Monday, 30 November 2009
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Something I wrote for Drift last month.
September sessions here in Cornwall are normally the best of the year but this year the surf was dire. Just when it seemed like it was going to be one of the worst Autumns I can remember, October turned up with the goods. The last three weeks has seen some epic sessions go down. From tow-in barrel seeking sessions in giant waves at Fistral to shoulder high peelers perfect for longboarding- there has been something for everyone. Many classic spots that lie dormant for much of the year have been working but with the mandatory crowd, if you keep your eyes open quiet sessions are found.
After three weeks of great waves, usual transmission has resumed. Howling westerly gales are forecast for the next week, the balmy late autumn temps are fading away and the dark nights have drawn in. Therefore, it looks like its time to batten down the hatches for winter. The changing seasons are a facet of nature as it evolves throughout the year so embracing it can help you to bond with and enjoy the environment around you. Winter offers you the chance to surf spots you can't the rest of the year (many of which are quality waves), spend stormy days seeking out that elusive spot you always heard about followed with a pint by an open fire, enjoy the lower crowd pressure and open space on land as well as in the water, expand your quiver to surf winters more powerful swells plus the dark nights can give you more time to work on projects or other interests you have and most importantly time to plan those winter trips. Whilst there are many positives from wintering in Cornwall I'll still be jetting off to the Philippines but only for a month- don't want to miss too many of those winter swells.
Gladly inside out of the cold we received a warm welcome by compare, Christian Bailey who brought the evening to life introducing each film with enthusiasm and humour. The films on show were an array from all corners of the surfing sphere.
The first film was 5 by Fion Crow Howieson. It documents the Carve reader's poll top five surfers on a trip to the Mentawi Island. A high-energy film with fast high performance surfing cut to high tempo music in the worlds best waves. Following this was quite a contrast as Ollie Banks offered up his film, Board and Rider. Great surfing and great waves again but this time in a cold water climate, shot on 16mm film this was a slow paced artistic film that explores another path in surfing. Nightwaves by Mr B was a very slick ambient collage of waves set to very atmospheric soundtrack. Not happy to show just one film Mr B had another film on show called Rhythms were Sam Lamiroy talks about being in tune with the ocean. There were also two documentaries shown. One by Mark Roberts called Noises From The Shed; documenting the process, he follows to produce his finely crafted unique EPS and wood surfboards. The second was a very moving film by Izzy Charman, The Beach Boys. This follows three children on autistic spectrum as they learn to surf. Come Surf With Me by Rodney Sumpter brought us flashbacks of the halcyon days in the 1960's and 1970' with classic footage from around Cornwall and the rest of the world including Gerry Lopez at the Banzai Pipeline. The last film was Surf Hog a cartoon by Robbie McIntosh. This fun filled film was my favourite as it showed a surf loving Hog living the dream on a palm-fringed island surrounded by epic waves.
After much deliberation the panel of judges (including Finisterre's Tom Kay, Sarah Bently and James Parry) declared Board and Rider by Ollie Banks as best film of Board Shorts 2009 which was well deserved for a film that encapsulates the creativity and individuality evident in surfing today. It was a great evening showing the rich variety in British surf culture.
Friday, 13 November 2009
Over the last ten years, I have travelled to the Basque region of France many times and have dreamed of one day living there. I have written an article that is a culmination of the experience and joy I have had in this special place. Indian Summers can be read in the current issue number 10 of Corduroy Lines available online at http://www.corduroylines.com/.