Author Surfing

In June 1985 I was 15 years old and surfing came into my life at  Sutton on Sea, Lincolnshire courtesy of my brother taking me down the coast one Saturday afternoon, plonking me on a board and telling me to ‘start paddling’.

By this stage he had been surfing a year and for some reason he had took it upon himself to share this little gift with his annoying kid brother. Looking back I’m forever in his debt for this act of kindness because since that fateful afternoon having surfing in my life has taken me to places and put me in situations that have shaped every last part of me.

1986 Fluro and first two boards I owned
1986 Fluro and first two boards I owned
Surfing Sutton on Sea in the 80's
Sutton on Sea back when there were groynes..

Those early days of surfing on the East coast of England are amongst some of the most pure I can remember. Dealing with cold wetsuits, surfing (relatively) empty breaks, meeting and partying with eccentric individuals and the resulting lifelong friendships I made were all part of that era’s formula. And whilst admittedly there were already fledging surfing communities up and down the coast we were all still considered a serious sub-culture and to be honest we were more than happy with that label.

4 years later I left the East Coast to study at Swansea Polytechnic (a decision based more than anything by me wanting the convenience of surf on my doorstep!) and whilst the course only lasted 2 years  I ended up spending the following 16 years there as well! I loved everything about my time spent in this beautiful part of the world and on its day the Welsh coastline provided a smorgasbord of quality surfing options.

90s Welsh Carve
90s Welsh Carve
Peeling Welsh pointbreak perfection
Peeling Welsh pointbreak perfection

Fast forward to 2007 and after a strange twist of events I ended up making the huge decision to emigrate to the surfing mecca that is the Gold Coast of Australia. This is a place many surfers dream about living but personally on a surfing level I could never decide on whether I loved or hated the place!

 The positives came from the consistent waves, warm water and the fact that the city literally lives and breathes surfing. The darker side came in the unbelievable crowds at the better breaks, the dog eat dog mentality in the water and an underlying feeling that somewhere along the line maybe the Gold Coast had just lost its surfing soul?  In 2016 the realisation slowly washed over me that it was time to leave Australia’s shores and return home.

Reeling perfection but you be sharing with a few mates…
Reeling perfection but you’ll be sharing it with a few mates…

So here I am August 2016 and back in the place that after all that travelling I still consider home. With the wisdom of age coming back after been away for so long has helped me realise that Lincolnshire is actually a special little corner of the world. It has amazing natural beauty, some incredible history and plenty of space to spread your wings and escape the crowds. As a surfer here you face many challenges but I’m happy to be back and writing another chapter in my surfing life journey.

Yellow Belly walk to check that peak just down the beach
Yellow Belly walk to check that peak just down the beach

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