Thursday, 29 November 2012

Soho's Pop-Up Surf Shop.

So Christmas is coming. The goose is getting fat. Your Nan is planning her racist comments for the dinner table. Christmas Markets have opened their doors and a surf shop has opened in Soho. Who've thought it? A surf shop in Soho?! I know crazy. In amongst all the sex shops, strip clubs and trendy wine bars nestles a little island of surf. Finisterre: the cold water surf specialists, have deemed London cold and wet enough (which it has definitely been this last week) to temporarily set up shop. Fuck yeah!

Nah I haven't got any brollies mate, take a wetsuit instead.
Its a great thing having a surf shop back in central London. After the closure of the Quicksilver store on Regents Street its felt fairly empty wandering the streets each lunch time, I need somewhere to go for a perv at lunch. For a release. A surfgasm if you will. 

However, I have felt a little unfulfilled by Finisterre's pop-up offering. I mean they have some great clothes (if a little out of my price range) and a few boards and pictures as decoration. But it feels a bit sparse. I know its only a pop-up but for a brand that really wants to do something different to Quicksilver, Rip Curl, Billabong, their London surf shop just the same as any of the others; an overpriced clothes shop with a couple of surfboards in as decoration. Which is a bit disappointing, But in all honestly who is going to buy Quad Fish or a wetsuit in central London on a whim? Well me. I would.... And members of the London Surf... And maybe passing Australians. But other than that who? I ask who?! 

The Finisterre shop will remain firmly popped up on Glasshouse Street in Soho until the 2nd of December  (and maybe longer according to one of the lovely Americans inside) and it is worth a visit if just for the uncharacteristically friendly welcome (for London anyway) and chance to talk surfing with like minded people. They are even showing some surf films in the shop at some point this week (@finisterre for the latest info). 

However, if you do need a new wetsuit or just fancy taking a board home on the tube (always a hilarious experience) Ocean Leisure on the Embankment is your place.

Happy festive surf shopping. 


Thursday, 22 November 2012

Trick of the Week?

Now there have been some awesome tricks pulled in the last week. First of all there was Gabbi's mental backflip at pipeline which blew everyones freaking minds. I mean have you ever seen a more casual execution of such an awesome move?!

Then later in the week at the Hawaiian Reef Pro Dane Reynolds (accidentally on purpose) pulls off this insane turn...

And then after having the limelight taken away from him for 5 second Medina only goes and does it again...

So who had the best trick? Who cares?! Both were awesome. Though I'd like to see what score a Backflip would get from the ASP judges. Is it possible to get an 11? Though just throwing it out there; backflip... better than a barrel.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

As Stoked As Stokesy.

Could anyone in Britain be as stoked as Alan Stokes this week? 

Probably not. The man is now officially the best surfer in Britain after a showdown in pumping swell at Fistral in his home town and in front of his Nan as well. What could make a man more stoked than that? Especially with that amazing tash as well. 

Congratulations Alan... Enjoy celebrating. 
If you want more info on the event you can find it on the Surfing GB website.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

nO pROS.

Saturday 27th October 2012 is a night that will go down in history (and probably in Geography and English as well) as a night where five mates got drunk on a farm and watched a video. This was the first time all the boys back together (-Sam)  in over a year for a Birthday blow out for quarter centurion, dairy farmer and host Bolts along with the the premier of nO pROS the film of our summer trip to Newquay.

Now there have been some big surfing movies this year not least the release of Kai Neville's Dear Suburbia, the rise of What Youth, Jordy Smith's Bending Colours and in the UK The Endless Winter that premiered on Channel 4 to name but a few. As well as the releases in the normal world of The Hunger Games, War Horse, Twighlight (not that I've seen any of them) and even James Bond. But this was the big one. No film this year has been greeted with as little enthusiasm or to as few people as nO pROS.

The Stars Turn out for the Premier.
Nor has there probably ever been a premier that has been as drunken as this. The majority of us had been drinking since around 6pm (except anyone who came with Posh Tom who had a scenic late night tour of Britain before turning up at the Pub just before closing time) and it was around 2am when someone finally managed to drunkenly slip the DVD in to the player - the Leicester Square Odeon this is not.

Getting people to watch your film drunk has major advantages, I don't know why people haven't thought of it before as 1. Everything is funnier drunk 2. Anything is fascinating when drunk, and 3. As long as there is booze people will stay to the end. - take note the makers of Robin Hood! Thankfully we didn't run out of booze. It was a great night with everyone receiving their own copy of the DVD after and a massive hangover the next day.

Watching the action.
Birthday Boy with his cake
You can see the full film in all its glory here

The finished DVDs in all their glory.
Cheers to all involved. Next stop Portugal?



P.S. Hi Pedro! - there you go you are involved now!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Boscombe Pier.

The packed Boscombe line-up.
So after a week of sitting on Magicseaweed (it was a slow week at work) trying to figure out from their ever changing forecast whether there would be waves or not this weekend, it finally looked on Friday afternoon like there would be a wave on Saturday down in Bournemouth... well... maybe... sort of... there definitely was a possibility there may be something... or indeed of there not being something. So with that sure fire level of confidence firmly secure in my mind I sent out a message to the Surf Club looking for companions on the trip down south.

To my surprise within 10 minutes I had a car full and a plan to be in Streatham by 7am to pick them up. Which considering I was out until past midnight watching Jack White the night before was ambitious at best foolish at worst, but at least I had not been shunned and my first LSC trip was well and truly on.

I managed to haul my lazy arse out of bed at 5:30am (it is amazing how early you can wake up when work isn't involved!) pick up Zoe (who was coming in a strictly land based capacity) in Brockley and make it to Streatham a mere 40 mins late.

Our companions for the day were Dana; a video marketeer from Romania now working in Hammersmith and Nick; an Audio Developer from Whitby working now developing Children's games... diverse lot us Londoners!
Mine's bigger than yours!
Boscombe Pier.
For not knowing these guys from Adam (or Eve) they were great trip companions and the conversation flowed well on the way down to Bournemouth. We arrived having little idea what to expect from Boscombe. However, our fears of a wasted journey were quickly quashed when we arrived and saw clean (...ish) 2-3ft waves rolling in next to the pier and a Harvester right by shore. Perfect.  So we headed back to the car and pulled on the winter wetsuits for the first time this year (always a depressing moment) and booties as fast as humanly possible and headed out in to the line-up. 
LSC members Dana and Nick waiting for a wave.
It was a fun wave for a longboard, thankfully I came perfectly equipped (as always) with a 9ft 2in log, there were some fairly long rides out there. Nick looked the most proficient of the lot of us after spending 2 weeks surfing in Sri Lanka whereas Dana was definitely the coldest despite having a hood, gloves and the thickest wetsuit known to man. Romanian blood obviously doesn't contain antifreeze.

Zoe, preferring to keep dry and warm, went off to explore the coastline in, while the rest of us picked up some nice sets. Dana and Nick got a bit cold a couple of hours in and opted to head in. Being the hardiest and obviously the most enthusiastic of the bunch, I stayed in the water in to the late afternoon picking off wave after wave at will (the best I obviously didn't catch on the Go Pro, which had run out of battery) in the ever depleting line-up with the passers by on the pier watching.

After a slam up meal, and down right abuse of Harvester's unlimited salad bar, we headed back east to London where we deposited Dana and Nick, changed in to our glad rags and headed up to Essex for a night at the Circus. Well a Circus themed party but still it was awesome.
Zoe and her old friend Brad... the Midget Magician.
Zoe and I finally fell in to bed at around 1:30am after having been up for 20 hours, driven 300 miles, surfed for three hours and partied until midnight. A mental yet brilliant Saturday.

Here's to the next one.


Monday, 5 November 2012

The Gaza Surf Club.

2 Palestinians share a wave. In Gaza the surfers like to share waves, hold hands and blow whistles when surfing.

Yes you read that right... the Gaza Surf Club.  It exists.  Set up by 2 Palestinian Muslims with boards brought in by Jews from Israel the surf club acts as a symbol of peace showing how some things are so important they transcend war and hate. The club even has 4 female surfers despite the controversy it causes.

Have a listen to the incredible BBC documentary about the surf club where air strikes are an everyday occurrence and how along with Israeli surfers they are trying to promote peace in the region:

The Gaza and Israeli surf clubs are planning a paddle out to meet in international waters just by the wall separating the two.

Good luck to them all.


Friday, 2 November 2012

Office Surfing.

Hungover? Bored? Boss out? Then look no further for entertainment this afternoon. Open an important looking document, whack your headphones on and sneak a look at the O'Neil Coldwater Classic. The best surfers in the world going head to head on a sweet as point break in Surf City, USA. While you're waiting for 2:30pm to roll around you can catch up on the highlights from day 1:

Then catch all the action here, for free:

They're a generous lot this surfing bunch aren't they.

Here's to an unproductive Friday!


Thursday, 1 November 2012

Blind Faith.

An inspirational story for a Thursday Morning...

There isn't often a story that warms the heart so much while simultaneously reminding you just how crap your surfing. The story of Derek Rabelo however, manages just that. Derek first exploded in to the surfing world's consciousness when back in the early part of 2012 when the father of Pro Surfer Makau Rothman got talking to a blind man on the Hawaiian North Shore. The blind man told Makau's farther that he surfed. Amazed Makau's father immediately called up his son, Makau came, gave the man a board to surf with and took the blind Derek Rabelo out at Pipeline.

Pipeline is a formidable break, they hold the final world ASP event of each season and is not an easy place to ride. Now imagine you're blind... Ye its fucking impossible. But no its not. Derek picked up a couple of waves no problem and tucked in for a couple of barrels. I've never been barreled so Derek can, very literary, surf better than me with his eyes closed.Then factor in that Derek has only been surfing 2 1/2 years (rub salt in that wound why don't you) and your jaw may just hit the floor.. 

Hopefully Slater forgave Derek dropping in on him.
Derek has now surfed with pretty much every big name in surfing including 11 time world ASP champion Ke11y Slater, uber intense big wave maniac Laird Hamilton and has a feature length film Beyond Sight about him in production at the moment (trailer below). The guy is nothing short of incredible. He gets towed in to waves that would make me temporarily warm my wetsuit before sobbing and paddling as fast as I could in to shore. 

In the words of a well known sports brand "Impossible is nothing".