Posts tagged: localism

Surfing in the North – It’s no secret…

The first rule of surfing in Northumberland is; … you DO NOT talk about surfing in Northumberland. The second rule of ….

… but its just been too good recently to not talk about it.. sorry.

And its not like its a well kept secret anymore… Northumberland is fully OUT in surfing terms. Read on.

September THROBBED with swells, we had big southerlies, big northerlies, and just about the best conditions you can get up here. Now, as every surfer will tell you, when its good, you go. You just do. There are plenty of onshore days to sacrifice when you need to. That sentiment works even harder up here in the deep north. Our swells have short windows and can be gone the next morning after being perfect. It was ‘good’ alot in September.

The photos in this post are all mine taken from the swells in September, but there are a lot of shots here that look similar to those inside the articles of Carve and Wavelength this month. That’s as mainstream as it gets.

The crews had arrived form all over the country, Wales, Cornwall, Scotland – with Pro riders – Tow-teams with Jetski’s – photographers and video-guys – the place was buzzing for the surf.

You see, we have a secret here in Northumberland, and it attracts surfers form far and wide. Its not the clean water, empty beaches, stunning backdrops, or miles of coast to choose from. No, it’s a piece of rock, that collects swell and creates a truly great left-hand wave, unlike anything you will find on the beaches in the vicinity. This is why I keep bumping into the cream of UK surfing at 7am in a field next to a farm..

This piece of rock has attracted the cream of the UK Pro riders, Eugene Tollemache, Alan Stokes, Russel Winter, Spencer Hargreaves, Matt Capel… these guys have all been sat in the lineup in the last months.

So, you can understand how the mags got the lead – Cornall is a small place, and when the surf is flat everyone is looking further afield, and how the Welsh boys arrive on cue each swell – forecasts are pretty good and easy to read these days, and why its special – this is a legitimate, heavy, barreling wave… and its on our doorstep.

Anyway, this is not a magazine article, so I don’t have to justify anything, Im not here to talk about the good or the bad. I’m not naming the spot, but if your reading this then the chances are you know where it is.

Just think about it like this : Being up here – we’re all very lucky – and even luckier when we get that one morning with no-one else out and its perfect…. and gone an hour later…that’s the North for ya… appreciate it. :)

A week of solid surf…

Well, what an amazing week we’ve had.

Clean swell on monday

Clean swell on monday

The previous post outlined and the predicted swell, and some early snaps indicated that it was going to be good, but really we have much more to talk about than just the waves.

Marching swell

Marching swell

A few highlights from the week just ended.

  • Early morning session in huge overhead conditions in the middle of the Bay – including creating a new hole in my knee
  • The new and highly questionable smell coming from my car
  • Jumping-off Stag Rock to paddle out in huge waves with Steve, James and Murds in a classic old-school session
  • Getting a luscious Sunday evening session with light off-shores and gorgeous golden light
  • Covering god-knows how many miles and spending £70 on fuel chasing waves around the coast (not exactly sure this is a highlight…)
  • Making ‘The Sacrifice’ successfully, twice, and scoring as a direct result… its as guaranteed as paying taxes
  • Meeting and surfing with lots of new faces from up and down the coast – great to see more people in the area
Big and onshore

Big and onshore

All things considered, we have had a sensational week, lots of swell, mixed weather including plenty of sunshine, new faces, new boards and shapes to eye-up and plenty of spots visited and surfed.

Of course there are downsides, I appear to have developed a nasty chest-hack, and my head is a bit full -hopefully with just a summer-cold and not anything to do with swine-flu ;), and of course there are always the odd gripes over who should be surfing where and what photos get taken.

Beadnell Point reeling

Beadnell Point reeling

Racing the wall

Racing the wall

Big hack...

Big hack...

The happy place

The happy place

There really are not many surfers up here, and of course this is one of the attractions of living here. But once you’ve lived and surfed in genuinely busy spots such as Croyde, Bude, Newquay – all of Cornwall actually – Australia, New Zealand et-all, you can realise just how good we have it. With that in mind im never going to subscribe to the narrow-minded, selfish and generally childish mentalities of some people. Life is too good and too short to hold these sort of feelings.

The long paddle-out

The long paddle-out

So with the swell gone and a return to normality lying ahead, im sitting here watching Occy and Tom Curren tear-apart perfect JBay…  I had better hold onto these memories, they will probably have to last until the next decent swell sometime in November….  :).

Peaking...

Peaking...

Big out-east

Big out-east

Seahouses harbour taking the brunt

Seahouses harbour taking the brunt

Screaming right

Screaming right

Big screaming left

Big screaming left

Sunday evening slash

Sunday evening slash

Lining-up...

Lining-up...

Tucking-in

Tucking-in

Sunset shimmer

Sunset shimmer

It does look like there might be some nice waves at Thurso next week mind… maybe a trip is in-order.

See you in the water.

Aloha.

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