arrivals. A big screen had been erected amongst the pine trees and coloured lights cast unusual shadows into the woods. Alongside the well stocked free bar and DJ booth, there was a chill out area, made to look like a comfortable but well worn front room, complete with Turkish rug. The effect was surreal, an Alice in Wonderland playground for adults. To add to this, Globe had strung a row of a hundred pairs of their shoes by their laces between two pine trees. A sign proclaimed ‘take me’. Whoops of delight were emitted as this bounty was discovered. An Australian QS surfer promptly ditched the scruffy pair he was wearing, purchased for a fiver at Shoe Zone in Newquay, for his new Globe plimsolls.

Gourmet sandwiches were laid out, and the bar stopped serving beer. In true French fashion, barrels of wine in red and white were provided instead. Wine with food, not beer came the simple explanation from the bar staff.

The crowd, well fed and watered danced in the light of the moon to a variety of tunes and the somewhat questionable deejaying. Finally, a countdown started on the big screen, and the lights dimmed. All attention turned to the film.

Featuring Globe team Surfers Taj Burrow, the Hobgoods, Nate Tyler and Yadin Nicol, Year Zero was shot in Mexico and South West France. The film featured the air show that we have come to expect of this calibre of surf movie as well as some excellent cinematography. The defaced World War two bunkers made for an interesting backdrop to the surf porn shown. Before the movie could climax, the heavens opened in that torrential way well known to this part of France and the audience fled.

Thanks for the great party Globe, we will be adding Year Zero to our DVD collection.