Monday 30 April 2012


Couple of promo shots of Pete Robinson, founder of the museum of british surfing on his way to the beach keeping the chill off in his finisterre jacket. The museum is open now and finisterre helped support the opening.

Most of you probably know about finisterre but if not, they make exceedingly fine outdoor type clothing, perfect for dealing with our climate pre and post surf. It's as ethically sourced as possible and great kit.

Saturday 28 April 2012

pickle in print!

I'm Stoked to post the link to my latest piece for drift. It's an interview with man of the moment, Tyler Warren, who seems like a nice guy with a good head on his shoulders as well as being an immensely talented surfer on pretty much anything. I'm sure i'm not the only one who's excited to see the TW Experiments film later in year.

Click here to read the interview

Big thanks to Tyler for doing it and to Kyle Maclennan for the great photos. Kyle also made the clip above.

Surf is still less than epic and guttingly i missed out on Monday's suprise swell. I did get wet on tuesday though, albeit caught by a downpour walking back from a pleasant evening climbing on Baggy Point. Fun to get on some proper rock again, whipped by the wind with a frothy sea crashing below as we climbed.

Thursday 26 April 2012

life's a gas

What with the changeble weather and dodgy swell conditions i haven't managed to get wet over the last couple of weeks but i have finally got around to learning one of my favorite guitar intrumentals, "classical gas" written by mason williams.

It's a song thats been recorded by lots of different people over the years, Williams himself recorded several different versions. My memories are from childhood and my Grandfather giving my Dad a cassette copy of the shadow's version which we played to death in the car on the way to school. Listening back it sounds quite dated now and the version above is much truer to the original acoustic guitar version.

My dad is a pretty useful folk guitarist and i can remember him playing this when i first took my first tentative guitar steps under his tutelage. Hanging out with my parents a couple of weeks ago i spotted the music and brought a copy home. It's kept me occupied in the slow times at work this week and while i'm not posting myself playing it on youtube anytime soon, it's coming together!

So if you've got a minute or two, play the clip, marvel at this guy's technique and forget the rain outside

Sunday 22 April 2012

the last time.....

for a while that the beach will look this empty...

Living in an area that's a tourist destination, it's always interesting to see the change in the local population and it's density as the seasons cycle through. Even in the current days of webcams, internet forecasting and thicker wetsuits, it's not that hard to roll up to the beach to a view like this. Leastways over the colder months.  Yet as soon as Easter rolls around it's like someone, somewhere throws the people switch and there are people everywhere. No matter how bleak and grey and windswept, there's hardy british holidaymakers hunkered down behind their windbreaks. The village is filled with stressed, damp mothers ushering their bedraggled offspring from shop to shop looking for an alternative to the mud of their campsite.

In a weird way i've always liked it, it gives the place some life after the cold of winter. There's an air of anticipation of sun and fun to come. Spring is in the air... 

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Saturday 14 April 2012

count trimula..

There's something refreshingly simple about the feeling of pure trim you get from a true displacement hull on a clean wave.

I hadn't ridden my hull for a while but just cruising down the line, connecting sections with that hot knife through butter feel was so much fun on this particular day.

 Nothing else gives you quite the same slingshot feeling out of a deep full rail bottom turn either. Good times!

While i'm talking hulls, this one was shaped by Tim Mason a couple of years ago. Tim's fundraising efforts i posted about a few weeks ago are still going strong and the Timmy Mason Trust now has full charitable status which is excellent news and a real testament to the Tim, Kate and all those in the UK surfing community that have donated time or product.

Tuesday 10 April 2012

surf museum open now!!!

The Museum of British surfing is now open! Massive congratulations to Pete and the team for making it through the long process with all it's trials and tribulations. It's located at the side of the main car park in Braunton. Please make time to come and visit and support it, it's preserving our nations unique take on surfing and it's really worth your time and support.

Sunday 8 April 2012

the lookout.......

First cross-processed roll through the Lc-a was mostly a success, feel like i'm learning the camera a little. Still feels a little odd and frustrating to be so reliant on batteries, especially in the cold months of our climate.

Next roll loaded is fuji velvia which is my favorite 120 film to cross process. Excited to see how it comes out of the Lc-a!

Friday 6 April 2012

tugs like gravity

I started typing "i'm going to be landlocked for the next week" but as i'm off to the lake district, i'm not sure how true that statement is! I'm really looking forward to visiting a part of the country i've never been to before and hopefully getting some good photos.

It's Good Friday today and while i'm heading north, no doubt lots of people will be heading south west towards the coast. If you are, please remember to be courteous to other surfers, especially locals. There's no excuse (or need) to drop in on people and ruin their wave and it can be dangerous too. If you're bringing an SUP, do the decent thing and find your own peak.

Today is also the official opening day of The Museum Of British Surfing in Braunton. The opening party last night was super fun and featured the music of one of my favorite musicians, the excellent Neil Halstead who very kindly donated his time and talent. The museums's first exhibition is "The Art of Surf" and it's well worth yor time. This is what they say

‘The Art of Surf’’ is an exhibition created from the Museum of British Surfing’s collection of surfboards and artwork dating back more than two centuries.
Many people describe the act of surfing as an art, and creativity has been at the heart of the wave riding experience for hundreds of years.
Early explorers sketched surfers; surfers decorated their boards, took photos and made films; advertisers plundered surfing’s rich imagery – and today in Britain there’s a flourishing art scene inspired by surfing.
Now it’s time to immerse yourself in ‘The Art of Surf’.
The exhibition runs from April 6 to December 24, 2012.

Finisterre are having a sample sale at the museum today and tomorrow as well so if you are in the area, please make the effort to come and lookn around and support/ reward all the hard work Pete and Howie and eveone else have put in over the last few years!

Monday 2 April 2012

velo - city

It's taken me a while to feel like i've surfed this board enough to properly review it here but i've had it out in a decent variety of waves now so here goes!

It's a 5'6 x 22 x 2 - 2.5 Mford model by Jeff McCallum. The template is based on Greenough's velo kneeboards with the rails and base borrowed from a mini simmons. The wide point is well forward and the bottom goes from a gentle roll quickly into fairly flat then a big single concave through the fins. The deck is scooped out a bit, though nowhere near as much as a proper flexspoon kneeboard. The fins are beautifully made half moon style quad keels glassed on and beautifully polished. In fact the whole board is a work of art from the shape to the tint and the finishing. It's definately a board you could have on the wall if you wanted!

Paddling is fine, in fact the concave deck feels really comfy and "connected" with your chest. Despite the width it's thin enough to duckdive fine too. It paddles into waves smoothly and then you're off to the races!

It's a really laterally fast board, covering a lot of ground with each pump along the wave. There's a real feeling of squirt out of each bottom turn. It's great at racing sections down the line and it's short enough to coax up and over encroaching white water. It's got a lovely, smooth, knife through butter feel through the water, closer in feel to my old velo - sim than the bar of soap. A little bit of hull smoothness but without the "squirlyness" the greater belly on the velo-sim gave. The lack of rocker and width let you carry through flat sections easily and it's much more of a junk buster than the bar of soap has been so far.

All this lateral speed needs to be reined in and the smoothness carries through cutbacks. I'd probably describe it as like a very smooth fish, a flowing softness to the lines it draws. Not as shortboard feeling as the bar of soap, not as hully as the velo-sim.

The width and the position of the widepoint does need a little getting used to, both setting on a rail and bottom turning on your backhand but it's not a problem after a couple of waves. Thats about the only negative thing i can say, all in all it's a worthy addition to the quiver and a keeper for sure!

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